Mum’s friend: I hate to say it, but your cat’s getting a little chunky.
Me: So’s your face.
Lorikeets are horrible, horrible people and should not be trusted under any circumstances.
I saw some lorikeets once when I was a child, and then I fell off my rollerblades and chipped my four front teeth.
I also have a birth mark on my leg that looks like a pimple.
My favourite rice crackers flavour is salt & vinegar, but not as many brands are making it lately. I am not sure why.
I once lived with a guy who grew up in Kuwait and would talk about his childhood late at night when he was drunk.
One evening, a few of us gathered as he described a horrifying incident in which his father had beaten him severely for leaving a smudge on his black Mercedes.
“I don’t understand, why did he hit you?” I asked, shocked by the scale of such a beating.
“Well I had to clean his cars every week, and if they weren’t spotless by dinner, I got into big trouble,” he replied.
“That’s awful,” I commented.
“It’s okay, I got him back,” he said with a smile.
“What did you do?” my friend asked, “Did you scratch his car or something?”
“No,” he said, glancing around the room mischievously. “I killed his dog.”
Roughly eight seconds of complete silence passed, before I cleared my throat and asked, “How?”
“Well,” my housemate continued, “I waited until he went to work, and then I locked his dog inside the Merc. By the time my dad finished his shift, that dog was swollen up like a motherfucking beach ball!!”
Then he roared with laughter. My friend, an avid lover of animals, picked up her bag and left immediately, while I busied myself clearing away our empty glasses.
STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING.
It has just come to my attention that cats can be trained to defecate in a human toilet. Some even wipe and flush after the deed. I have not done anything since discovering this except watched videos of cats pooping in toilet bowls over and over. Here are some of my favourites.
This little fella gets a bit of stage fright to begin with, but once he gets past the mental barrier, it’s all over. He is very tidy and cleans up after himself too.
This is Chemo. I like the way he maintains eye contact with the audience while he is performing. It’s important to connect with people.
Here we have a rare savannah cat pooping into the can. She doesn’t flush, but her family probably has a butler to do that for her.
Please meet Stanley. He is still learning about appropriate paper-to-poop ratio, but you have to give him credit for effort.
This is my cat, Georgie. I have a rather unique attitude towards pets, in that I generally consider them to be completely disposable. Some call this callousness, I call it post-modernism, whatever. If one dies, I simply buy a new one. And if a live one annoys me too much, I usually take it to the vet and have it put down.
Georgie has been on thin ice for a while now, because despite being cute, she is the most irritating and fickle creature I’ve ever known. (And I have worked at an accounting firm and dated many musicians, for your reference.) Georgie likes to be let in and out of the house roughly every half hour, day and night. When I am sleeping too deeply to hear her scratching at the back door outside, she jumps onto my window-sill, grabs the fly-screen with her claws and slams the frame against the window pane repeatedly until I am jarred from my slumber. “I hate you,” I tell her, cracking open the window and lifting the screen for her to crawl through. She glances at me briefly before wandering to her food bowl, eating one biscuit, and then meowing at the back door to be let out again. I imagine having a child to be similar to this sleepless, constantly annoyed state, which is why I use eleven different methods of contraception, including abstinence.
Georgie does not want anything much to do with any of us, but requires a human around at all times. Just in case. Usually she has my mother, who is lazy and rarely goes out, but whenever my parents are away, Georgie finds herself alone during the day and becomes anxious. She follows me around the house at night and jumps on top of my computer, my dinner plate, my piano, whatever is occupying my attention when I should be more concerned about her needs. When I go to the bathroom, she scratches frantically on the door and wails mournfully. I let her inside and she perches on the edge of the bathtub and stares at me intensely as I sit on the toilet. Unused to such scrutiny, I get stage fright and do not urinate for 3 days.
The reason I cannot get rid of Georgie is because despite the fact that she is cold and sometimes violent, I love the boundaries she forces others to accept. She will allow herself to be patted sometimes, but only if the person patting her doesn’t obviously want it too much, and only if they are satisfied after a few pats. You may not grab her or hold her in any way. You may not pick her up and put her on your lap either, although she may deign to sit on your lap if it is a chilly night and she is feeling sleepy.
I recently complained to my friend Matt about Georgie and how I sometimes wished she was more affectionate with me. I was lying on the lounge while Georgie sat on the coffee table, staring at me suspiciously. She knew that I was talking about her.
“I just don’t know what to do with her,” I told Matt. “She’s not really contributing much to the household. I think it might be time to go, you know? Try a different breed or something?”
“Annik, this cat is you,” Matt said.
“What do you mean?” I asked, reaching out to scratch Georgie behind one ear. She snapped at my hand, then rubbed her nose against my arm.
“Well she looks pretty and friendly, so people want to touch her,” Matt explained, “Sometimes she’s receptive and affectionate, usually with total strangers. But if you’re a nice, caring person and actually try to get close to her, she’ll scratch your fucking face off.”
“Mmm..” I said, rolling onto my back, “I guess she can stay.” As if on cue, Georgie stepped from the coffee table onto the lounge and settled down on my chest. She nuzzled her face into my neck and fell asleep.
Precisely four minutes later she woke up, dug her claws into my shoulder and hissed at my face, then fled from the room.
Those four minutes were nice though.
Most people who grew up in Sydney were probably dragged down to the Hawkesbury at some stage during their childhood to visit a popular tourist destination known as Butterfly Farm. This is a magical place where many rare species of insects reside and you are free to roam among them, observing and absorbing at will.
One weekend in the early nineties, my parents decided that my brother and I should experience the faunal wonders of this Butterfly Farm.
