Friday, 21 October 2011

Go-Cat

'Cats,' says the woman blocking my trolley in Oils and Condiments, 'help children develop in a different way.'

I'm not certain what she means by this. Whether feline companionship makes children caring and responsible, condemns them to a life on anti-histamines or fosters a violent enthusiasm for small rodents.

My daughter is desperate for a cat. For two years she's been decided on the name - Frisbee - but has lacked an animal to bestow it on. Now everyone is telling me that pets are as vital to a child's emotional growth as sleepovers and probiotics and I know that they are right, but I don't want to face up to it.

The sad truth is that middle age has made me cowardly. Long ago I planned to be a spinster with 17 cats. My two moggies shared my pillow and my dining table. But age, kids and matrimony got in the way. Now I worry about paw prints on my White Company bath mats, jellified lamb chunks putrefying in the kitchen, pigeon entrails draping the stairs. I worry that now I can get away with cleaning the house every five weeks; post-cat I can't. 'Cat hair isn't a problem so long as you don't wear black,' says Woman by Condiments. But my husband is a vicar. He wears nothing but black. And paying a funeral visit with a thickly moustachioed behind will impair his gravitas.

The realisation of my reluctance is as shocking as the discovery last year that I can no longer do forward rolls. When the Cat Subject is next raised I tell my daughter: 'We'll see'. I'm hoping that I can justify a year or two of 'seeing', by which time she'll have switched her ambitions to an iPad 3.

She knows that and says that instead of a cat I could have new baby. She's heard that older people like me can get one off the internet.

That night I dream that I've adopted infant twins. I wake up sweating. I promise my daughter that tomorrow we're going to get a cat.

Now head over to Actually Mummy's new Sunday Funny to see more of the comic side of parenting 

15 comments:

  1. When you've bought the cat will you practice forward rolls again? You should.

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  2. that is hilarisous! I can't do forward rolls anymore either - horrible discovery isn't it? However, shame on you for still having lovely White Stuff linen - moth-eaten and mismatched is the way to go for all parents, didn't you know that? ;)

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  3. Brilliant! "And paying a funeral visit with a thickly moustachioed behind will impair his gravitas." is probably my phrase of the year so far. I know it's January but I read a lot. I really did laugh out loud so mission accomplished for #sunfun.

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    1. Oh, Slightly Suburban, I'm becoming mighty fond of you!

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  4. Ha ha! I thought I'd grow up a cat loving spinster.But I haven't, maybe when the kids leave home.

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  5. Ah you have overlooked the one feline benefit that is of use to the busy modern mother of the noughties - bobble removing from wooly jumpers. cats have a penchant for hopping on laps and licking jumpers with their sandpaper tongues which in turn removes 'bobbling'. I myself keep a small kitten gaffa taped to a broom handle in the pantry for such occasions.

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    1. Funny you should say that. For since we acquired the wretched cats they have teased out the wool in my best glamour-cardies so I am bobblier than ever. They also poo on the rugs, wee on the beds and leave earth worms on the landing. Wish I'd gone for the babies after all.

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  6. That's made me laugh out loud. My children (and dog, sorry) are eyeing me suspiciously.

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    1. If only you were yummytoslummymummy you could have incontinent kittens too!! (For the following day we acquired two toms)

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  7. Lol . My wife used the same tactic . It was either a puppy or another baby. Im not sure I could cope with either !

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  8. I have a basset hound you can have - he'll eat the cats for you... he will moult, drool and stink your house out though...

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  9. A cat would definitely be far less trouble than a baby. Dogs however...

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  10. The cat could become your new baby! If you're worried about cat hair, you could always plump for a hairless one. They look like gremlins but you can't have everything...

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    1. Too late. I wrote this in October, was true to my resolve and am now three-months deep in cat hair and worse.

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