Sunday, 21 March 2010
Summer at last
At Large Mansions, its all change. The Easter Break is here, so for four short weeks, Self is footloose and fancy free. Meanwhile the Red Haired Boffin, after weeks of marking exams (where the major concern seems to be not the student's discussion of psychology but rather a discussion of the students psychology which in tuern has at times threatened her own psychology), is off to Barcelona for a week's r&r. And the snow has finally gone ..........
Winter has been, by local standards, incredibly cold. Passable, indeed meaningful snow, was on the ground for a full six weeks, and near zero temperatures for much longer than that. As winter dragged on, a pattern emerged at Large Mansions: the cats gradually increased their daily sleep ration to well over 28 hours a day, the human population of the manse would return from work, eat a hearty repast, then dive under the nearest duvet. Often there was a resentful cat under the said coverings, so we distributed blankets, sleeping bags and other quilted materials throughout the house so that by the end of the winter, a handy insulator was never more than five feet away. This way, we could progress throughout the house by diving from duvet to duvet, blanket to sleeping bag, and throw to bedspread, guerrila style, and eventually could easily get from the television control by the couch to the upstairs bedroom without ever exposing more than 16% of carapace to the environment.
All things pass though, and winter is no exception, although it didnt go willingly. It retreated quite gracelessly, with a spate of late, late frosts, then several torrential days of cold, cold rain, and the sun, when it did show, was pallid and unenthusiastic. The change, when it did come, was sudden. Spring, totally fed up after waiting politely for too long just brushed winter aside. The effect this week has been spectacular - brilliantly ragged sunshine, warm on everyone's face, has wreaked havoc on our hibernation. The street has been suddenly full of kids, skateboarding, bicycling, running round shouting. Plants have sprouted and in our pond, Diego the Frog has been hopping round after a long sleep under the ice. The cats, too, have woken up.
One cat in particular has distinguised herself. Over winter, visitors would be eyed suspiciously, assessed for potential warmth enhancing attributes, then sniffily rejected, almost unanimously. With spring, visitors have become more interesting. It was under the springtime paradigm that Calli announced her emergence from hibernation with her welcome of a visitor.
Mark, our financial advisor, is a very nice man, and had driven the sixty miles from Leeds, at no charge, to help us with our finances. He arranged himself at our kitchen table, sipped a cut of tea, and sighed heavily.
"I think I can do something with your finances. By the way, you dont play the lottery do you?"
"No" I said, "why?"
Mark's reply was inaudible as he typed on his laptop, but sounded something like "straws at clutching but might be your best option". This was accompanied by the surprise appearance of a cat on the table.
"Hello beautiful" said Mark
"Purr" said Calli
"Are'nt you cute?" said Mark
"Meep" said Calli. She sat on his paperwork.
"Oh, she's adorable!" said Mark just as I reached for her to throw her off the table, "leave her there, she's fine. What a lovely little face."
Calli preened, licked her paw and yawned. She arched her back and stuck her bum into Mark's face. This is never the most appealing aspect from which to view a cat. Over the years, repeated close up views of Calli and Tosh's backside has quite dissuaded me from any further consumption of pomegranates. Mark, though, obviously a cat person, scratched her tail.
"I love it when they do that" he chuckled.
Calli looked delighted, so she turned round again to face him.
"I think she likes you" said RHB.
"Oh, I like cats" said MArk.
Calli, obvioulsy delighted said "HYUK". Then she said "HYUK. HYUK. HYUK" and threw up a load of semi-digested chicken and, crucially as proof that spring is truly here, a smattering of fresh, newly grown grass all over Mark's paperwork.
Posted by MJN at 21:32