The last few weeks have seen the breakage or the loss of a frankly ridiculous amount of my things, to the point that my mother looked at me with genuine concern on Easter Monday and asked if I was quite well.
These include an iPad, half a cheesecake, a dishwasher, a washer dryer, a blender, a hand-held vacuum, my relationship and also, my cat.
Most of these aren’t really my fault. Some of them were very old, some of them broke in the already broken dishwasher, and some just – well, that’s something else altogether. But I do feel guilty about one – the cat.
The saga of Cat Brown has been well-populated by trips to the vet, unexpected ailments and pictures of her looking generally outraged. The very first time I met her, she scratched me when I absent-mindedly tickled her side. These days, we are on such good terms that she will graciously allow me to serve as a rest, a bed and a tickler for her tummy.
On Easter Day I had five friends round for the annual feast and karaoke destruction. Ambridge tends to show out in full diva fig when I have people over, prancing around and generally behaving like someone who is about six foot five, rather than a smaller than average cat.
But then she was just mean. She hissed when you touched her. Picking her up just elicited howls. Luckily, my friend Ian is blind to even the meanness aspects of cats and just sat there entranced and crooning, as though she were a fluffy tabby instead of a cross cat.
Still, this didn’t seem at all normal, even when I tried very gently to touch and pick her up and she let me. Her jumping was out of sorts, too. The black and white kangaroo had been replaced by a cat who had to really work up to getting on to the bed, ideally by using ledges.
For my own peace of mind I took her to the vet, and found she had an abscess caused by a cat bite. Bloody letting her out of doors! Bloody feral ginger tom, stressing out small cats who are apparently as bad at sprinting as their mistresses!
Sainted Mr Irish, the irish vet, kept her in for the day and sorted her out while I gave my credit card mouth to mouth and prepared yet another claims form for the insurers. Ambridge came home with even more shaved bits – on her neck, which hadn’t even grown back from January, on her leg, and on her side, with a livid scar from the cat bite. But bless her, when I got home from the theatre later, she rolled around like a deranged thing, either thrilled not to be in pain and very grateful to me, or still high as a kite on drugs.
Ah yes, drugs. Having established she won’t eat pills, I thank God for being middle class and owning a pestle and mortar – that and the fact that she has suddenly decided that yes, she will eat wet food now thank you very much but don’t stop feeding me as much other food as possible.
The good thing is that she is already much perkier, and back to jumping like a deranged gazelle and spooking at the merest puff of nothing-there-at-all. She’s much friendlier. And she has a brand spanking new box to play in, the massive dick.