Archive for February 2010

When devils will the blackest sins put on

February 26, 2010

It never rains but it pours.

Leaving the lab yesterday I had to run an unusually violent gauntlet of extreme animal rights activists just to get to my car. Fortunately, I shouted my boss, Dr Proteus and he was able to distract the crowd while I made my getaway. Relieved that no one had been hurt I made my way home, dreaming of a warm cup of Horlicks and my DVD of ‘Doc Martin’ Series 2.

I love his management technique, I'm learning so much from him.

Clearly I’m going to have to get used to the fact that such creature comforts are a thing of the past. The house was like a landfill when I arrived home and, as Richard wasn’t there, I set about tidying the place up.

Finally, when the place was beginning to seem a bit more livable, I settled down to an evening enjoying the chameleon like acting of Mr Martin Clunes and the superior television writing that I have come to expect from ITV. I had no idea where Richard was and I was avoiding thinking about what he may be up to. For the time being I was happy just to enjoy the peace and quiet. As usual it was short lived.

I fell asleep in the armchair and drifted into a disquieting dream in which Richard was harvesting my organs during the night and selling them to animal rights activists to make environmentally friendly loudhailers. One particularly spotty protester was making a loud horn sound with my pancreas and chanting “DIGEST-IVE AND ENDO-CRINE/PASSING EN-ZYMES TO THE IN-TES-TINE!” . I awoke to find Richard blasting my face with one of those aerosol emergency horns, which I gather he had picked up especially for the purpose.

Very important

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to be his way of telling me he wants food from now on.

I don’t know why he can’t just get his food for himself. Perhaps I’m being harsh here, and I would appreciate any other cat owners putting me straight, but this strikes me as pure laziness on his part. He’s already shown that he can operate computers, ATM’s and automobiles quite expertly, so surely dialing for a pizza should not be beyond him. He shuns the cupboard full of Whiskers and assorted cat snacks that I have sitting in the kitchen.

It was only when he turned the lights on to hunt around peevishly for the pizza menu that I realised what it was that was different about him. Where once Richard’s coat had been an indefinable selection of muddy browns, he was now jet black from head to toe. I tried to quiz him on the reasons for his transformation but he responded by simply pointing out the ‘Mighty Meaty’ from the menu, tramping truculently toward the spare bedroom and slamming the door. Moments later I heard ‘Malice Through the Looking Glass’ by Cradle of Filth issuing from within and realised for the first time that he had moved my stereo in there. This is especially annoying as I like to listen to William Shatner’s version of ‘Common People’ as I drift off to sleep each night.

I think we all know who is musically superior here

I’ve looked through all the guides to raising a cat that I can find but I can’t find a single reference to what you should do if your cat becomes a Goth. He’s sullen enough as it is.

Hopefully this is just a phase and he will start acting more like a normal cat soon. I thought owning a cat was supposed to be therapeutic but it’s proving more stressful than my sightseeing tour of Burma last year. Thank you very much Thomas Cook.

Perhaps I will buy him lots of new kitty accessories to cheer him up and make him feel a bit more cat-like.

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He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf.

February 20, 2010

I read recently that domesticated companion animals, in particular cats and dogs, see themselves to some extent as human. This, said the article, is why you will often find young kittens and puppies trying to mimic your actions in unusual ways, such as trying to drink out of glasses, open doors or exercise to your Davina McCall DVD.

With this in mind, I was looking forward to the time when myself and Richard would start to go through this process of mimicry. I felt that if Richard started to copy actions that he had seen me perform, it would be the first sign of the bonding and acceptance that I have been searching for in vain ever since I brought him home. As they say, be careful what you wish for.

Sure enough, over the last day or two Richard has begun to exhibit some signs of imitation. I had expected it to be things like meowing instead of talking, wanting to sleep in a bed, learning how to use the front door bell, that sort thing. I certainly didn’t expect that he would watch me using my cash card and commit the number to memory. Neither did I expect that he would so quickly master the use of the internet, or for that matter hill starts and double declutching.

The entire house now stinks of a mixture of catnip and marijuana. I can’t move for piles of pizza and kebab boxes, fish and chip papers and bongs. He tends to ignore me when I try to tell him off and one of his ‘friends’ (though I suspect the shady looking and bizarrely named ‘Volvo’ is actually his dealer) has at times become quite threatening and often even bullied me into keeping tea and crisps in a constant production line to their drug slackened mouths, as they play endless games of Pro Evolution Soccer on an Xbox 360 that I seem to have purchased whether I like it or not.

