The Thing Is with Steve Canavan - June 9, 2016

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I did a dreadful thing the other day, so bad I’m not sure I should mention it for fear of reprisals.

I forgot I owned a cat.

In my defence this is easy to do. On the rare occasions he is not outside decapitating a mouse and dumping its bloodied, headless corpse on our doorstep (it’s his strange, warped idea of a gift to us I think), Percy – that’s the cat – sleeps in a shoebox in the corner of the back bedroom. (This in itself is annoying as the shoebox is directly next to a £45 special foam-memory cat sleeping platform that we purchased, and which has been used by him only once).

My point is that we rarely see him, so he’s kind of easy to forget about.

Now I’ve got my excuses in, this is what happened.

Mrs Canavan went away at the weekend on yet another hen-do, her 37th of the year according to my calculations.

Either a lot of her friends are getting married, or she is having a steamy, torrid affair and can’t believe her luck that I haven’t yet seen through the old ‘I’m on a hen-do again this weekend darling’ line.

Abandoned and alone, I decided to join my mother and sisters at the family caravan we have near Kendal.

I headed to the Lakes late on Friday and we had a very pleasant time, mainly playing card games – the caravan is in the middle of a field and has no electricity.

On the Sunday evening, some 51 hours after I arrived, my sister casually remarked, ‘who’s looking after the cat?’

I can’t remember my exact reaction, but it involved a horrified expletive followed by an outrageously quick drive back to St Annes.

As I skidded into my road, I has visions of Percy lying in a emaciated, dehydrated state on the front lawn.

He wasn’t, he was sitting quite normally on the path, but he did look rather cheesed off.

I clambered from the car and shouted, “I’m sorry Percy – daddy’s home now”, which was slightly embarrassing as it was at that point I noticed my next door neighbour tending her shrubs.

She glanced at me like I was insane.

Percy, meanwhile, refused my apology, fixing me with an icy stare.

I attempted to make up for my actions by giving Percy an ear scratch, but he wasn’t having any of it. Instead he stomped straight to his bowl and made a strange howling noise, the like of which I hadn’t heard since Mrs Canavan stubbed her toe on the ironing board in 2007 while getting carried away doing a pilates routine in the lounge.

I opened two tins of wet food (a real treat as he only usually has one of these a day). He wolfed them both down, then stood at his bowl wailing for more.

Such was my raging guilt at having left him to fend for himself, I gave him another. Then some dried food. I topped up his water, which he drank in a couple of slurps.

Then – in what I can only imagine was a pre-meditated and deliberate act of revenge – Percy turned and with quite some panache, projectile vomited across the kitchen.

He’d obviously devoured his grub and water too fast.

I spent the next half-an-hour cleaning cat sick off the floor and Percy refused to come near me for the rest of the night.

“Cat’s acting a bit funny,” Mrs Canavan noted on her return the following morning. “Has something upset him?”

“Don’t think so,” I replied, “he’s been as good as gold all weekend.”

If you see her, please don’t tell her the truth.

I’d like to stop saving the world now, thanks

Remember my tale about Greenpeace the other week?

In a nutshell, I stopped to sign a petition while on holiday in Belfast. The petition was something about saving icebergs in the Arctic, but to be honest the only reason I put my name to it was because Mrs Canavan was trying on clothes in Next and I was bored.

I told the Greenpeace man I would only sign if he could assure me I would not receive any future correspondence whatsoever.

Since then I have had a phone call during which I was cajoled into giving them a tenner a month (I was angry at first, then consoled myself with the thought that maybe the first iceberg saved would be named after me) and am now receiving regular emails and letters through the post bringing me Greenpeace news.

‘Hi Steve,’ began the latest to drop through the post, ‘thank you for protecting our planet’, which is a little generous considering all I did was stop to talk to some bloke outside Next in Belfast.

‘Supporters like you,’ it continued, ‘are the reason we could successfully campaign for a moratorium on commercial whaling’. Blimey, I’d achieved more than I thought…

Now I’ve nothing against Greenpeace. I agree with what it stands for and I’m sure it does fine work.

But if anyone from the organisation is reading, I’ve made a donation and I reckon I’ve done my bit – you can save your money on stamps and paper and stop sending me letters.