I have a confession to make.
It was me. I tore a chunk out of the side of the chaiselongue. I did it when I was sleeping. When I woke and saw the destruction I foolishly tried to blame somebody else. Perhaps the snake? But no. He’s in semi permanent torpor under a rock, and he can’t get out of his box anyway. The fish? Too weak. Too aquatic. Too distracted.
Maybe somebody broke in in the middle of the night, tore a chunk out of the chaise and vanished? Too far fetched. The cleaning lady has a key… Perhaps she got drunk and came here by mistake and tore apart the place without waking me. But I’m a light sleeper. I’d have awoken. It was me. It had to be me. I have to face the hard truth.
The cat is mildly disapproving of my bad behaviour. That precise bit of the chaise is his favourite place for sharpening his claws when I’m not watching. Now that I’ve ruined it he’ll have to find somewhere else. It wasn’t the cat though, in case you dare to think such things. Let’s be very clear about this. Mao and his representatives have made it boundlessly clear that neither he nor the party had anything to do with it. He was nowhere near the incident at the time and the chaiselongue was destroyed by none other than that fiend of the bourgeoisie who is only tolerated because he’s good at getting those tricky hairballs out.
Here he is. Our glorious leader. Surveying the damage from his velvet throne. Accusing.
I’m not sure how to fix the bit back on. However I do it, it’ll have to be strong as Mao hangs his whole bodyweight on the velvet there through his claws. It’s a miracle he didn’t pull it off instead of me. Sleep-walking. Sharpening my nails. Any suggestions on reattachment very welcome. There’s wood on the other side and somehow it was stapled before the material went on.
Perhaps it’s time to get him a stropping post.
This evening he was bolder than usual, now he knows he has the upper hand because I broke his chaise. He strolled into the living room where I was taking photographs of editions of The Royal Cruising Club Journal from the collection of Lord Stanley of Alderley. He was trying to get as much hair as he could on the books I was trying to list until he finally properly spotted the fish. I’ve switched off their night light now. He became immediately transfixed by Maureen. Maybe tonight, in my sleep, I’m going to hook some of the fish out of the tank and play with them as they die on the carpet. And then eat their heads.
Perhaps I should invest in some sort of secure tank lid in order to prevent myself from perpetrating such a wanton act of destruction.