the box



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!


Wednesday February 24th 2016


For some time now I have been on the lookout for a large box. Polymath thinks that a dog- sized box on the futon could be the answer to Hairy One’s complaints about any intrusion of light into the back room in the evenings. One has to reiterate that the light is extremely discreet: one daylight bulb pushed up to the wall behind a tall chest of drawers in an alcove. Whatever, as Isis might say if she could speak. She doesn’t like light/dark contrasts.

My friend A. thinks that boxing in the t.v. so that Isis can’t see the light patterns on the screen or their reflections on the ceiling might brighten up my winter nights.

Then friend M. has a chair delivered. The enormous box is still in her living room as it is too difficult to move. Could I help?

Ah, the very thing.

We’re not sure how we can transfer it from her house to mine as it seems too large to fit into a car. Perhaps we’ll need a wheelbarrow or may be it could be balanced on a bicycle pushed by one of us and held steady by the other.

It takes us about thirty minutes to manouevre it through M.’s kitchen door but we find it is possible to wedge a third of it into the boot of her car. I can crouch on the folded down rear seats holding onto the box, and, hopefully, with present day austerity resulting in the reduction of police on the beat, we will reach my house unchallenged.

We do – and find that the box slides easily through the porch door and the front door. The back room door is a different matter. Unfortunately, M. has an appointment and has to abandon ship.

Having more determination than skill, I push and shove and heave until the box is firmly jammed in the doorway.

There is no way it will move. Inside the box is the rigid cardboard structure used to keep the chair in place during shipping. This, as intended, is preventing the box from being squashed.

I kick and shoulder the box back into the hall and reach for the Stanley knife, which, of course, is behind the box and behind the closed door of the under stairs cupboard.

Eventually, I managed to hack out the box’s innards.

Back to the battle. After a brief struggle, result!





The box is firmly jammed in the doorway.

Isis, of course, discovers an urgent need to leave the room via the blocked up doorway and trots up and down, fussing and sniffing around the box.

After another thirty minutes or so the box, at last, is dislodged. I move it into the space usually occupied by Hairy One’s bed, place the bed inside, open out the side flaps of the box and sit back in a sweaty heap to observe.

During the afternoon and evening Isis approaches the box and sniffs apprehensively. Although at one point she gingerly retrieves three small pieces of cheese from her bed, she is clearly suspicious of the box. She flinches and cowers. The box is taller than she is and casts sinister shadows onto the floor.

And she doesn’t like contrasts of light.



Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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