Memories of the conversations with my cat – 56

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20161008_135142

This is Chester.  It’s going to be an interesting morning.

When I finally make it out to the writing room, I find him sitting on my desk, next to the keyboard, with a rather benign expression.

Remembering that cats can’t have expressive expressions, it worried me that he’s working overtime to make me think he has one.

I can feel his eyes boring into me, following me around the room, watching and waiting.

Waiting for what I wonder.

I also remember that cats are hunters and killers.  If he was a lion or a tiger I’d be in a great deal of trouble now.  He’d pounce, and that would be the end.

Is this we hat he’d be doing if I let him outside?

Is he sending me a warning?

I finish what I’m doing on the other side of the room and come over to the seat.

Are you done giving me the death stare? I ask him.

A slight shake of the head, and if I wanted to write anything into it, that would be a no.

A few seconds pass, then he jumps down to the floor and walks off.

Job done, I suspect he’s thinking.

Back to his least favourite dinner tonight, I’m thinking.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 55

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

 

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This is Chester.  He’s supposed to be keeping an eye on the weather.

This is the second day of Spring where it has started warm, and by mid-afternoon, it has reached a high of over 30 degrees Celcius.

It’s the start of the heatwave that basically starts in October, and doesn’t go away until April the following year.

But it’s not the heat that’s the problem, it’s the humidity, and having a day that’s 35 degrees with 1000% humidity, is like being roasted in an oven.

I see the look on Chester’s face when he comes into the writing room, a sly glance up to the roof to see if the fan is going, and a slight shake of the head when he sees it is not.

Not that hot yet, I say.

What did we get the air conditioning for or the solar panels?

He’s sharp and doesn’t miss a trick.  It’s now more a benefit to run the airconditioning during the day when solar power is being generated.

We’ll be using it soon, I say.  But, just as a matter of interest, don’t you cats like the heat?  After all, in winter, you’re just about sitting in the fire.

A glare, no an insolent stare.  That’s in winter.  This is Summer.

No, it’s Spring.  Let me know when it’s Summer and I’ll be happy to help.

He flops on the ground.

At least you put tiles in, it’s nice and cool down here on the floor, he mutters, feigning going to sleep.

And a wide yawn just to emphasize the fact the conversation’s over.

Why not.  I turn the fan on high.  Just to annoy him.

Yes,, I can feel his eyes burning into my back.

 

 

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 54

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As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160903_163858

This is Chester.  Did someone use the word ‘vet’ out loud?

It is odd how some animals can recognise some words and remember what activity is attached to it.

Chester knows the word vet, and his memory attaches a great deal of seemingly horrible experience, not the worst of which is being transported in a pet basket.

Yes, we have just tried carrying him, but there is a sixth sense in every cat that tells them when they’re nearing a vet.  Within 50 metres of the front door, the hair stands up, the cat starts hissing as he would face off against a formidable opponent.

We only carried him once, never again.

But the histrionics start in the house where we have to mound a search party to find hi,  There are innumerable hiding places, and we have to be organised.

Invariably, each time something like this happens, he finds somewhere new to hide.  We keep forgetting he can use his paws to open sliding doors, and close them again, a talent he had learned.

We’ve also learned to start looking a half-hour earlier than we used to.  The vet is only three minutes away, and we used to leave it to the last minute, but being late for the appointment happens only once.

Vets are worse than doctors when you miss appointments.  PErhaps Chester knows this and tries to use it to his advantage.  It no longer works.

Then, once we find him, the next exercise is to get him into the basket.  I’ve never seen so many tricks on how not to let the humans put him in it.

But, over time, we’ve learned, and sometimes it’s easy, others, I have the scars to prove it.

Then, once we get to the vet, it’ss a completely different cat, not Chester, but some other cat disguised as him.  Chester has never given the vet an ounce of trouble.

Perhaps we should become vets.

Chester is fine, just a little off-colour perhaps from something he ate.  Not all pet food is agreeable, and we’ve been trying to get his to have something different.  I even specially cook fish for him, and maybe that was the problem.

