A humorous look at bodily ills and daily woes, and tips from someone who has suffered everything from arthritis to athlete's foot.
Friday, 5 March 2010
Dogs and cats
I have a good friend of many years' standing who I'm very fond of but don't often see as she lives in the wilds of East Essex in a caravan on the site of a garden centre, and I don't drive, and she works six days a week. She has asked if she can come and stay for a night over Easter - come one lunchtime and stay till lunchtime next day - which is great. Except....
Except that she has a dog, the love of her life, a little hairy Shi'tzu from whom she will not be parted. The two of them go everywhere together, even to work. It's quite a sweet little thing with huge, liquid brown eyes (and a hysterical yap which drives me mad). But...
... we have Flad, who is getting on in years and is very nervous by nature, and completely terrified of dogs. Last time my friend came, I had great difficulty enticing him back into the house after they had gone, and he was clingy and neurotic for days. I think the poor thing thought he had been rejected in favour of the mutt.
So, much as I want to see my friend, I can't dump the dog. Oh dear...
I adore Flad. I love him so much that, after I'd agreed yesterday that my friend could come, I then fell asleep and had the most dreadful nightmare in which poor old Flad was cowering on the floor, belly up in submission position, being yapped at by my friend's dog, then somebody else came in and brought a huge German Shepherd which walked over and put its great paw on Flad's chest. Flad seemed to faint. He passed right out and I picked him up and cradled him in my arms, and realised to my horror that my beloved pet was dead - he had died of shock.
I woke up sobbing, with my heart pounding, and now wish I'd never agreed that my friend could come because it's just not fair on poor Flad, who isn't terribly bright, and is a very dependent cat, rather stiff and rheumaticky, who wouldn't do well if forced to sleep out in the cold rather than on the armchair in front of the log-burning stove, which is what he usually does.
A few years ago, I was torturing myself mentally about exactly the same thing, as friend and previous dog were due to come for Christmas. How I wished that she would come sans dog. Then blow me down, she sent me a text to say it would be just her for Christmas. I rang to ask why and - please believe me, I hadn't put a curse on it or anything - the poor dog had died. I wouldn't wish it on her latest pet, I just wish she didn't have to bring it but her mantra is 'love me, love my dog'. But I love my cat! Help!