Two Christmases ago the ginger
tabby fell off the garage roof.
Long expensive veterinary
treatment gave him a little
movement in back legs and
tail but not enough to walk.
His family supported him all they
could, responding to plaintive meows,
carrying him to food bowls, outside
for toilet, inside putting on premature
baby nappies, cleaning him up, putting
him in his low to the floor bed.
But the ginger tabby was still young,
wanting to be active, so the family’s
Dad went to colleagues at the city’s
Polytechnic Institute’s technical
department, requested wheels for the
for the crippled feline, a mobility scooter.
Now when his watchful family are
at home he whizzes around house
and garden, meows loudly at their
feet when ready to sleep in his
floor level well padded basket.
He enjoys human contact, allows his
humans to handle and help him.
His black house mate, a driven hunter,
would never allow this handling.
The black and white cat has a large
territory which he roams throughout
the day according to his mood, the
weather, temperatures, time of day.
In the afternoons the living room is
sunny, the couch is cosily warm in
fact even warmer if little brother
has left the fleecy lined cat bed
there up against the cushions.
However his garden gives much
more variety. He has nests in long
grass in the sun, in the ivy and
wandering jew under trees, long grass
and weeds under the deck, under the
house, where he sleeps curled up.
Under the hedge along the long
driveway, interesting scents and
twitching in weeds and grasses
hold his attention at length.
On sunny days he stretches out
baking in the sun, blocking the
driveway, moving slowly, reluctantly
when Dad’s tradesman’s van comes
home between jobs to drop off
pick up supplies, equipment.
The van crawls slowly behind him
for luckily Dad is a cat lover.
What a pampered existence.
As the eight year old organises
her books, stickers, pencils
rubber at the dining table for
after school maths, reading, origami,
a loud yell erupts from the dining
room as one bad cat jumps on to
the table, walks across it scattering
objects spread out for work.
This complete opportunist is
alert for food smells which often
waft from the dining table. Kitchen
smells are delicious too. The black
and white cat at afternoon tea time
starts watching for dinner from his
favourite dining chair by the kitchen
doorway with a view straight
through to the kitchen to his bowls
in the laundry, under the raincoats.
A solid tom cat he can out stare
the eight year old while Mum
is out, while Auntie Jo is in the
depths of the shelves, boxes, toys
filling the playroom, finding a ruler.
As she returns the black and white
cat drops to the floor, flees outside.
“Extra school !” stated the
eight year old emphatically,
finishing her afternoon tea.
True. The only way out of this is
through it. Last year we found
she had eye brain connection
difficulties, poor co-ordination,
balance, poor ball and bat skills.
Some of the many problems all
loaded together under a strange
catch all term – dyslexia.
Those caught up in this maelstrom
of twisted non connected brain
wiring, all have different
twists and connections.
After many years of teaching
Auntie Jo can only guess at the
eight year old’s experiences. The
child can not explain it herself.
She has not experienced these
brain connections working well.
Now she reads well yet still
has nervousness, unease, reading
and writing maths, replies cheekily.
Though doing well she is uncertain.
Auntie Jo powers through the maths
session regardless. On to reading,
the eight year old calms down,
reads well. After half an hour of
“school” they start origami.
She is her usual feisty self again.
“It isn’t fair you have to do it,”
says Aunty Jo. “But we know
how it will be when you grow up.
It would be even less fair for
us not to do extra school.”
Nana has bought a new young
house that will not tax her life
so bedevilled by her weak heart.
She bought it at a hot current
market price now she must sell
her old home at a hot market price.
Mum and Dad help, student job centre
students are called in, all work hard.
Nana works harder than her heart
would like to work. Grandchildren’s
books and toys, extra furniture,
kitchen equipment are all loaded
on to the trailer, put into storage.
Walls are cleaned, ceilings, floors
swept, vacuumed, bathroom and
kitchen scrubbed, furniture,
dusted, polished, placed carefully.
The garden is trimmed, pruned,
weeded, mowed severely.
All in nine days !!
Nana is exhausted already.
She hasn’t even moved house yet.
Nana bought a house !
A huge step for her !
For twenty seven long years
around her present house she
built up her eco friendly garden
though she did little through the
last four years with heart trouble
as her heart problems constantly
stir up myriad other problems.
She has painted, papered over
the years, installed a dark dog
hair friendly carpet. The dog
has since died of old age.
She sees her health problems
will go on, she no longer has the
energy to organise gardeners,
tradesmen maintaining the house.
She seeks a small young house
easily cared for, with a tiny garden.
Dad guides her through this
strange new housing market.
Our little provincial city is
suddenly desirable as our mega
cities house prices soar.
Many people bid for each of
the few houses on the market.
Nana gets lucky, not sure why.
Now she must sell her long time home.
I am going away for several days, and will have little or no time for or access to the internet.
So I will not be writing or posting my writing while I am away. And I will not be viewing or commenting on blogs as usual.
I look forward to reconnecting with you all late next week.
“Mum’s talking again !” said the
nine year old staring at Mum by
the carport talking to Dad’s assistant.
“That’s what you do,” said Auntie
Jo. “You talk to the people you pay
to work for you, you say goodbye
when they go at the end of the day.
“Mum’s always talking,” the nine
year old continued. “She talks to
other parents out the car window
and makes us late for school !”
“It’s good for the school’s parents
to network with each other,”
replied Auntie Jo. “They let each
other know what is happening.”
Previously Mum had told Auntie
Jo she had dropped both girls at
the gate with time to reach their
classrooms before the bell.
The eight year old was marked
as present on time that day.
The nine year old stopped to
complain at her mother. She
was marked as late that day.
Maybe the nine year old’s
children will say the same
about her one day in the future.
Our new neighbours moved into
the front flat over the weekend
with vast quantities of furniture
boxes chattels that had the rest of
us staring. We all had our moving
in horrors with trucks, trailers, boxes,
furniture, carting to and fro.
But this was different again.
Our new neighbours’ truck poured
worldly goods into their front flat
at quite a rate, in large quantities.
Now our driveway settled down,
we thought, but we were wrong.
All afternoon that truck came
down our drive with load after
load after load of chattels to
cram into the garage, squished
together like a rubik’s cube.
After each unloading the garage
roller door was dragged down, held
down until the latch clicked shut.
Over the following week boxes,
plastic bags flowed out their back
door, boxes to and fro between
flat and back garage after
sorting, re-organising, disposing.
On a wet Saturday afternoon
as the rain comes and goes my|
neighbours are still busy along
our driveway through the puddles.
Surely they want to stay dry.
The new neighbours are still
putting possessions into and out
of their garage packed so full
the door can only just be shut.
They trail to and from with boxes.
My friend arrives, leaves her car
in the driveway by my front door
then has to move it out to allow
other neighbours to drive out.
We walk back from the street.
As we walk back we stand aside
to let a brilliant yellow car pass
to reach my neighbour’s doors
to spill out luggage from family
come to stay as rain pours down.
We are an all weather community.