Sometimes people want children. Sometimes people want children that never grow up: children that stay children. Sometimes people mistake their pets for these eternally childish humans. This is a sad and misfortunate mistake. They call themselves “Mummy and Daddy” as if their domesticated animal was of their own making. It’s sad. It’s sad for those who have to stand by and watch the full-grown pet that is persistently patronized; and it’s sad for the deluded “Mummy or Daddy” that constantly dotes on their stunted “baby”.
I could not stand by and watch this horrific abuse. I made a plan. I dressed a real human baby as a kitten and planted it in a pet shop window. It was sold and the owners were fooled; they thought they had purchased a little kitten. They took it home in a cardboard box. They fed it milk for a while, and then it went on to eat solids. It loved playing with its ball of wool. But it seemed to develop slower than they had anticipated – but Mummy and Daddy just thought maybe their kitten was a bit of a late bloomer. It crawled. It learned to go in the kitty litter tray. When it started to get on its hind legs and walk around Mummy and Daddy got concerned. Their kitten was developing very strangely. It’s meowing was strange too. Their kitten was odd, they were embarrassed; whenever guests came around they locked it in the laundry. It’s meowing started to sound more and more like words. One day when Mummy was doing the washing she looked down at her demented kitten, and the kitten looked up at her and said, “Mum”. All of a sudden and without even thinking she lent over struck the kitten, said, “don’t you call me Mum, it’s messed up” and thought nothing more of it.
Their kitten was getting larger and larger; Mummy and Daddy started to think that perhaps the pet shop had accidentally given them a Panther. Mummy and Daddy grew fearsome of their pet, it growled and made all sorts of horrible noises; so they kept it locked in the laundry for years.
One day Daddy went into the laundry to do a load of washing and the beast lashed out at him, scratching and biting his arm and neck; it seemed more brutal than playful. When Mummy got home from work that evening he sat her down and calmly explained – “I’m really sorry Mummy, but our kitten has been very naughty and we must have it put to sleep.”
They decided that it should be done humanely; that they needed to take their 'baby' to the vet. It was difficult to put their strange cat into the cardboard box, with its disproportionately long limbs. It was as difficult as putting a runtish 12 year old in a box. When they got to the vet they both wept like guilty children and explained that they could no longer cope with their troublesome cat. They put the heavy box on the vet’s operating table and pleaded for it to be done quickly - in the most humane way possible. Their tears poured out like streamers at a surprise party. The vet readied the lethal injection and asked if they would like to stay and witness or wait outside? They stayed. The vet braced himself and opened the box. The beast lay whimpering in a nest of shredded newspaper at the bottom of the box; docile and serene, as if it knew what was coming. The vet stared down at the poor creature and asked the crying couple “Any last goodbyes?”
Mummy shook her head and sobbed; Daddy stood, placed a tender hand on her shoulder and said “don’t worry, I’ll do it”
He stared down at the monster in the box and said “Daddy’s very sorry”
The brute glared back with its giant darkly glazed eyes and shouted, “You’re not even my real Dad!”
The vet swiftly intervened and said, “That’s enough out of you – you disgusting swine”
Then he raised the poisonous needle and quickly stabbed it into the rump of the innocent kitten.
Feeling somewhat responsible for the predicament and thinking that it had probably gone far enough, I stepped out from behind a cabinet where I had been watching; and said, “That’ll be enough, thanks Jason” the vet stepped back and we both chuckled together. Jason was an actor playing the role of the vet. Mummy and Daddy looked around in shock – I pointed out the cameras and stabbed myself in the eye with the prop 'lethal injection', then demonstrated the retractable needle trick on the syringe. Then suddenly all of the crew stepped out from their hiding places and on cue shouted “Surprise, Surprise the Camera Never Lies!” and let off party poppers, streamers and white doves. We all laughed together – even the demented cat-child had a grin; and we all had a huge party with catering provided.
A month later I had a meeting to debrief with the silly couple. They told me that they had realized their folly and adopted the psychologically deranged cat-child; they gave him a bedroom with a racecar bed. The pilot reality TV show, “Surprise, Surprise – The Camera Never Lies” wasn’t picked up by any network; but Jason, the actor who played the role of the vet is very glad to have it on his show reel.
By Stuart Bowden