Thursday, 7 October 2010

Unrequited love

Seduction is never easy. You can make every possible effort. You can offer tenderness, kindness, a readiness to bend over backwards to meet needs. You can show solicitude, you can be attentive and caring, and get nowhere. And the worst of it is that someone else can come along with the right gesture, the right act of sympathy, or quite simply the right body language, and conquer where you have systematically failed. Leaving you with nothing but a silly expression and the terrible task of trying to make the best of a harsh destiny.

Ever since we moved to Stafford, I have been the only one of us who has regularly responded to the slightest cry of need by getting up out of bed, wandering downstairs and opening the back door when required to do so. One of us, up every morning at an appalling hour, has made sure feeding bowls – yes, in the plural – are full of the most succulent food. One of us allows himself to be scratched and bitten when the need to go outside is not being met quickly enough, and indeed rather than lashing out with a well-placed blow or kick, has leaped to his feet to accommodate the slightest whim.

I mean, while I tend to rush more than ever to meet Misty's slightest whim when he becomes particularly unbearable, Danielle just pushes him away or even hisses at him. I bear the unbearable. I open the door or the packet of cat food. I bend over to please.

But when we’re watching the latest episode of Dexter, Downton Abbey or Mad Men, whose knees does he come and lie on? Mine? Dream on. He chooses his tormentor, Danielle. And purrs, damn his whiskers.

This was made all the more insufferable last week. We were visited by dear friends from Strasbourg. And every night our good friend Antoine would sit in his favourite armchair – it is rather comfortable, I have to say – and Misty would come and lie on his knees. And he hardly even knows Antoine.

The faithless one prefers Antoine to his devoted servant

Perhaps it helps that Antoine is a man of the cloth, a Protestant Pastor. Perhaps he exudes a calm that comes of spiritual wellbeing and a sense of peace with the universe, and Misty appreciates that. Whereas I, of course, bite my nails and fidget all the time, neurotic to the ends of my fingers.

But, I would argue, doesn’t that mean that if anything I need the comfort of a purring cat on my knees even more than the others do?

Does Misty think of that? Selfish little blighter. Of course he doesn’t.

And the worst of it? It’ll still be me that gets up to let him in tonight if he decides he’s had enough of being outside and can’t be bothered to climb through the window we leave open for him.

He's incorrigible. And I never learn.

Blithey he rests, sublimely indifferent to my bruised feelings.


Anonymous said...

Why have a cat at all then? I do not have one and do not feel the need to have my thighs dug into by feline claws. I save a fair bit of money by not buying expensive cat food; I don't have to waste time removing cat fur from wherever cat fur deposits itself. The advantages are too many to list.

Cheers anyway.

David Beeson said...

Aah, but where else would I find such a wonderful justification for self-pity? To say nothing of a great source for occasional blog posts?

Davide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davide said...

Well said David! And poor you, maybe you need to treat him a little rougher, let him spend the night outside the house, it really helps!

Patch spent the night in the garage, got locked in by mistake (that'll teach him being nosey!) and today he is full of purrs and cuddles!

San, I seem to remember that you spent/spending time and money on solving a problem that would not have presented itself had you had that expensive cat ... squeak! :-)

Anonymous said...

yes davide, but problems don't dig their claws into you, although problems dig your brains, admittedly.


Paula said...

Beautifully written....and so symbolic of many a relationship I have experienced (with humans)!!

David Beeson said...

Why, many thanks Paula - I really appreciate that!

Awoogamuffin said...

Well of course he's not going to pay you any attention, he already has you wrapped around his little claw!