From the Melville Cat:

Good evening. It is Day 64 of the human lockdown. The last time I provided you with an update was Day 37, nearly a month ago. My apologies.

The Melville Cat
The Melville Cat.

I have not been spending much time in the house. Even during this very cold weather, I prefer to sleep outside and enter the house twice a day — for ten minutes only — at feeding time. I don’t like anyone to know where I sleep.

I allow Heather to pick me up and hold me each time I come inside. “Why are you so skinny?” she asks me. “Why won’t you sit on my lap anymore? And why do you have so many blackjacks stuck in your tail?” I do not answer.

Today I came inside earlier than usual, at about 3:00 p.m. Heather fed me promptly, as expected, but then surprised me afterward by pushing me into the plastic box and driving me to that horrible place called the vet.

“What’s wrong with Smokey?” asked Charmaigne, the vet — who, despite her profession, I must confess is a fairly pleasant human.

“He’s just so skinny,” Heather told Charmaigne, “And he’s itchy and acting a bit strange.” (How rude.)

Charmaigne carried my box into the examining room. Heather was not allowed to accompany me, as she normally does. I suppose this is due to the human pandemic.

Charmaigne pulled me out of my box and poked and prodded at me, which I did not enjoy. Then she pricked me with a needle — apparently it was a vitamin of some sort. Then she let me crawl back into my box and returned me to Heather outside.

“He does look a bit scruffy,” Charmaigne said. (Rude.) But she could find nothing wrong with me. This is no surprise. I already knew I was perfectly fine.

“I guess he’s just old and grumpy,” Heather said. (Rude!)

Heather paid the bill and took me home. Freed from the box, I promptly went outside to my secret sleeping spot.

Words for Ruth

I would like to say something about Ruth, Heather’s dear friend, who I also find to be a very pleasant human. On several occasions, Ruth has stayed in this house and fed me and petted me while Heather was away.

Walking Emmarentia Dam to practice for Walk the Talk
A photo of Heather and Ruth, which includes a dog and not me. Pfft.

Heather told me Ruth had an accident while riding her bicycle this week, in a faraway place called England. It was a serious accident, Heather says, and Ruth is “sedated” (I don’t know this word but Heather says it means she is sort of asleep), in the hospital with several injuries. Ruth’s family cannot visit her because of the human pandemic.

This is dreadful.

Ruth has often told me how much she respects my literary talent. So I’d like to send her a few words, which she will read as soon as she wakes up. Here are my words to her:

Dearest Ruth,

I understand how you feel. [EDITOR’S NOTE: No he doesn’t.] Like you I was alone, without my family, at the dreadful place called the vet this afternoon. I know it is very hard for you, and perhaps much harder for the family of humans who love you and can’t be with you to hold your hand during this very trying time.

I’ve heard you now have a dog, Layla, who is waiting eagerly to get her human back. (I’m a bit bewildered by your choice to adopt a canine rather than a feline, but that is neither here nor there.) I stand in solidarity with Layla, praying for your safe return home.

I am sending you my strongest feline vibrations for a full and speedy recovery. Please get better soon, Ruth. Heather is very worried about you and so am I. We love you.

Regards. The Melville Cat.

The Midget Fluffball Menace is also very worried about Ruth.

“Ruth! Ruth! I love you I miss you. Feel better Ruth. Get better soon. Also please come back to Africa love Trixie.”

For months, the Midget has been begging me for permission to write a lockdown journal post of her own. I’m not sure she has fully developed her literary voice yet but I am considering the request.

Today’s Worthy Cause

Some human ladies in Sandton are running a pet photo competition, which will raise money for a charity devoted to animals. Information on the contest is below:

The donation link is here:

This sounds like an excellent idea. I’m quite certain I will win the competition but I suppose others can try if they are so inclined.

Enjoy your weekend. Until next time.

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