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Of course, at the start of my week long break, I thought I'd have bags of time, and would finally be able to do all those things I've been wanting to do for ages and haven't had time for: latex the kitchen walls 'cause they're starting to look really grotty now, borrow a drill and finally put up the pictures that have been gathering dust leaning against the walls of my flat, stop by friends I haven't seen in fuck knows how long (laden with gifts for their 1 or 2 year old that I've yet to formally make my acquaintance with), visit the Holbein exhibition, see if I could try my hand at fanfiction... -- so, did I do any of these things? No, I didn't. Instead, I let myself get bogged down with paperwork and organising my Dad's imminent move into a home. It had to be done and I didn't mind doing it, but still, it detracted from my 'me'-time, and ran contrary to my plans.

And I had sort of hoped the weather would hold. But no such luck. Temperatures plummeted, to the extent that I had to take an evening out of my busy schedule to see if I could get the central heating to work again, and to my utter amazement, I could! (it's always tricky, that; most years I have to resort to calling out an engineer to check the whole system, knowing full well there's nothing wrong with it, and casually ask him to switch it on since he's already fiddling with it anyway) -- and it rained incessantly, the downpours only interrupted by the occasional hailstorms and cold gusting winds. Of course, it's fine now.

On the plus side, I did get to spend some quality time with my cats - which may not sound like much of an adventure, but does give me oodles of joy. They're still young enough (only 2 years old) to be playful and love chasing after little balls and toy mice, and when they're done playing, they like draping their warm little bodies over me and purr then purr some more. I love my cats. They saved me, when after Aloysius' death (3 years ago this months - my how time flies) I hated coming home at night and not be greeted by him. He and I had been together for 15 years when he died, and I mistakenly swore that I would never commit the ultimate sacrilege and get another cat in to take his place -- but 8 months down the road I could not believe how profoundly unhappy I'd become through lack of a feline companion. Then, through a friend of my sister's, I came into contact with someone whose cat had had a litter a couple of weeks previously, and who had managed to find a home for all but one of the kittens. I didn't think I wanted that particular one either, as she was described to me as all black, and Aloysius had been that - but as soon as I walked in the door, she waddled up to me, got into my lap before I was even seated, put her paw to my nose and said meow. How could I resist? Leila came home with me that very night, and I've been happy to spend time at home again ever since.

A month or two later, I found another kitten to be a friend to Leila: Clio. She's the brainy one, but Leila's No. 1 Cat, and doesn't let her forget it ever.



Oct. 14th, 2003 01:51 pm (UTC)
He and I had been together for 15 years when he died, and I mistakenly swore that I would never commit the ultimate sacrilege and get another cat in to take his place -- but 8 months down the road I could not believe how profoundly unhappy I'd become through lack of a feline companion.

I've wondered about this and how we're going to handle it. We got Cymry a few months after we got married and she'll be 15 in April. She had kidney failure a few years back and spent a month and a half at the vet's (I still don't know how we were able to afford that), but she eventually pulled through... and I kind of think it may have gotten me a bit better prepared for when she does die. I hope.

As it is, she's healthier than she's been in years... tears around the house like she did as a kitten, chases bits of paper and fluff all around the house and generally makes a nuisance of herself. I don't know if I could do without that when she's gone, and I'm guessing the fact that we have second cat already might make it easier to get another. But much like you've got with Leila, Cymry is our No. 1 cat.
Oct. 15th, 2003 12:43 am (UTC)
She had kidney failure a few years back (..), but she eventually pulled through

Over the years, Aloysius got into some real nasty scrapes, but he always recovered, even a couple of times when the vet thought he was a goner. But some 2 years before he finally succombed to old age, he became really, frighteningly, ill -- he'd been poisoned, along with many other cats in the neighbourhood. This time, the vet truly gave him up for dead, but once again, he pulled through...and after that it was as if he'd been given a new lease on life. He went tearing through the flat making silly jumps and chasing his own tail, and like your Cymry, making a general nuisance of himself. I think his behaviour those last 20 months lulled me into a false sense of security, and I failed to notice when he started to weaken again. I mean, I did see him starting to get slimmer, and his fur to lose some of its shine, but I never thought...until one Thursday evening when I got home and he didn't bound up to greet me. I walked into the lounge and saw him huddled in a corner, and he didn't look up when I called him. I dropped everything and raced him to the vet's; she gave him some injections and tried to get some fluid back into him, kept him on a drip for about an hour. I was to come back with him the next day; but the next morning around 5 a.m., Aloysius got out of bed and wouldn't come back again, so I got up too, gave him some water and then settled down with him in my lap. He never moved nor made a sound, until about 11 when he suddenly looked up at me, meowed once, imperatively - and lost consciousness. I raced him to the vet's again, but there was nothing they could do to rouse him. He died at 11:58 a.m. that morning, in my arms.

There's a memorial to him at http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/vmg/petA/Al.html
Actually, there's two: one I wrote on the day he died (very sentimental) and one I wrote a little bit later (slightly less so)...and despite repeated requests, the webmasters have still not taken down the one I wasn't happy with. And really, now, I'm not happy with either. But there's a picture of him!

BTW, how's your bronchitis? Has it cleared yet?