Back in a bit…

September 25, 2009

Just a brief post, as I’m busy today doing as much running around outside as I possibly can as I know full well I’m going to be cooped up in that frigging kitty kennel for time immemorial tomorrow. The Mushroom, who is busy packing everything up, keeps winking at me and saying, ‘Ooh, got a surprise for you tomorrow, Zeebs!’. No you haven’t. I know what’s happening. I’m not stupid. Even if I didn’t understand English, which I do, the sight of her packing up all their worldly goods gives the game away somewhat. Humph. What’s more, the amusement in her voice at the prospect of this ‘surprise’ does not show, in my opinion, the degree of affection or respect that I feel, as a member of this family, I am due.  I also know that she could have taken me into the cabin of the plane with her and stowed me under the seat, and that this would have COST LESS, but apparently, the ‘trouble of buying a smaller cat box’ and the ‘stress of worrying about the cat and The Baby’ prohibited her from doing this, and in the frigging luggage hold I go. For crying out loud.

I am also anticipating being offline for a bit whilst they set things up, so I have also been busy looking things up on Wikipedia whilst I still can. This is what I’ve found out:

  • Moose eat vegetables. I am safe from Moose. ‘Moose’, as a plural form, sounds wrong. I want to call them ‘Meese’. This works especially well for me because then I think of them as like ‘Mice’ and I can forget about the fact that they weigh over a thousand pounds, are seven feet tall and have massive antlers.
  • Coyotes ‘have been known to eat domestic pets’
  • Cougars ‘have been known to eat domestic pets’.
  • So have Golden Eagles, who, incidentally, sometimes eat Coyotes.
  • Bears and Wolves ‘have been known to eat domestic pets’ as well.

Well, doesn’t that all sound dandy. The conclusion my research has led me to is to stay indoors. As it can get to -30 C during the winter months, I think it might be best all round. At least until I’ve worked out how many Coyotes, Cougars, Eagles, Bears and Wolves live in the town I’m in, anyway.

So I bid adieu to The Cave Troll, The Hippy and That Black Dog and begin my new adventures in Saskatchewan. I’ve become very fond of two of them, but That Black Dog I will not miss. Although I have to admit, he’s very good with The Baby, and is often to be seen licking her head – which means I avoid going near her head till she’s had a bath, as it then smells of haddock. I wish I had got to the bottom of why he smells so fishy. I can’t believe no one has asked. I refuse to accept that I was the only one who noticed.

I will let you know how I got on on that frigging plane as soon as I can. But on the plus side, I can’t WAIT to see my Dad.


Doing My Research

September 22, 2009

I have discovered a new internet phenomenon which is almost as good as Wikipedia. Skype. It’s brilliant. It means that my Dad and The Mushroom, as they currently can’t speak in person, can speak on the internet, mostly, it would seem, about me.

“So, I was thinking of flying out without Zeebs, and he can be shipped out when we’re settled”, The Mushroom says to my Dad.

Shipped? SHIPPED? What am I, a case of wine?

“No, bring Zeebs with you.”, replies my Dad.

“I can’t take the cat and The Baby.”, says The Mushroom.

“Yes, you can.”

“No, I can’t.”

“Yes, you can.”

“No, love, I can’t.”

“Yes, darl, you can.”

See? Skype is brilliant. The two of them would really struggle if they didn’t get to have conversations like this.

“No, I can’t”, continues The Mushroom, “Because I am not an octopus. I cannot carry The Baby, the cat and my carry on luggage.”

“Just check the cat in with your suitcases.”

At this point my ears prick up. I remember what happened the last time I was ‘checked in with the suitcases’. Fourteen hours next to a frigging German Shepard called Dolly is what happened.

Anyhoo, it would appear moving time is approaching.  I suppose it is quite exciting, if one doesn’t think too much about Coyotes or Moose or Wolves or Bears or Giant Eagles or anything else that might live on The Prairies and eat cats. Must check on Wikipedia, actually, to see a) how many of these do actually live on The Prairies and b) which of those that do are likely to want to eat a cat.  Once armed with this information, I shall endeavour to take steps to avoid being eaten. I know, for example, that if I were ever attacked by a crocodile I should run in a zig zag which apparently means it can’t see you. Whilst this may seem like a useless piece of information to you, if one looks at recent events it would appear that my Dad is attempting to live in every possible geographical environment, and I have no idea if ‘Amazonian Swamp’ is on his to do list.  Could be.

