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Melville cat

Smokey in the kitchen

The Melville Cat Leaves and Comes Back (Lockdown Day 95)

The Melville Cat normally speaks for himself on this blog. But today, for some reason, I feel like speaking for the two of us. I didn’t choose Smokey as a pet — he chose me. He had a perfectly good home already, with a wonderful lady who has become a dear friend. But for some reason Smokey decided his place was with me, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Because Smokey is an unconventional cat and came to me in an unconventional way (read this post, and the two posts linked at the bottom of that post, for a bit of the backstory), we’ve never had a conventional human-cat relationship. I definitely do not feel like Smokey’s “owner”. And even though we’ve been together for nearly a decade, Smokey is “my cat” only for as long as he cares to be. He is free to go at any time. And go he often does. Not many people have “indoor cats” in South Africa; it’s hard to keep cats inside because of the way our houses are designed, and most people would never consider doing so anyway. Keeping Smokey indoors, even for short periods, is damn near impossible. […]

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Trixie in the bottlebrush tree

Trixie the Melville Kitten (Day 88)

It’s Day 88 of the South African lockdown. Today, at long last, Trixie the Melville Kitten (who is actually not a kitten anymore) makes her blogging debut. From Trixie: Hello! Hi it’s Trixie! I’m blogging I’m blogging I’m blogging. I wanted to blog for a long time. Heather said I’m too little. I said I’m two! Big Brother said I’m not smart enough but that’s wrong. I asked asked asked, I said please! They said no no no. But today Heather said she doesn’t have ideas to blog. Big Brother says he’s cold. He’s at the fire. Heather said today I can blog. I’m blogging I’m blogging I’m blogging! Heather says it is lock-down. It has been lock-down for a lot of days. I love lock-down, Heather is here all the time. She feeds me and plays with my string and stays in bed with the hot bottle and I sleep where it’s warm. Lock-down is nice! Outside I love to climb. I climb in the tree high high high! Heather stands under, she says don’t fall. I don’t fall. I climb and I roll roll roll on the ground. I sneak in the grass and the leaves. I run […]

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The Melville Cat

A Difficult Day for the Melville Cat (Lockdown Day 64)

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. 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.” […]

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Trixie the cat

Lockdown Journal: Day 43 (Pictures of Cats)

Read all my lockdown journal posts. It’s Day 43 of the South African lockdown. Here is a picture of a cat. I considered writing about various things today: My lack of motivation for doing literally everything. The death of the South African publishing industry. My love for Chunk the Groundhog, whose life seems particularly relevant these days. My new and very intense disdain for capitalism. But I just aired my grievances two days ago and I think it’s too soon for more of that. Instead I will share photos of my cats, who serve as faithful daily reminders that not everyone in the world gives a shit about COVID-19. Today’s Worthy Cause Today’s worthy cause is Nosh Food Rescue, which is doing amazing work feeding people in Joburg. During the lockdown Nosh is partnering with various Joburg restaurants, including Thava Indian Restaurant in Norwood, to prepare and distribute food to those in need. Instructions on how to donate to Nosh are here. I think this is the shortest lockdown post I’ve written yet. Hopefully I’ll feel more verbose tomorrow.

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Melville Cat on the kitchen counter

Lockdown Journal: Day 37 (The Melville Cat Inside)

The Melville Cat is an occasional 2Summers contributor. Tonight he has written his fourth lockdown journal post. Read all of the Melville Cat’s posts here. Read all of the 2Summers lockdown journal posts here. Good day. My apologies, as it has been many days since my last lockdown update. I’ve been busy eating, sleeping, and ignoring the human discussion about “Level 4”. Apparently under “Level 4”, humans and canines may walk outside their homes for three hours each morning. Ha! Poor souls. Obviously I can walk outside this property whenever I please, although I generally don’t bother. I have important news to share: After years of campaigning, I have secured a sleeping spot atop the kitchen counter. Heather has always told me I am not “allowed” on the kitchen counter. I never understood this word. How is it Heather’s job to decide what I am or am not “allowed” to do? Nonetheless, every time I ventured atop the counter, Heather would shout at me and shoo me down. This was very rude. A week or two ago, it started to grow cold at night and I tired of sleeping outside in the hedge. Sleeping on the bed or couch is not appealing to […]

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Lockdown Journal: Day 32 (Time Travel)

If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post  has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts. It’s South African Lockdown Day 32, the day I switch my lockdown journaling from evening to morning (although not that early in the morning — it’s 10:39 a.m. already). The first thought I had when I woke up this morning was: I was unrealistically positive in last night’s post. I made it sound like weathering this lockdown alone is easy for me, and although I may have legitimately felt that way at that particular moment, it is actually not true. The truth is my moods and perceptions shift wildly from one day — or even one hour — to the next. Last night, basking in the glory of my successful bread-baking afternoon, I felt relatively good. I was cocooned in my comfortable home, safe for the moment and not terribly lonely. It rained hard all evening — a gift in Joburg at this time of year, before the cold, dry season sets in. Both cats were inside with me. I made a tasty toasted Emmental sandwich with avo and tomato […]

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The Melville Cat Day 21

Lockdown Journal: Day 21 (The Melville Cat)

For those of you who are new to this blog: The Melville Cat is an occasional guest contributor. Tonight he has written his third lockdown journal post. Read all of the Melville Cat’s posts here. Read all of the 2Summers lockdown journal posts here. Good evening. It’s Day 21 of the human lockdown and time for my weekly check-in. Nothing has changed. Heather tells me the lockdown was originally supposed to end today, but last week South Africa’s human president decided to extend it for an additional two weeks. Heather is glad I’m doing my weekly check-in today because she is feeling — in her own words — “a bit crazy”. This comes as no surprise. Humans, unlike cats, are not accustomed to doing the same thing every day for weeks on end. I personally find great comfort in such redundancy. Now is my time to shine. A Tribute to the Melville Cat I have some exciting news to report. Today, there was a tribute to me published in the Johannesburg In Your Pocket Guide, a prominent local magazine. The story was titled: Dear Melville Cat and 2Summers, with love from Johannesburg In Your Pocket. The tribute was written in response to my Day […]

