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Saturday, 12 May 2007

The Year of the Five Pound Cat

One of the advantages of being both deliberately atheist and accidentally anarchist is that Nel and I do'nt really have a formal system for marking time. In practice, this means that time tends to be measured by significant (to us or to our friends) periods, rather than being linked to calendrical linearity(and yes, I did just make that phrase up).

This has some advantages. Rather than having to bother remembering 1988, for example, during which I can remember nothing interesting happening, I can therefore completely forget 1988 and just move on to the next interesting period of time.

As examples, significant "years" for me have been, in no particular order, The Winter of Catan( game crazy with Paddy, George, Nikki, Charles, Idaho and Grasshopper), The Year of the Single Bar Electric Fire(our first apartment), The Summer of Barbeques and Guitar Lessons(parties and renovation at our house in NS), The Winter of MuskRat (learning to cross country ski and falling off climbing walls), The Time of Moving ( the first eighteen months in Canada - two very sad losses and falling in love with Canada), 1976 (actually 1978 when I discovered punk and rock music), The Chair Dance Era (some time in the nineties in Leicester dancing with chairs on our heads), The Summer of Hike (about three different years involving various camping, hiking and canoeing trips in NS), The London Period (Maurice, Calum and Mandy, pub quiz, Grad pub) and That Time We Got Married ( I've honestly no idea when it was but it was a great party).

It occurred to me on Thursday, while atop a precariously placed, enthusiastically rustic ladder that we were probably at the end of another era.

The events in the last twelve months (approximately) have been memorable. Nel got the job that places us here, now - a great achievement. We re-emigrated - a huge logistical operation. Various friends got married, split-up, had babies, bought houses, got sick, got jobs, got cured, retired, quit smoking, travelled (or moved) around the world to Taiwan, New Zealand, North West Territories, Italy - all life changing events. It has been a year of sad goodbye's and welcome "Hello again". We put our house on the market and entered a massive lawsuit - both firsts for us, and hugely significant personally. Nel's niece got pregnant , making Margaret a great-great grandmother and Nel a great aunt - milestones for all concerned. Liverpool became the first British club to qualify for six Champions League Finals - a historic achievement. Globally, Bush acknowledged climate change as an issue, moving global warming to the forefront of International politics - a potentially epochal shift.

In light of the above, and perhaps an indication of how perverse the human mind is, as I was perched on my precariously flexible assemblage it dawned on me that the past year was indeed significant for us, mainly for being the Year Of the Five Pound Cat. Callisandra's year to be precise. I will not go in to details of operations, recovery and subsequently, amazement at the phenomenon of resilience, suffice to say that on May 15th 2006, Calli, our runt of a barn cat, jumped from our 11th floor balcony in search of a pigeon. She caught air instead and fell 110 feet, smacking the ground at terminal velocity. She lived, just, but David Kirkby, the brilliant Vet who sat up with her draining her lungs for the first 24 hours, was of the opinion that she might recover 75% at the most if she survived the next 24 hours. He gave her a 20% chance of doing so.

The reason I was on my precarious, rustic, unstable and worryingly flexible assemblage at about 19.34, Thursday 10 May, 2007 was that the aforementioned moggie, well over 75% fit, had yet again escaped and climbed a tree, ending about 25 feet up in the crook of a branch. Nel and|I, with a delicious lamb curry burning on the stove, had yet again invaded the neighbours garden, ladder-equipped to extricate said pathetically meowing kitty from its arboreal predicament. I do not anthromorphise our cats, although I think they're great, but Calli does share a trait with at least one human. She has got no exit strategy.

Callisandra and Toshack

1 comment:

JoeyMac said...

You should keep a lid on these or the Chinese will start adding them to their 12 year cycle. The elements will have to be adjusted though, as i'm not sure anyone will want to admit to being born in the year of the 5 pound fire cat. ;)
I know exactly what you mean though, and I have often called these periods different lives. Anna and i were talking of this the other day, and having come from huge years/lives in both of our lives it almost seems like we are holding our breathes waiting for the next one to come now. Like that split second at the top of the roller coaster. I think some of the hesitance this time is that these lives usually come with a new and interesting circle of people, and i don't think I'm quite ready to give up on the old circle yet...