This is Paddy.You may recognise him as he is perched in his favourite flowerpot on the right, so you probably see him whenever you visit. I am a cat person. I do like dogs but I can’t bear all that incessant walking in the rain/sleet/snow, the necessity to bathe them regularly or have your house and furniture stink and the ever-present, unconditional devotion is a bit of a pisser too, TBH. And there is no-one and nothing on this earth whose turds I wish to scoop out of the garden.
Nope – give me a cat any day. I like a bit of haughty indifference – a bit of “well, I can take you or leave you” and a few snooty looks. The thing I don't enjoy about cats is the hunter-gatherer instinct. I have written about this before here and there have been many times when Paddy has brought all manner of disgusting wildlife into the house – some of it alive and some of it rather mangled. I still haven’t quite found the product that successfully gets rodent blood out of carpets.
These are my daughter’s Doc Martin’s. They are the real deal and I shuddered and swallowed hard as I coughed up over £90 for them a few weeks ago. I’m trying to look at it on a cost-per-wear basis as they will last for decades. (They’d better). And lo, she brought them home and the Shah did laugh and rant and call her “Like Minnie Mouse” and she did hit him hard.
Now daughter is inclined to come home and kick off her footwear, leaving it wherever it falls. When I got sick of falling over these giant boots, I instructed her to leave them at the bottom of the stairs where they would be out of the way. This worked well for a while until I realised the fatal flaw in this plan.
The bottom of the stairs is, basically, the killing fields. Don't ask me why Paddy likes to bring wildlife in and ritually slaughter it under the coats hanging there, but he does and it’s not uncommon to find a neat little pile of guts waiting there for us. So, one morning recently, it felt odd to wake up without Paddy on the bed or nearby. He is always around in the mornings as he is ruled by his stomach. I shambled along to the top of the stairs and this is what I saw:-
A quick call out to the Shah ensued (it being a blue job to rid the house of all rodents, living or dead). He very grumpily lumbered along and took the offending boot out into the garden and shook it out, depositing a little field mouse in a flower bed whilst I distracted Paddy with some of these
which he loves more than life itself.
So far so good. The Shah and I sniggeringly came to an agreement that we wouldn’t say anything to the daughter as we knew she would be less than impressed (understatement of the century) to think that there had been any kind of wildlife sheltering in her boot, probably crapping itself with fear. Paddy worked the innocent look:-
That all went fine. Until yesterday. I took some pictures of Paddy being daft in the garden and the daughter grabbed my phone to look through them...
Daughter: (flicks through pictures) Oh bless Paddy! Look at him, he's such a sweetheart! Hey - what’s this? (brandishes phone under my nose)
Me (weakly): Um a picture of Paddy admiring your boots...?
Her: WTF? DID HE HAVE A MOUSE IN MY BOOTS? WT ACTUAL F? ARE YOU TELLING ME A MOUSE HAS SHAT IN MY BOOT?
Me: (Trying to hide laughter and failing) um probably...
Her: I DON’T BELIEVE THIS – THEY’RE GOING UP TO MY ROOM RIGHT NOW!!!
(stamps up the stairs, is not seen again for some hours).
Me: Result! Thanks Paddy. (showers cat with extra treats)