Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Cat

I rush out in the morning, grab some fast food, hover round in a shop looking for razors when I see a gorgeous woman, I want to talk to her, meet her, but I am unshaven, my breath smells, I look a mess. She would think I was a rapist. Maybe I am and I don’t know it. I return home. An eternal ache is in me, for music, for the stage, for fame and glory. When will I understand how to satisfy this? It hurts, it makes me rush about wishing my life away in dreams. I turn on the computer and try to find the words to get this out of me. They don’t come. I roll a cigarette, I smoke it, I make a coffee, I stare blankly out the window into the mist. It is just 10.30am. I have been awake an hour. I have another hour left to get ready, wash, shave, pack and leave for the train. I feel flustered, but this is normal, I live like this. I go to the toilet and sit down to take a crap.

I look up and see the cat laid out on the chair in the bathroom. It has been in the same position for at least 12 hours as I recall seeing it just before I went to bed last night.
It lazily lifts it’s head up to look at me then rests it back down again still staring. It blinks, a slow hypnotic and calming blink. The look in its eyes, all-knowing. I watch the cat, the cat watches me. We both know we are looking at a completely different species and we are both wondering our own relevant thoughts about it. The cat and I do this a lot when we meet.

‘How do you sit there for 12 hours looking so fucking satisfied?’ I ask it.
The cat says nothing.
It just blinks, then stretches, and sits up staring at me, into me.
‘What?’ I say.
The cat says nothing.
But I have the feeling it knows all about me.

Considering we are supposed to be the more intelligent species I find myself strangely in awe of this creature. It does absolutely fuck all most of the day and yet is entirely satisfied with itself. Occasionally it goes outside and beats up the neighbours cat and then comes in, takes up position on the sofa in the kitchen knowing each person will give it a small portion of leftover dinner. Then it mooches about the house generally hanging out on the stairs or sometimes in the bathroom where it is warmer. Most of the time it sleeps contentedly, then, first thing in the morning, it is by the door ready to be let out and the cycle begins again. Simple. Life is sweet for our cat. It never speaks, it never demands we pay it attention, and it never cries out of loneliness or a sense of failure. Our cat is entirely fucking satisfied.

I stand up and pull my trousers back up. It remains in position staring at me. I stop and stare at it. Neither of us blink. We just stare, and stare, and stare. Eye to eye. Species to species. I could last maybe ten minutes; the cat could do this for the rest of its life.

‘You win’ I say and leave the bathroom.

The cat says nothing.

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