A cat called Nominet

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(This is a parable. Don't take it literally. OK?)

Nominet is the name of the UK's internet naming company; a regional equivalent of InterNIC, which handles domain name registrations.

I have two cats.

Nominet is also the name of one of the cats. There is a reason for this.

Nominet -- The Cat Formerly known as Bast -- and her sister Sekhmet arrived at Chateau Antipope about two months ago, care of Lothian Cat Rescue. These two creatures had been living rough for a while and were about a year old; they adapted fairly well to human beings, but they're still a bit whako in their own inimitable ways.

Sekhmet is a ginger tabby c@t -- branded on her flank with a thumping great brown '@' sign so that we always know how to address her. She's a fairly straightforward animal; either she wants human company (in which case she'll come up to you, stare accusingly, yowl or chirp, and generally get in the way) or not (in which case, better stay away from her). She's also Clear On The Concept of the posting box for little feline presents; while she's incredibly bad at burying her turds, which carry the olofactory loading of an artillery shell full of cadaverene, she at least knows to use the litter tray.

Nominet is a slightly pot-bellied calico with a weirdly paranoid disposition. Nominet has problems. She's extremely stupid, refuses to get the message however many times you shout at her, and persistently drops packets in the hallway -- all characteristics she shares with the naming committee.

Not being a committee and therefore damned from the outset, Nominet is convinced that actually she's really cute and loveable. She demonstrates this by rolling around kittenishly, or by jumping in my lap and purring like a faulty diesel engine. She likes being picked up, but tends to cling like a leech -- both arms tight around your neck. And how she purrs! I've never heard such a loud purr. It's enough to keep you awake at night. That's part of the conspiracy, too. Nominet gets insecure if you don't pay her fees, and starts nudging you unpleasantly. There's nothing like a wet nose in the eyeball at 6 am to tear even the deepest sleeper from their dreams. And when she's really insecure she just seizes up and crouches in a corner, tense as a spring, as if she expects the shadows to jump out at her.

Nominet is full of shit. She's so full of shit that you simply can't ignore her. She likes to share it, too.

Now if it was a simple matter of not knowing what a litter tray was for, I could just about understand it. Nominet spent a good chunk of her early life as a feral animal, and house-training isn't something you pick up in the course of raiding bins and slaughtering wildlife. But Nominet does know how to take a leak in the tray, and much of the time that's what she does; she just refuses to shit in it.

We've had shit in the front hall. We've had shit in the doorways. We've had shit behind the desk in the study. We've even had one or two turds show up in the litter tray -- but she won't use it consistently, and we're getting sick of it.

The only acceptable place Nominet will shit willingly in is the back garden. But her routing tables are hosed, and what passes for a DNS map in her pointy little skull can just barely find a window -- even though the blasted thing now sports a cat-flap and she's been going in and out of it for weeks. Nominet won't dig a hole and bury her shit; she drops it in the middle of the lawn, or the flower beds, at random, and that's if she remembers to go outside first. More often than not I've taken to picking her up and bodily ejecting her from the window, about an hour after she's fed. It then takes this feline Einstein almost an hour to figure out how to get back in through the cat-flap -- in which time, she usually feels the urge to plop her spoor.

This is sort of like the naming committee, too. The other Nominet are quite happy to do their shit in England, especially if you live in the south-east and can go round and kick them, but if you're in the sand-tray of Scotland you're going to have to wait in vain for those packets.

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