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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Cat chat

I don't want to get too mystical about this, because there are some hard-nosed, intellectual heavyweights among my readers, whose good opinion I would lose if I went all hippy on them. But something happens when you spend a whole week in a cat's company because your sister has buggered off on a Mediterranean cruise, leaving you to feed, clothe and care for her pet, while she sips cool daiquiris, soaks up the sun and chats up bronzed waiters in tight-fitting trousers.

Call it empathy, telepathy or just plain guesswork, if you like. But as we're staring at each other late last night, the cat on the carpet and I in the armchair - which has several clawmarks, I just noticed, that weren't there at the start of the week, damn it - I feel we are on the same wavelength. I know what he's thinking and he knows what I'm thinking. 

Cat: "See when I walk up and down, making that meeow sound, that means 'feed me'. You're not much of a pack leader, are you?"

Me: "You're not much of a pet, are you? You just look after yourself and make demands. Where have you hidden the remote this time?"

Cat: "I never touched the remote, pillock. It's down the cushion of your chair, where it always is."

You see what I'm talking about? Mystical communion across the species. So I get to wondering how common this is and my first thought is to ask my science pal, Rachel. But she's a dog person and is out of the country anyway. So I look around the Internet and it turns out the world is full of people who can talk cat.

They just can't talk English.  

"Luff oo, ickle wickle pussy wussy."

"Fluffy wuffy catkins want a bikky-wikky?"

And so on. I can imagine what the cats are saying to each other about all this.

Marmalade: "I'm a fearless hunter but they talk to me like a dribbling infant. It's melting my brain. I can't take any more baby talk."

Felix: "Don't crack, buddy. Stay strong. Come the apocalypse, we'll have them. They'll all be kitty chunks."

But in the interests of science I decide to give this pidgin feline a go with my sister's cat, and here's what happens.

"Iddle widdle poody tat want a cuddle, dusums?" I say to him, as he's sat in my lap, looking up at me adoringly.

"Iddle widdle human want his nuts ripped off?" he says to me.

"C'mon play nice, ickle pussy," I say, chuckling him under the chin. 

"You're on a last warning, pal," he says, jumping down, flicking his tail menacingly and arching his back.

"Fair enough," I tell him. "Won't happen again. Listen, I don't know why you're staring out the window at those birds. You couldn't get near them in a camouflage suit."

"I like birds," he says. "They're crunchy and full of protein."

"You like them until they chirp too loud," I say. "Then you scurry back inside. You act tough but you're the original scaredy cat."

"And you're the original couch potato with a remote," he says. "Except you can never find the remote. Or indeed the couch, after a few beers." 

"Cats!" I say. "I could find a better pet in a stagnant pond."

"Humans!" he says. "I could pull a smarter species out my arse." 

Mystical and telepathic, like I said. Two minds with but a single thought. You want to learn to talk cat? 

Gimme a call.

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