Cuddles Cure All

, , , , , , | | Hopeless | May 9, 2019

Many years ago I adopted a pair of cats — sisters, who were fully litter trained but were in all other ways absolutely feral.

After years of work, they have become what I can only describe as… cats. The bolder sister, Sif, has become an unabashed tyrant, demanding tribute — cuddles — from any mortal foolish enough to enter my flat. Her sister, Freya, has learned that cuddles are awesome but has an almost impossibly complex recipe for when it’s okay to cuddle her. Specifically, she will not sit on human skin, so you’d better be wearing trousers, and she will not get under the duvet the way her sister does for nap-time cuddles.

That is, until I got ill. Not regular “I have the flu” ill; a nasty deliberate — it sure as h*** wasn’t an accident — left me disabled and my health had taken a turn for the poo. Lying in bed, my chronic pain condition acting up — a side effect of the deliberate — I was in the worst place of my life.

Then, Freya clawed her way under the duvet. She pressed herself as close as she could get to my naked chest and she buried all of the claws farthest from me into the bed. Then, using those claws as an anchor she tucked herself even tighter into me, bracing against her own claws, and she purred.

She purred so hard my whole torso vibrated as this tiny cat showed me how much she loved me and how much I mattered, and I fell asleep to the sound of this tiny, runty cat purring her love so hard that her whole body shook and, for one perfect afternoon, I felt loved.

Freya passed at the end of last year, but the memory of her overcoming all of her taboos and phobias to comfort me that afternoon still makes even the darkest day a little better.

Unfiltered Story #149558

, , , | | Unfiltered | May 6, 2019

(I’m in the queue at the post office behind a lady who is trying to pay her electric bill. She hands the cashier her payment card, when…)

Cashier: Oh, the magnetic strip on this is pretty worn, it won’t swipe. I’ll key in the number by hand, but you might want to contact the company and ask for a new card.
Customer: What? Why would I do that?
Cashier: Well, someone might type the number in wrong by accident.
Customer: How dare you! I don’t come here for you to get my number wrong! I expect better service!
Cashier: M-Madam, I have no intention of getting it wrong, I just thought…
Customer: Well, don’t! I’m shocked that you’d be so insolent as to tell me my business.

(The manager on duty comes over from the next register to ask if everything’s okay, as the woman is being quite loud.)

Customer: You! You need to train your employees better! This one was about to put my money on someone else’s account!
Manager: Madam, I assure you–
Customer: Your useless staff member can’t even key in a number right! Why do you hire these idiots?
Manager: Madam, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.
Customer: What?
Manager: I won’t put up with you treating my employees like this. Please take your card and go. And get a new one from your provider before you come into my post office again.

(The customer snatches her card back and walks off in a rage, to the tutting of everyone in the shop. I walk up to the register.)

Me: Are you okay? She was awful!
Cashier: That was the third time this week…

So Cute He Could Just Eat You Up

, , , , , , , | Related | April 23, 2019

When my brother was a toddler, he never seemed to stop eating, and once his teeth grew in he would eat pretty much anything and everything he had access to. This led to some pretty funny moments.

Moment #1: While eating a packet of crisps, my brother fell asleep. The rule in my family, even at that age, was that if you left your snacks unattended, family members were allowed to take some. On this occasion, he fell asleep with one hand in the bag, and the other clamped tight around the top of the bag, thereby preventing anyone else from getting any without waking him up and making him cry.

Moment #2: When my aunt was visiting, we were having a family roast dinner. Due to my brother’s age, he only had a small portion, which, as per usual, he finished quickly. He got upset about something, so my dad passed him over the table to my mum so she could calm him down. As he was passed over my aunt’s plate, he reached out and grabbed a large slice of beef off of her plate and began to eat it, now completely content. The whole movement lasted only a couple of seconds.

Moment #3: Later, in the same visit from my aunt, we had visited a beach a couple of hours’ drive away. My brother once again had a packet of crisps, but this time he was less protective and my aunt was able to take one — she put it in her mouth, lay down on her spot of sand, and closed her eyes to relax. My brother, who was just slightly larger than average toddler, walked over to her, prised her mouth open, took the remains of his crisp out of her mouth, and ate it himself before walking back to his original position to finish his crisps. And that is why my brother became exempt from the snack-stealing rule.

We Are Siamese, And We’re Pleased

, , , , , , | Hopeless | February 26, 2019

Fifteen years ago, I finally had a flat to myself again and, full of excitement, I had a friend drive me to a local shelter to adopt me a cat. To be specific, two cats. Indoor cats. Female. Indoor cats are a lot of hard work — and no one likes to deal with litter trays — but my new flat was on the junction of two very busy streets in a pretty grotty neighbourhood so outdoor cats seemed irresponsible.

We pulled up at the shelter and I leapt out of the car like a demented gazelle, giddy as a kid on Christmas morning, and barely managed to wait for my friend before charging inside. I explained what I was looking for to the young lady inside and she took me to look at the cats that were up for adoption. To my shock, about half of the cats seemed to be chocolate point siamese — several hundred pounds a pop, so not what you expect to find in a shelter.

The girl explained that they had all been rescued from a mad old cat lady who was keeping all twenty of them in a one-bedroom house and feeding them enough for maybe fifteen cats. They’d been in a real state when they were brought in, but they’d been fed up and were now full of beans. I was now, if anything, even more excited at the prospect of adopting as the thought of a pair of these magnificent kitties wandering around my flat was really exciting to me. I wandered up the aisle, taking my time and greeting each of the cats in turn, trying to not just yell, “OH, MY GOD! JACK WANT ALL KITTIES! GIVE KITTIES TO JACK NOW!

Cage after cage was filled with these huge, beautiful, and very, very vocal cats, pressing themselves against the front of the cages for pettings. I was totally confused — how would I ever choose? — until I got to the last cage. There, my confusion ended.

In this cage were, once again, two siamese cats. But these two were maybe half the size of the others, and they weren’t pressing against the front of the cage looking for cuddles. They were huddled at the back of the cage, as far away from humans as they could get. I later found out that they were also recovering from cat flu. The cat I would come to know as Sif was huddled into the corner as tightly as she could squeeze herself, and the warrior who would be Freya was lying half on top of her, cuddling as close as she could and I knew. I just knew.

Those other cats, brimming with health and confidence? They could go anywhere, be adopted by anyone, but these two were going to need a special home with someone patient, and I was determined that I would give them that home.

It’s taken years to get them to act like proper, confident goddesses-of-all-they-survey — y’know, cats — and they still get skittish around new people, but Sif will now walk up to people in my flat and demand cuddles — remember, siamese — and even Freya will allow people to pet her, though she has some hilariously specific rules.

And now, beloved readers, those two terrified little cats — the cats I didn’t even see for the first two weeks that they lived with me because they were hiding behind the fridge — those two cats will now not only climb onto my lap at any chance they get but, if I’m wearing a front opening top, they will climb inside that top — with no regard at all for my tender, easily-punctured skin! — and they curl up and they purr and purr as if they’ve finally found their happy spot. And sometimes this makes my face leak, just a little bit.

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The Rainbow Isn’t Complete Without Black

, , , , | Friendly | January 14, 2019

(I’m in a shoe shop, when I see a girl dressed entirely in black with a rainbow bag, clutching some holographic black shoes.)

Girl: *tearing up* “These shoes are black and gay! That’s me! That’s my aesthetic! I NEED them!”

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