Another eventful week in the land of Ryan. 

The times they are a changing alright and it will soon be time to share some stuff here with you.  If it wasn't at the top of my list of most hated phrases, I would say – watch this space.

It's horrible, don't you agree?  Like you're all going to sit there, watching WryVita blog do nothing for weeks on end, just waiting for me to fill the space with some earth-shattering news.  And invariably the people who are annoying enough to say 'watch this space' are dopy enough to forget to ever tell you what it was they were being so annoyingly mysterious about and that's because it's an event that no-one except their mother would possibly give two hoots about.

So please – whatever you don't do – don't watch this space.

Blackie-2007 For now, let's stick with the drama of a dying cat and Invasion of the Garden Snatchers.

The worst parts about Blackie almost dying are:

a) She's the cat who has always been hardest to love

b) We almost didn't notice she was very ill.

She has always been the black sheep-cat of the family and you can read about that and how I learnt to love her here.

I don't treat any of our animals like replacement children but those family members who do, tend to treat Fluffy like a one-eyed God who must be worshipped, simply because he looks at you with his one very beautiful eye and does a silent miaow.  He enjoys being picked up, he loves being cuddled and will happily sleep on your lap for several days at a time, making it extremely difficult to forget about him – especially when you stand up suddenly and feel 19 claws sinking into your thighs.  (He has a missing toe).

And then Waggy is in-yer-face and and controls his pack with an iron-paw.  He makes Lechero (Prison Break, season three) look like a, like a… pussycat.

And then there's Blackie.  Everyone forgets about Blackie.  She's self-contained and dignified and the last time I blogged about her I was talking about the "healing bliss of complete contentment" which she so beautifully demonstrated as she sat meditating in front of the fire.

And so when each time I spotted her she was sitting still and quiet in her bed in the utility room, I thought nothing of it.  The weather was roasting and I figured all the animals just wanted to be still and stay cool.  It wasn't until I saw her outside the back door, simply gazing at the ground, that I realised something was wrong.

The vet's opening offer was unsavoury:  "She's very ill indeed and I can't see her making it through the night – but I'd like to keep her here and see what we can do.  Ring me in the morning".

He shaved her leg and struggled to find a vein but managed eventually to put her on a drip before filling her to the gills with antibiotics.

And the next day, she was still with us.  Shaky and skinny but back from the dead.  She has let us fuss over her, knowing that's what we need right now, but she remains unflustered and calm.

Blackie's illness, I believe, served a purpose in our lives this week.  More than one, actually but the easiest to share here is that it reminded us to appreciate the beautiful day-to-day parts of life that we take for granted. 

But what purpose are these cows serving in my life?  Earlier on today, they hot-hooved it up the length of the field where I assume the farmer must have been calling them to their Sunday fry-up.  But even as I write these words, they have all come back down and are congregating just outside my fence.  

Invasion of the Garden Snatchers.

I'm hoping to spot the first one making a break for my grass at which point I will run outside and charge them with the kitchen broom and a snooker cue. 

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH  ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH  ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH

One breaches the fence.  I grab said broom and go out yelling "Out – Out – Out".

And do you know what happens?  I kid you not, there's a stampede and twenty cows come to stand and gaze in at me while a few of their mates come through to join the first cow and make themselves at home.  They're chewing the washing line and doing unspeakable things to each other.

Cows are very annoying creatures.

I could let Waggy outside because he will soon show them who's boss but that will start Cow Wars.

It's small – and twisted – revenge I know but dinner is a steak pie.

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