WHEN it comes to pets, I’m pretty much a cat person.
Dogs demand far too much attention for someone with my lifestyle, which tends to feature its fair share of night time bar and restaurant openings (and I point blank refuse to be one of those people who takes their small dog to an event in a bag, a la Paris Hilton). I’ve never had much of a thing for fish (unless baked in salt and served with a crisp white) and I think keeping small birds in cages is cruel.
For someone as disorganised as myself, cats – with their independent attitude and total disregard for you unless they need feeding (hence the saying ‘Dogs have owners, cats have staff’) – are the perfect pet for me.
Recent events, however, have forced me to reappraise my relationship with felines.
When a friend mentioned that he was trying to find a home for one of his kittens, I thought it would be a perfect companion for my other cat, 50 Shades. (She’s grey, hence the name. Previous cats have included Genghis Khat and Mandu. It must be a writer’s thing to give your pets groaningly bad pun-laden names). I agreed that I’d home one, and a black male cat duly arrived on my doorstep, whom I christened Otis. (I told you about the names). Knowing that cats need their space when they come to a new home, I put Otis in my bedroom and left him to settle in.
Looking in to see how he was doing, a few hours later, there was no sign of him. An exhaustive search failed to find him so, perplexed, I turned off the lights to get a few hours sleep.
At 4am I was woken by plaintive cries from behind the wardrobe. Otis had decided to base himself there and, for the next three hours, made his displeasure at the whole situation known.
All attempts to coax him out from were met with a barrage of hissing and general demonic howling that would have put the Exorcist to shame.
This carried on for the next three nights. Each time I tried to touch Otis he lashed out, resulting in me renaming him Isis and reflecting that, if I had wanted a pet that howled like a banshee from behind the bedroom furniture at 2am, I’d have purchased a poltergeist.
At the end of the week, however, he escaped. I came back to find the bathroom window open, my shaving stuff on the floor and Isis gone. So if you start getting sightings of a large black cat stalking the hills above Istan, be afraid. Be very afraid. It’s indoubtedly Isis!!!
THE Ebola crisis seems to have brought out the worst in people. The Spanish government’s official line seemed to be: ‘We’re not quite sure that we can handle this, but in the meantime we’ll fly two highly-contagious patients back to the highly-populated capital and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong?’
Even the expat community of the Costa del Sol were concerned. I saw one enlightened soul post something along the lines of ‘There’s Ebola in Marbella! I’m terrified. Am keeping the kids away from them lookie lookie men!’.
I was sorely tempted to ask if she would consider standing for UKIP in Marbella…