On the left is an image of a dog just like Kandi. Kandi was our cairn terrier, and she loved me. She'd been around since before I was born, and liked to protect me. BLS, however, was an entirely different thing. Kandi hated BLS, mainly because BLS spent her first couple of years pulling her tail, poking things at her, hiding her food, general nastiness. In fact, it must have been the arrival of me that meant that BLS had someone else to pick on, and consequently probably why Kandi liked me so much. She'd sleep at the foot of my bed, or next to me whilst I watched TV, and even cowered with me when I watched Doctor Who. You get the idea, she was a faithful little puppy, and I'd never have hurt her. The only time I ever remember doing anything even slightly strange with her was one very very early morning, getting ready for my first ever trip to the continent (aka day trip to Calais). Sat eating my bowl of Sugar Puffs, everyone else was still upset. The apprehension of the trip was playing hell with my tummy, and I farted.
"Flooooblegraaaaaap," my arse said.
Kandi, being the alert guard dog, thought the world was being attacked by aliens, and disappeared off down the garden barking in a most threatening way. Unfortunately, we found out shortly after that Kandi had cancer and was put down when I was 9, and to my mind the world had ended.
2 years later, and Mum and Dad had been to the pub on a Saturday lunchtime, like they did. They'd needed to pop to the greengrocers afterwards, and that particular shop was next door to the pet shop. In the window was a few kittens, and my Mum instantly fell in love.
"How about this one?" she asked my slightly less than enthusiastic father. The shop assistant said "oooh, be careful with him. He's a bit wild."
So, what did she call him? "Oscar." 'Nuff said.
Again, Oscar adopted me. He'd sleep with me, initially in the palm of my hand (!) and then as he got bigger he'd snuggle under the duvet with me, putting up with my farts and smelly feet. And I returned the favour by committing untold (until now) acts of animal cruelty, only imaginable by an 11 year old's mind.
I found that pulling his tail would lead to a pained yelp. Then myself and my mate Johnathon (see 'Blockhead') then wondered if he'd react to the sound of his own pained meow, so we set a microphone and tape recorder, and pulled his tail like a light switch. "Meeeooooowww" he said, and we had it on tape. He looked at me as if to say "Don't do that again," before we replied with a statute "Meeeooooowww," where he then looked shocked, scared and tired, before launching into a Valkyrie type of attack, finally taking flight and disappearing out of my bedroom.
He must have had a high pain threshold, because he'd sit in front of our real coal fire, dangling his tail over the grate and treating us to a most delightful smell.
"'Ere' Whassat smell?"
"Oscar's by the fire again."
Another time, I found that the poor trusting soul would be perfectly happy to let me hoover around him. I started off by picking up an empty coke can. I got to wondering what would happen if I poked the nozzle at him, and in short, nothing. He just looked at me with a "Fucking try that again pal, and I'll have your testicles." Not that that deterred me. I hovered the nozzle over the end of his tail, and all of a sudden was treated to the most unusual noise ever.
"SSSSSSSSsssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhthwumpweeeeeeeeeeeooooooooowwwwwwwww," as his tail got caught in the powerful suction and disappeared up the tube at great speed, taking him with it until his arse met with the narrow neck and stopped instantly, unable to fit in any further. Out came the claws, and like he was fighting back from the brink, he dragged himself out of the hoover and off down the garden.
Amazingly, he still liked to sleep with me. He'd always be found in my bedroom, on my captain's bed (handed down to me from BLS). Maybe it wasn't me at all, more likely it was because my bedroom was the warmest. Mind you, by keeping him in check, he never brought me any 'presents.' Maybe because I was so cruel to him. Heh.
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