How about the republic of potholes

Columnist Diana French tackles the joys of sharing one's home with animals, specifically cats.

Sharing a residence with animals has its moments.

A neutered male cat named Ninnin shares our home. He actually belongs to GD#5 but as anyone who has a cat will understand, he thinks we belong to him. He is an inside cat.

My understanding of cat talk is pretty basic. I understand when Ninnin tells me his food dish is empty (whiney meow), and he makes himself clear when he’s annoyed about something (snarly meow).

Much tail twitching accompanies both complaints. I’m completely in the dark over conversations he’s been having recently with a neighbour’s cat. I don’t know whether they are mad at each other or being friendly.

Neighbour cat visits most days, and when a window is open, she (I think) sits on the outside sill and yowls through the screen. Ninnin gets up on the inside sill and yowls back. After a few rounds of this, they start pushing at each other’s noses through the screen and while they don’t actually purr, they make kind of gentle purrows. No tail movement. Once  she visited when the door was open, and after the yowling sequence they tried a joint climb up the screen door.

Fearing for the well-being of the screen, I whooped and yowled and that convinced them it was a bad idea.

The one time we let Ninnin out so they could socialize they spat and hissed at each other and the tails were flying.

We scooped Ninnin inside before they did any damage to each other and have been hesitant about repeating the process. In the meantime, they continue their through-the-screen relationship, whatever that may be.


Happy news that the city has launched its fair weather program for filling potholes. Some streets were so full of them one citizen suggested the city’s brand should be the Republic of Potholes.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.


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