A few days ago I caught Mickey Mouse in a rubbish bin in my computer room. Or rather, I think he caught himself – he fell into the bin and couldn’t get out. I took him to the front yard, pointed him toward the neighbour’s house and tapped on the bottom of the bin. Away he flew.
Today we noticed a little scrap paper in the dining room near the sideboard. And then we opened the door…
That was a spare chocolate Advent calendar we had stored in the sideboard. Every date container save one was nibbled open and the chocolate mysteriously made to vanish. I suspect a miracle…
To his credit, he did not poo in the sideboard.
The cat was unavailable for comment.
I’ve tried. With limited success.
When you are young you attempt this for a variety of reasons – the chief one being the period of time before you actually go to sleep. You hope to be busy. If you are lucky, both of you can occupy yourselves profitably in this period, and the less said about that the better. Mind you, if there is money involved in that profit, one of you is doing it wrong…
But after that period in your life, the time spent in bed – the bit where you actually go to sleep – can be increasingly difficult. If sleep is wanted, and needed, you require a few simple things; warmth in winter, coolness in summer, a reasonable silence, and lack of movement. As you get older, these become less likely.
Oh, you may be as much a problem as her, and the equation equal on both sides. I’ll leave you to decide who is the culprit. You may wish to set a night-vision camera in motion at dusk to record who steals the covers, thrashes around like a squid, or snorts like a Union Pacific Mallet locomotive going through Ogden. Then replay it to accuse each other. It will be concrete evidence but you’ll never convince the other party that they are guilty.
The chiefest conclusion that you can come to about adults sleeping together is that the old American sit-com TV shows with the parents sleeping in twin beds instead of a double were not as ludicrous as they seemed. They eliminated at least two factors in the blood-shot-eye battles – movement and covers. The noise of snoring, snorting, gurgling or moaning was still there. Fortunately our hearing declines after 60 and this became less of a problem.
The wild card is provided by children or pets who insist on entering the marital bedroom and hogging the marital bed. Neither class of creature respects privacy, personal space, or the need to avoid flatulence. And they have the infuriating habit of sleeping while they prevent others from doing so. It is the reason dog-whips were invented, and recently I found out that you could use these on dogs as well.
This may be a short post. We have a cat and I have been trying to think why.
Oh, I know why the cat is here – for the food and warm bed, plus the opportunity to squall until it is attended to – but I am trying to list what actual use he is.
a. Mouse catching. Having watched a mouse scamper out of the pantry and run under the new stove and reflecting that said mouse has been there for months, I do not think the cat has any serious ability as a vermin exterminator. Either that, or he has a territorial agreement with the mouse.
b. Roach catching. Summer is coming and so are the big cockroaches. Oh, we bomb ’em and bait ’em and we might as well set out cocktails and little sun beds for them, for all the good the poisons do. The cat has never, to my knowledge, ever caught one.
c. Bird catching. Well, here we have a different story – you want to look carefully at the welcome mat of a morning before you step out or you may be wiping your shoe for a while. The birds are always the innocent doves. We have plenty of crows and magpies in the neighbourhood but they have big beaks and determined looks and I think the cat is a coward.
d. Hood ornament. Well, here the cat is actually good at something. Curling up on a bonnet or the back roof of a parked car. Sometimes you have to drive halfway down to the street before he deigns to get off.
e. There is no e. That is all the cat ever does.
I do not expect miracles. No thought of the cat suddenly cleaning the gutters or doing our taxes. No need asking him to read Hemingway or sail a boat. I just expect the occasional cat-like task accomplished. I would even settle for a purr and lap warming now and again, but apart from losing half my bed space to him, this doesn’t seem likely.
We may have a faulty cat. It’s not working.
I live at home.
And for eight hours a day I live horizontal next to a wife and a cat. We have a big bed, and if we are decent about it we need not impinge upon each other’s territory. The cat developed the habit of getting into bed by coming to my side of it and jumping up onto my bits, but I countered this by doing the hockey protector pose when I heard him enter the room and the worst that happens now is a bounce and a thud. On occasion he has tried to lie starfished onto my entire side of the bed but I pick up the blanket and sheet and roll him off.
