Sunday, 13 April 2014

In death, as in life


I had (another) strange dream the night before last.

In it, a largish, black kitten was sitting on my lap, purring, when I decided it was time for dinner. So I ate it.

I don't remember how I killed it and ate it, but it was a very clean sort of process which left left no mess at all, and I must have eaten all of it because there was no fur or feet and claws left behind, nor any blood-stains on my trousers, which I had been using as a TV dinner table. It was a bit like a box of Kentucky fried chicken, but without the grease - not that I have ever eaten a KFC.

After the meal, I felt the need for company, so I reached down and picked up another, identical black kitten and put it on my lap.

Sensing what had just happened to it's brother, it struggled and squirmed to get away from me but I held it down firmly on my knees as it tried to claw me and get away to safety. I was not going to let it go.

After a very short period of time, it seemed to forget the possible danger, and it settled down and began to purr as I slowly released my grip and stroked it.

As it lay there in comfortable contentment, I began to start thinking about our curious relationship with animals - one minute like-companions and the next a food-source. I seriously contemplated becoming a vegetarian, but then I woke up.

Last night, I had another one of my recurring dreams where I am lost in a foreign city, trying to find my way back to a hotel. Usually, H.I. is at the hotel waiting for me, but in this one she was with me, also trying to find our way back.

Two old friends - a husband and wife - were also with us. These two friends both died a few years ago of cancer within about a year of each other, but they still visit me - or I them - in dreams.

The husband - in life - just loved dressing-up in outlandish costumes, so it was not unusual that in this dream he had acquired the costume of a bishop for me, so I could attend a funeral with them somewhere else in the city as some sort of joke.

Now I am awake, I know that this was a Pope's costume and not a bishop's, and in the dream I had left the white skull-cap and cape back in the hotel, having tried on the rest of it to show them how I looked. I thought I made a good Pope, and so did they, but I had to get the rest of the outfit from the hotel quickly as the hour of the funeral was fast approaching.

At the husband's real funeral (he and I had attended the wife's with everyone else - including the two children) he had played one last dressing-up joke as he lay there in his coffin.

At Haycombe cemetery chapel where he was cremated, right alongside the area where the coffins are placed for the service, there is a large, grilled vent in the floor through which a powerful but silent fan blows an up-draught of air between the congregation and the deceased, for reasons we will not go into.

The vicar - who I came to be on first-name terms with - approached the coffin and begun the service. He was dressed in a huge, white cotton vestment of the sort that choir-boys always wear.

He began by saying that it was Jay's last wish for him to conduct the service whilst standing directly over the air-vent, and then he moved into that position.

Immediately, the white vestment inflated into a huge balloon-shaped, spherical night-shirt, as wide as he was tall, and it stayed like that for the rest of the service.

I have never attended a funeral where the whole of the congregation has been helpless with laughter as the vicar intones sombre observations about life and death before, and for that little touch of genuine consideration for the feelings of others, I am truly grateful to Jay.

Here is the Google Street photo of the vicar eyeing up the girlies, just for Rachel:


39 comments:

  1. This must have been the most tragic, adult funeral I have ever been to - a young couple both dying and leaving two very young orphans - so you can imagine the impact of the joke was unimaginably magnified.

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  2. You didn't tell us how the cat tasted!

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    1. Yes I did - like KFC, but not as greasy. Pay attention...

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  3. There is a lot going on here. The white vestment the priest wears is an alb.

    I have four young black cats any of which will be standing or sitting on my lap or next to me at any given time. I reach down to them. And stroke.

    Why did you become on first name terms with the vicar?

    I wonder if funeral joke is true, doubting you a little here but not wishing to spoil it.

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  4. The funeral joke is definitely true and was witnessed by a few hundred other people whose emails I will give you so you can confirm it.

    An alb, is it?

    I met the vicar at the 'naming ceremony' of the child of another young couple I know. There is a Google Streets picture of him (recognisable, though his face is blurred) walking past three young girls in VERY tight shorts, and ogling them.

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    1. Yes, an alb. The priest wears it.

      I have a pope's picture on my wall and I took it down only this morning.

      The black cat is on my lap now and I am stroking it as it purrs.

      I put a comment on your yesterday's post today because I missed most of yesterday.

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    2. Do you put it up again at night?

      Take my advice - don't eat the cats.

      I'll go and find your comment, but I have a feeling I might regret it.

      Oh, and I'll try to find the Google pic of the naughty vicar and post it up here. Stay tuned.

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    3. Ha ha! I found it. I have to admit, I would probably just turned around and followed them for miles.

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    4. Well I'm sure I am all the better for seeing the bloody photograph. He looks to me like he is just crossing the road.

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    5. Looks to me as if he is trying to stop himself from pouncing on them, but maybe I'm projecting - again.

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    6. Probably - you do have that habit.

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    7. Apparently it's called an 'alb', not a habit.

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  5. Ack, the lost in the foreign city, trying to find the hotel recurring dream - in those dreams, I rarely ever find the hotel.

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    1. I never do, and it isn't fun trying - it takes me all night not to find it.

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    2. Weird that we both have this dream - wonder what that means....

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    3. It means that we are destined for each other, Carol... (Q Rachmaninov)... Don't try to fight it...(switch on Noel Coward voice)... are you verry, verry much in love? (rolling 'r's)

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    4. I was thinking more along the lines of our penchant for drinking too much, and angry outburst, but hell, the love thing works, too.

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    5. I knew I did it, but I've never seen you do it. Maybe I don't follow you? I'll have to check.

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    6. I don't blog about those things - I'm a secret boozer and outburster. The one time I did rant on my blog, I felt guilty and censored it a million times, basically because my son reads it and I have embarrassed him too many times.

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    7. I am lucky in that I am not hampered by a single friend or relative who follows this blog. It's like shouting into a roomful of strangers who I feel I know intimately.

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  6. All of these dreams
    Alfred Hitchcock ' s screenwriters would have a field day

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    1. They may have kept Jung occupied for a few minutes as well, but they are probably too basic for him.

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    2. The shrink would have a field day too.

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    3. I think it was my cats in your dream. You seem to have been slow in picking up on that point.

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    4. Oooh! Yes, I have been slow. I never even thought of that one. Now I'm worried again.

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    5. There's two more kittens for you tonight. I am just back from the priest wearing the white alb and the Pope's picture is on the wall watching...

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  7. I loved that story of the vicar at your friend's funeral, Tom. Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. Old friends never die - they just haunt you for eternity

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    1. In my experience, that seems to be very true. Anyway, why have you suddenly downed the pen, Moll?

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  8. Lost any more followers after this moggy-munching post Tom?

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    1. Well I haven't lost any so far. Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen, eh?

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    2. I'm watching the numbers.

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    3. Let me know if you spot a defector, and I'll hunt them down. One person hovers in and out of here, irritatingly making the figures fluctuate by one - 127 - 128. I wish they would make their minds up. John Gray has a chef with about 13,000 followers. It must be difficult to keep track of his loyal followers.

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    4. I've noticed. "he,she's gone again" .

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    5. Been gone for about 2 weeks.

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