It may come as some surprise that M and I can actually sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat without having An Event or drama of one kind or another and often we do. A pleasant sit down, catchup and chat. Lately, some of our chats, given recent events in our lives have been been a bit fraught and also funny. M and I both do funny, seemingly when things are at their saddest or nastiest.
We also do a lot of healing work, mainly what is commonly known as “distance” healing but which we call “doing our stuff”. M has been working solidly on the Lennox case for a good outcome as well as anything else we are asked to do, currently including someone close to a very good friend of mine.
In an ideal world, we have a photo and a name and details but we don’t always get this and have to just hope that the energy is directed to the right person or animal or situation.
A friend of mine, who I will call Joan, is a lovely, lovely person. She is very involved in animal rights work, cares deeply about the environment, people and the world without being judgemental. She is beautiful, both inside and out. And she adores her cat, who is called Fruitbat because, well he looks like a bit like a fruitbat. I picked up on facebook that he wasn’t well, urged her to go the vet (which to be fair, she didn’t need me to do) and the sad news eventually came back, after blood tests and a specialist visit, that he had kidney disease.
Kidney failure is what both M has and her cat Pepper had (and somehow with grace, recovered from). So it is a subject we both know a lot about (in humans and cats) and one particularly close to our heart. I am also very fond of Joan and know exactly what Fruitbat means to her. Joan and I also come from South Africa, so we have another bond between us. In fact, when she came to the UK, she paid for Fruitbat to come out with her. M has met Joan so she knows her.
Of all the people and of all the cats … again, like with Pepper, the irony was bloody insulting. M and I got on the case and a day or so later, having slunk into M’s after work (I have a half an hour window between getting home and M putting dinner on the table, so sometimes conversations are conducted at speed) she asked me for a photo of Fruitbat.
I said I would get one, life got in the way and a couple of days later, I popped back in. We had a lot to talk about, but touched on Fruitbat. I updated her and she mentioned that she had googled a piccie. Cool, I said, not really thinking about it.
We moved onto other subjects and a few days later, I was back in M’s kitchen, drinking tea and having a fag after work. We were chatting about my circumstances and the difficulty I was having, with this time of year bringing all sorts of shit anniversaries and now the end of a relationship I treasured.
M feels a huge sense of betrayal, because she also believed that he loved me, utterly and completely and she feels as fooled as I do.
And of course, we touched on Fruitbat. In the conversation that followed, I explained how Joan had brought Fruitbat to the UK, got him through quarantine and mentioned that it must have cost her a small fortune in cattery fees.
M, who washing up at the time, started slightly. I continued to talk. M has had a very bad back lately so I put the start down to a brief twinge.
Now, M doesn’t swear. The worst I hear from her, is “shit”. Shit is her worst swear word and even then, I hear it so rarely I can probably count on my fingers and toes the times I have heard it in the last 14 years.
Suddenly she said “Fuck!” Stopped in my tracks, I stared at her. She said “Fruitbat is a cat?” Um yes … She said “A cat?!!”
“I’ve only been doing healing over a FUCKING bat!”.
I couldn’t help it, I just stared.
She continued: “well, I know that Joan adores animals and spends all her spare time trying to save them so it wasn’t exactly out of order to think that she had a bat and the bat had blasted kidney failure, was it?!!”
And then I roared. After sharing so many tears (her pain is mine, and mine hers), we were convulsed. All I could say was “well darling, somewhere out there, there is a VERY happy and healthy fruitbat who will probably make the Guinness Book of Records for being so long-lived”. This didn’t help and I distinctly recall a tea towel being thrown …
Needless to say, I went home and pulled off facebook all the photos of Fruitbat I could find that I thought would help speed healing.
But honestly, how old are we and how long have we been friends and how close are we and we can still completely cock it up …
The good news is that Fruitbat is doing well despite our shared idiocy :-).
Which brings me onto my next subject …
M feeds pigeons. It started at the pet shop and I swear that the birds just followed her home when she lost the petshop. Every day, M goes out to feed them. They gather on neighbours’ rooftops patiently and wait until she comes outside. A few brave ones venture down beforehand, fluttering up again when she approaches.
It is a little like a scene out of Hitchcock’s The Birds, but they are ever so sweet. There is no fighting, very little jockeying for space and they seem to have the pecking order worked out, even when they all fly down to sit on her shed roof as she is inside it, ladling the food.
Alongside the birds are the cutest family of rats. Initially just Mommy, Daddy and several babies, some of the babies grew up so now there is a small community of them. M and I adore ratties so whilst N, M’s partner is not too impressed, M and I ooh and aah over them. They are in gorgeous shape, clean, healthy and happy.
The only blot on the horizon is the long haired black and white cat who takes great delight in settling in M’s garden and catching and eating them. As horrible as it is, it has kept the family in balance and therefore not causing any issues. But, I digress …
So there we were, a few days later and I needed some fish. Walking down the path to the shed I noticed a little body in the grass. I stopped M as I didn’t want to upset her and had a closer look. Right out in the open was an adult rat. He/she was just sitting there.
I approached as softly as I could and then got closer. No injury. I could tell she (for some reason, I thought rattie was a she) was alive as she was breathing and every now and then would retch slightly.
This worried me as I have seen a rat die of poisoning and it is truly one of the cruelest things I have ever seen. Whilst the birds are quite hard to be discreet about, the rats are easy because they are well fed, have established themselves in M’s garden and are not likely to be a nuisance anywhere around.
M came closer and we debated what to do. I admit, my option was a quick brick across the head to save Rattie from an awful death. M sensibly said that it was unlikely anyone had poisoned them and maybe she just wasn’t feeling well.
Deciding we needed a third opinion, I gently removed my brother-in-law from the rugby.
He had a look and agreed that we probably needed the brick option. We looked at each other helplessly. I would have enough gumption to do it but needed to do it properly. He had not done it before so could not help.
So we went with M’s suggestion. She got a box, I lined it with paper towel and made a little nest. Then we had to pick her up. M came up with garden gloves. Too rigid. So she came up with another pair of garden gloves. Still too rigid. Yelling at BiL to close his eyes, I removed my jumper.
Great – in a garden in the suburbs of London, in an old bra and skirt. So glam!
Cradling my jumper sleeves to make gloves took a little bit of doing. Ratty just sat there, panting. I edged slowly, smoothly towards her and she let me pick her up and put her in the box.
She burrowed quickly under some paper and looked up at me quickly, then down again. I flipped the lid on the box, sighed with relief and spent some time giving her as much healing as I could.
I took the box into the garage and said to M that I didn’t think we were doing the right thing but it was hard to say what the right thing was. M said it was worth giving Ratty a chance, I said that if Ratty had been poisoned, we were condemning her to 24-48 hours of inconceivable suffering.
We hemmed and hawed, neither of us convinced by the other’s position and then decided to have another look at her.
I took off the lid, Ratty took one look at me and swearing a blue streak in Rattisms, made a huge jump out of the box. She managed it on jump number two.
M screamed, “Not in the garage” and I caught Ratty neatly on the lid in mid-leap.
Benny Hill music played in my head as Ratty decided she didn’t want to stay there either and making her feelings plain, made another leap for it. I played a form of rat tennis with the lid and Ratty, catching her each time she leapt and managed to manoeuvre both her and I out of the garage and onto the grass.
She took a final leap off the lid, looked at me, told me my fortune and galloped off, away from her nest. Pausing to orientate herself, she turned, ran over my feet and ran home, quite restored.
Moral of the story – do NOT give healing to a wild animal and then check on it in an enclosed space. She may be feeling LOADS better and not really appreciate being confined :-).