Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Animal and Daffodil Lovers, Please Look Away Now!

Now I’m not saying that my cat’s a pervert. I know that there are a ton of other animals that have an unhealthy obsession with toilets, and to be fair, in the two-roomed world our feline friends inhabit, this little white corner with its strange sounds and flushing water is the nearest thing they’re ever going to get to Disneyland. So I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that every time I scrape back my chair Mickey (him of the Mafia toes) makes a clumsy sprint for the bathroom in the hope that I’ve decided it’s time to ride Splash Mountain again.

But just because you love Disneyland, it doesn’t mean you want to be locked in there overnight after all the rides have been switched off. It might be a great scenario for a choose-your-own-adventure book, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. That, anyway, seemed to be what the cats concluded after last night’s trial incarceration.

Last week we had a guest sleeping on the sofa, and all I was able to get out of them in the morning were some dark mutterings about being kneaded awake as dawn broke by a purring pile of neurotic felines. So with my Dad flying in tonight, we decided that it was time for our babies to get a feel for minimalist New York living.

Despite the fact that the pair have the run of the house during the day, as night drew near we became obsessed with purging the bathroom of anything that a suicidal cat could use to make a desperate cry for help. Razors were hidden away in the medicine cabinet, and anything potentially toxic was stowed out of the way. The cats didn’t really understand the new game, but let themselves be locked in with the minimum of yowling. As we retreated to the bedroom Chris and I exchanged looks of amused guilt, like those you see on the faces of the people who leave a bad play early, even if they’re sitting in the front row. And are friends with the second spear thrower from the left.

Less then ten minutes had gone by before the paranoia kicked in.
“Did you happen to close the bathroom window?”
“No, but it’s got a screen on it.”
Ominous silence.
“The ball of yarn’s in there now, isn’t it?”
“Well you don’t think they could...?”
“What? Strangle themselves?”
“You’re right, I’m being stupid.”
Guilty silence.
“I might just check they’re okay.”
Of course, the moment the door’s open, the cats slip out like butter and refuse to be coaxed back in. We are secretly grateful to give up, and hope in vain that there’s no hard feelings.

The cats, in return, have declared war on my daffodils. Words cannot describe the silent massacres that have taken place on our windowsill. I just do the whole ‘I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed’ spiel. And vow to try the bathroom test again tonight. Except this time I won’t leave them enough rope to hang themselves.

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