My cat’s a bastard. I watch him stroll in through the cat flap, unruffled, carefree, still with the stench of fresh air lingering on his coat. He’s been out. Outside. Out there, wherever the hell he wants to. He might just be coming back from my favourite coffee shop for all I know. Maybe right now it is full of cats; a burly Tom is the barista, the straggly street cat is up at the piano ‘cause he knows a tune while a couple of kittens bring out the drinks and pastries as a Saturday job. Just getting a little bit of pocket money for catnip at the weekend.
My cat stops in the middle of patch of sunlight in the middle of the kitchen floor. He knows I’m looking at him. He doesn’t care. First he’s been out, now he’s licking his own gentleman’s area.
I wish I could do that. (The going out bit I mean, obviously… honestly… you people.)
I watched the neighbour’s cat earlier too. He lives opposite. He’s one of these puffs-of-white cats, like someone has drawn a couple of black smudges for feet on an earbud and then had it manicured and blow-dryed. He always looks well turned out – too pretty for something that basically lives on the street. Like how I imagine Elton John looks in his pyjamas: white, puffy – but always absolutely marvellous. I watched this cat casually walking along the top of a fence – just because he can. One paw brought round to place in front of the other – delicate, elegant, arrogant. Bastard.
I watched him for maybe twenty minutes and then I only stopped because he went out of sight. If he had dozed off on the top of that fence I might still be watching him now. Waiting for a highlight like a twitch or a sneeze. Why? You may ask… The same reason you’ve just read three paragraphs about cats. God I’m bored…
And now I have an added pressure. Every time I go into the bathroom I am considering when might be the right time to use those clippers on the windowsill. To shave my head. A number one all over. I did it before but for very different reasons. It was around the time when Brad Pitt did Fight Club and he had that close-shaved look. All the girls well fancied him. My mistake was not considering that all the girls have always well-fancied him - no matter his hairstyle - because he’s that sort of bloke. If he were a cat he’d be one of those white bastards elegantly wondering across a fence, his paws neatly brought round one in front of the other, looking like a puffed up earbud with feet drawn on – well aware that the creepy neighbour opposite is looking at him behind turned-in blinds. When Brad Pitt shaved his head he still looked sexy-good. He had the face and the body to pull it off. I did not. I had the face I have now, which comes free with a freakishly long neck and the body of a racing snake. He looked like a Hollywood Hunk. I looked like a toffee apple.
The clippers have remained on the window sill for now. But I know it’s coming.
The cat’s just gone out again. He asked me if I needed anything. Said he might be a while. I hate cats.
We split the day today. Both the wife and I have work to do. She agreed to have the kids for the morning so I could write some words and cover a radio interview and then I would come down for the afternoon and she would lock herself away to work. When I came down the kids had done most of their work. They were pre-occupied too, both playing nicely and leaving me the hell alone. The wife was shut up in Josie’s room (it has a desk) and I saw a little opportunity. Yes I was supposed to be doing some activities with the kids but they seemed to be keeping themselves amused… and it was probably educational…
Anyway. I took a gamble. I thought the wife would be busy. I thought she would be locked away. I thought I would get away with it. Four minutes after I snuck into the living room I got this picture sent to my phone. It was from the wife. It was entitled ‘home-schooling.’