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Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

There was a hilarious tweet recently that started me on a trip along that leafy memory lane. Someone posted “Our neighbour just put their house up for sale, couldn’t resist a snoop on Zoopla ………. that’s our bloody cat!” There quite unashamedly stretched across the purple bedspread was a very contented fluffy ginger cat. The comments had for more amusement as people across the globe were sharing ‘tails’ of having visitors. So if you’re in need of calm amusement, pop over to Twitter and search #NotMyCat.

Here’s my story.

Back in 2017 I kept my green recycling wheelie bin at the back door so I could easily lift the lid and deposit my green credentials. When Big Sis and I were cleaning house ready for BFF’s visit, Big Sis grabbed the recycling with all intent but as she entered the kitchen said “Can’t put the recycling out, there’s a cat on the bin”.

Now ‘cat’ was no stranger, he was often seen prowling around the gardens, giving cars meticulous inspections and had played with a leaf atop my sisters estate car. He had decided this was his manor and he was security. Postie became a friend to go to for a quick head scratch, bin men were glared at from a distance, window cleaner and gardeners were avoided, a suitable snooze spot in the sun found. He often featured in estate agent exterior photos.

If my front door was wide open he would cautiously approach but not venture over the threshold. His neck would stretch further and further with curiosity but his back paws remained firmly on the door step. Until one day during BFF’s visit the ultimate, irresistible inducement to be courageous was offered – sandwich ham. My fate was sealed.

After BFF had left for home, Big Sis and I were sitting in my lounge when a faint sound could be heard, just slightly, we looked at each other and chuckled. She got up and opened the front door and in sauntered Mickey, on patrol but fussing.

On BFF’s next visit (can you sense a theme here) the bedroom window was opened for air and in the wee hours a voice remarked “Oh it’s you” as a lump walked up BFF and snuggled down for a snooze. A visit to the High Street pet shop resulted in a couple of cat toys and some nip. Somehow while grocery shopping some Dreamies or Felix treat bags sort of accidentally fell in, followed by a box of pouches (well he is a large lad). He confidently strides through an open door or window, has head scritches, chin tickles, back strokes, decides whether he is going to sleep on the wooden chair, desk chair, armchair, sofa or me. Gives me the “Do you mind!” expression if I move a muscle, lightly perpetrates my thigh with his generous acupuncture treatments.

With CoVid delaying BFF’s first visit last year she was concerned that Mooch might have forgotten her (ha! As if). She arrived mid afternoon, front window was opened slightly for air and suddenly this white blob attempted to jump in the narrow gap because he had heard her voice. You could see the joy in his face at having her back again. I’ve told him, June, just 66 days, she’ll be back.

Fur forward four years and “Mickey” (because his black ears reminded me of Mickey Mouse, should have called him Oliver) still sits on the bin, sunning himself, supervising any kitchen goings on, also gently rests front paw on the door handle as a subtle hint.

A carer had a sporty car with a straight exhaust and he’d inspect the car every time, warm his paws on the bonnet, or glare at her when she came in and disturbed his snooze. He is currently working his charm on my other carers. Just last week while I was parked on the porcelain throne Carer was in the kitchen preparing my dinner when she declared “I can’t stand it”. She strode to my lounge and returned to the kitchen and I heard “Here, stop starring at me”, treats were popped on the bin to appease her guilt.

This very morning as I was wriggling into position on my bed, Carer opened the kitchen door and declared “Ohhhh, hello beautiful, do you want in?”….. I think I need to check my care plan, I don’t think it says ‘Look after cat first’.

But, well, he is handsome and charming and……..

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2021 in General, Pets

 

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Shouting At Burglars

During the course of conversation I recalled an anecdote which had my carer laughing. Hopefully it will bring a chuckle to your chops too.

