The Coronavirus Diaries, 27th May 2021

I’m guessing quite a few of the readers of this page have also read about Dominic Cummings performance where he dished the dirt on Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson among others, admitted he lied, and confirmed much of what we already knew or suspected, that this government is rotten to the core. I find it bizarre that so many reporters refer to Cummings as Dom, as though he is their best mate. Dom and Boris, two first name first class shits, a double act from hell. I’m not sure which was more disgusting, Cummings dishing the dirt as though he believes he is now a knight in shining armour, or backbench Tories smirking and sniggering when Keir Starmer questioned Boris Johnson during PMQs about the tens of thousands of avoidable deaths caused by the casual incompetence of said Johnson and his pals of yes men in cabinet. Actually the most disgusting thing is the way this will slide off our Teflon coated PM like so many other things which have should have sunk him and people will continue to vote for him. I saw a headline in one of the red tops, I think it was the Express, on the lines of ‘ok the government made mistakes, but the Cummings’ show was pure revenge’, as though we should feel sorry for our sorry mess of a government and simply spurn Cummings. Spurn the lot of them. and check what is going into our drinking water while you’re at it. Something surely must be going on to make the public so supine and apathetic.

Other things. On Wednesday at the hospital I had the dressing on my leg changed. The wound was cleaned, examined, and acquired semi celebrity status. I’m half expecting it to be invited into Graham Norton’s show, my healing wound with me as chaperone. The nurse, Caroline this time, originally from Jamaica, fetched Sergei, the surgeon, so he could examine his handiwork. He was pleased. He summoned his boss, whose name I did not catch, who was also pleased. there was a lot of smiling and nodding. Then the chief nurse popped in, more approval, more smiling, more nodding.

Then they all left and Caroline got on with the job in hand, or on leg if you prefer. I think it’s going to be a fairly impressive scar and there are bunches of skin at either end so my leg she will be different. I’m not sure who is more keen to see this scar, me or Celia, We are expecting it to be the twin of Celia’s scar as she had a melanoma removed a decade ago from the same place on her left leg. Snaps! Last week I had promised Sergei and nurse Sonia my business card after we had bonded over our cats. So it was natural that the pet conversation continued with Caroline. I learned all about her dog Fluffy, how much she had loved him, how he had been beaten to death by burglars who broke into their home, how she had never been able to bring herself to have another pet because it felt like a betrayal of Fluffy. How long ago was this? I asked, expecting this death to have occurred in the last ten years or so. But no, she had been a teenager at the time, and Fluffy had been her close companion. MasterB features on one of my business cards, so I gave her that one. Oh, she said, her eyes widening and her mouth curving into a smile, he’s beautiful. Maybe she’s one step closer to giving a needy animal a home where it will be loved.

I have no doubt that adopting MasterB so soon after Freddy’s death, helped with my grief. Needing to care for him was therapy. It took a while for him to have as big a place in my heart as Freddy, but although I felt it was too soon for another cat, I have no regrets now. The opposite in fact. His presence doesn’t replace Freddy, it doesn’t negate the overwhelming feeling of loss when Freddy died, it is a new, different and just as wonderful relationship.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit as my friend Patricia who has returned to live in France after spending more than half her life in London, has lost her cat. I wrote about how she came to have Max, and how he soothed her grief at the loss of her beloved Jack Russell Ziggy, who died last year. She sent a message saying Max was missing. She went to the police, the town hall, the vet surgeries; she went door to door and put up posters. No news. After a week she found his body. He’d been hit by a car on the country road near their house. She is understandably heartbroken. she gave him a home when he needed one. She gave him affection and love. She cared for him. I really don’t think you can do more. But it is a sad truth that quiet country roads are often more dangerous for cats than busy town ones. MasterB never ventures to the end of our street where there is a main road. He has a healthy fear of the sound of car engines. Country roads are dangerous because of the infrequency of the traffic which means cats are less aware, and often the cars are travelling quite fast. A cat sniffing something interesting by the road doesn’t stand a chance.

Electric vehicles, quiet and eco friendly, also pose dangers to cats and wildlife, who have learned the noise of a car engine means danger. I am in favour of electric vehicles making a bit more noise, to keep the animals, and indeed the humans safer.

One of these days I hope another cat, homeless, looking for a family finds Patou, and fills the empty space left by Max’s untimely death.

Stay safe. Keep well. Adopt, don’t shop.

4 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 27th May 2021

  1. Heartening to read this and know I’m not alone. It’s only been a few weeks since Wyatt’s death, but I’m ready for another dog (I think Ash is too). I didn’t think about it initially, but it’s been more than 15 years since I’ve had fewer than two dogs around the house, and Wyatt’s passing left a void that I just didn’t feel after the loss of the others (not that they were less beloved).

    • I am addicted to a relentlessly lowbrow, upbeat programme called The Dog House, set in a rescue centre where dogs needing homes are matched to potential owners. More than one of those potential owners has come in search of a companion for the dog already in their lives. The current series has ended now, and I’ll have to wait at least six months for the next one. Ash needs another dog in the pack as much as you do. It’s a big responsibility being the only pet.

  2. We have quite a few pets, but one of the neighbor kids brought us a kitten that he found in the middle of the road. She can’t be older than a few weeks and she’s adorable. Of course we took her in and started caring for her. In just a few days her tummy has filled out, and she’s gotten quite confident; she growled and hissed at one of our other cats.

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