Posted Jul 21, 2014
After work today, I went up to my parents' house and cuddled the cat for twenty minutes or more.
My memories of how we found him are vague. I do remember where it was: a little ball of orange fur under the wall of Charleville Estate, across the road from our house. But I don't remember which of the family found him. It was I who named, him, though. Fancifully, as is my wont. I called him after the Biblical character Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Why not?
Baz was friendly. He liked people. That, I think, was his defining characteristic. When he was a kitten, you could hold him up in the air and he wouldn't stop purring. He liked sitting in laps. And if you picked him up and slung him over your shoulder, he wouldn't object. He liked being petted. He just liked people. During the summer, windows and doors would stand open all day as long as we were home, and Baz knew he was welcome to come and go as he pleased.
My parents were away in Canada recently, and I was in the house to mind the animals. Six ducks needed food and water morning and night. And Baz needed medicine. He had an infection in his cheek, and there was a large wound. It was beginning to clear up, but he still needed an antiseptic cream every morning and a pippette of medicine down his throat morning and night. He didn't like it, of course. No cat would. But he still didn't object. When I dragged him out from under the sofa, he'd resist, holding onto the wooden floorboards as best he could, but he'd never turn on me in any way. When I wrapped him in an old sheet, the better to hold him on my lap as I ministered to his wound and forced the pippette down his throat, I didn't bother wrapping him tightly: I didn't need to. And while he didn't like it, he'd still stay on my lap for a cuddle afterward.
He was improving. The wound on his cheek was beginning to clear up when my parents came home. I'd run out of medicine, and the vet had said that was okay.
Yesterday, my mother sent me a text in which she mentioned "Baz alive, but far from kicking". Then, this morning, that he was dying. So I went up to say goodbye.
He was sitting on his sofa: it's small and not particularly comfortable and sits in an awkward corner and I've never seen anyone else use it. He looked up as I came in. He seemed bright and alert, actually, at first. I crouched on the floor and petted him a bit, then sat down beside him. Before long, he'd curled himself up in my lap. He did seem bedraggled, now I came to look at him better. Patches of fur on tail and legs needed grooming. The wound on his cheek looked worse again. And there was a bit of lassitude to him. But he was as friendly as ever.
I just sat and held him for a long while. I had to go (there was a CoderDojo committee meeting I had to be at), but I didn't want to. Eventually, I gently moved him out of my lap, and he did seem perhaps a bit stiffer than usual, or was that my imagination? And I stroked him one last time, said my goodbyes, and left.
I'll miss him.
“Jabberwocky” in the style of Raymond Chandler (because why not?)
Posted Jan 21, 2014
’Twas brillig. It had been that way all day, and it wasn’t getting any cooler. I had loosened my neck-tie so many times that the knot had worked its way down to my navel. Outside in the street, the first lights had come on and the slithy toves were doing whatever they do in the wabe. Some days they gyre, some days they gimble. It’s no skin off my nose, but I wish they’d make their minds up, then we could all rest easy.
“Jabberwocky” in the style of Raymond Chandler, by Miles Kington.
Random Memory: Shop Street
Posted Jan 15, 2014
I was in Galway, walking up a near-deserted Shop Street in a hurry to catch my train. Suddenly, a massive roar came out of all the pubs. "Ah," I thought to myself, "Katie Taylor's won her gold medal, so."
A bad cold, and the amazing recoperative effect of TUC
Posted Dec 29, 2013
I've had a cold since Friday. I spent most of the weekend in bed. On Saturday evening, I told myself that I really ought to eat something, so I dragged myself up and was astonished at how dizzy I was. I groped my way to the sink, clinging to walls, brushed my teeth, and headed for the kitchen, still feeling groggy. I knew I had some food in the house, including some fresh veg, but I also knew I didn't feel up to cooking anything. Also, I had breakfast cereal, but no milk. (Anyway, I recall hearing that milk makes you more congested when you have a cold, though I don't know whether that's true.)
So I sat down and looked bleary eyed around the kitchen. Ah, TUC crackers. Possibly not the healthiest food, but certainly the easiest. Three crackers later, I was awake and alert, and strode across the room to fetch the bread knife and everything else I needed for assembling cheese sandwiches. I don't know whether it was the salt content, or simply the psychological effect of having eaten *something*, anything, but those three crackers made a massive difference.
The cheese sandwiches probably helped too. I had some weird stuff from Cadbury: Phili cheese with chocolate. I'd bought it out of curiosity. I thought it would be mainly Phili cheese with little grains of chocolate in it. Instead, it was a chocolate spread, which looked like Nutella and tasted similar, though a little less rich. There was no discernible cheese flavour at all. Tasty enough, as these things go, I suppose. Also, I had some rather good sheep cheese from a local farm. (That was through work: we manage their website, and they occasionally give us some produce.)
I ended up finishing the crackers. I still have the cold today, though it's much improved over yesterday. Back to work tomorrow.
The ZTE has arrived
Posted Dec 16, 2013
Yup. I finally have a smartphone. It was a confluence of three events. I was excited by the idea Firefox OS. My existing phone decided it was going to stop charging. My boss wanted me to have a smartphone so I could check how well our websites rendered on one.
For that last reason, the phone was purchased with the company credit card, and has arrived here to the office. My existing phone, and the SIM card, is at home, so I've not actually turned on the ZTE yet. When I do, I'll let you know what I think of it.