Who's the Daddy: Look what the cat dragged in
Whoever said never work with children and animals has obviously never done their job from home during lockdown with a house full of kids, cats, a dog and a half-dead mouse.
During 28 gruelling, thankless, spirit-crushing years in journalism, I’ve been threatened, yelled at, sworn at, propositioned (twice) and laid off.
But I’ve never had to chase a mouse around the workplace that an office cat had dragged in as a “present”.
One day last week, right on deadline, there was a ghostly yowl at the back door, the kind of noise cats usually reserve for life-threatening injuries. It was the fatter, lazier of the two brothers we rehomed 10 years ago. So in he waddled, looking no more disinterested and grumpy than usual.
But hang on, what’s that in his mouth... “OH YOU LITTLE ******! HE’S GOT A ******* MOUSE!” Which he promptly dropped and then ran off, leaving me and the boss to try and catch it before the doubly incontinent vermin scurried away.
Our daughters bolted in terror and slammed the lounge door behind them, the boss handed me a dustpan and brush and the games began.
I can’t remember what was yelled during the hunt but apparently it went something like this... “Come here mousey, I’m trying to help you mate. OH **** HE’S RUN OFF. COME HERE YOU ******* LITTLE ****. GOT HIM! WATCH OUT, THE ****’* GONNA ******* JUMP! SHUT THE ******* DOOR BEHIND ME!” and mousey was released back into the wild.
Of course, what I should’ve done was invite our two cats and sighthound into what is essentially the office and held a Mad Max Thunderdome-style mouse-off. Second thoughts, it’d be a bloodbath, literally. Last week, when the dog thought I wasn’t watching, he had one of the cats in his jaws and was about to perform his signature squirrel move before he got yelled at so hard the glass lampshade in the kitchen resonated.
Seriously, all I want to do is stay in work long enough to send the kids through uni. It’s not too much to ask, is it?