SO we had guests over the other night and, as they were leaving, the call went out to grab the cat.
That's because our cat is as unstable as the federal Liberal Party leadership.
As soon as you open the garage door, our cat's outta there. Like a lightning spear of seagull poo. Off to maim someone's pet canary or roll around in a stormwater drain. Whatever cats do at night.
So I went in for the grab, well aware what might happen. Because it's all happened before. The dance of derangement.
Our cat has the mental state of, well, it's not quite accurate to call it a "mental state". And yet it is. Real mental.
I've never been able to work out why.
So I've given up. I just try to trick him into thinking I'm going to feed him. So, yeah, trust could be an issue.
Anyhow, I had him rolling round on the cement the way he does when thinks he's gonna be fed.
Looking for a pat one moment. Looking to shred my hand the next. Pat, shred, pat shred - my cat's primary emotional drivers.
I knew I had to get an iron grip of his legs without delay. To keep them separated. From my body. Because pretty soon they'd be spinning like a propeller. In that I trusted.
It shouldn't be a big deal. I was just going to put him inside the house, while we broke the seal and opened the garage.
It could have been beautiful. It could have been real. It shouldn't lead to blood. It always leads to blood.
And that impacts on our relationship.
Because I hold on to a grudge when someone cuts me.
Like my too-dementional cat. I mean, two-dimensional cat.
I knew what was coming, but my guests didn't. They were busy making fond farewells after a night of pleasantries. Crowding, as you do in our house, in the laundry as you make your way from the kitchen to the garage.
Ambush country, if you're a claustrophobic cat in my clutches good and strong. Which doesn't help the claustrophobia thing.
But don't accuse me of bringing it on myself, because that would be accurate.
I was doing it to protect myself. And doesn't that sum up the nature of irony?
Give it a couple of seconds and some surgical dressing and you'd have a pretty good perspective on comedy too. Innocent bystanders couldn't have known that, though. They just saw the heavenly image of man and companion animal, arm in rigid flexing arm.
Bulging eyes suggesting to dear friends soon to be departed: "Gee, that's an animated kind of goodbye."
They couldn't feel the first claw being extended, like Wolverine, into the very thin flesh that covers my wrist.
I could, though.
And it got me thinking, why couldn't my cat puncture the more cushioned meat of my forearm? It wasn't a threat so much as a promise.
"Lose the homies and no one gets hurt."
But someone always gets hurt in a relationship like this. Usually the person hanging on to puss. Or in this case, hanging off puss.
I was hoping my guests may clear a path. That's what the bulging eyes were trying to communicate, apart from alarm.
I was holding a searing-hot oven pan without oven mitts. Things were starting to burn.
Looking back, my only chance to avoid what I knew would come, would have been to throw my cat into the laundry. Hopefully over my guests' heads.
But no guarantee there.
He may well have landed on someone's face.
And that wouldn't have been very hospitable. Hospital yes. Hospitable no.
I'd invited my guests into my home. I wasn't going to throw a cat in their face. On purpose.
Sometimes you have to take a bullet. Or a shredding.
A wound is a wound. It is also what my cat was, wound up.
Of course, none of this computed to my guests. So they did the worst thing possible at that moment.
They made loud cooing noises about how cute pussy wussy was.
You could almost hear the Hadron Collider fire up in that dark, deep, tightly coiled room 101 that is my cat's sense of bat shit crazy.
And so he dropped the clutch like a drag racer at Eastern Creek. Leaving some solid circle work on the tarmac that was my arm.
In particular, one good long goring down the thumb ligament. Better doctors than my cat have struggled to find veins in that area.
The guests laughed as puss darted by.
I meanwhile gazed down at my wrist as the blood oozed out, mimicking tears down my face. Notch another one up to experience.
Notch it up real good. On the bone, psycho cat.
Anybody got a tissue? Or a small violin. Band-Aids would do.
Hard to wipe away the memories.
Blood may be thicker than water, but nothing is thicker than my cat.
Except the person who tries to pick him up without a Kevlar glove.