Tag Archives: cats

Pined, pining, pines

Weaning didn’t work. Gosh I miss my fluffy.


This is:

A: Because I love her.

But B: Probably in large part because she symbolises home comforts and fondest memories of snuggling up in my dressing gown and slippers, cat on lap, sat on the sofa next to a roaring fire, a good book in one hand and a G & T in the other, in my cosy house with my lovely parents.

And C: Almost certainly exaggerated by the fact that, as a general rule, Mexicans don’t like cats.

This passage from C.M.Mayo’s Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California: the Other Mexico just sums it up perfectly:

“A small, white poodlelike mutt nuzzled our legs. Palomito was his name, the cook said. A calico cat slunk up as well, meowing loudly. And her name? “Gato,” she said. Cat. She broke out laughing at me, that I would ask.”

My host family have three dogs, also ‘poodlelike mutts’, called Gwendy, Cindy (after Lauper, no less!) and Lila. They have also ‘adopted’ a cat from some neighbours who moved away and left it, whom they feed but don’t let into the house. As far as I’m aware, it doesn’t have a name. I call it Gammy, because it’s got gammy eyes. Cute.

It’s a very strange feeling having been here over a month now and having eleven months left. I’m settled but not settled. The highly concentrated mix of unfamiliarity dragging along with the joys and continuous new experiences whizzing by make the passing of time feel very surreal. More than anything, I just keep forgetting it’s February. This is not February weather. After 25 years of highly changeable weather, the wall to wall sunshine and predictable heat plays havoc with my reckoning of time. Every morning my default thought  process is still to observe the weather as I would do in England, consider how it differs from the day before, how it compares with the forecast, and how typical it is of the month or season.

Every day here the weather is the same and, therefore, simply not worth mentioning. A month of 25 degree blue-sky scorchers. Not a drop of rain, nor hint of a breeze. Gone without comment…can you imagine??? They don’t even care! Nobody wears shorts or flip flops or mentions the GLORIOUS SUNSHINE. In the park, people flock to the shade; the complete reverse of what you’d find on a sunny day in England. Especially hearing about the awful weather and terrible misfortunes in the UK from the other side of the world, it’s so very strange not to discuss it at all. It’s just another daily reminder of how English I am, and at this point I feel like my enthusiasm for analysing culture probably exacerbates the differences. And so I vow, henceforth, to adore dogs, neglect cats, and ignore the weather.

Weaned, weaning, weans

Weaning. Such a funny word.

So in just over a week I’m leaving the dreary storm-battered land of In-ger-land to live and work in Mexico. For a year. Some days it feels like a big deal, some days it doesn’t at all. I’m sure there are lots of serious and sensible things I ought to be doing in preparation, but for the minute there seem to be only two important factors to consider: missing tea and missing my cat.

Twinings English Breakfast is the diuretic equivalent of a soundtrack to my life. It’s been there through good times, dark times, hard times, fun times, bored times and busy times, lonely times and social times, and quite honestly I’m dreading living without it. So this is my first weaning programme: drink less tea. There is simply nothing as glorious as a warm milky brew (I don’t care what you say, you’re wrong), therefore, the weaning programme must commence tomorrow. I don’t want to (won’t cope to) go cold turkey so I’m going to cut down to one cup every hour as opposed to every half hour. And upon my arrival in Mexico, I intend to replace my love of tea with a love of tequila.

Second weaning programme: cut affection from pet cat. It’s only fair…on me. I totally sympathise with people who don’t like my cat, but she’s not (quite) as evil as she looks. Named Darcey after Darcey Bussell because of her little white ballet shoes, aka paws, she’s the complete personification of every anti-cat joke ever to adorn a tea towel. She’s not that nice, and she’s not that friendly, but she is incredibly fluffy. After all, isn’t that what pets are for? If it isn’t fluffy, I just don’t get the point. Anyway, enough of the description, you either like cats or you don’t, the point is, she won’t even remember me. The more I love her, the more she hates me (who says cats aren’t clever?) so maybe my premature detachment will be best for the both of us. From tomorrow, the aloofness/aloftity/aloofaying is mutual. On my return from Mexico we can start afresh, she might even fall in love with me…

So there you go – a life without tea or the fluffy sheep-cat, that’s about as far as my thoughts about moving abroad have gotten so far.  Oh and also, “yippee, I’m going to Mexico!”.

P.S. I wrote the whole of this with the spelling ‘ween’ before checking it. I’m no writer, please forgive and feel free to laugh at my expense, you’ll find no pretence here.