Ups and Downs
In the down column:
1. My 102-year-old grandmother suffered a small stroke.
2. The fate of our missing family cat, Tigercat, was discovered. It was not pretty and probably involved a fox. Vale, Tigercat.
3. Gusto, who is an indoor cat, got out and went missing for several hours on a rainy night.
In the up column:
1. My grandmother was released from hospital and is now doing well at home.1. May Blossom slept through the night for the first time.
2. May Blossom slept through the night for the second time.
3. May Blossom slept through the night for the third time.
4. May Blossom slept through the night for the fourth time, having learned to put herself to sleep without the aid of any back-rubbing.
5. H and I went out to dinner with friends, and then to a concert. We sat beside the Harbour and ate a tower of food (top level burgers, second level seafood, third level dumplings and sushi). We were extremely cool about the whole thing and to look at us no-one would have known we don’t do that sort of thing all the time. Except maybe the way we kept squeaking ‘WE’RE OUT!’ at random moments and the way H knocked a glass of champagne over our friend Pearl in his excitement might have been tiny signals to the well-trained observer.
When Pearl noted that we hadn’t lasted five minutes before starting to talk about May Blossom, we assured her that we weren’t talking about our daughter May Blossom. Good heavens no, we were talking about our very cool new friend May Blossom, who is a part-time keyboard player for Radiohead and does a great number of other cool things besides. That’s who were were saying had learned to do forward rolls and say ‘wall’ and ‘kiss’. As if we’d be talking about our baby.
6. May Blossom stayed asleep while we were out, and was no trouble to her grandfather.
7. My little brother came home from New York after a year away and May Blossom fell in love with him. She thinks he and his girlfriend are the cat’s pyjamas.
8. Gusto was found. Right beside the house. I used the corporal cuddling method of discipline to punish her.
9. Inspired by a unbelievably pleasant trip to Ikea on Saturday morning, I made delicious Swedish meatballs for dinner. We let three toddlers eat them with lingonberry jam, which it turns out is just red sugar. Result: a epic game of ‘Boom Crash’, where you run at top speed the length of the apartment and flop onto a pile of quilts.
10. SuperChief showed up one evening with a huge piece of dry aged steak for our dinner. Just for no reason except that he had been to an excellent butcher that day.
On balance, there were more ups than downs, but the downs were pretty big and sad and scary. It was a day before we knew that my grandmother was all right, and call me pessimistic, but I spent much of that day thinking she was a gonner. At 102, it seemed unlikely she would bounce back. Recently she had decided to have her entire apartment redecorated: new upholstery, wallpaper, paint — the works, which is enough to give anyone a stroke, let alone a centenarian. But she is amazing, and she wasn’t going to let decisions about paint colours and fabric swatches carry her off.
The fate of Tigercat is just plain awful. She was a wonderful cat. We were her second family: she moved in after her first family named her Ice-cream and then bought a rottweiler. Good decision, Tigey. I’ll tell you the whole story another time.