* Remember kids, Santa might only be a figment of your over-excited imagination but even figments have limits on the number of mince pies that they can eat. Billions of houses and billions of mince pies………. it was only ever going to end in one of two ways. Either the large chunder-blunder or some fat guy in a red suit stuck in your chimney until he loses enough weight to slide on out of there.
** I certainly don’t remember asking for the complete works of Val Doonican, including the very rare country and western and reggae remix versions…….although I might have asked for a subscription to “Learning to model with earwax, toe jam and bogies”
Mrs B and I appreciate that we are very lucky. While the BlackLOG often seems to portray a “back against the wall” mentality, with nothing ever going right for us, in general, this is pretty much tongue in cheek as I know that most of you only read blogs to see a bit of hardship and suffering. The reality is we have a pretty good life but where is the fun in reading about that?
So why was it such a bad week? Well:-
Wednesday - Dead cats walking
McG has been under the weather for a couple of weeks now. He’s been off his food (possibly because his teeth are hurting him) and has been more subdued than normal (he’s always been quite a laid-back boy - lazy’s a bit harsh but not far off the truth). Then he started having a few “accidents” around the house. I’m ashamed to say that my initial reaction was to get annoyed with him and lock him outside. I gave that up though when he managed to sneak back in through the cat flap just as Mischief was going out through it, leaving just her locked outside. So much for lockable cat flaps.
I decided to bring forward the cats’ bi-annual check up at the Vets. It turns out McG has lost an awful lot of weight since his last check-up in June (not that he didn’t have a lot to lose and not that we hadn’t noticed) but losing that much weight in such a short time is not a good sign in an aging cat (he’s 15). The Vet then told me he also has a growth on his back and implied there was nothing she could do. She even hinted that I should bring him back in a few weeks time when his suffering becomes too much….I was stunned - it was all happening so quickly. I appreciate he’s no kitten but even so……
Then the Vet turned her attention to Mischief, who has been fine and was just in for her flea and flu booster injections. Apparently she too is also losing weight and has developed a heart murmur. According to the Vet, she is not in much better shape than McG….I went from stunned to devastated in an instant - we weren’t ready to lose McG let alone Mischief as well…..
To round off Wednesday, I failed to get Paul McCartney tickets, which went on sale 10 minutes after I got back from the Vets. I was in no state to deal with anything and by the time I was the tickets were long gone – they had sold out within seconds.
Friday – Sometimes things are just not meant to be
With all the cats’ woes we really needed something to cheer us up and on Friday we had a gig to go to. I had been looking forward to seeing the Pigeon Detectives live for ages but they had disappeared off the scene….So about six months ago when I saw they were playing a joint concert with James I snapped up the tickets. A couple of months later it changed to a concert with just James and special guest “the Pigeon Detectives”. Finally, when the tickets arrived it just said James – no mention of the PDs or any other special guests or support. I did a bit of research and established that the PDs were still on the bill. In my view James are OK but not a band I would travel halfway across London to see. With this bit of good news in hand we set off on our planned 1 hour and 15 minutes journey.
An hour and a half later we were five miles from our destination and in the middle of the Rotherhithe Tunnel.
A further half an hour later we were still in the Rotherhithe Tunnel (this is not a long tunnel, a dead sloth could make it through quicker then we did). Not sure why but the road we were aiming for had been closed by the police and as it is one of the main routes through South London the roads all around were in total chaos…..
We arrived at 8:15pm, over an hour since the doors had opened and more than three hours since we had set off from home. I was not a happy bunny but figured that the PDs would play until at least 8:30pm so we would catch the end of the performance…………only there was still a massive queue to get in to the venue – WTF?
We hit the auditorium just as the PDs played literally the last chords of their final song and all we saw of them was the backs of their heels as they exited stage left….Aaaarrrggghhh!!!!!
Oh well, as we were now there we thought we might as well try to enjoy James…..