What is off-putting is the ease in which he goes back into the basket for the vet.

But all is well, and he will be glad to get out…

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 53

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160921_071443

This is Chester.  He’s feeling poorly today.

When I used this expression, he looked at me quizzically, which is not bad for a cat with a constant poker face.

Where did you get that from?

It’s a favourite expression of my mother’s when she wasn’t feeling very well.  She had another, ‘not feeling elegant’ today.

It stops and makes me wonder where these expressions come from, and I suspect, because my mother’s mother was of German descent, that it was one of those translation to English things.

Chester seems disinterested.  I’m beginning to think there may be something wrong with him because he’s not his usual sardonic self.

Perhaps, I say, it’s time to go to the vet, get checked out.  You’re not getting any younger.

His head pops up at the mention of the vet.  He knows what this means.  The cat basket.

He leaps up with newfound energy and heads for the door.

I get out of my chair to follow, and he’s gone, moving quickly up the passage to one of his hiding spots.

Maybe he’s not that bad.  I’ll monitor the situation.

“You’re safe,” I yell out.  “For now.”

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 52

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160902_094127

This is Chester.  He’s left a current edition of a news magazine on my keyboard.

And I think it’s meant to scare me.

The title is “Your cat isn’t trying to kill you, probably”

The operative word that goes with the malicious look on his face, is probably.  In a staredown I know I’m going to lose.

If I try to read his mind, well, all that’s going to get me is a migraine headache.

Perhaps I’m missing the point.  The first few lines tell me that cats don’t have the facial muscles that dogs do, so an expressionless cat is just that, they are not giving you the proverbial death stare.

I’m sure that it’s his way of reassuring me that I’m living on borrowed time.

Or, maybe not, because there are a few more lines further down telling me that cats are predators and they kill about a billion birds every year.  That, I’m guessing, hints that once the birds run out, humans are next.

Ah, now I know that benign expression holds no malice…

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 51

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20151129_000912

This is Chester. Our standoff continues.

I can tell he’s not happy because when he’s going down the passage and I’m going in the opposite direction, he changes sides.

Instead of coming over to see what food he’s getting, he waits in another room. That is fine by me because it takes a little longer to find out he’s not in an eating mood.

And come to think of it, he no longer climbs up on the table when we’re having fish. I’ve told him more than once that eating off someone else’s plate is just not good manners.

Perhaps I should not be so concerned he’s not talking to me, because he’s almost become the cat I’ve always wanted.

What’s that expression, cut your nose off to spite your face.

But, it isn’t going to last. This morning when I go down to the library, which is just a fancy name for my writing room, he’s sitting on top of my closed laptop.

I never used to close it but the last time I cleaned it I found cat hair, an allegation he vehemently denied and tried to tell me it the dog we used to have.

I didn’t bother telling him the laptop is new, and the dog’s been gone for 12 years.

I ask him to move.

He yawns and makes himself more comfortable.

He still hasn’t realized that all I have to do is pick him up, and move him, which I do.

I sit down to start work, he jumps up on the table and gives me that ‘I dare you to do that again’ look, and I stare back with the ‘do you really want to do this’ look.

Fifteen minutes later…

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 49

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160922_162007

This is Chester. We are at the delicate stage of peace negotiations.

The ceasefire has been rocky, to say the least.

Blame is being thrown about like confetti at a wedding.

And to top it off, it’s Friday the thirteenth.

Im fuĺly expecting Chester to change his coat to black, and walk in front of my path with an evil grin on his face.

There’s already been signs of his mischievousness.  A long time ago we bought him some fake mice to play with since he didn’t have the inclination to chase the real rodents. Little did we know he had hidden these away, to bring them out on black Friday.

And, sitting on the floor, giving me the death stare, I wonder what his intentions are.

Not good.

So, I ignore him. I go back to the computer and get on with the day’s work. I have episodes to write, some research for a project one of my granddaughters is working on, and a novel in the throes of a third edit.

