Stephen Fahey: When life tries to kill you

Sometimes life has its moments. Like when you’ve just managed to get comfortable and you realise that you need to pee. Then, when you get up, having argued with yourself for a good ten minutes about the merits of holding it in versus getting it over with while risking never getting as comfortable again for the rest of your living days, your leg falls asleep. Then, limping your way to the bathroom, cursing your stupid misfortune of having been born with legs, you stub your toe on the kitchen table. And not the toe that’s asleep. Oh no. It’s the toe that bothered to stay conscious long enough for the seemingly express purpose of getting itself stubbed.

Then, as you cry out like a two year old who is watching their freshly dropped ice cream cone melt into the pavement at their feet, wobbling on your dead leg while trying to somehow magically rub the mushed appendage back to some semblance of anything less than sheer, blind agony, all while resisting the urge to wet yourself, the cat gets under your feet. Because cats are both psychic and evil and once it sensed your vulnerability it pretended to be concerned for you, but really it was just seizing the opportunity to worsen your bladder-related discomfort, intensify your toe-related agony and prolong your increasingly profound want to return to that comfy spot you sacrificed in the name of good hygiene.

Still, you consider yourself a somewhat sane, reasonably well adjusted individual, so you make it to the bathroom. You arrange yourself, admittedly like Quasimodo drunk on antifreeze, but you make it work. Then, right at your most graceful moment, your leg wakes up mid-stream, sending shooting pains from hip to toe that are so strong they could make even the most experienced fire fighter or bombardier miss their target. At this point it is clear that the universe is toying specifically with you. You feel it and know it in your heart. But you persevere, even though there is no toilet paper on the holder (which you seem to always be the one to have to replace, even though there are at least two hundred people living in the house, judging by the amount of dishes you find in every corner and cranny at all hours of the day and night).

But yet still, you look for the silver lining. Miraculously you remember the end of a bottle of wine in the fridge from the night before. You hobble back to the kitchen. You open the fridge door. You pour the very last of the wine into a glass. And the cat decides that glass would be better off on the floor, in many pieces, some of which are in your foot. Because the universe and the cat are clearly in cahoots and even the simple pleasure of a glass of wine is too much to hope for.

When you finally make is back to that place of original comfort, reposition yourself to the best of your ability, shuffle yourself, reshuffle yourself, remind yourself to not shuffle yourself a third time or you’ll fly into a rage and the moment will be gone forever, you then realise that the warmth you’re feeling is actually a tidy little shit that the cat left for you moments earlier when you were busy in the bathroom resisting the urge to commit Harakiri with the empty toilet roll holder in an attempt to relieve the torture of your leg waking back up.

Sometimes life is like this, but it is important to remember that cats are fragile and unlike dogs they have no souls. So, after you’ve folded your feline into a shoebox and thrown it gleefully onto a busy motorway, you are not only ridding yourself of an inter-dimensional abomination but you are also making the world a better place for all. Moral of the story: dogs are awesome.

Stephen Fahey

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