Mummy had to go to hospital a few weeks ago. She was gone for over a week! Of course, she had someone come to look after me, but I was just so worried, particularly after what happened last time when she was taken away for a whole month! Even though I was still just a kitten back then I had known it was my fault … just like it is now. But I can’t talk about what happened three years ago. I can’t even think about it. You’ve got to put your past behind you. Move forward and focus on the positive as they say … so I will.
When she got back from hospital there was obviously a lot of work for me to do making sure I was there when she needed to give me a cuddle or accompanying her when she wanted a lie down in the bed or on the couch, deep tissue massages when she had the dressing gown on, making sure I kept my claws trimmed so that they weren’t too sharp. It was a hectic time for me, but I must have done my job well because it wasn’t long before she was up and about and back at work and things were back to normal for her. But things weren’t normal for me. I found myself sleeping more than usual and I often felt dizzy and would sometimes lose my balance. But that wasn’t the worst of it – my back hurt, one of my rear legs felt weak and my left paw felt numb and tingly. The pain and discomfort would come and go but it was there for most of the time and even when it wasn’t, I felt as though I had a little black cloud hanging over me, reminding me that something wasn’t quite right.
I wondered if I should talk about it to the others at our mindfulness meeting this evening, but I was sure that Ron would probably just laugh and tell me to have some catnip or something whilst Serafina would insist that I immediately research my symptoms and go straight to the vet. Squeak would assure me that he had these problems all the time and not to worry. I don’t know why we called our weekly get-togethers “Mindfulness Meetings” because to be honest, all we ever do is sit around under the deck at my place talking shit and eating stolen food. Tonight’s meeting would undoubtedly be no different. Of course it would be different if Whittaker was still alive and that thought made me feel even worse.
“You OK Weasley?” remarked Ron helping himself to a piece of one of the meat pies that Squeak had managed to snag from outside On the Spot. “You look a bit tired.”
Almost instantly I felt even more drained and the pain in my back seemed to be creeping down to my hip area. I licked my tingling paw just to make sure it hadn’t got any worse.
“Actually – ” I began, and was disappointed that this opportunity to casually introduce the subject of my health concerns was interrupted by the arrival of Serafina, who as usual, was late. It was obvious that she had a serious bee in her bonnet because she walked straight past the pies, prowling purposefully up and down in front of the three of us before launching into a tirade.
“How dare you sit there eating meat pies and continue to look away saying that you’re doing enough, when there is no solution in sight. We need to act and CATS need to be a part of the change that is coming!”
I thought she was going start hissing but she just glared at us savagely before sitting down and sighing heavily as though she had just proved a complicated point beyond all possible dispute.
Good lord, I could do without this tonight what with everything else I had going on. As much as I love my little sister, it sounded to me like she had memorised something she’d seen on television (again) and I had a horrible feeling she was on the verge of setting up one of her “movements” not unlike the Society for the Prevention of Un-Neutered Cats (SPUNC) which hadn’t exactly met with resounding success given that there still seemed to be rather a lot of homeless feral cats around the Harbour.
Ron and Squeak were just staring at her, their open mouths full of unmasticated meat pie. Serafina meanwhile had wound up to full capacity:
“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and you are still not mature enough to do anything other than eat disgusting pies!”
I thought this was a bit rich since Serafina was the youngest of all of us and was normally rather partial to a “disgusting pie”, but I didn’t dare say as much.
“Climate Action Together or C.A.T. need to unite and march the streets of Diamond Harbour on Wednesday to spread our urgent message,” she announced. Then she said as if as an afterthought: “… and we need to get hold of some superglue.”
Squeak was the first one to speak.
“Why do we need superglue?” he asked in a rather squeaky sounding voice
“We’re going to superglue our paws to the windows of Preserved,” she said as though this should have been self-explanatory as it was obviously germane to the cause. I couldn’t help but think that she’d missed some of the salient facts surrounding whatever it was she had seen on the television but it pays not to mention these things to Serafina when she’s on one her crusades. I certainly wasn’t keen on having my paws superglued to anything, particularly the paw that already felt tingly and strange. This couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“Couldn’t we do this on a Monday?” I asked tentatively.
“Weasley, this is an emergency! C.A.T. needs to act NOW! Why would you want to leave something so urgent until Monday?”
“Well, the vet comes to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays and I was just thinking if anything went wrong – “
Serafina’s withering look made me feel foolish, as though thinking of my own personal distress was the very height of selfishness.
“Something has already gone wrong!” she breathed ominously and stormed off without another word.
Ron, who had remained reasonably passive throughout this exchange finished off the remains of the first pie and said:
“Did she seem to be putting on an accent to you?”
“Nordic perhaps?” I offered.
“More Eastern European I thought,” said Squeak who had started on a mince and cheese pie that had obviously not been long out of the warmer. He instantly spat it out and frantically slurped on some rainwater that had collected in a plastic plant pot.
“What have I told you Squeak?” cautioned Ron. “Always blow on the pie.”
Our awkwardness over Serafina’s extraordinary rant dissolved into fits of laughter as we tried to imagine customers turning up at Preserved to find all the neighbourhood cats stuck to the windows.
“We’d probably end up on the news,” said Squeak through tears of laughter. “International superstars. Influencers!”
“Maybe we could make a difference?” I said, although I was still unsure as to what Serafina thought this might make a difference to.
“For Christ’s sake don’t you start!” retorted Ron. “Let’s go find some catnip.”
“OK,” I said, not wanting to break the good-humoured mood. I had also noticed that my pain and strange sensations had momentarily disappeared, although the little black cloud was still hovering. We ran down to the bridge ready to leap over to the paddock behind On the Spot. But the three of us stopped abruptly in our tracks, our eyes open wide in amazement. There was now a huge wooden fence at the end of the bridge which was blocking our path.
“Do you think this is the change that Serafina said was coming?” I said.
Ron jumped up and Squeak and I followed to see what he was pointing at above the wooden fence.
“Possibly,” said Ron. “It’s a petrol station!”