Tag Archives: cat

2199. Joyce’s pet cat

“There’s no doubt that my pet cat rules the roost,” declared Joyce from Kentucky.

“He certainly is something to crow about,” answered Maisie Fina’fi’fau’u’fi’ from Hawai’i.

“Your cat’s not chicken when it comes to sorting out who’s in charge,” expounded Angelica Angelico from Luxembourg.

“I don’t think a cat is a paltry thing,” joked Norma from Nigeria.

“It’s not only fun, but it’s so educational being on Facebook,” wrote Sheila Plonk from New South Wales.

2134. You are being watched

Sometimes (quite often actually) I feel as if I’m being watched. It’s nothing really. It’s just that every time I go somewhere everyone and everything looks. In fact, once or twice I’ve put my hands into my pockets just to ascertain whether or not I remembered to put on my pants.

There’s nothing unusual about my appearance that I know of. I’m really quite ordinary to look at. In fact, when I left my home planet (somewhere up near Sirius – I’m not allowed to say) I thought the Department of Shape-Changing did a pretty good job of making me look like an ordinary Earthling.

But here on Earth it’s mainly the cows that stare. I know that the Crowdacians (they’re from a planet fairly close to mine, and they’re our greatest enemy) take on the appearance of a cattle beast. They’re so good at it that often I can’t tell a real cow from a Crowdacian. The Cow is one look that our Department of Shape-Changing has never been able to master.

So when I see a herd of cattle I stop. They all stare, and I shout: “Ha! Ha! Ha! Milking time! Go home! Milking time!” That usually sorts them out. The fake-cow-Crowdacians can’t stand that. They stamp their feet and drool at the mouth. So that’s one way I get to determine who is who.

But now I’m faced with a terrible conundrum. To make myself appear even more normal of a human being I got myself a pet cat. Every second Earthling seems to have a pet cat. And now I’ve discovered that my cat in fact is a Midconsevarian in disguise. At first I didn’t know where the planet was that Midconsevarians came from. But now I know and it’s not nice. I love my cat but have strict orders from my Department of Shape-Changing that I shouldn’t associate.

What am I to do? Everything and everyone stares. I love my pet cat. I want to go home. I asked to be relieved of this terrible cross (goodness, I seem to be taking on the language of an Earthling religion). I have been told that I am on a sixty year contract to stay on Earth.

So a warning to others: think twice before volunteering to do a spell on Earth. It can really suck.

2088. My side of the bed

There’s no doubt that Zoe takes up most of the bed. If she would just stick to her side! But no! I’m left wide awake and perched precariously on the brink of the bed ready to plunge down onto the floor the minute I nod off.

She does it on purpose. She pretends she’s asleep while she inches her way into the hollow in the centre of the bed. Straight away she’s fast asleep and breathing noisily. How is a man meant to sleep with all that? Getting one of those modern hard mattresses might help (there’s no central hollow) but I have to admit I do like a bit of softness.

Seriously, I’m thinking of getting my own bed. I shall have it all to myself. But of course Zoe is not to be trusted. I retire to bed before she does, and when she comes to bed, especially in winter, she likes to have the bed warmed up. So I begin by warming her bit of the bed first and then move over to my side. So probably if I got another bed there would always be one bed redundant.

It’s something I’ve put up with for ten years now. I guess there’s no getting around it. Just accept it and get on with life. Damn cat.

1948. That was a close call

There was nothing particularly singular about Janice and Branwell. They lived in a suburb. They had a cat and a dog. The grandchildren would visit quite often.

Usually they took turns in walking the dog, although Branwell had the task of feeding it. Janice was in charge of feeding the cat.

One sunny afternoon the cat was particularly vocal which usually meant she wanted some milk. Janice poured milk into a saucer and placed it on the kitchen floor next to the oven. The dog barged in, which he usually didn’t do, pushed the cat aside and lapped up the cat’s milk. Janice shooed them both outside.

A few minutes later Branwell appeared in the kitchen.

“I just heard the strangest thing,” he said. “I heard it as clear as a bell. The cat spoke to the dog. She said, ‘You shouldn’t do that. You know it’s my milk’.” The dog responded by saying, “Your English gets better by the day.”

“You’re hearing things,” said Janice. The cat’s been complaining all morning.”

“It was perfectly articulated,” said Branwell, “but, yes, I guess I was hearing things.”

“Exactly right,” said Janice.

The cat and the dog sat outside in the shade. “That was a close call,” they said one to the other – but in French.

1924. Only one miracle allowed

Nina-Marie had recently died and was thoroughly enjoying looking down from above at her loved ones. There was her husband Clive, her cat Maisie, and her dog Wolfgang. They certainly missed her.

During life it had always been Nina-Marie who looked after the pets. It’s not that Clive wasn’t interested or didn’t like them; it was just that the task had fallen to Nina-Marie almost accidentally years ago. Nina-Marie fed the cat and dog; Clive brought in and stacked the firewood. They were the two marriage-allotted chores that occurred most days in early evening.

In her last hours Nina-Marie had said to Clive that if she was permitted, if it was at all possible, she would give some sign that she was doing well in eternity. It would be some little thing; some surprise perhaps; something that Clive would recognize.

Upon arrival in Heaven Nina-Marie was informed that she would be granted one request regarding life on Earth; one prayer to answer. Wistfully she gazed upon her earthly family. She didn’t want to waste the single wish she could grant.

I know exactly what it will be, thought Nina-Marie. The little apple tree, the one we planted several years ago, has never borne fruit. This year it shall have fruit. Not too many apples, that would be wasteful, but just enough for Clive to say “Aha! That’s Nina-Marie’s doing!”

Nina-Marie was about to make arrangements for her “miracle”, when she noticed something; something serious. The cat and dog’s water bowls had dried up. Clive hadn’t given them water since the funeral. It was an oversight. This was an emergency. I wish he’d give them water! Give them water!

