OLD BOOTS & BAGGY JUMPERS

GM Jordan

 
 
March 2015  

As previously discussed I am a dog man as opposed to a cat person.  That’s not to say I walk up to lampposts and lift my leg to scent mark, likewise those of you into your feline companions are not defined by your habit of going out in the garden, digging a hole to crap in before picking up a mouse on the way back to deposit on the mat for a loved one to discover at 6am when they accidently step on said offering.  Every cat owner, well guardian, knows that sensation when they climb out of bed, wander into another room on automatic pilot and stop, suddenly aware that under the arch of your foot something went ‘crunch’ and ‘squelch’, something that wasn’t there when you went to bed.  In that instant you are duty bound to wake up, eyes snap open, you are awake in the fastest possible time and your body reacts in the instinctive way that has been installed in mankind since the first sabre tooth tiger decided that hunting was for the T-Rex’s and it was a much easier life if you could train a Neanderthal to treat you like a member of the family so they hand over part of their elk in exchange for a quick purr and a belly rub.  A cat owner’s foot rises, turns to the side in one fluid movement and so begins the ‘Hop on one foot whilst looking for critter guts dance’.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"Did you want something?"

My own family had a jet black killing machine called ‘Whiskers’ that would bring in anything from a shrew to a hare and on one occasional a weasel.  It wouldn’t bring the ‘presents’ in through a cat flap either, he would climb the outside wall in order to bring them in through the bathroom window and he timed it perfectly so my sister Susan, who used to get up first, would be the first to do the ‘hop’.  In the bushes outside our flat rows of cats would materialise just to judge him on the sound level and intensity of the scream my sister would fill the morning air with.

Better than any alarm clock was the shrill cry of “Arrrgghhhh that bloody cat!”, followed by extensive crashing as she bounced off the walls trying to see what had made it onto her pink skin.  Once or twice the cat would demonstrate a whole new level of sadism to either my sister or the prey; of course sometimes they were one and the same. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If Susan had gotten used to his offerings he would stop tormenting her for a few days and then body parts would start appearing, a rabbit ear here or there, the body of a mouse minus the head, or tail, just enough for the entire household to play ‘small mammal jigsaw’ as you turned the flat upside down looking for the missing appendages.  On other occasions he would return from his nightly excursions, probably too tired to actually finish off his plaything or inside his mind he may have thought we needed a form of calisthenics routine to shake off our slumber.  For whatever the reason he would sit in the hallway and look into a corner where a rodent would invariably be panting for its life, he would wash himself and wait until one of us would wander into the passage at which point he would hunch over and gently flick his prey to make it dash along the skirting board.  If it was either I or our mother that happened upon his game we would grab the cat, find a jar, trap the escaped creature and release it outside.  If it was Susan the effect was once again “Arrrgghhhh that bloody cat!” at which point Whiskers would flick his tail, grin and saunter off to find a bed for the day, one preferably with a spot that caught the sun.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Susan, it would be fair to say, is not a cat or a dog person.  Whilst our older sister and brother would happily fuss anything furry for hours on end, Susan would scream if anything bigger or hairier than a dust mite wandered into her path.  She tolerated the dog because it ordinarily did as it was told but cats know when you don’t like them and for that reason alone they will wait until you are dressed to go somewhere swanky, possibly in black attire for a night at the theatre or a dinner date, and they will take that opportunity to come sit on your lap just to show you how much they really like you.  Then for the rest of the evening you have to pray that either the person you are with doesn’t think you are the hairiest person on the planet and have decided to moult at that time or, some would think was even worse, they have an allergy that ends up with your companion sneezing and spluttering all through the evening.

I once had a date with a woman who pre-emptied all such notions straight away, upon meeting her for dinner her opening line was “Excuse me but I have cats.”  Not the best start to a date and also not the worst, we spend the entire evening comparing pet stories before realising we had nothing else in common and going our separate ways.

"I didn't mean to..."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So I have dogs, in fact technically we have dogs, as I should point out my former partner lives at the other side of the village and as we get along just fine most of the time we share joint custody of the pups.  Colonel Spiker, the Jack Russell, is a small bundle of sexual tension and muscle ready to explode at any given moment, he doesn’t care if he is alone or in the company of others, when the mood takes him eyes roll and he sets to work, people cough loudly and do their best to talk about any subject other than the sexual deviant in the room.
Then there is The Whoppit, Lady Maia, for all intense and purposes she is best described as a whippet, a very sturdy whippet that isn’t afraid of a meat pie, preferably two.  Beautiful temperament, fantastic with children, mothers the world if she can but this comes after years of being a nightmare.  This is the dog that, when left alone one day, decided it was fun to eat the mattress in the middle of a double bed leaving a ragged hole big enough for a child to comfortably crawl through.  On another occasion she lay on her side with her head out of her basket, when we were in the house but she just felt like a snack, and started to nibble on one of the legs to ex’s antique walnut chest of drawers.  She had food and water in her bowl she just decided for some reason that the leg looked delicious in much the same way people will look at a bowl of Twiglets, take a couple and only a few seconds after putting them in the mouth they remember why they don’t like eating something that looks like it has been stripped off a small Silver Birch tree, dried out and sprinkled with Marmite.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Because the pups have lived together for so long they have taken on the attitude of an old married couple, they will lie apart at either end of the couch to grumble and huff at each other but if you try and go somewhere taking only one then there will be problems.  Once when The Whoppit had to be left at the vets for the day we returned home only to find the Colonel pacing the floor, as soon as we sat down he launched himself onto our laps and took it in turns to sniff us like a miniature K9 Sherlock Holmes trying to ascertain where we had dumped The Whoppit's body.  For the next couple of hours he would walk to the windows and look out in the forlorn hope that his companion would come wandering through the garden or down the steps.  When she did return home, usually doped up like a post gig rock singer halfway through a world tour, Spiker sits with her, washes her and will generally take care of her until she is revived enough that he can torment her.  At that point they will continue to bitch and complain at each other until bedtime, when she will go and snuggle under a radiator on her duvet and he will take over whatever beds we have.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I have a large 7ft Super King sized bed and it is not unknown for me to wake up in the morning to find myself balancing on the edge as the Colonel in full rigor mortis mode, legs straight and stiff like he had been dead a few hours, takes over the rest of the bed.
At this point we come to the real difference between dogs and cats.  Spike likes to snuggle up close, as a small Jack Russell with a thin coat he doesn’t like to get cold and can see no reason why my body cannot be used as giant hot water bottle.  So he gets up close and prefers to stretch out along my back.  Last week when they were staying over I rolled over in the night, for some reason Spike had taken to lying down the bed instead of up which he usually does.  And so as I rolled over the pup ended up in a position that no male would ever willingly endure and that is with another male’s penis draped across the ear like some kind of obscene Bluetooth device for perverts who like to shock.  At this point both Spike and I woke up, looked at each other and moved apart, mentally resolving never to speak of this again.  If Spike had been a cat I would have found myself with an unwanted circumcision - vasectomy all in one, so that ladies and gentlemen is why I have a dog.