The Coronavirus Diaries, 18th April 2020

Another anniversary today, a happier one this time. It’s nine years since I brought MasterB home. On these pages he’s been known as Previously Known As, or more simply, PKA (what he was previously known as was Facebook, a name that did not last the train journey), and then Not Cat to distinguish him from Cat aka Freddy, until finally I felt it was unfair to call him by a negative so he became MasterB, Master being his title and B being the initial of the next of his string of names. If you asked him if he enjoyed the anniversary he’d probably complain about the vacuuming, but he is looking pretty happy right now, curled up asleep on the chair. I am of course sitting on the floor.

I watched an elderly lady walk down our street. She was talking to something or someone. I couldn’t see at first what or who. Then she bent a little and Smudge, Hartley’s brother, sashayed across the street to greet her. A nice moment for cat and human. We have the daughter of one of the other flat owner’s staying here temporarily. Her father lets the flat he owns, which used to belong to his mother. His daughter is a nurse in the NHS, but as her father has some serious underlying health issues, she has been told she cannot stay in the same house as him. Fortunately the tenants have just moved out. It must have been a bit daunting to move into a pretty empty flat with one cup, one plate, one spoon, one knife, one fork etc, but Hartley has made her the immediate object of his affections. He’s there on the window sill when she makes her breakfast, has visited her inside the flat, follows her across the garden. She’s already saying how much she’ll miss him when she moves out.

The most relaxed person I have seen since lockdown began is Barnaby the Bee Man. He has his bees, there are birds flying in and out of the nesting boxes, I suspect there will soon be tadpoles in the pond. Sometimes Casey, his partner’s dog, comes to work with him. Casey is part Staffie. Before Tracey got her from Battersea, Barnaby had embargoed Staffies. It didn’t take long for Casey to bring him round. Tracey emerged from the bathroom one day to hear him saying as he cuddled the dog, “Who’s my little baby?”

Nature and animals, better than Prozac. MasterB is the best companion I could have in lockdown, even when he has the zoomies as he did today. He’s vocal, demanding, affectionate, and just watching him makes me happy.

MasterB makes me happy

My constitutional was later than usual. Celia had walked the same route I was planning to take and told me of a new Thank-you NHS sign to look out for. She told me it was quite large. On the way I saw a cat on a wall watching something out of my sight. Then a slender fox, a vixen, slid between the cars. She was with another fox, a dog fox who, bolder than his mate, stopped and took stock of me.

London Fox

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