16 November 2008

If Only It Were Always That Easy…

Yesterday morning I finally got round to taking the cats to the vet for their annual jabs and check-up, and six-monthly anti-flea shots. I always do this with a slight reluctance, since it can be quite an undertaking. For one thing, these days the vets have an appointments-only system. Can’t blame them for that, as the surgery almost always used to overrun, but it does mean that it matters if we’re late or don’t make it (can’t find cats, cab arrives late or not at all). It also means doing it on a Saturday (and they, and we, get very booked up) or taking half a day’s leave because my place of work is the other side of London and I can’t otherwise get home in time (OK, so that’s my choice). Then Sally finds the whole business so stressful that she often arrives with a soiled container, which I feel equally awful about on three counts: the cab driver has to get rid of the smell from his vehicle, the nurses always clean and reline the container (even to the extent of replacing the towel once recently), and it causes Sal extra distress. So I starve them after midnight and try to encourage use of a soil tray before we go, all of which they are deeply unimpressed by. Then the appointments tend to run late, which means sending the cab driver away and often having to wait quite a while for another when we’ve finished.

But anyway. Yesterday it went just about as smoothly as could be. Found and boxed the cats – OK, so it took two of us, and there had to be Deep Excavations (Sally from behind a pile of boxes, Harry from behind the television). And just how is it that when you try to put them in their carriers, the cats always have eight legs apiece, each of which is at least a foot long and at right angles to their bodies? But we set off in good time (even if I did forget their record books in the euphoria), arrived early with no mishaps of any kind, and were seen early, too, for oce. They haven’t put on any weight, despite eating for England at the moment, and passed their checkups apart from the fact that Sally will need a tooth extracting (Louise the vet tells me that there have been attempts to fill cats’ teeth, but that they tend to lick the fillings out!). Harry (world’s huggiest cat) had his usual fan club session with the female members of staff, who fell for him in a big way earlier this year when he spent some weeks with them having a bladder problem sorted out. A short wait for our driver to return, we arrived back and the mogs were tucking into breakfast, all within an hour of leaving!

I’m sure that at least part of what helped was that we were being chauffeured by our friend Les, who drives a Mercedes, thus providing a smooth ride. You can’t say our cats don’t have good taste!

08 November 2008

Autumn Bites!

Autumn Bites!

As the weather has been so iffy recently (it’s a bit much when we can’t even have a decent September!), time to bring on the appropriate sustenance. Recently on the menu here:

‘Beef and Salad’ casserole (beef, tomatoes, peppers, fennel, onions, garlic)
Garlic potatoes
Red cabbage
Ham and pasta, with olives, tomatoes, garlic
Jacket potatoes with chilli beef
Home-made soup
Vegetable curry (has to include potatoes and butterbeans)
Lemony roast chicken
Mince pies
Apple and cherry brandy crumble (seriously good!)

Which reminds me - mince pies, like hot cross buns, can be bought all year round these days, of course. An interesting way of wiping out a seasonal custom!