You couldn’t make it up
And you probably wouldn’t want to.
I knew yesterday was not going to be the best of days, but even I had managed to underestimate the level of strange that would occur.
I didn’t get that much sleep, after Chimney died it took a long time to get to the sleeping bit of the night, and even the few hours I had were not of the best quality. It was a bleary eyed mummy that packed Moo off to school, and I decided to have an hour’s ‘catch up’ nap before commencing preparations for Chimney’s burial. I had already picked a nice spot in the back garden, but was putting off the inevitable by having a snooze. When I woke up I got re-dressed in slightly more appropriate clothes for digging than I had on for the school run and went downstairs to the loo. I was sitting, browsing a chapter form the ‘Life of chairman Mao’, (OK so it’s not traditional ‘bathroom reading’, but I’m a bit short on books at the moment, and it is a fascinating read.), and I had reached a point in the book where Mao had ordered some ‘secret’ assassins’ to commence their duties and I heard the back door opening, and somebody walking in to the house. Now whilst I was entirely positive it was not a Maoist assassin, for a start they were being far too noisy, I was still a little unnerved to say the least. The footsteps and their owner passed by and went into the living room. I hastily re-arranged myself and cautiously headed out to see who was there. I was relieved, but still a little bit cross, to see it was my English next door neighbour. The relief was short-lived however as I could tell immediately he turned round that he was in the midst of one of his ‘episodes’.
For those of you who are relatively new to this blog I shall give a quick bit of background. He is a lovely, very quiet guy, who has a very sweet French girlfriend, sadly he suffers from manic depression and there are quite clearly some deeper underlying psychological issues. He also has rather a fondness for alcohol, which, on his current medication, is a really bad thing as it tends to trigger these ‘episodes’ where he behaves out of character and sometimes quite recklessly, and later has absolutely no recollection of these events. The ‘episodes’ do not happen very often, but it would also be true to say that the ‘well’ times between them do seem to be getting shorter.
He looked at me like I was the stranger in the house then he produced a very large key from his pocket and began insisting in very loud French, (he will only speak in French when he is having a ‘bad one’ ), that it was a key for this house and I must take it from him. Quite apparently there is no lock in this house that would fit such a key, but he so insistent that I took the key and thanked him, and suggested that it may be a good idea if he went home and had a little rest. With that he turned abruptly and was gone. 10 minutes later the doorbell rang, when I answered it there was no one there. This happened a few more times, and each time I caught a fleeting glimpse of him disappearing up the path.
As I went to collect Moo for lunch I saw him heading towards the church with his arms full of, what looked rather like, stuff from our shed, but I had little time to ponder this as he was once again gone, and I was almost late already.
When Moo walked in the house the first think she asked was ‘Where is the cat?’. I decided that now was as good a time as any would be, and told her the bad news. After a little chat and a cuddle on the sofa, she asked me if I could come upstairs with her to break the news to her toys. I made a solemn little announcement to the assembled masses, and told them that whilst it was OK to be sad, we had to remember that it was better for Chimney as she was no longer suffering. Moo looked so sad. I sat down with her and held her hand, she looked at me with big watery eyes and said’ Is it OK that I feel like I’m going to cry?’. I told her it was perfectly normal and we both sat and shed a few tears. It was a sad but very beautiful moment.
Once we had composed ourselves a little Moo went and got ‘Dr.Dave’, her little toy vet, and his gang, and proceeded to enact a very gruesome fatal accident with his cat falling of the surgery roof and being squished by his van. I rushed to assure Moo that this was not how Chimney had met her end, and she looked at me with those big brown eyes, and said ‘ I know mummy, it’s OK I’m just playing, don’t get upset’, then she continued with barely a breath ‘It’s alright because we can just get a new cat, and this time it can be black and we can call it Shazzam’. I assured her it was far too soon to be thinking about that and tried to steer her towards a lunch related topic.
It was at that point the doorbell rang.
Part 2 will be posted later today.