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Idiot Boy

12 March 2006

Okay, so my new life is dominated by my cat. I don't care. If that domination reaches out to annex your time also, I still don't care. I'm in love, I'm allowed to be boring. This is the twenty-first century; you're allowed to be bored. (It seems to me that this is the point that people haven't been making, over the cartoons-of-Mohammed controversy: of course they're offensive to Moslems, but actually that's okay. The freedom to give offence is absolutely inherent in a democracy; so is the freedom to be offended. You are allowed to live in a condition of constant outrage at your neighbour's habits and beliefs; indeed, I think it should probably be encouraged. Given that - in a very literal sense - we're not all singing from the same hymn-sheet [and I've just written a story that deliberately glorifies terrorism, to prove it; more on this at another time], if we're not constantly arguing and being upset with each other, then there is something murky and untrustworthy going on somewhere underneath...)

For a while there, the food Barry ate on Thursday night/Friday morning looked like a one-off; he didn't eat all Friday, nor Saturday morning. I had conversations with his favourite nurse at the vets; we discussed strategies and agreed to be patient. Then he was sick, and I took him in regardless. The vet gave him generic injections - antibiotics on principle, steroids for appetite - and told me to starve him, as though he weren't already starving himself; the nurses gave him cuddles and cooing. The most popular surgery stray in living memory, they tell me - which kind of puts pressure on me. He doesn't eat, I feel guilty.

Whether it was the cuddles, or the jabs, or the deliberate starvation, who can say? He sulked in the bathroom all afternoon (hot radiator, comfy towels and a dripping tap: he is one of those who likes his water fresh, and may be making an illustrative contribution to any day now), perked up in the evening and played on the bed a little in the night (tho' he doesn’t yet sleep with me; I'm not sure he does sleep at night. Lawks, could I have ended up with a nocturnal cat...?).

This morning, he played affectionately with my ankles as I trekked from bedroom to bathroom and back; he followed me neatly downstairs; I gave him food and he ate it. As though it were the most normal thing in the world. Grrr...

Then Idiot Boy sat on the windowsill and tried to assassinate the snowflakes on the other side of the glass. Aww...

And yes, all right, he does seem still to be called Barry. When he's not called Idiot Boy. A new boyfriend moves in, I suppose it's impolite to change his name, first off.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.