Monday, July 16, 2018

A Number of Things

Life is so full of a number of things. I've just paid my TNB bill...just in time. I read the bill I picked up just today (if I had waited one day, it would have been too late) and peered at it uncertainly, trying to figure out how much I had to pay. RM123? Well, that must mean that I didn't pay last month's bill as I thought I had.

And then I looked more closely and realised that this bill had a yellow stamp on it - a warning - that my electricity was due to be cut tomorrow if I didn't settle last month's bill. So I logged on to my computer, it took forever to load as I had allowed the battery to run out for days, and then I tried to log onto my bank...which took even longer. And then when I had by some miracle managed to do that and positioned everything so I could pay the refused to click. It required me to log out and log in again...why? I don't know. Because that's what happens when you forget to pay your electricity bill and you have left it to the last minute and the power company decides to threaten you and you become all thumbs.

I have been on a course of Barbara Pym novels (interspersed with more serious fare such as Montaigne's essays) and I find the notion of a spinster rather romantic. Overlooked, sort of dowdy women who dress down, always full of good works - no one really sees you, but everyone knows you're there, especially when they need a favour because, after all, you have nothing better to employ your time with. Right?

We always read about the spinsters - those women of an uncertain age - from the slightly mocking vantage point of men, or even, married women. They are figures of fun. Sexually starved and so, always inordinately interested in everyone else's business.

I think I might like making cups of tea and always having a freshly (or nearly freshly) baked cake on hand for visitors who drop in unannounced to tell me their troubles and cry on my shoulder.

In one way of course, I typify the classical spinster - I live in a house full of cats. And I mean full. Last count, 7. I need to find homes for three. Maybe four. Now, more than ever, I regret that I didn't give Smeagol up for adoption when I could have. Now it's too late. So I need to give up one of my adorable kittens.

They were orphaned at a week - their mother was run over by a speeding fiend who doesn't realise that you're not supposed to rev down condo carparks - while she was heading to feed her kittens. I came back from work at 10 at night and heard one crying. I couldn't resist that cry so I went in search of the one making it and found a tiny kitten, eyes and ears not open. I gathered her up and called Veronica - I needed help as I went about in search of milk for her. We found it, in a pet shop that was already closed (I banged on the doors in desperation) and the very nice people there let me in, listen to my garbled, rather hysterical explanation of finding the kitten, and sold me a jar of goat's milk powder.

I took her home, made the milk, fed her (Veronica was still there)...and then went to bed. Only to be awakened about one and a half hours later when she was hungry again. After I had fed her, she went to sleep. But the crying went on. I went down all 17 floors and found the next kitten. There was another one crying but I couldn't find it. And this one was screaming fit to beat the band. So I took her upstairs quickly and fed her and pooped and peed her.

At eight in the morning, Veronica called me. She had found the third. Actually the guards had called her at 3 in the morning but she was so tired, she didn't go down till five. And she brought the little ginger ball of fluff up to me, almost dead. She had been warming him (they were all so cold). I fed him and put him with his sisters. The next day, I took them to the vet who said they were healthy...but how was I going to keep them when they needed to be fed every one and a half hours and I had a full time job?

Here's where I have learned: just step into the breach and do what you can. Help will come for the parts that you can't. I called my friend Jacqui - she told me she could take them temporarily as her brother-in-law was due for an operation in three weeks. Well, three weeks were all I needed. When I took them back, their eyes were open and they could stagger around like little drunks. I quickly taught them to eat wet food (rather than drink milk) and Rose taught them to use the kitty litter. In one day.

So, here was the routine. They slept in the cat carrier (there was a hot water bottle under towels there) and they would come out to feed, use the kitty litter, get some cuddles, then go back to the cat carrier to sleep. They were good kitties.

Now they are about two months old and so cute, they'll melt your glasses. I wish I could share their pictures. But Jacqui hasn't shared the ones she took yesterday, with me yet. When she does, I will. Then you'll see.

Anyway, I'm sitting here writing this, when I really should be cleaning up their kitty litter (oh, there are reams and reams of poop in the sand and some smeared all over the floor) and then reading a few essays by Montaigne, then perhaps taking a shower (I'm covered in sweat because I have just run 5km, mainly because my body has become to unwieldy and caged in flesh and I need to create some room to breathe).

I want to continue to sit and write this but I know I will feel more virtuous if I go look for the wet wipes and start tackling the poop. Then maybe I can go downstairs and deposit some of the stinky plastic bags in the trash. Also the aluminium cans and plastic bottles and glass bottle in the recycling bin.

Life is so full of a number of things. Why is one of those things always poop?