Goodness, thought Clive almost instantaneously, they’ve run out of water. And that was Nina-Marie’s one miracle all used up.

1835. Don’t overfeed pets

When Natalie came home from school she overheard her mother say to her little brother, “You’re not to do that again. It was very naughty.”

“But the cat was hungry.”

“I told you not to feed the cat between meals. It will get fat. So feed the cat only in the mornings and in the evenings. I’ve enough to do without having to run around covering up for your naughtiness.”

Later Natalie asked her mother what was wrong with feeding the cat, and her mother said that it was wrong to overfeed pets. “You should know that because of your goldfish. You can feed them too much and they overeat and die.”

For the rest of the day Natalie noticed that her little brother was pouting. He never liked being told off, and Natalie made it worse by reinforcing what their mother had said, and told him that “he shouldn’t overfeed his cat. You are a very naughty boy” – which made her little brother pout even more.

Later, when Natalie went to feed her goldfish it almost looked the same but she was pretty sure it was a different fish.

1806. Alleluia! the cat

Christina and Florrie lived in the same house and shared a pet cat. They called their cat “Alleluia!” because it brought such joy. The exclamation mark in the Alleluia! is an important part of the name, Florrie told the vet. Our cat is not simply “Alleluia” but “Alleluia!”

There were many other things that Christina and Florrie shared besides the cat. They shared cooking and meals, for example, and cleaning the house. They shared a glass of wine before the evening meal. They shared the rent. They had shared like this for thirty-two years. It was not only companionship; it saved money. How much cheaper it is to heat a single house rather than two.

Every day the cat would curl up at wine-time on the mat between Florrie and Christina’s armchairs. It was part of the daily ritual. Alleluia! was now seventeen years old, as far as they knew. It had adopted Florrie and Christiana. They had no idea where it came from. They advertised with photographs but no one came forward. Alleluia! was there to stay.

And then, very suddenly, just as they were one evening pouring a wine, Christina had a stroke and died. Florrie had to make all the arrangements for Christiana’s funeral, while she herself was devastated. Admittedly it gave something for Florrie to do, something to occupy her mind, but she never imagined that such feelings of grief were possible.

When all was over, Florrie still had Alleluia! It was a connection, a support. The cat was a living link. In fact, Alleluia! had taken over Christiana’s armchair in the evenings. It might sound silly, but Alleluia! was always there for Florrie to talk to.

And then Alleluia! took ill and Florrie had to have it put down.

Poem 93: Yet another poem about a dead cat

My cat woke me at four each morning.
She would jump on the bed and claw the pillow
right next to my eyes.
I would wake, fearful for my sight.
Would I never again see the day slip over the hill?
Would I never again see the moon slip over the hill
or the barley field wave in the wind?
Perhaps by patting the cat I could doze a little longer.
Bloody cat.

Fourteen years ago,
on a night I could not sleep,
I rose from bed at four and fed the cat.
Breakfast at four became her rite, her right.
Bloody cat.

Last year she was sick.
The veterinarian said
“That’ll be one hundred and thirty dollars please.”
I gave up wine and stuff for a month to pay for it.
That bloody cat was more of a nuisance than I ever imagined.

Last week she died.
If she came back I’d let her scratch out my eyes.

1658. Feral Coal

(Thanks to Chris for giving the opening sentence).

Secretly, they had known all along that the cat could never have been tamed. It was a feral cat. It lived in the woodshed and had little tunnels so it could hide safely in the depths of the haphazard pile of firewood.

And then it had kittens; six in all. After a few weeks they would venture out into the sunshine to play. Little Lottie, who was seven years old, would take a saucer of milk and leave it on the concrete path leading to the woodshed. The kittens would form a circle around the saucer and lap up the milk.

The prettiest kitten was a black one with a little white bib and a little white paw. Lottie called it Coal. She wanted to catch it and keep it as a pet. Her father helped her make a drop trap. They set up a small cage held upside down with a stick tied to a string. When the black kitten went beneath the cage, they would pull the string and the cage would fall down entrapping the kitten. And they caught it! Coal was caught!

There was no way Lottie or her father could reach into the cage to pick up the kitten. Even at that young age the kitten would have scratched the threatening hand. They had to let the snarling kitten go. It would be forever wild.

Later that week a man came and caught all six kittens and their mother in a cage. He took them away. For Christmas that year Lottie got a kitten. It was black with a little white bib and a little white paw. It wasn’t quite the same but it almost was. It was a girl, so Lottie didn’t call it Coal; she called it Coalette instead.

1646. Gail’s pets

Gail loved animals, which is why she had so many pets. She had a cat and a dog, a canary and a cockatoo, a couple of ducks, a rabbit and a guinea pig and three mice. They would all run around together, except for the canary of course. The canary couldn’t run around but Gail often let it fly freely around the house provided the windows and doors were shut. And could it sing? My word! What a diva on a sunny day!

Then one day she couldn’t hear it singing. Had it perhaps escaped? Gail checked the windows and doors. Everything was closed, but it must have found an escape route somewhere. Gail opened the house up and left the canary’s cage door wide. Hopefully it would fly back.

It was quite a while after – Gail wasn’t exactly the best of housekeepers – when she was vacuuming under the dining room table that she noticed a few yellow tail feathers and a bird’s clawed foot.

By the end of the year the dog had got the ducks, and the cat had got the cockatoo, the rabbit, the guinea pig, and the three mice.

Gail still loved animals, and continued to pamper her cat and her dog. She replaced her deceased pets with a budgerigar and a cockatiel, a couple of chickens, a hamster and a rat and three gerbils.

These days Gail has a cat and a dog, and has taken up origami as an interest.