Friday, February 13, 2009

How to train your cat to talk

It's an occupational hazard of being a stay-at-home mom/writer, I suppose, but I spend a lot of time talking to my cats. Lately, Boy has been objecting very strongly anytime he catches me saying anything to them, even if it's something accurate, like "you're such a silly kitty." Here's how these conversations typically go:

ME (to cat, while scritching her ears): Calli, you're such a sweet kitty.

BOY: Intervention! Mom, you're turning into a crazy cat lady.

ME: I am not. Why can't I talk to the cat?

BOY: She's not going to talk back, you know.

ME: She could someday. After all, I talked to you when you were a baby and you couldn't talk back. And look at you now! You talk back to me all the time.

BOY: Grrrrr!

Here I must confess that I not only talk to my cats, I often sing to them. Worse, I make up lyrics and sing them to the tune of something else. So Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" becomes: "Monnnn-ster kitty! Monnnn-ster kitty! Monster kitty! Monster kitty! Mon-ster-er kitty!" The French folk tune "Alouette" turns into: "Calliope*, silly Calliope, Calliope, she's my precious cat!" Even TV theme songs provide fodder for my nonsense, as the "Spongebob Squarepants" theme transforms into: "Whoooooo lived in a hidey-hole under the deck? GIGI Round-eyes! If you try to pet her then she'll give you heck! GIGI Round-eyes!"

Surveying this list of songs, I think I have discovered my error in singing to my cats: I'm using the wrong kind of music. After all, when Boy was a baby, I often sang to him while I changed his diaper, and he eventually learned to talk. It must have been due to the power of DISCO!

Original version (Wild Cherry):My version:
Play that funky music white boyChange that dirty diaper, mama
Play that funky music rightChange that dirty diaper right!
Play that funky music white boyChange that dirty diaper, mama
Lay down the boogie Lay me down and change me,
And play that funky music till you dieOh, change that dirty diaper till I'm dry
Till you die!Till I'm dry!
Original version (Rick James):My version:
She's a very kinky girlHe's a very poopy boy
The kind you don't take home to motherAnd I should know cause I'm his mother!
She will never let your spirits downYou can never keep his diaper clean
Once you get her off the streetThat boy is super poopy
She's a very special girlHe's a very special boy
From her head down to her toenailsFrom his head down to his toenails
?????**I'm going to change his diaper now
?????That boy is super poopy
She's a super freak, super freakHe's a super poop! super poop!
She's super-freaky, yowHe's super-poopy, yow!

Okay, I'll admit maybe I need an intervention.

*Remember, my Calliope is pronounced like the Greek goddess, "Cal-ee-OH-pee."
**I never paid that much attention to the verses.


  1. I must have done something wrong. You're supposed to outgrow the talking about poop stage and thinking it's funny by age seven or eight (maybe that's forty-seven or forty-eight) Is there any hope?

  2. Has your mom not read the poopy poems, then? :)

  3. My inner 10-year-old boy says, "No! Stop being a party pooper! {giggle giggle} She said Poop!"