Still, I can feel those beady eyes drilling into my back.

Enough.

Do what you like, I say, turning suddenly on him, causing him to jump. Just go away and let me get on with my work. Instantly, I realise I’ve lost the battle, as he stands, gives me a final smug look, and leaves the room.

Was that a swagger?

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 48

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160922_162027

This is Chester.  I’m not sure if we are still speaking.

For a few days now he has been skulking around the house, turning up, under my feet, without me knowing where he is.

This, I’m getting to understand, is his stealth mode, and to be honest, he’s getting quite good at it.

I’m wondering if this is because I told him to be seen but not heard, because in the last few days he’s been sitting by the back door, and making a lot of noise.

It’s unfortunate that several birds have decided to drop by every morning, and sit on the fence.  Perhaps they are doing the avian version of thumbing their noses at him.

Then, I thought it might be just another ruse to get outside, thinking that if he makes enough noise I just let him out to get some peace and quiet,

We’re now at the getting under my feet phase of the escape plan.

But…

With all plans, there is always a tiny wrinkle that comes out of left field and sends everything spiraling towards disaster.

Someone, someone who will remain nameless, left the back screen door slightly ajar, thinking they’d closed it.  It’s a little tricky that way, and I had been promising to fix it but hadn’t got around to it.

And, yes, Chester is clever enough to realize that a slight gap is all he needs, along with a few unsupervised moments.

And silence.

That’s what brought his cunning plan undone.  Days and days of annoying me, then suddenly nothing.  If it was a child you’d be immediately suspicious.  But a cat?

Damn straight.

He was half out the door as I caught him, just six inches from freedom.  Six inches.  And good living, because the gap was just not quite wide enough for him to squeeze through quickly.

Now we’re definitely not speaking!

 

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 47

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160907_135509

This is Chester.  He’s unimpressed with the fact it’s father’s day.

Why?

Because, it seems, we have never given him the opportunity to become a father.

It’s an interesting point, but one that requires an explanation.  In fact, the serious expression, bordering on smoke coming out of his ears, demands one.

Firstly, if I let you out the chances are you will become roadkill.  We’ve had this argument before, a number of times, and that it is not safe outside the confines of this house.

And if I promise not to stray…

I laugh.  A cat cannot promise anything, because, well, you’re a cat.  That’s what cats do, stray, wander, play chicken with cars, fight with other male cats for practically no reason at all, and worse, chase after any female cat that’s on heat.

I’m not like those other cats, he says.  Also, he seems amused by that expression, on heat.

It’s hard to explain, but you’ll hear it before you see it, I say.

And then there’s that look of recognition.  We’ve had a few female cats wandering the streets lately that have caused him to become very restless, and make strange guttural sounds.

So, he says, I’m not likely to become a father?

Maybe, I say, if he behaves himself, eats what is put in front of him, and use the litter properly instead of a general target, and stop using plastic bags as an alternate litter.

Yes, finally, a guilty look crosses his face.

I think I just found some leverage.

 

 

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 46

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20161008_135142

This is Chester. I just told him it’s Dog Appreciation Day.

And it got the expected response, you don’t have a dog.

Agh.

Then I tell him that a neighbour had a dog just like the one we’re thinking of getting, and they’re going to lend him to us for a few hours.

You can’t do that. This is not a dog-friendly environment. Remember the last time you had a dog. Fleas in the carpet, stains on the wall, and as for toilet training…

Yes, he has a point. The last dog we had was almost a disaster, besides the fact it was ten times larger than Chester. Friendly though, when Chester didn’t hiss at him.

This dog, I say, is smaller, not much bigger than you. A jovial chap who doesn’t bark much, just when recalcitrant cats annoy him, so I’m told.

Who are you calling recalcitrant?

No mistaking that distinct look of displeasure, almost recalcitrant I thought.

It’s going to happen, get over it.

Was that a cat shrug I saw? Another icy stare just to chill the atmosphere in the room, and he leaves.

Yes, I do like stirring the pot. You think he’d know by now.