By Lara Salomon


My boyfriend and I both have terrible reputations with bad car experiences. Not accidents or anything… Where I usually have a reputation for running out of petrol (in my Citi Golf – thankfully it has never happened with my Ford Figo), Grant has a reputation for his battery dying. Grant’s reputation is a recent one, since it only started around a year and a half ago. His poor Hyundai is so packed to the brim with electronics that driving around little old Grahamstown doesn’t give the battery much charge and it is easily depleted by leaving the inside reading light on, which he tends to do fairly often. I keep reprimanding him about it, but can’t help but find it a little amusing whenever it happens.

I am sure that Grant is far more amused than I’ve ever been by a dead battery this morning. And he has good reason for it. After all, he isn’t affected this time around! And, looking at it from an objective stand point, I can see how hilariously funny it is. Just not so much when it is your car.

I was lying in bed last night wondering where Puddims (our cat) had gotten to. I had walked past the kitchen earlier in the evening and had seen that his food was still untouched, which is unusual, but I didn’t think too much about it. Puddims has a tendency of sneaking into cupboards and closets and jumping out at the opportune moment (like when the lights are off and someone unknowingly walks past). He could also have been in our housemate’s bedroom for all we knew, that wasn’t unusual either. So I went to sleep, and was a little surprised when I woke up and there was no cat lying on top of my feet but, again, wasn’t particularly concerned. I got ready for work, said goodbye and headed out the door.

I unlocked my car and looked around it wondering why it was such a mess. It wasn’t anything obvious, just what looked like a few feathers strewn around. I pondered for a second until I heard a familiar meow coming from the back and Puddims ran out, twisting and twirling around my feet in the kitty version of a warm embrace. I grabbed him up in my arms and ran inside with him, hugging and cuddling him all the way to his mild protestation and brought him to Grant, explaining the ordeal that he must have gone through. First stop for Puds was the food, but it wasn’t long lived – apparently he had more important things to do, like run around our feet showing us his appreciation for being rescued.

I went and had a look at the damage that had been done with Puds following on my heels and found that the upholstery had been kneaded and the fabric on the roof had been part of his desperate escape plan, particularly where it met with the windscreen. There were little holes and there were scratch marks, the rear-view mirror had been adjusted to suit his kitty driving style, but all in all it could have been a lot worse. The car had not been turned into a giant litter box and even the damage that had been done was pretty minor. I breathed a loud sigh of relief and prepared myself (mentally) for work once again. I turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. I stared at the steering wheel in wide-eyed disbelief. I checked the lights (off) and the reading light (off), and found myself flummoxed. Until I looked down and saw the hint of a paw-print on the radio and realised what must have happened.

Puddims, after his futile attempts at escape, decided to give in to his fate, and entertained himself by turning on the radio and listening to the calming tunes of Algoa FM over the air waves. Smart kitty that I’ve got… and kitty revenge is oh so sweet!

Grant could hardly contain his laughter as I made my way back into the house once again to ask for his keys so that I could drive myself to work. I’m thinking of leaving his reading light on just to get my own back…


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