I was told when I first brought Richard home that cats can be expensive to look after but I had no idea it would be this extreme. How do people manage? I don’t get paid for another 3 weeks, I’ve only got £8.73 in my account and I haven’t done my monthly big shop yet. I’ve been eating Smash dried mash and ketchup for the last three days, but I’ve just looked in the kitchen and realised that Richard and Volvo have used the last of the ketchup

Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs

February 16, 2010

Remember I said that when I first picked him up, Richard had a vague smell that I couldn’t quite put my finger on?

Benson and Hedges.

Paragon of Animals

February 16, 2010

I had hoped that I would be beginning to bond with my new cat, Richard, by now. It doesn’t seem to be happening. Perhaps we just have contrary dispositions.

You may recall that I mentioned his dislike of all the cat accessories that I had bought with the name ‘Snowy’ on. Well, in deference to his obvious dislike for these items I painstakingly changed the name to Richard on everything with a Sharpie marker pen. I even sewed a piece of material over the word ‘Snowy’ on his little cat bed and put a print out of ‘Richard’ on a piece of card above it, though admittedly this fell down in the night causing him to scream and whine for over an hour, even after I had removed it. I knew when I looked in his eyes that something was fermenting in that malevolent brain.

This morning when I woke up I realised that Richard must have had quite a busy night. He had pinned a piece of material over the prize artwork hanging above my bed (viewable here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Box-Canvas-Print-Pollard-MirrorPrintStore/dp/B001N6LT0A/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kh_5 ) and written on it, in surprisingly precise script, the word ‘Wanker’.

Stepping into the kitchen I discovered that he had scrawled the word ‘Tossrocket’ on my favourite chair in permanent marker and smeared the words ‘Dick Face’ in what I can only hope is chocolate, on my box of Fruit and Fibre.

I left him watching Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams on BBC Breakfast and set off for work at the lab. As I stepped outside I saw that all of his ‘Snowy’ accessories had been piled on top of the wheely bins and discovered the words ‘Testicle Brain’ scrawled across the back seat of my Fiat Pinto.

Well, never let it be said that I can’t take a hint. I have just bought a whole job lot of plain accessories in the hope that this will placate him. I wonder if all cats are this difficult? I have a nasty feeling about what I might arrive home to find tonight.

Looking for Richard

February 15, 2010

So today I went and picked up my new kitten.

When I arrived at the sanctuary I was introduced to a number of cats that the ‘Rehomer’ thought would be suitable, but I didn’t really feel like I connected with any of them. Eventually I was shown to a pen with two kittens, one the cutest little snow white fellow curled up timidly in the corner, and the other a slightly scruffy looking creature with an evil look in his eye and a vague aroma that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  Looking out from behind bars with murder in his eyes, the mangy little devil reminded me of my sister, so  I immediately pointed ‘Snowy’ out to the Rehomer, who seemed surprised but directed me back to her office nonetheless.

Well, I won’t bore you with the details of filling out forms but as you can imagine I was looking forward with great excitement to the day I would be able to pick up my cute new companion. Therefore I was more than a little surprised when I was presented with his mangy, malevolent co-habiter. It turns out that, through some sort of administrative error, Snowy had been rehomed with the wrong family while I had been left with the other sorry specimen.

As always I decided to make the best of it, so I took the little chap home and tried to make him as welcome as possible. Unfortunately all the accessories that I have bought over the last week have the name ‘Snowy’ on them and I can’t really call him that. I’ve never seen a colour less like snow than his fur, unless it was snow that had fallen on a cow field and then been driven over several times by a tank.

As I said, he reminded me of my sister Judith, so I decided to call him Richard. Somehow it suited him. I’ve always distrusted Richards. Except Cliff Richard, but that’s his surname so that’s alright.

Richard seems quite distrustful of me too, though I’m hoping this is just an initial phase that we will pass through, to find a future of mutually fulfilling  companionship together.

He also appears to be snubbing all the ‘Snowy’ cat accessories that I have bought. If I didn’t know better I would say that he senses the meaning of the words somehow, maybe by some curious feline intuition. I wonder if it would help if I covered up the words or replaced them with his name? I think I’ll give that a try and let you know how I get on.