What Lies Between Us…

August 14, 2010

The Mushroom keeps secrets.

Secrets are bizarre, human things. Other mammals don’t keep secrets, not deliberately. Whilst I’m not 100% keen on being watched whilst keeping my areas clean, it’s not a secret that I do it. I’m a little embarassed that I seem to constantly get beaten up by every other cat in Christendom, but I don’t try to hide it. It’s nobody’s business but mine that I lick all the gravy from my meat pouches first, but I don’t wear a mask, I don’t hide anything, I don’t keep secrets. Keeping secrets is the willful concealment of one’s true self.  I think.

How one keeps secrets from the people with whom you live is a mystery to me, no pun intended.  But slowly, incrementally, like an onion or, I suppose, like a lychee (‘Oooh, what’s this? A type of conker? A small cake? No, it’s an eyeball!’), her secrets are being peeled away. I wonder how this is perceived by humans; is it seen as a sign of trust when someone can reveal their true self eventually, or is it seen as a sign of earlier fraud that simply can’t be kept up? I wish I could ask.

Secret 1: Curl Creme. Exposure Date: January 2010.  Location: The Prairies.

The Mushroom has naturally curly hair. My Dad loves it. Sometimes, when he’s had a few beers, he gets all wistful and Renaissance-y about it (by that I mean, all poetic and romantic and that. Not that he started drawing helicopters or painting chapels or anything). What he didn’t know, until January of this year when my Dad tidied the bathroom and threw out the innocuous looking tube of goo, is that if The Mushroom doesn’t put about a pound of product on it it looks like candyfloss. Candyfloss that is black and made out of pubes, that is. This he discovered the following morning. He screamed.

Secret 2: Lipstain.  Exposure Date: January 2010.  Location: The Prairies.

January was a bad month for The Mushroom, clearly. Not only did my Dad throw out her curl creme, but he also threw out this weird stuff that smells like table varnish and almonds mixed together. My Dad used to wax lyrical about the redness of The Mushroom’s lips, but how she never wore lipstick. She used to smile, with those red lips of hers, and look down demurely, thanking the heavens for Max Factor. My poor Dad. One day in January, he woke up with a glossy haired, red lipped wife, and the next, a pale lipped poodle.

This incident also led to lots of other things being thrown away (‘I didn’t think you used them!’, ‘Then why would they be in the bathroom?’, ‘Cos you hoard things! And by the way, what in the name of arse has happened to your hair?’), and that in turn has led to the agreement that if my Dad ever throws away ‘anything that looks like it could belong’ to The Mushroom, he gets his gonads kicked.

Secret 3: The Mono-Brow. Exposure Date:  Not yet exposed. 

My Dad knows that The Mushroom uses tweezers. He didn’t throw them out when he was doing his bathroom cull. What he doesn’t know, and I do cos I stayed with her and The Baby when he went to Qatar, is that without tweezers, The Mushroom actually resembles a Spanish waiter. I will name him José. 

My Dad has an inkling about José, as when The Mushroom was pregnant with The Baby she grew a small beard, so logic would have it that anyone that can grow a small beard is probably capable of growing a moustache, some impressive sideburns and a monobrow. I can vouch for the fact that yes, yes she is capable of growing these things, and that it is very much in my Dad’s interests to never throw out her tweezers.

The latest secret, however, was revealed just yesterday. It will take my Dad a while to recover.

My Dad had been for a run.

He staggered in, sat down, closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them and looked up at his wife. At first he smiled, and then he jumped.

Peering back at him, sitting on a chair, sewing on a button, was a woman in glasses.

“Hello, Grandma.” he said. “And would you like to tell me how long you’ve had those?”

The Mushroom looked down her nose over the top of her glasses, looking unamused.

“I’ve always had glasses.”

“I have known you for SEVENTEEN YEARS. I have never, in those seventeen years, seen you wear glasses. ”

“Don’t you like them?”

