Cooper’s pleas lost in translation

Cooper has an identity crisis

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


A lot of you have been asking about Cooper, especially after last week’s column about Hobbs, the cat from next door.

Cooper is doing fine and he wants everyone to know that he is well and there is no need for concern. He asked me if he could be in the column this week and I asked him what he had done that was newsworthy. As usual, he has napped a lot, ate a little food, and bathed himself.

When I reminded him that was not particularly newsworthy, he bit me and ran into the other room. While not the most mature response, at least it was honest.

What Cooper does not know, folks, is I have been recording my conversations with him. In most states, it is illegal to record conversations with other people without their consent. My attorney assures me this does not apply to conversations between people and felines.

Cooper is not biologically human, so I am in the clear if he decides to sue. My attorney is pretty sure he can beat any cat attorney in court, because he cannot recall any instance where a cat was admitted to the North Carolina Bar.

What follows are detailed transcripts of a number of conversations with Cooper. These are raw and unedited and are transcribed exactly as they occurred.

Cooper: “I am -”

“King of the beasts. I know.”

“I am no longer king of the beasts. I am now a black panther.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. I am a black panther.”

“Do you know what a Black Panther is?”

“I am black. I am a cat. A panther is a black jungle cat.”

“I think you are confused. Where did you get the idea to be a black panther?”

“I saw it on television today when Carolyn was watching ‘Kojak’.”

“I don’t think you understand what a Black Panther really is.”

“I believe I do.”

“Put your paw down, you look stupid.”

Cooper wants to play video games

Cooper: “What’s that?”

“It’s a PS3.”

“What’s a PS3?”

“It’s a thing I can play games on. You know how you play with your mousie?”

“Cool. Can I play, too?”

“I’m sorry, bud, but no.”

“It’s because I’m too young, right?”


“It’s because the game is inappropriate, right?”


“What is it, then?”

“You don’t have thumbs.”

“Darn it.”

Cooper is hungry when I am not home.

Cellphone rings.


Cooper: “My food bowl has a hole in it.”

“I’m in Greenville, bud.”

“I need food.”

“Carolyn can feed you, too.”

“She’s asleep.”

“I’m an hour away.”

“I’m starving.”

“No you are not.”

“I am starving to death.”

“You are not.”

“Am too.”

“Are not.”

“Am too.”

“Cooper, stop it.”


“I am hanging up.”

“Fine...but when you come home, I shall eat you. I am king-”

“Of the beasts. How could I ever forget?”

Cooper learns social media (and German)

Cooper: “Ich bin König der Tiere.”


“Ich bin König der Tiere.”

“What are you saying?”

“I am king of the beasts.”

“Well, king of the beasts, why are you speaking German?”

“Sie verließ den laptop auf. Ich habe entdeckt, Google Translate.”

“Google Translate? Really?”


“You are a cat. What are you doing on my laptop?”

“I’m on Facebook now, you know.”

“Yes, you are. That does not mean you can use the laptop whenever you want.”

“Does that mean I have to delete my eHarmony profile?”

“You have an eHarmony profile?”

“Ja. Ich bin sehr beliebt.”

Indeed, Cooper can be found on social media, and he invites you to check out his Facebook page for frequent updates on his life. He has posted pictures of himself, me, my wife and daughters and , he wants to remind you, himself.

Cooper never did get to play any video games. His German, however, has come along nicely.

“Auf Wiedersehen.”

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.