The Melville Cat is a published columnist. Please read his column below. I was invited to write an opinion piece for the Melville Residents Association newsletter. This comes as no surprise. I have resided in Melville for a decade and I am the most famous and well-respected feline in the suburb. I am also an experienced blogger. I’ve lived in three Melville residences during my life. In 2011 I resided in two homes at once, unbeknownst to the humans involved. I convinced the humans of each home that I lived in their home only, thus procuring double the food (including chicken treats) and double the stroking of a normal cat. The humans eventually discovered my ruse but it was lovely while it lasted. Since 2012 I have resided exclusively with a human called Heather (2Summers), and later with her human partner Ray. Life in the 2Summers household has been pleasant; I still receive a larger than average amount of stroking and chicken treats. I experienced a hiccup in 2015 when the household moved from one side of Melville to the other, and the humans deceived me into coming along. I was displeased with the move at first, as this new Melville […]
From the Melville Cat: This is a periodic update for my fans, to tell you that I am doing well. It is springtime in Johannesburg, the weather is fine, and I am spending lots of time outside, calling to my feline friends. I especially enjoy calling to my feline friends late at night, just outside the bedroom, with long, dramatic, mournful meows. I think Heather and Ray enjoy my calls as well. Heather conducted a photoshoot with me last week, which I quite enjoyed. Here are my favorite photos from the shoot. That is all that I have to say. Heather asked me to tell you that she is going away for a week and may not have time to blog during her travels. She will update you on her experiences upon her return. In the meantime, I will be at home enjoying extra servings of roast chicken and catnip with Ray. Thank you and good day. Meeoow.
I recently announced a storytelling project I’m working on called My Favorite Joburg People. I chose four people in Joburg, each of whom has an amazing story to tell, and interviewed them and shot their portraits. I’ll be presenting the stories and portraits at an upcoming event called Translating Joburg – Storytellers, and also publishing them on my blog. This is the first of the four stories. These stories are longer than my normal blog posts. Michelle de Villiers Michelle at Junkie Charity Shop, May 2016. I met Michelle through a cat. When I first moved to Joburg in 2010, a gray cat started hanging around in my back garden. My neighbor’s cat chased the gray cat mercilessly and I chased him too, trying to rid our garden of the incessant feline fights. But the gray cat kept coming back. My boyfriend Jon and I finally started feeding the gray cat, who we called Squeak. Jon was not a huge cat fan but Squeak won him over. Squeak started sleeping in our house. We took Squeak to the vet and learned that Squeak was a he, not a she, as we originally thought. We began to think of Squeak as ours. One day […]
Do you live in Johannesburg? Do you have a garden, or know someone who does? Do you have R400 to spend? If so, then you need this: Hadeda tire planter from Yada Yada in Melville. If you don’t live in Joburg and don’t know what a hadeda is, read here. But these hadedas are not easily transportable, so unless you already live in Joburg (or at least in South Africa) then you probably can’t have one. If you do live in Joburg, then make your way to Melville’s 7th Street and buy a hadeda. They’re made of recycled materials, they have a built-in irrigation system, and they can double as large hand-bags. Ray photobombs Hadeda. Ray carried Hadeda as a handbag for a while after we bought her. Hadeda in another position at Yada Yada. We did a whole photoshoot with her. If you’re not into hadedas (some people aren’t, although I’ve never understood those people) then you can also buy an owl. Best of all, Hadeda looks fabulous in our garden (as I’m sure she would in every South African garden) and she makes me happy every time I look at her, which is at least 50 times a day. The red petunias match Hadeda’s beak. […]
From the Melville Cat: Dear Readers, Heather often says that you are eager for news about me and wish that I would post more often. I must apologize but, to tell the truth, my life is not terribly eventful. I eat, sleep, and walk laps around the swimming pool. (Cats do not swim.) I am not as young as I once was, and don’t get up to as many adventures as I did in my youth. I have little appetite for murdering birds these days, and prefer to sit quietly in the sun. I no longer fight with the other cats in the neighborhood, as I’ve realized it’s much easier to ignore them. No fighting means no injuries, which means no imprisonment inside the blasted Cone of Shame. This is good, both for me and my humans. My fighting days are in the past. I prefer not to risk my extraordinary good looks. I also learned a valuable lesson last year when I briefly absconded — Heather insists I “ran away” although I maintain that I was just on holiday — from my Melville domain. The holiday didn’t work out as I planned, and it was far more trouble than it was worth. It was nice to see […]
From the Melville Cat: A couple of weeks ago I took my first holiday, to a place in the south of Joburg called Cattery on the Hill. I suppose you could argue that this was not really my first holiday. Last month, while Heather was away on an extended trip, I decided to take a surprise holiday without telling anyone and absconded from our house in Melville. That holiday, however, did not turn out as planned. It was precisely due to my unsuccessful first holiday attempt that this new holiday came about. Heather had to go away on another trip and decided to subvert any surprise holiday plans I might have by sending me to Cattery on the Hill. Actually, let’s face it. Every day is a holiday in the life of the Melville Cat. But I digress. Heather shut me into my crate one morning and took me on a long drive. We went onto the highway and eventually reached a beautiful place with many hills and trees. This, Heather told me, was the south of Joburg. I didn’t understand where we were going at the time and I’ll admit that I wasn’t pleased. The long ride made me car sick […]