Half an hour into the set and we were heading for depression city. It was the dullest concert we had been to since REM failed to rock our socks off.
We were just about to leave when they played something we had vaguely heard before and which had a bit more life to it than the funereal type dirge they had been playing. So, at last, the concert was taking off….only it didn’t. They dropped back into hyper-dull mode and after another half an hour (and with Mrs B heading into a catatonic state) we left. Turned out the bar-stewards had tricked us in an attempt to try and keep us at the gig. We weren’t falling for it again.
To round off a truly excruciating evening I also managed to lose a pair of Oakley sun-glasses which fell out of my jacket pocket while I was at the gig (like me, they probably couldn’t take anymore of James) Certainly a night to forget.
Whoever says bad luck comes in threes was either wrong or lying through their back teeth.
To console myself I switched on our V-box to watch a programme I had recorded. With the week we were having it came as no surprise that the box had become corrupted and was no longer working. Everything that had been recorded was lost.
To end on some positive notes:
In an attempt to make their remaining days as comfortable as possible we have changed their diet completely. We had been feeding them on Hills Science diet (dry kibble) as recommended by the Vet since they were kittens. A bit of somewhat belated investigation on the internet, however, showed that a purely dry food diet is not all that it is cracked up to be and can, in fact, lead to the sort of health problems that our cats now appear to be suffering from. They are now both on a high-quality wet food diet. (The supermarket stocked brands are cheap because they don’t use good quality meat or fish and they pad out the food with vegetables, rice, corn and other rubbish.) Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat, there is no such thing as a vegetarian cat, or certainly not a long lived one…..
I also discovered that when cats get stressed they are more likely to have “accidents”, so telling McG off and shutting him outside was creating a spiral of accidents. A few more pieces of the jigsaw fell into place when we learned that McG is being bullied by another cat and so is sometimes scared to go outside. A litter tray seems to have resolved this problem.
I also suspect that Mischief being manhandled by the vet probably caused the irregular heart beat – if I had been monitoring for stress when the Vet gave me the bad news about both of the cats my stress levels would have been off the scale and when I received the fairly hefty bill I suspect my heart probably missed a few beats….
Within a few days of the new diet and a less stressful environment, both cats seem to be reviving. Fingers crossed we can get a bit more mileage out of them.
As for the Vet, prepared to write our little fuzzy buddies off without even trying – in TV speak:
You’re the weakest Link….goodbye
– It’s obviously time to find a new Vet….
Virgin Media turned up the next day and replaced the box. We might have lost months worth of programs but at least we are in a great position to record almost the whole of Christmas…..
I received an email saying a few tickets had been held back and were going on sale in an hour. I hit the internet at the designated time and managed to bag a couple. I may live to regret this as the snow is closing in for the weekend and I’m not sure I could face another tortuous journey only to find we don’t make it…..Plus poor old Mrs B now faces seeing Paul McCartney on Saturday night and Shakira on Monday night. It’s going to be a busy couple of days. The last time I had such a hectic run of gigs ended in a complete disaster.
Monitoring our way to a fortune (or not) with our Solar Panels
KW Produced so far - 95
This has earned us approximately – £40.35 so far
A slight improvement on last week with 20kw despite the snow and clouds
A record of the week
Don't Know How To Say Goodbye by The Pigeon Detectives – representing the shock of getting bad news about not just one but both cats
Seasons In The Sun - by Terry Jacks – A fairly sentimental song but it was exactly how I felt as I left the Vets, almost like it was all over. Just glad I decided not to give up
This Is An Emergency by The Pigeon Detectives – only we didn’t have any blue flashing lights to help get us through the traffic
Not the best pictures at the James gig, The Beast did not make it in. I was not really in the mood to be honest....
I will try and get a Blog out before Christmas, if not have a good one....Wish us luck with the cats and for making it to Paul McCartney on Saturday and Shakira on Monday.