It was one of those idyllic afternoons, when the hot day had surrendered to a cool change and we were all sitting in the backyard, basking in the sun and the breeze. The two younger kids were jumping on the trampoline, Mr Justice was reading aloud from a book, I was sipping from a flute of ice-cold champagne and Roxy the puppy was sniffing at my toes.
And then I saw him, standing at the back door, glowering at us through the fly screen, his heart hardened with hatred by what he saw before him.
No, not my husband – he was at work.
It was the cat.
The fricking-fucking cat.
I’ve made no secret of my feelings about Genghis Cat on this blog and in public. I’ve shocked many a person by referring to him as a “complete arsehole” in casual conversation. Even my husband has been known to tell our guests “Genghis? Oh, Genghis is a cock.”.
But at the end of the day, he’s *OUR* complete-arsehole-slash-cock and we feed him and love him as best as you can love something that bites you as quick as he’ll look at you. And I must concede that the arrival of a puppy would’ve upset even a cat like Fluffy Fluffkins of Fluffville Manor.
It doesn’t help that Roxy is prone to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” around Genghis. She dances and prances and yelps all around him while Genghis stands as still as a rock. A murderous-looking rock.
It also doesn’t help that Genghis had turned our backyard into the Killing Fields in the weeks leading up to the puppy’s arrival with many a grizzly discovery made when we were setting up for my 40th birthday party.
And it certainly doesn’t help that my husband, who having breezily said “Genghis will just have to deal with it!” before bringing Roxy home, suddenly announced a day after Roxy joined us with extreme gravity: “I think Genghis is capable of killing our puppy!”
He had obviously finally remembered the guinea pig. Lest we forget the guinea pig.
Still, we’ve all been working hard to broker some kind of peace deal between the two. And slowly, ever so slowly, progress is being made.
One week on, they can be in the same room without us all being on high alert (in the case of the kids, “high alert” means putting their hands over their ears, shutting their eyes and shouting every time Genghis walked in the room). Indeed, this morning, Tiddles, Roxy and Genghis all shared my bed at five-fucking-thirty-AM. Everyone was happy, except me. Because it was five-fucking-thirty-AM.
Yes, Genghis seems to be growing tolerant. For one thing, he’s recognised the fact that Roxy provides him with a whole new avenue of food. Turns out he loves puppy food. Of course he loves puppy food. It shits all over cat food. Just as burnt popcorn scraps, squashed peanut butter toast and congealed milk shits all over cat food. Stupid cat food.
I also suspect Genghis’ PR people have had a few words to him about his image. Suddenly, he’s trying to climb up on our laps and letting us pat him for more than a second before going for the jugular. But it’s a bit like Darth Vader handing out balloons or Heath Ledger’s ‘The Joker’ doing face painting at the local primary school fete – the menace is still there.
You see, I fear he’s playing a longer game than any of us are expecting. When we’ve all long since been lulled into a false sense of security, he’ll whip out a rocket launcher fashioned from the bones of dead birds, rodents and guinea pigs and blast the dog to kingdom come.
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