hours cycled :: 0.5
cycle accidents :: 1
RSI symptoms :: 3
tennis matches played :: 0
tennis matches watched :: 1
days without tobacco :: 3
weeks of work remaining :: 24
scabs :: 2
grazes :: 1
regrettable acts of insensitivity and carelessness :: 1
mice observed :: 4
mice trained :: 0
donkeys rescued from skips :: 1
cats sat :: 2
For the past five days, I have been cat-sitting. You may remember Cedric. Stan blogged about him back in the day, when all this was gospel. Cedric is old. His owner, Mr Paddy Tumnus, is under the mistaken impression that Cedric is about 14 years old. Cedric is in fact 29. And so he moves like yesterday’s news, seeping into oblivion, crying out in constant sorrow and occasionally wetting himself. He even has a saline drip now, which thankfully I didn’t have to administer, and apparently the vet has said that his days are numbered. Poor little fella. I’m very grateful, however, that he didn’t shuffle off over the past five days. NOT ON MY WATCH. Because of course Paddy would always have wondered if maybe his beloved Cedric’s death could have been prevented by proper care. And I would always feel guilty for putting ketamine in his tuna.
Cedric has a friend now. Cedric’s friend is called Hector.
Hector doesn’t appear to like Cedric and Cedric doesn’t appear to like Hector, so perhaps the term ‘friend’ is not wildly appropriate. In fact, they pay one another no attention whatsoever. It’s quite strange really.
Hector is old too, but nowhere near as old as Cedric. He can still get up and down the stairs without you worrying that his front legs are going to give way at any moment. He can even get up on a table if he so chooses.
Hector moved in with Cedric a couple of months ago. Apparently at first there was animosity, then gradually, that was replaced by complete indifference. Now they move through the same space pretending that they simply can’t see one other. In Cedric’s case, this may be true. He’s definitely deaf already, and his eyes have no colour.
Hector is probably disgusted by Cedric. He probably sees his own demise in the sightless grey of Cedric’s lifeless eyes. Also, Cedric is annoying. Sorry, Paddy, but he is. He just bleats constantly – not just when he wants feeding or demands attention, but also all the rest of the time that he isn’t asleep. He just mews. Constantly. He’s like an old man wittering on about his aches and pains or all the friends he lost in the Great War.
Cedric made me feel terribly sad because when he’s not befouling the air with retch-inducing cat-gas, he’s actually very sweet and can still purr and rub and appreciate the love of the humans in his life. But also, he’s really very depressing. He’s a constant reminder of the torment that – if we’re lucky – awaits.
On Thursday I went to the annual Harper Collins summer party. It was very lavish, held in the grounds of the V&A. There were tiny exotic nibbles on silver trays carried by exquisitely attractive women who looked Eastern European but were actually probably from Surrey. There were also celebrities. Phill Jupitus was there, looking like he may have eaten one too many of the exotic nibbles – as well as at least two or three of the waiting staff. Nothing wrong with that of course. Good for him.
Peter Mandelson was also there, looking – essentially – evil. Unsmiling, unpleasant (according to someone who had to speak to him on official business), and, to all intents and purposes, inhuman. I really didn’t care for him, I have to say. He seemed every inch the self-serving swine I’d always suspected he was – and I observed him at length. I had a great urge to pelt him with vol-au-vents. But I didn’t. Live and let live. All that. He might actually be a nice guy underneath all the thick glutinous layers of pure evil.
And then there was Penny Smith. I first met Penny Smith when she interviewed me GMTV. I had a bag on my head at the time. So when I saw her last week, I felt I had to say hello, and when I did, she was absolutely lovely. We chatted about this and that for a few minutes and then, rather politely I thought because I really didn’t want to, I left her to it. Penny Smith. Who’d have thought it?
But apart from all the excellent sausages and alcohol – and apart developing a crush on Penny Smith – I met a lot of publishing types and quite a few writers and I realised yet again that I really have a lot of work to do and – relatively at least – very little time in which to do it. And that made me rueful.
Meanwhile, life goes on, and work goes on, the latter eating into the former like a Hollywood version of the Ebola virus. Something, therefore, has got to change. I’m working on it. I’ll know more on Wednesday.
And here is the donkey, which when it was tossed into the skip like an old cat, still had Parma Violets in its belly.
It cheered when Spain won.