Cat reviews
: Katrina // Sebastien // Mikey




"brown rat-blood spurted in an inky jet up the wall"


KATRINA
Katrina was the best rat-catcher on Brick Lane. One time some people were over for dinner and she trotted in with a giant rat, still alive, in her mouth. Frankie, who was going through a Zen Buddhist phase, started to cry. I clapped my hands and chased Katrina into the bedroom. She paused at the door which led to the garden, stopped and turned, gazed at me, then bit down, slow and deliberate. Splat. Brown rat-blood spurted from the rat's jugular in an inky jet all the way up the wall.

Katrina is grossly old. She's fifteen. She's an old, frail lady. 'She looks like she walked through a pot of paint' Giles said in his quiet low whispery voice the other night, as Katrina paddy-toed across the garden, her fat black body wobbling on her pretty pink-and-white feet. Poor Katrina. She came to me and Jake when we were younger, grew up with us, and then, when we broke up, she came to me. Rumours abound as to why I now have her. Did Jake's 'evil' new girlfriend force him to eject this reminder of me, as my sister suggested? Did Jake become 'evil' himself, devoting his life to kitty-abuse and cruelty when he could no longer have me? Who can say.

We were frightened for Katrina when it was time for her to move in to my new house, because FootFoot was here! We thought FootFoot, being a two-year-old boy cat, would beat the crap out of Katrina, the 15-year-old lady cat. But Katrina is nails. Pretty, affectionate, and nails. The Linda Hamilton of ladycats. Katrina hides in the bracken in the garden of my new house like a sleepy jungle lynx. If FootFoot attempts to come into the garden, she hisses at him. One time they had a proper fight and both got all scratched up. Robin told me that Mark told him to kick Katrina if he saw Katrina and Footfoot fighting. At night, Katrina and I embrace feverishly.


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SEBASTIEN
I find Sebastien extremely annoying. Sebastien is annoying in the manner of a beautiful boy who knows you want him and does not want you, but continues to flaunt himself regardless. He is muscular and sleek and beautiful. His tummy bears a pattern of leopardskin. The pads of his paws are brown. Not yet fully grown, he weighs the same as a sack of apples that weighs the same as him. He will not be touched. He flattens himself to the ground. He is caged in a ninth-floor flat. The only contact with the outside world is a thin strip of balcony covered with chicken-wire. Nonetheless, this supreme being of cats still contrives to capture pigeons and drag them through the netting. He eats their heads and their breasts. At first he ate all of them, but he is becoming more discerning. I once used Sebastien as a bargaining tool in a relationship war. It was an ultimatum. I sent a picture of a kitten off the internet that looked just like Sebastien to the person, and said, 'Do what I want, or the kitten gets it. I am serious.' I got what I wanted.


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MIKEY

'It's your boyfriend! Here comes your boyfriend!' This is the sing-song cry of the Mikeycat. My sister says it whenever he approaches with his diligent long-legged walk. Mikey is Sebastien's brother but Sebastien stole all the good stuff when they were in the womb. Mikey is a ret, a freak. His tail and legs are etioliated skinny lengths, like plastecine stretched to breaking point. He has bald patches on the sides of his face and on his legs. His eyes are giant in his skin-streched face. He is thin and can be pushed over with a pencil. One time we did the tea-towel trick on Mikey and Sebastien (tie a tea-towel round a cat's waist and it will lose all sense of balance and fall over a lot) but only Mikey succumbed to it. This is no surprise. Lisa says that Mikey is like the kind of boys I go out with - dark-haired, big-eyed, slightly spasticated. Mikey also likes licking me.


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