carine hartman 2021

By Carine Hartman

Chief sub-editor


Hitting the ground the right way

I want to keep on sleeping in exactly that cat piss smell because I can’t let go. But I saw her tongue hanging out last night. It’s time for pain…


She’s been lying on my bed dying for three days now. First day she just can’t walk. Second day a spot of blood on two of the feet affected. Third day she licked her one foot raw to the bone.

I prefer calling it feet. She has, like me, toenails that hook everywhere – as Cliff Buchler says: through the expensive socks you get for Christmas.

I don’t know what happened to her. I know she hooks on and hangs on. I guess she hanged on a hooked nail, broke her front little foot, fell wrong and broke a hip. She’s 15. At our age we must fall the right way, I want to tell Snoekie.

I did on Christmas Eve. Tripped over a cable; six plugs for the solar that lights up our lives on a glass table that shouldn’t have been there – but put for “the people” visiting “because the little wooden statue on it is perfect”.

ALSO READ: Mrs ‘there is nothing I can do with R3,000’… that’s not normal

The wooden floors didn’t thunder for Snoekie like it did for me when she hit the ground. She didn’t have kids pouring out of rooms with “are you okay” and instantly checking my phone’s cracked screen. “Just your screen protector gone. I’ll get you a new one tomorrow.”

I sport a couple of bruises and a “my boobs are a bit sore” the next day over breakfast. My saving grace, I tell them? I fall like a drunk after a night of debauchery: limp; hips intact.

Not so Snoekie, who is a teetotaller. She hangs on wrong; she pays the price. We know her; we know she has a weird hook on life and it got stuck… But I keep on remembering Christmas Eve morning when she was just too “in my face” and I threw her off the warm spot behind my back.

ALSO READ: The day the cops met me… A mother and a banshee

Her nail hooked… But she still loves me, unconditionally. She purrs. She waits for the shallow bowl of water; scraps of meat she seldom gets, pushed under her nose. She happily sleeps in the pool of piss (I can’t banish her now) at the bottom of my feet as long as my toes stay away from hers.

I want to keep on sleeping in exactly that cat piss smell because I can’t let go. But I saw her tongue hanging out last night. It’s time for pain…

Read more on these topics

christmas

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits