Monday, November 05, 2007

Fireworks, more fireworks! Ahhhhhhh!

It’s morning and it’s Monday. Spaz-eyed and zombie I made the brisk walk to work through the frosty bright glow of the parks.

Yesterday was a busy one at work. Just myself manning the phones while the whole of the UK’s cats and dogs decided to take themselves for a fireworks-based adventure. You’d think people would know that it’s remarkably difficult to explain to even the most intelligent domesticated mongrel that the sound of kids throwing fireworks at each other isn’t the sound of an unexpected Armageddon. On Saturday night, even I wasn’t sure our flimsy, plywood-based house would manage the intensity of the sound. To a cat, this must sound like the Gates of Hell, flung open.

And yet there’s always one (per street) who forget about it, or leave a window open, or think animals must, like them, get ever so excited by a vision of the stars collapsing in a foreboding black sky; in a harrowing wail of psychedelia.

So the animals leg it. As far as their tiny paws can take them. But never can they escape the warzone. Whichever direction they turn they will be bombarded by light and whistles and bass thumps. Careering confusedly through the streets, seeing cars and street lamps and what seem to be louder cars and louder street lamps in the sky! Falling! Tumbling! Crashing to the earth! On to my head! On to my owner! Ahh the world has gone mad! Won’t somebody saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave me!


Each night of fireworks is like some extended nightmare. And on Sunday morning, they will awake in a hedge, cold, dirty and wet, to the sound of some well-meaning dog walker discussing the ID number on its collar.
”Four five seven. Is that a nine or a six? Here Dave, can you see this? It’s all worn away.”
“Well, I can see the telephone number. Shall we call them?”
“Go on Dave, get your mobile.”

“Hello Missing Domesticated Animals Office. Rich speaking, how can I help?”
“We’ve found a cat here and he’s wet, he looks like he’s got scared by something. I don’t know what.”
(”The fireworks, love.”)
”Oooh, yes, the fireworks. There’s been fireworks hasn’t there.”
(“Oooh, aye.”)
“And he’s wearing your little disk thing.”
“Ok, I’ll just put you through to the person who can help.”

“Yeah, what’s up my negro?”
“Danny, yeah, I got a woman on the line who’s found a cat.”
“Is he a member?”
“I think so, he’s wearing our tag.”
“Does she sound hot?”
“I definitely would.”
“Pop her through.”

“Hi, you’re through to Danny, how can I help?”
“Oh hello Danny, I was just telling that other fella about this cat.”
“Have you got a tag number there?”
“Four five seven six. Wait. Is that a six or a nine? And then a one I think. And a zero.”
“Four five seven six nine one zero?”
“But that could be a six or a nine. It’s ever so faint. There seems to be some water in the tag, and it’s nearly fallen apart.”
“Ok, well I’ll see what I find.”

Typing typing.

“Is the cat ok, by the way?”
“Well, he looks a bit frightened. And he’s a bit - I think it’s a he - looks a bit sad. He was asleep in this hedge.”
“Right, ok, I’ve found the owner. That’s Cecil you’ve got there. Norwegian Forest Cat.”
“So where does he live?”
“Well, due to data protection I can’t actually give you that information you see. What I can do is take your name and number and I’ll call the owners and let them know you have Cecil.”
“Oh, ok, but we were kind of on our way to the shops.”
“Where abouts are you exactly?”
“Hampton Green, near the road.”
“Ok, can I take your name and number please and I’ll pass them on to the owner.”
“Yes, it’s Linda Craven on 07805125478.”
“Right, well if you could just keep an eye on Cecil for a moment while I call the owners, that would be great.”

"Right you are.”


“Hi is that Mrs Sandhurst?”
“Hi, my name’s Danny, I’m calling from that company you spent quite a wedge on a few months ago and had kind of forgotten about.”
“Oh, have you found Cecil?”
“Yes. Just had a call from a nice lady who – “
“Where is he? He didn’t come home after his dinner.”
“Yeah I think he maybe got a bit scared by the sound of the world coming to an end. Everything he’d ever come to know about the universe was turned upsidedown last night. Apparently he’s fine though. Maybe a bit cold and sad, but fine. He’s on Hampton Green, near the main road.”
“Oh, that’s just outside. Oh, wait I can see two strange old people peering at a hedge.”
“That’ll be them.”
“Thankyou ever so much. It’s good to know the system works.”


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