The Cooper tapes

By: Joe Weaver - Contributing columnist

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.

(Editor’s note: North Carolina is a one-party consent state when it comes to recording conversations, so Cooper would have no legal standing if he tried to sue.)

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 has an identity crisis.

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.

Cell phone 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 e-Harmony profile?”

“You have an e-Harmony profile?”

“Ja. Ich bin sehr beliebt.”

Cooper wants pie.

Cooper: “What’s that?”


“What do you do with it?”

“You eat it.”

“I eat it?”

“No. I eat it.”

“Can I have it?”


“Why not?”

“It’s not for cats.”

“Can I have it?”

“It’s not for cats, Coop?”

“What does it taste like?”

“Cookies and cream.”

“What’s that?”

“Cookies are little treats. Cream is like milk.”

“You give me treats. You gave me milk.”


“Can I have the pie?”


“Can I taste it? I can lick that little piece right there.”


“You are not nice.”

“I am nice. I’m just not giving you pie.”

“What’s that?”

“That’s the phone.”

“That’s the thing you use to talk to other places, right?”


“I’m going to call the authorities.”

“About what?”

“Pie. They will give me pie.”

“The authorities will not give you pie. What authorities will do that?”

“I don’t know, but when you guys watch TV, the authorities always help people with stuff.”

“You’re being ridiculous. You don’t even know what that means.”

“I’ll be back … and I am bringing the authorities.”

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. I can assure you he did not get any pie. Cooper never did get to play any video games. His German, however, has come along nicely.

“Auf Wiedersehen.”

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

Joe Weaver

Contributing columnist