When I was about thirteen or fourteen there was an incident. When I lived with my parents we were in a very rural village, lots of woodland and open marshland. In the early hours of a morning my Dad was woken by a sound, thud-thud-thud, reasonably rhythmic in nature. He asked my mum who sleepily thought it was the pile drivers across the marshes, but not that early in the day, unsettled he got up to investigate. I had a pet rabbit Rv who as soon as he heard people movement would thump his back legs against the back of his hutch wanting out into the enclosed courtyard. Rv’s hutch was against the wall of the garage, beside the window of the workshop area and opposite the kitchen window and door, Dad thought it was Rv getting his Thumper action on. So he unlocked the kitchen door and shouted across the courtyard to Rv “Shut up, you noisy bugger!” As he crossed the hallway he noticed that the garage side door was ajar, which was extremely unusual, it was then a penny dropped. Dad went back upstairs to get dressed and when he went to the garage there every yard or so was a hessian sack each with the contents of our big chest freezer, the rhythmic thud being the closing of the heavy freezer lid (it didn’t stay up). As shocking and upsetting as the event was at the time, we couldn’t help but wonder what said burglar thought was going on when he heard a deep voice declaring “Shut up, you noisy bugger!”.

Fast forward about seven years, I was home alone, Mum and Dad were away visiting old friends. At the same time the flat roof of the garage was being replaced. By the end of day one the roof had been stripped back to its rafters and the new boards just laid on top. As I was about to get ready for bed I opened the front door to call the cat in “Kevin! Kee-viiin, move your backside“, as I stopped to see if the ginger and white blob was approaching I heard distinct foot steps on wood echo through the garage. Yikes!! I locked myself in and immediately rang the police. The culprit was caught trying to break in elsewhere. Yet again I can only imagine the shock the fellow must have felt as all of a sudden someone is bellowing a name, telling him to move his backside.

Hee hee…

 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2021 in Life, people, Pets

 

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Now listen here 2021!

How has it been for you so far?? Really! Well I say…..

Me? Well let’s see, it’s frigging freezing and I’ve that niggling nasal drip making the throat feel suspect, is it a head cold wanting to brew or just changing temperatures doing their thing or something far more suspicious. After a zoomy chat with a hospital consultant, letters are being sent as no one from my GP Surgery has contacted me about the requested pneumonia vaccination and to remind them I’m highly vulnerable and need a home visit for any jabs. Grocery delivery slots are getting snapped as quick as they are released, good job I’m still eligible for the eight hour priority slots. Several of the carers with the agency I use and likely ones I see have tested positive for CoVid and today my front door has decided no one shall pass.

It decided to be sticky of a morning and we put it down to the colder than a witches tit night temperatures, as it wasn’t a problem during the rest of the day. This morning my beefy stout carer semi hurled herself at it so I messaged my awesome superhero Neph thinking it might just need some WD40 and a stern talking to. Neph rocks up in a shortsleeved tee shirt (I’m sure he’s part polar bear) and when I suggested he lock the door and feel how it’s sticking, did so and it stucked stuck.

Not very does often he get a perplexed expression on his face but as he fedangled the lock, huffed the handle mechanism, brute yanked the door, perplexion indeed crossed his face. “hmm, I don’t think it’s the mushroom, more like the bolt not lifting in the spag at the middle”. Well I think that’s what he said, it all sounded a bit wigwam for a ducks bridle to me.

Now I’m not saying that Facebook can predict the future but across the past few weeks there was been an ad appearing for “Panes In The Glass” a local small business advertising window repairs, hinge greasing, lock maintenance etc, I read their reviews and recognised the van so they’ve been to my area before. It’s getting late on a Saturday afternoon so thought, mentally prepare to leave a message which I did and within two minutes he called back and after spouting forth about spags and mushrooms he thought “it might be the gearbox” (don’t you just love the variety of technical language). After a discussion about what is likely involved and how things will go, weather permitting and if Murphy can keep his law to himself, on Monday a very nice man is going to try and fix it.

Now let’s hope the carers due across the next couple of days get the message to use the back door. 🤞

We haven’t even reached double digit January yet and already 2021 is being a 🤬. Although I did managed to get a surprise treat to BFF, some strictly not birthday flowers some just because flowers (it’s her birthday in a couple of days and she told me to only send a card). And a special kitty cat in Switzerland sent me some new year wishes 😸.

Sure hope I get a fantastic prize after passing all these tests.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2021 in Life, people

 

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As ancient as…

You that feeling when……. you are watching a black & white movie (Carry On Regardless, 1961) and your carer arrives asks what you’re watching and questions “So when did colour tv start?”

