Break-ups are tough. They’re even worse when your significant other just ups and leaves with no explanation, as is the case with the increasingly popular method of ghosting or, with cats.
Notorious for their independent, selfish ways, love them or hate them, cats give a special type of affection. I’d compare them to fuckboys, but I’d never lower the feline species to such depths. Cats are more like those mysterious bad boys from 90s/00s sitcoms. They’re so bad they’re good, and though they seem cold and unfeeling on the outside, you can’t help but admire their rogue self-sufficiency and hope that someday, somehow, you’ll get past that steely (if furry) exterior.
I adopted Tyler when I was ten. He was the only ginger in the litter, which, as anyone who knows me will know, meant that he was The One. Tyler was very cute, very fuzzy and at the time, I found his weak attempt at trying to eat me unbearably sweet. However, this act did eventually lose its charm, especially when his big fuck-off canines grew in. Ouch.
As with most shite relationships, Tyler soon began to show his true colours. He was a greedy bastard, and after his kitten metabolism wore off, he ballooned into what resembled a tiger that had a strong dislike for exercise. He seemed to derive some sort of sick pleasure from eating us out of house and home, and demanded food at regular half-an-hour intervals. What’s more, he had a real propensity towards catnip and, whenever possible, he spent most his time on our couch, baked out of his little head. Essentially, my cat was the feline incarnation of everyone’s leechy stoner friend. And then, there was The Nightly Terror. Every night, lazy bastard Tyler would be transformed into some sort of ginger Fire Demon (no offence, red-headed friends. Trust me, this thing was probably what started those rumours about you not having souls), running around the house at warp speed, targeting any moving limb as prey. This was bad enough for us, but for the rotating selection of wildlife that ended up at our door each morning (namely, an actual toad) I imagine it was much worse.
Still, tense as our relationship was, I paraded him around proudly, shoving my vicious, lumpy feline into the face of anyone who would look at him. Then, one day, he was gone. No text, no note, no last decapitated amphibian, he was gone. For two weeks, I stuck up posters all around my area, with a serene looking picture of an adorable kitten who probably didn’t at all resemble the Hellhound that had been set loose on the Cork South Central constituency.
Then, after several fake phone calls from some particularly mean-spirited teenagers, some lovely woman down the road rang to say she had spotted the poster in a butcher’s. Tyler had been living with her for a while at this point, and when we arrived to pick him up, it was made abundantly clear by Tyler that he really did want me to fuck off, like the clingy ex I was. To be fair, he had it pretty sweet. A nice four-bedroom semi in the suburbs, proper Whiskas (Not Aldi’s finest ‘Vitacat’, he’d always been a bit of a snob), plus a very cute tabby female roaming around the place. He complained, in his own perfected, screaming-yowl way, the entire way home. Bless him, he stuck around for two more days, and then ran off. The nice lady rang again, but we agreed that Tyler was happier and less of an asshole when he was living with her. Did I ever think I’d lose a guy to an arthritic pensioner with a blue-rinse? No. But, as they say, if you love something, set it free. Or, if you don’t love something, best to pass it on to someone else before it gives you tetanus.