I have inherited a cat. I never wanted a cat. I have had an empty fish tank sitting in my hall for two years because although I love tropical fish and kept them for years, since we moved into our last flat I seem to be the kiss of death to them. I cannot deal with the guilt. Also I am very lazy. There are 101 things I would rather be doing at any given time than standing elbow deep in fish poop cleaning a filter. Yeah, I know – amazing! Also, due to the fact that I have spent the last two years carefully training my neighbours to leave me the hell alone, keeping all interaction to brief pleasantries when we happen to be taking the bins out at the same time, I have no one to feed said fish when we go away. But despite all this, I can’t bring myself to get rid of the tank because deep down I still harbour a longing for it to be full of scrummy, wriggly little critters with brightly coloured tails and lush plant life.
So I find myself slightly stunned that I have ended up with a cat. A bloody second hand cat. I have known this cat since it was the family cat, but now it is my cat. That means it looks to me for all its feeding, watering, grooming, lavatorial, and entertainment needs. I can barely do all that shit for myself! It follows me around the house, even when I go for a wee. It is waiting for me when I get up in the morning and when I get in from work at night. It stares at me expectantly all the time I am home, its yellow eyes boring into my very soul. It meows at me. It headbutts me. It trys to beat me up the stairs and trips me up, getting itself toe punted in the process. What does it want from me!?
At this point I should mention that Mr. Pinkwood is highly allergic to cats. He is currently under referral to the local hospital to see about getting allergy shots. He is munching his way through the SE London reserves of antihistamines. He is wheezing, itching and generally miserable. Poor, long suffering bastard. It reminds me of this:
So aside from the neediness, the litter tray cleaning, the expense, mild anaphylaxis, the morbid fear that it might get ill or run over while in your care and the need to facilitate a relationship with ones neighbours with a view to asking them to feed the damn thing so you can leave the house for more than a day at a time – what is the downside to owning a cat you might ask? Well, there’s the increased need for housework. Hoovering. And life is just too short for hoovering. And there’s the snags and pulls in everything I own from clothes to upholstery to carpets. Nothing is sacred. I am slowly coming to realise I cannot ever expect to have nice things EVER again. Only shredded, tattered, hairy things.
Bloody second hand cat. It’s a good job I love it.