I’m in the doghouse with the cat…

I’M in the doghouse with the cat.

These are the little things things that you notice when there’s nothing good on telly, it’s raining too hard to go out and you have no children to distract you.

You start to obsess over things you’d normally ignore – like the way the cat turns her head so I’m constantly out of her line of sight, or the passive-aggressive way she leaves the room when I enter.

“I’m not imagining it, am I?” I ask The Fiance. “She’s giving me evils – look at those eyes!”

He shrugs and replies: “You shouldn’t have locked her out when it rained then, should you?”

He’s helpful like that. He likes to state the obvious wherever possible.

“I didn’t lock her out!” I start to wail.

“I left for work and didn’t realise she’d run out behind me! I don’t control the rain!”

He tuts and pets the cat. She’s still his friend, and he’s loving the attention.

“You poor little thing,” he says, stroking her as she bats her eyelashes at him.

He speaks in a baby voice: “You looked all miserable with your fur fluffed up from the rain.

“I wouldn’t do that to you, would I? No, I wouldn’t. No. I. Wouldn’t.”

She’s the master of this house and she knows it.

She’s divided us and she’s conquered.

“A dog wouldn’t do this,” I mutter, going back to obsessing over how I can win her back.

The Fiance sniggers.

“I just remembered the way she dried herself off on your pillow,” he explained. “That was good revenge. It was funny.”

I laugh: “It was funnier when I swapped our pillows and you didn’t notice.”

He stops laughing.

The cat runs off.

The box set of Breaking Bad I ordered needs to arrive soon. I can’t be doing with all this tension.


Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on February 27, 2014



“There was too much ‘doting girlfriend’ and not enough ‘North Korea’.”

MY friend and I are ‘Playstation widows’ and have nobody to blame but ourselves.

We should never have introduced our boyfriends without proper checks and monitors. We definitely shouldn’t have let them talk freely – uncensored.

There was too much ‘doting girlfriend’ and not enough ‘North Korea’.

And because of our irresponsibility they’ve thrown their women to the wayside and now spend hour after hour, in their respective living rooms, racing against each other on a Formula One game.

Formula One is the bane of my life at the best of times.

But since The Fiance and his new BFF discovered they both own the same game, he has been bathed in a strange, bluey-orange light – and I’m starting to forget what he looks like without a joypad in his hands and a look of intense concentration on his face.

There are actual self-help websites dedicated to women like us, who have lost our loved ones to a console.

“Do men ever grow up?” came a text, from the aforementioned friend, during a marathon F1 sesh.

I thought for about three seconds before replying: “No. I think they just get taller and hairier.”

She replied straight away: “Mine says can you tell yours that his front wing has fallen off.”

I started to ask if she’d rung 999 when she followed it with: “We’re ‘team mechanics’ now, which means we have to pass messages between them.”

The Fiance says this new role extends to bringing him regular snacks and cups of tea.

“Honestly,” I grumbled. “I’m not your mum. I have a good book and glass of wine I’m trying to work my way through.”

He grumbled back: “Well I’m currently in front of Vettel and I want to keep it that way. I bet Lewis Hamilton doesn’t get this sort of treatment.”

The friend and I now plan to watch every baking programme we can find and force our men to watch them with us.

Come ‘Bake-off season’ they won’t know what’s hit them.

I’m ending this column with the sad realisation that I’ve been turned into a 1950s housewife.

This war isn’t over – you mark my words.

Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on February 20, 2014