Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Unusually for a modern day household, the Gappy residence is a pet free zone. There are no animals at all - not one. Not even a single forgetful little goldfish. The reasons for this are threefold:
1) I don't actually like animals very much. I quite like dogs but that's about it. I don't like anything with a beak. I don't like anything too large (so that's horses and cattle out of the question) and anything even remotely resembling a rodent is a complete and utter no no. The very thought is enough to make me shudder.
2) I have an aversion to faeces. It doesn't matter how often and how convincingly my children look up at me with big soulful eyes and insist that they would look after it if only we could just please please pleeeease get a pet, I know that it would be me who ended up having to deal with said pets shit. Ugh. I have enough responsibilities in my life thank you very much. Cleaning up animal shit is not going to become one of them.
3) Anything plant-like that I have ever owned has been stone dead within three months of coming into contact with me. Seriously, I've so far managed to kill a grand total of four Spider plants and I hear that they're supposed to be practically immortal. I'm secretly worried that if we did get a cute little puppy or some such creature, that it would take one look at me - keel over - and that my children would be left traumatised for ever more. "It was such an adorable little puppy" I imagine them sobbing to their therapists... "And she killed it with her mind..."
I comfort myself with the knowledge that between them, my neighbours appear to have an entire colony of cats, and so my poor deprived children are able to vicariously enjoy all the more palatable aspects of pet ownership through their friends. Cats are everywhere on our street. Everywhere. Sunning themselves on the garden wall, sauntering nonchalantly up the road, tripping you up when you're attempting to lug ten tons of shopping in from the car. They're everywhere I tell you.
They all seem to come out en masse around dusk. One can sense a change in the mood, their collective feline presence becoming sinister, purposeful. They congregate - these glassy eyed feral creatures - slinking and yowling, in my back garden, looking for all the world like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock film. 'Why?' I hear you ask.... Because my back garden has been officially designated the communal cat latrine of course. Why go for a boring poo on your own when you could meet up with all your mates and make an evening of it. Oh yes, if you're a cat and you need to go, Gappys garden is the place to be. Pass it on.
They have even started doing it in broad daylight. I often look up from the sink whilst doing the dishes only to see that an individual cat has sneaked into my garden and is now hovering suspiciously over a patch of grass. I will bang on the window and give it my fiercest look, only to have it stare back in an unconcerned yet vaguely put out manner, as if to say: "Please. Do you mind? Only some of us are trying to have a poo here...." But what really takes the biscuit is that some of the braver ones will then hop up, post poo, onto my window sill, arching their backs and rubbing their ears against the glass, looking at me and meowing contentedly. "Ah that's better, they seem to say. You know I do rather like your garden.." Call me paranoid, but I know when I'm being mocked.
One day I will lose the plot, get dressed up in over sized army fatigues, smear my face with black and green face paint and gather together my sons super-soakers. I will fill them all up and sit and wait silently on my back door step for the sun to go down, and then when I see the cats begin to slink in over the fence I shall laugh maniacally while I drench everything that moves.
Bwahahahaha, take that Tiddles! Litter tray isn't looking quite so dull now is it?