It’s Just a Cat

Stalking the Knitting
Stalking the Knitting

Grief is an odd thing to deal with. Our cat was killed on Thursday night on the road outside our house. He had only had him 2 years and he was only 5 years old. For some people they would say “but it’s just a cat” and they would be right. It isn’t the end of the world but it still hurts.

We first had TJ at the farm house we lived in when we moved to the North of Scotland. There was a road but it was a very small, quiet country road. However, there wasn’t a month that went past and a dead farm cat would be seen on the verge but we felt fairly confident our cat had come from a town and would be safe enough on the less busy roads of the countryside. Then we had to move. We moved to a nice village but on the edge of the main road running in and out of the village. It did concern us that the cat would get hit by a car. At first TJ didn’t seem to venture across the road choosing to stick to the fields on the side of the road that we live. For 18 months he seemed to know not to go on the road. Then he started to venture onto the road and across to the fields. His road sense wasn’t great choosing to sit in the middle of the road frequently. I would often look out the window in the morning when first getting up to see if there was anything on the road that I didn’t want to see. All was good. There was the odd occasion TJ wasn’t sat on the doorstep in the mornings and K would go off looking for him. On the morning that it happened K didn’t tell me TJ wasn’t home yet.

K had seen something in the road and took the long walk up the hill to find our cat laying there. It must have been heartbreaking and the wanting for it not to be true so dominant in his mind.

It’s upsetting but we think it was quick and he hadn’t been hit lots of times just a glancing blow.

O was very upset on Friday when we told him. We buried TJ in the back garden and will plant a tree in memory.

Then the question of do we get another cat (too soon maybe but a natural question children ask after the death of a pet). Now this is the hard bit. On Friday at work my head knew that getting another cat that goes outside of the house was not a possibility, no family wants to go through the heart ache of losing a pet every other month. As a family we have never been keen on keeping house cats. But I started to read some websites and found that more and more people are moving towards house cats because of the dangers of FIV and the roads. My eldest daughter has a house cat and she seems to do really well. Could be a possibility for us… But, we like to have the back door open for the dog to go in and out, we have a 10 year old boy that although he wasn’t born in a barn doesn’t know how to shut a door. Would it be really possible to keep a house cat without fear of escape and further heart ache.

So my head knew all of this. My heart is a very different matter. I had let TJ in. I had allowed myself to feel and not keep him at arms length. Therefore I have a hole where he should be now and it hurts. No it can’t be filled by another pet (head knows this) but it would help (heart says).

Then K drops the “we aren’t having another cat” comment. Head knows why – to walk up the road and retrieve your dead pet must be devastating and K (who doesn’t like cats) was attached to TJ. Heart is hurt – how dare he make this decision for us as a family. That isn’t fair. Just because he is at home all the time so is the prime carer for our pets he can’t make that decision. I didn’t choose to be the one that has to go to work every day. It’s not fair!!!

K said we can have another dog. That is lovely and something I have asked about for over a year. But there is no joy in it now. O wants a puppy for his own. But TJ was meant to be my pet we had him just before my birthday 2 years ago.

So lots of stupid emotions running around and I guess if you consulted books or tried to analyse the feelings they would be called grief. That inability to change something that is unfair, the anger, the disappointment, the feeling of not being settled any more, something is missing, physical ache in your chest that you can’t shift, a feeling you can’t shake. Just the same feelings experienced before in other grief situations and I am sure will be experienced many more times in life. It still isn’t fair though.

Am I crying just for the loss of the family cat. Partly yes. Partly no. The grief feelings bring back the memories of other losses and the fear of future loss.

Tears are the silent language of grief – Voltaire

One thing I do know, my knitting is now safe…


Moved on…

It’s been ages since I last blogged. What have we done in the last 2 years? Moved to Scotland a year ago. Still working for the same company. K has been in hospital seriously ill. O has settled into school up here. Other than that life is pretty much the same a bit colder and windier in the North of Scotland compared to the South West of Somerset…

Would that be spinning plates of juggling balls??


My brother recently posted an article on Facebook that was published in “Perth Now” an aussie on line news station. It was entitled “Dads losing fight to balance work, family”. Now it was published given this title to coincide with Fathers Day in Australia thus trying to excuse itself from being ever so slightly sexist (we will overlook that). If you can overlook the ever so slightly sexist stance (see I really am trying to overlook it) and actually look at what I believe the author was trying to convey it is true for all working adults that have children regardless of gender, it is difficult to balance a modern family life and a modern job.

