When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for the ‘kittens’ Category

…and Friendship with Kittens…

Regarding kitties…thank you La, they are fine. Merlin the kitten is now about seven months old and is a fine physical specimen. He is also a good laugh. When I wake in the morning, around 7.30, he is there, sitting always bolt upright on the corner of the foot of my bed, to greet me. It’s a happy thing to have a soft, warm kitten to stroke and cuddle first thing in the morning.

The situation with my friend that I described in the last post is no longer playing on my mind. I managed to have a talk with her. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say to anyone. I felt I was risking losing her friendship or alienating both of them for good. Sadly it would not have been the first time a friendship had gone down as a result of me speaking my mind.

But all that said I did feel it was something I had to do. And she took it incredibly well. Not, of course, that she was pleased and happy to hear my words of wisdom! More like shocked, upset and angry…which was entirely natural. But she said she would go away and think about it. In a way I must admit I almost did want to shock her, so as to shake her into waking up to what was happening. But I knew I was testing the friendship by saying this stuff, and it was excruciatingly hard for me to take that risk.

Anyway I saw her again yesterday and she was quite normal with me. Which was a huge relief.

Blogging from work. Not a very busy day in the office. OA this evening. Lots of love…Zoe.

Arabic, friends and more kitten talk!

Hi peeps. I’ve been a much happier bunny all round this last week. Life has got its taste back. I have recovered my enthusiasm and excitement about things that I want to do and so forth. Last night I started a course in Beginners’ Arabic, which believe it or not is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while but had thought that it would be too much, the way I was feeling. As my mood was so much better I thought I would try and join, two weeks late notwithstanding. The very nice Somalian/Yemeni teacher was understanding and helpful though and has offered to tutor me up to the others’ level on Saturday mornings. Part of me thinks I’m a little mad to take it on, but provided my mental and physical health holds I should be OK. I have good language learning ability. And I really just wanted to do something that’s both fun and challenging.

Other good things are unfolding in my life. My new friend who lives nearby. We’ve been getting on really well so far. I hesitate to say much about it. I don’t want this friendship to go the way of some others that seemed to start promisingly but kind of fizzled out for one reason and another. I have a tendency to get very enthusiastic at the outset of a friendship (or project) but don’t always have the long-term staying power to see it through. I will say this though. If you asked me to name one thing that I feel would most improve the quality of my life I would probably say ‘more and closer friendships’. It’s one of the regrets of my life that I haven’t been a better and more loyal friend whether through my own faults and flaws or because of circumstances (such as the illness) beyond my control.

Then there is the delight of Merlin the kitten and Amber the older cat. Merlin gave Richard and me a turn on Saturday when he disappeared completely for several hours. We hunted everywhere, combed the neighbourhood and the back alleys, calling and calling. It was getting dark and I had more or less given up hope when I was standing in the kitchen and I saw to my great relief his little black front end coming through the cat flap. The prodigal kitten had returned!

I kept him in for a while after that. Now he is allowed out again, on good behaviour, with a collar with a bell on it on which I have written all our details. He is also microchipped naturally. He so loves to be outdoors and usually I have to say he is sensible though adventurous. Of course he’s neutered too. And I have noticed in the last few days he seems to be bonding with me more. He’s affectionate, likes attention, and sleeps on my bed, where before he shared Amber’s. Basically I adore him. I realised that when he disappeared. I would have been devastated if he had been lost. How fragile our happiness is!

Look how big I am now!

Look how big I am now!

What’s more we had some beautiful idyllic days of Indian summer sunshine. After the damp squib that was August it was most welcome and, nicely for the workers amongst us, it came over the last two weekends.

Take care dear peeps. Love, Zoe.

In a deep blue funk…

Hi peeps. Things are still rough. I came out of the crisis unit after two weeks today. Have not had the heart to blog in all that time. I was grateful for caring people around me. God, I was just grateful to be around people. I realised that living alone when I am depressed exacerbates the condition.

I brought the kitten into the unit for the second part of my stay. I wanted to have him close at hand so I could feed him regularly and keep tabs on him. Plus it was a lot of fun for me and the other clients and the staff! Except that he escaped a couple of times into the massive garden there and was keen to test out his untried climbing skills on the massive shed roof and the big trees! Talk about a cat with nine lives…

I am relieved to be safely back at home with him in one piece. Here he has already mastered the cat flap and enjoys the freedom to go back and forth. So far he is sensible and does not stray far. Amber, the older cat, has a love hate relationship with him but when I brought him back after our time away she sniffed his nose in an almost affectionate way before giving vent to the inevitable ‘ssss’!