“Whether or not I like them is irrelevant, I’m just curious as to why you’ve apparently always had glasses but I’ve never seen you wear them. What’s wrong with your eyes?”

The Mushroom mumbled and took off her glasses, placing them on the table. My Dad promptly picked them up and put them on.

“Oh my God.” He took them off quickly and rubbed his eyes.

The Mushroom mumbled some more.

“So you don’t actually know what I look like?”

“I have a fair idea…”

“Why have you never told me you wear glasses? Why have you never told me that you CAN’T SEE?”

“Cos I look stupid in glasses.” she replied, and continued trying to sew on the button without them, which resulted in her stabbing her hand with the needle.

Humans. Odd odd odd McOdd. I wonder what would have happened had she introduced herself to my Dad all those years ago by saying, ‘Hello! I have hair like a poodle, normal colour lips, a beard, a moustache and a monobrow and I can’t see very well. Love me anyway.’

I think, by the way he strokes her face at night, that he probably would have.


Jobs for the Boy(s)

August 6, 2010

Being accidentally left outside at night on the same night as a 100lb Rottweiler escapes from the house over the road is really very shit. I am okay purely because I can climb trees.

Staying up a tree for three hours is also very very shit.

Everyone not realising that I am FRIGGING WELL STILL OUTSIDE until ten in the morning when it’s 35 degrees Celsius is also on the shit scale.

“Have you seen Zeebs? I haven’t seen Zeebs all morning!”

“Haven’t you? He was in last night. I haven’t let him out.”

“I haven’t let him out, so he must be in.”

“Oh. Maybe I let him out. Did you not let him back in?”

“Why would I have let him back in if I had already let him back in and didn’t know that he was out again?”

I could hear this whilst the other side of the balcony door, panting. Just look out the window, you morons. I am HERE. I am VERY HOT. And my nose is a slightly different shape cos of the battering I got running up a tree escaping from a dog only devil worshippers would possibly wish to own.


The family are experiencing something of a stumbling block in the setting up of their New Life in Ontario. My Dad is a teacher. There are no teaching jobs. This is a problem, even I can see this. Ontario appears to be full of very, very old teachers who have retired but then go back to their jobs. I can see an easy way of solving this problem: kill them. Go in, slip something in their tea, job done. Or rather, job not done and job being advertised.  I’m not ageist – I’m 12, which is practically geriatric in cat terms – but there is something amiss with people retiring then going, ‘Ermmmm, actually, whilst I’m, like, LOVING the pension payments and the free prescriptions and all that elderly jazz, do you reckon I could pop back in, what, maybe five days a week? Mmm? And keep my full timetable? Okay? Excellent. In fact, I won’t empty my desk. But thanks for the party and the ornamental Polar bear. Appreciate it.’

Surely, if you’re retiring, you are too old to work? No? No, not if you’re in Ontario. It would be okay if it was a bit of supply, or filling a job that can’t be filled, but it’s not like that at all. It’s widespread and called ‘Double Dipping’. I think that sounds rude, but that’s Canadians for you.

If you’re wondering why I’m so bothered about my Dad’s job situation, I can tell you in one word: Iams. They bought me ‘President’s Choice Cat Biscuits’ the other day. I don’t  know what frigging President chose them, but it certainly wasn’t one that liked cats.

I’m nearly out of  kitty treats, too. Canadian kitty treats are lovely, albeit oddly named.

Advertising Man: So, like, hit me with your ideas, man.

Man from Cat Food: Well, my vision is that this Kitty Treat is fun…

Advertising Man: Yeah, yeah, I’m hearing you, I’m hearing you…

Advertising Woman: That’s, like, so random.

Man From Cat Food: What? Oh. Yes. Anyway, it’s fun, it’s light hearted…

Advertising Man: Like, totally. That’s like really emotional.

Advertising Woman: I’m feeling it.

Man From Cat Food: Right.

Advertising Man: What else can you give me?

Man From Cat Food: Erm, ah. Well, that’s it really. It’s a kitty treat. A fun, light hearted kitty treat.


