Conversations with my cat
January 27, 2008
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Bagelmouse: Hey, do you want to go out? [opens door] Come on, out you go.
El Mog: Hmm. Possibly. I shall sit here for a moment while I decide.
Bagelmouse: Yeah, it’s a bit cold, can you hurry it up?
El Mog: Then I choose no, not right now.
Bagelmouse: Alright. I’ll go do something else. Make breakfast, clean my teeth or go to the loo – all activities I have done this week in the many times this situation has happened that I’m now rolling into one, representative, illustration.
El Mog: Suits me. I’ll just wait until you’re busy doing that other thing before I nip into my litter box and… what? What? Why are you suddenly standing there looking all miffed?
Bagelmouse: I had the door open two minutes ago.
El Mog: Oh. Ohhhh. Now we see how it is. You go away again for a zillion days –
Bagelmouse: Two. Two days.
El Mog: – a zillion days and you want me to poop in the box. And I pooped in the box. Now you’re back and I’m still pooping in the box. And you can’t get mad can you? Nooo. Because I am manifestly Being Good.*
Bagelmouse: You are a contrary animal.
El Mog: I’m just doing what I’m told. Now. Clean up my shit, there’s a good girl.
* A reference to a section in Terry Pratchett’s The Unadultered Cat, which El Mog has clearly been taking the trouble to read while I’m at work. In the chapter Games Cats Play, he has this to say about the game of Being Good:
"Doesn’t sound like much of a game, but the most important rule about Being Good is that the cat should be good in such a way as to cause maximum trouble to its owner who can’t however give it a thump because it is manifestly Being Good. We had a cat who would, very occasionally, catch some small, inoffensive and squeaky creature and leave it on the scraper mat outside the door. You know – those flat scrapers that are rather like a chip slicer, with lots of little blades sticking up? And of course, first thing in the morning you don’t look down as you step out… This might, of course be a Real cat’s way of food preparation. But we knew, and it knew, that in reality it was Being Good."