Covid lockdown leaves us with little new to talk about
My son and I are debating if we would ever eat the cat.
‘Only as a last resort,’ I say.
‘Like in a zombie apocalypse?’ he asks.
‘Or a global famine brought about by rampant climate change.’
‘Yeah,’ says my son.
‘I think his thighs would be OK if they were marinated for long enough.’
My son mulls this over for a few seconds.
‘In this situation, we’d need a large supply of meat so wouldn’t it better to marinate you?’
From a calorific point of view, he has a point. The cat would be fill out a kebab stick or two, whereas I’d fill the freezer and provide the post apocalypse chef with many more meals and serving options. That’s why there’s no doubt that I’d be the ‘best buy’ option for any canny survivalist looking to fill their fridge and cut down on their shopping trips.
I think there’s a moral issue to consider, though.
‘Would you eat me your own father?’
‘Never say never. You’ve been looking for a quick way to lose weight for some time. The apocalypse might be a blessing in disguise.’
We are outside on the patio watching the cat groom itself on top of our gas-fired powered barbecue. The sun is very hot. We’ve been outside for an hour discussing dystopian futures and his job prospects this year, which are pretty much the same thing. Are we suffering sun stoke?
Actually, after three months of lockdown, we’ve squeezed every last drop of interest out of every other subject and cooking the cat and cannibalism seems like a perfectly natural place for any father and son conversation to gravitate.
In an apocalypse I would eat cat food
‘Would you eat his cat food if you had to?’ my son asks.
Actually, I’ve thought about eating the cat’s food several times, in fact almost every time I feed him and I’ve decided that because the cat’s dry food doesn’t smell bad and is delightfully bite sized, like a Grape Nut, that I could easily eat a bowl of it with milk.
‘No to the wet food. However, I would eat his dry food if I could have it with some milk,’ I reply.
‘But there’s be no milk left. You Boomer carnivores would have eaten all the cows within days of the supermarkets shutting their meat counters.’
‘How about with water and sugar, then? There might be some sugar left at the back of one of the supermarket cupboards.’
‘Or sweets under Granny’s bed,’ he suggests, helpfully.
‘Yeah,’ I say.
Mother has a collection of chocolate squirrelled away around her room which could be used to enhance our dystopian diet.
‘If we had chocolate we could cook ‘Chat au Chocolat’,’ I say.
The fantasy grinds to a halt
The look on my son’s face says the fantasy is over, the conversation is dead, he has taken offence. His phone pings and he heads inside. The cat jumps down from the barbecue and settles in the bushes out of the sun. Mother steps onto the patio and blinks. She doesn’t like the sunlight or the summer heat. She’s wearing her winter raincoat and a scarf.
‘Aren’t you hot in all that?’
‘I’ve been out shopping,’ she says triumphantly, ignoring the question.
And while I’ve been discussing cat recipes for an imaginary cookbook for the apocalypse, Mother has snuck outside against the advice of the government, her GP and our daily pleas.
‘How did you get out?’
‘Through the door. Have you got sun stroke?’
My question was rhetorical. I meant how did she get out without us spotting and stopping her.
‘Did you wear a mask?’
‘No. Too fiddly.’
‘Did you maintain a social distance?’
‘I always keep a social distance. What sort of person do you think I am?’
Two days ago, we had an Ocado delivery. Every item from that delivery is now playing a game of sardines with all the other food in the fridge and freezer.
‘You’re only meant to go out for essential items. What did you buy?’
‘Cat food. It wasn’t in the delivery.’