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Saegertown shutdown stories: When your humans are home all day, a cat’s tale

By William Hetrick, contributing writer


Our family cat Emerson,  a long, humorless feline, has been holed up with us since the beginning of this forced retreat into isolation, regarding us warily as we have infringed on his normally gleeful solitude. 

He has expressed to me that he wishes to state his feelings at this time.  “It’s been three weeks! It feels like fourteen years,” Emerson said. “I can’t sleep enough, the noise is relentless.  I plead with all of them to just go away. They fail to listen.” 

As he relates his irritation, it should be noted that his black eyes have gone from beady to dilated, and his claws seem a bit longer.  “They put this . . . machine . . . in the corner of our living room,” he said, referring to the treadmill that we installed last week. “The lady walks on it and she goes nowhere.  She just keeps walking.” 

Emerson sleeps on the coffee table because a treadmill displaced his bed.

The treadmill, unfortunately, displaced Emerson’s bed, and this has been difficult for him: “They moved MY BED to put this angry, noisy monstrosity where I sleep,” he quipped.  “I can’t even stare at the corner anymore! How am I supposed to keep an eye on the ghosts?” 

I asked my eleventh-grade daughter Jane to share her thoughts on Emerson’s predicament.  “It’s hard on all of us,” she said. “Emerson has taken it very well, I think. Sure, he swipes at us when we get too close, but hey, he’s a born killer.” I think Jane’s instincts are probably right.  

As our interview winds down, Emerson inhales and seems to calm himself, probably humming some sort of cat mantra to placate his troubled soul. 

Despite all of the disruption, he remains mildly optimistic: “Don’t get me wrong, there are positives. They do clean my dirty place more often.  They screech my jowls without much demand from me. They do read a lot, too. Which is nice and quiet,” he said. “Make no mistake, I wish them gone, but I suppose I can stand it a bit longer.  If only I could talk one of them into breaking that awful machine!”  

Hetrick teaches English at Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School. If you would like to be featured in a future Saegertown Shutdown Story, email or

staceyanderton1 View All

Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School

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