Okay, I’m ready to post my favourite one now. I love telling people this story. It’s difficult to get it right verbally, so it’s nice I get to write it down.
The cat and the aunt
In my last job there was a Portuguese girl called Cristina who adored her cat. In fact she once asked me to photoshop a fake prescription for some cat meds, but that’s another story.
One day Cristina returned to the office after a long holiday. She’d told me beforehand that her mother-in-law would be looking after the cat while they were away. She was concerned because she didn’t get on with her mother-in-law and felt she wasn’t particularly cat-savvy.
Unfortunately, her fears were realised. She told me through tears how the careless woman left the window open, and the cat fell out and died (they lived in a tall block of flats). By the end of the day everyone had found out what happened and felt really sad for her.
A few days later another colleague, Annabel, came back to the office. Her holiday had overlapped with Cristina’s, so she was as yet unaware of the sad news. In her busy return catching up with everything she’d managed to catch the drift of what had happened. I say drift, because instead of the cat, she was under the impression Cristina’s aunt had died.
Bear in mind when you imagine this next part that Cristina is a very animated, emotional person, fresh off the grief of losing a beloved pet.
So Annabel runs into Cristina in the hallway and places a sympathetic hand on her arm.
“I’m so sorry, Cristina,” she says. “Are you okay?”
“Not really, Annabel,” she replies, sobbing.
“Were you two close?” (referring to her aunt)
Cristina frowns slightly. “Yes… I suppose we were. She was my little friend.”
Annabel thinks this is a bit odd but nods sympathetically.
“So what happened? Was she ill?”
“No.” She sniffs. “We got back from holiday and we couldn’t find her anywhere! We looked all around the house, calling her name, but she was gone!”
“Oh.” This is a bit weird, thinks Annabel.
“Then eventually we realised someone left the window open!” Cristina lets out a moan.
At this point Annabel thinks, oh my God, the aunt fell out the window.
“That’s… that’s terrible!”
“I know Annabel, I know. I was too nervous to look but then a neighbour came round and said there was a dead cat in the road.”
At this point, Annabel thinks, Jesus. Her aunt fell out the window, landed on a cat, and killed it.
Cristina shakes her head and dabs her eyes. “We’re going to bury her in the garden.”
Just as poor confused Annabel is trying to make sense of these profound events, Cristina mumbles something about vet bills.
It’s then that the fog starts to clear and Annabel realises her mistake. Suddenly she’s hit by the hilarity of the situation and starts to lose composure. She rushes off, making her excuses.
Cristina was never any wiser, but when Annabel told the rest of us we couldn’t stop laughing.