Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pearly whites at the pearly gates.

Have you ever wondered when you'll die? What the circumstances of your demise will be? And what on Earth is the discoverer of your cadaver going to think when he or she stumbles across your undeniably gorgeous remains?

It's not something I spend a great deal of time considering, though I am prone to taking ridiculous chances with my safety and, on some occasions, with everything around me in slow motion, I've had time to imagine the scene I'm about to leave behind. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about one such near miss.

A year or so after returning from my backpacking adventure I found myself staying at my Grandmothers house whilst she was away with my parents, alone save for a kitten, Ed. Many of you will know I have a hatred of cats, though this hasn't always been the case. This entry might give you a clue as to why.

Ed was, undoubtedly, a beautiful creature. Completely black, brilliant blue eyes and a big, bushy tail. Ed was a character, and would leap into my arms whenever he wanted some attention. Sometimes I'd not be ready to catch him, and he would extend his vicious little claws and hook himself on to whatever shirt I'd chosen to wear.

It was a couple of days after Christmas in the early 1990's. I was working as a waiter in a nightclub at that point and had a night off. I'd decided that, after a very busy few days, I was going to spend a whole twenty-four hours in my own company. No friends, no phone calls (in those days before mobile phones this was easy, unplug the house phone and draw the curtains) and absolutely nothing to do.

I slept in until mid-morning, having only finished work at 4am, and woke with that feeling of calm and peace you only get when you know you haven't a care in the world. I decided that the day would be a naked day. No need to dress if no one's going to see you.

After a light breakfast I took a long, hot shower, had a shave and began brushing my teeth. Ed had followed me to the bathroom and was sat cleaning himself on the wicker laundry basket which was directly behind me as I stood polishing my Newtons (Mancunian rhyming slang, "Newton Heath", "teeth"). 

Once finished with my enamel scrubbing I leaned forward to spit the minty foam into the sink. It was at this point that Ed decided he was clean enough and quite fancied a bit of attention. As I bent almost double (I'm six foot three tall) he launched himself, intending to land on my shoulder. My shoulder suddenly not being there he plummeted instead, but his claws managed to find purchase in the cheeks of my arse.

As I'm sure you can imagine, this came as quite a shock to me and I inhaled sharply, drawing in the mouthful of foam I had yet to get rid of. The foam filled my throat, blocking my airways completely. I stood bolt upright, eyes bulging and mouth wide, still trying to inhale and making the blockage worse. Ed continued to scramble, trying to climb higher, but his back legs slipped down and in between my own legs, finding secondary purchase in my scrotum.

Still scrambling he clung on for grim life. I staggered backwards and through the bathroom door, knocking over the laundry basket as I fell. The laundry basket spilled its contents all around me. I've no idea why, but I grabbed a hand full of the dirty washing in my left hand and crawled towards the staircase.

At this point everything began to happen in slow motion. It was hopeless, and I was sure I was going to die right there on the stairs.

I looked around me, feeling quite euphoric as my brain became starved of oxygen, and surveyed the scene. I was naked, lay on the landing, my back scratched to ribbons, my testicle in tatters and several pairs of my Grandmothers knickers clenched tightly I'm my fist. There was also white foam spattered all over my chin and chest, giving me the appearance of a Bukkake participant.

My Gran was due home two days later, and would have been the one to find me if i didn't survive. Would she remove the knickers from my grasp before phoning the ambulance? Would she go to her own grave thinking her Grandson a pervert? Would the coroner be able to tell my Grandmother that I'd been the unfortunate victim of a vicious cat attack whilst innocently completing my daily ablutions? Or would I be in the papers, a poor man's Michael Hutchence? The only thing I could think of that would have made this scene any more embarrassing would be if I was wearing a Manchester United shirt.

The explosion of foam and phlegm that accompanied the cough which saved my life shot straight up in the air. I rolled over, spluttering, my throat on fire, and saw, sat two feet from my face, that evil black cat fastidiously cleaning the blood from it's wicked paws.



  1. THAT my friend was a fucking awesome story! Just read it out loud to my friend and I couldn't stop laughing!!!!!!!

  2. How did you not kill the cat :-()

  3. That is hilarious, you should have taken a selfie, or two or twenty. I'm still laughing at the images brought to mind by your very entertaining writing.