Friday, 8 May 2009


The next door neighbour’s cat has disappeared.

Its fate concerns me.

You see, over the last 18 months or so, the next door neighbour’s cat and I have become … friends.

This, despite the fact that I’m not overly fond of cats, having always regarded them as rather dumb and stupid. Dumber than a box of rocks, in fact.

Yet, over time and beginning from kittenhood, this creature has wormed its way into my affections, paying regular visits (morning and night) to demand my attention, to eat bugs from the balcony, and to play with my shoes, the latter being an activity that appeared to amuse it no end.

I have never fed the animal. It has an owner whose responsibility that is, and the cat always appeared healthy and untroubled. To feed it again would be an act of cruelty and negligence on my part. I did, however, leave a bowl of water on the balcony for it should it happen to be over my way and fancy a drink after a bug-eating banquet.

Wouldn’t you?


Over the recent Easter long weekend, the next door neighbour and her son went away for the break. I expect they made arrangements with some friend or whatever to have the animal fed and watered during their absence. I would hope so.

Wouldn’t you?

But the cat, confined to a limited area in which to roam (the neighbours flat and balcony and my own), has become a socialised animal and it knows only the company of other humans.

Therefore, its own humans being absent for an extended period of time, it sought my company throughout that weekend and spent most of the four days sleeping on the various chairs on the balcony or, when it was raining, coming inside to sleep behind the couch.

Very obviously, this is a people cat. And, being a people myself, and a people who has no objection to its presence and wishes it no ill will, it seemed happy in my world during that time. And I was happy for its company.

It’s a nice cat.

And then, when the owners returned from wherever it was they had been, the adult owner went out to her balcony and called for it.

But it was at my place.

Inside. Asleep behind the couch. And it didn’t so much as lift its head in recognition at its owners voice.

And so, I picked it up and put it out on the balcony so that it could go home.

It didn’t seem particularly keen at first, but eventually, off it went.

And I’ve not seen hide nor hair of it since.

Which is strange, don’t you think?

What has happened?

I would inquire of my neighbour as to the animals wellbeing, but I’d rather not. You see, she has one of those voices, those voices that seem always to be teetering on the edge of hysteria, do you know? As if, were you to inquire perhaps, “How are you?”, you would receive a catalogue of petty concerns and worries and problems that she feels she is besieged by in response. And, having thusly exchanged words, she would consider you a “friend”, or at least an “acquaintance” from thereon. And you would be bugged endlessly by this, that or the other thing from thereon. Good grief, no.

I live in a block of flats, for God’s sake. I do not want to get to know the fucking neighbours. To do so is to invite oneself into a world full of pain.

If you are my neighbour, mind your own damn business and I’ll mind mine. “Fuck off” in other words, got it? I don’t want to be your fucking friend.


Would I be far off the mark to assume that the owner, disturbed by the fact that her cat has been in my company during her extended absence, is jealous of this? And has confined her animal to quarters, has somehow managed to restrict its movements outside so that it can no longer roam of its own free will? This strikes me as cruel.

Or, perhaps, has she surrendered the animal to some pound, some refuge and that she did so due to some perceived infidelity on the animals part?

That would be extreme, don’t you think?

And disturbing.

Very disturbing.

It disturbs me.

Would it disturb you?

Yes. Yes, it would. Of course it would. Unless you are mad.

For it would seem I have lost a friend. And to what and why it has been lost, I do not know. I don’t have that many friends left to lose (refer attitude to neighbours).

This saddens me.

I even looked on a number of animal pound and refuge websites this morning to see if a picture of the animal in question may have been there.



Where is it?

I am worried and I keep asking myself this question. Again and again.

Wouldn’t you?

And I don’t even know the animals name.

I used to call it “Cat”, as in, “Hello, cat. How’s things?”

He’s a cat, for Christ’s sake, why would he need a name?

But where has cat gone?





Come back, cat.


Ah, crap.

I’m definitely going soft in the head.



Goddammit all to hell.


Bron said...

Yes, it would be very disturbing.

But you know what would make it better? Getting yourself a kitty cat.

Go on. Do it. We all like a little pussy every now and then.

Ross Sharp said...

I dunno, Bron. That would seem like a ... betrayal, you know?

Perhaps in the next place I live in.

Yes, the next place. For now, I shall live with the hole that has been punched through my heart.

We'll always have Paris.