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U3A Writing: I Hate Cats

"When I visit a house with cats they always come up to me and jump on me, eager to make me feel uncomfortable….''

As John Ricketts reveals in this article he has good reason to hate cats.

I hate cats. This hatred goes back many years. In 1930 we lived in a Georgian terrace house which was a hundred and twenty years old. Most buildings of that age are infested with mice. Though we were not over-run we did have them. To keep them down we had two cats.

One day I was lying on the mat in front of the fire playing with a small toy when one of the cats came in and started to stalk me from behind. Suddenly it jumped on my head and started clawing.

My screams alerted the household and soon my mother rushed in. She shooed the cat away and picked me up. My whole head was dripping blood. My bubble curls were scarlet with it.

A doctor lived three doors away in the same terrace. My mother wrapped a kitchen towel round my head to catch the blood and ran up to his surgery. As soon as the receptionist saw the blood she ushered us into the doctor's presence where the towel was removed. He saw immediately that though there seemed to be blood everywhere, as there always is in forehead wounds, the cuts were all superficial.

He told my mother that the main danger was that they might all go septic. He got a big bowl and, while my mother held my head above it, he poured on a bottle of iodine. I am sure my screams could be heard a mile away. Then after he had made certain that the scratches were clean, he wrapped bandages round my head like a white cap. His treatment, though drastic, was successful and the scratches did not become infected.

I have still a very faint scare in the middle of my forehead and a much more obvious one on the back of my right hand. I never saw our cats again.

So you see I have a very good reason to hate cats and nothing that I have that I have experienced since has changed my mind.

Cats seem to know that you don’t like them. When I visit a house with cats they always come up to me and jump on me, eager to make me feel uncomfortable. At one time I suffered quite badly from asthma and there were several triggers, feathers, mould and mites but by far the worst was cats. A visit to where cats had been would cause me to wheeze and catch my breath.

A few years ago we had lot of feral cats living in the district. Everyone complained about being kept awake at night by their howling and screeching. At the time I had a very large greenhouse which these cats inhabited whenever I left the door or window open. Sometimes when I went in the morning I would chase out three or four of them. Unfortunately they left behind their fleas which seemed to take a liking to me and I suffered from them.

Cats give me the shivers up and down my spine even worse than spiders. I hate cats.


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