Tim Dowling: I fear we may be getting a kitten. Or worse, a corgi

11 months ago 149

In the weeks since the feline died the canine has mislaid a batch of value due to the fact that determination is nary longer immoderate feline nutrient near retired for it to eat. As a effect the canine is healthier, much progressive and much annoying, but this is inactive what you mightiness telephone an unforeseen upside to tragedy.

I locomotion into the sitting room, wherever my woman is seated astatine her desk.

“Can I assistance you?” she says. There is simply a pause. The dog, which is lying connected the sofa, lifts its head.

“I bash person a crushed for being successful here,” I say. “I’ve conscionable forgotten what it is.” I can’t assistance noticing determination are pictures of kittens connected my wife’s screen.

“Just to pass you,” she says. “I’ve been looking astatine cats.”

“It’s excessively soon,” I say. I’m a steadfast believer that erstwhile thing you emotion dies, you should instrumentality plentifulness of clip to process the nonaccomplishment earlier replacing it. Unless it’s the TV. If the TV died I would bargain a caller 1 that aforesaid day.

“At the infinitesimal I’m conscionable looking astatine cats, to spot what’s retired there,” she says. “And besides dogs.”

“Dogs?” I say. In effect the canine jumps disconnected the sofa and trots implicit to wherever I’m standing.

“Just to spot what’s retired there,” she says. The canine assumes a playful crouch astatine my feet, process wagging, arsenic if to say: you, maine – let’s go!

“Not now,” I say.

“I privation a cat,” my woman says.

“I conscionable deliberation a suitable mourning play is important,” I say, “so we tin acquisition the hidden upsides to not having a cat.”

“And however agelong is that play for you?” she says.

“A year,” I say. “Because immoderate of those upsides mightiness beryllium seasonal.”

“That’s ridiculous,” she says. “Anyway, I’ve listened to your views.” The canine sits up, past crouches, past sits up, past barks. I look down.

“Not now,” I say.

dog with nutrient  bowls cartoon
‘No, of people I don’t similar corgis.’ Illustration: Peter Gamlen/The Guardian

A fewer days aboriginal my woman rings me.

“Do you similar corgis?” she says.

“What does that mean?” I say.

“It’s a elemental yes oregon nary question.”

“You mean corgi similar the breed of dog? No, of people I don’t similar them.”

“Really? I rather similar them,” she says.

“No you don’t,” I say. “I’ve heard you disparage them connected galore occasions.”

“I don’t recognize wherefore you’re being truthful unpleasant,” she says.

“Are you successful the car?” I say. “Are you coming location with a corgi close now?”

“No,” she says. “I was conscionable asking you a question, that’s all.”

“And you person the answer,” I say. “I’m opposed to corgis, and truthful are you.”

“I get it,” she says. “Goodbye.”

“OK, bye,” I say. “Don’t get a corgi.”

A week aft this call, my woman crosses the plot to my bureau successful bid to amusement maine a representation of a kitten connected her phone.

“I mean, yeah, it’s cute,” I say. “It’s a kitten.”

“Little tabby!” she says.

“Where is this feline now?” I say.

“Only astir a mile down the road, arsenic it happens,” she says. “I’m going to spot it connected Saturday.”

“This Saturday?” I say.

“Little Giles!” she says, turning and walking backmost crossed the bedewed grass. I think: Giles?

That evening my wife, my 3 sons and I are successful the kitchen, discussing the anticipation of a replacement cat, portion the canine attacks its nutrient with antithetic vigour. No 1 is listening to my statement astir the hidden seasonal upsides.

“Christmas, for example,” I say. “No feline sick with tinsel successful it.”

“It is precise sweet,” says the oldest, looking astatine his mother’s phone.

“You should travel with maine to spot it,” she says.

“I could do,” helium says.

“Then what happens?” I say.

“What bash you mean?” my woman says.

“Is this an archetypal consultation visit, oregon what?” I say.

“We’re going to look astatine a kitten,” my woman says. “What don’t you understand?”

“He’s got a point,” the oldest 1 says. “If you spell and look astatine that kitten, you volition astir decidedly travel location with that kitten.”

No 1 says thing for a agelong time. I look circular the room, but everyone appears to beryllium avoiding my eye. Finally, the youngest 1 lifts his caput from his machine screen.

“Wait, are we getting a cat?” helium says.

“That’s virtually each anyone’s been talking about,” says the mediate one, staring into the fridge.

“Little Giles,” my woman says, looking astatine her phone. I effort to ore connected the hidden upside, which is: astatine slightest we’re not getting a corgi.