Why are You Screaming?

The Christmas cards finally got sent off today. They’ll be late of course – our fault for somehow losing track of where we were in the season, notwithstanding the short days. Also on the docket; the re-taping of the furniture. Why? Because Miss Marschallin has a taste for masticating the sofas, chairs, footstools and anything else masquerading as a scratching post. We don’t care, but apparently other people do. So double-sided tape it is.

‘It will be easy,’ said the woman at the till. ‘Very self explanatory,’ said the woman at the till. We are forced to conclude that the woman at the till has never had the pleasure of battling for upwards of half an hour with the application of double-sided tape to her furniture.

The instructions claimed that you apply it and press it down, and then peel off the protective coating once it’s all nicely flat. Well, we tried. Peeled the tape off the step. Got it beautifully flat. Peeled off the protective coating, and lifted off the tape with it. Reapplied the tape, tried again. Gave up on that strand of tape and chose a fresh one. This nonsense went round and round in a fashion strongly evocative of a closed causal loop. This isn’t unreasonable, since 15 minutes in we were ready to conclude that double-sided tape was at least as science-fiction worthy and ill-advised as time travel.

At some point we peeled off half-a-dozen protective strips successfully and lull ourselves into thinking we’d triumphed. All the while the cat paraded around the room, searching out weaknesses, assessing the chair corners we missed for maximum scratching potential. Honestly, why would any sane cat owner bother?

Needless to say, when we afterwards got around to tea, it was earned. Today it was Buddha’s Blend, which has cropped up in the Advent Calendar before. We said then that it doesn’t taste the way it smells, and we stand by that. It smells light and floral. It tastes of a tanin-heavy green tea. A bit bitter, but we’d left it to steep overlong because we were still recovering from The Battle of The Double-Sided Tape (victory to us but by a narrow margin). It’s a lovely, flavoured green tea, and if you can catch it before it turns sharp, there’s a sweetness to it that is pleasant.

There are probably lots of meditative poems out there. We think Robert Frost even has one on Christmas Cards. But we’re still traumatised by the tape. Really. It was a bloody battle. The Dachshunds – traitors – fought on the side of the tape. They wanted to eat the tape.  So here’s a gem from the anthology I could Pee on This, and other Poems Written By Cats. Miss Marschallin isn’t much for dead animals, but swap them out for a malevolence of tape (that’s definitely the collective noun, by the by) and this writer, too, has had had their share of tape-induced trauma. We have every confidence.

Why are You Screaming? 

Francesco Marciulano

Why are you screaming?
What did I do wrong?
Why are you crying?
How can I make it right?
Would you like it in a different color? Would you like it in a different size? Would you like it in a different room? I just wanted to show my love
I just wanted to express my thanks I just wanted to put a dead mouse
on your sheets
But now you are screaming
And I don’t know how to make you stop

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