Write here, write now

Instead of writing wedding invitations, I thought a better use of my time would be to enter a writing competition…because giving myself something else to do at this busy time isn’t foolish at all (read: It is utterly foolish. I am a knob).

I got a prompt, in my case the prompt was ‘Pets’, and I had 48 hours in which to write a personal essay for the Yeah Write Super Challenge. How hard can that be? Flash Gordon only had 14 hours to save the earth and he managed it.

This is a three stage competition and I’m very excited to report that I’m successfully through to the second stage!

Part of my reason for entering the competition was because I was procrastinating, those damn wedding invitations won’t write themselves because the judges provide feedback that I can use to help to make me a better writer.

The judges give feedback on what they like about the piece of writing and where there is room for improvement. Regarding my work, the judges liked the “compelling and humorous ending scene” but felt that “the essay could have used another round of proofreading for commas and dangling participles”.

A dangling participle does sound like a painful affliction but I can assure you that it is a grammatical term meaning ‘a participle intended to modify a noun which is not actually present in the text’ (I totally googled that and still can’t work out where the dangling participles are in my essay. Feel free to let me know when you spot them!).

***

I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT I WAS A DOG PERSON

I always thought that I was a dog person, until I got a cat. Now I KNOW that I am a dog person.

Nine years ago I decided that I wanted a cat. Not just any old cat, I was very particular about the make, model and colour that my heart desired: Short haired; Kitten; Most definitely ginger. The colour was not negotiable.

We found a local breeder who had two kittens left from a large litter; one ginger, one tortoiseshell. When we arrived the little ginger madam was nowhere to be seen so whilst the breeder played hide and seek with a baby cat, I innocently picked up tortoiseshell to give her a cuddle.

It transpires that tortoiseshell was cunning. She had been turned down by other families and she realised that she needed to up her game and close the deal. She had a pretty little face with a white patch of fur above one eye that made her look permanently surprised and baby pink pads on the bottom of her feet. She looked up at me affectionately with her big blue eyes and snuggled into me, then she let out a tiny little sigh, closed her eyes and started purring contentedly.

Of course, I fell for it. Ginger who? I took tortoiseshell home with me that very day.

And that was the most affection I’ve ever had from her. Turns out, tortoiseshell is actually quite a bitch. It was a ruse, I was swindled by a twelve week old kitten. The wily minx.

Tortoiseshell’s hobbies include the popular ‘This will make her death look like an accident’ where she sneaks herself directly in front of me when I’m walking in the hope that I will trip and break my neck. The classic ‘This will probably get her fired’ where unbeknown to me she sits on my work laptop keyboard typing random letters in the middle of an important document that I only ever spot after I’ve sent it to my boss, and finally the unusual ‘I’m crazy obsessed with potatoes and don’t care who knows about it’ where if you so much as open a bag of crisps within 5 miles of her she’ll hurl herself at your head trying to reach the bag. God forbid you peel a potato in her presence, she propels herself full speed into the kitchen and up to the kitchen sink, trying to rub her face against the half naked potato. So desperate her desire for potato skins that she will plunge her paws into a water filled sink just to reach one.

She does not understand that her tail belongs her. Every time I have a bath she sits on the edge, her tail absent-mindedly trailing in the bubbles. When she jumps down from the bath I see her scowl, absolutely enraged because her tail is wet. She glares at me as if I were responsible, then starts waving it about madly from left to right, drenching half the bathroom before chasing it round in circles and finally licking it dry in disgust.

She loves all food and certainly does not discriminate between ‘cat’ food and ‘people’ food. If she is not eating she considers that there is something wrong with the world. A few years ago she became unwell, she kept being sick, lost a lot of weight and looked awful. As she really likes her food, I was worried. Eventually I took her to the vets.

The vet was concerned because she was dehydrated, they admitted her to the clinic, put her on a drip and started running tests. After she’d been in the clinic for 36 hours I had a phone call from my vet. “We’ve managed to examine tortoiseshell, her belly was pretty large.”

‘Oh gosh, this is it, she’s got a tumour or something awful’ I thought to myself. I held my breath, anxiously waiting to see what the vet would say next.

“Whilst we were examining her, she emitted a large amount of foul smelling gas.”

“Okay….”

“And now she seems absolutely fine”

£430 that cost me. £430 for the vet to make my cat fart.

My next cat will be a dog.

This is tortoiseshell, also known as Tabitha

Don’t trust this cute face, I’m a furry assassin.

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First self esteem booster of the year

First self esteem booster of the year

You are so dull that I would literally rather stare at a wall than interact with you

Feline good

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Feeling good (featuring my cat Tabitha)

Song: “Birds flying high”

Cat: I will shout at them and try to catch them, especially if they are bigger than me. ‘Oi! Seagull. You and me outside. Now’

Song: “You know how I feel”

Cat: I feel hungry.

Song: “Sun in the sky”

Cat: For me to bask. Burn me baby.

Song: “You know how I feel”

Cat: I feel sleepy.

Song: “Breeze drifting on by”

Cat: I don’t like it. Messes up fur, gives bad hair day.

Song: “It’s a new dawn”

Cat: Ooh, is it breakfast time? Have they overslept? I will wail to make sure they wake up.

Song: “It’s a new day”

Cat: Is it? *Yawn* I’m so disinterested.

Song: “It’s a new life for me”

Cat: I age ten years every year, I’m eight months older just in the time you’ve taken to sing that line. Get on with it.

Song: “And I’m feeling good”

Cat: Are you? Hmmm I think I might jump on your face when you’re sleeping or vomit on your carpet. That will wipe the sanctimonious grin off your face.

Song: “Fish in the sea”

Cat: Not if I can help it.

Song: “You know how I feel”

Cat: I feel hungry.

Song: “River running free”

Cat: Is that like bath? I like to sit next to bath but my tail always gets wet. I don’t think I would like river.

Song: “You know how I feel”

Cat: I feel sleepy.

Song: “Dragonfly out in the sun”

Cat: Challenge. 10 points for dragonfly.

Song: “You know what I mean”

Cat: No I don’t and nor can I be bothered to find out.

Song: “Butterflies all having fun”

Cat: Challenge. 25 points for butterfly.

Song: “Sleep in peace when day is done”

Cat: And when breakfast is done, when lunch is done, when dinner is done…

Song: “That’s what I mean”

Cat: No hidden meaning. I mean that I like to sleep.

Song: “And this old world is a new world”

Cat: So many opportunities to pounce on unsuspecting new things. Ooh shoelace.

Song: “And a bold world”

Cat: Challenge. 100 points for bee. 150 points for squirrel. 200 points for dog.

Song: “Stars when you shine”

Cat: It’s time for me to go berserk, puff up tail and run round in circles.

Song: “You know how I feel”

Cat: I feel hungry.

Song: “Scent of the pine”

Cat: Clean toilet? I clean it better when looking for drinking water.

Song: “You know how I feel”

Cat: I feel sleepy.

Song: “Oh freedom is mine”

Cat: Well, I could leave at any time, she’s not the boss of me. Buuuuuuuut I do love those Dreamies. Sooo tasty.

Song: “I know how I feel”

Cat: I feel hungry.

Song: “And I’m feeling good”

Cat: I am so superior to her. Bored of song now. See my tail as I leave room.