I explained that there were colour films shown in cinemas before there was colour tv because colour over black & white was hideously expensive to make. I thought that colour tv was introduced around the late 1960’s (turns out it was a Wimbledon final 1967 on BBC2) before becoming mainstream in early 1970’s.

This branched on to the fact there were (and still are) tv licenses for either a colour tv or a black & white one, this notion seemed quite startling, along with that many homes did not have a colour TV set until the mid/end of the 1970’s.

When I went on to remark that I remember as a child being told to change the channel because there were no remotes, and there were only three channels broadcasting at set times of the day (kids tv about 3pm til shutdown 11pm), and that at close down the BBC would play the National Anthem – well my carer’s jaw dropped to the floor.

When I said channel 4 didn’t start until 1982 and Sky started 1989 she remarked that she found it hard to believe these things happened not that long before she was born (1998).

Talk about feeling ancient!!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2020 in General, Life

 

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My Bubble Done Burst

My bubble just burst and BFF has left to return home. You see she had planned to come visit as soon as she got home from her June/July visit and again as her travel date approached there were changes with Covid rules that threw everything in the air. Anyway, it was decided that her visit would indeed be classed as ‘essential’ because she’d be my primary sole care provider, leaving the hovel only to get food. So our plans went ahead ……. a few minutes ago her taxi turned the corner and she’s setting back for home.

We always have fun, eat foods we don’t usually eat, watch films and documentaries, play games, talk, laugh, cry, discuss, entertain and be entertained my Signor NotMyCat, go to bed late, lay in even later. A few chores get done and of course online shopping for those thought-about-semi-essential items. I became designated yarn unwinder as she crocheted a ripple blanket, this time breaking her speed record (I’m claiming credit for it). But all too soon it comes to a close, and I am eternally grateful to BFF’s hubby for letting her come for the extended pj-party.

Our viewing list is quite extensive when seen altogether.

  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • The Crown (series 4)
  • Making A Murderer (both seasons)
  • Joe Exotic The Tiger King
  • Secret Love (Netflix documentary)
  • Stepmom
  • Johnny English
  • Johnny English Returns
  • Johnny English Strikes Back
  • Mr Holland’s Opus
  • Extremely Loud Incredibly Close
  • Forrest Gump
  • Sweethome Alabama
  • Atonement
  • My Big Fat Greek wedding
  • Bridge of Spies
  • October Skies
  • Little Man Tate
  • Most Hated Woman in America
  • Twenty Feet From Stardom
  • As Good As It Gets
  • Ruth & Alex

I cannot begin to fathom the intelligence of Joe Exotic and the Making A Murderer documentaries, it certainly made for conversation and the Making A Murderer became compelling viewing as we waited for the next twist and turn to the fates of the family members. If you’ve got twenty hours spare I’d recommend it, it will boggle and bewilder beyond sanity.

Soooo, yeah, back to my usual with a bump…..

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2020 in Films, Life, people, Projects

 

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Sensible or Sinister

I know I have to move home, but where to go and how to go about it, is a big scary slathering barking hell hound. Going from financial and roof-over-head security to not being so much so. There is a great deal to wrestle with.

Since about week three of lockdown isolation my mind has been racing to an idea, to go through every single item in my hovel and either sell it, donate it or bin it, keeping only a very few considered key items. I really do mean everything, every keepsake, gift, trinket, souvenir, ornament, memento, book, cd, dvd, photo album, crockery, cutlery, glassware, clothing, shoes, costume jewellery, hobby item, stationery item, tool, cuddly, pot, pan and dish. Slim everything down to only the necessary minimum. I have held onto things in order to feel connected to people, places, memories, times when I felt included, involved, almost necessary.

As I cannot move about to fetch things or return things, why keep them, is knowing something is in an inaccessible drawer any different to knowing I once had it. Why hold onto kits, cloths and silks when I’m never going to cross stitch anything again, why keep the pieces I’ve done that are sitting in the drawer, done to fill time. There are things in this abode that haven’t seen the light of day in 5-7-10+ years. There’s a box of vinyl records in the wardrobe that have been there 15-20 years, I don’t even know all the albums that are in there.

