I feel this abstraction hit me like lightning as I leave the cat. A day after a chemo session, she always looks depressed. She sits hunched, rigid, tense, head a little low, eyes wide and dilated. When she is like this I find that staying with her, petting her, just having my hand resting on her – gently of course - gradually makes her purring louder until I could feel her spine relax and her pupils constrict. Gradually she will yawn, stretch out her front paws and lay down on her side. Gradually she will sleep. Later she will awaken and go straight to her water bowl to drink copiously. She may even decide to eat a little.
This time I couldn’t do any of these. I had to leave her sitting hunched and tense to go to work; that necessity that allows me to pay the rent, the vets bills and to live. So far my employers have been very understanding and have allowed me to take all these leave days from my next annual allowance. But today I am needed.
So there I am stuck in the morning commuter train going nowhere. There’s a points failure along the line. The carriage grows cold as the heating switches off. I know I’m going to be late and wish that I had stayed a few more minutes with the cat. If only I had known.
I alight the train, join the resigned masses as they meander towards the ticket barriers. My hands are dry and numb. I need warmth. I need comfort.
Costa looms ahead of me. Costa, costa, costa. Get thee behind me costa.
But wonders of wonders! Shimmering in all her blonde yellow loveliness is the barista of my earlier blog post. I can’t believe my luck. She’s back, she’s returned, she still glares at everyone with such disdain and undisguised ennui, but she is there in the flesh, snarling and scowling.
I reach work caffeined up correctly, the most gorgeous cappuccino swirling in my guts and in my blood. I am ready to roll. I am ready to rock. I busy myself with work, work and more work. I tell myself that it’ll make the hours go quickly and make the end of the working day arrive sooner.
Suddenly the guilt is assuaged. I shall be home soon.
I see this headline: “Having a big bum, hips and thighs, is healthy” and I know things are just going to be ok.
The cat and I will see our birthdays together this summer.