Happenstance, Coincidence, and Fate – Part 02
On a certain dating website I get a lot of mail from girls informing me that I’m the most miserable-sounding person on the whole site. Seriously, though, it’s nice of them to take the time. I also get lots of nice comments about my cat, with whom I’m pictured, and so it’s nice that at least one of us is popular. Thus it is about time that he got what’s due with the ballad of the three-legged, half-eared cat.
Of all the synchronous experiences in my life these can be explained away as maybe just happenstance, or if not that then by coincidence, and if neither of them then by something more. Although seeing as I’ve lived for over one billion seconds then two of these containing moments I’ve chalked up to fate could probably be passed off by a heartless mathematician with no joy in their soul as mere statistical probabilities.
The first moment of fate revolved around the three-legged, half-eared cat who after a failed period of attempted domestication was set free, never to be seen again…
For when I went out the next morning he was still in the garden, sleeping in a different bush, and I immediately discovered a disturbing lump on his back. The day after that the lump had swollen up to the size of a golf ball and it was clear he needed veterinary treatment. So an appointment was booked, but you can’t expect a hobo cat to be available on demand – even one as predictable as him – and so back into the cat shed he was put like a parole violator.
He ended up needing an operation under anaesthetic to drain this lump and it turned out to have been caused by a bite… from another cat… which must’ve taken place just before he’d been released… And so it was a bite from one of our other cats at exactly the right time that secured him getting put back on the path to salvation. Fate.
And so it began again. As he exploded into a stress-related ball of foam and phlegm every time he was brought inside the house, and knowing my parents don’t have infinite patience, I waited until they went to bed every night before bringing him in, sitting him on the mantelpiece, and then dealing patiently with the mess. And then one day I managed to do the unthinkable, with half a box of tissues, as I managed to keep wiping away at his little face until he stopped leaking. So for a short time I got him to just sit on the mantelpiece peacefully: That may not sound like a great party piece to you, but believe me it felt like an achievement.
So we continued and as the nights passed the number of tissues I needed to wipe away at his dribbling face got less and less until he was calm enough and he didn’t need any at all. Then one evening I unveiled him to my parents, like my very own secret Eliza Doolittle that I’d been training up in the middle of the night, only he wasn’t going to the Ambassador’s garden party because I said look what I can do: I can make a cat sit on a mantelpiece!
Yeah, he could do that but not much else, needing the height to stay above the rest of the cats. And so he wouldn’t go to the toilet, nor eat with the rest of them, nor roam around the house. You can see why this was an epic journey. But still, before the harsh winter, he was capable of sleeping in the porch overnight. Objective one was accomplished.
And so it carried on like that until one night when another cat needed separating from the herd – I forget why – and so the three-legged, half-eared cat lost his porch to sleep in. The only solution was for him to spend the night with me. For one night only. One night. I can’t put into words how much that cat relaxed in such a short space of time, having a cat-free space to himself, and in the years that have passed it’s become our room.I can still remember the look on his face, when he started breaking out of his shell, as I carried him upstairs and he looked up and considered his surroundings. It was like he was becoming normal. It also eventually became apparent that a three-legged cat can indeed run upstairs and run down too if he puts his mind to it. Nature finds a way, eh?
Since then we’ve had to cope with all sorts of gastric trouble with the vet diagnosing the source of his amazing emetic-power, his ability to perform the multi-coloured psychedelic yodel from each end, as gingivitis which required having his teeth cleaned under anaesthetic. Some might say he’s not been too lucky, but then I’ve seen the three-figure dental-bills and think differently as he cleverly turfed-up somewhere that’d pay it! Since then with his health we’ve got to grips with restricting his diet and generally pulled him back from the brink into a healthy and happy cat. He still doesn’t particularly like the others, but he can tolerate them now, and the key to keeping him healthy is keeping him regular which requires me having to take him to the toilet five times a day as he’d just put it off himself and put pressure on his kidneys.
The most endearing thing about him, when I take him to the toilet, is that he does all his covering up with his ghost leg, as if he hasn’t noticed, and so I fell obliged to make the noise to accompany this… He must never know!
And that’s the story of how I came to find, adopt, lose, adopt again, and rehabilitate a three-legged, half-eared cat.
Only I often don’t notice that he’s only got three legs.
And I forget about his missing ears.
But I love him like Emily loves Bagpuss.
Although… The second incident of fate in my life, as you’re probably now wondering, revolved around a very attractive girl at university, amazing eyes, who I rarely saw about the building but every time I did, in her green wax coat, my heart skipped a beat. One morning we both arrived at the same time and getting into the same lift as her made my day. To have the lift suddenly break down made my year. To then discover that the lift alarm was also broken I took as some form of proof for the existence of God himself. Forty-five minutes we were in there. It. Was. Brilliant.
And it was this incident which had a helping hand in me discovering that this girl was the best kisser I’ve ever known.
I did duly ask her out on a date and she turned me down and shortly afterwards left the country and moved to France where she went on to have someone else’s babies.
I’m sure that the overlapping of these two events was just happenstance.
Although later I tried to commit a girlfriend – the love of my life – and she said no and then shortly afterwards upped sticks and left the country too.
The same thing happening twice? I’m sure it was just coincidence.
But then there was also the girl who I would later ask out and she turned me down, and tickets to The Producers, and then she left the country too…
Women and me? I mean, it’s all just sounds like… Err… What’s the word?