June 24th 2016: lost a continent, gained … a cat?

Everyone always remembers where they were when …. at this point you can insert the unique cultural reference point of your generation; for my parents it was when JFK was shot, for us up until now it was probably 9:11, but from now on it will be probably be the day Britain voted to leave the EU.

Because of today’s referendum results, there are things which my generation took for granted that will simply be the fuzzy memories of the older generation as far as my two children are concerned. And there’s so many voices out there, expressing so many opinions, that it really feels pointless to add my own.  I wrote a blog about my thoughts on Brexit a couple of weeks ago, so you can guess how I’m feeling today.

But life throws random, bizarre connections at you.  Yes, the world has changed forever, and we will always remember this day.  But in years to come, if anyone asks my daughters what they remember about the day Britain voted to leave the EU, they will say “It’s the day we got a cat”.

It all happened kind of quickly.  We’ve been talking about a pet for about 12  months now – I would love a dog but Husband wouldn’t, and so we’ve agreed that a cat would be a more manageable addition to the household. Just over a week ago I made a phone call to our local cat rescue people, on Tuesday we went to visit our potential new family member, yesterday we paid our adoption fee via the bank, and bought cat supplies, and this evening Dudley the Brexit Cat arrived in his new home.

He doesn’t seem that bothered by the fact that pound has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years, or that David Cameron has resigned. In fact, for an animal who has been dumped in a house full of strangers, he’s extremely chilled.  Perhaps he’s decided to wait until Boris Johnson is PM and we’re in full blown recession before he really starts worrying? But instead of hiding under a chair like we were expecting, within 90 minutes of his arrival he was already checking out whose lap was the most comfortable. When I left him in the adjoining room to come and write this, I was summoned back by an imperious miaowing.  When I went back to check on him, he promptly climbed onto my lap, purring loudly and nuzzling my hands.  He’s attempted to sit on my knee while I’ve been writing this, slid off, climbed back on again, walked across the keyboard, pawed at the screen, crept behind it and then wandered off again. If he were an immigrant and I were a Brexit voter I’d accuse him of coming in here, with his foreign feline customs, and undermining the fabric of our society.  I certainly have the distinct impression that (he’s back on my lap now) he’s going to impose his own laws (sitting next to the screen and staring at me) without any consultation with the locals, and make a few changes to the place to suit his own requirements (gone back to the armchair).

13495111_1238758942825511_5934753828564839321_nWill he stay? He’s welcome to – the kids are in love already. But I know that cats wander and play under cars, so I don’t know what the future holds for Dudley any more than I know what will happen to our economy, our government, our jobs, our relationship with our European friends and neighbours in the months and years ahead. It feels like the first day of an uncertain future. But it’s a little bit brighter for having a cat to sit on your lap.



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