They think he died on a Sunday but his body was only found on a Tuesday. By Wednesday the body was delivered to me in a bin liner.
When the council lady rang me at 8am on the Wednesday morning the intonation of her voice went up at the end. ‘Up’ I took as hopeful. Like perhaps he’s alive and sat with her. Her intonation should have gone down because when I rang her back full of hope and a fizz in my tummy she told me she had his body. I thanked her for her call, my throat closed up and my heart burst.
It was inevitable really living where we do on the brink of a busy dual carriageway. We lost his sister 6 months earlier in the same way and as sad as that was it wasn’t this Wednesday.
I even reprimanded myself for crying so much over a cat but there was something special about Dash. He was technically the first pet that I owned even though he was free. He was always stood waiting on the console table every time we came in from the school run. If we were later than 3:30 in the afternoon he would be stood on the doorstep waiting. He slept on my eldest daughters bed every day and on us every night and would always run to my call. We even took him on our mini breaks. Yes he was a very special cat and now he is in the ground. He was out in the rain for 2 whole days and he hated the rain, we had that in common.
I was walking with the littlest babe through the village the other day and I met a dear older lady who was chatting village life and I mentioned our cat was run down a few days earlier and after describing our sweet boy she told me an elderly woman at number 87 took great joy in seeing him each evening. She would stand outside her back door and he would make a figure eight around her legs and make her feel like she mattered. Seems our boy gave joy to lots of people but most especially to me.
Just a cat? Yes, but not to me and I’m not a cat person.
The best of intentions all fall away when my bottom hits the sofa.
After putting the children to bed I decided to do a little naked cleaning. I’ll just quickly add that it isn’t a desperate housewife ritual to entice my husband. Nope. My husband is away for five days and four nights on his final – yes FINAL residential stay at university so I shouldn’t grumble as I’ll be more glad than he, I think, when it’s finished but did I mention he’s away for five days and four nights and I have four children?!
Anyway – back to the naked cleaning. I do this purely as a multipurpose task. I am a very practical person so if I’m gonna clean, I’m gonna scrub hard so I can call it ‘exercise’ because I’m gonna sweat. I read somewhere that anything that gets your heart rate up can be called exercise…In that case my whole life should be called exercise.
Once I’ve given the house a once over – minus bedrooms that my sleeping babes fill – and the dryer has finished it’s cycle, I sort the clothes into ‘ironing’ and ‘put away’ piles, I set the table for breakfast.
One lesson I have learned from a family member who has four girls was to always be prepared for the next day the night before. I have always stuck to it.
This season I have two going to school and two staying at home but all four plus me have to leave the house by eight twenty am looking ready for the day even if that means I have to wear a nightie under my jogging bottoms for the drop off.
Once my ‘exercise’ session is over I shower away the sweat and polish residue, spritz a little Fabreeze everywhere and make a brew. I think of finishing my book and devouring a bag of munchies but once my bottom hits the sofa it takes all of my strength not to fall asleep.
Aching muscles dissolve into slush as the fabric surrounds my tush and envelopes my sore spine. I am done. Begrudgingly I turn on the tv to see what crap is broadcasting. I hate that I can waste hours watching people make meatballs in a crowded kitchen so I turn to writing and I turn to you. Hello. How’ve you been?