Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

22 Days

The power came back on about an hour ago. I’d spent my morning and afternoon in the Dark Ages, tidying the house, moving furniture, going for a walk and doing my requisite daily 20 mins of cardio, in a vain effort not to be such a fat sack of crap.

No kidding; I was working it out the other day – I’ve hated the way I’ve looked for so long now that practically the only photographic evidence of my existence for the last five years is the stuff taken by people at signings and conventions. That said, the weight’s been falling off for a while (lost 10lbs since Games Day), it’s just with interminable slowness. So I’m trying to speed that shit up, for the sake of my wedding photos (in the short-term) and my self-esteem (in the long-term).

I mean, believe it or not, I used to be handsome. Sort of. A bit. Kinda. Maybe.

I’m only 30. I should still be handsome, damn it.


A few minutes ago, as I was going through the usual forum scans, I heard a loud chorus of meow-meowowowow-meowwwwww from outside. It wasn’t one of the local farm cats, as they’re variously silent, shrieky or whiny. It also wasn’t our neighbours’ (Katie’s parents) cats, as they’re usually much quieter when they make any noise at all.

I knew this sound. I knew it well. I hadn’t heard it in a while, though.

I trudged downstairs, and there he was, sat on the windowsill – outside looking in, despite the fact the front door was open and every window was wide to suck up some of the Spring love.

Our eyes met – mine, arctic blue; his, the green of good jade.

“Hello Loken,” I said. “You look fatter.”

He said nothing, but I felt that he was thinking the same about me.

Silence reigned between us for several moments. Then, with astuteness I’d not come to miss, he said “Meowowowowowowroaaoaoaww.”

I said “Indeed”, and picked him up. “The door is open, you know. I mean you can see that, right?”

“Purrrrrrrrrrrrr,” he said, and began an intensive campaign of head-bumpies and paddy-paws, in a quest to be carried around until a worthwhile human would sit down and form a lap-based feline throne.

“You saved me buying three weeks’ of catfood,” I told him. “I appreciate that. I spent it on Forge World toys.”

He seemed to know, deep down, that I’d do such a thing. His knowing eyes told the truth.

So here he is again. Sat on my lap as I type this, purring and bumping his head against me, grumbling in the quest for attention he doesn’t deserve.

So he's not dead then. That's two Lokens who survive against the odds.

And so ends my 22 days of peace.

Where have you been, little traveler? Wherever it was, it looks like they bloody fed you well enough.

April 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 24 Comments

“Something has happened to Loken.”

These were the words my future mother-in-law spoke to me.

“Something,” she said, “has happened to Loken.”

Loken is our cat.

Please, I thought, let him be run over by a fucking tractor.

Something had indeed happened to Loken, though let’s examine that sentence carefully. Something “happened to” him. That implies some kind of passive scenario: an event that occurred to him, despite his own innocence.

This was not the case. In the scenario that took place, Loken’s involvement transcended the passive tense. He was, to some degree, the instigator. The inceptor. The master of fucking ceremonies.

Look at this picture. Do you know what it is?

This is farm slurry.

For those of you who aren’t aware of what farm slurry is, I’ll enlighten you. It’s liquidised animal shit, saved up for months and months.

“Something has happened to Loken,” she said.

Oh, yeah. Something happened to Loken all right.

Seeing a cat absolutely covered in liquidised animal crap is one thing, but smelling a cat absolutely covered in liquidised animal crap is truly a life-changing experience.  I can’t comment on whether he actually enjoyed falling into slurry, but I can reliably say he didn’t enjoy the bath I gave him afterwards. And I didn’t enjoy it, either. About halfway through, he shook himself free in the disgusting brown shit-water, and a bunch of the stuff hit me in the face.

Indeed, in the eyes.

Now, I care about the well-being of irritating, hateful animals to the extent living with a female requires, but never before has a small creature come so close to dying by my hand.

Loken is “playing outside” tonight, and if I happen to run him over tomorrow while driving Katie to work, I will not be mourning at the funeral.

Ugh, and the aftertaste.

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 18 Comments