It’s been a funny old week. Involving deaf cats and various missions under the cover of darkness – SAS stylee by yours truly.
Mission one: (Please begin to play the theme tune from “Mission Impossible” in your head. I’m not techno enough to get it to play on here.)
It’s the middle of the night. A lone figure slips between the shadowy depths of the sleeping house, slowly pushes back the door of the nursery, and crawls stealthily inside. The figure is fully equipped: torch-light clamped tightly between teeth and blade in hand that flashes in the shafts of moonlight seeping in between the curtains. This lone figure; this warrior of the night surreptitiously sidles up beside the cot bed and composes herself for the task in hand. She breaths deeply, rolls her shoulders and correctly positions the flexible head of the torch, still clamped tightly between her teeth. The child stirs – but does not wake. The night warrior slowly lifts the flash of silver in her hand, and carefully swivels round the handle so the nail cutters are ready. By crouching down, reaching through the bars of the cot and taking the toddler’s hand with apprehension akin to that of a bomb disposal expert, the task was gingerly completed. Sweat was wiped away, nail clippers trembled in fear of waking the her, and husband worried that wife had finally lost the plot. But most importantly . . . I TRIMMED GRACES NAILS!
HA HA HA!
NO MORE SCRATCHES FOR ME! That is until we got Winnie Little. Bear with . . . I shall explain . .
(You can press stop on the mission impossible tune by the way.)
We’d been trying to get rid of our old sofa for a while now but couldn’t even give it away. The charity van I called to pick it up wouldn’t take it – we must be really quite scummy. Eventually, sick of the sight of it cluttering up the far end of the living room, we decided to strip off the cushions and take them to the local animal rescue place, then take the rest to the tip. (NB – any old duvets? Cushions? Blankets or jumpers? Take them to your local animal shelter. That’s my do-goody bit over.)
So Stu drops me off at the shelter with the cushions and says he’ll pick me up again in a couple of minutes after he’s nipped to the garage. I help the volunteer carry the cushions through and have a look round while I wait for Stu and Grace. To cut a long story short, he and Grace arrive back at the shelter to pick me up, and find me cuddling a cat. Stu’s face adopts a weary look of resignation. He knows. That cat is coming home with us.
Winnie the cat had been very badly treated. She is brain-damaged which manifests itself in extreme affection. She is fully deaf, which means she has to stay inside and needs extra care with some things, but this also means that she isn’t spooked by Grace’s extreme excited screaming. She is teeny tiny, great with the dogs, playful with Grace who adores her, and very VERY cuddly. She has fitted in straight away and I honestly believe it was meant to be.
However – we lost her last night. It was horrible. We looked everywhere. We upturned the house. Not being able to shout her or rattle food boxes to temp her out as she wouldn’t have heard it, Stu and I resorted to stamping around the house like a couple of special needs River Dancers and banging on cupboard doors. When panick really set in, we scoured the streets in our pajamas with the help of some extremely lovely neighbours who also kept a look out and let us borrow a torch.
Mission Two: (Feel free to mentally press ‘play’ again.)
We crept around shining the torch under cars, peering into bushes and running away quickly when neighbours put house lights on because we were prowling in their gardens. I eventually went back home utterly deflated, as I didn’t want to go too far from the sleeping Grace. Stu carried on searching further afield.
I sat on the stairs and cried and cried. Three days we’d had her, that’s all. She was so tiny and defenceless. (At this point you can swop the Mission Impossible music for “Time to Say Goodbye” or another appropriately sad song.)
In all seriousness though, Deaf cats don’t last long on the streets, they can’t hear the traffic. A deaf cat with brain damage and no common sense whatsoever is even more at risk. It was really cold outside. Winnie trotted past me on the stairs and I grabbed her for a comforting cuddle.
. . . hang on . . .
WHERE THE F*** HAVE YOU BEEN???