Dogs and cats and buttons

I’m going from animal to animal at the moment, likely carrying the scent between them like a bee pollinating flowers. Two hairy spoilt ragdolls in Brighton, beautiful and full of personality and shedding everywhere sending their pheromones to the tiny tiny little siamese kittens who lived on top of me for a couple of nights. Then this morning I hooked up with a cat in a bag. He’s going on holiday, but when I met up with him he was just about to embark on the journey. He was one mightily pissed off kitty. Here he is, glowering balefully at the world at Paddington Station. We went to Leon and drank calming CBD type drinks and I found myself thinking the pussy might have wanted some of that for himself.

Angry cat

Now I’m at my friend’s up in Harlesden as she is my plus one on a weird job tomorrow that involves driving up to Nottingham. We have to be there at eleven so that would have involved leaving my house at 7. Staying here will bank an extra hour in bed and make the whole day a bit less of a schlep. Essentially I’m already out of London. It’s just a straight shot up to Notts.

The phone signal here at my friend’s is terrible and for reasons still unknown to me I told her I didn’t need to get on the router. Now I have to watch the cat picture uploading as if I were on a dialup modem. That angry cat in a bag will have reached his destination by now and will hopefully be marginally less pissed off with the world now he’s not in a bag anymore. I carried his scandalised pheromones to a small dog called Bear. Bear spent the first twenty minutes of our acquaintance sucking my finger where I’d been petting the cat. Then when I got in the shower he apparently started hitting his “stranger” button behind my back. This is an innovation in the training of dogs that has passed me by until this evening. Word buttons, so the dog can learn basic communication through technology. “Play!” says one of the buttons. He hit that and then looked at his toys. He wanted to shred his donkey. “Outside!” says another one. He hit that and the garden door got opened. “There’s a video online of a dog that can use like 100 buttons,” my friend tells me. The voice in the button belongs to my friend – it’s not just one of those dead sounding computer voices – you can record your own. I’m fascinated. A way of giving your dog a rudimentary voice… I can’t imagine how you teach the wee creature how to use them correctly but he seems to have worked it out. “All done!” says another button.

The dog will be coming with us tomorrow, up to Nottingham. “He can’t be left alone for more than a few minutes.” I’ve got blankets in my car. There’s one friend taking her cat to Devon by train while I’m anticipating a road trip with a puppy. So many of us have animals that depend on us. It’s a lovely strange way of cutting off our options. I do very much enjoy meeting and caring for other people’s animals, but tempting as it is to get one of my own, if I did that I wouldn’t be able to look after everybody else’s, and I would spend my life trying to get people to look after mine so I could run around like an idiot. The fish have an auto-feeder thank goodness. Hex is with Flavia and he only needs to eat once a week really. Pickle is with Melissa and Brian full time. I’m freeeee. Still. Amazingly. For now.

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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