For years, after a plague of evangelical Christians on my doorstep and after the Arthur-Merlin-Guinevere-Felix-Beelzebub Incident (which I think is on this blog somewhere), I have been left alone to pretty much get on with my Pagan life.
Until tonight. Tonight, there was a tentative knock at the door. Already feeling rather hard done by, I knew before I answered it that it might involve somebody selling something. My friends all rap on the door smartly as I am a bit hard of hearing. This was a soft-as-micies-sleeping knock so I just knew …
Answering the door, I recognised the lady from way back. Bless her, several years on and still gamely knocking on people’s doors so that others may knock on the pearly gates. I hate being rude to people so I wasn’t. I understand that they do this because they believe they are trying to save people, not make their lives a misery. In fact, it was Poppet who finally saw her off …but I digress …
I stood through the usual schpiel and pro-offered pamphlet to join her at the Group Hug of the Holy Spirit Tabernacle Bigots Society or some such; said thanks but no thanks, I was Pagan … and then my troubles started …
How long had I been a Pagan? How interesting. How did I found out about it? Wow. Did I not think that the bible really, truly held the truth? No, oh goodness. She was actually very sweet.
But at this point, a demon cat intervened. Poppet loves the front garden. He loves the front garden so much that he is not allowed outside when I am not home, as I (and my neighbours) have to keep on removing him from the front and putting him round the back. He has even been spotted perambulating up the road towards the station. I am well aware of his fixation with the front door as he has, on many occasions, bested me and dived out of it.
Whilst chatting to her, I explained why I was holding the door closed. Poppet got tired of trying to push his nose through my legs (this lasted throughout the topic of whether or not the Romans were here before Christ – the answer is historically yes, if anyone is interested). Right at the point where I mentioned Augustine, Poppet decided that jumping on my back was an option, so Religious Lady was suddenly confronted by a white grinning cat face looming at her from the dark. She shrieked (and may have peed a little).
But gamely on she went. I am not sure whether anyone has tried to remove a cat from their back whilst holding a door to with one hand – I can confirm it is rather painful, not easy but ultimately achievable by being flexible enough to grab hold of cat whilst sending “I’m going to deprive you of fresh fish for a week” thoughts through the human-animal subconscious divide.
Objective achieved and “Ah, so you worship many Gods?” she asked. “Yes” I replied. “Which ones?” she asked. So I explained. I have to admit being impressed by the homework she had done and this kept me talking. Poppet tried the scratch down the leg trick but I felt it coming and finally, all went quiet.
We continued chatting back and forth – we had got onto the Koran and I was explaining the difference between Muslims who take the Koran as God’s word, as Christians take the bible and Muslims who also take on board the commentary written after the Koran (and from where many of the cultural aspects of Islamic life descend). We had already covered Hinduism. I was starting to lose steam and interest.
Suddenly, there was a small, breathless squeak from the lady, who was looking down in horror. Poppet, having attempted every which way to escape out the front, had managed to squeeze his head under the door. And, teeth bared and eyes wide, was staring up at us like so much decapitated cat.
I paused for a second, checked that his body was truly behind the door, said “excuse me” and told him off for being brainless. Foiled again, he withdrew and stomped off on four paws into the front room to have a sulk.
“So”, I said, “where were we?”. However, Decap Cat had clearly wrong-footed her and she quickly made her excuses and left.
I bet I am now down as the nice Pagan lady who doesn’t mind a chat but has demonically possessed cats :-).