Solo – Company and Companionship

Following on from the post about “Alone vs Lonely“, I’d potentially feel very different about things if it weren’t for the two cats I’ve got.  Yes, they annoy me intensely on occasion, but it’s still other creatures that (for the most part) like having you come home. OK, they’re cats- so it’s more about just providing food for them and so on- and they’re hugely independent at the best of times but it’s still some company in the house, rather than it being completely empty except for me.

In a similar way – and I’ve said about it before – it makes life better to have a couple of room lights on a time switch so I don’t come home to a darkened house.

Without those things, I suspect I’d be a lot less comfortable with my current situation.

In an ideal world, I’d still go back to having a dog as well. However, I still know it wouldn’t be fair to do so until life’s more settled. If I could sort things out enough to know I was working from home for a long time – or even knowing what the routine would be for a decent period of time – then I’d consider it, but it’s not looking likely for a while.

Of course, it would take a lot of changes, a lot of organisation, and a lot of settling-in for the cats to handle a new addition.  I think it’s not something that’ll happen for a while – for some things, life’s too short – but it’s on the list of things I’d like to do if I get the chance.

Worryingly Organised

ScroogeAt the moment, along with being quite chilled and content with things (as written about previously) I’m also feeling quite organised – far more so than is common at this time of the year.

With the exception of one present that hasn’t arrived (despite being ordered on the 3rd) it’s all been pretty easy this year. Of course, it helps that I don’t buy stuff for loads of people and all that, but even so it’s all come together and been organised way in advance. By mid-month I didn’t need to buy any more presents – things had suddenly come together for the two more-awkward-to-buy-for people through odd confluences of coincidence, none of which I was complaining about at all.

I’ve managed to avoid all the festive retail bullshit – some of which was due to being organised, some due to the absolute joy of online shopping and letting the stuff come to me – although I did have to make one collection from a local food store. (Mind you, even that was organised to happen between 7 and 8am, enabling me to go in, collect, pay, and piss off without the hysteria of other people’s panic-purchasing)  The rest of the supermarket food shop was done online and delivered painlessly – although working from home has helped on that score too, enabling me to be available when I’d usually be at work.

I’ve even got a number of things organised for next year – even down to having pre-booked the necessary parking requirements, as well as pet-sitter/feeder and the like.

It’s really quite worrying – things aren’t supposed to run this smoothly! But I’m going to appreciate it for the moment, and all well and good.

PetStore Humour

This week I needed to sort out one of the regular bulk purchases of cat litter and cat food sachets, so it was time for a trip to the local Pets at Home. (I’m sure there’s places that’re slightly cheaper, but Pets at Home is fine for my purposes)

Once I’d got the necessary items – plus a new scratching post – I stopped to have a look at the rabbits and hamsters – no particular reason, just had a look before getting to the till.

One of the store assistants came up, and asked “Are you looking for anything special”. And oh dear, my mouth went into action before my brain.

No, not really. I’m just seeing if anything appeals as a Christmas Meal treat for my cats

The look of utter disgust on her face should leave me ashamed, but actually it was just funny as chuff.

Confined, Supposedly

Earlier this week, I got a catflap installed in the kitchen back door – which has already made a major difference to the warmth of the house. Prior to this, the cats have been going through an always-open kitchen window (which only opens on to a secure back yard, so it’s never a problem to leave it open) which is fine in summer, but less than optimal in cold weather.

At the moment, while the cats are getting used to this new entry policy for the house – and in fairness to them, neither has ever had to use a flap before – it’s propped open, so there’s still a bit of a draught, but nothing compared to how it was with the open kitchen window.

Of course, the Bengal in particular is (as expected) extremely unhappy about the changes, and keeps yelling at me that She Is Trapped, and It’s Not Fair. She’s using the flap, because it’s now the only way in and out – but it’s still under duress, and the cause of much complaint.

I’m quite sure that the same will be true when we get to the next stage, and I un-prop the flap so that they have to go through the flap itself.

For right now though, having the flap as an open route will allow them to get used to it.

One step at a time, and all that rot.

Home Improvements

This week, I’m finally getting two things sorted that’ve been waiting for far too long.

Firstly, I’m getting a catflap fitted to the back door. (It only leads out onto the yard before the utility room, but it’s still a back door) Until now, the monsters have been going through an always-open window in the kitchen, which is OK in summer, but bloody cold in winter. Both cats are used to being able to go out at will, and the Bengal in particular gets very twitchy, prowly and noisy when I close the window and restrict her movements. (This is part of the breed specifics for a Bengal, in fairness – they’re not good at being cooped-up housecats)

Having the flap installed should mean I’ll be able to keep the window closed, and the house will be warmer, without restricting the freedom of the mogs.

Secondly, I’m replacing the curtain and (revolting) net curtain in the front window with a vertical blind from Tuiss which I’m really pleased with (so long as I’ve measured the bloody thing correctly!) and should look ace. (And purple. But that’s par for the course, with me)

It’s taken me a long time to get round to getting these things done.  That’s partly because neither of the problems they’ll fix have been overly huge/relevant, partly because I just wasn’t that bothered, and partly because it’s a rented place. But when I renewed the tenancy last time, I asked the landlord if it would be OK to do what I planned, and he agreed.

I’m getting in a local person to do the work, mainly because I want the things to be done right, and I’m fully aware of my own practical limitations (and completely wonky eyes when it comes to ‘things being on the level’) but also because it’s not my place, so it only seems sensible/reasonable to get it all done properly.

Really though, I’m just looking forward to having the jobs done, to ticking off two more things on the list – and of having a slightly warmer house this winter…


My current contract is quite cushy, and lets me work from home for four days a week, only needing to be in the office for one day.  The car thinks it’s been nicked, the mileage has dropped so much.

Working from home is an odd thing – it can be quite hard to motivate oneself (although I’m doing OK so far) when you’re spending the time at home instead of in a proper office.  It’s easier when one has a specific room for use as a home-office, but this particular house isn’t big enough to do that without some serious changes – which would involve either an extension, or roofing over the outside yard and using that – so it’s a bit tougher on that score.

At some point I may look at renting desk-space again, as I did earlier this year. Depends how things go over the next couple of weeks.

Other than the work side though, it’s also allowing me to catch up on some recorded TV that’s been hanging around for a while – no bad thing.

And finally, it’s making it clear to me – yet again – just how much my bloody cars actually sleep. I’ve always known they’re lazy bastards, but seeing just how lazy is a real eye-opener.

Anyway, back to the grindstone.

Changing Places

When I moved here, I got a fairly large ‘activity centre’ for the cats, so they’d got their own places. I’d hoped it was going to stop them from sleeping on the other bits of furniture etc. It’s got a range of places for them to sleep etc. – and of course, being cats, they hardly use the sodding thing.


In fairness, every so often they do use it. The Mau used to make use of the sleeping places. FatCat never has, and the Bengal tends to avoid it.

And now the Bengal has changed her mind, and is sleeping in the little cubbyhole/box, for some unknown reason.

The Bengal is definitely weird. I can’t believe I’ve had her nearly four years now – sometimes it amazes me that she’s survived this long, because she can be an absolute cowbag.  She’s deeply change-averse – one would almost say autistic – when situations alter. Yet she changes things herself every few weeks – the sleeping place is a case in point. Sometimes she goes back to places, other times it’s all new. The cubbybox is definitely new – I’ve never seen any of them sleep in there ’til this week.

There’s no real point to this post, it’s just one of those odd things that makes me think.