I have a friend. We’ll call him Pete, because his name is Pete.
I have known Pete for over ten years. We both like cats and cider and hats and taking photos. Sometimes we hang out and take photos of cats, while wearing hats and drinking cider.
That is a huge lie. We’ve never done that.
Pete recently moved near me and I have visited him all of once.
This week he asked if I could feed his cat, named Eli, a couple of times while he was in Perth.
I agreed to for several reasons. First, because it’s on my train line, secondly, because Pete’s cat has a face, unlike my cat, so I thought it might be neat to look at a cat with a face and lastly, because I am a nice person and it is nice to help friends.
Last night was the first night I had to feed Eli. I was pleasantly surprised at how close Pete’s house is to the station when you don’t walk in the wrong direction for ten minutes to begin with. The first time I went to Pete’s house, I walked ten minutes in the wrong direction. WHILE I HAD A GPS IN MY HAND. The less said about my map reading skills the better.
I went around last night and opened the door and there was Eli. With his nose. And a facial expression that said ‘Shit. YOU ARE NOT MY HUMAN!’. Then he ran away. So I did what any good cat-sitter does. I took photos of myself in various places around Pete’s house and I posted them on the Internet. BECAUSE THAT’S NOT CREEPY.
I left, satisfied that my help was going very well.
Tonight I went back again. The walk seemed even quicker this time, as I strutted through the suburb like I owned it. I got to Pete’s, let myself in and could find no sign of Eli, except for an empty food bowl. I filled his bowl and gave him some fresh water and then I went and sat on Pete’s couch and I zoned out. I zoned out for I don’t know how long, all slack jawed and droopy on his couch. Then I came to and wiped away the drool pooling in the corner of my mouth quickly, because I had a horrible thought. WHAT IF PETE HAD A WEB-CAM? Not suggesting Pete is creepy, of course, but some people do have web-cams in their house, for security/sexy reasons.
I quickly stood up and went over to Pete’s CDs, which I rifled through feverishly. Because going through some-one’s CDs looks a lot less conspicuous on tape than sitting slack-jawed on their couch. Right?
It was at this point that I thought, no. No Julia, you need to go home.
Here is where we must pause for me to explain something. I live in a perpetual state of chaos. An example? About a week ago the wallet that holds my coins broke. So rather than buy a new wallet, I just carry a giant pile of coins at the bottom of my bag, which shocks me occasionally when it spontaneously pours out on say, the floor of the train I am on, or all over the floor in the very open plan office I work in.
I regularly do things like put my iPod headphones in, but forget to put the iPod in my pocket and will happily walk to the train station, unaware I am dragging my iPod on the ground behind me.
This is my existence … and now back to me exiting Pete’s house.
I stepped out his front door, and realised there was a very large, vicious dog trying to get at me through the fence. I scowled at the dog and reached back into the house and turned off the lights, before pulling the door closed. As I pulled, Pete’s door handle flew off and went sailing precariously close to the top of his fence and the waiting jaws of the vicious attack dog. Thankfully, it fell slightly short. In my panic, I ran forward in the dark to find the handle, forgetting, of course, about my iPod headphones and super long shoelaces and I proceeded to trip over a combination of both.
So I’m in dark, on the ground, the dog is going nuts, I’m hissing a string of words that would make a grandmother blush and I’ve broken Pete’s door.
After I found the handle, I quickly jammed it back on and I got the hell out of there. Turns out I didn’t out of there fast enough because one of Pete’s neighbours came out onto the street and looked at me. Looked at me like I was a burglar. I hope my expression conveyed that I was not a burglar, I was just a klutz and a rather incompetent cat-sitter.