Metro 45

Richard Herring is not turned on by cats watching him make toilet

Richard Herring reveals his own Christmas miracle – opening a tap for a thirsty cat while sitting on the toilet.

Even though I am an atheist, I love Christmas. I’m a big fan of Jesus and think we’d all be better off if we lived our lives forgiving people, not judging them, and trying to help the needy. I don’t think you have to believe Jesus is a god to get on board with that, in fact for me it slightly spoils it if he was. If he knew he was all-powerful and was going to rise from the dead then where’s the sacrifice? If he was mortal and still prepared to die for his beliefs… now that’s properly impressive.

But if you want to believe something different that’s OK. I love Jesus and if he wants to send me to Hell for not thinking he’s divine then that’s cool (if a little out of character). I’m a Christite. ‘Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged.’ Spot on.

This is a magical time, so here’s a story of a Christmas miracle I experienced. In 2007 I was spending Yuletide at my sister’s, a family home packed with people and animals. I had overindulged on Christmas Eve but still roused myself for another day of drinking and gorging and then more drinking and gorging. It’s what Jesus would have wanted: people eating so much food they make themselves sick, while the poor starved in the cold.

That night everyone else headed to my parents’ house to party some more but I was in a delicate state and stayed behind, glad to have the place to myself and some peace and quiet.

I went to the bathroom to rid myself of some waste. I sat on the loo and was surprised to see one of the family cats sitting in the bathtub. I couldn’t be bothered to chase it out. If it wanted to watch me have a poo then that was up to it. I am not turned on by a cat watching me make toilet and anyone who says I am is lying.

The cat was licking hopefully at the tap but alas it was dry. So, in an act of generosity that I am sure would make Jesus happy if he was watching… and if you’re a Christian you believe that he was watching. Watching me going to the toilet in front of a cat… I leant over and turned the tap to assist this dry-throated Christmas cat. I could already imagine the children’s book written about this beautiful act of charity.

But the tap was stiff and I forced it too far, too fast. Would a deluge soak the cat, sending it into a tornado of damp pussy rage? Children wouldn’t want to read about a fat semi-naked man on a toilet being bitten in the face by a drenched moggy. Book sales would plummet.

Yet, by some Xmas magic, the tap merely gurgled and exactly the right amount of water trickled out. The cat lapped and sucked at the tap. From where I was sitting it was one of the most joyously hilarious things I’d ever seen. I laughed and it seemed to me that the cat laughed too – but I suppose it had a pretty funny view itself.

But the funniest view surely belonged to Jesus, taking in both the hilarity of the drinking cat and the fat, defecating man.

I am pleased about that. It’s nice that Jesus should have something to cheer him up on his birthday. Especially when he’s the only person who doesn’t end up with any presents. It seems unfair but we’ve all got our cross to bear.

Have a happy catty Christmas everyone!

See Richard’s reworking of his hit show, Talking Cock: The Second Coming, on his nationwide tour.