As they say in ‘Spartacus’, apologies, Domina. I have been having a lazy winter. I find winters hard. I know this is NOT Saskatchewan, but it’s still Canada, and it’s cold. Currently, we’re recovering from a snow storm which prompted a plethora of media puns, such as ‘Snowmageddon!’, and ‘Snowpocalypse!’, proving unequivocally that Canadians may be good at the bob-sleigh, but they’re totally shit at puns (If you want further proof, it can be found in all Canadian made greetings cards. This is a great one, bought by The Mushroom for a mate of hers for St Patrick’s Day:

‘Knock Knock!’

‘Who’s there?’

‘Irish!’

‘Irish who?’

(open card)

‘I rish you a happy St Patrick’s Day!’

Fabulous, isn’t it?  At first, I wondered if it might be a bit racist, simply because reading it made me feel quite offended, but then I realised that it wasn’t racist, just very shit. I’d like to find the man who wrote that card, and poo on his pen.). Anyway, when it snows, I stay inside, I sleep, and I watch things on HBO. I’m not sure any of these things make me a better cat.

 I’ve been watching ‘Spartacus’ a lot, it’s surreal. It provides a lot of historical information I was hitherto unaware of. Did you know that in gladiatorial combat, people bled in slow motion? I didn’t. Did you know that the most commonly used Roman swear phrase was, ‘By Jupiter’s Cock!’? I didn’t. Did you know that Roman women spent a lot of their time getting their boobs out? I think I might have known that already. Anyway, I feel ready to sit a degree in History now.

In Roman times, 41 = decrepidly old. My Dad is 41. He runs 10k a day. In Roman terms, then, is he a god? Very grown up but still able to move and be continent? 41 year old men wear suits. They own dressing gowns, and pyjamas, and have rare vinyl versions of the records that make them feel they were once young and subversive, and remind them of the nights they danced till dawn with the  kind of sexual potency that only the young can get away with (NB: I have realised that this is where Dad Dancing comes from. Young men dance because they are either a) lost in the music which represents all the youthful angst they are currently experiencing and/or b) trying to get a female to go home with them. Eventually, one of the females DOES go home with them, they marry, have children, and then start going to darts and pub quizes and do not dance again for about 15 years, when they are invited to a family wedding.

At the Family Wedding, there is a DJ, who once hoped to make it big, but now still has the same hairstyle that looked good on him in 1982 and one small set of flashing lights and a disco ball. ‘London Calling’ starts to play. 41 year old Dad closes his eyes, and is immediately 19 again, in a dingy, sweaty nightclub, veins full of Jack Daniels, angry and confused and ferocious at the world. He gets up, takes hold of his wife’s hand and staggers to the dance floor, and begins to dance. It feels weird. His body has not done this for YEARS. He opens his eyes, and sees his daughter staring at him with a mixture of repulsion and fear. He looks at his wife, who is standing still, unable to move due to the support underwear she now has to wear and the fact that she wear heels so rarely now she can barely walk, let alone dance in them.It is not dark. It is not dingy. They are in a large, brightly lit room full of people and there’s his Aunty Mary-Anne.  His veins are full of nothing more than two glasses of champagne and the after effects of the Steak tartare they served as the Wedding Lunch.  He realises that prowling round his wife like a randy tiger, and then moshing, would be the most humiliating experience of his life so far. He does, however, still love this song, and his wife, and is having a lovely time so it is HERE, ladies and gentlemen, that men of a certain age learn that strange step-to-the-side-and-then-back-again-and-move-my-hands-a-bit dance that has teenagers cringing. It may be cringeworthy, but it’s nowhere near as bad as them jumping up and doing a stage dive, which is what they REALLY want to do).

Anyway, 41 year old men who, if they were alive in Roman times would be a Caesar, do not, I assume, in general, go to bed with a bar of Cadbury’s Caramilk on the pillow which they had been munching whilst reading but then forgot about and went to sleep.

My Dad does.

I sleep on the pillow.

I did not see the Cadbury’s Caramilk bar.

I didn’t even feel it. I just curled up in my usual spot, and went to sleep.

Some time later…

I cannot describe the indignity of waking up to find ones nether regions covered in melted Cadbury’s Caramilk. My first thought was that I had actually not only become incontinent, but that I’d started crapping caramel. I’m not a young cat, so this kind of thing is frightening.

This is what happened:

Wake up. Try and change position. Sticky. STICKY. Find arse is attached to pillow.

‘Miaow!’, I say, loudly, hoping that one of them would wake up. ‘MIAOW?’

Nothing.

Stand up, lie on back and try and examine area. My rear paws, my belly, my shanks and most of my tail are covered in brown sticky goo. My fur is stuck together in chocolately patches.

‘Miaow?’ I cry again. ‘MIAOW!!!!!!’ I stick my head into my Dad’s face and nudge him.

“Mmmm, Zeebies, lovely cat….” he mumbles in his sleep, and strokes me. ‘Stroke my legs!’, I will. ‘Stroke my tail! Then you’ll wake up cos your hand will become stuck and you’ll CLEAN ME UP!’

Normally, a cat would lick itself clean. Cats, though, do not dig sugary shit.

Eventually, what woke him was not my scratching, my nudging or my meowing, but the smell of my breath in his face which, I think we can all admit, has taken a turn for the worse since I began my relationship with Thai catfood.

I was touched by how hysterical everyone seemed to find this misadventure of mine. My Dad had to use The Baby’s babywipes to clean it all off, and at one point was laughing so much he started to cry. I just lay there, humiliated, smelling of a combination of caramel and Johnson’s.

It was not a good night.

It also made my Dad stop buying my special cat food. He said I was beginning to make him feel a bit unwell, what with my overwhelming aroma of tuna and liver, so I’m now just on Iams.

On an entirely different note, if you ever want to see the word ‘mistake’ epitomised in animal form, go to google image and type in the word, ‘Opossum’. Or, alternatively, look below.

Opossums look, absolutely, like a mistake. They look like someone was making an animal, like, let’s say, a rat, then got a bit pissed, watched a couple of post-apocalyptic movies, totally dug the fingerless gloves and then created the Opossum.
I know about Opossums. I know because we have them LIVING IN OUR GARDEN. I wonder what brought them here? Hmm. I think – and I can’t say for sure, what with me only being a cat and all – I think it could be my Dad, leaving out great big whopping wedges of garlic bread at night to see what animals he could attract. We now know that Opossums, the freaky little rat-tailed vermin, really like garlic bread but will only eat the soft bits inside. Next week, we’ll get a frigging bear knocking at the window asking for a sandwich.