I’m not really going to go on and on about the rain, which has caused trouble all over the country to a greater or lesser extent, but about actual cats and dogs. One of our cats was ill over Christmas and New Year and had to be rushed to the emergency vet at the animal hospital, and then a few days later to our own vet to have his teeth fixed. Then while his teeth were being fixed the vet discovered his thyroid had gone out of control again, and so on and on. Fortunately he is now back to normal, or whatever that is for a 19 year old cat (his age is just an estimate, for various reasons), and the only special attention he requires is someone to mash up his food, the incredibly expensive Lily’s Kitchen Hungry Hunter Hotpot, and then watch him eating it to make sure that at some stage in the day he ingests the orange thyroid pill which is cunningly concealed somewhere in the dish. Sometimes this takes most of the day, until the pill has more or less dissolved into the food and he can’t see it any more. Amazingly, the medication seems to work even if this happens.
The cats snuggle up together (unusually)
Of course this also means removing the dish at regular intervals when he has lost interest in it and gone back to bed, so that the other cat, who is approximately the size of a house already, doesn’t eat it.
During this past week we’ve also had a dog to stay, which has complicated things a bit more by introducing a new contender to steal the cat’s dinner and accidentally ingest the orange thyroid pill. Apart from this, the dog was for the first few days very reluctant to go through the conservatory in case the younger cat was lurking in there ready to jump out at him, so he had to be more or less dragged through it and out to the garden, and then he would stand there in the dark with his eyes glowing, which is always an eerie sight even if you really know what it is, and someone would have to go out in their socks and drag him back in again. Meanwhile there was a chance that the older, sick cat would escape while all this was going on and drink some of the stagnant water that collects in an old trough by the pergola.
My other problem with the dog, although it isn’t his fault, is that he is always in the way, whether he means to be or not. Fortunately he is highly skilled at walking backwards to get out of the way, a talent that suggests to me that he has always somehow been in the way wherever he has been. On several occasions I had to climb over him, an exercise I can’t imagine a physiotherapist recommending for joint problems.
I am making heavy weather of the last few hundred words of my current novel, partly because of the cats and dog and partly because I caught the first heavy cold of the year last weekend and spent most of my time reading and watching old episodes of ‘Midsummer Murders’ and programmes about trains instead of writing.