Wednesday, 20 February 2008


I have just heard that a friend of my sons, not close but someone he went to school with and met occasionally to do parkour has been killed on the same road as Catana. The road that passes yards from our door. I do not know many details, it was the early hours of Sunday morning, maybe he was drunk, maybe the driver was drunk. He was 17, 18, a lovely boy belonging to a lovely family. I have known them slightly for years, visited for coffee a couple of times when my youngest was small, they have a girl a year older, and another boy of about 16. I have memories of them carrying on with life, living, playing, working attending school concerts, Christmas fairs. I cannot get away from the feeling that all that time although we could not see it there was a cloud over their heads saying life as you know it is going to end abruptly one cold night in February 2008. We do not know if there is one over ours.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Having cats

I have had cats since as a four year old I persisted in begging for one for long enough to break down my animal phobic mother. The result an adored black and white moggie called Bimbo.

I can’t remember what exactly happened to him but there followed a series of much loved cats, Blackie (lost when she ran away from our camper van in the middle of a Welsh holiday to deliver her litter of kittens and never returned to our calling). I was about nine and it broke my heart. Lady a petite dark tortie, mega mum to many very beautiful kittens, who lived into her late twenties and looked kittenish for her first twenty years. We kept some of the kittens and lost some to the road. One she chased away as it reached maturity.

The anxiety and the worry when a cat disappears and you don’t know whether it is dead on the road, or injured with no one to help, or locked in someone’s shed or garage confused and not knowing what to do have made me question the wisdom of having pets.

Having been loved by and having loved many cats though in the end I decided philosophically that the price was one worth paying, nothing in life is risk free after all is it?

However, when it is time to pay and not time to enjoy the situation is not just philosophical.

We have been in that sad position recently with our 8 month old kitten Catana. He was knocked down by a car nearly a week ago and has been in the vet hospital since. He has broken his jaw very badly it has been partly repaired but may still need another operation. We have been taking it day by day and the vet has not been optimistic but we have visited him everyday hoping that our touch and our voice would get through to his swollen brain and at last he seems to recognise us. Although today this was the view that met us.

The view that met us
We couldn't blame him for being cross, it has been a painful and confusing time for him.

At the vets
He soon came round and seemed to be enjoying the strokes.

Recognising us at last

He has a long way to go and we don’t know when we will get him home. He is Beth’s special kitty and adores her, licking her hair and biting her nose and keeping her company each night. He has been missed by everyone, especially his sister Blue.

Only his mum has not been bothered, she has wished for her annoying teenage babies to be gone for a while, I wonder how she will react when he comes back which it increasingly looks like he will.

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