I work full time, I have a disabled husband and 3 children. I am doing a distance learning degree with Bradford College and am about to start my Masters with UWE on day release from work. I have 2 dogs, I have a large garden (disabled husband, guess who does the gardening…). Now you might think all these are life style choices I have made. I chose to have 3 children, I choose to work, I choose to live in a rural property with a large garden, I choose to educate myself. So therefore given that this is all my choice who am I to complain that I don’t have any work/life balance.

This is just another example of how modern life has changed. I remember the 1970’s (yes I really am that old and thank you for thinking I don’t look it), my Mum stayed at home and looked after the children, we had a car although not everyone we knew did, we didn’t have a telephone the phone box in the street was perfectly ample for our needs. We had new shoes, warm clothes that covered our bodies and food on the table (ok I hated stew but it was good wholesome food and no one had even heard of McDonalds). We had a TV, a small brown square box that sat in the corner and had childrens programs on for an hour in the evening. I recall my father purchasing our first VCR and how special we felt getting this new gadget. I don’t remember as a child wanting more. I remember at Christmas asking for a toy that was the latest must have. One year it was Orvil the Duck and I was so desperate for him. He was my “BIG” present.

So fast forward 30 years. Every household has at least one landline telephone and just about every member over the age of 10 has a mobile phone. Every family has at least one car if not one car for every member of the family. Every room in the house has a TV if not a TV and DVD player. Every household has a pc or 2 or 3.

There is a price to be paid for being a consumer and that is you have to earn money. So my point is, yes modern life is hardwork. It can be tiring but in a way isn’t it our choice that we live this way. We don’t have to have a mobile phone, I don’t remember feeling deprived in the 1970’s because I didn’t have a telephone let alone one in my pocket. Work/Life balance is called balance for a reason, have you ever tried to balance the type of scales that have a pan either side you get one side right and the other side tips slightly. Modern life is like that you either except it and get on with it or you get out of it, which some people do choose to do. if I were really brave I would get out of it, I would become self serficient, stay at home, grow veg, have a few animals, not worry about fashion because I don’t need to, etc. But wait did the scales just tip again?


August has been manically busy! After we came back from holiday in Wales we have had friends staying in their caravan in the garden. Fran has been to stay for a week and hopefully will be back next week too. Work has been really busy with the continuing Lean project. I haven’t had time to stop.

I have been planning on making cup cakes for about a month now and haven’t managed to get around to it. I need to harvest the last of the beetroot and make chutney. The eating apples are ready to pick. There are raspberries that I should be making jam with. Thier is rhubarb that I should be doing something with, can’t decide what yet. Their are lots of tomatoes to make chutney with, loads of peppers and chillis to freeze.

This weekend we plan on a quiet weekend at home catching up on all these things, do you think we will manage it?

2 Years On

Front Garden
Front Garden

2 Years this Sunday from when we lost Fin. Since we lost our last baby last May I haven’t felt much like blogging other than to post a few random songs that meant something on the days that I posted them or amused me for some reason or another.

So where am I now. Well we have moved on quite literaly. We moved house on the 15th May 2009 and life moved with it. We had decided after I nearly died miscarrying in May 2009 we had done all we could to have another baby and I also turned 40 which I always said was the cut off date. Does that mean I don’t think sometimes about having another baby? Of course it doesn’t if a miracle happened tomorrow I would be overjoyed but I know in reality miracles don’t happen and I am content with where I am now. I have turned my attention to the children I do have.

Bean grows every day he is so funny now at 5 years old. Since starting school last year we have seen him grow in confidence and knowledge it is amasing to watch him and I am awed every day by who he is and what he can do. Snail has moved closer to us and we get to see her regularly. I love her totally and unconditionally. Pants has just taken her AS levels and is waiting for results next Thursday, have everything crossed for her but I know she is so clever she will have done well.

K and I got married this year. A very quiet wedding just us and no pomp and ceremony, very personal which is what we wanted.

So what do I fill my life with? I do a lot of gardening our new house has a massive garden and I am attempting to grow our own fruit and veg. I learnt a lot last year and have learnt even more this year. It isn’t as easy as it looks. Sure planting stuff in the ground isn’t difficult but controlling the weeds and when to plant and pick stuff is certainly an art. It can be hard work too with working full time.

Work is going well but I certainly do more hours now than ever before working most days from 0800 until 1830 doesn’t leave me a lot of time in the evening for very much. I get home, spend an hour with Bean, eat dinner, put Bean to bed. Water the garden, watch Corrie and go to sleep to start over again the next day.

So that is a brief where I am now. Life is good on the whole. I am settled. I am happy. I am alive.