Advertising Man: Let’s call it ‘PARTY MIX’.

Advertising Woman: That’s so AWESOME. Cos it’s like, you know, a CD, or like, something from Ministry, when, you know, it’s like, not, cos it’s a kitty treat.

Man From Cat Food: Oh dear Lord.

 I particularly like the ‘Wild West Crunch’ flavour. I like the ‘pause’ in their conversation, too. It makes me feel a bit like Harold Pinter.

Meanwhile, The Hippy appears to have become  a buddhist.

Isn’t it Ironic?

August 2, 2010

Irony is a complicated and oft misunderstood thing. I have deliberately quoted Alanis Morissette, a woman to whom I was musically introduced during one of my Dad’s ‘ I Am Only Listening To Angry Women’ musical phases (Hole are AWFUL. I quite like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Pink I can take or leave. And Shakira isn’t angry at all and sounds a little like a sheep. Perhaps she is an ANGRY sheep, which is how she made it into the list ), and her song about irony is one of the best examples of irony EVER, insomuch as nothing she lists is, in fact, an example of irony, thus making the whole thing ironic. Clever, no? The only place you could, in fact, find yourself amongst ten thousand spoons when you need a knife is in some kind of Absurdist play.  In any case, she’s Canadian, so she deserves a mention.

Whilst I’m talking about Canadian music, which I am, kind of, let me mention this: Justin Beiber. And then let me ask this: why?

Here is a bone fide example of irony:

“Do you think we’ve done the right thing, moving?” says The Mushroom, as they begin Month 2 of Post-Prairie living.

“I don’t know.” replies my Dad, diplomatically not mentioning the fact that she pretty much threatened to leave him if they didn’t.

I have no problem with having left the Prairies. Lovely Brian, Enthusiastic Teacher and his Lovely Fiancée, amusing Seagulls and general friendliness aside, the Prairies were a little bit rubbish (note to Prairie readers: before you bristle and think, ‘Cheeky English cat! Slating our lovely Prairies! What does he know?’, let me ask you this: Do you have a truck the size of Slovakia? Do you live in a big lovely house with a big roaring fire? Do you get to go to Mexico or Hawaii in the winter? I bet the answer to all three of these is ‘yes’. I lived in a basement and didn’t go out for seven months. Ergo, to me, the Prairies are rubbish ). Moving into a house next door to Mallet Cat is, however, beginning to PISS ME RIGHT OFF.

Picture the scene;

Me, basking on a rock by the stream at the end of the garden, languidly.

‘Tweet tweet tweets’ go the birds. I can’t even be naffed to chase them, I am that content. Any Moose? Nope. Any cougars? Not one. Any hawks/eagles/big flappy flying things? No no no. No hybrid dogs, no Volvo Cats, no massive blizzard or anything to temper my relaxation.

But what’s this? A fly in the ointment? Yes, in the shape of a FRIGGING MALLET with BIG TEETH sinking them INTO MY BACK for, like, TOTALLY NO REASON, then running off with a sizeable piece of my fur in his MALLET SHAPED MOUTH.

‘Oh!’ says his clearly myopic owner, ‘Have you caught a mouse, Baby?’

If you are a black cat, the thing you have above all things, in theory, is beauty and grace. We’re gorgeous. So he obviously has such huge issues about being such an ugly little bastard that he wants to defile my coat. I get it. I could even feel sorry for him, if I didn’t look like an extra from ‘Jaws’ at the moment.

So there, my friends, is irony. Ten months in the land of the cougar, the moose, birds the size of a boat, hybrid dogs and Volvo cats – not a scratch. People were literally wandering around with shot guns during the spring and absolutely nobody tried to shoot me.  Five weeks in Ontario and I have a jaw shaped wound from a domestic cat.

I nearly let next door’s cat in this morning!” says The Cave Troll. “He looks almost exactly like Zee, doesn’t he? ”

Frigg OFF.