Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hell is the lap of luxury

Christmas presents packed. Suitcase closed. Extremely large book in hand luggage in anticipation of 10 days at the airport while London tries to work out where the runway is under the snow. Cat.... zooming in concentric circles around the apartment. Apparently, someone suspects the way this morning is going to go down.


It took me two attempts to get Tallis into her carrier. The first time she escaped to hide under the bed in the basement bedroom. As I lifted the futon to shift it across the room, I had to give her credit for continuing to remain out-of-reach under the middle of the slats in a brilliant thwarting of my scheme. Three more laps around the apartment later and my clean white sweater was covered with dusty black paw prints but we were finally in the car. I hit the highway.

"Tallis?" I glanced briefly down at the suspiciously silent carrier on the floor by the passenger front seat.

No response.

"Hey kitkat! How are you doing?"


"Tal Tal...?" I stopped at a set of lights and took the opportunity to give the carrier a nudge. No response.

Had something awful happened? Did Tallis hurt herself as she was stuffed into the carrier? Was the black canvas holder in fact imbued with a rare poison that kills felines on contact as Tallis had always claimed? Had my crazy, selfish and (let's face it) highly unrealistic dream of going home for Christmas caused my poor sweet pussy cat to perish?! WAS I THE WORST CAT OWNER IN THE WORLD?

Concerned, I nearly missed the entrance to the 'Cat Castle' cattery, swerving into the driveway at a sharp angle and causing the cat carrier to roll onto its side.


Apparently, the silent treatment can be over-ridden by an even bigger reason for indignation.


Parking, I scooped up the carrier and we went inside the house to be met by several of the assistants who were coming out to top up the bird feeders (cat TV).

"Oh, it's Tallis! We love Tallis! She is such an angel! Hello, Tallis!"

This declaration of love and friendship was met with a hissing, spitting ball of fury as the smell of the other cats reached my same-species-phobic companion.

"..... She's thrilled to see you too!" I tried to cover up the noise as the carrier wobbled in my grip under its inhabitant inflating her fur to ten times its normal volume.

I let Tallis out in her roomy cage, sprinkling cat nip over the three levels of bedding. "Look at it this way," I told the cat eying me as if I were spreading dog urine on her food bowl. "At worst, it's less than two weeks, but if the news is anything to go by, Heathrow will be closed and I'll be back tomorrow."

Yellow-green eyes narrowed. The message was clear: Let it snow.

"We need to work on selflessness for the sake of others."


The translation of that I leave to the reader.

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