Tim is a cat, but he can talk.  He talks often to us.  I don’t know why I don’t blog about him more often except that he’s a rather private person – er, cat, and doesn’t enjoy having details about his personal habits splayed about the internet.  He has hinted that he doesn’t approve of my blogging on the the grounds that it isn’t respectable, but I persist.  I’m not going to allow myself to be unduly influenced by a mere pet.

Tim has been with us for over 11 years, longer than most of our children.  He came to us as a scraggly young cat, half-grown and sadly unsocialized.  No, he was not homeschooled.  That’s a myth.  Homeschoolers tend to be far better socialized than kittens raised in institutional settings.  He was just shy and unused to human attention and company, and to be quite frank we only allowed him to live with us out of pity at first.  We were pressured into the arrangement, and I’m sure it made him feel awkward about being in our home.

He was too shy to tell us his name, so we took to calling him Tim after a redheaded friend whom he resembled.  I was great with child at the time and if our child turned out to be a redheaded daughter, our redheaded friend Tim was jokingly pressuring us to name the poor babe after him.  We thought the cat was a girl, so it all made sense at the time.  Friend Tim had the newest redheaded Coghlan female named after him, just like he wanted.  Cats like to keep their gender traits hidden, you know.  Most young human males have been mistaken for a female when they answer the phone, and they are quietly affronted.  Cats are quietly triumphant because they have kept you guessing.  It’s all part of the game.

Now that he is more comfortable in his skin, Tim tries to convince us that he’s just a dumb animal, but we know better.  “Just ignore me,” he purrs at us as we prepare to shower.  “I’m only a dumb animal.  Why would I care how you look without your fur?”  But then he winks, and we snatch the towel up higher as we show him the door.

He shows himself in my own bedroom at the most inopportune moments.  If I let him see how self-conscious he makes me, he grins carelessly.  “I’m only a beast, and neutered, at that.  Why should I care how you humans carry on?”  But is it just my imagination, or does he leer as he says it?  I don’t quite trust him.

He’s choosy, like most cats.  When it comes to food, he only eats dry cat chow.  He often expresses interest in our food, but when we offer a taste of meat or milk or other such goods, he is politely disgusted.  “Egads!  I was only curious about what it was you were putting in your mouth.  I didn’t say I wanted to eat the nasty stuff myself!”

The dogs are content – nay, thrilled to drink from the toilet.  The water is cool and clear and plentiful.  Tim, in contrast, prefers glass over porcelain or plastic if he is forced to drink still water.  That is something he will only deign to do late at night, when no one is available to turn on the faucet for him, if we happen to leave a glass of water on the coffee table.  Has has asked for white wine glasses, since a red wine glass hardly seems fit for serving water.

He much prefers running water, and isn’t shy about making demands.  “Water, please,” he says as we pass his perch on the bathroom vanity.  If we don’t hear, he reaches out with claws barely unsheathed and gives a tap.  “Pardon me, old chap.  Would you be so kind as to turn on the cold tap?  A little more – no, too much now.  There, that’s good.  Just leave it on for me.  For heaven’s sake, I’m not going to watch as you do your business.  Get on with it and let me drink in peace.”

Tim is a cat, and we like him in spite of it, perhaps because we often fail to notice that he is a cat.  I think he forgets too, sometimes.


  1. Funny! is what I wanted to say-but the blog told me it was too short.

  2. Rebecca says:

    My apologies. I hadn’t read this in a long time and didn’t read it before posting. I apologize for the foul language.

    • Rebecca,
      Too funny! I’ve seen this before and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since. I can’t help thinking it must be true on some level. I’ve seen and known too many dogs and cats to doubt it.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Your story made me think of this. It’s a dog’s diary vs. a cat’s diary. 🙂

    The Dog’s Diary

    8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
    9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
    9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
    10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
    12:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
    1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
    3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
    5:00 pm – Dinner! My favorite thing!
    7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
    8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
    11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

    The Cat’s Diary

    Day 983 of My Captivity

    My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

    The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!

    There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

    Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

    I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now …

  4. Tim sounds like a wonderful cat. The contrast betweens dogs and cats amaze me. I invested in one of those running water cat fountains; they are cheaper than turning on the water for the cat then walking away and forgetting about it on more than one occasion… not that I have ever done that =D

  5. ROFL!! 😆 that’s all I have to say.

  6. oh my goodness.
    tears rolling. too funny. tim would NOT appreciate my laughter, i dare say!
    he sounds TOO MUCH like our princess anne–which is a shortened form of her real name, “anonymous”.
    she owns us and the manor here with all regality–and we’d have it no other way. 🙂

  7. Tim is very handsome and distinguished looking. The look in his eye…wise and knowing.
    Does Tim have any wise, handsome, distinguished friends who would care to live with us? Could he recommend a solution for households that are VERY allergic to cats?

  8. As I read this in bed my cat Buddy is curled up asleep betwen my husband and me. I always enjoy a good cat story, please tell us about Tim more often.

  9. Sounds exactly like our 18 pound, nine year young, grey cat, Oso.

  10. Rebecca says:

    You’ll have to tell Tim that our cat Casey drinks out of the toilet. Not that I think you can pressure him into better behaivior by comparing him to another cat. 😉

  11. Huh- you almost make a person want a cat in the house. Almost.

  12. Oh, I loved reading this! Tim sounds like a fine cat indeed.

  13. Sounds like a great pet & definitely a “cat” as you said. I only had my first experience with cats a couple of years ago & they certainly are very different to dogs (although easier to look after I think). They have grown on me – ours likes to curl up on the end of our bed in the sun & sleep the day away – well when he’s not being manhandled by the twins anyway!
    Have a wonderful weekend

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