It has been a week fraught with various emotions spanning the spectrum from frustration to pure joy, which, as we all know, can be quite exhausting. But it’s ended well, I think.
It’s official, I’m back in the driver’s seat. Half an hour ago (that’s Sunday noonish) I drove around the neighbourhood in the family car. Not in a training car. Not in a vehicle with an extra set of pedals. Not in a car with a big bright L on top. I drove in our sweet old lady with the mile-long clutch and the hypersensitive accelerator. And I didn’t panic brake once.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt so victorious, which is why I’m wasting your time with my minor accomplishment. Because to me it’s enormous. Okay, so I didn’t exactly drive in actual traffic but there was the constant threat of traffic because we live in a crowded part of the city and the locals crawl out of their dens around the time everyone in the family was awake so we could go for a drive.
All this has happened after a total of six refreshment lessons, which is not just a great testimonial for the expertise of my original instructor (wife of my current instructor) but also a testimonial of my ability to retain certain knowledge that I thought I’d never had, even after I got my licence. Now that I’ve established I’m all right to drive a normal car, I’ll be spending the summer along the streets of our village, honing things like side distance and fast decision-making. It should be fun and for once I’m not being ironic.
We broke the cat
Owning a pet is a responsibility, not only to the pet but to society. This is why, being the responsible catters that we are, we had Vlad neutered this week, not only to reduce the risk of wandering but to eliminate the risk of him fathering litters of unwanted kittens. It wasn’t an easy decision but it was a non-negotiable one. This is how we learned how much had changed in local vet care over the past 25 years.
Two decades and a half ago, we had an emergency double neutering procedure for our two toms after the younger one reached puberty and it turned out they are suddenly determined to kill each other by any means necessary and with a lot of noise. This is how it went: we took them to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, a large middle-aged doctor with the build of a butcher took them away and about an hour later he brought them back, stoned and de-testesed. They spent the day mostly sleeping and walking funnily and by the next day they were all right if a lot less violent.
And this is how it went for Vlad this week: we set an appointment last week. We took him to the clinic. He was admitted by a doctor who talked so fast I had to switch my hearing into a higher gear. I was informed that he will be dealt with in the fullness of time and we would be contacted to come and pick him up, most likely by the end of day. I was asked to pay $100+ for the procedure, which apparently included something called “sedation and reversal”, the latter part of which impressed me but not as much as the bill.
We were sent home where we spent the hours from 9:30 to noon pretending not to be worried to death. At least some of us were pretending. I didn’t have the energy. At about 12:30 we received a call telling us Vlad was done but he was sleeping so we could come and collect him around three or later. The Scrooge in me rebelled against having to pay for “reversal”— involving a sedative antidote — and then having to wait for hours before she could have her cat back.
When we did get him back, boy did we get him back. The cat almost cried with joy that he was home. Frantic sniffing ensued, the “reversal” obviously working per spec. He ate, he sniffed, he ate again, he sniffed again, he chased something only he could see jumping in the air and tearing down a curtain, then he ate more. And then he stole food from our table for the first time in our life together. Which is what prompted Big C. to say ‘We broke the cat.”
I don’t know which was more hilarious, the utter lack of irony in the statement or the guilty note in his voice as the male sex traitor that he turned out to be. But no, the most hilarious thing was that the food Vlad stole was a slice of bread. A big slice of bread. A toasted slice of bread, which he proceeded to hook on a claw and eat on the floor until a single crumb was all that remained. Then he went to sleep.
Okay, it looks like I really splurged on the cat betrayal there so I’ll leave you with a motivational picture for next week. Oh, and there’s book-peddling corner, too, as usual. Thanks.
Motivational picture for next week
Book-peddling corner (because books won’t sell/download themselves much as I’d like them to): if you’re in the mood for some dragons and vampires, or mysterious vanishing planes, try The Lamiastriga (which you can’t read for free on this blog) or Sky High (which you can read for free on this blog or on Kobo. I always appreciate feedback). For those in the mood for scary stories, here’s a complete list of my published shorter fiction.