Shrove Tuesday is it? – of course it is- no fancy Mardi Gras for Granny. Let the ageing ladies of these islands cavort in costumes which wouldn’t disgrace a performance of Merrie England in Haslemere (the costumes are so flattering to ageing hips. Or not.) Granny is English; all this day means is pancakes. Except that when she suggests pancakes with sugar and lemon to her Beloved, he says ‘yuck.’ So that’s alright. She can go back to converting her hens’ eggs into the four different kinds of ice cream or the four cakes she’s contracted to making for next week’s Natural History course. Want to know what they are? Maybe she’ll tell you sometime. Right now she is too busy making them.
There are other diversions meantime. Meet Feline Manrique and Feline Lorengar.
Both of them growing fast; too fast. They are in need of neutering especially FM who is demonstrating rather more thoroughily than Granny likes – her nose is acute – that he is ALL male. Problem is he’s been sneezing: a lot. It doesn’t seem to mean anything much to him – he eats, leaps, knocks things off shelves in theory too high for him, plays, purrs all as it should be. Except for the sneezes. He has cat flu it turns out. This means more expensive visits to lovely vet Pedro, who is doing his best to cure him so that FM can be turned into eunuch cat before he offends sensitive noses of the Guests. FM does not appreciate this. And demonstrates the fact not merely by ceaseless yowling. On way to last visit he first crapped in the car – Granny couldn’t see, but she could smell it – and then, much worse – she thought him safely caged in his basket – turned up on her lap when she was driving at 110 kilometres an hour down the fast bit of road. Luckily she was in her own car, which, clapped out as it may be, is automatic. Managing gear levers of the truck plus controlling frantic kitten would have been still more dangerous. When she finally got the car off the road and the cat re-basketed he proceeded to demonstrate ownership by spraying in it. Merrily, merrily. Oh so merrily.
She was not fond of him at the time. Not fond of him AT ALL. Or of the other one, FL, even though she shows no sign of sexual maturity. Yet. Just as well: there isn’t time for the rather more drastic business of neutering her before the guests arrive. On the other hand, supposing she goes into season right in the middle of the Natural History week? Granny doesn’t think the Guests would count a sex-mad female kitten as Natural History exactly. Though it is. The kittens must have realised she was regarding them with rather more irritation than affection. They spent the evening purring all over her, charming her to bits. ‘That’s cats for you,’ said Beloved Daughter over the telephone. ‘You hate them. Next thing is they are being so lovely you can’t hate them any more.’
‘Just like goats,’ said Beloved when this was reported to him. Oh dear. Though Granny changed the subject rapidly she thinks this was ominous. As was his statement the day before. ‘Goats eat out of mangers too.’
It rained like stink last night. Good. Dripped on G and B’s bed. Less good. As was the furious gale which went along with it. Fortunately it did not rain or blow till the Carnival procession was over. Granny wouldn’t have wished Merry England Grannies and children dressed as strongmen and fairies to get wet. She and Beloved did not go down to the main town to see them. ‘You’ve seen one carnival here you’ve seen them all,’ says Beloved. He has a point. Rio de Janeiro this island isn’t.