But I, myself, cannot do any of that. Someone else will have to lift and fetch and handle. Whether it be taking items to a Post Office to mail, or local refuse/recycling collection centre (7.5 miles away), or charity shops. Someone else will have to fill the recycling big or general waste bin. I might have the idea but others will have the execution.

With my increased deterioration I will need more equipment, power chair, manual chair, shower chair, hoists etc, all which need space to be kept ‘out of the way’.

Is this need a sensible preparation for the future (even maybe getting ones affairs in order, when that times comes), or is it a sign of something relating to mental health triggered by my changing circumstances and the weeks, months, of lockdown.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2020 in Life

 

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The Rot Set In

How are you? How are you managing in these trying of time? Have you started avoiding the news and social media reporting? Are you feeling the need to contact that friend in your phone book you haven’t seen or spoken to in decades? Have you tackled that oft put off job?

Day one-hundred-fifth-something of being at home for me … it feels like the rot has set in, I could twiddle some yarn, I should get to reading that book, I would feel better if I tackled a task or two but ……….. no excuse nor reason, just the arse cannot be bothered. I usually quarantine myself during winter, after all if there’s no need to go out in the yucky weather there’s less chance of catching cold which evolves to chest infections. The pandemic timing extended that, cancelled BFF’s visit and the high jinks we were planning, means an additional three+ months have been added.

I’ve had two letters regarding my health condition and CoVid19, one on behalf of my GP from the Clinical Commissioning Group stating I am “likely to feel unwell”, so that’s reassuring, unwell sounds light, like a hay fever sniffle. But the letter from the Neuromuscular Advisory Unit has said I am at “high risk of serious illness”, that sounds rather worrying, conjures images of tubes and machine beeps. I cannot get out, so I’m not at greater risk and my carers are diligent with their precautions.

I’ve enjoyed the access viewing, things like the Thursday night National Theatre productions being streamed on YouTube, I’d never be able to attend in person, so this opportunity has been relished. I’ve been totally engrossed in all of them, marvelling at the staging, the acting, the imagination, seeing productions I heard of but never seen, like Treasure Island, One Man Two G’vnrs, Frankenstein, Twelfth Night, Jane Ayre, Anthony & Cleopatra, Street Car Named Desire, next week The House. There has been the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Jesus Christ Superstar was outstanding. Various orchestras and musicians have been producing videos of performances, some quarantine themed, changing the words of known songs, some of performing classical pieces without the pomp and ceremony of the venues. Of course the small children or small pets interrupting has been amusing.

When this is over, what will we take away from it? There will always be selfish idiots, there will always be negative attacking media, there will always be unreported acts of kindness.

I sense a general mood change as I watch/listen to the vox poluli… an undertone of resentment and slight anger. Maybe it is the media bias but the consensus seems to be that Joe Ordinary doesn’t want his kids to go back to school but does want the pub to open … people jump in their car and drive to the beach and are shocked and surprised that five hundred or more had the exact same idea … persons in positions of knowledge and authority flout the rules and ignore the old time lead by example ethos.

As the aftermath of WW2 did for Churchill, will the aftermath do for Boris … will any politician or party truly be trusted and reliable in an era of PR and popularity over substance and commitment. Will I get out of my hovel this side of Christmas!!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in General, In The News, Life

 

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Confidence Wanes

I don’t know whether this is an age thing, a result in changed circumstances thing or a lock-down self-isolating thing but I can feel my confidence depleting, especially when interacting with another human.

A couple of things have happened this week that has highlighted this odd sensation. It’s home insurance time, I’ve been a tad lazy the past couple of years and just let it auto renew but I decided to grapple that particular bull and fudge about a couple of comparison sites and a few direct ones. I tapped in the data, took screen grabs of quotes, pondered and perused. When I go a hunting and the quote is considerably less I fine tooth comb because I must have forgotten or undervalued something, but no, the quotes were a lot lot less.

So after pondering some more and returning fresh eyed the next day I decided, okay time is up, I’m switching ……. then the stomach knotted and the throat clenched. That means telephoning the current provider to cancel. They’re going to question me, persuade me to stay, re-quote, make me doubt my decision, so with trepidation I dialled and was surprised that the chap was very pleasant, took me at my word, cancelled the renewal no quibble and wished me well! My fear was for nought.

