My car window is askew and it’s raining. This is the third time I’ve had to lever a screwdriver beneath the window winder then prise off the cover that conceals the mechanism in the bowels of the door. Each time I struggle to reinstate the glass to its rightful position between the rubber seals and carefully wind it home, I think this is the last time. My car is cute but it’s use-by date is rapidly approaching. There’s the thud thudding when I drive over uneven ground and the scratched window tint on the passenger side that reminds me of my ex’s nonchalence about objects that are unable to stand his idea of normal wear and tear.
We had a wonderful relationship. Eight years of romance and adventure. Then there were the moments that didn’t quite work for me. Like the day that Pip decided to build a cage to house field mice. His train of thought was impeccable. We were cat-sitting in the mountains. Strictly speaking, cats don’t belong in Australia. They were introduced to a continent where native animals are unable to survive the onslaught of the stealthy hunter. A recent article in Australian Wildlife Conservancy suggests that cats kill 75 million native animals a night. Small mammals, birds and lizards are consumed like popcorn during a particularly intense scene at the cinema. Then there are the creatures just killed for fun.
So there we were in the midst of a precious forest ecosystem exchanging free rent for feeding the cat. For a year. It was going to be a challenge. We began with the standard cans of cat food and crunchy dry croquettes that the owner had provided but quickly graduated to buying fresh meat from the supermarket to reduce processing and packaging and the possibility of the cat getting cancer from food additives. Ah, the life of the ethically driven is peppered with such decisions. As the months in this idyllic retreat passed I took over the one room cabin with my paintings while Pip was left to ponder the cat food question. He began by trapping wild mice in the hope that they would do what mice do best. Eat and breed. I threw more paint on canvas and tried to ignore the impending situation. I was even happy that my man was nailing bits of wood together. Until the two metre long cage was finished. In my mind the new rodent prison would stand in a dry place, outside. But Pip had other ideas. When he began measuring up the cabin for a suitable spot I snapped. My creativity was not going to be enhanced by the aroma of mouse piss.
I live in the city now and Pip lives in another. The cat is still on the mountain, eating packaged food again. Today I’m ready for another adventure. A drive down to the coast to savour the summer heat and clean ocean beaches. But first i need to fix the car window!