2 years ago
It was sometime between dinner and midnight when I and my cat Shuga were sat enjoying a re-run of some popular 1990's show on television when, on the floor above, two persons of opposing gender, whom we shall refer to as neighbour A and Person B, found themselves tumbling out of the street, up a flight of concrete steps and hard up against the door to neighbour A's flat, the one above mine, wrapped tightly around each other in an intoxicated embrace.
Neighbour A then searched with a trembling hand through the right pocket of her sweatshirt, and located her keys beneath a layer of loose coins and gum wrappers. Shortly thereafter, the door was opened, and then closed hastily as the two unidentified persons made their way together into her flat.
Beneath them and roughly a minute later, my aforementioned cat Shuga perked up his ears and looked upwards towards the ceiling, sniffing the air and stopped purring. I muted the television, now displaying advertisements for cleaning products and other merchandise on sale for the ubiquitous price of £19.99, and listened carefully to my surroundings.
A faint, rhythmic banging was audible through the sheet of construction materials vertically dividing my flat from the one above. Intrigued and slightly irked, I stood on the sofa I had previously been sitting on, and, elevated closer to the ceiling, began listening. I understood almost immediately, by interpreting the banging and faint grunts that my upstairs neighbour was, to use the colloquial term, ‘getting it on’ somewhat.
Now ignoring a faint feeling of jealousy, I sat back down and un-muted the television allowing myself to pass into the trance often induced by one too many commercial breaks, and remained there for a good forty-five minutes before Shuga once again began looking at the ceiling.
I repeated my procedure from before, standing on my sofa with the television muted, listening closely to whatever may have been going on upstairs. I heard the same banging noises, but this time punctuated by cowboy-like whoops and high-pitched giggling.
"Kids these days... and their sex," I dejectedly muttered to my cat.
Frustrated by the disturbance afforded me by the passionate fornication in progress above, I resolved to go get my head down and go to sleep. I turned off the television, and walked from my living room into my bedroom, flicking off the light-switch as I left, bathing the opulent newly furnished room in darkness.
I stripped down to my boxers and climbed into bed, allowing Shuga to hop up and curl into a ball atop one of the many pillows leaned against the headboard. I reached over to a lamp beside the bed, and turned it off with the pull of a hanging cord.
With my apartment dark now, save for a few shafts of dim yellow city light filtering through the draped windows, I was hopefully going to sleep...
...Or so I believed. For just as I was crossing that threshold between somnolence and slumber, Shuga once again looked upwards. Perturbed, I sat up and listened closely, determining whether it was the ‘kids' and their ‘sex' keeping him awake.
Sure enough, thumping, giggling and other copulative noises whose origins I wished not imagine here were once again audible through the ceiling. It was now clear that I would not be falling asleep any time soon so I lifted myself from my bed, took a bathrobe from a peg on the bedroom door, put on said bathrobe, and walked barefoot out of the room.
Without turning on the lights, I walked through the living room and into the tiny, tile-floored space in the corner called the kitchen. Shuga followed closely behind me, stopping every few steps to perk up his ears and eavesdrop on the action upstairs.
I had decided that a glass of warm milk would do well to put us both to sleep so I opened the refrigerator and took out a carton from the top shelf. I began unscrewing the cap, but my finger slipped and I dropped - or more correctly through my efforts to retrieve it - threw the carton halfway across the room.
It landed near the door, toppling over and spilling its thick white contents all over the living room carpet. And while I moved cautiously through the darkness, Shuga sped towards the puddle, tongue hanging out. He was already licking up the milk when I arrived about ten seconds behind him. I bent over to brush him aside and, with a dishtowel in hand, began soaking up the spilled milk.
Once the towel was soaked through, I, by now beleaguered, stood up and angled towards the kitchen with the intent of wringing out the absorbed liquid into the sink. But I didn't quite get there. Shuga had now taken the liberty of lying down on the floor adjacent to the puddle of milk, still licking at the carpet, trying to get up every last delicious drop of the spilt milk.
He was also in a perfect position to trip his owner as I stepped back towards the kitchen. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. I fell backwards onto the door handle, pressing it down with all my weight. And as I collapsed onto the floor, face first into the soggy carpet, the door opened behind me.
Shuga seized this opportunity to go out and investigate whatever was going on upstairs. He dashed out the hall way, up a cold concrete staircase, and out of my sight. A few seconds later, realizing my pet had escaped me and was likely to cause an extremely awkward incident, I lifted myself from the damp floor and chased after him.
As I reached the top of the stairs, I stretched my arms out and bent forwards, aiming to pick up my cat before he caused more trouble. I was on the second last step when my bathrobe caught on a broken railing and I fell forwards out of it. I managed to grab Shuga before I hit the ground, landing in a somersault and flinging my legs out in front of me as I finished the action. My feet must have hit the neighbour’s door, which had not been properly closed and exploded open as a result.
I sat up, trying to hold onto my mithersome moggie as I did, but was ultimately helpless as he squirmed out of my grasp and charged straight into the open apartment in front of us. Two naked figures sprung up immediately from the floor, shouting in surprise as they were attacked by Shuga’s cold and wet sniffing nose.
"I'm so sorry - my cat - you must understand..." I stammered, stumbling across the threshold half naked myself. I continued these apologies as I made my way towards the two nude figures - the young woman, neighbour A, I had grown accustomed to greeting each morning as she and I began the journey to our respective workplaces, and the unknown person B who was now holding my cat.
"Thank you - I'm so, so sorry." I said as I took the pesky animal from this man while the currently very angry and very embarrassed neighbour A rang for you guys. And that’s exactly how it all happened officer.
“I am so very very sorry”.
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