Brenda’s Unfortunate Record #20


This is another post about the cats. The cats, I should say my cats or more specifically, cat. Cause this it is just about the one – the noisy, bengal-cross, known all down our road, Petit A. I’ve mentioned before that he’s full of character, I might have even alluded to some of his eccentricities, but today you’re gonna get the low down. I’m hoping our recent house-guest might read this too. 

Petit A has had a ‘doudou’ since he was a kitten. We still have the first tattered piece of black chiffon he used to cart around our tiny Hackney Road mezzanine, but when we moved up Dalston he set his eyes on chicer threads. It started with an APC cashmere. No matter how hard we tried to hide it, it would eventually end up in his jaws & rubbing between his hind legs. ‘I think he’s masturbating’, I’d say.

‘He can’t be, he’s been chopped!’, but a quick Google consultation seemed to confirm the obvious. Over the years we’ve come to accept certain expensive jumpers will be highjacked and sacrificed for the cause. We’ve kinda turned a blind eye, let him get on with it. Occasionally though, his behaviour can get a bit sticky (figure of speech, not in a gross way, pffffffff). It’s a dog-like habit, not one strangers associate with felines. 

A few years ago a slick Parisian model came to stay. I didn’t know her so well and was left to my own devices for her arrival. She was in town for some big LFW event. I was home alone with no plans, a fact which left me feeling somewhat insecure and awkward. When she turned up I was sat on the settee watching telly. Not knowing what to say, I gingerly suggest she could watch some with me. Within seconds, Petit A had jumped up, positioning himself in-between us. I looked down and clocked she was wearing a lavish-looking pelotage. ‘Oh god’, i thought, seeing the look in Petit A’s eyes .. .’please don't do this to me’. But sure enough, bang on queue, he began to meow loudly and try to grab her arm. She thought he was being cute and affectionate, I knew better. I was so mortified though I burst into an uncontrollable nervous giggling. In fact it was more than that – a laughter so tense I couldn’t get a word out. ‘Wee shit-bag’ I thought, as I gasped for breath. ‘Are you doing this on purpose?’. I finally managed to compose myself. By this time she was stood up, wondering what the fuck was going on & I was questioning my reaction. Only in my head of course. Brain rattling away, going through each and every uncomfortable social interaction. Once I convince myself I’m borderline autistic, there’s no coming back. It wasn’t long before her social engagements tugged her out the door, but the minutes in between felt like an absolute eternity. 

A few weekends ago I suffered a similar chagrin. Everyone was away and an out-of-town DJ was staying in our new flatmate’s room. Although he seemed super nice, we didn’t really get much of a chance to get to know each other, bar sharing a coffee on the Saturday morning. It was his first time in London and he went out with some pals to explore the city. I went for a run. When I got back, I noticed his door was open and some of his belongings were strewn across the floor. I knew they weren’t there before I’d left and realised what had happened. As I didn’t want to go rummaging through his bag, i opted to fold them neatly and leave them on the bed, all the while tracking down the culprit. Petit A was nowhere to be seen. I called, looked in all his usual places. Finally I went back into the room to see if he might be hiding in the wardrobe or behind the bed. It was then that I noticed a lump under the sheets. I carefully lifted it and sure enough, there he was in post-coital bliss. 

He can’t be trusted. I went back out and later on, the houseguest had passed through. His door was now shut & my running tights were hanging on the bookshelf. ‘FFS’, I thought, ‘he must think I’m some freak poking through his belongings, getting changed in his room’. I could only imagine where the cat had left them.

Meanwhile, Petit A is at it again. This time he's found a novelty reindeer mask from Japan. I can hear it jingling & can tell from his meow – it’s a different sort, with an insistent, instantly recognisable rasp to it, one that lets us know he wants to feel fuzzy on the inside.


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