I’m not feeling it tonight. I’m home now. Brian is away so I’ve got his bed. I’m about to have a bath and get in it. I’m feeling very sober, in the sense that I’m remembering why I drink. It’s this ineffable sense of malaise that creeps up on me and makes me feel raw. And which is completely impossible to maintain when Pickle leaps onto your belly and starts burrowing and purring, as she just has. Now she’s bumping my phone with her nose. She wants attention. I love the bond and trust that we’ve built, this mad tiny cat and I. If she hadn’t blindsided her way in, my life would be the poorer for it. She won’t let me feel sad.

I just showed Darren where her food is kept and talked him through her simple needs for when I’m in Manchester. It’s great that the flat is always full of people. She is much quicker at making friends these days than the scaredy cat we first met. I’m relieved knowing there’s an army of people waiting in the wings to look after her. She came straight to Darren. She’ll still hide if there’s a dog or a child though, which is a shame as there’s a dog in my block that could do with a bit more company. His owner is rushing around sorting things out and can’t get to him all the time so when things are slow I get to walk a dog as well as have a cat. But if I were to bring him up here to my flat – I tried once – all hell would break loose. The hound immediately polished off Pickle’s breakfast, which is no way to make friends. After that she just stared with utter distaste at him, every hair erect, hiding in all manner of out of reach places and occasionally jumping out of her skin, knocking everything over and yowling.

Animals are great though. Both the dog and  the cat are perfectly happy with food and water, a bit of exercise, a soft place to sleep and the occasional cuddle. And here am I feeling all upset and angry because I’ve had a (half expected) knockback. I’ve got food and water. I had some exercise today. I’ve got Brian’s bed. And I get to cuddle the cat. Even when I’m trying to write my blog. Or sleep. Or work. Or go to the loo. Yep, she muscles in if I haven’t closed the door properly.

Pets definitely help us remember that all this shit is transitory. Their simple needs throw into relief our complicated desires. Their example is particularly valuable in these days of way too much choice. They eat the same crap every day. Although some people do too. Tom was walking the dog this morning when he saw a Macdonald’s delivery to a house in Ormond Gate. It was a glorious crisp morning. There’s a Macdonald’s ten minutes walk from the house. And Macdonald’s is worse than horse poo. He said, “Who are these people that live in one of the most expensive parts of London, eat Macdonald’s and won’t even leave the house to get it?”

I’m getting distracted and it’s late. I’ve written some words in order here so the obligation is discharged. I haven’t really managed to put a shape on it, but Pickle can stare at a wall for half an hour without moving so I reckon I can occasionally send out a half-arsed blog. Especially with a long day tomorrow.

It was the first run of Act 1 of West Side Story today. I could’ve written about that. It was ace. But instead I got sad and frustrated and then the cat jumped on me. Here’s a picture of the dog. img-20180208-wa0001281119704.jpgGoodnight. Zzzzz

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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