It has dawned on me that I know very little about Saskatchewan, except what I have heard in conversation here, and that has come mostly from what ‘Session Musicians’ and The Cave Troll have said about it.

“They say”, says The Cave Troll over breakfast one morning, ‘That if your dog runs away in Saskatchewan, you can see it run for three days. Ahahahaahaahaa!”

The Mushroom looks at him, slowly stirring her muesli type grainy breakfast and looking singularly unimpressed. “What?”

“It’s flat. Girl, it’s unbelievably flat.”

Flat is good. Flat means that I will be able to see Coyotes, Moose, Wolves, Bears and Giant Eagles from a distance and then get the frig back inside.

“So, you’re moving to Saskatchewan?”, asks Guitarist Who Wears Sunglasses Indoors of The Mushroom later that day, who nods in the affirmative. “Yeah. S-a-a-aska-a-a-a-a-atchewa-a-a-a-a-a-a-an”, he drawls, whilst rolling a suspicious looking cigarette. “Fulla Ukrainians.”

“I beg your pardon?”, asks The Mushroom, whilst The Baby appears to be trying to pull lumps out of her hair.

“Ukrainians. Fulla Ukrainians. Every one of ’em. It’s entirely, entirely Ukrainian.  Yeah. Sa-a-a-a-aska-a-a-a-a-thchew-a-a-a-a-an. Yeah.”

What? ‘Fulla Ukrainians’? Now, this is what I know: I know that Saskatchewan was pretty much founded by Ukrainian immigrants (Source: Wikipedia). I know that several families came over from The Ukraine and built the farms and stuff (Source: Wikipedia). I also know that this was in 1892. Ergo, for Saskatchewan to be ‘entirely Ukrainian’ there would need to have been a steady influx of Ukrainian immigrants into the area until present day. There has not been such a thing. Which means, that for Saskatchewan to be ‘entirely Ukrainian’, it must have suffered the same fate as cocker spaniels and everyone in Saskatchewan is related.

Now, I’ve seen what having your siblings as parents can do to a cocker spaniel. It isn’t pretty. This I cannot see in anywhere near as positive a light as it being flat.

I suspect the truth is that they are not all Ukrainian. If it were, surely Guitarist Who Wears Sunglasses Indoors would not have said it is ‘entirely Ukrainian’ but would, instead, have said, ‘full of people with fins’, or, ‘full of people withe webbed hands and toes and a third leg’. Perhaps I shouldn’t really have spent so long attempting to verify something a man who weighs less than me and clearly takes a lot of drugs said.

In any case, we’re going, because that’s where my Dad is. The Mushroom misses him. The Baby misses him. I miss him. The Cave Troll misses him too, but he’s not coming with us.

In fact, I caught The Mushroom, after The Baby had gone to bed, smiling at a photograph of my Dad. She was sufficiently preoccupied for me to use it as an opportunity to quickly check on Wikipedia and find out if there really are Coyotes and Moose and Wolves and Bears and Giant Eagles in Saskatchewan. And yes. Yes there are. Oh, and there are also frigging Cougars. Arse.

Hearing Things

September 18, 2009

All the humans in the house have a cold, and my lordy, are some of them making a big deal about it. It’s just a cold. Not even flu. Certainly not cat flu, which is very serious. It’s not even like the time I got poisoned or, as my dad likes to refer to it, the time I ‘pretended to have cancer’. For the record, I did not pretend to have cancer. At no point did I a) say that’s what I had or b) pretend to have the symptoms. A vet thought that’s what I had. What had actually happened is that my Dad, in a hungover stupor, had dropped one of his arthritis tablets on the floor. The tablet looked an awful lot like a Whiskas Dentabit. I ate it. I then lost all movement in my legs, stopped eating and had terrible stomach cramps, and was taken to any number of specialists who poked and prodded and – and this bit I’m still recovering from, even though it was about three years ago now – stuck a thermometer up my bottom, an orifice that should, in my opinion, remain an out only valve. I was neutered as a kitten. I am an entirely a-sexual creature. Please do not stick things up my bottom. Anyway, the moral of the tale is, cats should never eat Sulfasalazine, even when it looks like a Whiskas Dentabit. And the other moral is that humans should not leave drugs toxic to cats on the floor, especially when they look like Whiskas Dentabits.

