Tag Archives: builder

Cat Murder

13 Jul

My first proper job was working as a labourer for my uncle, who is a builder. A few months after I’d started, he went off on holiday for two weeks but he found me some work with one of his mates, Spud. Working with Spud was interesting to say the least, with our working day interspersed with about 8 tea-breaks (whereas with my uncle we’d have one at 10am and then a break for lunch), new methods of doing things (instead of using a chainsaw to fell a small tree, he asked me to climb it and repeatedly jump on one side of it until it bent over enough for him to hand saw through the trunk), and all in all a much more laid back working environment. A little spot of rain? That meant it was time to retreat to the van for a tea-break, regardless of whether or not work was actually being affected. Run out of sand or cement? It didn’t matter, we’d drive for more supplies, but go to a builders merchants 10 miles away rather than the one down the road. It surprised me at how much work Spud actually managed to get, but he blagged it somehow, and if I’m honest I did actually like working for him.

 

He asked me to do all manner of things during the two weeks (and subsequent times) I worked for him, including driving a JCB and a dump truck even though I had no previous experience of doing so, he allowed me to lay the inner block course of a porch with no level, insisting that ‘the plasterers would level it up’ and of course constantly asking me to go and check out the home owners top drawer. The one time that really sticks in my mind though is when he asked me to cover up the murder of a cat. We were working on an extension on a house, and the owners had two cats on which they doted. We were under strict instructions to not let the cats out of the kitchen at any time, which was a bit of a pain in the arse as they would make a break for freedom as soon as I opened the patio doors which separated the kitchen from the extension we were working on. They escaped 2 or 3 times, but they would come casually strolling back a while later, and thankfully when the owners were still at work. One time however, I noticed that one of the cats was missing.

 

Spud and I were putting new flooring down , running from the kitchen through to the extension, and of course we had to have the doors open so it ran all the way through. The cats were wandering to and from the garden and not really going off too far, so we thought it safe to carry on as we were. In the afternoon, after our 6th tea-break of the day, we came back from the van to continue work. The first thing Spud had to do was nail down a few floorboards which he’d lifted so that he could get to some radiator pipes. Once done, we carried on laying the flooring. It wasn’t until an hour or so later that I saw one of the cats, come in from the garden, and I remarked that I hadn’t seen the other cat for a long while. Spud went quite pale. I heard him whisper ‘fuck fuck fuck’ to himself, and then, still knelt on the floor, he turned his face to look at me.

 

“You know yesterday when I was emptying the bags of rubbish into the skip? Well when I tipped one of them out, one of the cats fell out. The little bugger had been snooping inside it. I didn’t even realise it was in there.”

 

“But I’ve seen both the cats today, Spud”, said I, starting to panic just because of the look on Spud’s face.

 

“Yes, but I emptied a few more earlier, and one definitely felt heavier than the others. Fuck!”

 

It was at this point I remembered that the skip had been collected during our tea-break. Shit!

 

“Right, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to rip up the flooring we’ve done so far, and we’ll shut the doors again and work in the new extension. We’ll say we haven’t been inside the kitchen at all today. Can you do that for me?”.

 

Before I had time to respond, Spud was already busy with a jemmy, lifting up a good few hours of work. He was actually asking me to cover up the disappearance of the cat, and I knew the owners would find it hard to believe that we hadn’t been in the kitchen at all.

 

“Oh, FUCK”, I heard Spud shout again. This time he was looking at the radiator which he’d disconnected earlier. “FUUCCCK!”

 

We sat there wondering what to do. I suggested coming clean but Spud was adamant we couldn’t and told me under no circumstance should I say what had happened. We had about an hour to decide what to do. We downed tools and sat racking our brains, the other cat seemed to be mocking us; rubbing it’s face against my knee as I sat in silence on the floor, thinking about what the owners would say when they got back from work to find their ‘baby’ missing. Spud meanwhile, was visibly sweating. Ten minutes passed and still we couldn’t come to an agreement on what to say. The cat that was mocking us did a feint ‘meow’, and then another. Only it wasn’t coming from his mouth.

 

“Spud, listen!” I shouted. We both waited again, and there it was, another feint meow.

 

“It’s a cat ghost!”, Spud exclaimed, now perking up. “Where is the little fucker?”.

 

It took us about 15 minutes of listening intently to work out where the noise was coming from. Spud grabbed the jemmy and lifted the floorboards under the radiator which he’d disconnected earlier that day. To our enormous relief, the most dusty looking cat I’d ever seen jumped out, looking like a massive mothball. Spud called it a furry twat, and then proceeded to lay flooring like a man possessed. It had been a lucky escape.

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