‘Why are we standing in the hallway, Casey?’

‘Because …’

‘Because what?’

‘Because I don’t want Mum to see us laughing.’

‘Are we laughing then, Casey? What about?’

‘Mum is trying to do something called a ‘warm-up’ and she’s so red in the face, I think she’s about to explode.’

‘Is Mum exploding a good thing or a bad thing, Casey?’

‘It’ll be messy, fo sho, Gibbs.’

‘Why is she doing something called a ‘warm-up’?

‘Because …’

‘Because what?’

‘Because she saw a report on breakfast television this morning, that people on lockdown have all got something called lockdown love handles.’

‘Lockdown banisters, more like, Casey.’

‘Gibbs remember rule #1 of the Feline Code of Ethics. Always respect those who serve us.’

‘So, what are these love bani - handles, Casey?’

‘Apparently, people that have been at home all these weeks of lockdown who aren’t able to exercise, are spreading out a bit.’

‘You mean, she’s porked out, Casey?’

‘Gibbs! We are never mean about our humans’ distribution of fat to body ratio. Rule #376 of the Feline Code of Ethics. ‘

So, with all these rules you’re quoting me, Casey, I’ve forgotten why we’re out in the hallway.  Tell me again.’

‘Because Mum is trying to do something called a ‘warm-up’ which is a precursor to an exercise programme.  When someone has warmed up their muscles, they can then jump about to music, usually, to get fitter.’

‘Oh.  Does it work?’

‘We’ll have to wait and see, Gibbs.  I think we might need to call an ambulance.  Mum’s gone a very bright red, which doesn’t bode well.’

‘These banister things that Mum has – where are they?’

‘They’re not banisters, Gibbs, they’re love handles. And to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not sure where they are.  Mum is Mum.  We love her as she is, but she was telling a friend the other day on the phone thing, that she’s put on weight and wants to lose it again.’

‘And that’s why she’s doing this ‘warm-up’ thing?  To lose weight?’

‘Well, I don’t quite know how it all works, Gibbs, but as I said, the ‘warm-up’ warms up the muscles so that when Mum DOES actually do any real exercises it won’t hurt so much the next day.  The ladies on the telly tell Mum what to do and she is trying to do what they say – but with little success, it would seem.’

‘The ladies on the telly don’t seem to be wearing much in the way of clothing, Casey.  Perhaps Mum would lose the banisters if she wore skimpies like the ladies.’

‘That’s the trouble, Gibbs.  People with banisters, I mean, love handles, are often the ones that wear skimpies when perhaps they should stick to something less revealing.  Thankfully, our Mum doesn’t display her bodily parts unnecessarily – I think, if she did,  I would have to refer her to rule #97 of the Feline Code of Ethics: ‘Appropriate clothing must be worn at all times in the company of the superior being – the cat.’  

‘So where is this going then, Casey? What is Mum hoping to achieve – apart from not having a heart attack?’

‘Your guess is as good as mine, Gibbs. Mum, I suspect, would like to be like the ladies on the telly with something called ‘abs’.’

‘Mousebums, Casey! Even we – as superior beings – don’t have abs.  Erm, what are abs?’

‘Gibbs, I’ve told you before about your language.  We have young humans that like to visit our website; we cannot lead them down the wrong paths.  Before you know it, ‘Mousebums’ will be trending on that social media thingy and EVERYONE in the world will be saying it.  Can you imagine if our Queen said ‘Mousebums’ in one of her speeches to the nation?  What would everyone think?’

‘If our queen said ‘Mousebums’ in one of her speeches to the nation, Casey, I’d be proud as anything.  Anyway, do you think we ought to get a bucket of water to chuck over Mum? She’s lying on the floor, and she’s purple.’

Mega thanks to Aoife McCann for her brilliant illustration. For more of Aoife's stunning artwork, please go to:





One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)