Cupboard Love

D’oh. I went hunting for my camera this morning, because what could be better to accompany this post than a photo of the gorgeous Reuben?

My phone (camera) is attached to its charger, all set for its day’s work, but alas, the subject has left the building! So, you’ll have to make do with a stock photo and your imagination! Imagine this big, black ball of fluff. He’s not particularly long-haired, but when he curls up, he just melds into this blob.

I have been experimenting, and poor old Reuben has been the subject. He likes to be active when it gets dark, but at some point in the night, he’ll come onto my bed and settle down. He’s there, snuggled next to me, as I wake up.

I posted about my experiments with home technology a few months ago. I have a Google Home Hub, one of these devices I can talk to – they sound incredibly decadent, but they are actually quite useful. Seriously. If somebody is disabled, being able to control things with their voice can make the difference between helpful or not. When I wake up, it is usually dark – early morning. “Hey, Google, what time is it?” The device responds, but not the cat. The device even lights up. But Reuben lies motionless. He’ll purr when I touch him but otherwise is happy to stay hunkered.

“Hey Google, turn the kettle on.”, for man (this man, at least) cannot function without tea. Even that voice command – no reaction from Reuben. He jumps up in an instant, though, even before I have flinched, as soon as he hears the kettle itself starting to boil. In fact, as I’m struggling to put my dressing gown on, he has sprinted to the kitchen and is reliably waiting by his bowl for his breakfast.

The other cat, by the way, is just daft. She doesn’t like eating with the boy, so although she is hungry she will hang back, allowing him to scoff not only his breakfast, but her’s too! But at least she hangs around for a fuss once feeding time is over!


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.

World War III

Okay, I can officially report that World War III has started, in my house at least.

We have two cats in the house. The girl, Lola (above), has been here for several years. She likes her own space. The boy, Reuben (below), has been here since last year, although he’s older than that. For some reason, my daughter took him in. She couldn’t look after him, so asked if we would take him. He’s ever so friendly, with an incredibly loud purr at any excuse. Unsurprisingly, we fell in love with him. He also happens to be enormous!

The two cats don’t particularly get on with one another. She hisses when he gets too close. Mostly he’s not interested, but if he’s in the mood he’ll chase her. He’s twice her size. But the funny thing is, they have learned to co-exist.

This week, my wife has gone away on holiday for a short break. I didn’t go with her because I wanted to stay here. So, she invited my daughter.

Daughter arrived last night. Complete with her cat. Yes, I’m cat-sitting for the week.

Hence World War III! I wouldn’t mind, my daughter’s cat is only a youngster, but seems very feisty. My two just want to get on with life, but daughter’s seems to want a fight.

No cat-blows yet, but plenty of hissing from the girls, and I have been scratched for my trouble. Fortunately, the boy is keeping out, although he’s generally very nocturnal, so is probably asleep somewhere. It’s just as well, he’d eat this other cat for breakfast, and still want more!

The added complication is that because my daughter’s cat doesn’t know the area, I’m going to try and keep her in the house all week. However, the other two use a cat flap, they come and go as they please. I’m hoping it takes the usurper more than a week to work out how it works!So, this is going to be me until Friday. Wish me luck!


We feel honoured. One of the cats has taken to leaving us little rodent presents. He’s always been a hunter, but he’s now taken to leaving them in the porch, just the other side of the cat-flap.

The weird thing is, they’re left with a garnish, a few leaves or a bit of grass. I mean, we know he leaves the rodents for us, but does he see the vegetables we eat for supper and think “they’re a funny lot, these humans, eating this green stuff”? Does anyone else find this? Our’s can leave us anything from maybe two or three rodents per day, to a rodent every two or three days, and maybe 50% of the time, they come with garnish, so I don’t think it’s accidental.


We have two cats. The boy has been asleep on my bed since I vacated it this morning. The girl is a little more active, and has been a bit friskier today, even spending some time on my lap.

It’s funny, when she’s in the mood for a fuss, she butts my bad hand as it to say “Come on, why are you only fussing me with one hand? Get your act together!” I’ve got a funny feeling that if I ever get movement back in that hand, the first time I’ll notice it will be thanks to the cat.


This kitten has come back to stay, this time while my daughter goes galavanting over the christmas holidays. So she’s here without her “mum”, but doesn’t seem to mind. And besides, we have hens!


My daughter has come to stay and has brought her new kitten. It’s funny – I can’t really remember any cat we owned being that small! But when we went to bed last night, we left her by the fire in the lounge, and she obviously wanted our company because she followed us through to the bedroom. Spent the night on the bed, for a part of it she was happily under the duvet snuggled into my tummy, and another part of it lying on my wife’s neck. Unfortunately, when she decided that 5am was time to wake up, it was too much.

So far today she has destroyed my bone china chicken mug, and is now attacking my hand as I type! She’s eying up the chickens as if they’re prey, except they are, like, ten times her size! She’ll sleep like a baby later.

Hopefully this is the closest I get to being a grandpa for a while yet 😊

Six Dinner Sid

 These days, my wife and I sleep in separate bedrooms. With the house now to ourselves, we have the room. Also, with my dead arm, I’m told that I fidget too much. But the upshot is that there are now rwo “getting up” events in the house.

Booboo, the sickly cat, makes sure he is around for both! In fact, this morning, I got up at six o’clock and they both wanted food, Two sachets. I put the sachets down simultaneously, as even the greedy Booboo can’t eat from two bowls at once. The other cat, Lola, who fortunately doesn’t get anywhere near so stressed about food, is therefore guaranteed a place. That said, Booboo is sufficiently savvy that he will look at both bowls, and choose the bowl with the most food in it, even if it means changing bowls halfway. Poor old Lola just “fits in”.

Anyway, my wife got up an hour later, and Booboo is acting like he’s half-starved again. Three sachets. Fortunately, he’s gone to sleep now so I won’t see him until lunchtime!

On a more sombre note, I went up to the hospital yesterday and discovered that a guy I’d been chatting to for months (yes, he’d been in that long!) had died. Tony’s stroke left him with communication difficulties, but for anybody who took the time and trouble just to chat with him, he was a lovely gent. I suppose this brings home that although I try to be light-hearted, a lot of people on this ward are actually dicing pretty closely with death. Quite sad nevertheless. I never really felt that close when I was there, but I’m very aware that I developed a kind-of tunnel vision, with me very much at the centre. I don’t know whether that’s the effect of a stroke, or the effect of a month in hospital. Probably, both, certainly stroke messes with a person’s brain.

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