You Win Some, You Lose Some…

Its 0730 and I’m immensely pissed off. Wanna know why? Read on…

We have had the pleasure of my sister coming to stay with us over the bank holiday weekend. I was very pleased about this as I don’t get to see much of my family at all. However, she has brought two dogs with her. One of them and I know. I know Rascal, my parents dog. I have no problem with Rascal. He is easy to understand and he does what he’s told. I like Rascal. The other dog is called LadyBoy or something like that. I hate LadyBoy.

I had a BBQ planned for this weekend. I had invited several friends, bought the meat from the local butcher, got stacks of booze in and even purchased a patio table and chairs. I particularly like that patio set. The event had been planned for about two weeks and I was very much looking forward to it.

So, lets say its Monday. Plans for the weekend are in full swing. I am slightly stressed. I worry about the weather, whether people will accept my invite and turn up, if the dogs are going to trash the garden or house and all manor of other minor concerns normal before a big event.

I can remember thinking ‘damn I’m busy’. Alas someone up above felt it would be fun or perhaps amusing to pile a little more on my already bulging plate. Jemma returned from the farm with some wonderful news. She was beaming. I was weary and on edge.

‘Guess what!’ she said.

I tried my best to look genuinely interested but I think in some small recess of my mind I already knew.

‘What is it hun?’

‘Kittens! There’s kittens on the farm!’

I tried to suggest that maybe we should be leave them be, that maybe if we disturb them the mother would abandon them. We’d have to catch them all for that very reason. I’m not sure I really ever had much of a choice. She has a way of talking me round so that I believe it was my idea. Her legal training no doubt put to good effect.

We ended up bringing home a grey kitten. He was very cute I have to say. He hid of course for the first few days, spitting and hissing if we went near him. On the Friday he mellowed though. Jemma was able to stroke him and he actually started purring. Jemma and I have raised many kittens over the past few years and we know this to be a sign of them becoming domesticated. I was very pleased. The weekend plans were all sorted, I had had several confirmations from friends I had invited, the food was all sorted as was the drink and now the kitten was happier. Things were looking very good indeed. So? What then? Glad you asked…

As happy as the kitten was he was also quite ill. More was coming out (shit) of him than was going in (food). That cannot go on for long. Yet we boldly struggled on. For every arse explosion he had Jemma and I would syringe feed him another load of kitten milk. My thinking being that if he could at least retain something for long enough his immune system might kick in and he may pull through. On we struggled. Come Friday night he was looking very lively indeed. He was running after us and meowing and once again we were much pleased.

The BBQ was a success by all accounts. The food went down well, everyone was well watered and boozed up and jolly time was had by all. There were a couple of mishaps. The kitten somehow shat and pissed on two guests in the space of five seconds. Paul said that he had just been stroking the kitten when suddenly it had convulsed slightly and then sprayed his shirt with shit. He quickly handed the kitten to Annika, who not being blessed with a brain gleefully accepted the proffered shit spraying git. Of course, Annika was promptly coated in piss. I was sitting outside watching with great interest as this all kicked off. At first I thought someone had stood on the kitten. I watched with mild amusement though as I took in the situation and realised what had occurred. As I said, a jolly good evening.

Bed time was quick to sneak up on us and we decided to lock the dogs in our front room. This was at first a great idea until one of the dogs (unsure which one) decided to try and scratch through the door causing a terrible grating sound. Jemma was immediately on the warpath and it took several minutes to calm her enough to make her see that there really was nothing we could do about it. Best to suck it up and go to bed. To her credit she calmed and remained level headed and we were able to go to bed and fall asleep. Until…

6am. One of the dogs (and this time I am convinced it was LadyBoy) started to emit a weird kind of howling every so often. In the end after trying to ignore it I was prodded sharply in the back.

‘Mark! Get up! The dogs won’t shut up. They probably need a wee.’

I had a pretty severe hangover and headache of the type which hurts ten times more if you move your head. Yet I knew better than to argue. So off I trudged downstairs and let the dogs out into the garden. All good so far. Rascal had a piss almost as soon as he stepped out into the fresh air. LadyBoy however decided she did not want to piss. No, she obviously thought it would be a good idea to stand in the middle of the garden and bark at me. I quickly became angry and started down the path to grab her and drag her inside. She just bounce nimbly out of my way though if I got close enough and barked louder. I’m sure that between her barking and my shouting the entire street were waking. I made a desperate lunge, nearly impaling myself on a bamboo cane. I missed the dog of course, her bark sounding suspiciously like mocking laughter to me as I lay sprawled on the grass, almost vomiting in my hangover induced state. I shouted to Tracey to get her arse out of bed and come fetch her dog who I cold hear was somewhere down the street barking all the way. LadyBoy of course responded immediately to Tracey and returned to the house. I stood simmering and glaring in the kitchen trying to make myself a coffee and debating going back to bed when Jemma walked and said rather flatly

‘The kittens dead.’

‘What? But he was doing well… he’d turned a corner last night.. he was on the mend!’

I wandered over and prodded him. Yep. Dead as a dodo. He lay in a manner which suggested he had known of his impending demise and was reaching vainly for help. His head was half submerged in a bowl of milk. I felt utterly numb. I couldn’t feel angry with Tracey, the dogs or Jemma. I’m just really sorry for that poor kitten. He could have had a wonderful life with us.

Author: Mark S Thompson

Okay, so these things are kind of hit and miss. If you’re reading this then I am thankful to you for taking the time out of your day to do so. I’ll be honest, when I think of myself as a writer, I kinda cringe. Don’t get me wrong, it is the dream, it's​ just I never really believe it will go anywhere. When I think back to the day that I first knew I loved writing, and I mean really knew, I see myself sitting in an English lesson at secondary school. The school was called Wrotham and is in the county of Kent, England. As far as I know, it's still there. English was far and away my favourite subject. The best bit was when the teacher gave the class a selection of words and asked us to make up a story that either contained those words or was about those words, you know. At other times we would be given the first sentence and then write what happens next. Good times. Many times my work would reflect what I had recently read and it would be okay. Nothing special, just okay. On one occasion though I wrote about a merman called Finchy and can remember going into so much depth and detail about him and the underwater kingdom he lived in. I really enjoyed writing that and it must have shown because my teacher commented on it. She was really impressed and loved the story. That was it for me, my moment. Now when I write I think back to those great times and to that story. Hopefully, I’ll write something that you, the reader, will be moved to comment on. For me, there is no greater elixir

One thought on “You Win Some, You Lose Some…”

  1. It’s Ladybird. Think of a spotty beetle, then think of a Dalmation, hence Ladybird. Sorry to hear the moggy snuffed it, but thats what wild cats do…..lots of them die unremarked every day.

    As for the dogs, well, thats pets for you………..especially other people’s pets. I know they can be intensely irritating, and people are always blind to their own animal’s faults and foibles. Though to be honest Rascal never howls, and he normally doesn’t scratch to be out.


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