There was not a day since Pigeon arrived in which I had not contemplated some gruesome form of animal sacrifice. However, the very mention of giving the adopted cat up would provoke an unearthly twist on Ma’s face and an indignant squeak from my sister. How could I think such a thing! Pigeon was part of the family!
More than that, after a few months, Pigeon had been elevated in the hierarchical ranks of the family to some position above my own. If Pigeon was on the chair, I should find another. If Pigeon chewed my pencils, I should not have left them lying about on my desk.
I never really had anything to say against such retorts. There was clear evidence that there was a loose screw in both my ma’s and sis’ head. And from the grunts Pa gave in response to Ma’s nagging for more kitty treats proved that he completely agreed with me. Pigeon’s arrival had knocked the Boors family off its hinges. Alright, perhaps that is giving the creature a little too much credit. My family has never really had any hinges. What Pigeon did was simply add to the pandemonium.
But maybe just telling you that is not enough to get my point across. Let me try to profile the Boors for you. Ma Boor (or Evangeline Chrysanthemum Darling, as her own ma had lovingly named her) was a tall, slim English lady with thin mouse brown hair and a strange pointy nose that rose from in between her cheekbones like the Great Pyramid. Ever since we had moved to the west, in strive to look more fashionable, she made a habit of wearing outfits with different shades of the same color (which she insisted it meant it obviously matched). Piet Boor (pronounced Pete, but never spelled the same unless you wanted to start off on the wrong foot with Pa) had once been a well-built young lad with muscles toned by a childhood of tulip farming in the Netherlands, always carrying about a cheeky grin beneath a full head of straw-blonde hair and sparkling bright blue eyes, chuckling as though he knew something you were about to find out. Now, however, the western cooking—or fast-food as you’d have it—quite recently had begun to contribute to him, and not without Ma’s complaints, with an ever growing flabby belly. Abby Boor (short for Abigail Chrysanthemum Boor, as my vengeful ma passed on the cursed flower to the next generation) was the prize eldest child with a tall, well-molded body, a beautiful flow of shiny blonde hair, and her mother’s green eyes that shone bright like her father’s. She was well on her way to her twenties, and the envy of all my schoolmates. Abby Boor, however, had one major flaw: a lisp. As she had well learned, all dazzling first impressions were soon trashed once she opened her mouth. On more than one occasion, she had asked me to pretend she was a mute and talk in sign language to her. I would have, had I known how to. It was quite the tragedy, some of Ma’s old lady friends would comment, to have such beauty wasted. Abby blamed her cursed middle name for the lisp. How exactly the name gave her a lisp, I never understood.
And then, there was I, Joe Boor, with no middle name, no lisp, no tulip farming, no flabby belly, no pyramid nose, no bright eyes of any conveniently striking color and no blonde hair. Just plain, unimpressive Joe Boor, and that is all you have to know, although, I might warn you that I was never as crazy as Ma and Abby. Never.
So we return to the last family member. And Pigeon was his name.
He had been named so for reason of his gray, black and white coat. He had arrived at home with some sort of limp in his left hind paw (Pa and I both agreed it was a malefic plan of his to win Ma’s and Abby’s pity and affection). At times, I could swear the cat was borderline insane, staring into nothingness for minutes without end. His triangular head would lean ever so slightly to the side, sagging more and more, until it was almost completely perpendicular to its original position, if that was even a physical possibility. There’d usually be a small trickle of drool dripping from the corner of his mouth. I figured someone must have kicked him hard when he was still roaming around on the streets. Either that or he was possessed.
How he wound up here, I cannot recall. I do remember I had remarked on how disgusting a name that was—Pigeon—, firstly, because pigeons are, in my opinion, just rats with wings in terms of cleanliness, health, and disease transmission. Secondly, because every time Ma and sis began calling out harmoniously for the creature, it always sounded as though they were having some sort of expectorating contest.
The reason I am taking the time to sit down and tell you about a God-forsaken cat with a drool problem and evidence of demonic possession is not because its existence in itself is story-worthy—had it been so, more people would sit down to write about their cats, for I’m sure all cats must be clearly disturbed—, but because it was this strange animal which opened the eyes of my mind to some very interesting aspects of life… and beyond.
Now they are rare occasions, those days on which I paid the doctor a visit. I confess I myself would never have bothered, and, considering the fact that I was barely out of puberty, even if I went, I’d be more interested in the doctor’s rack than whatever prescriptions she would pass. But lately, I had been having rather strange spastic muscle contractions, which Pa blamed on the excess of calcium in my diet and Abby unkindly discarded as being the result of no sex, provoking a growl from Ma, who, being the worrisome critter she was, immediately scheduled a doctor’s appointment the moment I told her about it. The doctor, a Doc Hamilton with stunningly elegant features that outmatched my sister’s, made some punctuated questions such as Have you ever suffered a head injury? and Have you experienced any visual difficulties?, rather than the expected When was the last time you had sex? or, Have you been drinking too much milk? (I already had the answers ready: Never and Yes.) Unfortunately, as I had come unprepared for such professional questions, most of my answers came out a bit nonsensical. For the head injury, “Twice. When I was a baby, Ma dropped me. You don’t have to report her though.” (Ma pursed her lips and scowled.) And as for the visual difficulties, “The sun’s very bright sometimes.”
Doc Hamilton, unamused by my answers, performed some quick reflex tests on me, checked my eyes, measured my blood pressure and did some other things I cannot recall at the moment because every time she bent over, her twins were all but completely exposed to me. She then told Ma that I had to do an MRI and gave her a signed slip of paper and some more useful information. So we went home where I sadly had to break the news to the rest of the family that they had all wrongly diagnosed my ailments.