With a David Attenborough accent and slow motion camera we focus on the subject of a Cape Town Animal (CTA). The narrator asks, what’s the nature of the CTA? What’s more essential to this animal than avoiding traffic fine payments or Instagramming artisanal donuts?

I felt terrible. I confirm an invite to a friend’s birthday. He Whatsapped me a week before the event but should have known that the typical CTA wants to keep options open. Don’t commit to drinks or a party. Don’t commit to a weekend away. “Yah, it sounds like a plan” means it depends on what other options come up. We’ll confirm last minute. Inviting somebody to a braai or a dinner is just like saying “How are you?”. A polite obligation.

This CTA behavior is called Flaking. The degree of guilt from Flaking is directly proportional to the degree you know the friend. Flaking is contagious. First symptoms are seen within months of living in Cape Town.

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