I’ll kick off with a clear statement: I love animals. In fact I have one crawling on me as I (attempt to) type . One handed, obviously, the other trying very hard to hold the offending and OH SO ADORABLE kitten down.

I’m wearing pyjamas covered in little rabbits. My socks have horses on. 100% of my (two, very tiny, very artful, in case Granddad is reading) tattoos are animals. People ask me if I plan to fill my life with cats instead of children and also remind me that they are “not people”.

Update: the kitten has decided she’d like to be cradled like a baby. That’s ironic.

I’m a very firm believer that you can take great comfort from animals when shit goes down. I fondly recall the ongoing pains of my poor father, who having spent the best part of a grand on new fridges and dishwashers and special lettuce for my chemotherapy-destroyed immune system, would often find me in bed asleep with my cat Dukes curled up under my arm having a wash with his scummy little cat tongue.

I also recall a story that’s funny now, but maybe wasn’t at the time for my poor mother. Her nerves were somewhat shot after I’d had a general anaesthetic to biopsy an intruding and terribly unwanted lump under my arm. I’d already been given a provisional diagnosis of Lymphoma, with the extremely comforting parting words of “if it’s not that, it’s something much more serious” from a doctor who probably just shouldn’t be on the bad news team, so we were all understandably a little fragile.

Mum had taken me home and agreed to let me shower on the provision I kept the bathroom door open and was swift. Just like an episode of Holby City, ten minutes later I started screaming.

I’m good with animals. I like animals. I want them to like me. I am less good with unexpected animals. Especially rodents. No one likes a surprise mouse unless it’s of the sugar variety.

My precious Dukes had obviously sensed something was up, kindly ran out as soon as the opportunity came to him and caught me a big juicy mouse to cheer me up. Where best to hide it for me? In my slipper. Which I put on straight after my shower. And when my slipper started moving and squeaking I screamed my head off. The cats were shut out for days*.

* disclaimer: my mother possibly loves the animals more than I do, therefore they were probably shut out for a maxmimum of an hour until she forgave them

So moral of the story, I love animals. But not enough to stop eating them it would seem.

NOW I HAVE DISTRACTED YOU WITH MY RAMBLINGS I’LL CONFESS VERY QUICKLY AND THEN WON’T FEEL SAD AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY EVEN THOUGH I HAVE THE WILL POWER OF A GNAT I MIGHT HAVE CRACKED ONCE OR TWICE OR MAYBE EVEN FIVE TIMES BUT I DID REALLY TRY AND I WILL HAVE ANOTHER GO I WILL I WILL I WILL

I’ll do another month. Promise. Just not this month. Maybe not the next. A month. I will.

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