Archives for category: menapause

Last year I bought myself a new bed, I actually needed  to replace my mattress but the  bed frame was so old nowhere  stocked anything to fit it!  In the end  I wasn’t able to fully appreciate my new sleeping arrangement until December, when work became sporadic. I have always found Christmas a difficult time to judge on the employment front as most of my clients want the same week  which is why, in the past,  I’ve taken seasonal retail jobs. Unfortunately  last year I got it completely wrong! Having felt quietly confident I was in with more than a chance of work with a particular retailer, I turned down a couple of bookings only to find out that the position had been filled and my, ‘Thank You But No Thank You,’ email had gone astray. Still, all was not lost as I had budgeted for Christmas and I was able to enjoy some much needed time at home.

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“Mrs What’s-Her-Name’s cat likes this!”  My Mother said brandishing a pouch of eye- wateringly expensive feline nosh at me.  “I’m sure Mr Lewis will like it!” I believe my Ma’s thinking was based more on the cat’s flatulence than his pallet.

“He likes the one we’re feeding him now.” I replied scanning the ingredients of tickled trout, catnip and conjunctivitis nonsense listed on the packet.

“He just eats the gravy and leaves the meat!” Mother’s jaw was set, she wasn’t going to back down.

“How many packets of this have you got?!”  I asked my Aged P doubtfully.

“Oh, just a couple.” I could see she sensed victory and decided to let it go as Mr Lewis might enjoy the change, although my pocket wouldn’t!  It had been agreed before we rehomed Lewis, that I would take care of him financially, whilst Mother, being at home, took care of his person.

That evening I fed our ginger boy his gourmet dinner and watched him as he tucked into the finely minced protein.  He seemed to be having a bit of trouble eating the close textured mixture.  “I think it’s getting stuck around his gums!”

“No, no,”  Mother insisted,  “you just need to mash it up more.”  I watched dubiously, as the poor cat struggled on for a few more mouthfuls before giving up altogether in favour of his biscuits.

“I’ll get some of the other food from the garage.” I announced turning on my heel rather too dramatically for the occasion.  When I went to the cupboard where we stored the cat supplies  I was met with a row of Furry Friend Posh Nosh boxes. “I thought you said you’d only got a couple of pouches?!”  I shouted from the garage.

“Oh yes, well ah, it was on offer!”  Came the reply.

Mr Lewis looked on nonplussed.  The only thing I think he needed was a tooth pick and something to gargle with?!

 

“Usual routine for the dogs.” My clients informed me as they were leaving for the airport “Nuts for the wild birds are in the funeral urn on the hall table.”  This made us all smile because the last time I sat at Postman’s Cottage I didn’t dare move the urn assuming that it held the ashes of a deceased relative! “And if you wouldn’t mind feeding the badger, we chuck a handful of peanuts and a slice of the tiger bloomer, buttered, onto the lawn last thing before we turn in.” I wondered who else I’d be feeding next-time, damper for the deer? Roti for the rabbits? Or maybe I’d be putting out focaccia for the foxes?

I do occasionally look after poultry although not all of them are as free to roam as Mr Humble, the handsome blond cockerel and his mother, helpfully called Mother. Every night, after a day spent scratching about the property far and wide, they would put themselves to bed in the barn, roosting on a partition between the stables and every morning they would be waiting for me to give them their breakfast at the conservatory door. This happened so often during the course of my sit that I was quite worried the day they didn’t show up for their slice of toast! I soon found them in the disused greenhouse making the most of the morning sunshine to dig up the grubs!

Dangerous Dave, my clients’ tabby and white cat, doesn’t have that nickname for nothing, especially after he savaged my hand and forearm during a recent sit. I like to think that I know my clients’ pets reasonably well now, however I do still sometimes get caught out. I was lulled into a false sense of security when Dave Dangerous started to lick the back of my hand as I was giving him a tickle, bless him, I thought until he sunk his teeth into my soft flesh whilst all four paws, claws out, did their best to shred my arm. To be fair, once The Tabby Terror of Trethevy had released me from his grip, he looked as surprised by his outburst as I was!

After washing my wounds I rootled about in my sponge-bag for the antiseptic cream I usually carry with me and realized I’d left it at home. A look through the contents of the bathroom cabinet for something suitable proved fruitless. I even searched the kitchen cupboards without success until I came across a jar of runny honey and vaguely remembered reading that it has healing properties. I’m not entirely sure that the honey did help but as I dabbed it onto my scratches (whilst spooning it over my morning toast) it certainly soothed the affected areas.

Whilst working as a Christmas Bookseller for Waterstones one year I found myself squinting at a magazine article my customer had given me regarding an author she was interested in. I apologized for my tardiness in serving her and mentioned I couldn’t see to read such small print without my glasses (which were in the staff-room!)

“That’s a very adult problem!” My young colleague at the next till scoffed. I gave him my best Paddington Bear Hard Stare in response and parried, “It’s my eyes!”

“It’s not your eyes,” he grinned, “it’s your AGE!”

Despite not finding any Christmas presents secreted in my case Alfie and Dolly Ragdoll didn’t hold it against me for long, I was more than forgiven by their `tummy-filling-time!’

Having managed to stay germ free for most of the year I was pretty hacked off when I started snorting and sneezing a week or so before Christmas Day. The cold symptoms did pass quickly, although I was left with a persistent cough and spent the festive season barking at my client’s pets.

Dolly Ragdoll seemed very concerned by all the hacking and hawking I was doing and every night she would curl up next to me under the duvet like a furry feline hot water bottle. Alfie was less committed to my care, having been bounced up and down on the bed like a small dingy on a rough sea by several bouts of my coughing, he left the bedroom in search of calmer quarters!

On Christmas Eve I presented Alfie and Dolly with their present, a cat bed in the shape of Santa’s hat. It was met with suspicion from both felines who tip-toed around it until I put a few cat biscuits on the cushion. Dolly was tempted enough by the cheesy treats to stick her head inside the hat without actually getting into it. Perhaps by next December the felines will have taken to using the hat bed?!

Going out for Christmas Day lunch was a hit with everyone, except the Ragdolls who were hoping for some turkey left overs. There was no need to put the sprouts on to boil at six in the morning, or for us to do the Turkey-Turn-Around Dance whilst the bird took an age to roast. The mountains of washing-up were avoided and as the restaurant was within walking distance, everyone was able to have a drink or two. By the time we had finished the three courses and were eying up the handmade truffles served with our coffee, my Mother, Sister and I had all decided to book again for next Christmas.