A few weeks ago I was awakened by an ungodly mewling at an ungodly hour. So I stick my dressing gown on and fetch the torch for I knew it is Timmy (the cat) and he very clearly was very far from gruntled. So I search the house. No sign. So, I put my trainers on and head outside. We have a large garden and I’m hunting for a black cat in the dark with not much more than an old dressing gown (under my clothing I was wearing little or nothing, ladies), a pretty poor torch and a pair of trainers that cost 8 quid in Decathlon in Stockport. I thought fuck it! Did Ernest Shackleton quit on South Georgia? No he fucking didn’t! I was also still somewhat Brahms from last night’s debauch but kitty needed to be rescued and I was the only game in town for that and cats can make an appalling amount of noise for little creatures. And fuck it, Timmy has been my mate for years.
Two thoughts occurred to me. The first was, “If the rozzers are abroad and I am collared at 3 am wearing nowt but a dressing gown, Primark underwear and cheap trainers and carrying a torch wandering like an unquiet spirit of the damned in a domestic area I’m gonna end up in Strangeways. “Right sir, you were looking for a black cat at night – Get in the back of the van!. Second after that was lines from Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi”…
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
That is life. Sometimes you have to go out in a dressing gown through the glom of nit whilst still half-pissed and wearing cheap trainers to look for a black cat in the dark.
I eventually found Timmy. He was in the connected Meeting House. I searched it as a place of last resort because I – to this day – have no idea how the fuck he got in (or why? To read the Bibles?*).
He curled up on my lap and I gave him a pouch of salmon and trout. I played with him for a bit. He might be a daft bugger but he is a comrade. And that is what matters.
Then I went back to bed.
*Quite a few years back me and a confederate fitted a projection screen in the Meeting House. This meant moi going into the attic for the bolts and such (he was a lot older so I did that). It is a very old building so I thought I might find something on this excursion – I mean in the Indy Jones fashion. I did. I found a magazine rack and an NHS commode chair (stained). But we must remain curious because you never know do you?