Special request: I am preserving anonymity here, so being deliberately vague: I received a lovely pot of 15+ Manuka honey this week from a well wisher, but have lost my e-mail addresses since changing my server. Please could he/she resend e-mail address so I can thank s/he properly? In fact, could all those readers who have given me their e-mail addresses before, re-send them? Thanks, and apologies.
Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Sunday January 7th 2018
I have just swapped the litter I use for kitty’s tray – clumping, Fowler’s earth type stuff. Not only is it heavy to carry downstairs for disposal, it does, as Isis noted, stink to high heaven. Equally unpleasant, it attaches itself in great quantities to Daisy’s paws. Being a cat, she removes it meticulously while reclining in the gap between my duvet and pillows. My bed looks and smells like a large litter tray. We’ve changed to wood pellets. Much more fragrant and the bits fall off before she reaches the bed!
Yes, Isis, I know, I know. You don’t do such unsavoury things. You don’t yowl for service or use human beds as trampolines and tunnels in the night. You don’t visit kitty in the early hours and make her bark.
But you have your vices – OK so you don’t hide when you know I want you. Well, except for dashing into your bed-in-a-big-box when I take an implement really stealthily out of the grooming box. What about the very bad table manners you’ve been driving me crazy with over the last four months? Daisy certainly doesn’t behave like that at mealtimes. Ever.
That’s true, sweetheart, you have been much better lately. In fact, we’re almost back to where we were before you had to stay at Ray’s kennels for three weeks. No, it wasn’t Ray’s fault. No, not Tracey’s or Adam’s either. And no, it absolutely wasn’t Wendy’s idea.
Anyway, now I simply take your meal away when you carry on, and you don’t get it back for at least an hour; also, when you eat silently, you are rewarded immediately with a bit of cheese.
O.K. Fine with me. We won’t discuss it any more. Yes, if you insist, we’ll say what naughty Daisy did the night before last. Yes, she did frighten us, and yes, it was a very bad thing to do.
Imagine the scene. It’s Friday night and Hairy One and I are following the usual routine. It’s twelve forty, well past dog’s bed time, and I open the back door to let her out. Then, leaving the door ajar so that she can come back in, I go upstairs. I glance round the bedroom door. Daisy is tightly curled and fast asleep on top of the bed. And I mean fast asleep. She doesn’t stir. I go into the bathroom.
Here it might be helpful to point out that in order to cross the landing from the bedroom, Daisy has to walk in front of the bathroom door. It is also apposite to mention that the bathroom door fell off a few months ago, and, owing to my procrastinating tendencies, is, of course, still missing.
I only have my back to the doorway for a few seconds as I wash my hands at the basin.
I hear nothing stir, not a pawstep, not a squeak.
Isis is back inside. Quickly, I lock the door, hide her treats, switch off the light and return upstairs. I replenish kitty’s dish. She is no longer on top of the bed, but it’s a very cold night: she must have popped under the duvet.
My suspicions are aroused when I slide under the duvet and there is still no response from Daisy. I get up again and call her.
Not a sound.
With difficulty, I peel back the fleece, then the duvet. She’s not there. Nor is she in the spare room, the lock of which she can open by jiggling the door.
Cats! What do you see in them, people?
She’s not in the art room.
Well, she must be hiding somewhere. I’ll read in bed for half an hour, then search the house again.
It’s frosty outside. Very, very cold for a cat in her nineteenth year. Daisy is a very small, slim cat. If, by any remote chance, she has managed to get outside, she could freeze to death. After ten minutes, I do another painful check of every room in the house, calling calling, calling.
Isis knows something is wrong. Judging by her expression, she senses that we’re searching for Daisy. She stands by me as I open the back door, but she doesn’t try to push past me. I call very loudly. Fortunately, my next door neighbours don’t wear their hearing aids at night.
No response. No sign. Oh Dog!
We hurry to the front door. I step into the cold, dark porch. Is anybody outside?
Behind the porch door, through the thick condensation, hardly discernible, is a very small, fuzzy, black and white shape.
It can’t be frozen to the doorstep, as it moves slightly. When, breathless with relief, I open the door, Daisy strolls in. The front doorway is blocked by dog, but, after only a very brief pause, Daisy jumps over its muzzle into the hall and, quite calmly, goes about her kitty business.
Yes, Isis, we were shattered, weren’t we? Yes, yes, dear, I’ve already acknowledged that it was a very, very, naughty thing to do. Yes, and dangerous too.
We both retire to bed for the second time. I wag my finger sternly in front of Daisy’s deliciously black gleamy nose. She ignores me, of course and waits for her Dreamies.
Yes, Isis, of course you wouldn’t ignore me. Even though you can’t see or hear, you’d have sensed my displeasure and felt a little abashed.
How could she behave like that?
She’s a cat, dear.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk
Bulletin for the sick one: although the rheumatology appointment has been put back to January 23rd, the consultant contacted my practice last week to advise how the joint problems should be treated in the meantime. So, yippee (under the unyippee circumstances) I am on a very high dosage of steroids for a week, then should stay on a reduced dose until the appointment. I am very impressed and very grateful as I was beginning to feel really ill.
In my opinion, nothing is wrong with our NHS except for capitalist governmental policies. Human lives are too short to be wasted, and too valuable to be trusted to private, profit-based funding.