“We have to go to Normandy tomorrow” said le FP, a couple of weeks ago.
“OK”, said I. “Is everything alright with your Mom?” I asked, knowing that she was the only reason we’d ever be going to Normandy.
“No, she’s crazy. She’s taking the cats to the SPA tomorrow to be put to sleep if we don’t collect them”. He was visibly upset by this news.
Now, I’ve known all along that there were cats. When le FP moved back from Montréal the cats made their move across the Atlantic with him, and have been living with his Mother ever since.
What I didn’t realise is that she hates them, keeps them locked in the cellar and lets them out for an hour a day. She’s not a nice lady as far as cats are concerned.
So we dash off to Normandy on a mercy mission, stopping at le Mont St. Michel for a spot of impromptu tourism.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am incredibly allergic to cats. They make me sneeze, cough, wheeze. My eyes itch, swell, go red. My body itches all over. It’s not good.
But hey, greater love hath no man, and for the first time in my life I find myself sharing a house with two cats and a supply of anti-histamine (that works most of the time).
And they are beautiful cats. Despite their names (which, no, I won’t be sharing with you).
Both are loving, both are funny.
They also hate each other and fight whenever they are within ten feet of each other. In a small apartment, this isn’t ideal and I’m regularly woken up at 2am by them hissing and squealing and scrapping outside the bedroom door.
And yet this isn’t what makes me hate them.
Why do I hate them so much?
Last night, I was sorting out the bedroom closet (yep, that’s how exciting my life is) and was pretty much pre-occupied with getting my shirts into colour order. When I left the bedroom the smell hit me.
It was the smell of shit, no doubt about it.
Le FP was off at a photo-shoot, so he wasn’t to blame.
It had to be the cats. But which one, and, most importantly, where?
I got down on all fours and slowly (and carefully) worked my way around the flat, looking under all possible hiding places for the pile of turd.
I didn’t need to look too hard, the smell took me there almost immediately.
There, in the corner of my living room was a pile of stinking, fetid, filthy cat shit. A huge pile.
And next to it? Two of my favourite cushions that had been pissed upon.
What can I say?
I was willing to take the pills and confront my allergies.
I was willing to put up with the midnight fighting.
I was willing to accept that every item of clothing I now wear has cat hair on it.
But shit? In the corner of the living room?
No way José.
How deep is my love? Not cat-shit deep, that’s for sure.
War has been declared. The cats had better be ready.