Image: Copyright Chiromancer
The cat – as with so many things this year – arrived in an unexpected way. The Belgian and I were enjoying a late-evening aperitif and some ‘hapjes’ (a.k.a. bar snacks) – when a skinny creature made it’s approach, miaowing plaintively.
Since we were living in two places and I was working in a third, pets were not on the agenda. We had only just had a funeral for the gerbil so I really didn’t need another crash course in pet care for step-parents!
‘Do not feed the cat!’ I was instructed. Which of course, I was compelled to ignore. Surely a small and surreptitious snack would not do any harm? ‘He won’t leave’ The Belgian muttered. And he was right…the next night the cat arrived for another late night bite. Clearly the cat was domesticated, so he must be someone’s pet. ‘If he is here again, I’m going to take him to the animal shelter’ said my husband, darkly.
Instead, he took the cat to the vet, got him micro-chipped, vaccinated and issued with a pet passport so he could travel. The Belgian is nothing if not kind-hearted, and that is why I married him! We named the cat Watson. He purrs louder than a tractor, and since his batteries must have been removed in one of his previous 9 lives, sleeps 18 hours per day. He is of course, totally perfect for us.
Sometimes in life, you get what you need, but it’s not necessarily what you thought you wanted. Thanks Watson, for being one of the good things in 2016.
I’m on the hunt for my next assignment, so I find myself speeding up to London a few times a week. Annoying meetings with headhunters – yep, dealing with people who make insincerity a career is part of the territory – and… in between meetings, the chance to spend time in a city in constant flux.
Which is why I found myself in my makeshift office (a.k.a. a seat with a view) on the SouthBank last week. Despite it’s brutalist architecture, it’s really grown on me over the years, and it’s a fantastic public space. Free wifi also means you can plug in, log on and at least give some semblance of being professional, though clearly my motives for being there are more to do with watching the world go by, than watching the clock.
As I looked out of the window, I observed a small boy, delightedly splashing in a puddle of water. He was about two, the puddle about 2 millimetres. I was particularly struck by the sheer joy with which he stomped about in his bright green wellies, and the utter glee on his face when sat down, and then proceeded to lie in the puddle of water. Needless to say…mom and dad were not best pleased with the end result, but small boy in green wellies laughed so much, that they began to laugh, and so did I.
Which got me thinking…as grown ups we are sometimes so busy chasing money, jobs, relationships, status, and the next best thing, that we forget what it’s like to enjoy each moment for what it is. Far better to have a child’s eye view – that simple innocence which comes from truly being oneself, the uncomplicated perspective that makes seeing and feeling real, not something you buy on-line. Life is precious. So, get your wellies and go find a puddle!