I live with two serial killers.
It’s true and more people in society do the same. Perhaps some of them don’t realise it, or perhaps some don’t really mind, but the fact of the matter is, there are two mass-murderers living under my roof. One is a black cat called Yuna and the other is her sister, the tabby cat called Rikku. Sweet cats, most of the time. Wouldn’t hesitate to take full advantage of an empty lap if presented with it. Both of them are good-natured, friendly and cuddlesome.
Both of them are creatures from Hell.
This is a frequent scene in our house.
It brokers the question: why do people bother owning cats when they really are such complete little shits?
Is it for the companionship? No. Cats are staggeringly independent. And don’t let them fool you into thinking otherwise. It’s actually the main reason I keep cats; with fresh water and extra food, you can have a day or two away and not worry about them. Ours split their time between in and outdoors (hence the plethora of avian annihilation that occurs on the premises).
Is it for the need to love and care for a smaller creature? Hell, no. I have my son to fill that role in my life; although he’s now almost taller than I am, so soon, he will be taking care of me. It’s true; I had the paperwork drawn up the day he was born. Plus, when he was three, he said when I’m bigger than you, mammy, I’ll take care of you.
He calls me ‘mammy’. It’s a quirk of the North East and not in any way a suggestion that I’m like, Al Jolson or whatever.
Why then, I wondered this morning as I gently rescued a live bird from the jaws of the Killer Cat, do I bother letting them stay around? I’ll tell you why. It’s this.
It’s not the fact that we’ve had them since kittens – and kittens are, without question, amongst the cutest of creatures living upon this Earth. It’s not how cute their whiskers are when they point forward, or how Yuna reaches up to ‘hand-grab’ you when she wants to be stroked whilst sitting on your lap. It’s not the way that Yuna has a specific spot on her back that makes her flump to one side if you scratch it and it’s not even how Rikku used to chase your feet under the bed clothes when she was little. No. It’s because they are manipulative little bastards.
After Rikku brought me my starling prize – still alive and now back outside where it belongs – I was cross with her. She went upstairs and wasn’t seen again for a couple of hours. Not as good as Yuna, who in moments of shame has been known to go into the kitchen, open the cupboard under the sink and sit inside… but still it was obvious that she knew she had done wrong. When our paths finally crossed later in the day, when I was taking a pile of ironing upstairs, she gave me the Eyes.
The Eyes, man.
How can I resist?
So yes. I share my home with two serial killers. No amount of rehabilitation is ever likely to cure them and no amount of telling off will ever stop them doing it. It’s in their nature. I know it’s in their nature. I’m just grateful that, as per the TV advert, they don’t have opposable thumbs.