Cat Daddy and I have started having guitar lessons, and we are utterly useless; after just one lesson our backs hurt, our fingers were bloodied, and we can’t imagine how we will possibly learn any actual songs when it takes us four minutes to play just one chord. But our teacher has a cat – a massive, fluffy ginge called Steve – and he makes it all better.
At the end of our first lesson, after cuddles with Steve, Cat Daddy and I left the teacher’s house. As we passed through the hallway I noticed that there was an odd smell, but I did the typical British thing of saying nothing. (Well, what does one say: “Your hallway stinks”? Most Brits would be so affronted by this that they would be forced to take drastic action, such as leaving you off their Christmas card list or – GASP – not offering you the good tea the next time they hosted you.)
As we left, the teacher sniffed and said, “Oh dear, I think Steve might have peed here.” He switched on the hallway light … and that was when we discovered that it wasn’t cat pee, but cat merde. And all three of us had walked through it.
Oh. Mon. Dieu.
Cat Daddy and I checked our shoes. The left ones were fine, but the right ones had been well and truly merded. The poor teacher was mortified.
Somehow we managed to wash off the excess merde in a huge puddle in the road. Then Cat Daddy drove us home, one-footed (I have no idea how this is even possible in a manual car), whilst I sat in the passenger seat, shaking and sweating, with my right knee pulled up to my chest to avoid placing the merdique shoe on the floor. Even though I was holding my knee up with my arms, my leg was BURNING by the time we arrived home. I’ve been meaning to ramp up the leg-strengthening exercises for some time now, although in a general wellbeing kind of way; not once did I imagine I would need them to help keep my leg elevated during merde incidents.
After hopping indoors, we placed the offending shoes outside at The Back, ready to be
catapulted into space and nuked hosed down the next morning. I also washed my trousers because I couldn’t be sure that the hems hadn’t also trailed through the merde. It didn’t LOOK as if they had, however Louis Catorze then began prowling and sniffing around us in a suspicious manner, making me worry that there might be microscopic merde invisible to our pathetic human eyes and noses. We are powerless against the horrors of invisible, insidious, microscopic merde and I fear that, if I think too hard about it, I might die.
I needed two double vodkas to calm my nerves. And Cat Daddy was so traumatised that it put him off drink for a whole twenty-four hours. The only good thing about this was the fact that, had the teacher not mentioned the smell, we would have unknowingly trodden merdique shoes into the car and into Le Château. At least we escaped that.
What would I do differently? I dunno: mention the smell (and risk being excommunicated)? Turn the light on? Not trust cats, no matter how cute? Have three double vodkas instead of two? They’re all contenders for the list, aren’t they?