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  • Writer's pictureSheila Norton

Monty's Diary: Strange behaviour on the human front

November 2022

I have something weird to talk to you about today, humans. And that is, basically, you! I like to think I’m a reasonably intelligent cat (despite what my mum and dad might tell you), but even now I’ve lived among your species for so long, I cannot work you out.

You humans worry me . . .

Here’s an example. As you know, the night-time has now moved into the daytime, making it dark much earlier than it used to be. (I don’t know why you make it do that every year), so Mum and Dad like us to come indoors earlier than before. And normally, we do, because it’s getting cold anyway. But once we’re indoors, we obviously expect our dinner. That’s the usual routine. But the dinner isn’t forthcoming, because they say, ‘it’s not time yet’. If it’s not time, why can’t we stay outside? We don’t mind the dark. We don’t have your pathetic eyesight, we can see in the dark! But no, our cat-flaps are locked and our food bowls only get filled when the humans decide it’s ‘time’. And if we jump around meowing in protest they ask us what’s the matter! Eventually they decide it’s ‘time’, and deign to provide our food, but by then we’ve often gone to bed in a sulk.

Gone to bed to sulk.

If they wake us up and tell us ‘dinner’s ready’, we don’t fancy it anymore. Would you want your Felix or your Whiskas, if you’d been fast asleep dreaming about hunting a juicy mouse? I wouldn't mind, but they eat their peculiar versions of food whenever they like! Even during the evenings, they sit there eating odd things like chocolate or these orange balls they call satsumas. I call them balls, and balls are for playing with!

One of the strange orange balls they like to eat.

Another example: Mum has been behaving oddly. Lying around far more than I’ve ever seen her do before, while Dad has been doing all the stuff she normally does: playing with that ‘Hoover’ thing, cooking their food and going hunting for their shopping. I thought at first she’d decided to be a cat and sleep for sixteen hours a day like we do. But no, apparently she ‘had Covid’, whatever that means. What it meant to us was that she made a horrible coughing noise, like a d.o.g. barking, held her head a lot and groaned. She didn’t even use the laptop thing until today! That was highly unusual. (In passing, a quick tip for other cats whose parents say they are 'authors': if you want to stop them playing with the laptop, try this):

You are not allowed to work: play with me!

Also, Mum wasn’t eating much; she kept saying she wasn’t hungry and couldn’t taste anything. I thought she might like to try some of our food, which is extremely tasty, but Dad was obviously too dim to think of offering her that. She seems slightly more normal now. But if ‘having Covid’ is so horrible why do humans have it? She kept saying ‘But I’ve been boosted!’ as if it wasn’t fair. Being boosted sounds like fun to me. But then again, where human behaviour is concerned, I’m beginning to think I have no idea!

On one of those dark afternoons I mentioned earlier, Maddie refused to come indoors. She gets like that occasionally. I can’t be bothered. I outgrew being confrontational when I was a kitten, it takes too much effort.

Maddie likes to be mischievous

Anyway, Dad was calling and hollering for her (Mum was of course lying on the sofa barking). I felt like saying ‘It’s not time!’ on Maddie’s behalf! But then, suddenly, the sky was full of flashing lights and the loudest bangs you’ve ever heard.

‘Oh no, fireworks!’ Mum said. ‘We must get Maddie indoors, quickly.’ Meaning, Dad must, because she was too busy barking and holding her head.

But Maddie (who I know for a fact had only been hiding under a bench just outside) had now completely disappeared. I’m sure she must have been terrified by the flashing and banging and just run off. I wasn’t liking it, myself, but I was safe inside, on my blanket. Dad kept calling her, and even shaking the cat-treat tin (I’d have been very cross if she’d got treats just for being disobedient, but maybe I’d have got some too), but time went by, the flashings and bangings went on and on and on, and still no sign of Maddie. Dad went out with his torch, all round the garden shouting for her. I was getting sick with worry myself.

Me being sick with worry

It got later and later, and Mum and Dad had to leave the cat flaps open for ‘inward’, and go to bed, but I heard they couldn’t sleep, neither could I. Maddie and I have never been outside all night in our entire lives. But eventually, after all the bangs had stopped, Maddie strolled in as if nothing was wrong and just settled down with me on top of the kitchen cabinets where we like to spend our nights. I could have killed her. But she’s my sister, I love her, stupid girl, and I ended up just licking her head. ‘One life down, maybe,’ I muttered in her ear as I dozed off again. ‘Eight left’. No point losing sleep over it, after all – that’s my philosophy.

Pleasure talking to you again, humans. Please try to be more ‘cat’. You guys are weird. Love, Monty.

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