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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. 17th, 2003 01:52 am (UTC)
Here's my boy Benjamin

Ezagaaikwe, he's gorgeous!

My poor DH still cries for him

I still cry for Aloysius sometimes, despite having Leila and Clio to cheer me up. I can't (under)stand people who tell me I shouldn't because "it was only a cat". When a pet dies, you grieve for it, just as much as when a close personal friend or a favourite relative do. It's only natural, I think, because that's how much they mean to you.

Aloysius, BTW, wasn't my first cat. I lost Emil in 1978, Beau in '81, and Dickie in 1995. But he was special in that I'd hand-reared him since his mother died when he was only a few days old, and there was an exceptionally strong bond between us.
Oct. 17th, 2003 05:50 am (UTC)
I know what you mean about that bond between a hand-reared kitten and it's person. I had a friend who saved an entire litter of kittens after their mother didn't survive a Caesarian section. The vet said, "What do you want me to do with them?" (Like, "Throw them away?") She said, "I'm taking them home, of course." He said, "Well, you may be able to save one or two of them." She raised them all, and they're the tamest cats you ever saw! But she was a wreck, feeding them around the clock. (She took a month off work.) And how to keep their little bottoms clean and not diaper-rashy was the real challenge. Nipple cream (that nursing mothers use) turned out to be the best for their little bums.
Oct. 17th, 2003 07:26 am (UTC)
I was lucky in that Aloysius was born during summer recess, and I was still at uni. Hence the name, Aloysius: patron saint of students. Getting up round the clock, stroking his tiny tummy to get his stool going, and later trying to teach him to use the litter box, was a chore - but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Aloysius and I communicated after a fashion; we had a series of noises and winks to indicate what we wanted or express basic moods -- but mostly, he was just my wonderful big cat that cheerfully accompanied me on my grocery run, never straying too far ahead or behind me, came when I called, and slept next to me with his head on the pillow and his body stretched out underneath the duvet, just like a human being.
Oct. 17th, 2003 08:17 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry you lost your boy, but the new cats sound wonderful.

I know what you mean about human-feline communication (winks, etc.) because Benjamin gives me this "head jerk" to indicate "hey, you! You with the opposable thumbs, open a can of fancy cat food." He's pretty clear about what he wants. And he's so pleased with me when I comply...wants his belly stroked. (I love cats; can you tell?)
Oct. 17th, 2003 08:26 am (UTC)
I love cats, can you tell?

NO!! I never would've guessed! ;-) Can you tell that I do, too?
Oct. 17th, 2003 09:58 am (UTC)
Yes, they're our little darlings. :-)