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The cat that killed me.

June 25, 2015

Well, very nearly.

hertford cat 2

The latest Simpkin.

I was approaching the Hertford College library to attempt some “finals” preparation, when I heard sounds of avian distress in the quadrangle. The college cat, “amusingly named Simpkin”, had caught a blackbird. I approached it, and it ran off behind one of the residential blocks.

There then followed ten seconds of complete stupidity. I chased the cat into the passage behind the building. There were patches of lichen on the concrete, and dappled sunlight shining through bushes. Simpkin sidestepped to the left. Momentum carried me forward. I didn’t see the steps down to the cellar. I touched the middle step of eleven on the way down, and came to rest with my nose three inches from the back wall.

I don’t remember how I got to the Radcliffe Infirmary, but I was very familiar with the way there by then. The doctor suspected a break in my right wrist, and put my arm in plaster.

If the wall had been only a few inches closer to the steps, I’d have brained myself against the wall. I could imagine the headline “Brilliant student dies in unexplained accident” – in the “Warrington Guardian” at least. I’m glad I survived to be a living disappointment.

Hertford Swift Room

Rail and warning paint weren’t there when I fell in.

I learned my lesson. Enjoy your tasty blackbird, Simpkin.

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