It’s been a few days since I posted because, as I explained in an earlier post, real life has recently kicked in. Richard’s mum, Betty, has been in hospital up to last night, when, she was taken in the early hours of the evening to a care home for a fortnight. It was hoped that she would go straight home from hospital but she has had sessions of being slightly bonkers and imagining the nurses are conspiring to kill her and that they hate her. None of this is true. Well, she may not be their favourite patient after being accused of contemplative murder but …
It is always the hardest decision in the world to put a parent in a home – even temporarily. The intention is that Betty will rally round now that she is out of the hospital environment and be able to go home after the fortnight and cope – with carers and family popping in. This is the plan. But it is a very loose plan and subject to change at any given moment.
My next update will astound you. Take a breath. Here goes … I hate Chea. There! I’ve said it. Hate. Hate. And then more hate. She is a miserable little shit. And here is the reason …
Two days ago she waltzed home with TWO baby birds in her jaws. TWO!! They were baby robins. One was dead and one was alive. Richard was here, thank the Lord, because the whole thing upsets me beyond words. He placed them in a bucket and disappeared up the garden with them to dispatch the semi alive one. When he came back I went ballistic, stropping and yelling and demanding that Chea was taken back to the RSPCA (again!) the following morning. You see, I know she emptied the robin’s nest, in the neighbour’s garden, of the first clutch of babies. She brought two back and left a dead one inches from its nest and now she had had two of the second clutch.
Richard rarely puts his foot down. No point. But he said, categorically (no pun intended) that Chea was going nowhere. She’s a cat and that is what cats do. I had another rant, which, frankly, usually wears him down and he gives in, sees my point of view and succumbs. This time he was having none of it and attempted to cut me off at the pass by saying, ‘All cats do it. What about Rory -‘ (named changed to avoid his owners suing me for defamation of character) ‘- what about when Jane (name changed …blah …blah …) called me round the other night to catch a bird in her kitchen that Rory had half mutilated?’
‘What?’ I said, head jolting up. ‘You didn’t tell me that.’
And then Richard made the ultimate mistake. The biggest, unguarded faux pas. He said, ‘I don’t tell you everything.’
Doesn’t tell me everything? Doesn’t tell me EVERYTHING?
‘Oh really?’ I said, in my best Miss Marple voice, ‘and just what else don’t you tell me, hey, HEY?’
He shifted uneasily. Guiltily uneasily in my eyes.
‘Oh don’t be stupid,’ he said. ‘You know what I mean.’
‘Do I? Do I?’
This went on for a bit, pit patting the ball of silliness between one and the other until I concluded by saying, ‘I don’t care what Rory does. Or the neighbour. Or you for that matter. If you want to attempt devious, attempt devious, but frankly I don’t care. THAT murdering cat is still going!’
‘No she isn’t,’ he said.
‘Then YOU had better feed her and clean out her tray and do everything because to me…she is dead!’
‘Don’t be so dramatic,’ he said.
I have to end the dialogue here because it went on for a good bit longer and for all of that time, Chea sat on the kitchen table, like a spectator at Wimbledon, watching us attempting to serve killer aces at each other. Bloody cat.
I still hadn’t forgiven her and then…then …THEN … yesterday I was laying down the law about something and Richard shot past me faster than pooh off a shovel and dashed outside. Chea, who had been kept in after the robin raid and had been out for an hour, had come back with what I assumed to be the last of the babies. Richard held up a hand and shouted (yes shouted) ‘don’t come near. Stay back. Don’t look!’ I just sank to my knees on the sofa and cried.
Five minutes later Richard came in and announced that the bird was alive and unharmed and what should he do with it. I despair. I really do.
We decided to try to raise it. We didn’t know for sure where it had come from and it looked too tiny to be out of the nest – and I’d raised house martins before so it wasn’t like I couldn’t do it. Richard hared off to fetch some meal worms and I cracked open an egg.
When he returned I equipped him with egg, tweezers and instructions to chop up a meal worm. I couldn’t watch that bit. I did watch Richard attempt to feed the bird. Useless. So, I took over. The first thing that surprised me was just how lively and flighty baby robin was. He wasn’t at all interested in food and never likely to be, in my opinion, so we regrouped and decided that the baby’s best chance was to go back into the neighbour’s garden and shout for its mum. So that’s what we did. That’s what Richard did.
He’s a love really. He does all the grim stuff. I shout at him and accuse him of lots of silly things but, to use a cliché, at the end of the day he’s a little rock. Well, a big rock really and with his mum going mad, on the hour every hour, he needs my support just now.
I haven’t made it up with Chea, I can’t, not yet. Yes, yes, yes,yes, I know, she’s a cat. I know that’s what cats do. I know. It just breaks my tender heart that she does it. And the really sad thing is …she often doesn’t kill these birds. She holds them gently and brings them home and lays them at the door. The trouble is they are nestlings and we stand no chance of putting them back and they are all too young to survive. Baby robin was older. If his mum found him he may have made it? If not? I can’t think about it …
I pray for the autumn now. The leaves will be off the trees and the garden won’t be such a jungle. The birds will see Chea coming. That’s if Richard stays strong and refuses to take her back to the RSPCA. Because I shall still be hating her tomorrow and the next day and the next, won’t I?
Take care my lovelies x