As our regular reader may know, we have taken possession of a black and white, male kitten. I have had cats (as befits a witch of my calibre) since I was knee-high to a grasshopper but unfortunately, over the last 20-odd years, haven't had much luck with them.
'Tom #1' snuffed it of a heart attack just shy of his first birthday, so along came 'Lucky', a rescue cat whose fate wasn't that lucky if you care to read the link. Lucky was the last cat I owned at my parents' house and upon moving in with the ex, I obtained 'Scroff', short for Scrofulous, meaning TB-ridden. She was lovely. She got knocked down by a car within eight months of us owning her. 'Poirot' came along to replace her and we later had to donate him to the mother-in-law upon our expatriation to Oman. 'Sid' (short for Sidr, which was the Garden Court upon which we lived - and I thought 'she' was a 'he') adopted us from a bin when we lived in Muscat. She was a scraggy stray who wobbled from the bin into our house, ate my sausages and didn't leave. She was then taken on by another family upon my departure. Repatriation brought 'Tom #2' who now resides with the ex and is the size of a small pouffe upon which you can rest your weary feet; 'Holly', in my own house, was donated to a friend whose daughter longed for a pet and since I was living alone and out at work 12 hours each day it was deemed kinder; then 'Ollie' and 'Norman' have been here and since done a runner, having found that living on the other side of the main road, where there are many foxy Tabbies is infinitely preferable to living on this side of the road where there is little but Carling Black Label cans, smelly old dogs and too many curious children for their liking.
After a short gap and a resolution NEVER to get another cat, I got all starry-eyed for a kitten one afternoon in the local hostelry having read the Mid-Cheshire Buy-Sell free paper in which there were plenty of scrawny runts for sale at exorbitant prices.
-Mr P? Can I have a kitten, please?
-Err...Yes. I guess so. If you want.
Ten minutes later, I have a postcode, a time to collect the remaining male of the litter and suddenly, Mr P is more excitable than a bag full of monkeys. I learned that he had never had a pet from scratch, never named anything (apart from his City of Heroes' villains) and thus, I decided to 'give' the kitten to him, to love, cherish, feed, clean out its litter tray and leave the kicking and abuse to me.
'Oscar' came to our abode at the end of August, when #1 and #2 daughters holidayed in Spain. He was pampered, fussed over, molly-coddled and generally treated like a piece of precious porcelain by Mr Parsnip who even, at one point, suggested that he slept in our bedroom with us!
No bloody chance!
I have had one infestation of cat fleas in the house, many, many years ago and it was nightmarish waking up itching all over and as spotty as if I was suffering with Rubella...it wasn't even my fault for being a tardy pet-owner - the ex refused to give me any money to get some Bob Martin's; Tom #2 went a-wandering; obviously got in with a dirty woman cat and brought back his own version of VD to infect the manky carpets in the ex's house. Despite my constant complaining of flea bites, he refused to allow me to do anything other than scrub everything with bleach. It was only when #1 threw the Mount Etna of temper tantrums at the bites bedecking her legs, arms, hands and torso that he submitted and I was allowed to bring the disinfestation guys in. But only downstairs...
I had to use all my feminine guiles to get that disinfestation bloke into my bedroom...and I shall leave the rest to your imagination...!
So, while Oscar is a very cute kitten, with a gregarious nature, he seems to prefer to crap inside the house than outside. He has a vast expanse of garden, including a soft, squishy compost heap but, no, he will go outside, pretend he is 'hard' in front of rabbits Lambert and Butler, and then yowl to come back in for a dump. It is tedious. There were a number of accidents at one point, after we had gradually edged the litter tray outside and Mr P would frequently be seen with his head resting on the kitchen floor, spreading his hands out, doing a reccy for cat pee. With the dim lights in the kitchen, his hands would often slide right through Oscar's latest offering, smear it even further and then an outburst of filthy, filthy language would colour the air blue, offend my sensitive nature and the cat would suddenly learn how to fly. Invariably, I end up cleaning the mess.
It is Mr P's duty to empty the litter tray. If he complains, the girls and I chorus to him: He's YOUR cat! I suspect he has now sussed that the small matter of the naming ceremony, and presenting the kitten to him, as his very own, had a few hidden agendas on my part...
Anyway, on Saturday night, there we were, dressed in all our finery, ready for a night out from which we blobbed and decided to cook at home instead and Mr Parsnip hears the plaintive meowing of his darling kitten from the outhouse passageway, raises his voice an octave and gently coos, Oscar! Ozzie, Come on, Come on inside out of the cold. Aaah. Look at you, you're all soggy like a drowned rat...
Oscar stalks in, looking most disgruntled from his bath to which I subjected him after he came down from the loft with blue legs, belly and face; skinny and matted, scowls as only a cat can, and sniffs in the corner of the kitchen, six inches from his litter tray.
There was then a moment of intense concentration. It was as if time stood still as Mr Parsnip stared at the cat; the cat stared back and suddenly, Mr P squawked, Is he having a sh*t? Another moment of stillness and then Mr P launched himself at the moggy, picked him up by the scruff of his neck, revealing a steaming, curled turd on the floor and suddenly had to arch himself backwards. The cat, all four limbs stuck out at odd angles had decided that his bowels weren't quite empty and continued to evacuate them mid-air. Cat poo splattered across the skirting board, the kitchen floor and the door mat.
The air became quite blue, the door was flung open and the kitten was flung out.
Dirty little F*cker! Dirty, Dirty Little F*cker!! That's just disgusting! Dirty, dirty Sod! Six inches from his litter tray. Six Inches!!
While this tirade continued to rage, I did the practical thing: got some toilet paper from the bathroom, started picking up the mess in between gipping sessions, and then disinfected the areas. It was all sorted out within a few minutes and Oscar suddenly had a much cleaner litter tray to use after Mr P galvanised himself to pitch the used kitty-lit.
Later in bed, the tirade resumed.
MY kitten. Oh yes. MY BLOODY KITTEN, isn't he? 'Here you are, YOU can name him. He's yours now'. Oh I fell for that one, didn't I? I'm never listening to you get all starry-eyed in the pub again. Never. It was a bloody trap.
But I clean up his accidents, I responded, mildly. And I feed him.
We ALL bloody feed him. That's why he sh*ts so bloody much. He never stops eating. I have to clean his bloody litter tray out. He goes outside, and then comes back in TO SH*T!!
And then I got hysterical. Mr P, when in high dudgeon, is one of the funniest sights known to man. It took me about 20 minutes to contain myself. I laughed so hard, I didn't need to remove my make-up as the tears had done it for me. Upon my return from the toilet, Mr P levelled a scowl so hard at me, that if looks could kill, I'd now be six feet under the clay.
What's that look for?
I'm writing my blog, he said, ominously...