Archives for category: menapause

Over my ten years as  a home and pet sitter, mostly spent on my own, I have noticed that I tend to talk to myself more often.  I like to think that it’s because I’m good at externalising my thoughts. Usually I keep a check on myself  in public, this morning however, as I got on the bus into town  I had a ‘moment’ while buying my ticket.  I couldn’t be certain if I’d  said out loud what I was thinking?!  As I didn’t receive any verbal abuse from our driver  I was reassured that I’d only thought that he looked like a right misery. Even so, I quickly took my change and headed for the furthest available seat at the back of the bus where I spent  the whole journey fixedly staring out of the window at the passing countryside.

Advertisements

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.

“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!”