The cat went miss­ing again, but re­turned to leave a nasty present

The Argus - - OPINION -

Cats, like sons, are the most un­grate­ful of crea­tures. They ex­pect ev­ery­thing off you, they pretty much do damn all around the house and ba­si­cally cost you money to feed them with­out you get­ting very much back.

And while the childer are bet­ter be­haved these days, the rot­ten auld cat that the Hus­band took in two years ago de­cided to go miss­ing for three days over the week­end, send­ing the Wee Lad and the Hus­band into a tail­spin on de­spair.

The mangy baste was ab­sent from the house on Satur­day. I per­son­ally didn’t see him go any- where, but I think he may have left the prop­erty when the Hus­band went to work that morn­ing/ Do you think I no­ticed? Not a bit of it. The Hus­band never asked about his auld pal when he re­turned, he barely asked about the childer, be­fore he headed out for his weekly catch-up with his mates. It wasn’t un­til Sun­day morn­ing as I was clean­ing the floor that I re­alised that the cat, who, by the way has got no name be­cause, as I keep telling my­self, he’s not stay­ing, was miss­ing as his bowl of food was turn­ing nasty.

He had been away be­fore, but the longer I thought about it, the more I re­alised that he hadn’t been an­noy­ing me all of Satur­day and I prob­a­bly didn’t see him on Fri­day ei­ther.

When the Hus­band roused him­self on Sun­day morn­ing (nearer the af­ter­noon) I in­formed him of the sta­tus of the cat - miss­ing. Se­cretly, I hoped that sta­tus was ‘miss­ing, pre­sumed dead’, but I didn’t re­lay that to the Hus­band, who, for some rea­son, is fond of the smelly beaten-down auld yolk (yes, I hear the laughs - it’s not just the cat!).

He was per­plexed and, yes, a bit sad. I wasn’t. I was al­ready think­ing about who I could give away the cat food and bowls to and how nice it would be to get a nice pet, like a cute kit­ten, for the kids in­stead. The Wee Lad came in and asked what was wrong with his dad. And when he found out that the cat, to whom he pays scant at­ten­tion, had gone miss­ing, he flung him­self whole­heart­edly into his usual histron­ics, wail­ing a lot with no tears and won­der­ing what he was go­ing to do.

And in an ef­fort to get the kitchen cleared up, I told the Wee Lad to head off out­side and ‘ find the cat’. He brought a plas­tic toy gun and put it down his trousers, as well as lay­er­ing him­self up with com­bat gear to wit a bob­ble hat, a car­toon-printed scarf and a pair of black gloves. It was less the hunt for the miss­ing black cat, more the Hunt for Red Oc­to­ber.

He looked in all the places he could think of - the hedges, the fence next door, be­hind the boiler house, un­der the car. He even got into the field next door to root about. Not a sign of the cat and ev­ery few min­utes, the Wee Lad would ap­pear at the glass door, his bot­tom lip stick­ing out and again, those puppy eyes, with no tears. Need­less to say, he soon gave up as it was get­ting too cold, and re­turned to his com­puter game none the sad­der for his fruit­less search.

In ad­di­tion, I sent the Hus­band out to the shed to see if the cat had been locked in there, as had hap­pened be­fore. No luck there ei­ther and I went to bed on Sun­day evening think­ing: ‘I must re­mem­ber to put those tins of cat food in a plas­tic bag’.

On Mon­day, I texted the Hus­band to see if there was any sign of the cat, and the re­ply was no. ‘ Ah well, I hope he’s happy where he is and where’s that bag for the bowls and food?’ I was won­der­ing aloud on Mon­day evening when, out of the cor­ner of my eye, the cat’s un­set­tling green eyes were peer­ing in at me through the kitchen win­dow.

The Hus­band was most pleased, and wasted no time in get­ting the baste fed and set­tled, at full stretch, on the mat in front of the fire. I’m never lucky, I thought as I went to bed. I knew that to be true when I woke on Tues­day and the smell of the skit­tery cat poo met me in the hall. The un­grate­ful crea­ture was so pleased to be back he had left me a present.

anne camp­bell

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.