02 March, 2013

Enough time has passed

So, I can now tell you about The Cat.
A couple of months back I dropped the kids to school and, on the way there, I noticed a cat that had been hit by a car and not survived.  It kind've registered as 'I wonder if that's P's cat?" but I forgot about it until driving back down the road later that morning with Himself.  He had a wretched headache and he nearly screamed when I bounced the car to a standstill to get out and see if it was P's cat.  
Hmmmm, it looked like the cat but I wasn't sure and I knew the cat had a funny eye . . the funny eye being closest to the road of course.  I lifted the cat by his collar and the whole thing lifted as one piece.  It looked like the cat was planking.  He was stiff as a board and, unfortunately, definitely my pal's cat.  I could hear Himself whimpering in the car so I brought him home and ran across the road to ask another mate what should I do?  She suggested we go get the cat and bring it home so P didn't see it when she drove home from work.  
That's what we ended up doing.  Sweet Jesus but dead cats are both heavy and kind've leaky.  We managed to get him into a blanket and wrap him up but . . he'd made the blanket wet (it was conveniently raining) and we had to carry it home between us, each of us holding a corner of our homemade cat-carrying-blanket-envelope.  The funniest, surrealist thing about the whole event was that rigor mortis had already set in and the cat's tail was set at a very jaunty angle so when we were staggering down the road trying to keep the poor moggie in his blanket and there his tail is, waving around in the wind.
We nearly caused a car crash when the cat slid out of the blanket and hit the deck and the driver did a double take.  As you would.  Holy shit, we (sadly) squealed like girls and hooshed the cat back into his makeshift body bag . . cat's getting wetter and leakier at this point.   Ugh.  Got him back to my house and I put him in the shed.  
There he lay for an hour before I had a panic attack and thought 'What if it's not P's cat?  I have a dead cat in the shed!!!'   I'm oddly proud of this .......  I put him into a nice new pillow case and took him into their house (I have a key y'see) and I, er, waved the cat in front of their cat flap and Bingo!!!  The cat flap opened.  Ergo, this was indeed P's poor cat.
Seriously, I was well impressed with my thinking.  Okay, so I still had a dead cat in the shed but at least it was the right dead cat.
When I got back to my house I realised I had put the thing into a Mickey Mouse pillowcase which seemed oddly disrespectful so I put him into another pillow case, a lovely cream one, and put him back into the shed.  
At 6pm it was time to see if P was there.  She was.  I knocked on the door, chatted for a moment whilst trying to work out how to say 'your cat is in my shed' which, in retrospect, is exactly what I did say.  Before adding, "he's dead.  He's dead in my shed."  Poor thing burst into tears and we sat on the sofa for a while before I asked would she like to see him?  Have his body back?  At this point I am starting to worry that I am going to have a dead cat in my shed, and an excited Jack Russell in my garden, for ever.  She said, yes, yes she would like to see him.
I went home, went to the shed and took out the body and laid the pillowcase on the newly washed and dried blanket (I am such a sap) and tried to work out how to make his tail disappear into the pillowcase, as it was looking far too cheerful, when I realised 'Fuck, I've put him in headfirst . .  she won't be able to identify him!!!'  I know, I know!!  Life gets mental when you have a dead cat in your shed for hours.  So, I cut a hole , a neat little flap, in the pillowcase.  Right over where his head was and wrapped him up, tucking tail in, in the blanket.
Oh fuck, just remembered.  When I was leaving the house, arms outstretched and cat corpse resting on them I ran into my other neighbours who were on their way back from the funeral of his granny!!  I offered my condolences to M's ma and legged it.  She thinks I'm mental anyway.  Can you picture it?  "I'm very sorry for your loss Missus M" all the while with a very obviously dead cat in my arms!  Turns out you can't contain a jaunty tail.
Got to my neighbours, gibbering, and was greeted by a weeping P.  I went out to their garden and laid my blanket bundle on the deck before turning to P and saying "Are you ready?  Are  you sure?" before pulling back the blanket and lifting the little flap I'd made.  
Yup.  It was definitely their cat. 
She cried, I whimpered with relief and left them to it. 
I think I've seen too many Silent Witnesses.

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