Saturday, August 18, 2007

I wonder who’s comforting who in that embrace?

I had my suit ready. My Elvis suit. It was a party to celebrate Elvis’ life. A party only for cool cats. I looked fantastic, practiced my jive and the swivel hips motion. But I didn’t go.

Lil went into the garden accompanied by me and then Dolly this afternoon and Lil’s back legs gave way. But Lil she just got up and toddled off as if this was the most normal thing in the world.

The cat basket has been taken down from the attic. It looms in the living room it’s wire cage door hanging open. There is a towel in the bottom of it and a cushion. Dolly has been trying to destroy it. Clawing at the woven wicker and biting the broken bits. I told her it wouldn’t do any good. There’s another basket in the loft. And if that was to be ruined too there’s always a cardboard cat box...

Friday evening. Coronation Street is being watched. Big Lil is snuggled into Susan’s side on the sofa. Dolly is in the garden with the catnip. I can see all this from my vantage point in the conservatory. Susan is crying and Dolly’s as high as a kite but chews on. I feel angry. I’m impotent. I can’t do anything to make this better...

Big Lil is losing weight, a bag of bones. Susan has noticed. I’ve been reading her diary. She’s frightened of taking Lil to the vet she scribbles -doesn’t want to know the answer. Doesn’t want the diagnosis and then the prognosis.

Big Lil leans closer to Susan and pats her arm with her paw. I wonder who’s comforting who in that embrace?

Ferdinand: I don’t cry.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ferdinand: Lying to a good friend.

“Hello Lil, how you bin?”
“Lil, how’ve you been?”
“Ferd? is that you Ferd?”
“Lil it is I. None other than the handsome ginger fur ball.”
“Ferd if that’s you would you come closer?”
“Oh yes! I knew you couldn’t resist my gingery essence forever. Quick cuddle on the back of the sofa? More than happy to oblige.”
“Lil have you been dieting?”
“The trouble I’ve had... Cat napped! Falsely arrested, imprisoned and convicted. My sentence capital. My crime: mangy ginger tomcat. I faced with valour the blue syringe. But fate played her hand and sinking my teeth into it I skidaddled out of that cell faster than a cheetah on steroids –bloomin’ blue shirted jobs worth. God it’s nice to be home.”

“Ferd it is you?”
“Lil why you whispering?”

“Lil why are you whispering?”
“Ferd. You know I went deaf?”
“Yes me old girl.”
“Yes Lil.”

“Ferd I’m losing my sight.”

“I’m here Lil.”
“Ferd I’m frightened. I know Susan loves me but she won’t want me blind and deaf!?”


“Lil no, you’ll be ok.”
“Lil, ok we have a problem.”
“I’m here Lil, touch my paw. Let me think...”

“Ok so three out of five ain’t bad!”
You have five senses. You can feel, smell and you can taste.

So we...”
“Yes Ferd?”
“Just let me think....”

“Ok you can still hear a bit?”
“I said you can still hear some things?”
“Yes Ferd.”
“Right here’s what we do.”
“If you need to go out, sing.”
“Sing what?”
“I don’t know, sing anything.”
“How’s it go?”
“Ok sing raindrops, RE: FALLING ON MY HEAD.”
“Not anything? Well that’s good really ‘cos I don’t know the words.”
“Ok, that’s the hygiene taken care of. If you want to eat...”

“Ok what I’ll do is wave food under your nose then you can follow me to the kitchen.”
“I’ll put the tip of my tail near your nose and you follow it when I wave it to the left it means you have to jump down, to the right jump up.”
“Ferd, if Susan find’s out she’ll kill me.”
“She’s not going to find out.”
“Ferd you’re not always here.”
“Dolly will help.”
“Dolly is under that snobby stripey exterior a sensitive caring individual."

“Yes Ferd?”
“Trust me.”
“I do. Ferd.”
“We’ll get this sorted. You have my word.”

Ferdinand: Lying to a good friend.