I have nothing to say about what happened. It’s been dealtwith. I’ve issued my apologies. Things didn’t turn out like I wanted: it was an accident, of course it was; the fish was being handled well. Esme gave me the money for the herring, she said to buy it for Bart. But, looking back, I should have been more fastidious, especially given the number of bags. More breathing, less speed. I must start meditating, perhaps that would induce better results? The shopping should have been less hurried. My mother was about to arrive. The house wasn’t clean. The duvet needed attention. I said I found the whole thing distressing. The herring landed in the paint, whereupon the kitten got involved. I was distracted. My neighbour was complaining about the mewing. It’s surprising how much noise a kitten can come up with. I know how upset Esme is. She’s made that very clear. I saw the email. I hope it wasn’t circulated. The kitten was a pedigree. Abyssinian. Spectacular ears. I should have put the lid on the paint. I’d been decorating that morning. Bit late for mother. Atomic tangerine. Perhaps the kitten found it alluring. Do cats respond to colour? They do watch television from time to time, I’ve been informed. Yes, he got paint on his whiskers. Thin rods with orange on. Clearly, if I’d been more careful, that would not have happened, you simply cannot let a pedigree cat near good quality paint. The herring fell in the pot, but I didn’t realise this until later. Esme has been, up until now, a good boss. She was very kind when I was off work, after Mother’s last visit, and even baked a cake, which was a little dry, but I appreciated the gesture. The kitten ate the herring, and the paint, then put paint marks on the floor, before choking, and vomiting, and one thing led to another. His body. The little pink mouth. Some sharp and tiny teeth. It was all most unfortunate. Esme was due to arrive three hours later. I know she’s off work now. I contributed to the flowers. I’ve seen the emails. I’ve issued my apologies. I’m making enquiries about that sort of cat. There’s somebody in Oxfordshire, apparently. The annual review is on Wednesday. Last year it went well. I haven’t spoken to Mother lately. I am beside myself. I did get rid of the smell. Yes, Bartholomew was a corker. The hall looks lovely. I’m so very sorry.
Miles Salter resides in York, and his creative output since 2003 has included music, poetry, event management and journalism. He likes Marmite, Philip Larkin and early Bruce Springsteen albums. He has lots of ambitions, usually involving microphones.