I was taking out the rubbish a week or so ago when I spotted Au preparing to leap onto the neighbour's car. Our neighbour loves his car and I am sure he doesn't want little dusty paw prints all over it. So I stopped Au mid bounce, stroked him and had a quick look at his paws.
Au suffered the intrusion with his usual impatient disdain. He never makes a fuss but he gives me that look, you know, the one that cats have for their human slaves that says, "Quit messing around with the royal personage that is my catliness, OK?"
I always talk to Au and Target so I explained what was on my mind. "Just make sure your feet are clean when you visit, OK? I don't want you to put dusty prints all over the place. Especially all over that nice clean car."
"Sure," said my neighbour. He'd been polishing his fender and had been out of my sight until he stood up. A real gentleman, he was obviously agreeing with me just to keep me happy, but I could see he thought the conversation was odd. Possibly because our neighbour never puts dusty prints over cars parked in the neighbourhood.
"I was talking to Au," I said apologetically.
My neighbour nodded politely but I could tell he thought I was nuts.
I talk to Au and Target when I'm doing the washing up, getting dinner ready, fiddling about with laundry and all the usual horrible stuff that goes into keeping the house from turning into a complete slum. They talk to me when they come in from their walk, when inviting me to a game, when they want a cuddle/fresh water/biscuits.
When Au calls up the stairs, I can tell if he's just announcing he's home, if he wants me to come down and see something (like a dead rat he's brought me) or if he's looking for a chat and he can't figure out where I am. Target's vocab is still quite small, but he's learning rapidly.
Most of the people I meet don't talk to animals. Our present neighbours include some animal lovers so I'm generally in excellent company. But when we lived in Kajang and Malacca our neighbours there were taken aback to hear Au and Scoop chatting to us, and coming when I called them. One used to give me such a wide berth that I think she thought I was a witch.
Never mind. Au is now snoozing on my car instead of the gleaming vehicle next door, and hopefully he'll remember not to stray with dirty paws. If not, I'm going to have to present peace offerings. Cake or car polish :-)
Happy Cats On Tuesday! For more, visit Gattina or check the link box in the menu bar.