My Cat is a Jerk

One of his more ‘special’ expressions…

It’s International Cat Day and normally I would be joining in with the thousands of people sharing adorable pictures of their little furry companions across social media today along…

However, my cat is not particularly adorable this week. In fact, he’s a bit of a jerk.

I’ve had Poppy for over twelve years. He (yes, I know it’s a girl’s name – I thought he was a girl until he suddenly sprouted boy bits a few months after I rescued him, and by that point the name had stuck) came to me in a bag along with his sister after a horrible start in his little life. They were five weeks old, far too young to be away from their mother and in a mess – fleas, ear mites, stomach problems – I still can’t believe that they survived the first few months. He was so small that he still had blue eyes and could fit in the palm of my hand. Continue reading

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A Wonderful Week and a Wedding

Last week was wonderful.

The Bloke and I watched Matilda on Monday night at the Birmingham Hippodrome. I’d heard endless good things and was intrigued to see how it transferred to the stage, and in many ways it didn’t disappoint. The set was incredible, the songs and choreography were great and some of the actors in particular (Bruce Bogtrotter, Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey) were fabulous. However, it wasn’t completely my thing – I’m an enormous RENT freak and the shows that I have enjoyed the most have much more of a rock inspired content (Rock of Ages being one of my favourites) and while the child actors were certainly talented, I found it difficult to totally understand their dialogue at times. There was also a technical hitch in the second half which caused the show to be suspended for a little while, so by the time it finished it felt excessively long. It’s certainly something that I’m glad we had the opportunity to watch, but probably not something that I would rush to see again.

Continue reading

A Lost Little Cat and a Ruined Birthday Surprise

imageI’m tired today.

I feel a little raw and bruised, mainly because of the trauma of yesterday. The atmosphere of the house is different, almost empty. Daisy’s brother, Poppy (yes, I know it’s a girl’s name – long story) settled down well last night until 4.00am, at which point I think he realised that she wasn’t there, and took it upon himself to investigate every room downstairs, crying as he went. It was quite heartbreaking to listen to – this was only the second night in eleven years that he had spent without her and he was clearly feeling lost.

He’s spent most of today being extremely quiet, fast asleep on my lap. It’s odd – normally he has a mad half-an-hour of running around, playing and making lots of noise after he’s been fed, but today he’s just… sad. Continue reading

Goodbye Daisy

imageI lost another little friend today… The only bad thing about having a pet is when they leave you, and it never gets any easier.

I’ve had Daisy and her brother since they were 5 weeks old. Normally, that would have been far too young and I hadn’t intended on getting two more cats at the time, but the state that they were both in meant that if I didn’t take them in they would have almost certainly died. She was so small that she could fit in the palm of my hand and I used to laugh at her enormous ears, particularly as she looked like the love child of Yoda and Gizmo the Mogwai. Continue reading

Rocky Horror, Broken Boots and a Sad Decision

It’s been a rather up and down few days.

On Friday night I went to watch the Rocky Horror Show with one of my friend’s who had a spare ticket. It’s The Bloke’s favourite show (aside from RENT) so we have seen it once before, and if I’m being honest it wasn’t something that I really understood or, dare I say it, particularly enjoyed.

However, the seats were right at the front, and even though I didn’t dress up I was surrounded by people who had gone all out to replicate the weird and wacky costumes in the show, my friends included.

The last time we went to watch it, I learned very quickly that heckling and audience participation were very much part of the show. Unfortunately, some of the people I was sitting near hadn’t quite learned what to say and when to say it, so by the end of the first half they were so drunk that they had taken to screaming profanities whenever they felt like it, which got on my nerves after a while. However, this time I was near a massive group of die-hard Rocky Horror fans who knew the show as much as the cast did, and their shouting not only made us laugh, but caught the cast a little off-guard too, resulting in some hilarious improv from the narrator, Steve Punt. The cast were incredible, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Continue reading

Penis Balloons

I’m slightly concerned about the search engine terms I’ll receive after this, but I couldn’t resist…

I have two house cats that are getting quite old. One of them has Type 1 diabetes, and needs twice daily insulin injections to make sure that her blood sugars are regulated. Consequently, whenever I go away, I need someone to administer her medication, as putting her in a cattery would be too stressful. Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who looks after them for me, and she very kindly agreed to be on cat-sitting duty while The Bloke and I went to Scotland for a week.

All week, she’s been sending me pics via Facebook messenger to ease my worry on how they were. As we were driving back, she sent me a message to ask what time we would arrive home. It was an exhausting trip, and The Bloke and I were incredibly relieved to be back.

We opened the front door and walked in to this… Continue reading

A Saturday Night In…

saturday-night-out-kidding-in-my-jammiesIt’s Saturday night, and I’ve got myself into a highly comfortable position on the couch, snuggled up in my jammies and fluffy blankets. It’s the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, it’s St. George’s Day and if any day was the day to don my England shirt and go to the pub, it would be today, but I’m having my own little personal celebration at home instead. I’ve got my headphones in as I’m listening to Steve’s Talk About Pop Music radio show, while The Bloke watches a random film with the ever lovely Jason Statham, and the cats are still snoring after stuffing their face with fresh chicken earlier in the day. I’ve made myself an Amaretto Sours too! Actually, that’s a lie – I’ve poured a load of amaretto in a pint glass, shoved some lemon juice and lemonade on top, and then tipped lots of cocktail cherries in to finish it off. The cherries are now sitting on the bottom, I’ve forgotten to put the egg white in and I can’t be bothered to get up again to sort it out, so I’m making do – it still tastes yummy regardless! I would show you a picture, but it looks like I’ve urinated into a glass… Continue reading

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

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I saw this on Facebook this morning – perfect.

