Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Cat in the Hat

There's this cat, one of those dismal looking ones, like a black and brown rorschach blot - the type that go invisible in the twilight. I guess some would describe it as my cat except that it's not my cat. It's just that it happens to live at my house, shed hair all over my furniture and shit in a box in my hall. I'm not one hundred percent certain how it has come to pass that a cat is living at my house but I'd stake the juicier portion of my life that one of the women I live with had something to do with it. I tried being friends with the cat for a bit (only because the women I live with kept saying that there must be something wrong with me if I don't like the cat) but the two times I let it sit on my knee while I was watching Scrapheap Challenge, the cat started making this engine noise and then dug its claws into my legs. It's always skulking around too, trying to get back into the house whenever I throw it out. It's less agile now since I hit it with the shovel. Now the left side of its head is all flat and the right side bulges out like the front of a zeppelin. I had to tell the women I live with that it had been stood on by the neighbour's horse but they were so livid and put their coats on to go give him a piece of their minds even though it was lashing rain out that I had to say that it might have been someone elses horse that was just in the area because there was no-one riding it and it didn't have a collar or a name written on its side or anything. They calmed down a little then and I made them some tea and warmed some milk for the cat. His one good eye kept watching me and the women I live with said I was good to make the warmed milk for the cat. I didn't go with them to the vet the next morning but apparently he had a good look at the cat and said that it is very unusual that a horse would stand on the cat but that maybe it happened by accident because those types of cat go invisible in the twilight. The vet said that the cat's entire brain had actually been dislodged six centimetres to the right and it was this that was causing the unseemly bulge. The vet has since made a little aluminium hat for the cat which he has to wear over the flat side of his head as apparently the skull is now dangerously soft and discontinuous where the horse got him. I put him out of the house more than ever now because I don't like the way he looks at me with his one good eye and also because he tends to veer left when he walks and the brim of his little metal hat gouges the wallpaper. I have to be careful to close all the windows once he's out or he gets straight back in again and I usually only realise when I hear him scraping along the walls. Things aren't much better once he's outside either as he generally comes and sits at the window watching me watching Scrapheap Challenge with his one good eye. The worst of it is that his little metal hat interferes with the reception something awful and I have to watch the action through a jumping mess of snow and bits of some Welsh soap opera. Apparently this will no longer be a problem once we make the big switchover to digital television in October. Everything's going to be better then. Imagine - hundreds of TV channels at the touch of a button. Apparently there's even going to be a Scrapheap Challenge channel. That'll be great for the cat, his one good eye can watch it through the window and there'll be no signal disruption or anything. It'll probably do him the world of good seeing unlikely successes being cobbled together from broken old detritus and bits of metal. I feel like we're all in that boat a bit these days. I should tell the cat about uncertainty principle. Put him in a box and tell him that he'll be either alive or dead when I close the lid but that I won't know which until I open it. Pretend that it's a little game, then I can tape the box up and drive out somewhere remote and leave it, alone, neither dead nor alive. Yeah, I feel like we're all in that boat a bit these days.