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All Days Are Nights to See Till I See Thee

May 18, 2010

It’s easy to take for granted the presence of another. Sometimes you potter along, living your life and thinking that things will stay the same indefinitely, when suddenly that presence is removed from your life and you are left utterly bereft. Only unfillable space is left, mocking you with its emptiness even as you reach into thin air hoping to grasp at something, anything that may have been left behind.

In my case that space has been left by the absence of Richard, my mangy, antisocial and possibly homicidal cat. Why I would even miss him may be a mystery to most and in truth I can’t exactly explain it. I just got used to having him around I suppose. When I get home from work at the lab now there is generally very little in the way of tidying to do, which should seem like a blessing but in truth tends to leave me at a bit of a loose end. I keep hoping that I will come home to find the shredded remains of his Rizla packets on the couch, or the coffee table littered with his crushed cans of Tennants Super. Then I would know he had returned to me. However twisted and perverse our relationship might be, at least it would confirm that connection between us that I have searched for in vain since bringing the sullen little fellow home all those months ago.

I’m not even sure he drinks, I have a feeling he just empties them, then leaves  them for me to clear up.

It had, of course, occurred to me that Richard’s absence was just the latest in a long line of torments which he has chosen to bestow upon me. In the last few days there has been a further development, though I don’t know if it confirms this suspicion or not. I received the below postcard from him, make of it what you will.

Did you steal all daddy’s money and go on holiday? Did you? Whooose a naughty kitty den?

I know he can write if he wants to, he’s been sending threatening emails to Yvette Fielding in my name for months 

I would like to think that he is just letting me know that he is alright, though I feel that sort of consideration on his part would be a little out of character. He obviously realises that I must have discovered his duplicity in faking his own kidnapping by now, otherwise he wouldn’t have sent it. So is he sticking two claws up at me or is he trying to rebuild bridges?

I’ve seriously been considering heading to Costa Rica to track him down myself, though how you would begin trying to find a stray cat in Costa Rica is anyone’s guess. I imagine local law enforcement officers wouldn’t be that impressed if they asked me where I last saw my cat and I answered, “Kent”. I also have a sneaking suspicion that if I did go out there I would end up in some sort of dangerous game of cat and mouse with Richard and I don’t want to be the mouse.

I’ve realised that I will send myself crazy trying to second guess his intentions, or read any hidden meaning behind what common sense should tell me is the truth. Sometimes you just have to accept that someone has moved on and learn to live with it.


Come Thou No More For Ransom Pt 1

April 4, 2010

I know I’ve said this before, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that owning a cat is inexpensive. With what I’ve spent on Richard so far I could have brought up two children and sent them off to university. It probably would have been a lot more rewarding too.

I haven’t updated for a couple of weeks now because my life has been in complete turmoil. Richard didn’t come home and after the fourth day I was starting to get decidedly worried. You would think I would be relieved, after all the complaining I do about him, but it seems I have gotten used to having him around. I began to find myself staring forlornly at his radiator cat bed, his claw marks on the TV remote and his framed collection of butterfly knives.

Then, on the fifth day this arrived in the post.

They even made him put his little paw marks on it, awww

As you can imagine, I was in a state of sheer panic. Who could have taken Richard (they were braver men than I) and what could they possibly want? Then it hit me. Auntie Josie. Only last week I had received a substantial inheritance of over £25000 after the death of my mother’s sister. Though we weren’t exactly close it turns out that I was her only living relative and, ironically enough, she’d always said that she was “damned if I’m going to leave it to some bloody cat charity”. How they knew about the money was beyond me but I imagine professional criminals have all kinds of ways of accessing that kind of information.

That night I didn’t sleep a wink. I thought about going to the police, but how seriously would they take a cat-napping anyway? Was it possible the kidnappers were bluffing? What might they do to Richard if I disobeyed their instructions? How did I even know he was still alive and well? Oh the poor, sweet kitten, how unfair I had been to be so critical. How wrong to imagine that his little acts of rebellion could be ignored instead of recognising them as the cries for help that they truly were. How wrong to believe that he was capable of looking after himself, when in truth he was small and vulnerable and now in mortal danger due to my callous disregard.

The next morning I received a phone call, though the voice on the other end of the phone sounded like one of those robotic voices from a computer program. For a disconcerting moment I was convinced that I was being held to ransom by Stephen Hawking. It was disappointing because I had my dictaphone at the earpiece of my phone in the hope that the police might later use the voice to identify the villainous scoundrels. Here is what they had to say for themselves.
Ransom recording by Richard and Me

I didn’t know what to do, I’ve never been in a situation like this before. Well, come to think of it there had been that incident with Dr Proteus at the lab a few weeks ago, (which he inexplicably blamed me for by the way!) but that was just protesters and he escaped with only a hairline fracture and some minor rope burns. This seemed like it could be a matter of life or death for Richard if I made the wrong decision.

I decided to follow their instructions which, in case you had any difficulty understanding, were basically to leave twenty thousand pounds in a bin behind the local fishmongers. I had no choice but to comply, but I wasn’t going to go unprepared. After half an hour of rummaging through Richard’s bedroom I found what I was looking for. His Beretta. I wouldn’t take any ammunition, but at least I could give them a scare if it came to some sort of confrontation.

I visited the cash point before remembering that I only had a £250 daily limit on withdrawals, so I went into the bank. I daren’t ask for used notes as I thought this would raise questions in an already conspicuous situation. I decided that if any of the notes looked new I would go and get them changed in a few shops. Unless they were all new, in which case I might be walking around shops all day. As luck would have it they all appeared to be old anyway.

Now I was prepared for the night ahead, and what a night it would turn out to be.

…continues next week

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.