Airborne Reflections

The ‘plane home is full to capacity. Behind me as we complete boarding, and passengers wedge their hefty hand luggage into the overhead lockers, a father is explaining to his small daughter the card she has found titled ‘Safety On Board’ in the seat pocket .

The cabin crew are walking up and down, checking our seatbelts are fastened, and the captain has explained that the reason for our twenty minute delay is due to hold ups on the return trip to Barcelona the plane has made earlier in the day.

I wonder idly if the next duo of flights will also involve a destination beginning with the letter B. Brussels. Perhaps. Or Bordeaux, Birmingham or Bilbao.

Or maybe they will move along the alphabet; graduate to Cairo, Cadiz or Cologne.


Despite a late night and less sleep than I’d have liked, I am more rested, more relaxed than when I arrived ten days ago. I am missing MasterB, and he has been increasingly in my thoughts, despite the distractions of Puppy, Westie Boy, Pip, Fido and the Big Cat.

I said a fond and somewhat emotional farewell to the Big Cat. Somehow, I do not think she will be alive when I next visit. At sixteen, she is still purry and affectionate. Her coat is still shiny, but her spine is knobbly beneath her fur, she sleeps most of the day, and most worryingly, her abdomen is distended. Cousin has decided not to take her to see the vet. The Big Cat finds such visits distressing. She is eating well, seems happy, and shows no signs of pain, so Cousin reasons that although the vet might be able to diagnose the problem, there might be invasive tests that would not alter the outcome.

I almost agree. But I think I trust MasterB’s vet more than Cousin does the vet her animals attend. So the Big Cat is getting extra attention and privileges. We are all hoping she will die in her sleep, snug in her bed in the bathroom, and there will be no last stressful visit to the vet.

This morning, as my thoughts turned to home, I started to hope the tomatoes and other plants have been well watered in my absence, that their stakes have been righted if the wind or rain has pushed them over, that maybe some have ripened, or will ripen in the next few days.

I have more posts to write about my break; more pictures to download from the camera; more memories to recall. But this minute, high in the sky, above the clouds, I am in the limbo between holiday and home, unconnected to the outside world by ‘phone or Internet; the last minutes before my responsibilities and my work claim me once more.



6 thoughts on “Airborne Reflections

  1. I really do understand Cousin. It is so difficult to take the right decision. Two years ago, I saw my kitty “Fame” developing a tumour, she was 15, had been to the vet twice, for the shots, in the beginning of her life. I did not want to take her for her last trip in a basket. I was fighting with myself, feeling guilty because I always postponed this very last visit to the vet. One Friday evening, back from work, I had planned to attend an organic exhibition, I wished to feed the cats before leaving, but: no cats in view! When we came back from the exhibition, all four cats were there, waiting for their supper. I don’t know why, but I took Fame in my arms and whispered in her ears “you were a wonderful kitty, you were a source of joy for us”, and Saturday morning, when I woke up, we had to attend a feast (50 years marriage for my aunt and uncle) and I was obsessed with the idea of Fame having a tumour and I really decided to go to the vet the following Friday. When we left our house, we found Fame dead, just before our front door… It was a real shcok, but…till the end, she ate and purred, and I had the opportunity to tell her we loved her, and she did die in her own well-known environment, not at the vet after an awful trip in a basket.

    Each case is different.


    • Thanks Looloo. I guess I would like to know what the problem is, and what to expect, whether some palliative care might be lined up. But as I said, I think I am far more confident about the care my cat receives from the vet. I trust the practice to tell me what is in my cat’s interests, and not to carry out invasive tests just to satisfy my curiosity, or to make money.
      It must have been a bad shock to find your cat, but good that you did find her. I hear so many tales of cats who disappear to die quietly alone, much to their owners’ distress.
      I remember the Big Cat as a kitten. She has always been a bit nervous around other animals, but very affectionate to humans. Maybe she will be alive the next time I visit, but it can’t be long.

  2. Wishing you a safe and timely journey home and hope you get a big Hello from Master B! Look forward to seeing the photos and reading about your much needed break!

    • Thanks Anne. I am very tired now, but MasterB is enjoying his first night out for ten days, and I don’t have the heart to insist he comes in yet. I think I shall sleep very late in the morning.

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