My human mum has a very strange habit.  She has more than one, like most other humans, but the one I’m going to tell you about is this one.  She gives a running commentary throughout the day about what she is going to do next.  For example: we’ll be having breakfast in the front room and she sometimes watches Breakfast television.  As she goes to something called a ‘pub quiz’ with ‘Dad’ every other week, she watches this programme because – as she puts it – ‘its informative and interesting and something might come up in the quiz.’   Whether she’s been able to put anything she’s learned from the programme to good use is something I’m not privy to, unfortunately.

Right after she’s finished her breakfast she’ll say: ‘Right, Casey, Mummy is going to wash up the breakfast dishes and then I’ll go and have a wash, or a bath.’

‘Uh, ok,’ is my usual response with my eyes firmly closed.

She’ll come back into the room after these activities have been accomplished and she’ll kiss me on the forehead before telling me what she’s going to do next.

‘Mummy’s just going upstairs now, Casey, to get dressed.’

‘Uh, ok,’ I reply, still keeping my eyes shut.

This carries on throughout the day with the most trivial of things that she is going to do.  It’s not that I’m not interested in what she is going to do but do I need to know every little detail? I realise that a lot of people overshare the minutiae of their lives with their resident live-in cat or dog but is it something we really need to have clogging up our brains? Where do we put all this ‘stuff’ that is of no use to us or actually, of any interest to us?

Mum often has friends over for something called ‘a chat and a coffee’ and I’m appalled at some of the disclosures her friends make.  One friend, on only the first meeting, was telling Mum all the innermost secrets of her life, which, to be perfectly frank, should have remained secrets.  I’m only thankful that Mum doesn’t feel the need to return the favour.  

Next time you’re chatting with your friends, please spare a thought for your cat or dog who has to listen to all that guff.   In the meantime, I’ve discovered a way to stop Mum in her tracks when she’s about to regale me with the most exciting tittle-tattle of her minute by minute living.  I get up and walk out of the room leaving her in mid-sentence.

Part of me does want to know what she’s about to do, because as her guardian, I need to be on the ball. But I’m trying to teach her to just go and do things rather than tell me first what she’s intending to do.

It’s hard work being a carer, guardian and a teacher, but I wouldn’t swap this life for all the catnip in China.


The Very Best Toy for Cats

"Of all the [cat] toys available, none is better designed than the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled, and it makes a noise when you jump on it."

Stephen Baker