I never wanted to get cats. I don't believe in domestication... how can you BUY or OWN a living thing? I only wanted to cohabit with those who had chosen to live with me...which was why I was so delighted when we got mice.
I've always loved mice, because I quite look like one. I've always thought I must have some mouse ancestor, a granddad or great-granddad, the downside of this: I have a downy hairy face. The upside: tiny shits!
Unfortunately my human boyfriend reacted to the mice by turning into an 18th century woman. Fainting and swooning and jumping on tiny stools. His chattering teeth and night-shivers were keeping me up. And also I care about him, so unselfishly I agreed to talk about getting the mice to move out. The 'conversation' went like this:
"No traps, no poisons, no cruelty, we can only catch them by hand and take them to a nice part of the park, stop crying".
But although I managed to catch a whole three mice by hand over the ensuing six-months, we had more and more mice in the house. THEY WERE OBVIOUSLY INVITING FRIENDS ROUND. Some of you now thinking 'hang on, aren't mouses notoriously sexy? They probably been banging away to make more mice' but I know it's not that because I put a sign up in the kitchen stating "NO SEX IN THIS HOUSE UNLESS YOU ARE MARRIED". Which I know works as my boyfriend has followed it to the letter. I was hoping it might nudge him in the opposite direction, but apparently he doesn't want my hand in marriage because it smells of mice.
So, because I am such a good compromiser, and because the mice are now in our bed sometimes, I relented that we could have the Mouse Man round to sort them out. And so he came, AND I LOOK MORE LIKE A MOUSE THAN HE DOES. And the 'conversation' went like this:
"No traps, no poisons, no cruelty, you can only catch them by hand and take them to a nice part of the park, stop laughing, why has he left?"
And so the next compromise I made was that we could invite some cats to live with us, and hopefully this would encourage the mice to live somewhere else, with more room and less murderers. We went to Battersea Dogs Home to get them. They do cats too you see. The real full name is Battersea Cats and Dogs home but who's got time to say all that? That's probably the reason all the cats in there looked so annoyed. And also because they were in plexi-glass prisons. And so we took the two that looked most annoyed at being there (my logic was they were the ones who would most desire to live with me. My logic is often irrational, which might make you think 'how is that logic then? If it's irrational?' and to you I would say 'I don't know. Please don't confuse me anymore than I already am').
The cats we took (we bought them with money but I hate to say that because it feels so prostitutey even without sex) were called Ashley and Topaz, but they are now Archie and Thelma, because I did not spend 3 years and ten thousand pounds at university to have WORKING CLASS CATS. He's black, she's white, but they BOTH liked fried chicken and can't dance. So let's all stop making sweeping generalisations about colour shall we?
The mice have gone now. But now we have cats in the bed to keep us awake, purring on our heads like vibrating hats. This is a happy ending by the way. This has to be the ending here (in the middle) because we all know the future ending (where one of them dies and I kill myself in grief) will not be as happy. Stupid fear of death making me cry all the time because I love my cats too much.
'Sara Pascoe: The Musical' is on at the Soho Theatre Downstairs, Tue 27 Nov – Sat 1 Dec, 7.30pm (no show Thu 29 Nov). Tickets £10-£12.50. ‘She has an obvious flair for comic timing… Nothing less than full mega-watt charisma.’ ★★★★ Guardian
Follow Sara Pascoe on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarapascoe