Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Cats...

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?



  1. Yes, yes, yes, I can sooooo relate to this - I am fighting a permanent battle with the moggy from next door, plus one or two other less regular visitors. I do bow down to the superior cheek of your neighbourhood cats though. Windowsill? Seriously? Wow. At least next door's pest has the grace to shoot off back over the fence when it sees me coming.

    My dad loves to sneak up on them and throw a glass of water, so I definitely think you need to give the super-soakers a go!

  2. This made me laugh something fearsome (sorry, that might be a completely American saying). I have a cat but do feel sorry for her, she gets very little attention from the adults and the kids just chase her and squeal in her face when she's napping. I feel bad that she hangs out in my neighbour's garden so much but they insist they don't mind, I've talked to them about it many times and they keep telling me not to worry. I think they secretly like having a cat around but not being the ones to pay vet bills, buy food and litter, etc.. I think it's a great bargain because then I don't feel so bad that our kitty doesn't get much (kind, calm) attention here.

    I'm also with you on the killing of plants, I just admitted defeat with my orchid after two years. I just kept forgetting to water it. I'm proud it lasted that long though!

  3. I am with you on all of this! We're lucky to have close friends with dogs, cats and chickens, so the kids still get some animal contact. If we ever stop moving, I might eventually give in to an outside dog (definitely not an inside one).

    Much of our time and energy and money this year has gone into fencing our yard to keep the stray (gangs of) dogs out. But we now have five generations of kittens and cats that feel that our backyard is home, and hissing at them is completely ineffective, though I haven't yet given up trying.

    Great post!

  4. You made it into a humorous situation in this post, but I wouldn't like all those cats using my back yard or my front yard either for their litter box. They need to go poo in their own yards. I like the visual here of you painted face of camouflage sprawled out on your belly with the water rifles at the ready. Yeah. You go, girl.

  5. Haven't your kids heard of Tamigotchi? Personally I loathe them but apparently Tamigotchi faeces is non existent.

  6. Poor you! It must be awful especially as you are not a fan of cats to begin with! I think you can buy a plant for the garden that deters them from visiting. something like Cat Nip (don't take my word as gospel!)Good luck!

  7. The line about your killing the puppy with your mind made me laugh out loud - hilarious!

    You should be glad you don't live in my house. We have two dogs, a 7-legged spider called Alfonse, a dormouse in residence in our porch, a steady stream of slugs that slime their way through the gap in our kitchen door and slither over the dogs food bowls and colony of fucking squirrels in our loft...Think I might come and live at Gappy's...sounds so much more hygenic...

  8. That's so funny. Well, not funny when it's happening to you. It used to drive me bonkers too (we don't have a garden anymore). I was shooing them off all the time - got quite demented about it. We're currently thinking about getting a cat but not really fair without a garden I don't think and they do live an awfully long time don't they? I got two once with an old flatmate - like in 1987 - and when we didn't live together anymore it was all who was going to have the cats. He took them to Greece with him in the end to live (they even got little passports)and they've only just died! Sorry - that sounds tremendously callous (sorry cat fans) but it's quite a big commitment. Likewise dogs. Hamsters and fish - not so big a commitment.

  9. Oh poor you ! I am not a great animal fan and whenever people ask me to justify my prejudice it boils down to the fact they they don't know how to use toilets. My son asked for a goldfish when he started school, I gave in thinking it would last a couple of weeks, damn thing is sill in good health....your poor garden xx

  10. LOL at the way you told the story.

    I have been told that having someone pee around the garden perimeter will deter the cats. Maybe some drunk friends?