They are often to be found stretched out together on the spare bed. They make me smile with their antics and I am important to their existence. That’s well worth the smelly cat litter and nigh on endless trips to the supermarket for their food!

I am getting bored with my voluntary work. I guess it might be time to start looking around for something else. A lot of the time, though, I am just stuck in one gear. Survival gear. Just getting by.

I made a potential new friend in the crisis unit. She lives a few streets away in a similar house to me, has a similar-sounding life (complete with cat) and a lot of the same interests. It’s all good.

Take care peeps. Love, Zoe.

Life goes on.

Hello all. I haven’t been inspired to blog much lately, but feel like I should give you an update. Actually things are pretty good. The new kitten has changed the dynamic chez Zoe. Older cat is more affectionate as she now has competition. And the two of them give me hours of harmless fun…kitten has discovered a one-sided form of what used to be known at my primary school as British Bulldog. While older cat sits sedately (and disapprovingly, like a maiden aunt) on the terrace, kitten streaks up the full length of the garden, past her and into the house. This morning he actually leapt clean over her as she ate her food. If he tries to go past her at a normal pace, she invariably hisses, spits or otherwise tries to bully him.

On the whole they both seem to take the aggro pretty much in their stride. I have to do my bit by making sure I am always around when the two of them are together. And, for instance, shutting the kitten in the lounge at night so that older cat can sleep on my bed, come and go as she pleases, and otherwise continue to enjoy the privileges of seniority undisturbed. What I don’t want is for her to feel her quality of life has decreased as a result of kitten’s presence. In other words, I have to play diplomat and peacemaker.

Having two cats makes the house feel oddly more like a home. When it was just me and older cat, we were often like ships passing in the night. Two independent middle-aged ladies. Aargh what am I saying. Well, forty-six ain’t young, but middle-aged these days seems to be about sixty.

Anyway, I am happy with my little black and white boy.

Tomorrow evening I am going to Moscow State Circus with a friend who has free tickets. It is literally about a five-minute walk from my house, in Alexandra Park. It’s funny to think of all the Russian circus folk living in their caravans and tents a stone’s throw away.

Have made a couple of social arrangements for the bank holiday weekend. I know from experience that if I don’t bank holidays can be a difficult time.

Last weekend I was down at my Mum’s for the day, seeing my brother and nephew. That was pleasant and civilised enough. And amazingly I didn’t even find myself feeling uncomfortably envious of or inferior to my brother. On the contrary. For once I actually started to notice his flaws.

Been reading my son’s school report, which I finally received. Nothing too terrible on there. Behaviour still a challenge. Still ‘could do a lot better’ if he focused more and sought attention less. ‘An intelligent boy’. The P.E. teacher was probably the most glowing. He commented that J needs to be more sensitive to those who know their own weaknesses well enough. Hmm, I have told him that myself. He can be master of the cutting comment, though I would not say he is deliberately cruel, more thoughtless. He also said that J has a good understanding of strategy and tactics in games…absolutely right. The boy loves to win, he always has, and he uses his mind to figure out how to do it. Another teacher said he was lively and likeable, and another that he had made many friends both within and outside his year. All good news.

Am currently engaged in the Databases module of the European Computer Driving Licence. That and Spreadsheets are the most yawn-inducing of all the modules and I’ve got one after the other. But at least I’m doing it. Am also back at Work Directions, the government service to help disabled people get back into work. After my last meeting with an adviser I undertook to find five vacancies I liked the look of, and also to think of ten qualities I look for in a job. It did me good to see him, because he was quite impressed by my CV and gave me a more optimistic perspective on my work prospects than I have had of late.

And finally, I am making progress with my CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) although sadly, the therapist, who I have only just learned to appreciate, is leaving in two weeks. I have asked to go to the top of the list for another therapist, so that I can keep up the momentum.

Have not seen much of the ex. I think we both need time. Let feelings cool off. I am discovering that the single life is nothing to fear and dread. This way I have more time and incentive to try new activities, which bring me into contact with new people, and also have time to build on the friendships I already have.

I hope I haven’t bored you all senseless. It’s my life! And it’s really not too bad. Lots of love…Zoe.

Kittenfest

OK here goes…all say ‘Aw’!

Classic kitten pose…Admit it! I’m cute!My Mum bought me this from Argos…

Sorry if I just forced you to overdose on cute.

Naturally, Merlin has already learned to type and if he were left to his own devices, this blog would probably read zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzxxxxxxxwwwww and other literary pearls.

Take care all!

