I came back off holiday on Wednesday and stepped into a Kafka-esque nightmare.
The front door was stuck, but that wasn't a problem. (I got in through the back door and managed to open it from inside).
The heating was broken, but that wasn't a problem. (The wind had blown the pilot light out).
The problem was a note from my brother, P, saying (suspiciously, I thought): PHONE ME WHEN YOU GET HOME NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT (my italics).
It seems that someone has reported me to the RSPCA for swanning off on holiday and leaving my cat to fend for itself.
I don't have a cat.
I've never had a cat.
My brother phoned the RSPCA to tell them that I don't have a cat. It took him half an hour to get through to someone.
P: She doesn't have a cat.
RSPCA: We still have to follow up a complaint. We need to talk to her.
P: She's not here. She's on holiday. I'm just coming in to feed the fish and water the plants.
RSPCA: Are you feeding the cat?
P: SHE DOESN'T HAVE A CAT!
RSPCA: We still have to follow up a complaint.
I phoned them myself, first thing Thursday morning. It only took me a quarter of an hour to get through.
ME: I don't have a cat.
RSPCA (as if the informant might have mistaken the species): Do you have any animals?
ME: Just some fish.
RSPCA (as if making an important note): Fish...
ME (breaking down): Surely you can understand how upsetting this is? I would never be cruel to a cat. I don't have a cat. There are cats living on my street, and I sometimes talk to them, but they're not my cats.
Never let yourself get upset when you're talking to a complete arsehole. It will only encourage her to treat you like shit. Yes, I know that the RSPCA is doing an important job, but treating a person as if they're guilty based only on some anonymous person's random accusation is a slippery slope, however good the cause.
I've been waiting for over two days for an inspector to call, and...
Well, how can I prove that I don't own a cat? Obviously, saying that I don't own a cat (until I'm blue in the face) isn't enough. And the absence of food, a litter tray, and a cat flap might merely prove to them what a crap cat owner I am.
God, I'm fed up.