Standing on the outside looking in

I’ve been motivated tonight to write a short play, inspired by a scene that is repeated hourly daily at my house. Here is the first draft:

Scene: A kitchen, about 6pm. A woman is chopping vegetables, singing along to music, and stops to pour a glass of wine.

Cat: (from outside, through the screen door): Meow!

Woman: (overly friendly tone) Why, hello there! Are you after something? Huh?….What’s that you say? Oh, you want to come inside? (change of tone) Well, dingbat, why don’t you just come through THE CAT FLAP, the way you would if you were….A CAT?

(chuckles at own wit and finishes pouring glass of wine, resumes chopping)

Cat: (stretches herself into twice her usual length, claws digging into screen door) (plaintively:) Meow? 

Woman: (dripping with sarcasm) Pardon? What’s that…oh, I see. The cat flap is not good enough for you. You will only come in through human-type doors, is that it? You’d rather that I stop what I’m doing, and come over and open the door, because you are too special to come in through a cat flap, is that right, Your Majesty? (shakes head in disbelief and continues scrolling through Twitter feed on phone) 

Cat: Blinks. Looks up through the door with big eyes.

When I'm outside, inside looks so tempting!

When I’m outside, inside looks so tempting!

Woman: (irritated) COME IN THROUGH THE CAT FLAP, DOPEY!! (rolls eyes in exasperation and resumes curling eyelashes at the kitchen sink) 

Cat: (throws her body weight against screen door, causing it to slam with a thud against the door frame.) MEEEEOOOW!!!

Woman: (angrily) Oh, for crying out loud. (Walks over to cat flap, kneels in a crawling position on the slate floor and pushes cat flap open from the inside. Waggles cat flap in and out while loudly addressing the cat, who is still outside, through the cat flap) LOOK! Here’s your CAT FLAP! WOW!!! Look at that! You can come in and out all by yourself!! How fantastic! How lucky you are! You don’t need me to open the f*%$ing door for you….YOU INFURIATING CREATURE!

(Stands up, dusts herself off and walks back to the kitchen bench. Sits down and picks up a well-read copy of 50 Shades of Grey, resumes reading.) 

Cat: (repeatedly pushes against screen door with claws, making the door repeatedly thud loudly against its frame) MEEEOOOW!!! 

Woman: (throws book down, glowering) Oh,  f#@k this! Come in then!  (Walks over and opens door) Here we go, I’ll open the door for you, so you can come in like a human does. Happy?

(lets the door slam, and strides back to the kichen bench, goes back to scrapbooking pictures of fluffy cats onto used tissue boxes) 

Cat skedaddles in through the door as it’s opened, abruptly halts, sits, and proceeds to manically clean her paws as if every preceding moment in her  life to that point will be meaningless unless she can get the dirt out of her paws in the next 5 seconds. Continues licking paws in this manner for 4.5 seconds. Abruptly finishes cleaning paws. Walks back to the screen door. Sits staring out of screen door at the yard outside.

Cat (at screen door) (plaintively): MEEEOW!  

Woman: (threateningly) Don’t even start, sister.

(resumes icing a spongecake)

Cat: Blinks. Turns and looks at woman with big eyes.

Cat: (digging claws into screen door) Meow?

The end.

When I'm inside, outside looks so tempting!

When I’m inside, outside looks so tempting!


*Note on stage directions:  I got a bit bored with the lack of action in the story so I added in a variety of stage directions, to make the woman seem like a very busy person with a lot of important stuff to do. Although the woman is based on myself, in real life I never make or eat sponge cakes, read overrated “erotic romance” novels, scrapbook pictures of anything, or curl anyone’s eyelashes, but I do spend an inordinate amount of time letting a cat in and out a screen door that is situated about 30cm away from a fully functioning cat flap.

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  1. Hey, my cat comes to your house? I wondered where she goes during the day. This brought a knowing smile to my face.


  2. Hilda Steyn

     /  February 14, 2013



  3. You know, it’s a basic principle of child-rearing, that as soon as you give in they’ve learnt just exactly how far they need to push you, and are willing to go AT LEAST THAT FAR every subsequent time.

    On the other hand, I envy you. We have a cat flap but if we set it to allowing the cat in, then every other cat in the neighbourhood comes in as well. And those magnetic lock thingies only work if your cat is the ONLY cat nearby who wears them.

    As for the situation you get when you’re going away for four nights on holiday, and you carefully set the cat door to “out only” (in case she runs inside when the friendly neighbour opens the door to get the cat food and put it out), and then without your knowledge your darling three-year-old equally carefully sets the cat door to “in only” and then you leave…

    It took about a month to get rid of the smell of cat pee.


    • Oh dear, that sounds awful! The cat flap has only recently sprung back into action – for the past 3 years or so we had kept it shut in both directions, due to a Tomcat that lived next door who came in via the carflap a few times and left some stinking surprises inside the house! He would also attack our cat if she went outside! Happily, his owners moved recently and he went with them! Our cat can now roam outdoors again, and (in theory) go in and out via the cat flap! Hurrah!


  4. poor thing… 🙂


  5. and I’m talking about the cat here…. LOL!


  6. This is all my cats, ever, also.

    One of my cats climbs up the clematis which grows like a teenage boy’s dodgy first beard up the side of our house and claws at the window to be let in. The upstairs window. 3m above the catflap, no less.


    • That made me giggle. Your cat makes mine look positively obliging for choosing to focus on a downstairs door next to a catflap. Climbing a dodgy vine? 3 m above the catflap?? Your cat is evil.



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