We were sitting in the show kitchen area with a refreshing glass of mineral water when there was a knock at the door. Or, to be more specific, the letter box being rattled.
“Stanley’s back,” said Miss Katherine, leaping up and opening the door to let him in.
For those of you that don’t know, Stanley is a cat.
He continued to sit in the doorway, staring up at Miss Katherine as if she were completely mad.
“Come on then,” she said.
Stanley looked straight ahead, the usual look of distain on his face. After another deliberate pause of five or six seconds, he slowly padded his way into the Great Hall, towards his food bowl under the stairs.
A minute or so later, he reappeared in the kitchen, where he deliberately sat a few metres away from me and stared accusingly.
Miss Katherine looked at me enquiringly.
“He wants some water in his bowl,” I replied to her unasked question, leaving my chair and dutifully refilling it for him.
Returning to the kitchen, I found Miss Katherine giggling to herself.
“What’s up with you?” I asked.
“I think it’s funny how we know what Stan and Ollie (Stan’s brother) want,” she smiled.
“What would it be like if they could actually talk?”
Which immediately got me thinking. What would a talking cat talk about? What would their conversations be about?
So, here is what I would imagine an interview with Ollie the cat, brother of Stanley, would be like.
RS: Ollie, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today.
Ollie: What? I was trying to sleep! What?!
RS: It’s great to have the opportunity to find out exactly what goes on inside a cat’s mind.
Ollie: I’m a bit tired at the moment. I need a nap. Do you have any food?
RS: How do you enjoy living with us?
Ollie: (sighing) Stupid monkey. You live with me.
RS: Do you enjoy the company of… erm… monkeys?
Ollie: Enjoy is probably the wrong word. You give me food and water and in exchange you have the pleasure of my company. I particularly enjoy the soft things I can sleep on and use to sharpen my claws.
RS: That would be our sofas. You’re not allowed to sharpen your claws on them.
Ollie: Yeah. That’s why I wait for you to go out before I do it. Unless I want your attention. Do you have any food?
RS: When you arrived at Randall Towers as a kitten, you spent two days under a kitchen unit due to it being Christmas and the house being full of children. Does this explain why you are nervous in the company of small children?
Ollie: Those small noisy monkeys, do you mean? I detest them.
RS: What does your brother make of them?
Ollie: My what?
RS: Your brother. Stanley.
Ollie: Is that the black and white bastard that eats all of my food and tries to sit on my sofa?
RS: I suppose it is.
Ollie: I’m so tired. I need a nap. Do you have any food?
RS: What would you do if you were the size of a human?
Ollie: Easy. I’d bite off your head. I think it would take me a couple of days to finish you off. I’m so hungry. I need a long sleep. I need to relax.
RS: This interview isn’t getting anywhere, is it?
Ollie: Ooo. Itchy ear. Clean my paws. See you later. Having a nap. Unless, of course, you have any food. Do you have any food?
As you can see, a talking cat would actually be quite boring. What if we imagined cats as humans? Many cat owners like to imagine some form of anthropomorphism, but would the reality be as romantic as they imagined?
Put yourself in the situation where you live with a cat that has managed to achieve human form. What would it be like?
Don’t expect any help around the house. These critters sleep longer than any teenager. Your couch will be in continuous use.
Do expect a house mate that continuously demands to be fed. You will also find that on returning home, the entire content of the fridge has been consumed. More than likely, this overeating frenzy by the human cat means that they’ve probably puked up on your living room carpet.
It’s always advisable to live with a ‘human cat’ of the same gender, since humans are very rarely ‘neutered’ and would therefore be sexually active. If you have ever seen a sexually active cat, you can have some idea what sort of carnal terrorism they could inflict on a civilised world. (Fortunately, Ollie has been neutered, but due to his lack of memory cannot recall the event. If he hadn’t, sleep and food would undoubtedly be joined by sex on the agenda). For obvious reasons, it’s best not to leave a cat alone with any of your friends who may be regarded as sexually attractive. Which, in my experience of cats, is anybody regardless of gender.
Don’t leave your new cat person indoors alone for a long period of time. They will shit on your duvet.
Be aware that the presence of an insect or rodent will result in the room being trashed as human cat tries to capture it.
Your human cat may be distressed upon realising it no longer possesses a spine that is flexible enough to allow it to lick its own genitals. It’s the price you pay for being a higher life form.
If your human cat tries to walk along the back of the sofa and falls in a big heap, don’t laugh at them when they immediately pick themselves up, shake themselves and say, “I meant that…”
Don’t be surprised if, when watching TV together, your human cat suddenly coughs up an enormous wad of hair. Be grateful it’s not a half digested, poisoned mouse.
If, when eating a meal together, be prepared for your housemate to start batting their food around the plate and table.
Don’t expect any sensible conversation. Cats are only interested in four things: Sleep, food, sex and ultimately themselves.
Which means it wouldn’t be great if cats could talk. They wouldn’t make great human beings, either. Selfish, deluded, arrogant and solipsistic.
Where would any human be able to exist with these characteristics?
There’s only one obvious place. Ollie would make us a fortune on TV.
He’s the perfect Big Brother contestant.