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Smokey the Melville Cat during covid-19 lockdown

Joburg COVID-19 Lockdown Journal: Day 7 (by the Melville Cat)

For those of you who are new to this blog: The Melville Cat is an occasional guest contributor. Tonight he has written his first lockdown journal post. Read all of the Melville Cat’s posts here. Read all of the lockdown journal posts here. Dear friends, I understand it is the 7th day of something called “the lockdown”. Heather tells me the lockdown is happening in response to something called a pandemic. The pandemic is a virus, which makes humans sick. I asked if I could potentially become sick from this pandemic — after all, I am a senior citizen in feline years. Heather says she believes this is unlikely. Although the virus originated in an animal (not a cat, mind you), it is mainly a human problem now. I am not terribly concerned. As a precaution, since learning about the pandemic I have chosen to spend the majority of my time outdoors in the fresh air. Just in case Heather or the midget become infected, I think it’s best to stay away. I am the oldest member of the household and missing most of my teeth. I now live outside for 23.5 out of every 24 hours — even when […]

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The Melville Cat

From the Melville Cat: Happy Birthday to Me

From the Melville Cat: Good day. I must confess the title of this post is rather misleading. Today may very well be my birthday. Then again it may not. (Felines don’t bother remembering birth dates.) But the dear Ms. M, my original human caretaker, told Heather she believes I was born in or around December 2007. I am now at or near the age of 12: the equivalent of 64 years by human measurements. I am a venerable older gentleman and ready to enjoy my golden years. Hence I have chosen today, Friday the 13th of December, to celebrate myself and my accomplishments to date. Accomplishments of the Melville Cat December 2007 (or thereabout): I am born somewhere, to someone. I do not remember the circumstances of my birth or who my parents are. I have many siblings. February 2008 (or thereabout): Ms. M discovers me in a cage inside the dreadful veterinarian’s office, capering about with a brood of gray siblings. Ms. M can not resist my charms and brings me to her home on Melville’s 6th Avenue. I live a pleasant life with Ms. M, accompanied by a large family of humans, felines, and canines. August 2010: As […]

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Trixie the Melville Kitten in a tree

From the Melville Cat: The Midget Fluff Ball Menace Turns One

From the Melville Cat: Forgive me friends, as it has been many months since my last update. I’ve been busy. For a while I was spending most of my time outdoors in an effort to escape the insufferable badgering of the Trixie, the Midget Fluff Ball Menace. She has grown larger and her harassment progressively more tiresome. I was away so often, Heather frequently worried about me. This was by design, of course. In one instance I stayed away for two days and two nights, and when I returned Heather was just about to publish a blog post announcing my disappearance. She welcomed me with tears in her eyes, held me tightly, and fed me a full packet of moist kibble. Mission accomplished. Then winter came, temperatures dropped, and I grew bored with sleeping outdoors. I decided to swallow my pride and start sleeping in Heather’s bed again, despite the Menace’s constant presence there. Fortunately the Menace has enough respect to remain at the foot of the bed and yield to me my rightful place beside Heather. The Fluff Ball’s Birthday Heather asked me to write a post this week because the Midget Fluff Ball Menace is now one year […]

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Melville cat on the table

2019 Update From the Melville Cat

From the the Melville Cat: Good day, dear readers. I would like to update you on recent developments. Trixie, the Midget Fluff Ball Menace 1. The Midget Fluff Ball Menace continues to play an active role in my day to day life, for better or worse. She is no longer a kitten but rather a half-grown cat. The Midget — I suppose I won’t be able to call her that much longer — is still rambunctious, forever scampering and tumbling about. Trixie is still a menace, but fortunately she has become a bit more respectful of my boundaries in recent months. I hope this trend will continue. A Gift for the Melville Cat 2. I recently received a beautiful ceramic food bowl from Cape Town. The bowl has gray spots and feline ears and Heather says it was made especially for me by one of my fans. Thank you to Zelda at Soenchie for crafting this lovely Melville Cat accessory. Instagram Stardom 3. I am the “Instagram Star of the Month” in the January/February issue of Pick n Pay Fresh Living Magazine. It makes perfect sense that one of South Africa’s most trusted retail brands chose to recognize me in […]

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Smokey yawning with Trixie

The Melville Cat: I Am a Cat Food Spokesperson

Good day, friends. Here is some important news from the Melville Cat: 1) Trixie, the Midget Fluff Ball Menace, is still in my home. She keeps growing larger. I’m tired of her and yet she continues to be present. Hmph. 2) I have been hired as a spokesperson — a spokescat, if you will — for the local cat food company, Montego. Montego has recently made some changes to its range of cat foods and they have hired moi to tell you about it. As I dictate this post to Heather, she insists I tell you the Midget Fluff Ball Menace has also been hired as a Montego spokeskitten. I can’t explain why. She is a child, barely three months old, and has virtually no experience as a social media influencer. The Fluff Ball tried to open our Montego gift hamper before I even arrived home. How rude. Hmph. But fine. I will include the Midget’s input, if I must. Montego Cat Food: A Spokescat’s Review (and some input from an inexperienced Midget Fluff Ball Menace) Montego has unveiled new adult dry cat foods in tuna and chicken flavors. I should mention this new food contains “Hairball Assist”. I personally do not […]

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