The thing that often makes me laugh in life is the contrast between what I expect to happen and what happens.
The most recent example that springs to mind is the hoo-ha at the Newcastle Herald.
I kind of expected to remain employed there a little longer than appears likely.
That’s kind of funny in a broken toe kind of way.
As a result of the looming restructure, I’ve been spitting out job applications. And on those job applications I’ve been listing a contact number.
My landline as it turns out. Not sure why.
Possibly because it has an answering machine and I want to give potential new employers the best chance of reaching me in case I lose my mobile.
Subconsciously, I may also want to give potential new employers the impression I have a vast secretarial service at my disposal. That’s what working on your resume does – makes you deranged.
Anyhow, on top of having a landline with an answering machine, we also have a cat. We have two in fact. But it’s the second one that stars in this yarn.
It’s a rescue cat and almost by definition, a bit flighty – as if the trauma of its unsettled upbringing has left it, how would you say, permanently #$%^%-ed in the head.
It looks cute and fluffy. It purrs and meows occasionally. But just when you think all is good between the ears, it’ll shred your arm, rip down a curtain, shred a lounge, do a cranial 360 and start fires by looking at things.
All to the amusement of the incumbent older cat.
Until the rescue cat gives it a good wop. Possibly for being so smug. Then the incumbent goes into its own version of the Exorcist.
Before you know it you’ve got two cats running their claws down the metaphorical blackboard of your patience. They wanna go out, they wanna go in, they wanna be fed, they wanna go to the toilet, they’re on edge, you’re on edge, it’s edgy.
You wish you had a goldfish.
Which gets us back to the contrast between what you’d hoped for and what you got.
You hoped when you got the second cat that the two would mesh into a tranquil Kimba meets Doolittle meets Daktari landscape where all creatures live in peace.
Instead you got cat-astrophe.
Which gets us even further back to the answering machine and those job applications.
With the prospect of job applications comes hope. Hope that someone will ring. Interesting how much hope you invest in that notion, actually.
Imagine my delight then when rescue cat, fresh from his latest Dale Buggins around the sunroom, spurts onto the window sill for a time out. Endearing, perhaps, until his next erratic movement.
Startled by another haphazard synapse, he pings up the venetians and knocks over a glass of water.
Not too tragic, normally, except this time the water lands directly on the internet/phone socket, knocking out household communications entirely. You know that because right on cue comes a muffled ‘‘sprrrt’’.
No, it’s not the rescue cat apologising. It’s someone on the phone – possibly a potential employer – possibly offering you a future. In the absence of information to the contrary, that’s what the brain will do – confabulate.
It’s called coping, and at that stage I wasn’t really, as the ‘‘sprrrt’’ turned into a ‘‘zzzzzz’’ and the phone went dead. Which gets me back to the start.
I hadn’t really expected it when I got him, but rescue cat was now suddenly in dire need of rescue from his rescuer, and that made me laugh.