OPINION: I am writing this column deep into the night. It's well past bedtime on a Wednesday. In fact, it is edging very close to midnight and while I am no stranger to procrastination, something even more unproductive than usual is occurring. I am playing with a kitten.
Almost overnight I progressed from being a normal crazy lady to being a crazy cat lady, or CCL as they are known in the industry. Or, I should say, as we are known. You will know us by the scratches up our arms and the smell of cat food on our fingers.
Some people use the CCL label in a pejorative fashion. No, I say! Stand up and be proud of your condition, fellow cat lovers of all genders!
I've gone head-long into it and why shouldn't I? I deserve it. I was poised to get a cat about a month before the February 2011 quake but when my house broke, I ended up being a gypsy, never in one spot long enough to have my own pet. Mostly I was house-sitting and that role usually came with a pet to look after. Somewhere in the midst of all that, I met a cat called Monty.
Monty wanted nothing but to look grumpy and to pee in my gym bag. I forgave Monty everything because of his chubby little cheeks and furry company.
Monty was a special breed. A British Blue. I'd never heard of such a thing but I promised myself when all the EQC and insurance silliness was over, I was going to buy a British Blue all for myself.
Two weeks ago PussPuss arrived. I know his name is stupid. It was supposed to be a filler while I chose a proper name but it stuck. I consider PussPuss my little treat to myself.
I'm not entirely sure if my Facebook friends consider him a treat as I have bombarded them with photos of PussPuss. I am twice as bad as a new mother. I even posted a photo of him in his litter tray as payback for every mother who told me their child had just mastered toilet training.
Even though PussPuss is a special breed, he is most certainly not gifted. As any republican will tell you, a pedigree is no guarantee for brain smarts. His balance remains wonky, he can't drink from a saucer without getting a little milkbeard and he hasn't even figured out that one leg in the air is standard procedure for cleaning one's rear end.
He cannot do any proper cat things like land sensibly or have spatial awareness but he has managed to open a Twitter account and gain more than 250 followers in a fortnight.
The trouble with his Twitter account is that, of course, I opened it. And his popularity meant that suddenly people were asking him questions and saying hello. Soon enough I slipped into his voice.
So now I'm answering in the voice of a 3-month-old kitten (a kitten that swears like a trucker and is actually quite amusing, if I do say so myself).
Things got pretty weird when another Twitter cat account said hello and I returned the greeting from PussPuss. Suddenly there were two loony humans out there each communicating to one another through the voices of their cats.
Have I entered the strange world of Furries (people who dress up and role play as animals) without knowing? Is this how it starts?
Anyway, I must finish writing. I have to delve a lot deeper into the world of the CCL. I see there is a cat show in a couple of weeks and I need to fill out the registration.
Plus, I am teaching PussPuss how to play fetch and he needs his sleep so we can start fresh learnings in the morning.
- The Press