Saturday, April 6, 2013

Catastrophy Part 2 of A Cat's Tale

 My nose led me to a table top in the middle of the kitchen . Among the bottles of  jam and wine and boxes of biscuits and cereals  on it, was a pair of kippers. In my previous existence the idea of jumping on to a table would never have occurred to me. I knew my place. And my place had been instilled in me from kitten-hood . But here amid the mess in which these serial destroyers of order managed to live,  my inhibitions fell away. In minute I was picking with my paws at the sweet and delicate flesh and working it away from the bones.

 Reader, dear reader, I have never enjoyed a meal like that, and I doubt if I ever will again. Because of the bones it took time, but every minute was exquisite. Even now I dream of that smokey, oily flavour, lick my lips, and try not to wake up. All I needed now was a drink. Beer. I had never tasted the stuff. I disliked  it as much as I  had loved  the kippers. But there was a glass full of it which I managed to tip over. Despite its bitterness it was a relief to quench my thirst and I lapped up every drop.

After such a meal two things were foremost in my mind. One was sleep and the other, an urge, which in common with human beings I am reluctant to describe in detail. Certain pressures let us say had to be relieved. But how and where? In the old days it was easy. A cat flap had been built into the back door, which allowed me into the garden. I never, at least not as far back as I could remember, crapped in  our own garden. It was my territory and sacrosanct. As to the neighbouring  gardens. I never gave much thought to their purpose. They were  pleasant spaces which I took it for granted were intended for my use. There I  would do my business where the neighbours had conveniently turned the soil in preparation. What to do now? I wandered into the next room where a computer sat in solitary splendour on a desk. It was  the only place I had so far encountered where I sensed tidiness. On the floor beside the desk was a  neat pile of manuscripts.  On the sheet on  top of the pile I read : Page 1  Quantitative Easing: A Necessity? Whatever this was originally intended to mean (something to do with economics) it contained one clear and relevant direction for me, and  it was with  intense relief that I crouched over the paper and supplied an answer to the question.

Now for some sleep. I left the room where I had left my deposit and as quickly as possible. Stairs are for climbing and I glided up the staircase  in front of me, vaguely aware of the continued conversation between Cheetah and Kangaroo in the room where I had left them. At the top of the stairs I encountered the place which I have always thought of as "the room of the falling waters". I didn't like the disinfectant smell too much but I was driven to explore it. And what was this? A basket full of  what seemed to be soft material, cosy and comfortable. Just what I wanted after my series if ordeals.  I jumped in and realised immediately that I had made a mistake. In the first place the basket toppled over jamming itself against the wall and trapping me inside. In the second I found that  the rags had the revolting  human smell of clothes intended for washing. I was trapped in Cheetah and Kangaroo's laundry basket.

One quality -  or perhaps you will think it a fault - which I possess is never to make the pathetic moaning noise that cats are supposed to make and which is usually transcribed as "miaow".  So I kept quiet. I gathered my thoughts, fuzzy as they were as a result of my unaccustomed intake of beer. One  good thing was that  thanks to the gaps in the walls of the wicker basket, I could breathe. Another was that I had somewhere that seemed safe and comfortable to sleep.

No sooner had I closed my eyes than I heard  the voices of Cheetah and Kangaroo ranging the house. What were they saying? It took me a minute or two to catch the words  repeated over and over again.  Then I got it. "Catastrophe ... Catastrophe..." Oh God, I thought:  Is the  house on fire? Have we been burgled?  Not a sound emerged from my throat. Then I got it.  They were calling me, and calling me by a new name which they had bestowed on me. And what a name! Bloody hell, I thought. I have always despised cats with names based on puns on the word "cat". And now this was to be my fate. Henceforth I was going to be called Catastrophe. Cats don't sigh. They make a noise like a human fart. And that, reader, is what I did before sinking into a troubled sleep.
                                            End of part 2