Pet Perversions: Here’s What Happened When I Was Usurped By A Meddling Moggie

Barely married two years…and the wife has already fallen for another mawn. A big, black fella at that.

The basket for the dirty clothes, a fancy biscuit tin and a shoebox. A plunger, a set of weights, the toilet-roll stand and a picture frame. A portable radiator. These are the obstacles needed to prevent the cat from creeping into our bedroom every night. We are under siege. To think that a broken door handle has led to this.

A purring predator has invaded my space and life has changed.

Anti-cat fort: self-assemble only
Anti-cat fort: self-assemble only

Pets have long held an important spot in this neck of the woods. You can be known as a wee pet, or you might have once tried to give a young girl a pet in the Glenavon Hotel disco on a Friday night.

I’ve certainly been acquainted with a few cats over the years, although I shouldn’t moan about past relationships. My feline friends, though, have always had the snazziest of names: Badpenny, Turbo, Deep-Pile (named after a rug), Gingernut, Pee-Pee and Ow, the resilient one-eyed moggie.

This creature, though, goes by the name of Stefan.

Named after a 170 year-old vampire (from the popular “Vampire Diaries” TV series) Stefan has already drawn blood. I must tread carefully each morning for fear of waking him up. But then, oh! The incessant crying and summoning comes like clockwork: “Yam, yam, yam, yam, yam.”

‘Moody male with Vampiric tendencies‘                             ‘Strokeable & affectionate friend’
‘Moody male with Vampiric tendencies‘ ‘Strokeable & affectionate friend’

“Oh, you’re one bad pussy cat”, I tell him.

I’m soon on all fours and letting him lick my hair. His two paws clamp around my skull and he Iatches on, grooming me for all he’s worth. Perhaps he thinks I’m his child? Or, maybe, that he’s actually MY owner.

That would explain a lot.

I think Stefan is a smoker. Like a suspicious parent I accost him as soon as he arrives home through the window, and duly bury my nose in his furry coat to sniff. Silk Cut! He’s taken to visiting the old woman next door recently, but we were unwilling to accept that he may have had a second suitor.

Pets aren’t for everyone. People Before Profit’s Eamonn McCann told me that he “doesn’t think that someone [as busy as me] who is away from home a lot should have an animal.” Eamonn there, clearly an advocate of People Before Pets.

'Cat Crime Scene'
‘Cat Crime Scene’

His sentiments ring true. If one is unable to find adequate time to care for an animal, then what’s the point? After all, “they’re for life, not just for Christmas,” etc.

Indoors, and the voice of my significant other gently coos: “Are you okay? Would you like a wee scratchy? Would you like a little tickly under the chin?” Yes, please… oh boy that sure sounds good to me. But it is the cat, of course, that is the object of affection.

Thrown on the scrapheap of life, and not yet 30.

Edwin Poots
Edwin Poots

Some people, however, are able to find a balance between public life and pet provision. Interestingly, the DUP’s Edmund Poots is also a farmer outside of the political sphere.  “But Edwin,” I asked, “what experience of traditional pets have you had?”

“No problem,” came Mr Poots’ admirably swift reply. “I have three dogs – used to have a cat, and a bearded dragon as well”.

Edwin noticeably referred to his cat in the past tense – “used to” have one. His will not be the only moggie to meet its maker, I fear.

Suddenly I stumble upon a cat-crime scene… mangled, torn and shredded loo roll, hanging from its holder like a decrepit pirate ship flag. The suspect? One domestic short-haired feline, whose common aliases include ‘Steffy-Weffy’, ‘Stan-the-man’ and worryingly, ‘Squeaky Tappy Bum Bum’.

Doorbell.

The corrupting smoker-neighbour is there, politely mentioning that something has emptied its entire stomach contents over her garden wall. “It could be worms!” she shouts.

Back in pet paradise, all is calm. Outside the heavens have opened and the cat is curled up, purring peacefully in my favourite chair. But I am elsewhere, over the wheelie bin in fact, scraping the sickly, sticky cat mess out of his tray. My patience is wearing thin, although I know that I must remain calm. Because, I remind myself, through gritted teeth and pouring rain, every dog will have its day.

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