Cat Empire

It’s nice to be woken with a kiss, a caress, a cupped hand, a coffee in bed.

But not a cat.

Eve The Cat is trained not to venture onto my side of the bed in the mornings until she hears my voice and ordinarily she is extraordinarily disciplined. Not this morning. For some reason before 7.30am she wandered over to my side of the bed and tickled my face with her whiskers. My eyes flickered open to her eyes, big green marbles an inch away.

‘Time to go to the fish market’ she said.

I closed my eyes. She couldn’t possibly have said that because she couldn’t possibly know we’d decided to go to the fish market today. And because cats can’t talk or boss me around in my dreams.

My idea of a pleasant Sunday morning is when I wake up and realise I’ve missed it. On Sundays I like to wake up and watch the sunset with a margarita.

Eskimo Eve rubbed her nose on my nose. I opened my eyes and looked at her again. This time her green eyes told me that Wallington died in the night and I better roll over and do something. She was right. Loyal beast.

I rolled over and cupped Wallington.

‘You’re awake!’ she declared, astonished. Wallington is always awake. Except at 9pm.

‘You’re alive’ I said, relieved.

‘Why wouldn’t I be?’

‘It’s complicated’ I said, falling asleep again.

‘Maybe this morning I can have coffee in bed? And toast. And juice. And mushrooms.’

Eve meowed. I’d been scammed.

They lay in bed together and purred while I got up and made coffee and complained.

We went to the fish market before 9am and to my utter astonishment other people (well, humans) were up and jogging and walking dogs and generally behaving as if all of this was not deeply weird. I don’t mind staying up all night but there is no way you should be awake in the mornings unless you are going home – flouro, headache, dry mouth, startled by the light.

I’m an old bastard who isn’t a young bastard.

Meanwhile, retired Wallington is creating a cat empire. While I’m at work (complaining, crying) she is stitching a ragtag, offcut army. This is the most gorgeous army that ever arched.


I love them all, even if I have to make the coffee.


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