The interesting things about all the humans having a cold is that the difference between male humans and female humans is dizzyingly apparent. The Hippy is pretending there is nothing wrong. The Cave Troll is behaving as if he has The Plague. Interestingly, The Mushroom is somewhere in between; she’s carrying on doing what she’s doing (which, to my feline eyes, is VERY LITTLE. She holds The Baby. She eats with The Baby. She plays with The Baby. She dresses The Baby. She baths The Baby. Hardly a day’s work, is it? It’s hardly, like, going out to chase mice and finches and playing mind games with That Black Dog. That’s a day’s work. ), but stopping at thirty minute intervals to announce that she ‘feels like shite’, and then carries on. The Baby just seems frustrated by the fact that she’s got a cold, and keeps trying to carry on as normal then stopping and wiping her nose in annoyance.

I have discovered a newly found respect for The Baby. Firstly, she has stopped pulling my tail. She now tries to pat me. In actual fact what she ends up doing is lightly hitting me, but I quite like that. Secondly, she has developed a habit of pulling That Black Dog’s tail and squealing with delight. This is a girl after my own heart. If I had opposable thumbs I’d be totally joining in that game. And thirdly, I think she’s missing my Dad as much as I am, which is fair enough, as he’s her Dad too. She keeps looking at his photo and pointing, shouting ‘Dadadadada’. Whilst this isn’t an actual word, I’m guessing it means ‘Dad’ and, to be fair, it’s better than I can do, so well done.

The Mushroom, being ill, still follows The Baby around and plays with The Baby, but isn’t reacting like The Baby has just learnt Hebrew and is, actually, the Messiah whenever she picks up her stacking bricks.Which means today I was spared conversations such as these:

“Da!”, says The Baby, pointing at the dog.

“Did you hear that?”, The Mushroom will cry to whoever is in hearing range, ‘She said ‘dog’!”

Later that same day…

“Da!”, says The Baby, pointing at the door.

“Oh my goodness!”, cries The Mushroom, “She said ‘door’! She clearly said ‘door’!”

Even later that same day…

“Da!”, says The Baby, pointing at The Cave Troll.

“Wow!”, exclaims The Mushroom, “She said Granddad!”

No, she didn’t. Using the same word for three separate things doesn’t count just because you point at them. A dog, a door and a Cave Troll don’t suddenly all become a ‘da’ just by virtue of pointing. If they did, there would be no need for nouns. We could just have one. For example, ‘Beaver’. Conversations would go like this: ‘Could you put the beaver on the beaver?”, and ‘Pass me the beaver’. They don’t go like that. Different things have different names.

In any case, The Baby could have very eloquently explained the process of photosynthesis today, but The Mushroom would have been far too enveloped in her world of snot to hear. She didn’t, then, notice when The Baby pointed at me, said, ‘Cat!’, pointed at herself, said ‘Mah!”, smiled, and crawled off. “My Cat’. She called me ‘My Cat’. I can almost feel myself welling up. Clever Baby.

Declaring War

September 13, 2009

The Cave Troll doesn’t speak much. Mostly, he grumbles. Sometimes, he barks. When he does talk, however, it is about one of two things:

a) Music

b) World War II.

The Cave Troll was born during WWII. He was born in Berlin during WWII. He is half German and half Russian. He’s like a walking, bearded, almost talking personification of ‘Operation Barbarossa’. He watches programmes about the war. He plays computer games based on the war. And he talks about the war a lot.

“So, really, Hitler underestimated the power of the Russians”, he says, whilst unwrapping a Werther’s Original, “If that makes sense to you, Zee.”

Of course it makes sense to me. My Dad’s a history teacher. I had to endure him reciting his entire dissertation to me in the early hours of the morning, every morning, for about three months during 2003.  Ask me anything about Russian tanks and how they were deployed and I’d be able to answer, if I had the physical capability. What doesn’t make sense to me is why a 64 year old man is sitting on his sofa, sucking on sugar-free toffees, and telling all this to a cat.

The whole WWII thing is not dissimilar to the situation going on between That Black Dog and I. That Black Dog is invading my territory. This is like Poland. He is coming into my room and he is eating my Iams. For it to end the same way, I would need to get half a dozen grizzly bears and maybe a moose and kick his frizzy tailed ass into next week.