Then it became necessary to bring to light something with my care agency. It involved the actions of a particular carer (don’t fret, it was not to my person, I am 100% well looked after). I knew I had to bring something to light but felt an incredible sense of responsibility, along side feelings of snitching, what I say could have a consequence to this person. Although justified, and necessary, it stuck in my throat (don’t worry folks, BFF put me in my place with love and a telling off, lol). I bit the bullet and emailed the office and the manager telephoned me and listened, letting me fully explain in my calm mannered way. I also said how I felt about talking like that and she understood my point of view, but also appreciated me telling what had happened. The matter is resolved and while I pang if I think too much, it was right and necessary to do so.

I can feel the dread rising when I think about having to telephone the dentist, or rearrange a hospital appointment (when we are through the pandemic situ). It’s not the same as reluctantly having to do something unpleasant, it is having to interact with another human and almost fretting over the curve ball they may lob.

I never used to be this way, I had reliable competence and ability.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Life, people

 

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X-rating Review

I’ve been ‘selectively chosen’ to complete a service user questionnaire…. hmmmm, not sure if it is wise of them, or me. I have issues.

To begin with, I am not impressed with the quality of this questionnaire (pictured above), I didn’t need a hidden words game in trying to read the darn thing. Whilst they did provide a stamped addressed envelope, the covering letter failed to give a deadline, so can I give it a week or a month to ponder over.

It is difficult to ‘grade’ competency when over the past five-six months I have had at least thirty different people visit me, some excellent and others not so good. Some I saw once and never again, some are my infrequent regulars, some are my oftens and a handful are my always. Wouldn’t it have been better to say “For the week x to y, how did we do?”

Grading is so subjective, after all two people could receive the exact same service yet one grade it as average and another as very good. How does this highlight areas that need attention. Hmm, maybe I’ll add an anonymous letter suggesting that maybe sending out ten or twenty of these a month asking how they did the week prior, would give a better overview across, say a six month period.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2020 in Life, people, Review

 

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Death and his paperwork

Alright, so you’ve made your will, had the conversation about whether to be cremated, buried, frozen, shot into space or stuffed and mounted, you think you’re done, prepared, sorted – you are so very very wrong.

The bureaucracy following the death of BigSis highlighted how things have changed since the death of our parents. As things move more online, there are many changes and additional consequences to systems, procedures and ownerships. Back in the days of pen and paper, even slate and chalk, a bank would use common sense when trying to access or move funds and things could happen within a couple of days, nowadays accounts are frozen, details need to be verified, confirmed and copied for the deceased, as well as the recipient. Don’t expect it to happen in anything less than two to three weeks.

It’s time for me to get my affairs in order, make sure that access and answers are at hand. My brain is racing away, with detached sentimentality, desperate to go through cupboards, draws and boxes to get rid of all my accumulated bits and bobs, to get stuff sold via the relevant specialist, online sites or charity shops, there are even pangs of guilt about the items destined for the trash, those items that are unsellable, unrecyclable, just junk. But the body has neither the strength or mobility to do it.

The old noggin is even wondering whether it is possible to bequest my Amazon purchases, like you can physical purchases. If your partner is the named Amazon account, when they depart, so will the access to everything they have digitally bought/subscribe. Accessing their account is technically fraudulent, even if you know the details and have permission, after they’ve died. More and more our utility bills, credit cards and banking is done online, and unless details are written down and kept somewhere safe, your executor will have zero clue where to find your funds, the same with utility bills and income sources. So much was more straightforward when you had a statement or bill through the post to act as reference, with its account numbers and names all there.

Fortunately I don’t drive, again online access means that now once a driving license is cancelled, so is the road tax and ownership papers attached to that persons details, so if you share a car with your partner, that’ll be an urgent call to the DVLA needed.

As a super single there will be bills and the need for funds before probate and such is all sorted, so I am considering opening a separate account with another named party so access to urgent funds can be managed.

Maybe it is morbid but it is a necessary conversation. After all, your nearest and dearest deserve to have things run as smooth as possible, rather than add to the stress and distress.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2020 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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