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Pet Peeves: Chi and Whess

August 27th, 2019

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Dear Readers, We are sadly nearing the end of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves and from this point on it’s 100% cat content – feline friends only. We are pleased to introduce to you, Whess and Chi.

You can’t imagine my delight at finding a pet/human relationship that was not formed online.

I don’t know why exactly, but the fact that Whess (grunt gallery’s curatorial intern) and Chi, (handsome cat), met through mutual friends made me happy. It’s so old school and very unusual nowadays.

I met up with Chi at Whess’s downtown apartment, armed with cat treats which turned out to be completely unnecessary. Chi is an extremely friendly being, who is happy to pop up on your lap and purr. Pretty much the polar opposite of the type of thing I experience at my place. Blackberry thinks of that kind of behaviour as “mushy” or “soft” and she wouldn’t do it if her last treat depended on it. But I digress. And I also plan to interview Blackberry soon, so you will hear all of her (numerous) complaints then.

While I found Whess to be lovely, I spent most of my visit curled up on the bed, feeding treats to Chi. That’s how I learned that he and Whess got together about 6 years ago when Chi’s original owners moved to Australia.

Me: Another snack Chi?

Chi: Don’t mind if I do. Anything else you’d like to chit chat about?

Me: Well, I was wondering if you have any complaints at all? Anything about Whess? Living arrangements? Food?

Chi: As you can see, Whess is just fantastic, however, it took me quite a long time to get them buying the proper type of food. I like GRAVY, the pate cat food is too gummy!

Me: Hmmm, I see……doesn’t sound too awful…..anything else on your little cat mind?

Chi: And I do believe that if a person, who lives with a cat, gets a tattoo, it should really be a picture of the cat! IT SHOULD NOT BE A PICTURE OF SOME STUPID FISH!!

Now I had heard that despite all his charming ways, Chi could be a little intense. I hadn’t realized this intensity would take the form of loud yelling.

Me: Yeah, I see your point, but it’s a nice tattoo.

Chi: NONSENSE. It’s a FISH! So annoying. And what’s with all the TRAVELLING anyway?

Whess is always darting off someplace, leaving me with other people!! And travelling in cars makes me INCONTINENT!!!

Suddenly, I was in pet interviewer heaven, because it seemed as though I had actually found a pet with a few complaints! Oh, joy to the world!

Me: So, actually, Whess is sort of a terrible companion for you? Not too good at all?!

Chi: Are you completely INSANE? Whess took me in when my former people moved to AUSTRALIA! Whess is the kindest, best person I know! I LOVE WHESS!! You must be a cuckoo nut head!

Of course, being called a cuckoo nut head is not exactly unfamiliar territory to me. I just let it bounce right off me, I am made of rubber, you are made of glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks right onto you. That’s pretty much my motto.

Chi: I also LOVE Kathleen!! Whess’s friend KATHLEEN! I get so excited when she comes over, I start to hyperventilate!!!

It was around this point in the interview that I noticed a strange habit of Chi’s. You know that sound when you pick up a cat unexpectedly? It’s sort of a squeaky noise similar to accidentally sitting on a bagpipe. Well, Chi is able to make that noise at will, for no apparent reason. He can also make it pretty loud.

Me: Of course … do seem to have a lot of love to share…..


Whess: One time Chi pooped in his cat carrier when we were 20 seconds from our own doorway!


Me: Well now, always best to try to remain calm Chi…..that’s what we cuckoo nutty heads always say…or maybe that’s the British…same thing really…

Whess: Yes, Chi always poops a bit, especially in taxis…..He’s scared of outside, and the sky. And he cannot stand it if I close the bathroom door! Ha!

Now by this point, Chi had climbed into the bag I brought the treats over in, and was continuing to screech. I was yelling at him to “keep his hair on”, and Whess was coming out with even more entertaining incontinence/bathroom stories. Sometimes, you can get the feeling that an interview has gone a bit off track and sort of derailed, really. The only thing a good pet interviewer can do when this happens is make an excuse, and leave the premises ASAP. Always best not to look as though you are actually running, if you can help it.

I managed to extricate Chi from the bag. He calmed down significantly once Whess stopped telling the poop anecdotes, and he could see that I was leaving. Now, some people might say that my nonchalance was slightly exaggerated but professionalism is everything to me. I certainly did not want Whess to think that all pet interviews ended so chaotically. Or that all the cats I talked to ate quite so many treats. No, I was sure things would go much more smoothly over at my next cat rendezvous. Nellie had mentioned that her cat is 15, too old probably to get very excitable…..and me, of course, I’m always calm, and sort of the strong silent type really.

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