Tim Dowling: I’m sent a photo of a tiny kitten… in the back of our car

11 months ago 116

It is the greeting of my wife’s assignment to look astatine a tiny tabby kitten whose representation has been connected her telephone for a week. An hr before, she comes into the room with a feline carrier.

“Where did that travel from?” I say.

“We had it,” my woman says.

But we’ve ne'er had a feline carrier. We utilized to get 1 from adjacent doorway to instrumentality the aged feline to the vet.

“It inactive has the tag connected it,” I say. My woman undoes the beforehand zip of the feline bearer and pulls retired a assortment of feline toys, immoderate kitten food, a litter tray, a scratching station and a small bowl.

“I see,” I say.

“None of it was expensive,” she says. “The toys were little than a quid each.”

“It’s not astir the money,” I say. “It’s astir owed diligence.”

Actually, from my constituent of view, it’s astir the now-vanishing anticipation of not getting a caller cat. The mediate 1 enters, heading straight for the fridge.

“Are you coming with maine to spot this cat?” my woman says.

“Yeah, each right,” says the mediate one.

“This is meant to beryllium a viewing,” I say. “A archetypal viewing. And you’ve already bought feline furniture.”

“What are you disquieted about?” says the mediate one, from down the unfastened fridge door. I say: “We don’t adjacent cognize however galore legs this feline has.”

“Obviously I’m not bringing the toys with us,” my woman says.

“Why fuss going to spot it?” I say. “Why not conscionable person it delivered?”

The oldest 1 walks in, transparently hungover, and starts making coffee.

“Are you coming with america to spot this cat?” my woman says.

“Yes,” helium says.

“So what happens after?” I say. “Do you instrumentality it to a vet for a survey?”

“No,” my woman says. “You don’t.”

“So you conscionable say, ‘Thank you, we person immoderate different cats we’re looking at, but we’ll beryllium successful touch’?”

“I’ve done each my research,” my woman says.

“Things are moving precise quickly,” I say. “Too quickly.”

“What’s helium talking about?” says the oldest 1 to the mediate one.

“He’s disquieted the feline volition person nary legs,” the mediate 1 says.

“I’m disquieted decisions are being taken lightly, and successful haste,” I say.

“You tin ever trust connected your begetter to determination acold h2o implicit immoderate amusive thing,” my woman says. “He thinks it’s his job.”

Cat carrier
‘We’ve ne'er had a feline carrier. We utilized to get 1 from adjacent doorway to instrumentality the aged feline to the vet.’ Illustration: Peter Gamlen/The Guardian

“At slightest idiosyncratic is doing his job,” I say. A fewer minutes earlier midday the 3 of them acceptable disconnected successful the car. I beryllium unsocial successful the kitchen, reasoning astir the last travel the aged feline made to the vet. There was nary 1 location adjacent doorway erstwhile we tried to get the feline carrier, truthful helium went wrapped successful a towel. I didn’t spell connected that travel either; I sat successful this aforesaid chair, hoping for the best.

Eventually the youngest 1 comes down, besides transparently hungover, and makes java down me.

“The beforehand doorway opened and closed 3 times past night,” I say. “At one, 3 and 7.30. Which 1 was you?”

“I was astir three,” helium says.

“I see,” I say. I’ve already asked the different two, and they besides claimed the 3 o’clock slot.

“Where is everyone?” helium says.

“They’ve gone to look astatine a cat,” I say.

“To look astatine a cat, oregon to really get a cat?” helium says.

“What bash you think?” I say, indicating the dispersed of feline merchandise laid crossed the room array similar a favored store model display.

“OK,” helium says.

After 20 minutes I americium impatient astatine the deficiency of news. I nonstop a substance to the mediate 1 that says: “Well?” Ten minutes aboriginal helium sends maine a photograph of a tiny kitten. I think: it’s adorable. I substance back: “How galore legs does it have?”

A fewer minutes aboriginal helium sends maine a substance that says: “8”.

I constitute a substance that says: “Tell them we’re not paying for the other legs”, but arsenic I property nonstop I perceive a cardinal turning successful the beforehand doorway lock. Looking again astatine the representation of the kitten, I announcement it’s sitting successful a brand-new feline carrier, connected the backmost spot of our car.

Three hours aboriginal everyone is sitting connected the room floor, watching a kitten pursuit a feather connected a magnitude of wire, and the shot with the doorbell inside, portion the canine sits astatine the borderline of the ellipse having a quiescent tense breakdown. I’m sitting astatine the table. My woman looks up astatine me.

“Don’t you privation to play with your caller kitten?” she says.

“I volition later, erstwhile everyone other is done utilizing it,” I say. But by past the kitten volition person gone to unrecorded nether the washing machine.