I ruminated on this, as I sat on the bed watching That Black Dog eat my Iams for the fifth time that day, when I noticed him do something new. He drank my water. Now, eating my Iams is bang out of order, but at least The Mushroom replenishes the supply regularly so I don’t ever go hungry. She looks in the bowl, sees there are no Iams, and gives me more. But That Black Dog didn’t finish my water. He just drank some, and went away. She’d never know he’d been anywhere near my water. This is an outrage. What this meant was that the only water available to me until the following day had  been contaminated with That Black Dog’s suspiciously fishy breath. The suspiciously fishy breath of a dog who also drinks water OUT OF THE TOILET BOWL.

I nearly broke out in a sweat of fury, except I didn’t because I am covered in fur. I have spent the day desperately trying to come up with a plan to get my own back on That Black Dog. I’ve tried weeing on his kibble, but he either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. I’d poo in his basket, but they’d know it was me as he wouldn’t poo in his own basket and it’s highly unlikely that either The Mushroom or The Baby would poo in it either. I’d leave fur balls in his bed, but he’d  just eat them. I can think of absolutely nothing effective I can do.

Except scratch him when nobody’s looking.

“Hey, Tootsie Roll!”, cries The Hippy as she brushes That Black Dog’s coat, “You’ve been scratched! Hey”, she asks The Mushroom,”Did your cat scratch my dog?”

“No”, says The Mushroom, “The cat fluffs up like the Pink Panther after a shower when he’s within ten yards of the dog. He’s hardly going to scratch him. He must have done it himself.”

Nice one, Mushroom. I’m not saying that’s what I did. I’ve no idea how he got those two little scratch marks on his ears. Nor do I have any idea why he appears to be avoiding me. All I know, is that for the first time in a while I’ve been able to watch a bit of telly in the evening, happily perched on an armchair, without worrying about where That Black Dog is.

I’m not sure that this is a brilliant long term solution. It is all dependent on That Black Dog not realising he is about nine times my size with teeth the size of my paws. Should he, say, pass a mirror, I am a teeny bit screwed. In the meantime, however, much sport is to be had by sitting on the sofa, perched above him as he lies on the floor, having a swipe and then doing a runner. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before.

A Break in Routine

September 11, 2009

The Hippy appears to have stopped using the Magical Porch for its Magical Purposes. I don’t know if this is a temporary thing or what; I do, however, know that she is now very, very different. Suddenly, she’s a lot more focussed. She’s eating much fewer wine gums. And she’s also started using phrases from ‘Batman’.

“Holy Guacamole!”, she cried after banging her elbow whilst cleaning the kitchen cupboards. “Holy Tolito!”, she yelped, after stubbing her toe on the door (what is a tolito? I don’t think it’s a word). And finally, “Holy Ravioli!”, she shouted, after being startled by the, er, phone ringing. The Mushroom just looked at her.  Why has she just started using these phrases? Perhaps she has always used them, but just hasn’t so far since we’ve been here because, a) she’s been too stoned to notice much and b) she’s been too stoned to remember much, let alone phrases from ‘Batman’.

New, non-stoned Hippy is also full of new lifestyle ideas.

“I don’t think we live healthily enough”, she announces, striding purposely into the dining room, where The Mushroom and The Baby are having lunch. Both pause to look up at her, The Mushroom glancing back down at her bowl of whole grain rice and The Baby caught mid mouthful of pear.

“Really?”, queries The Mushroom.

“Baf!”, says The Baby.

“No”, replies The Hippy, “So I have decided we are all going to become Fruitarians.”

The Mushroom stares fixedly at her. ‘What the bollocks is a Fruitarian?”

The Hippy thinks for  moment. “It’s kinda like a Vegan, but, you know, man, with more, you know, fruit. I think it’s a totally amazing way to live. It’s totally natural. What do you think?”

“I think”, says The Mushroom, “That my Dad will kill, and then eat, you.”

“Oh.” The Hippy looks crestfallen, “Yeah.”

Thank the Lord. Would she have made me and That Black Dog go ‘kinda Vegan’ too? I’d have been okay, cos I’d have just gone out and hunted rodents, but That Black Dog would have eaten all the fruit and then thrown up. Repeatedly. That would only have been funny for the first day or so, then it would have gotten a bit smelly and, quite frankly, That Black Dog smells bad enough.

