Fur Baby

Caroline Dix

Boris. Big, scruffy, all that wild, ginger-kissed hair. Strawberry blond, if you like. And the personality to match: bold, recklessly confident. An overwhelming sense of privilege. Why should he have to wait for anything?

Entitlement oozes from every pore.

While still young he decided he would one day be ruler of the universe. And now, though more cribbed and confined than first imagined, here he is. Why should he have to wait for anything? Why?

He dreamt up this pandemic thing to keep people – his people – cooped up at home. True, sometimes it’s felt shambolic. Working from the spare room. No outside. Everyone wanting a piece of him on Zoom. Even so, there’s still been time for a kip on the sofa.

It helps to live in the present, which brings us back to the point: why should he have to wait for anything? When? Really. Actually. When?

He is surrounded by moaning Minnies, cut off from loved ones. No chance of a break from this trudging but oh so comforting routine. Not even Scotland, but perhaps – in the garden – a tent. The air in the house fizzes as it does before a thunderstorm, provided one is sensitive enough to catch it. Bristling. Baby. Baby.

He too knows what it is to wait.

People are getting dogs. Enough said. Noisy, slavering. Dogs must wait as he does.

The world beyond the window takes on new, minute fascination. A blowing leaf. A tiny, halting insect. Look long enough and hard enough and see time itself drift by. The birds, they say, are singing louder during lockdown. What do they taste like? He’s hungry to know, to remember. Or maybe he’s just hungry. Definitely hungry.

A chap sometimes wonders if others are struggling also, but such thoughts vanish almost before they’re formed. Who cares? Goes with the territory.

So. Look. What to do to bring this situation to a speedy end? Not “closure”, of course; if anything, quite the reverse.

What’s needed is a push. Iron fist in a velvet glove and all that. Knock daytime telly on the head and get back to work. The food and leisure industry. Food especially. Purr.

Crikey! A junior member of the squad is stepping up to the plate. Eager to please, eyes bright with innocence, his will be the head that rolls when the you-know-what hits the fan. But brush that aside like the kitty litter it is. For now, it’s a small but significant step towards getting this mighty nation back on the road. Child heads for the kitchen, made alert to feline needs.

The wait, dear friends, is over.

The snap, when it comes, would be easy to miss. Tinny, metallic. Like the catch on a big red box that government types carry. (‘Will you resign, Prime Minister?’) The sound of a can’s ring-pull. World-beating.

Succulent tuna chunks in rich gravy. The scrape of a fork. At last. For Boris, cat in confinement.

Entitlement oozes from every paw.

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