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Sunday, September 25, 2005

The trouble with looking after a cat with a reputation is that people are going to expect immediate tales of naughtiness from day one. The trouble with immediate tales of naughtiness from day one is that people are going to think I'm making it up. You'd at least expect Timmy to wait until we've unpacked.

But sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. So here goes...

At 9:45pm last night we arrived at Lorraine's.

At 10pm I fed the cats.

At 10:15pm Timmy threw up on the dining room table.

But on the bright side, it was another half hour before I found him on the kitchen work surface ripping open the packet of cat biscuits with his claws.

Fortunately, Lorraine has left us two pages of instructions on looking after her little darlings. Number 4 is "Timmy has started to bite books, newspapers, and basically anything he can get his teeth into, so watch out", but personally I prefer number 5, which reads "Be careful with Timmy near the washing machine (he likes to jump in it)". I'll bear that in mind for when he's been particularly naughty. I can sense an entirely accidental spin cycle coming on.

Anyhoo, it's been a busy couple of days. On Friday I picked up Lisa's nephew from school, chatted to her other nephew about cows, ate cheese straws, and then went to a mental hospital. That was shortly after visiting Lorraine for a cat-orientation seminar, but the two were mostly unconnected. At the Mill View psychiatric hospital in Hove we visited an old friend of Lisa's, whose life had sadly taken a turn for the worse since meeting me last year. I was slightly shocked at the way we were allowed to walk in and wander around the wards without once being asked who we were, but the place seemed clean and modern, and the garden was nice, so it wasn't all bad.

On Saturday we met a friend to whom the street-drinking laws clearly mean nothing - he strolled up with a can of beer in one hand, before talking about the time he smashed in a hospital door whilst drunk, the time he had his cannabis confiscated by the police, and the time he was stopped for drink driving. Have I mentioned he's a primary school teacher? But don't worry - he said he's only occasionally taught a class on Valium.

From there it was off to Sainsburys, before finally making it to Lorraine's 12 hours after she'd left for the Mediterranean. We've thrown out the mouldy onion, the rancid carrots, and the tomatoes which were past the point of no return, and this morning I've met Charlie. He disappeared over the fence before we had a chance to bond, leaving me to step over the slippery logs and tip the slugs out of his food bowl. It's going well so far.