My daughter, and her cat, have now gone home, so there is peace in the house once again. They took the train home last night.

My wife had a really good time away. It was one of those breaks where she stayed in a well-equipped, peaceful chalet, where adventure was on your doorstep as soon as you stepped outside, so my wife did plenty of swimming and cycling, and didn’t leave the site all week – exactly to plan. And she lucked out with the weather – last week was better than we had in the summer.

Daughter’s cat did not like our cats, but she chilled to me during the week – I was fussing her by the end. On the second day, the weather was good enough for me to sit with the door open all day, so she explored the garden. But attitude gets you a long way in life, our cats made themselves scarce, and the kitten had the run of the place. I say “kitten” – she is now an 18-month-old cat, but it is still obvious that she’s a youngster.

My daughter? Well, she’s one of the subjects I vowed never to talk about on this blog, because something is not quite right with her, mentally. The details will remain just for my wife and I to discuss, suffice it to say that when you hear cries of “child abuse” on tv, there is always another side to the story. At only 20, she has a full head of hair, plus a collection of wigs! Professional, expensive wigs, that people would buy when they’re losing their hair for real. My wife and she planned a trip to the swimming pool, and daughter turns up dressed in a wig, in fake 1″ fingernails, and fully made up. To the swimming pool????? “Appropriate” was always an issue during childhood.

On their first fresh morning, my wife went out to cycle around the forest and lakes at 8 am – daughter was still asleep, fair enough she’d arrived tired – only to be alerted by during her ride by a phone call. Not “good morning”, but the altogether more accusatory “WHERE ARE YOU???? YOU WENT OUT AND LEFT ME!”. From a 20-year-old. So, wife, who by the way now wants to get an e-bike, has vowed: “never, again”. As she has so many times before, as I forewarned – the real difference between mothers and fathers. And even with room (chalet) service, you still try not to make a mess, don’t you?

My wife was so fed up with my daughter that by the time she arrived home on Friday, she took me out for a pub meal, to get a break from her – no complaints from me. My daughter was not happy with me, for allowing her cat to go outside. When you’re looking after three cats, how can one of them be different? Besides, I had specifically said this would not be a good idea, that her cat would need to live by the rules of the others, but got pooh-pooh’d. And, if my daughter could have seen the improvement in the cat’s behaviour during the week… But the cat has been designated an “indoor” cat, consigned to live its life in daughter’s one-room bedsit.

In all, probably good that we are now back to normal. My daughter’s cat was a lovely little thing in the end, but I have to give priority to the cats who already live here. Since Friday, my daughter was sleeping in my wife’s bedroom, so my wife now has a day of cleaning ahead, both bedroom and car. So far, two full tins of cat food, an empty packet of jam tarts, an empty bottle of squash, an empty bottle of Lucozade (a fizzy drink – the name I suspect is a play on glucose), all pushed down the side of the bed. After two days – can you imagine the mess when she lived here? But children are never at fault.

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