Christos Tsiolkas

“I was born in Melbourne, raised in Richmond and then we moved out to Box Hill North. I have a strong memory of the alleyways in Richmond being full of stray cats, and many of them being so undernourished and sick looking. That memory has stayed with me and from quite an early age I was conscious of the need to desex domestic animals if you were not prepared to provide and care for their offspring.”

“I have affection and respect for both dogs and cats but I love the anarchism, the pure id of the felines. I have been a cat person for a long time, something I have gotten from my father. Our cats would always wait for him to get home, he’d be returning home from work and our cat Daniel would be sitting by the mail-box waiting for him. Mum used to swear that “The cat could hear your father punching the card for the end of his shift!”

I started to write because I wanted to make sense of my world, of trying to understand how outside I felt. I was a gay teenager, a wog who had moved into a suburb that at the time was very much Anglo. Writing and reading allowed me to express darkness and fear and not allow myself to be overwhelmed about it, to survive it.

The Slap has done very well, it has given a financial freedom that I haven’t had before, but I have also had failures and I am glad I have had. I worry that without a sense of failure, of learning how to cope with it, success would have done my head in. I see writing as a vocation, something I had to do.

Fur as fashion stinks. It is brutal and unnecessary and moronic. Once in the city I saw this rich-looking matron in a fur coat and I happened to be standing behind her while chewing gum. I spat it onto her fur coat & she didn’t notice. I was so happy to think of how pissed off she would be when she got home. Then I realised, she’ll probably only buy another one and continue perpetuating the senseless slaughter. Sometimes you do wish you could just slap people.

I see no reason for the testing of cosmetics and household products on animals. It is a barbaric and ugly practice that actually serves no use, anyway. We surely know enough about how household cleansers now! And anyway, how many bloody cleaning products do we need. I think we have enough. The same goes for cosmetics. ”

“I support the ban the sale and distribution of cosmetic products tested on animals. Then, what I’d really like, is that anyone who still sells or distributes such items has to have them tested on themselves.”