sam's 14th birthday - lying on the radiator bed

Friday, 6th February

Billy came in with a bird in his mouth today. Mum was working on her computer when she heard Billy calling out to her with a funny muffly sound to his voice.

Because she was busy, she didn’t realise what the muffly sound meant and she called out to Billy that she was upstairs.

The next moment something called ‘All Hell broke loose’ as Billy came upstairs with a live bird in his mouth. We’ve all been taught not to speak with our mouths full so technically he was trying to behave himself and remember his manners. But as soon as Mum saw the bird in Billy’s mouth, she went beserk. That caused Billy to accidentally open his mouth to explain and the bird flew straight to the window because it could see sky. Unfortunately, the sky was outside the window and the window was closed.

Billy had jumped onto the ottoman with a view to recapturing the bird but Mum had other ideas. Snatching at a tea towel she just happened to have on her desk (amazing coincidence or what!) she carefully caught the bird and wrapped it in the tea towel. She spoke very kindly to it and apologised for Billy catching it. She checked it all over to make sure it wasn’t hurt and gave it a little kiss on its head – much to the bird’s surprise. It’s not everyday you get rescued from the jaws of death only to be kissed on the nut by a beserk woman brandishing a tea towel <looks over shoulder with caution in case the beserk woman in question sees what I’ve written and withholds supper> and then she carefully held it in one hand while she opened the window with the other hand.

Billy, Timmy, Sam and I were on all paw so that if anything went wrong with this plan we would be there to catch the bird <wink>. Even Ricky who hasn’t got any teeth was lurking around a bit in case he could be of assistance. As luck, (good or bad, depending on whose luck it is), would have it, the bird flew out of the open window to safety to a nearby tree, but not before he had done a zillion poos all over the window, the window cill and the curtains. There’s gratitude for you!

Billy got the Finger Wag after that little incident and was told he mustn’t catch any more birds. ‘Yeah, yeah!’ was all he said before going into the other bedroom to escape the inevitable telling off.

Saturday, 14th February

It’s Sam’s 7th birthday today. Mum took some photos of him in the radiator bed and she gave him a catnip mouse to play with. Sam likes running after it and bringing it back to Mum and she has to throw it upstairs, or along the hallway and each time she goes to throw it, he never knows which way she’s going to do it. He makes Mum laugh because he’ll start to run up the stairs in readiness so she’ll throw it along the hallway (which is quite long by the way) or if he starts to run along the hallway, she’ll throw it up the stairs and he has to change direction but he always looks as if he meant to do it that way anyway.

Tuesday, 17th February

ParcelMan brought another mega-H-U-G-E package this morning addressed to Garfield. It’s a birthday present from Mollie in California but Garfield has to wait until his birthday, which is 27th March. He’ll be 18 then but he is already worried about what kind of hat Mum is going to make him wear on the day. I’ve told him that I’ll hide him in one of my secret places that Mum doesn’t know about if she goes a bit over the top in the hat department!

As ParcelMan always arrives quite early in the morning before Mum is dressed, he’s only ever seen her in her dressing gown. If she sees him driving along while she’s walking up the road – he never recognises her because he has never seen her with her clothes on!

Going back to the parcel, though, even Mum hasn’t looked inside it yet – because she wants Garfield to have a wonderful surprise – and she thinks that if she has a look, she might accidentally tell him. 

Tuesday, 24th February

Mum has something called a ‘Stinking Head Cold’ (so I overheard her tell someone on the phone this morning) and spends a lot of time blowing her nose and sneezing.

Garfield, Timmy and I have been looking after her, and sometimes Billy – but he usually messes things up.

What happens is this: Mum gets the quilt and pillow down from her bedroom and lays them out on one of the sofas. When we see this, we get ready because we know what’s coming next so we sit on the other sofa and wait for her. This can take a little time because she needs her ‘bits’ with her. The ‘bits’ consist of a drink of water, a hot drink, a box of tissues, and a book that usually stays on the floor. Then she has to go to the toilet, blow her nose, make sure the back door is locked and then she thinks she is ready.  Sometimes she just gets the quilt opened ready when she decides she’d better go to the toilet again and then she has to blow her nose again. When this happens we usually just fall asleep out of boredom, but as soon as she gets under the quilt, we take our places.

As she lies in a ‘Z’ shape, Garfield lies in the space by her chest, and Timmy lies in the space by her feet behind her legs so I have to lay on top of her down her side with my head by her shoulders. When Billy comes along, he tries to get inside the quilt by pulling it away from Mum’s shoulders – which wakes us all up. For some reason this makes her want to go to the toilet so we all have to get up again.   

Thursday, 26th February

Mum was washing the kitchen floor this morning and I helped, as I like to do. I watched as first of all she wiped this cloth thing over some of the floor, then she used a spongy scratchy thing to go over the bits that wouldn’t come off, and then she used the cloth thing again. Then she’d move on to the next bit of floor. I helped her by overseeing what she was doing so each time she did a new bit of floor, I sat on the bit that she had just washed. It was no trouble at all – I like helping, you know me!  It all seemed a lot of hard work though, so I walked up and down the floor trying to think of a better way that she could do it. Mum’s face was going a dodgy shade of pink and so I thought I’d better go and find Garfield before a ‘Plums and Custard’ moment took place!

Sunday, 29th February

It was freezing cold today and we had some more snow. It didn’t last for very long but I did get worried. I don’t like it as it is cold and wet and hurts my paws. Garfield doesn’t seem to mind it, nor does Ricky or Sam. But Billy, Timmy and me – we stayed indoors last time. Mum heard the lady on the telly saying that we might get some more snow next week. Mum said ‘thank goodness I went out and bought millions of tins of cat food for you guys so that we don’t have to worry about your dinners.’

She’s still not very well and she fell asleep on the sofa in the afternoon. Everyone else was busy doing their Sunday afternoon stuff, so I decided to look after her.  I lay down on the pillow next to her with my paw on her face and we stayed like that for ages. 

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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