This one time, we had a cat called Rusty

Once upon a time, we had two children.

Their names were Rusty and Pepper. You’ve met Pepper if you’ve been reading here long enough. But you may not have met Rusty before.

Rusty was the “child” from Steve’s previous relationship. Given to him by his first girlfriend as a kitten, Rusty and Steve came as a package. Long, mischievous, lanky dorks, the two of them. Like cat, like owner.

Little Russ was a great boy. I still miss him greatly, despite Pepper being my very favourite ever of all time (shhhhhh I know, I know, there aren’t supposed to be any favourites). Sometimes Rusty comes and visits me in dreams. Last time, he was enormous, like some huge Cat Monument. I was overjoyed to see him, “Rusty, oh Rusty!” I remember throwing my arms around him – he was larger than me and lay there, posed like a sphynx – and he just did that smiley, all-knowing, closed-eye cat grin they’re so good at doing. I know he came to see if I was okay. Beautiful boy.

But I digress.

This is a post about this one time, back in 1995, when we were upwardly mobile, dual income, pre-first miscarriage – in fact, pre-marriage or even thinking of children – and in our youthful heyday, respectively. Living the fulltime working lifestyle, the animals fit in around us BUT they were also everything to us.

Except this one day. When we forgot to let Russ out in the morning before going to work.

Rusty was never a cat to have a kitty litter tray. Dutifully obliging of our refusal to change it – we drew straws, we tried it for a while…. – it just wasn’t for us. And actually, it wasn’t us, it was most definitely him. That stinky cat. He learned to hold on. He was a good boy. He NEVER went inside.

Erm…¬†Except this one day. When we forgot to let Russ out in the morning before going to work.

That night, we arrived home to find a happy Russell at the front door, maowing and mariah-ing all over the place (I swear to God, the cat used to say “Mariah? MarIIIIAHHH?” and we were forever going, “Not on your life, she’s a bloody wailing show-off, there’ll be no Mariah in this house, boy-o”). Ooops. We’d forgotten to let him out. But a quick check of the house and every room with an open door assured us our boy had been good and had held on. We let him out. He came back in for dinner. We fed Pepper and ourselves and readied for bed.

I wandered in to the bedroom, started to brush my teeth, came out and turned on the electric blanket, finished with my teeth. Got my pj’s on. Steve got into his. It was cold that night. We did the dishes. We turned off the lights. We were chatting as we pulled back the bed covers….

And then all hell broke loose.


Much flapping of arms and squealing like a couple of school girls shying away from a little spider ensued. But it was not a spider we were recoiling from. It was a big, wide, slowly spreading, putrid-smelling catpat.

The cat, apparently pissed off with us for ruining his plans for an outing that day, had backed in under the covers at some point and crapped. CRAPPED. And it wasn’t solid, oh no. It was a good-un. Nice and sloppy. And now warm and spreading because we had been heating it up nicely.

I don’t know if we laughed or cried more that night. The smell. It is still burned into my olfactory brain centre. But in a strange twist, Rusty’s legacy lives on, as told by a rather disturbingly proud Steve whenever he recounts “This one time, we had a cat called Rusty and we left him inside….”


Do you have a delightful pet-revenge story that you recount? Or that you’d rather forget? Any damaged, soiled shoes or mattresses in your pets’ past?




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