Thursday, 28 April 2016

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I woke on wednesday morning to warmth on my back and face.   the first was soft, furry and purring, the second was.... SUNSHINE !!!   rejoice oh my soul it's spring, pack away the winter woollies, discard the leg warmers, shake out the shorts, plant the pansies.... then i extended a leg from under the duvet, oh my goodness it was cold.

A typical April day followed.   between 6.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. we had sunshine, rain, hail, more sunshine, wind and snow.... SNOW !!   the central heating and my cardigan have been dancing the foxtrot, slow-slow-quick-quick-slow, on-on-off-off-on, and the poor cat can't decide if he wants in-in-out-out-in.
My mother used to say i should have been named April as i was "changeable as the weather."    we sanguine's flit from one enthusiasm to another, endowing every new experience with one hundred percent commitment, dedicating our total attention to it.... until the next new interesting thing crosses our path and off we go in an entirely different direction equally dedicated, equally committed.   it must be infuriating for those who have to share the universe with such flighty, butterfly brained beings who know a little about a lot but become good at nothing, full of useless information that we can't resist randomly throwing into conversations.  what's that old saying "Jack of all trades but master of none" ?

As we travel this adventure called life the only constant we can guarantee is that we change.   when i think of the many iterations of the jeni universe it feels as though a succession of personalities decided to take up residence in this body and live vicariously through my consciousness, sharing headspace for a while then moving on when a new inhabitant gazumped the tenancy.     looking back some of these tenants feel like total strangers to me and, to be honest, there are one or two i intensely dislike and am mightily relieved they didn't decide to stay as house guests permanently.

Of course if you exchange the word changeability for adaptability a negative trait becomes a survival mechanism,  an evolutionary advantage.   as Darwin didn't say but should have, apparently it's one of the internet's most widespread misattributions....

           "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most                                intelligent.  it is the one most adaptable to change."  

That's ok then.... i'll live till i'm a hundred !!!


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Mightily Moulting Moggie

A sign... !!!  I've received a sign that it's definitely spring.  

No... not the nodding daffodils, though they are always a most welcome sight at the end of the Deep Dark.   not the surprising number of bees busily buzzing amongst the heather edging my path... is it my imagination or are they early this year, and BIG ?  neither the bright mornings heralded by the  song of the dawn chorus, nor the late dusk prompting almost daily alterations to the timer on my fairy lights.   none of these usual cheerful harbingers are definitive in the jeni universe, for me it all comes down to  H A I R !!!

It would be unfair to lay all responsibility at the feet of Mister Cat but he does like to share his sheddings.... on the sofa, on the bed, on chairs, on my clothes, my quilt, the stairs, floor, everywhere his little body touches actually.    as he moves a cloud of loose hair creates a mobile halo worthy of the most holy saint, floating around him in his very own hirsute miasma.   a long haired cat may look beautiful but trust me, an unpredictable, ex-feral, long haired cat with a propensity for the occasional supping of human blood isn't a candidate for grooming.   

Before suggesting perseverance, or telling me tales of a rescue cat you heard of that loved his tummy vacuumed understand that this beast has a towering personality deficit.   he's a Norwegian Forest Cat and they are genetically closer to their wild brethren than our beloved, placid, British Shorthair.  if you add to that his early months of living wild in the inner city lanes of Newcastle where he was persecuted and tormented by the bully boys of Geordie Land, well.... you end up with a creature that has a thin layer of civility and a deep chasm of animosity.

Having laid the blame for my hairy dilemma firmly at the feet of one who has plenty of vitriol but no voice i feel compelled to confess that i'm not off the hook in the saga of the moult.

This terrifying incident occurred in the middle one of THOSE nights when sleep is a distant dream despite all the cocoa, reading, music, toast, and deep breathing relaxation exercises... isn't that an oxymoron? 

Mumbling and stumbling bleary eyed towards the kitchen in the soft glow of a low light a nightmare incarnate loomed out of the shadows.   the size of a half grown wolf it had yellow fangs dripping venom, eyes that glowed kryptonite green emanating a millennia of malice, eight legs the thickness of ancient redwood, its agenda being tasty human for a late supper was beyond any doubt.   the palpitations and sweats that accompany a sleepless night are usually precipitated by the fear of a future as a disabled adult in a land governed by a party that despises the sick and the poor with an ideological zeal.   better a quick end in the jaws of this monster than a long slow descent into poverty, hunger and cold at their hands ?   a vision of my much loved children and granddaughters spurred me to action, drawing my Valerian Steel sword i smote the creature and rent it asunder, sulphurous brimstone filled the air as my armoured and spurred boot dealt the death blow.
Yeah right !!!  panic averted.   giant spider squashed.   until a closer inspection in the full glare of morning  revealed not arachnoid but a clump of my hair, probably discarded from a morning's combing.   foolish felt i !!!

Of course, there are winners in every negative and in this tale it's the birds .   wherever i've lived with Mister Cat the local Rightmove have increased their supply of "des res" nests.   every day a handful of fluff, fur, hair and feathers from the mattress topper get tucked into the ears of a log reindeer left over from Christmas and every evening it will have disappeared, garnered by grateful blue tits and sparrows, sometimes flying off with beaks stuffed full to overflowing weighing them down and creating blind spots in their rear view mirrors.   once when, i lived on Lindisfarne, i found a discarded nest that was 99% Mister Cat 1% twig.   obviously the childhood home of a privileged, Eton bound baby bird of the upper orders.   

So, as i diligently run yet another lint roller over hairy clothes i comfort myself with the knowledge that our feathered friends may never win the war between feline and avian but in the spring, at least, they definitely gain from the battle of the moult.