When I retired, I fully realised that I’d be at home on my own for a lot of my time as Cat Mummy (AKA Cat Freak Wife or simply CFW) plans to carry on working for some years to come. To be honest, that didn’t worry me at all. In fact I was quite looking forward to “time on my own” with the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without interruption. Bliss.
I’d clearly forgotten one thing: HIM. Le Roi, as we all know him.
For some inexplicable reason and despite my consistent approach of complete indifference towards HIM, I appear to have become the human in the house that HE is most attached to. Lovely as that might sound to some, it’s certainly not what I had contemplated when considering my future time at home.
There are too many annoyances to mention in one blog, so let me try to take you through a very “average” day spent in retirement. With HIM.
CFW leaves for work. I sleep in. I’m awoken by HIS screaming at the bedroom door to come in. Some cats have a meow that soothes. HE doesn’t. HIS meow is caustic, sounding like an elderly Verruca Salt not getting her way. “Meoaaawww.” And so begins the day. I usually give in and let HIM into the bedroom. We cuddle until I get bored. Not long.
Breakfast used to be an ordeal as HE would meoaaw around me and try to barge into my hand for more cuddles whilst I’m trying to drink my tea. So I have developed a new routine: I make a point of putting out our recycling at The Front. HE follows me. I shut the front door once he’s out and settle down for a relaxed breakfast alone and get on with stuff retired people do.
Surprisingly, this trick works every day. I think HE forgets. When HIS screaming at The Front eventually becomes a threat to our good neighbourly relations, I let HIM in. We cuddle.
I’ve learned that I must get out in the mornings to do stuff that retired people do. HE sees me preparing to go out, looks me in the eyes and lets out a very pitiful meoaaw.
Undeterred, I escape. Freedom.
By the time I return HE is usually doing what cats do best: sleeping somewhere in the house. I tiptoe around so as not to wake HIM, doing retired people’s stuff and, weather permitting, escape to our backyard.
Shortly before retiring I asked one of our neighbours, who is a carpenter, to build some seating at the back of our yard. He named it my “retirement bench” and it has become just so: a lovely tranquil place to sit and read. Until HE appears out of nowhere with an excited meoaaw. We cuddle.
Alternatively, if the weather is rubbish, I’ll listen to music indoors which obviously alerts HIM to my presence so HE joins me for a boys’ music club. Thankfully, the music tends to drown out his meoaaw. We cuddle.
My solo time with HIM ends when CFW returns from work, usually much to HIS disgust. HE sulks a bit, maybe disappears off somewhere but eventually returns.
“Meoaaw!” Group cuddle.