The Hippy’s other radical idea was to do with laundry. Laundry is a wholly human phenomenon. It is bizarre. I would understand their need to scrub their clothing if, for example, they had been digging mud all day, but what do they do that warrants it spending an hour being thumped about in a machine? Nothing. They get dressed. They get in the car. They maybe walk about outside. Why can’t they just lick it clean? It’s what I do, and look at me – shiny shiny shiny. I’ve never seen a human wear a coat as silky clean as mine. Anyhoo, at first, it sounded as if The Hippy was beginning to share my way of thinking.

“I’ve decided that we use the washing machine too much”, she said as The Mushroom was changing The Baby’s outfit after lunch.

The Mushroom looked genuinely worried. She loves washing clothes. If she could get away with it, she’d wash clothes every day. I think she believes that if clothes are left in the dirty laundry basket for longer than two hours, they start to breed germs. I’ve caught her spraying dirty laundry with anti-bacterial spray.

“So, I think we should, like, hand wash them instead. It would be, like, totally in tune with our ancestors.”

I thought The Mushroom was going to cry. At this point, Elizabeth the Church Organist appeared in the doorway.

“Whoohoo!”, she called, wobbling happily on the porch, “I have a present!”

The Mushroom, The Baby, even That Black Dog appeared to breathe a sigh of relief.

Three hours later, The Cave Troll thumps up the stairs, after having spent the afternoon playing ‘German Tanks Fire Guns At Stuff’ and moping over the fact that my Dad is in Saskatchewan and can’t play ‘German Tanks Fire Guns At Stuff’ with him. “What’s for dinner?”, he calls to The Hippy.

“Steak.”, comes the reply.

It would appear, then, that it was a temporary glitch after all.

Change is Afoot

September 8, 2009

Apparently, I snore. This is how I found out.

“Zeebs”, says The Mushroom, “You snore, mate.” I frigging don’t. I’m a cat. Cats don’t snore. We don’t even sleep deeply enough to think about snoring. Dogs, they snore. That Black Dog sounds like a frigging walrus at night. My Dad, similarly, sounds like some sort of beast of the marshes. I just cat nap. Clue’s in the title. Maybe she dreamt I was snoring cos she’s missing my Dad.

My Dad has got a teaching job. This was the cause of much celebration chez nous. Better still, it isn’t in the Arctic. It is, instead, in The Prairies. This, they say, is much, much better than being in the Arctic. For a start, they have daylight all year round, which is absolutely a bonus. Secondly, it only goes down to minus 30 or so in the winter and, and I believe this is what swung it for them, there are more than three people living there. I, however, have some reservations. Namely, this: Coyotes.

Coyotes are, according to Wikipedia, ‘Big shits of dogs who eat cats’. That’s not a direct quote, but you get the gist. Coyotes live in The Prairies. Quite frankly, I have enough trouble with That Black Dog and it is clear that he never intends to actually eat me. He’s far too old and arthritic and I could totally take him in a fight, but that doesn’t stop him barking at me every now and again and I’m genetically programmed to fluff up like a frigging toilet brush and scarper. It’s so embarrassing. It takes ages for my tail to go down afterwards, as well, so everyone knows I’ve been barked at. But at least I know that he wouldn’t actually hurt me. Coyotes? They would, the scraggy little bastards. I, it would appear, am never going outside again.

Anyhoo, my Dad has gone ahead to sort stuff out in Prairie-land for the three of us to join him, and then, hopefully, they’ll stop moving me around so much. Five moves in just over a year is a bit much for what is, essentially, a territorial land mammal. Cats don’t migrate. What cats do is find an area they like, leave poos along the borders of said area, and stay put. I tell you, I’ve left poos in a lot of areas of late. I will not, however, be leaving any poos in Prairie Land. It would be like putting up a big sign to the Coyotes saying ‘City Cat Lives Here’.

The Cave Troll seems to be taking my Dad’s departure quite hard. He is, now, in a house of women, two of whom are hippies and one of whom is too young to help him out. Where my Dad would sneak The Cave Troll a slice of pizza when no-one was looking, The Hippy and The Mushroom appear to have post graduate degrees in ‘Salt Studies’, and won’t let anyone anywhere near it. Now, there’s nobody to support his cause when he claims he wants something that isn’t made of Soya, or tofu, or granola, or all three of these combined in a sesame oil sauce. With no salt. Poor Cave Troll. He’s taken to watching ‘The Military Channel’ on a loop, presumably as footage of Nazi era Germany reminds him of my Dad.

It is also very clear that The Mushroom is missing him, which is odd considering that when he was here she was mostly telling him to ‘Shush!!!’.  She’s quieter than usual, and is trying to come up with ways of distracting herself.

