Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hero to Villain: A Fur Baby's Fall From Grace

I had planned a completely different post for today but then I had a swift change of heart at about 5:45am this morning.  I was all set to wax on about chops (I think you all dodged a bullet really) but my cat inspired a new, slightly more vitriolic spiel.  Or not so much my cat as what it left it the hallway.

My change of heart went something like this:
5:40am.  Edie begins to cry.  I lie in bed hoping she will just go back to sleep but of course I am well awake.  Why do I always kid myself into thinking I can just sleep through it?!
5:45am.  Resigned to the fact that I am going to have to go in, I roll out of bed and stumble down the hallway towards her room.
5:45am + a few more seconds. The carpet changes underneath my feet.  I don't remember there being a squishy, furry, barely warm patch.

In case my ridiculously elaborate explanation has not yet made it apparent, there was a rodent beneath my feet.  I don't know whether I'm grateful that it was dead and oozy or not.  The alternative is not particularly appealing either.  In any event, I chose to try and move on and deal with my crying child before investigating exactly what it was I stood on and what state it was in.

If you have ever tried to soothe a child in the night, you will know that you are desperately trying to do everything in your power to get the child back to sleep so that you can do the same.  You do things that you would otherwise consider ridiculous or in extreme cases, a little insane.  One of the things that I often find myself doing is inwardly reciting a mantra-like phrase; something like "If you are calm, she will be calm".  I try to use yoga breathing to relax each part of my body, toes to top, and calm my mind.  Mostly this ends with my chin hitting my chest, me waking up with a start, and Edie no more or less "calm" than she was when I started.
Last night, the mantra did not make it past my toes.  All I could think of was how my toes must now be hopping with fleas and other dirty foulness from the unknown rodent I squished with said toes.  I could physically feel them crawling on my foot.  But more disruptive to my meditative calm than the uncleanliness of my situation was my seething RAGE at the cat.

I like to give my readers perspective in the middle of a story it seems, so here it is in today's post.  I love my cat.  I know most pet owners love their animals, but I was a pretty ardent pet lover.  My cat was my fur baby.  I don't want to get too heavy (I was never a crazy cat lady after all) but just to illustrate the depth of emotion I felt for my fur baby I was often heard to say, "I better have a baby before one of my cats dies otherwise I'll be a wreck".  One of my cats died before I had a baby.  I was a wreck.  I almost took bereavement leave from my job but realised that would definitely post me as a crazy cat lady so I toughed it out.
People told me that once my baby was born, the one lovely fur baby I had left would be reduced to a nuisance.  I completely dismissed this idea.  More than that, it actually kinda pissed me off that people would think that.  Your baby is not a nuisance.  Well, not a mere nuisance.

I guess you can see what I'm leading to: those people, who told me my fur baby would fade into the background of my life were right.  I hate to say it, but it's true.  I do still love my cat.  I really do.  He's sitting opposite me now, all curled up and asleep, and he's rather lovely.  It's just that I can't give the time to him like I used to.  Once I would allow him to climb up me and wrap around me and sit on me at odd angles.  Now I just want him to piss off.  And I tell him so frequently.  Usually it's because I'm trying to change a nappy, or breast feed, or sneak quietly out of the bathroom, and a cats arse in my face is NOT conducive to doing any of these things successfully.  And the more I reject him, the more desperate he gets, so the more annoying he becomes.  It's a vicious circle.  I used to laugh at my own mother when she ranted about one of our family cats (we had several over my childhood) being a bloody nuisance who just malted fur all over the furniture and puked up cat biscuits for her to scrape into the bin.  She would rave about what an inconvenience they were, sitting on her sewing, playing with her knitting, and licking the margarine out of the container on the bench.  Then, when we caught her giving the cat a surreptitious pat, or shedding a quiet tear when they finally died, we would smile at how silly she had been as she really did  love the cat, it was all just some strange facade she put up.  Mum, I finally understand you.  The cat IS fucking annoying.  There's no two ways around it.  I do love him, really.  But he's FUCKING ANNOYING!!!

Bertie & I share a moment in happier times...
So last night as I was trying to soothe my child while seething at my lovely Bertie who was simply leaving me a(nother) present (fourth in a week after the live bird under the fridge, the headless rat on the front lawn, and the live bird in the lounge), I thought I would write about it.  For two reasons; firstly, to vent about the grossness of standing on a rat; secondly, to purge my guilt about swearing at a poor animal who just wants my love.  And then it occurred to me I should do it for a third reason.  I want this blog to be positive.  I don't want to bitch about life.  I'm pretty good at it, I don't need more practice.  I needed to write about this so I can remind myself how lovely my Bertie has been since Edie was born.

Everyday, Albert is squealed at, bitten, slobbered on, grabbed, pinched, patted (we are beginning to get that), and occasionally, sat upon.  And that's just Phil (Oh what mirth!  I of course mean by Edie).  He has his biscuits intentionally spread across the kitchen with gay abandon.  His mummy yells at him and he's not sure why.  The only way he can get love from mum or dad is to endure the aforementioned squealing, slobbering etc.  Yet he sticks around.  More than that, he seems to seek out the affections of Edie from time to time.  And. She. Loves. Him.  She is absolutely head over heels, obsessed with Bertie.  When we can't get Edie to eat her dinner we just say, "Where's Bertie?" and she starts to look all around her and opens her mouth for a spoonful in the hope that it will result in the appearance of Albert (a bit mean I know.  Told you I was a Top Mum).  I think Bertie would easily be the most "kissed" thing in the house if he stood still for long enough - not as good as it sounds as Edie's kisses involve open-mouth slobbering, sometimes followed by a bite.  That little girl thinks her cat is the bees knees.  So while life for Bert is a wee bit tough at the moment, I'm hoping that his patience will come to repay him in spades.  I might not have time for the cat's arse in my face anymore, but Edie will take any part he's willing to offer.

You can't be mad at that for too long


  1. So I just asked Charlotte, "did you wash your foot?", "no" she said, "I just got back into bed!". My wife = so hot right now!

    1. RAT COOTIES IN OUR BED! Can you feel the crawling now too, Phil??

  2. oh that's FOUL, ugh. And I read this RIGHT after having picked a spider off my bare shoulder whose bum was the size of my thumb. Bad day for creepy things.

  3. Lady! Enjoyed reading that!

  4. ewww! hahaha im loving this blog so much Charlotte. only thing is the font which is weird - i think you changed it in between my reading this and commenting. so never mind. laughing my ass off!

  5. Ah cats . . . I totally hear ya girl! Brilliant blog.

  6. Poor Frankie Puss's life is about to change dramatically!

    1. Bert BOLTED when Edie first cried. But it's remarkable what they can tolerate...

  7. I think charlie's first words were "SHUT UP CHEWIE"...

  8. It's all so true! I never would've believed it a year ago. Now Rita is so starved for affection she will take absolutely anything she can get from Mae. Poor fur babies :(