From the Melville Cat: In my previous post I told you that I was missing. Today, I came back. I arrived early this morning and went straight to the sunbeams on the kitchen floor. I didn’t come back on my own. Heather brought me back. Heather found me in a place called Westdene, in a house nearly two kilometers (1.2 miles) from here. Heather was surprised that I traveled such a tremendous distance. She was also surprised that I didn’t sustain any injuries during my three-week disappearance, especially considering my medical history. (I don’t have a scratch on me. I’ve lost some weight and my fur is a bit scruffy. Otherwise I’m fit as a six-month-old teenager.) I, of course, am not surprised at all. This was me this morning, at the home of Danielle (left) and her landlord, John (right), in Westdene. Danielle identified me and found Heather using an internet tool called Facebook. Danielle is a nice lady. I’m sure that you, my fans, are curious about what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. Alas, a cat’s short-term memory only lasts for 16 hours. I can hardly remember what I did last night, let alone last week. But I will try my best. I’m not exactly sure […]
From the Melville Cat: Well, this is awkward. It seems that I am missing. I, of course, know exactly where I am. But Heather and Ray do not. I realize this doesn’t make much sense. But there you have it. Have you seen me? I am my own cat. Heather does her best to control my movements but she has always known that her efforts are ultimately futile. I go where I want, when I want. This is, after all, how I came to live with Heather in the first place. At any rate, I cannot tell you where I am myself because that is how I roll. But Heather and Ray are worried about me — they haven’t seen me in more than a week. So if you’ve seen me or have some idea of where I am, maybe you could let Heather know by leaving a comment on this blog or messaging @2summers on Twitter or Instagram. Meow. PS: You can see more photos of me on my own Instagram account. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ From Heather: Smokey is making light of the situation. […]
From the Melville Cat: Heather asked me to write a blog post this weekend. Apparently my fans have been asking her about my wellbeing. She says they want to hear the full story of our move from my perspective. My initial response was, “What move?” We moved? I had quite forgotten about that. Then I thought some more and yes, I vaguely recall this. I used to live somewhere else, perhaps a month or two ago. I remember now that I was very hesitant to leave that place. I’m not sure why. But I musn’t disappoint my loyal fans. I will recount the moving story to the best of my recollection. The story begins on a Saturday. Heather woke up early but she did not open the window for me to go outside, as she usually does. Instead she loaded me into my crate and carried me to to the doorway of the Lucky 5 Star. Before she carried me out the door, she put my crate down and walked to the other room. I think she was crying. When she returned to the doorway, Heather said, “Kitty, this is the last time we’ll be together in this house.” She seemed very sad. I […]
Dear fans of the Melville Cat, I know that you have been waiting to hear from me, eager to learn how I’m faring in the ordeal I explained to you in my previous post. I apologize for the silence but I’ve had many matters to attend to that are more important than blogging. I’m busy establishing my new domain. I will explain this photo in my next post. Until then, I’ll let you formulate your own theories. Also, I don’t have much time to write because Heather, my typing assistant, is leaving today for a place called Mauritius. How rude. Why she would want to leave my magical new domain so soon is beyond me. But all is not lost. I plan to take advantage of Heather’s absence, cementing my domain and training Ray, my second assistant, to properly meet my needs. He has much to learn. I will also engage in tree-climbing practice. My climbing prowess is strong but I need to hone my technique. Fear not, fans. All is well. Until next time.
From the Melville Cat: It’s been many months since my last post. I’ve grown tired of blogging and prefer to pass the time sleeping, or eating, or pacing around the house meowing mournfully in the night. But the time has come for me to speak. I must make a public statement about “the move”. Heather has threatened me with moving before. A few years ago she told me that we would move next door to her landlord’s cottage. But then I had a talk with Horst, Heather’s landlord, and that move was called off. Now Heather tells me again that we’re moving, and this time it’s for real. Not far, she tells me, just a few blocks up the street. But we are going to a different house, says Heather. We will no longer live at the Lucky 5 Star Commune. Heather is insistent about this move. She follows me around in the garden, taking pictures. She says that I won’t be living in this garden much longer and she wants to document me. Me in my garden. MY garden. This is my favorite spot under the giant palm frond. Sitting on MY chair, on MY deck. My answer to Heather’s insistence about this move is — to put it simply — […]
*Sketch by Fiver Löcker. Greetings, friends. It’s the Melville Cat. It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted; many of you might not even know who I am. Others may have feared I went away. Not to worry though — I’ve been here all along. I’ve just been very busy and haven’t had a chance to write. Here are some images illustrating what I’ve been up to over the last several months: Sleeping on the porch. Sleeping on a bed on the porch. Laying sullenly on the bed as Heather packs for a trip. I do this often, as Heather travels often and it displeases me greatly. Despite my valiant efforts to make her feel guilty, she continues to travel. Hmph. Sitting in the garden with a blasted cone on my head. I also do this often, as I like to fight with other cats and injure myself while Heather is away. As I said, I’ve been busy. Heather has been busy too, which is why she asked me to write this post. She wants me to explain to you why she hasn’t blogged for so long. Last week Heather was in Zimbabwe, a fact that I’m well aware of. Lucky took good […]