I and my large plastic box stare disconsolately out of the window as, behind us, a woman tries to explain to a confused receptionist just how long the piece of string coming out of her dogs bottom is, and just how fervently she believes this length to be directly proportional to the emergency appointment she needs.
As great as tales of puppy bum-string aside, I need to get back to work, and glumly press the redial button on my phone.
Hi? I ordered a cab half an hour ago? You said it would be ten minutes? Erm?
The bored lady on the other end of the line informs me that there is no cab. They hadnt yet been able to find a cat-friendly driver.
Friendly? Oh, he doesnt have to be friendly. He doesnt even have to like cats that much, I just need to get home, and its raining
The bored lady doesnt care. My attempts to convince her that its not, after all, a tiger with diahorrea, but two tiny kittens in a box does no good whatsoever. Apparently every minicab within the greater Brighton area is driven by a misanthropic allergist.
Grumbling, we set off into the rain. Me in my were just dashing out for twenty minutes by cab for your second dose of immunisations and were going to get a cab both ways so I dont need to wear a proper coat coat (its important to have a coat for every occasion, although I do worry that mine are becoming slightly too specific) and two kittens in a box.
I worry about the kittens getting wet. Though I realise that theyre probably not made of anything TOO water-soluble, unless they are some of those clever effervescent aspirin-kittens that you only really see at the more novelty end of the cat-show circuit, it surely cannot be good for them.
I lift the box up and glance in. The kittens are staring, wide-eyed back at me. In terror? Or just because theyre kittens and thats the default expression? We cannot tell, but instinctively, I feel it to be a) bad and b) all my fault.
Avoiding traffic so as not to scare the tiny diarrhoetic tigers in my box, we take the road less travelled. Interestingly, the road turns out to poorly travelled for very good reason. Mainly because it is up a suicidal hill, ends in a dead end and contains several gangs of youths who are clearly on the lookout for kittens to kidnap.
I lift the box up again, to check the they are still there. They are. I try and work out if their wide-eyed stare is more or less traumatised than it was mere minutes before. Definitely more. We reach a busy main road and I hoik the box up to check on them at every crossing to check on their trauma levels. I start to wonder if they might be more disturbed by the hoiking than the roar of the cars, chastise myself roundly and power up the next hill toward home, worrying and wet.
I run through possible scenarios in my head. Perhaps the shock of it all will lead to tiny kitten heart attacks, and I will open the box to discover two dead critters. Perhaps they will be too traumatised, and refuse to emerge until I am safely in bed, and never forgive me, and this simple taxilessness will have ruined our relationship for the next twenty years.
I fumble with my keys, home, and place the box on the floor. Opening the flap, I sit nervously on the sofa and wait for the bad news.
Within seconds, one is standing on my cleavage and purring idiotically. The other has wandered off to find some food. My poor little troopers, they are hiding their pain so very well.