I was able to move back into my study on Sunday this week, :) and suddenly found the normality that I had not been feeling over the past three weeks. For the last three weeks I’ve been working on ½ the dining room table and have focused on spending time with Smudge helping him heal after his ordeals (and yes we still have a long way to go); but today as I write this I have three sleeping cats and peace reigns!

We didn’t realise the impact the 28th September would have one us when we found this little waif and stray on the front steps – A Smudge! and Our Smudge! What time it would take, what challenges we would all face, and how this would change all our lives.

We had settled into a wonderful routine over the past year, which has now just been turned upside down. With two cats who are six years old we were able to lie in during the week-ends, but now … no! 07:30 and I’m up! Breakfast time for cats! I let Smudge out of the downstairs bathroom (his bedroom), and the two older ones out of the utility room (their bedroom). Kettle on first! by which time I’m being reminded, more often than not by Smudge, that it’s breakfast time. Over this very short period of time I’ve found that it’s easier to feed them all, then make tea and sit down to enjoy my first cup of tea for the day. One of the major changes to our ‘normality’. We used to feed the two cats at night and they would wander in during the morning and snack on biscuits. Now I’m feeding all three twice a day! As Smudge is still a kitten he still needs his two/three meals a day, which I noticed yesterday is now becoming twice a day; so it whether I’m feeding one or all three – I’m in the kitchen serving up cat meals twice a day. :)

Three times a day it’s ‘eye drop’ time for Smudge and if necessary after the first set of eye drops, a wash down (front paws and mouth). On Saturday my partner (R) bathed him. Still a fight, followed by a cuddle with me trying to dry him – I generally end up sopping wet! The colour of the water is still black and oily. Smudge and I went and sat in a sunny spot to dry him. He fell asleep on my lap still a little damp, but we were surprised at how soft and silky his fur felt! We must be winning with the ‘oil challenge’. He has developed this habit of putting his little paws around my neck and nuzzling into my neck when he is scared or unsure of something. All Saturday after his bath, he did that every time R walked past!

Cats settled! so it seems then that R and I can get on with our day! Disruptions occur! a 10 to 15 minute, creeping up to 30 minute explore for Smudge outside. He begs and pleads to go out, especially when he sees the older two cats outside; but as soon as we got outside he’s around our feet. It’s still the fear of being lost … and with only 50% of his vision, we don’t think that he can see all that well. As I write this we’ve just come inside from our last ‘explore’ and he was funny! Crouching in the grass, … then quick hopping across the leaves as they blew past him. We are gradually seeing the kitten return.

Normality? What is that? R and I have spent the last year building our ‘normality’ to have it shaken up and changed so quickly. It made me wonder what ‘normality’ really is. According to dictionary.com it is ‘conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural’ and ‘serving to establish a standard’. So really ‘normality’ is just what you want it to be. Well with that, I’m pleased to say that I’m back to working in my ‘normal’ environment … :)

18:00 and the cat-queue has started for dinner!

© 2012 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum