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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Let's face it, if the owners come forward to claim this cat, someone's going to be gutted...

And that someone is Lisa. Amelie might be the one in all the photos, but behind the scenes, Lisa's more attached to Shimona than any of us. She's spent most of the week cooing and fawning over that cat like it's a newborn baby. I feel like I've been on paternity leave.

Tragically, due to a chronically deprived childhood and a mother who refused to buy her a puppy, Lisa's never really had a pet of her own. And she's not getting her hands on Chloe. So Shimmy's become the cat she never had. Amelie might be the one falling over the back of our headboard in an effort to stroke her on the windowsill, but it's Lisa who's taken Shimona to her heart. She's not prepared to empty the litter tray or get cat food on her hands, but other than that, she's devoted. She's like Joy Adamson in Born Free. Except she won't let the cat go.

So while Lisa was acting like a lovestruck teenager, Amelie and I did the responsible thing by heading down to Asda yesterday for the third time this week. We wanted to get some more Felix while it was still on special offer, but we also had some important charity work to undertake. There's a collecting box at Asda for 'Lost Cats Brighton', where people can donate food to help rescued cats in need. So Amelie and I stood there, posting all the pouches of food that Shimona had refused to eat. There were quite a few, so it took a while. But it gave me a warm feeling to know that within a day or two, that food will be presented to homeless, starving, perhaps desperate cats. Who'll probably turn their noses up at it too.

Obviously my week's annual leave has been pretty much hijacked by cat-related activities, but we did manage to squeeze in one other activity: Amelie's second swimming lesson. When we first took her a fortnight ago, they gave us ninety minutes for £3. This time we got two hours for the same price. And while other children left halfway through, Am stuck it out til the end. By the time we got her out, she looked like a bleached prune.

But a bleached prune who can swim. I have to say, I was amazed at how much she's come on. Two weeks ago she took ten minutes of persuasion just to enter the pool. This time she was paddling about like a pro...

I was only brave enough to break the no-camera rule for twenty seconds, so that's the only footage I have, but it's one in the eye for the midwife's ski-ing trips.

On the downside, we're lucky she ever got dry. Lisa did her bit for German culture by leaving Amelie's towel on a bench while she was in the pool, but by the time she came out, it had gone. The staff couldn't find it, so it appears there's a linen thief in town. It's probably being hawked around the car boot sales as we speak.

The good news, however, is that whilst Amelie left considerably lighter than she arrived, I came away with more than I bargained for. I might have avoided the verucas in the changing room, but I picked up a nasty cold in the café. I woke up this morning with razor blades in my throat, a splitting headache, and a tendency to sneeze every two minutes. Horsham, here I come!


Phil's Mum said...

I would have expected Amelie to be the one with a cold, if she had to go home wet.  What did you do, wave her in front of the hand dryer?  Quite an impressive swimming demo though.

Zoe Sprake said...

I expect Phil gallantly took off his shirt to dry Amelie with, Phil's Mum, and he's caught a chill.  Devoted dad, Phil.