“Tomorrow, I’m going to take you to play at the Mother and Baby group!”, she says to The Baby, who gurgles.

This is clearly a sign that she is missing my Dad. The Mushroom has been to a Mother and Baby group before, in Hull. Once. It was at this that she learnt that swearing, even anecdotally, is very much not the done thing at a Mother and Baby group in particular, she found, the ‘c’ word. She has never been back. Tomorrow may prove interesting. I think The Hippy is going too. I really wish I could be there.

Now that I know I’m leaving, I am beginning to see The Hippy in a new light. Maybe it’s not so bad to love granola. Maybe it’s okay to keep telling people to ‘Shit, man’. Maybe floating is better than walking. This could also have something to do with the fact that the other day when my Dad, The Mushroom and The Baby were out she spent about ten minutes tickling my belly. Perhaps this is how she got The Mushroom to become a hippy. It’s amazing how persuasive a belly tickle can be. If she keeps doing it, I might even see my way to having a go with that magical pipe of hers.

Great Expectations

September 2, 2009

The Cave Troll appears to have finished working with MC Hardcopy, the Polish rapper, and had a new ‘rock band’ in. They are about nineteen and have a lot of tattoos, but still take their shoes off at the door. I like that. It makes me think that despite all their swearing and posturing, their mums still wash their pants and they probably attend church on a Sunday. They spent the day recording stuff downstairs in the cave.

“I’m rusting like a flower left out in the rain!”, they sang.

“What?”, says my Dad as he washes the dishes, “Rusting like a flower? Flowers don’t rust. And they like rain. Flowers thrive on rain.”

“It’s poetry, man”, says The Hippy, as she floats through the house, “It’s like a metaphor.”

“How can something be like a metaphor?”, he asks, “Surely it is just a metaphor. If it is like a metaphor, then it’s a simile.”

The Hippy nods. “I hear you, man.”, she says, and goes out to the porch.

“I’m floating like a canon, never going to fade!”, they continue to sing.

“What?!”, my Dad asks, head in hands, “Argh, it just doesn’t make any sense! How can a canon float? It doesn’t float!”

“It’s okay, love.”, says The Mushroom, rubbing his back, “It’s all alright.”

“But they’re musicians!”, he wailed, “They’re paid to write stuff, aren’t they? And it’s just such bollocks. It defies the most basic of scientific rules. In both lines!”

I think my Dad is getting cabin fever. He gets it every summer, towards the end of the holidays, when it’s time for him to go to work. I have to admit, though, even to my feline ears, that song is utter shite.

The Hippy’s ‘dealer’ came round today. I got quite excited when I heard about this, as I have watched quite a lot of crime drama on TV. You’d be surprised what’s repeated at half three on a Sunday morning, in the days when my Dad used to come home sozzled with a kebab and fall asleep in front of the TV. See, if I were a dog, I’d have eaten those kebabs and then had a poorly bottom. Those kebabs were made entirely of badness. I’m not a dog. I didn’t touch them. Sometimes, my own superiority is almost a burden.

Anyhoo, there I was, expecting this bloke, not unlike Gary Oldman’s character in ‘True Romance’, to swagger in, do his ‘deal’ and maybe light up a fat one. He would say things like, ‘yo, bitch!’ as  a greeting and smell vaguely of a combination of patchouli and gun powder. He would be frightening and unpredictable and he would maybe eat the dog. I sat on the porch, braving the magical powers thereof, in anticipation. Instead, up the path wobbled the most rotund lady I have ever seen, dressed head to toe in plaid, named Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a church organist and retired music teacher. And she is also The Hippy’s dealer.

In no film I have ever seen has a dealer been a church organist. Nor have I ever seen a dealer arrive not only with drugs, but with homemade shortbread cookies. She arrived, they hugged, The Hippy made them both tea, they nibbled shortbread, Elizabeth talked about her children, and then away she went.

Does this mean, thus, that drug dependency has reached every branch of Canada? Is everybody on drugs except for me? Am I on drugs and no-one’s told me? I put a lot of trust into those Iams. I don’t see them being made. It could happen.

Not all surprises are disturbing. As I was cat-napping on the bed this afternoon, The Mushroom, whilst The Baby played in her cot, snuggled up to me.

“Love you, Zeebs”, she said, and stroked my ears. I knew she did, but it’s nice to be told.