By Joshua Chalmers

So there’s a cat in a box… A random algorithm determines when this cat is going to get sprayed with poison. The box is sealed so there is no way of knowing if it’s dead or alive, therefore, in a way, it’s both.


I am allergic to cats, my throat swells, my nose runs, my eyes drip, I turn into a creature. The funny thing is, I always forget how bad it is. Whenever someone mentions they have a cat I’m like ah that’s a shame but I’ll be alright. Sure enough, every time, my allergies storm over and start strangling me, with the cat perched somewhere, glaring, laughing internally. The whole species making me feel like I’m the one in a box, balancing on a tightrope between life and death.


I pretend I like them, as to not offend the owners, I don’t. They’re very dismissive beings with an air about them which makes me feel inferior. It is a battle between feline and human, one that I lose every time.  


I find it hard feeling boxed in, its probably I didn’t read Anthropology at Manchester, 3 years, same course, no escape. This feeling of being boxed in is nothing like claustrophobia, it’s more the sensation of being constrained, powerless and following a path similar to so many others. That is perhaps what drives my creativity… a desire to conjure originality. This tendency to get itchy feet can be partially traced back to my childhood before I reached secondary school I had moved house 10 times. For those of you reading that have had the same family home for your entire lives, this probably sounds pretty horrible. In fact, as I knew no different, it was perfectly normal and I actually came to enjoy the change of scenery… The chance to dig out old toys, arrange my new room, show my mates, that’s just how it was.


The result of this is I have a constant tiny niggle in the back of my mind that yearns for change, something fresh and new and when that desire is not fed my mind clouds somewhat. Everything that was once in Technicolor becomes monochrome and I slowly become that bystander that I dread so much.


Eva inviting me to Amsterdam for a few days was a godsend. She’s always going on about how wonderful it is so I had to see for myself, the truth is, it is pretty wonderful. The thing I find most charming is the bikes, everybody cycles. This gives way to a much slower pace of life, you can really take in your surroundings on a bike; after a couple of days, I was totally revitalised.


Despite Eva having 2 cats.  

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