First I would like to thank you all for coming tonight. I couldn’t make it because I have to mind the baby wattle-birds. There’s some complicated arrangement we’ve worked out about childcare around here ever since the wattle-birds flew back for the summer, and for some reason I seem to come up on the roster a fair bit. That’s the last time I’m letting my little sister negotiate a peace treaty, I can tell you. I really hope you like my book. I’m afraid even though Man does speak Cat reasonably well, some odd mistranslations have come up in the text. Let me give you an example:
April 17 Didn’t feel like chasing anything today. Slept a lot.
That’s what he thought I said. What I actually said was this:
April 17 Didn’t feel like chasing anything. The clouds today remind me of Giorgione’s La Tempesta. Liam Jones should definitely play in the forward pocket. And my munchies bowl is empty again. Not good enough.
So as you can see he gets some of it right, but he does miss a few nuances here and there. In fact, I would like to say on behalf of my fellow-cats that we spend an awful lot of our lives trying to understand human behaviour. You know what I mean. Big questions like:
1. Why are you going out today when you could be cuddling me?
2. That box looks much better where it is, thank you.
3. Yes your bum DOES look big in that.
4. No, really NOT that blouse. The colour scheme makes my eyeballs bleed.
5. Why is my munchies bowl empty again?
We try and decode everything but we haven’t got enough information to join the dots. So we would like you guys to consider returning the favour. I have a short quiz here for you, just to give you an idea of what I mean.
Q.1 Your cat is sitting quietly next to his food bowl, which is empty. He looks mournfully at you. What does he want?
A. The answer to Fermat’s Last Theorem
B. A scritch under the chin with your paws
C. A stiff gin and tonic
D. You to fill his munchies bowl immediately.
And no, this isn’t a trick question, the answer is definitely D.
Q.2 Your cat is sitting quietly next to you. Suddenly he lifts himself up on his hind paws and purrs in your lap. What does he want?
A. To tell you he loves you
B. To let you caress his face and flanks
C. To tell you that Ctrl-alt-F4 might help
D. You to fill his munchies bowl immediately. (Again, it’s probably D.)
Q.3 Your cat is taking up more and more of the bed, especially around the electric blanket. You should:
A. Curl up into a tighter ball so there’s more room for him
B. Caress his ears and cheeks and tell him he’s a good cat
C. Fill his munchies bowl immediately
D. All of the above. (Again, it’s definitely a D.)
Now that’s just a starting point. Soon I’ll have a closer look at a more detailed lexicography of Cat-Human Human-Cat, especially the former; but I think it’s time for my nap now. I send you all fishy paws and snuggles and hope you have a lovely evening.