I went to the pub yesterday after work to meet my friend. It has been a challenging time for her – after ending her relationship of eleven years she has had to move house and adjust to living on her own for the first time since she moved to Birmingham in 2001. Understandably, she’s been through the whole spectrum of emotions, but yesterday I noticed that there was a slight change in her – it was the first time that she hadn’t mentioned her ex and she seemed much more settled. Just before we parted ways to go home, I recalled a conversation that we had just after the break-up, where she said that she wished she could use a time machine to skip ahead by six months just so she wouldn’t have to go through the process of changing her life. Six months later, she’s at the point where she wanted to be – she’s established in her new home, she’s enjoying her own company and she has reached a point where she doesn’t think about her ex every day. I’m proud of her – she’s been so strong and I’m glad everything is beginning to work out. She deserves it.

I can totally relate to her sentiments all those months ago. I want a time machine too.

I have just six weeks left until I leave my job. I have a plan for how I want my new life to be, but it seems that every time I take a step forward something intervenes and pushes me three steps backwards. While I often live life by the proverbial seat of my pants, being far too disorganised to plan effectively in the way that others appear to do, I have had to ensure that my decision to quit a permanent, full-time post will not have a financially devastating impact on the life that The Bloke and I live. I’ve saved every penny I can and have been living off as little as possible, I booked meetings with important people who are offering me exciting employment opportunities and I finally started to see a small light at the end of the tunnel. The Bloke and I have even started saving up for our first holiday in five years. Normally, because of my contracted hours, we have always had to plan any trips during the school holidays as I am not allowed time off during term-time, but we realised that we wouldn’t have the same restriction this year. We decided that we were going to get a package deal to somewhere in Europe in September – it’s much cheaper and there would be no children around as they would be at school, and we found an offer for the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia (watch Captain Corelli’s Mandolin to see just how stunning it is).

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Daisy, The Dream Killer

However, this week has been a continuous battle. The meetings that were booked weeks ago were cancelled, my workload has been utterly ridiculous due to the fact that it is exam season, all of the coursework has to be finished and we have two major performances (including a musical theatre production) that happen within a week of each other. To add the icing on the cake, my cat, Daisy (who will now be referred to as ‘Daisy, The Dream Killer’) needed emergency dental surgery, taking a portion of my savings – essentially the money we had put away for the holiday, so now we have to start again. Consequently, the anxiety, panic and insomnia has returned and I went into what I consider to be ‘survival mode,’ getting through each day an hour at a time instead of looking at the big picture. I’ve breathed a sigh of relief as I’ve walked through the front door to my home every evening, and congratulated myself for making it through the day. My saving grace is normally the blog, but there has been no time to even look at it aside from a quick post at the beginning of the week, never mind contribute a post or reply to comments, and worse still, I’ve been that stressed out that I didn’t even notice. It was only when I received a few messages from some lovely bloggy friends that I realised just how much I needed to catch up on (thanks, by the way).

I want it to be over. It’s only six weeks, but it seems like an absolute lifetime away.

My friend provided the biggest inspiration yesterday. It’s still going to be a tough road ahead, but she’s proof that every small victory is one step closer to winning that war. Daisy has made a swift recovery and has now resumed her daily routine of sleeping, eating and sleeping some more. I still have several pay checks yet to contribute towards my savings. I will re-schedule the meetings. The next few weeks will be stressful, but it is just weeks – it’s isn’t as if I have to wait months, or years for my new life.

And when I’m sitting on a beautiful beach in September, I know the fight will be worth it.

What about you guys? How has your week been?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and you can also find me on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

One Year On and I Still Miss Her

imageIs been a year since I lost my little friend.

For some, owning a pet is the same as buying an object, or a piece of furniture. For me, our pets become part of the family – needing the same love and care that we would give to any human being. While many may roll their eyes at the sentiment, she was my companion for thirteen years. I had adopted her from an RSPCA shelter when she was six, and by all accounts hadn’t had the easiest start in life, but I was surprised by how quickly she settled into a comfortable life with me. When so many things changed, she remained my constant through the good and bad. She was a little character, she made me laugh and crappy days at work would seem far less crappy after I had been greeted by her at the door as I arrived home. I bought her the best food I could afford, toys to play with, I had many sleepless nights when she was sick. She would regularly assist me when marking my students coursework by choosing the paper I was working on to sit on. I would wake up at 5.00am to find a fluffy paw tapping my face, indicating that she wanted breakfast, which she would then promptly ignore after her bowl had been filled. I took as many pictures of her as my friends did of their newborn babies. We were a little team, with my friends and family often enquiring after her before they asked anything about me.

A year ago she left me – at the grand old age of nineteen – and saying goodbye was one of the most painful things I have ever had to do. I know that she was ill and she had a good life with me, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her very much. I miss the 5.00am wake up calls. I miss marking coursework without having to remove her from my papers first. I miss the little squeak I would get from her when she realised I was home. Of course, I still have the other two little monsters,  but there is, and always will be, an empty space that she left behind.

I’m grateful for the years I had with her. I just wish they hadn’t gone so quickly.

Miss you, my little friend…