We have also discovered that you can get a marvelous pad for the top of the mattress that means Mrs. I want to roll around like a pig in a fit can do so without disturbing Mr. for God’s sake lie still until I go to sleep. It has prevented divorce, suicide, homicide, and worse.
The only down side to a very large bed is very large fitted sheets. They cost a lot, and sometimes do not fit as well as the makers would have you think. Oh, the top bit always covers something but putting on the bottom stretchy bit is like fighting a giant squid in a diving suit. And you’re not allowed to use a knife.
Bed is often taken as euphemism for sex. Fine. That’s always a good thing, provided everyone agrees. But also consider that a bed is also a bed. It can be a great comfort even if there is no-one jumping on your bits other than the cat.
What a good phrase that is: ” Mean Streets “. It suggests crime, edginess, dirt, poverty, vice, and distress – all the stuff you go on holiday to the Third World for. In my case I went to Melbourne.
You can’t get much meaner than free public transport, and if you are prepared to stay within the CBD of the city, you can ride their trams for free. Choose your time and route and you can be rewarded by overcrowding and public odours. Stay on the tram long enough and you can provide that odour yourself.
If you venture out a little bit on the tram you can select corridors of grot like Fitzroy to do your sightseeing. If your taste runs to hipster cafés and drinking holes plus crap shops and /or public housing, this is your paradise. The denizens are startling but harmless. The food is actually edible, and there can even be surprisingly good stationers and book stores in the main streets.
But there are any number of corners and places that suggest that things are dirtier and more useless than they really need to be. In a city that is always looking for better housing and shopping, it is surprising that this sort of remnanterie can still exist. Served as it is by transport, sitting where it sits, and taking into account the decrepitude of the building structures, it is surprising that Whalen hasn’t been through it and some new shops erected. Perhaps it is beset with historic preservation orders or perhaps no-one is game to open the drains.
But there are charms. The kitty seen in the picture was sleeping beside its bed in Gertrude Street in a very hot window on a very hot day…but in the manner of all cats may not have wanted to admit to the discomfort. I admire the stamina and the bed.
Not the musical – the time of year.
The time when you shed the winter woollen pyjamas with the long legs and sleeves and find something less heating for summer. The time of muslins and gauze and cotton and nothing at all. Not for the faint of heart…
The time when we put away the blankets for another year…all the while wondering how long the poor old things are going to last. I mean, how long are they supposed to go for? We still have double bed blankets that we had when we were married in 1972 an apart from the odd stain where the cat expressed its opinion of the Democratic Party, they are still as good as new. At least my side is – it is regularly whisked off from me in the middle of the night when the wife rolls over and it therefore gets very little actual use. Sometimes I suspect that she is not asleep when this occurs…
We have never succeeded with European doonas and duvets and quilts and whatever – they always seem to run off the sides of the bed and settle down near the floor – we might as well be sleeping under another sheet for all the warmth they give. The electric blanket is a comfort under the sheet when you first get in but then you switch it off and from there on there is nothing between you and Mawson’s hut but metabolism and the cat. Even the cat is no comfort on really cold nights – acting as somewhat of a rat-breathed heat sink.
I welcome the advance of summer – we have a fan above the bed for middle temperatures and an air conditioner for high ones. I can lie there in the dark as naked as a jaybird and no-one looks. At least I think no-one looks. I think I am going to have to get a small blindfold for the cat…
Our federal treasurer, Mr. Joseph Hockey, has advised people in Sydney that if they want to have a house they should get a good job.
I hope the masses are grateful for this rare piece of advice falling from the lips of Mr Hockey – From the looks of him I should say very little else ever has. They should also realise that they are hearing an experienced man. Mr. Hockey has a good job and presumably a house to gloat about it in. He knows what he is talking about.
If your job is not that good – and by good I mean remunerative, ( Good in terms generally used by federal treasurers of any kidney is a numerical, not moral, adjective. ) then you probably have no right to a place to live. You may lodge temporarily in a concrete pigeon hole while you are engaged in work but as soon as you are unable to perform that work you must leave. There are plenty of places for you on the outskirts of country towns or in some other state.
I do not think that Mr. Hockey is being deliberately mean in this – he is simply following the directions that he has received from his leader. And Mr. Abbott is doing much the same, albeit with a more sympathetic look on his face. The gentlemen are acting with remarkable aplomb – after all – they have good jobs.