Brenda’s Unfortunate Record Of The Week #12


I just realised my last 3 pieces have been labeled #9. Oops. Talk about endless loops, although I do love it when my subconscious screams out the glaringly obvious. So I guess this is #12, arguably one of the most important to digits us human beings. It’s appropriate – my morale has shifted this week. 

Yes reader, I have let go and things are looking up. I’m not sure how that fares in the context of theme though. How does one discuss ‘unfortunates’ when the past few days have been ticking away pretty well? Sunday felt like I’d opened the cellar door and was blinded by rainbows; a kind of sickly, unexplainable glee. If I hadn’t spent two sequential weekends munching mushrooms, I might be more concerned about the mental health. As it stands, I’m putting it down to psychedelics. Plus an unlocking of productivity, which most likely works hand in hand or as a result of said ingestion … whatever, it’s far more palatable than mania. I recommend it. 

So yes, this week is all about spreading love. Some of my near and dear are needing it more than most so we’re going light (and fluffy). Welcome to the easy listening version of unfortunate. 

I am typing in my studio. The laptop’s perched on keyboard stand extensions and I am reaching over a piano stool. My cat Rudi has decided to join me, positioning himself exactly where I normally kneel this time of night (having spent the day standing). I’d rather be uncomfortable than move him, even if he isn’t exactly what one would describe as aloof. Rudi’s a maine coon. 

When my beloved cat Foo died at the start of 2015, researching cute kittens on the internet was the only remedy. Every other cat I’d owned had been rescued. I didn’t think I believed in pedigrees, but the more I looked, the more I had my heart set on this particular breed. Heeding to warning I researched well. A friend of a friend had ordered her pets off some random site & they’d all been infected with ghastly diseases. True nightmare – cat infects other cats with some degenerate brain illness transmitted in faeces. The only option, put them down or perform some ridiculously expensive & experimental brain surgery. Pusskins has no guarantee of making it through alive and if he does, nearly always comes out severely retarded. The dog had some horrific skin condition too. So yes, I proceeded with caution, all the while familiarising myself with this strange new world.

The prize-winning pet universe is a bit odd. After sifting through pages of pomp and poetry (Ode To A Breeder springs to mind), I finally settled on a woman in the Isle Of Wight. She seemed a bit more down to earth than a lot in her community. She wasn’t into all the mad shows and I liked the fact her kittens grew up in the house, surrounded by grandchildren, dogs and music. Plus in this particular litter, the dame was born in America and the sire came from Germany. Pan-continental. At £350 a pop you don’t wanna run the risk of inbreeding, right? I’d read you should always visit first, make sure the place is clean and ligit and all. So off I went – train to Southampton, ferry across the Solent. Her husband picked me up at the harbour and drove me to theirs. Such a sweet couple – picture perfect homemaker & retired PE teacher. The place was a cat lover’s heaven. As well as all the felines slinking around inside, their back yard was full of pristine little huts for the unchopped males (including Rudi’s pa – Battle Creek’s O’Alaska). By the time I’d had the full tour I was 100% sold. Only Rudi (at the time still called Kassaro Grey Friars) wasn’t ready to come home. I had to return a few weeks later, pockets stuffed with cash, carrying an empty box. 

When we got back to London I set up camp in the studio. Having Petit a, our larger, older, dominant male in the house meant taking things slow. Rudi didn’t leave the room for the first few days, while they got used to each others scents. When it finally came round to introductions our bengal/tabby was an absolute legend. He took this new addition in stride and it’s been near one big happy since.

I’m not sure if it’s because of my age (more maternal) or the amount of money I paid for him, but Rudi’s totally molly-coddled. Although I love him to bits I wouldn’t say he’s the most cunning of creatures. As a result, he’s an indoor cat (our house is huge and he’s so docile, I worry he’d get pinched or hit by car) and very much belongs to me. In my grief, one of the things I found attractive in Maine Coons was their tendency to attach themselves to a single owner. He’s almost always at my feet and as much as I love the attention, it has made travelling a bit harder. Actually who am I kidding, I start feeling anxious if I’ve been away for more than 6 hours. I can’t stay out all day without popping back for a cuddle and will cut a long night short in order to get home. 

So maybe there is some neurosis sneaking about the noggin. Maybe this sudden peak of euphoria has more to do with mania than mushrooms. But then again, maybe we’re all a bit mentally ill. Modern times, right? Who knows, so long as we’re not hurting anyone. And in the spirit of unfortunate I’ll add that even behind the rainbows, the ups and downs, all us cats will always remain a little bit grey. 


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