They say there are are a lot of different kinds of people in this world. You’ve got your movers, your shakers, your couch potatoes. Douches, heroes, thinkers, doers, readers, writers, leavers, cutters, people who like the taste of tinfoil, rappers, mappers, toe-tappers and, of course, the universally reviled hipsters.
But when it comes down to it, there are really only two types of people.
People who adopt stray cats, and people who don’t.
Now, if you know the real me, you’ll know that recently I’ve become one of the former. Here’s a picture of her. Her name’s Pipe.
|Raggedy, isn't she?|
She’s tiny, probably about a year old or so, and has been either mistreated, or been feral for quite a while as she has the attitude of a grumpy wood-chipper with a hair trigger. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
She latched onto my kids, specifically my son, on their way home from school about a month ago. She was scrawny and pathetic, her coat moved of its own accord due to sheer volume of fleas and she didn’t really have the strength to do proper cat stuff like jumping or meowing loudly.
My daughter, because she’s a realist, told him that they wouldn’t be able keep the cat, because we had a cat and a dog already and also because ‘Mum & Dad are both heartless ogres.’ (and she’s right, I actually spend a lot of my time hiding behind boulders up on the moors with a stone hammer, feasting on the bone marrow of unsuspecting ramblers and the mountain rescue teams sent to find them. It’s where we met, my wife and I. I looked at the sunlight bouncing off her knotted unibrow across a pile of sucked-dry corpses clothed only in that nice, brightly coloured, fabric that’s waterproof, but totally wicks your sweat away and thought ‘Dyamn Beeyatch! You fine!’)
He put down the kitten and started to cry, which seemingly set the kitten off and she panicked and allowed it to follow them home, across several dual-carriageways, over a level-crossing and through a ford, twice… I should probably note that this wasn’t their normal way home; I think she was trying to dissuade it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
The kitten took up residence in the north formal shrubbery, between the real tennis courts and the helipad, for a day or so until we could purchase enough chemicals, pills and pastes to ensure that it didn’t pass on any dreaded lurgeys to anyone else. And after a good couple of hours of combing, the mehsahib had dislodged, quite literally, a bin-liner full of fleas (which is now roving around the garden of its own accord, ready to chase any of us that try to escape by running away down our private beach) The worming cycle was completed, causing one unsuspecting guest to exclaim ‘Why have you fed your new cat spaghet… Oh, never mind!’ and be violently sick in my prize hydrangeas.
But not to worry, because everything’s fine now. She’s putting weight on, OK – that’s mainly because she won’t let anyone else in the house eat, including us. She will, and this is no word of a lie, put both her front paws on your dinner-plate and have it away with your jumbo battered-sausage before you can say, ‘You little bleeder! I’ll gut you like a fish!’
She does love ‘cuddles’ though, and will sit there and let you happily stroke her until you touch that quarter-inch square of skin that causes all four of her legs to independently swivel around and latch onto your wrist whilst she bites chunks out of the fleshy party of your thumb. (Location of this small patch of fur changes hourly, some might even say very much more often)
She’s also getting used to Morty, our occularly challenged Staffy… He can now come nearer than three feet to her before she devolves into a velociraptor and tries to tear out his eyes, which would of course, leave him much more challenged than usual.
Our other cat, Pop, can take her or leave her. I mean, they growl, and hiss, and takes swipes at each other, but that’s pretty much standard cat behaviour isn’t it… There’s not actually been blood.
Well, there’s been blood, obviously, it’s mostly dog-blood though. And it’s not all bad, because he now has a permanent noughts and crosses board on his muzzle that he’ll happily let you use for a biscuit.
What I’m trying to say is, erm… Well, I’m not hugely sure what I’m trying to say… If you could make something up about stray animals and being able to find enough excess affection for something that might well actually be the death of you by sitting at the top of the stairs silently in the dark, feel free to attribute it to me and imagine that it’s today’s message, OK?