Thank you Mum, sob, sob!

I was delighted to find that The Chuckle had nominated me for this award so here it is, in all its glory. Here, also are ‘the rules’. I’m afraid though that I will have to give this a bit more thought, so let me get back to you on my nominees at a slightly later date.

1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.

2. Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.

3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.

4. The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the“Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. Please post these rules.

A quick update? Kitty (now named Merlin) has discovered the great game of hiding underneath the piles of cushions on the sofa, as we speak. He is fantastic fun, and an exemplary kitten in every way. Photos on the way!

I saw my son on Saturday. He is in long-term foster care, because I could not, in the end, cope as a single mother. Seeing him once every two months for ‘contact’ is a privilege I am thankful for but it is also terribly emotional. I had been worried that I was just too depressed to deal with it, but in the end we had a great time together, just the two of us. He was on great form, he was absolutely charming, engaging and great company from start to finish.

He gave me a really long tight hug when we said goodbye. I was beginning to cry but managed to get away before I really broke down.

Part of why I was so sad was that I had been expecting to see him again at the Looked After Child Review meeting next Monday. But apparently it is going to be held at his foster home, to which I am not allowed to come. I already missed the last one, in April, because I didn’t have the date written in my diary and no-one thought to remind me or mention it to me. It just really hurts that I am, as it were, ‘out of the loop’ in this way.

I tried to get the Reviewing Officer to change her mind today but she wasn’t having any. My son’s social worker is at fault, for not making the position clear to me when I saw him a few weeks ago. My son gets on very well with Robert, he is a genuinely nice guy. Maybe too nice to be a Children and Families social worker. As part of the job you have to do a lot of stuff that just isn’t nice, no matter what spin you put on it. I think he finds it hard to say the tough things that have to be said.

So yeah, I’ve been gutted today, but I was gutted at work and managed to do a fair bit of revision for my Learn Direct test tomorrow ( on Powerpoint Presentations). Then after I had my dinner and some kitten therapy I had an hour-long chat on the phone to my friend which did lift my mood.

Oh peeps. That’s all I can tell you for now. Sorrow looms very large in my life right now and I am often only just holding back the tide of grief enough to keep functioning.

But I am delighted to have readers, stats and comments! Very pleased with the move to WordPress…after months in the Blogger wilderness! And you are all so great. Take care all, and I will try and make my nominations for my Fab Five soon!

http://lifeofchuckles.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/awinnarisme1.jpg

Kitten therapy

Hey folks! Rather sooner than I was expecting I have become the happy owner of a three month old black and white boy kitten.

As far as I knew I was going to ‘view’ him, at Beaumont Animal Hospital in Camden. If it was a yes the RSPCA lady told me to phone her and she would deliver him to my house.

But once we had been introduced the Veterinary Nurse was quite happy for me to take him away there and then. They even supplied me with a free carrying basket!

Of course it makes sense…There are always fewer good, loving homes than there are cats that need them and I guess they wanted to ‘strike while the iron was hot’.

Even the amount of my donation was left up to me, so I gave them half of the ‘minimum’ specified on their info sheet…fifty pounds. Well, I’m on benefits and as it is Kitty Junior will be costing me a fair bit in food, vets bills etc.

Plus I had to get a cab home with Kitty, as I didn’t want to subject us both to the trauma of a bus ride! As it was he mewed most of the way home.

And when we got back I put him in the lounge, put hard and soft food out, and a water bowl, found the old cat litter and a tray to put it in, made a makeshift ‘bed’ for him out of a cardboard box which he has ignored so far, and found a few toys.

And at first he leapt all over the place, full of fun and curiosity. He’s such a character! When I left him to go eat dinner and mow the lawn he had clearly been busy as he had knocked down my Buddhist shrine (little iconoclast!) and was fast asleep in the tiniest, darkest and safest corner he could find. Bless!

Ah well. I promise not to let this blog turn into ‘Pet’s Corner’. I have never been impulsive about animals because I have a big sense of responsibility about them, but just lately I have been more and more irresistibly drawn to the idea of a kitten.

Part of it is as simple as this: I am a sad and lonely woman! What can I say? I have a need for comfort and companionship coupled with a definite difficulty in reaching out to (human) others. Also, I want and need to nurture something. My nest is prematurely empty…apart from my female cat, Amber, who is twelve and quite independent.

Anyway, only time will tell if it all works out…much depends on Amber accepting her new housemate. For the time being I keep them apart, and let them sniff each others’ presence before they have to actually meet and get accustomed.

OK let’s try an emoticon 🙂 Take care all and thanks for reading…