Friday, June 23, 2006


I've been putting away photographs for Mum but this one I had to put up. That is a very fat corgi and one enormous cat called Charles Amadaeus Mozart B. He didn't start out this way but had an appetite for food that transcended gluttony. One of Mum's neighbours came over and complained that he was bailing up his dog and stealing the food out of his dish. Not a small dog either but a Collie. Charles began to get a stomach that needed wheels and after one of his food forays, fell from the top of a six foot fence and started a vet bill that rivalled the national debt. I have another set of photos somewhere showing him ambushing my small granddaughter, boosting a cupcake straight from her hand and walking away with it in his mouth, paper and all.

Because the children were so young when they left for Queensland, I kept in touch by writing stories about the cat. He started as he was, a fat selfish glutton but ended his days as the Captain's cat on the Queen Elizabeth 11. I can't draw to save myself so all the illustrations were fabric collages or cut out pictures from that grandmother's mainstay, the Franklin Mint Catalogue. The stories still exist, their other grandmother has kept everything I've sent them and I'm glad because I'd never be able to duplicate all that work. I even invented a family tree for Charles right back into fantasy land when the bush fairies collected cat fur to make covers for their beds in winter. I must have had far too much time on my hands because for that, I pulled apart a length of wool and knitted a cover on a pair of wooden toothpicks. The things we do for a story.

Mum has a little over two weeks to go before a visit to the oncology clinic and everything is going well. The opening along the wound cut is back to about 5mm from 30mm and the doctor was very pleased with her yesterday. She decided to have a shower by herself today, while I was in the house but that didn't go to plan. She got in the shower okay but no water. Someone has leaned over the fence and turned the water meter off so I'm outside in the cold wrestling with the tap and she's inside trying to wash in what was left in the hot water jug. She's so confident now that she told me to have the weekend home. If I could just remember what to do with a weekend home.


Ron said...

I would hate to have either of those two pets jump up on my lap or, worse, on me in bed while I'm asleep.

Glad to read your mum is coming along fine and I hope the next appt brings good news (don't forget you've got to remind me of my oncologist appt for July 13!)

Who would turn your water meter off? Local kids?

JahTeh said...

Two lots of suspects, school kids on holidays or the council workers cementing a hole in the footpath.

The corgi Mum got from the animal shelter and it was three years before we found she'd had her jaw wired after an accident. No-one had ever taken this wire out so she picked up healthwise when it was. She was terrified by thunder so we think she was lost in a storm.

Brownie said...

oh god i wish i hadnt read that.
any suffering by animals gives me great grief.
i came here to say I loved the photo of the sleeping gluttons and the cupcake snatching story.
and a pox on the slack council workers who forgot to put the water back on in their rush to knock off on time.
love to your mum.

JahTeh said...

Brownie, she was a loving little dog and we think she must have belonged to a man because she would always go up to a ute and look in. We'd always wrap her up in her bed when fireworks went off.