Dear professor,

 

I heard that you are back from the sanitorium, and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye before I moved away. So I thought I would write you a little letter to tell you what “being adopted” is like. 

 

First, I now live with no other cats! Suits me fine! And there are no customers here either, which takes some getting used to. I have two human servants all to myself, but they are shockingly inattentive. There are days when I get less than 24 hours of attention; a cat cannot live on food, water, treats, cuddles and pats, laser pointers, catnip mice and feather toys alone! 

 

One of my servants leaves the house early every morning and I can very rarely get the other one to play at that time of the day. I begin to feel like he doesn’t appreciate me waking him up by lovingly biting his pillow, which you’d think was a much better start to the day than a nasty alarm an hour or so later. 

 

Here’s a mystery that I would like your thoughts on, professor. There is one piece of furniture which, when I use it for sharpening my claws, results in praise, pats, and sometimes treats. But scratching anything else seems to result in the opposite! If I don’t scratch things equally the wear and tear will be hopelessly uneven but at this rate soon I’ll be scratching nothing but that one specific piece. 

 

Also I want to tell you about a mysterious cat I’ve seen in a “mirror” (these are new to me; looks like a window but it’s not). She’s an astonishingly beautiful black cat and very fierce! I was terrified but I gave as good as I got. I don’t see her often, I in fact don’t think she leaves the mirror so I reckon I won. 

 

I hope things are going well at the café. It sounds like it’s very busy these days with so many new apprentices and that’s exciting, but for all that my humans are odd, I do think I landed on my feet here (so to speak). Please give Richelle and Ken my love, and Tiger Lily my respect. 

 

Pō Mārie (but you can still call me Pō – doesn’t matter since I don’t answer to either unless it suits me!) 

[transcribed by Alexandra]

 

Dear Po,

 

I like the addition to your name. I seem to recall your naming has something to do with night? Richelle tells me that you were named for a starry sky because of your markings. I am glad that your new servants have been attentive in this matter. It is fitting that the humans give us names relating to our colouring since that is what they usually notice about us. Just never let them know your secret name.

 

As to waking him gently, this is good. But, remember that humans do not wake ready to play. You should show patience and forbearance. Remember how we taught you at the café to start asking for what you want at least an hour before you expect to get it. Do not forget your training, young Po.

 

Many human traits and customs are an unfathomable mystery. I personally have not experienced the confusing situation you relate about scratching. Before I came to the café, I lived with the Okadas and there was nothing in their home I could not scratch. I recommend you proceed with caution. If the human behaviour persists, you have my blessing to simplify your life and only scratch the items that gain you praise, pats and treats.

 

As to the ‘mirror cat’ you mention. I too have met this individual but he was a handsome male with a glorious, fluffy coat. Can there be more than one? I have always been victorious in these situations. If you stick to your training, you should be too. So, do not worry.

 

Thank you for your well wishes. Some  of the new apprentices are quite a pawful and it is taking some work for them to accept discipline. Cosmo and Kaha are easy to work with. Reuben, Pan and Natasha get along well with others. However, Sparrow and Tigger seem to think the sun rises and sets on them. They even hiss at me! Yet, Tiger Lily and I are glad to be back. Domino was cleared and should go to his new home this week. Conner, continues to be unwell. Please spare a thought for him as he will stay at the sanitorium for a while yet.

 

With best wishes for your future happiness,

 

Professor Inky

Head of Creative Writing and Drama

Neko Ngeru Finishing School for Cats

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