How to Teach Your Cat to Talk
First thing, show him the internet. Show him the human babies and the dog huskies who know how to say I love you. Tell your cat you doubt his affection, and you need to hear the words.
Next, place him in front of the fishtank. Explain that the fishmouths opening and closing is what talking looks like, and what it looks like can be more important than the words.
Compare him to the goldfish. Tell him the goldfish is stuck inside the goldfish bowl, and if he had the same freedom of movement as the cat, he would have been able to warn you about your husband.
Pinch your cat’s mouth between your fingers. Tell him that this, too, is what talking looks like. Ask if he remembers your husband doing this to you.
Place his little cat paws against your throat. You don’t like anything touching your throat, but get over it. Your husband is hundreds of miles from here. Make sounds so that your cat can feel the vibrations. Tell him that this is what talking will feel like. Compare it to how the house felt, shaking like a fist.
If all else fails, hide the cat food until he learns to ask for it. Pretend you don’t see his little cat body stretched out on the floor, helpless until the neighbors come, curious after not seeing him for days, and then him ending up in the emergency room.
Tell your cat it’s up to him to talk because really no one can give you any help unless you learn to ask.
Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two flash fiction chapbooks. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. She is reviewer, blogger, and photographer. She is a former English teacher. She lives in NYC.
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