The Village Green Preservation Society

We are the village green preservation society
God save donald duck, vaudeville and variety
We are the desperate dan appreciation society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
We are the draught beer preservation society
God save mrs. mopp and good old mother riley
We are the custard pie appreciation consortium
God save the george cross and all those who were awarded them
We are the sherlock holmes english speaking vernacular
Help save fu manchu, moriarty and dracula
We are the office block persecution affinity
God save little shops, china cups and virginity
We are the skyscraper condemnation affiliate
God save tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
God save the village green.


I’ve got nothing on my mind: Nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget. And I’ve got nothing to regret,
But I’m all tied up on the inside,
No one knows quite what I’ve got;
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be, I’m not anymore.
You know I’ve heard about people like me,
But I never made the connection.
They walk one road to set them free
And find they’ve gone the wrong direction.
But there’s no need for turning back
`Cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I’ll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned.
Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.
We’ve walked both sides of every street
Through all kinds of windy weather.
But that was never our defeat
As long as we could walk together.
So there’s no need for turning back
`Cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we’ll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.

Don McLean

Starry, Starry Night.

Starry   NightPaint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer’s day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they’ll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they’ll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.
Like the strangers that you’ve met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they’re not listening still.
Perhaps they never will…


I am feeling a little better today and certainly more with it. My body is starting to hurt as well so that is probably a good sign, means all the blood is flowing where it should do again.

Went to bed Sunday evening with low back ache and crampy stomach pains and there was the tiniest bit of fresh blood so I knew things were on the move and thought “good I can get through this, the end is in sight now”. Woke at 0330 on Monday morning and started bleeding much like a heavy period. Felt ok so made a coffee and pottered around. I posted on my blog to say goodbye to Rosie as I knew she would be on her way soon and it would be goodbye forever. Things went on like this until about 10am when the bleeding got heavier and the cramps got worse. So I thought it will all be over very soon and I can start to get on with life.

At about midday I started to feel really light headed and by now was in quite a lot of pain. Running back and forth to the loo all the time thinking it will stop soon and I will start to feel better. At about 3pm I collapsed on the bathroom floor. I don’t know how long I was there and I couldn’t get anyone as I couldn’t move or speak because I felt too ill. After a length of time I managed to bang the bathroom door and K came up. He got angry because I couldn’t stand up I managed to crawl and drag myself back to bed. O was stood on the stairs and I was more worried that he would see me like that than what was happening to me. I couldn’t understand why K was shouting at me and getting angry I could physically move it was horrible. After a bit laying in bed I started to feel a better. I had to make a few more trips to the bathroom and felt very light headed every time, had to keep my head down if I stood up straight I felt I would pass out. I felt sick, dizzy and confused. My neck and shoulders were aching as I couldn’t hold my head up properly it hurt too much. All of this was going on in my head I couldn’t tell K how I felt I didn’t have words or I couldn’t understand. I thought things would be ok in a minute.

8pm K called the out of hours doctor by now I was starting to find it difficult to sit up in bed and couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t breath properly and felt so ill, I couldn’t hear properly as there was a rushing noise in my ears. All I knew is I wanted to stay at home I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to be told I was overreacting or being silly.

The out of hours doctor came out and took my bp 70/50, he rang an ambulance. The ambulance crew were lovely I still felt everyone was making a fuss even though I was too ill by now to argue. The ambulance crew asked why we hadn’t called an ambulance earlier and I said I didn’t want to make a fuss I was just miscarrying. He told me I wasn’t just miscarrying I was bleeding to death.

I was in A&E until 3am whilst they tried to get my bp up a bit, 5 ltrs of fluid later and a lot of morphine I was still having contractions and fairly sure I hadn’t passed the baby. They gave me some tablets to help things along but they didn’t do a lot. They took me to theatre at 8am and I hadn’t passed the baby I was just bleeding out. I had to have a blood transfusion as my hb was 5 it should be between 11 and 13 in a woman.

Due to my muscles being starved of oxygen due to the blood loss I now ache from head to toe. I have huge bruises from where they were taking blood and shoving needles in me. All feels a little surreal. They say it’s going to take me a while to feel better.

So I guess it’s not normal to bleed so much and I wasn’t just making a fuss last time either. The treatment I had this time was so different. People were so lovely to me and supportive. Although I did have to go to hospital on my own I didn’t feel alone. A good friend was on duty in A&E and she looked after me. A few nurses on the ward remembered me from before it is about my 4th visit there with mc or uc. An old friend who is the Matron on surgical team came to see me too.

So it’s all over now. On the road to recovery slowly but surely. And less than a week until we get the keys to our new house. I hope a fairy comes and packs I have no idea how we are going to be ready in time for the 19th….