“What on earth are these?” I asked Tuffy-Cat, holding up a bunch of vegetables that looked like gigantic radishes. Tuffy-Cat was watching me closely, as I was unpacking a big cardboard box, and laying each of the items out on the kitchen counter. “These can’t be radishes. They’re massive.”
“Mreow?” responded Tuffy-Cat, with a questioning intonation.
“Oh, okay, you want a sniff?” I lowered the bunch of whatsits to her head-height, and she gave them an inquisitive sniff, before turning up her nose and stalking off to her foodbowl, where she’d deliberately left a few korreltjies for a post-lunch snack.
“Well, you’re a lot of help today,” I said, turning my attention to the print-out I’d made of the order. “You know what, I think they must be turnips. But what do you use them for? Soup, perhaps?”
A couple of days ago, I was standing at the kitchen sink, absent-mindedly washing the dishes and gazing out at the front garden, when I glimpsed a movement near the rickety old garden bench under the frangipani tree.
Was that a cat sitting on our bench?
Yes, indeed. It was a tiny little ginger cat. It looked like it was just a couple of months old, and rather too young to be roaming around the neighbourhood on its own. Its eyes were blissfully closed, as it contentedly absorbed the warmth of the mid-morning sun. It looked so cute, that I didn’t want to disturb it, so I continued with my household chores.
I was peacefully working away on the computer this morning, when Tuffy-Cat marched into the office, sat down next to my chair, and glared up at me.
“MEOW!” she declared.
If you own – or rather, are in service to – a cat, you’ll know what an effect such an evident feline reprimand can have.
I had no idea what I’d done wrong, but something was evidently raising her hackles. Perhaps the food situation in the kitchen was unsatisfactory. I disengaged my mind from the computer, got up, and dutifully followed her to the kitchen, as she trotted along, leading the way.
Food bowl – hm… yes, clearly there weren’t enough korreltjies left in the bowl, so that had to be topped up pronto. Miss T wound herself around my legs in joyful anticipation.
Last weekend, we finally tackled the painting job we had been procrastinating over for months, if not years: our ceilings.
When we moved into our house some 7-8 years ago, I had (very foolishly, in hindsight) insisted on using eco-friendly paint.
Although I concede that it was a pleasure to paint with – even though we could only choose from a very limited range of environmentally safe pigments – and really easy to clean the brushes and rollers, the downside is that the darned paint turned out to be sooo eco-friendly that it encouraged the proliferation of mould in our habitually quite cold house.
And as anyone will tell you, mould in the house can cause serious health issues, especially in people who already have respiratory problems.
In the intervening years, we have re-painted almost all the inside walls – not a fun job, I can tell you, particularly if you have to move heavy furniture out of the way. However, we didn’t re-paint the ceilings at the same time – we quite simply ran out of steam.
As a rather wet winter merged into a still rather damp spring, we decided to procrastinate no longer.
As soon as we had a free weekend with good weather, we picked up a 5-litre container of paint with mould-remover from the hardware store, cleared the bedroom, hallway and kitchen as much as possible, and got started.
If you ask my family, they will confirm that I was a “Leseratte” (a German word translated directly as ‘reading rat’, but meaning the equivalent of ‘bookworm’, which sounds much better) when I was little. I always had my nose buried in a book, or two, or more.
This hasn’t changed much, although nowadays it usually takes me a little longer to get through a book, because the responsibilities of adulthood clamour for attention too.
After a particularly intense series of freelance editing jobs with insane deadlines, interspersed with some serious spring-cleaning activities around the house where I systematically took down, washed and hung up again every single set of curtains (phew!), I badly needed a break.
After last week’s whirlwind program of activities and outings with mom-in-law, it was back to work for me today. Some editing and proofreading work had been pushed aside for a week, and now it was clamouring for attention.
As you can imagine, it was tricky to concentrate, as my head was all over the place, remembering the fun times we had, our walking tour of Kirstenbosch, our trip out to McGregor to see Donkey, Sunday afternoon’s garden concert with the Navy Band, and all those other exciting events of which I’ve only shared tiny snippets.
When my blogfriend Helen over at Walk the Cape left such a sweet comment requesting more posts about Tuffy, I proudly informed our kitty-cat that she had at least one other fan in the world (other than hubby and me, of course).
It took a while for these odd sounds from the lounge to be recognised by my brain. I’d been completely focused on finishing an editing job for a client, and had as usual lost track of time and filtered out the rest of reality, as happens when one sits at the computer!
What was going on there? Clearly, Tuffy-Cat was trying to get my attention.