“But I hate bugs!” I whined in the car.
“Don’t be silly, they’re harmless,” my parents reassured me.
And so we made the long drive while I whinged and sulked and everyone ignored my pathological fear of insects.
When we arrived, my parents led me around, pointing out various beetles and spiders, while I hovered near the exit and glanced, terrified, towards the glass cabinets that writhed with creepy crawlies.
“Shall we go look at the butterflies?” my father suggested.
“I hate things with wings,” I reminded him.
“That’s ridiculous,” my mother said, “How will you ever travel internationally or select sanitary products?”
And so I was forced to enter a room filled entirely with winged creatures that flapped around my head and cast evil stares in my direction and scared the shit out of me.
I was trying to be brave and enjoy the butterflies the way all the other kids were, but after a few minutes, one of the hideous beasts suddenly made its way over and settled upon my upper arm.
I let out a blood curdling scream and swiftly clapped my hand down on the butterfly, whose lifeless body then dropped onto the dirt floor.
A moment of silence passed, not in respect for the delicate and endangered life that was just lost, but in horror of the four year old child who had snuffed such a (generally considered) beautiful creature.
“I’ll bet that happens all the time, huh?” my mother joked nervously to a Butterfly Farm employee standing nearby.
“No, that was the first time,” he replied.
And we left very quickly.
- told me I was adopted.
- punched me repeatedly.
- headbutted me when he broke his arm and couldn’t punch me.
- used my skipping ropes to tie nooses and “hanged” my dolls from the curtain rod in my room, so that when I walked home from school and approached the house, I saw a mass suicide happening in my bedroom window.
- told me that I was retarded and had been inside a mental institution for my entire life. Mum and Dad were the “doctors”, my teachers and friends were “nurses” and “orderlies” or other people hired to amuse me and keep me company so I could live a “normal life.” I was so out of touch with reality that I had no idea.
- slapped me repeatedly.
- pooped in the bathtub because he knew it would uspet me. I got so scared that I jumped out and ran naked through the house, then slipped on the lino and smashed my head against a ceramic step, resulting in a wound requiring three stitches.
- pinched me repeatedly.
- held me down on the couch and farted in my face.
- cut all the hair off my dolls. Then cut off their arms and legs.
- told me that Taz, our first family dog who I only remembered vaguely, had to be put down because I cried whenever she came near me. In fact, the dog just barked too much and gave the neighbours the shits.
- sang this song constantly, often late at night, until I was driven to borderline insanity.
- kicked me repeatedly.
- called me a “fudge packer”, “back door stabber” and various other derogatory terms for homosexuals. I had no idea what they meant until late highschool.
- forced various things into my mouth, including cat food, dirt, and batteries.
- told Mum that I broke the neighbour’s windscreen, after he had thrown a brick at their car.
- gave me a noogie every time I walked past.
- told me that my high hairline/large forehead was actually premature baldness.
- told me that Stripe, the stray cat we found who was very violent and frequently attacked my bare legs, was nowhere to be seen. I would emerge from the bathroom, where I had been hiding, to find Stripe waiting outside the door, claws ready.
- gave me a wet willy every time I walked past.
- told me that Santa Claus was not real on Christmas morning, 1989. I was three years old.
What did your brothers and sisters do to torture you? Or what did you do to them, you sick bastard?
Believe it or not, I once dated somebody with a questionable friendship circle. They were nice enough boys, but they had a habit of going to the pub on Friday night and waking up on Sunday morning.
One such Sunday morning, I was requested to pick up a few of the boys and transport them to a BBQ. And so I was happily driving along, enjoying the sunshine and attempting to ignore the smell of hangover in my backseat, when a certain gentleman named Daniel grabbed my arm. “PULL OVER” he said, opening the car door.
I sat in my car and waited while Daniel vomited profusely on somebody’s rose bushes and swore in between heaves. “Cunt.. Haaaggguuhh.. Fucking.. ggarrhgh.. Mother.. snergggh.” And then I waited while he turned on the nearby garden hose and held it over his head, washing off the spew that had splashed onto his face and shirt. “What a fucking yak!” he declared, chunks of vomit flying as he violently shook out his hair, not unlike some kind of wildebeest.
It was then that we both noticed the young couple and their children, sitting on their front porch and staring at the rose bushes, untouched bowls of cereal in front of them.
- put my cat underneath an upside-down washing basket and placed phone books on top.
- climbed over the backyard fence and squirted tomato sauce on the neighbour’s washing.
- head-butted another kid on my first day of Play Group and told him to “shut the hell up” when he started crying.
- stole money from my dad’s bottom drawer nearly every day to buy Zooper Doopers and carob buds from the canteen.
- put fairy wings on my younger cousin and told her she was a fly, then sprayed her with Mortein.
- wrote my mum hate-mail.
- lured a friend who was terrified of dogs into the back paddock and then let the dogs out of their enclosure and listened to her scream.
- lured same friend into the shed and told her I was going to bludgeon her to death with a hammer, then admitted I was just kidding after she started crying.
- picked pieces of cat poo out of the kitty litter tray and put them in the neighbour’s letter box.
- asked my mum what a condom was in front of her bible study group, then asked “DOES THAT MEAN YOU CAN HAVE SEX AND YOU WON’T GET PREGNANT?”
- cheated on the 1997 Maths Olympiad and accepted a trophy at an all-student assembly and had my picture in the paper for it.
- stuck a highlighter up my brother’s cat’s bum to “check his temperature.”
- cut pictures of diseased penises out of my dad’s medical journals and pasted them in my kindergarten homework book while learning about the letter P.