Saturday, 13 June 2015

Why I hate cats

Why I hate cats

My mum, a proud lady of the house that she was, taught me the importance of order in life. She had a strong sense of right and wrong, a tidy house and a system to organise just about anything. Her cupboards were neatly arranged, bills always paid and she even managed to find time to keep the biscuit tin filled with homemade goodies.

And as I grew older, the inbread obsession to be tidy grew with me. Not only do I keep my drawers tidy, but I apply the same principle and have a mental filing system.

A part of this structure is my ‘Love’ and ‘Hate’ section. Everything I ever come across gets filed away in to either ‘Love’ or ‘Hate’ folder. Over the course of the years a number of files in my system got transferred from ‘Love’ to ‘Hate’ but only a very limited number of ‘Hate’ items redeemed themselves into ‘Love’.

One file in my ‘Hate’ folder that never changed is cats. I grew up with dogs and as a result never developed affection towards their rivals.

A year before I moved in with Mr Chateauneuf, he got cats. Not just one but two kittens. It was a drunken night and the kids pestered me – was his excuse. To say I was furious was an understatement.

The following months I considered a break-up, hiring a cat hit man and oldie but goodie – an ultimatum ‘me or cats’. But as the anger subsided and common sense prevailed I decided to do the unspeakable – move in despite the cats.

So on 23rd May 2015, having packed my life into boxes and loaded it into a van, I left the safely of my London pet free flat and moved to the country and into a house with cats. If somebody said to me three years ago that I would do that, I would’ve slapped them and unfriended them  on Facebook.

Mr Chateauneuf knew that no good would come out of me living with cats and came up with a genius idea – create a space for me. So he built me a teremok (Russian for cute wooden house) at the bottom of the garden, where I could escape to read, write and just take a break from general noise. But more importantly where cats are not allowed.

As my teremok was filling up with familiar items I brought from London, I was feeling more relaxed and at home. And although it was nowhere near finished yet, one cold evening I escaped there, just to get some solitude.

And just as I made myself comfortable on the chair, I heard a scratch at the door. I looked over and surprise, surprise – the cats found me, both of them. Like sharks, they were circling my teremok, trying to find a way in.

For a split second a felt a panic flutter, and then I remembered that I it’s mice I’m scared of, not cats. I can deal with cats and more importantly – there is no way they can get in, unless I open the door. So I ignored them, listened to music, flicked through magazines and eventually relaxed and forgot all about them.

An hour later as I powered on my laptop, I noticed one of the cats sitting patiently by the door. She wasn’t scratching or begging, she was simply sitting there, looking at me through the window. It was like that episode from Catwoman when Selina meets cat’s eyes. Mesmerised and despite all my instincts I opened the door and she ran into my teremok.

I went back to writing while she went on exploring tour around my office. It didn’t feel completely natural having a cat in but I had to admit, she brought a certain degree of peace and serenity.  And before long, in true cat style, she jumped on my desk and I let her.

As I was watching her exploring my teremok, I couldn’t help but wonder, if something as huge as cats got taken out of ‘Hate’ folder, then what else can be moved? Is there a hope for other ‘Hate’ items? Can I learn to love after all?

I watched her jump on the book shelf and from there everything started happening in slow motion. She walked over to my favourite picture frame, knocked it over, it fell and smashed against the shelving unit underneath. The glass particles flew all over my office.

And right there I remembered why cats are in my ‘Hate’ folder. I kicked her out immediately and shut the door behind her.