Friday, 2 January 2015



Everything’s Swell, Just Swell


Our New Year’s Eve plans were simple, do nothing. Yesterday we had to rent a Rug Doctor machine.


The Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA tastes good. The brew has a refreshing hint of grapefruit. A fine way to start the year in a cat piss disaster zone and punt those silly resolutions for 2015. Actually, it’s my third. Let me light another cigarette, place another log on the fire and button my cardigan, I’ve a story to tell you.


On the last night of the year we joined two other couples for dinner. Our friends had made reservations for the six of us on a whim. We, on a similar whim, invited everybody back to our place afterward. We threw a satisfying shindig; the Doobies and the Stones made appearances as did tequila shots. But the party did get off to an awkward start when Ann asked our guests if the house smelled of cat pee. ‘Overpowering,’ and ‘I wasn’t going to say anything,’ were two of the replies. Ann and I looked at each other: Fuck. The guilty party lay curled up asleep on his favourite chair in the living room within the bounds of his new territorial initiative, the Christmas fir.


The first of January was supposed to be about admonishing myself because I know better than to drink tequila at one o’clock in the morning and then chase the horrid ounce with more beer. It was supposed to be about dozing off while watching hockey or American college football. New Year’s Day instead became about the re-imposition of order. Order in today’s chaotic world is more important than ever before. The coffee table book must be angled just so. A magazine may be recycled only after two newer issues have been delivered. The toilet roll must unspool from the top. Novels cannot rub up against non-fiction. Music must be filed alphabetically by artist and then chronologically by release date. Say what you will about a fascist buffoon like Il Duce, but, hey, the trains ran on time.


The festive decorations came down. The Nutcracker soldier went back into his box. Down on my hands and knees, my nose inches from the tree trunk and the carpet, my gag reflex worked overtime as I unsecured the tree from its stand. I now have abs of steel. We then raced up to the grocery store to rent a carpet cleaning machine. If you ever have to tidy up a murder site, I recommend a thorough perusal of the Rug Doctor Quick Stain Removal Chart beforehand. It covers everything: bile (yellow/green vomit), blood, feces (non-urine), perspiration (!), urine and regular vomit.

This morning Mungo the tabby, already a professional puker, wandered into the living room and promptly took a piss where the Christmas tree used to be and where the Rug Doctor had been many times over. Cats are like people who manage to earn a wage even though they’re not competent at what they do; there’s no talking to them. The little bastard is incapable of explaining this new aberrant behaviour after 14 relatively benign years. And we cannot make him understand that his ninth life now dangles from a rapidly fraying thread.

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