Many years past, I had an old cat named Ali-Tut. "Love" doesn't begin to describe what I felt for that old cat. The word hasn't been invented to describe what I felt for that old cat. I raised her from a baby kitten, feeding her and her sister Speedie from an eyedropper. She was with me from before I was a teenager, and she lived to be almost twenty-one.
Old Tuts had her own sheepskin on the couch, but being a cat, of course she slept anywhere she pleased, frequently taking up more of my single bed than I did. More accurate than a heat-seeking missile, she always knew where her best bet was between the sheepskin and my bed. This she would ascertain by inserting one paw beneath the doona to see if the electric blanket was on. Thus we passed many happy years, until I awoke early one morning to a tutt tutt tutt tutt tutt tutt sound, when I rolled over to see Ali-Tut contentedly lapping from my glass of water. Three things immediately filled my mind:
- An image of Ali-Tut with a bird in her mouth.
- An image of Ali-Tut cleaning herself most fastidiously, paying particular attention to her arse.
- The question of just how many years she had been drinking from my glass of water as I slept.
It had been many years since I've thought of the incident - that was until yesterday,when undertaking my usual morning ritual of removing my empty chamomile cup and (usually untouched) overnight glass of water to the kitchen, I discovered this:
|A cockroach floating in my glass of water|
As you can imagine, my thoughts were of a most alactritous nature;
- How long had cocky been in the glass?
- In the dark, did I drink from the glass before or after cocky got in?
- Where had cocky been before he got into my water? Did he perchance take a leisurely stroll around the toilet first?
- How did cocky come to be in the glass? Was he attempting a midnight swim after drinking too much wine with dinner? Or was it something more sinister? Could cocky have been pushed? Or... did he jump? Somewhere out there is the Cocky Coroner investigating? A note left behind? What sort of things do cockroaches say in suicide notes? I'm sick of eating shit, perhaps?
|A close up of cocky in the glass|
|An aerial view of cocky in the glass|
I look at that top photo now and marvel at a time in life when I was young enough to think of twenty-nine as 'old'. Surely that was never I.
Postcript: Several days of thinking on the incident have led me to the conclusion that cocky probably sipped my chamomile tea. If one cup of chamomile can put a whole human to sleep, imagine what it can do to a compartively small cockroach. What happened next will always be a matter of speculation - whether cocky in desperation tried to drink water as an antidote or whether instead he thought that going for a swim while high on chamomile sounded like jolly good fun, we will never know. One thing is for certain though: it's another sad case of a cockroach who couldn't handle their chamomile tea.