We’ve been under attack from Malice Cat for about half a year now. I think the spiteful little bastard has sensed weakness. Also it’ll give some indication of precisely what degree of evil genius I’m dealing with here when I tell you that we’re living in a second floor flat. Malice Cat has to get through about three doors and, yet, somehow it does. I think it must have opposable thumbs. Or telekinesis. Or mind control. Or something.
It all started just when winter got really dark. I’d come home, blunder my way down the creepy little alley that runs down the side of our building and then, suddenly, this pair of Gollum-green lamps would snap on in the gloom, looking right at me like they wanted me to die. I’d make unmanly noises and generally freak the fuck out, and Malice Cat would blink contemptuously and be like: lol, motherfucker.
Okay, so I’m learning organism, right? I adapted. I got habituated to evil eyes looming at me from the darkness and stopped yelping every time it happened.
So Malice Cat escalated.
Malice Cat is wrong, you see. It is a Lovecraftian cat, blasphemous and squamous and generally inducing sanity loss when beheld. It’s sort of hunched and triangular like a Christmas tree bonked a toilet brush, and you can’t really see where any of it begins or ends. It just sort of flicks out a paw or a tail or an ear (or, probably, a tentacle) when it feels the occasion requires one. It’s also black … which means it’s practically invisible in the dark, especially if its putrescent orbs are closed.
And this appears to be the damn creature’s hobby. Sitting in the dark, waiting to cause pain and suffering.
In case you think I’m exaggerating the awfulness of Malice Cat, it looks something like this:
So when my pain and suffering diminished, it started sitting literally right in front of my door, in its freaky, invisible triangular pose, eyes closed so, of course, I wouldn’t see it and I’d stand on it.
The other thing about the wrongness Malice Cat is that it is aural as well as aesthetic. It sounds like it has swallowed a duck, and the duck is angry, and trying to get out again, and probably wasn’t a very nice duck to begin with. So when you stand on Malice Cat, it says something that sounds like this: qaaarrrrrrrwwwk.
Which I think is Cat for “I want you to die alone and unloved in a pit of lampreys.”
So the death lights would go on, and the quaaarrrrwwwwwk would happen, and Malice Cat would suddenly produce about 87 razor-sharp switchblade claws and embed them in me. And then we’d have a little fight, and I’d generally scream and hop around and crash into things, and Malice Cat would eventually deign to disembark my leg.
I thought its reign of terror might be done now the spring is here but, no, dammit no, it has escalated again. Firstly, it has started infiltrating the flat, and I don’t know how it does this because there’s no fucking way it should be possible without, well, a key. But every now and again I come home and, somehow, Malice Cat is just waiting for me inside like I owe it money and it turned up to collect or break my legs.
I’ve evicted it quite firmly on a couple of occasions, rather than just waiting in furious apprehension for it to choose to fuck off, and, believe me, it has made its displeasure known.
Cats, life experience has taught me, are masters of the vindictive poo.
For a while, when I had no money, I lived in a very fancy bit of town in the home of a woman called Caro. She was late middle age, an artist, tremendously rich and posh and just one of those blessed people who swoosh through life in a cloud of fabulousness. She used to wear a lot of silk, robe-like garments, with bell sleeves, and lots of very jingly jewellery, and she had the most amazing pre-Raphaelite hair, wine dark waves shot through with strands of silver, that streamed all the way down her back. Hilariously I used to live in her garret. But, anyway, she also had two cats, British shorthairs I recall, both jet black with amber eyes, and those ridiculously pudgy cheeks that British shorthairs have, like their mouths are perpetually stuffed with too many biscuits. Rowan and Willow they were called, and I was nominally supposed to be looking after them, and all they ever did was get me into trouble. I think it was deliberate, you know. I really do.
Anyway, one day Willow was having some, err, dietary issues and Caro was all “Run her down the vet will you, darling” and I was like “yeah okay” having no idea what I was letting myself in for. Now, you’re probably getting the sense from this blogpost that I don’t really like cats and you’d be right. But cats … I’m not sure if ‘like’ is the right word, but cats are kind of interested in me, I suppose. This manifests in rolling all over me, or torturing me like Malice Cat does, or just generally doing what I want.
So, using my Cat Voice, I coax Willow into her carrier and sweep her off to the vet and I can see when we get there that Willow is really not pleased about this. Cats are very communicative animals and the expression on her angry little face is just so clear: “I trusted you, you said nice things to me, and told me it would be okay, and now you’ve put me in a box and taken me to a bad place where badness happens.” And I’m like “chill out, Willow, it’s just a check-up. You’ll be fine.” And Willow is all “Humph.” And I’m like “I won’t let anything awful happen to you, I promise.” And Willow is like “Humph.”
We trundle in to see the vet and Willow is extracted with some difficulty from the cat carrier and, while I politely explain the problem, she sits there under his hand, this little ball of sulk, her eyes never leaving my face.
And the vet is like “Oh, yes, I think we can sort that out, I just need to run a few tests.”
And I’m like “cool.”
And then it happens. From nowhere he produces this … this … object. It’s honestly about as long as my forearm.
“What … what’s that for?” I say.
“Just taking her temperature,” chirrups the vet.
“Um, look … can you… is there not…” I begin anxiously.
But it’s too late. The unspeakable object vanishes into one end of Willow. And the other end of Willow makes a sound – God – beyond description.
And when I open my eyes, because I genuinely can’t watch this, she’s still STARING at me with cold dead eyes.
So, anyway, after it’s all over, I take Willow home. There is a deep painful silence in the car. Willow is sitting in the box with her back to me. That’s how fucking serious this is. When I let her out, she streaks out of there, and I don’t see her again all day. I wander the house, calling her name, I make sure she’s got her favourite flavour of food, I ask Rowan if he’s seen her. No.
Nothing. Conspiracy of silence.
That night, as I go to my room, I get a premonition of disaster. I go inside and there it is, slap bang, perfectly placed, right in the middle of my bed: the biggest, most extravagant and most expressive shit I had ever seen or imagined possible.
Message received, Willow, message received.
Anyway, jump-cut to Malice Cat. You know I told you about the little passageway leading to our front door? Well, I’ve tried it make it, y’know, semi-nice. There are shrubs there now and stuff like that. And two gravel borders on either side of the path. It’s not the Chelsea Flower Show but it looks like somebody cared.
Malice Cat has taken to using the gravel as a litter tray. He doesn’t even bury it, as I understand is feline preferred practice. He just poos. Everywhere. I honestly couldn’t imagine one cat could contain quite that much shit. I actually counted and we are in double figures now. And, yes, I could clean it but then I’ll have LOST.
H is just perpetually confused about the whole thing. He keeps walking down the alley and saying in this aggrieved voice “Is it me, or does our house smell a bit of poo.” And I’m like “Yes, that would be because of the poo.” And then he sighs and goes inside.
And, somewhere, Malice Cat laughs.