Home to torrential rain, some of course inside the parental home. There are little puddles on the kitchen and dining room floors where the new electronic windows leak.
“The new windows are leaking,” Dad says, sliding across the wet floor, with the tragic, mournful tone of one reporting the death of the last tiger in the world.
“Better put a bucket on top of the piano,” Mum says, bustling past with a pile of dirty holiday clothes. “Tanya, if you give your dirty washing to me…you’re not going to want to take it back to the flat are you?”
“Thank you, Mum,” I say. “I just wish that we could pick up the furry monster now.”
“Me too,” Mum says.
Last night, Mum’s phone rings at the French supermarket. Dad is loading loose bottles of wine into a trolley – “I can’t find cases of the ones we need – Tanya.”
“Can you answer that, Tanya?” Mum says. She’s packing cheeses, cauliflowers and celeri remoulade into a bag.
“Hello,” I say.
“Is that Mrs Marshall? This is the Cattery. It’s about your boy,” the person says.
“Is he ok?” I say, an iron fist of fear clenching round my heart. Something has happened to my baby, I think. A terrible accident or…
“He had a bit of dried poo stuck in his furry trousers so we had to cut it out,” the voice says. “And then he started over-grooming his back legs and he’s making that area a bit sore.”
“Is it infected?” I say. “Poor boy.”
“Not yet, but we’re keeping an eye on him,” she says.
“Thank you very much,” I say. “How has he been?”
“He’s been fine in himself. He’s a lovely boy,” she says. “Very friendly. When are you picking him up?”
“Tomorrow,” I say. “We’re still in France – in a noisy supermarket. I’ll pass all that on. Thank you for looking after him.”
“Who was that?” Mum says, as we make our way back to the car.”
“The Cattery. The orange person has been over-grooming. Hope he’s OK,” I say.
“They probably want to know if we can pick him up today,” Mum says.
“One of the other cats must’ve told him that we’re never coming back for him,” I say.
“I wonder what over-grooming means?” Mum says, starting to unload the shopping into the already-full car.
“Anxiety,” I say. “Like hair-pulling.”
“He’s such a little madam,” Mum says, pushing a couple of bottles of wine in between two suitcases. “Our last cat was perfectly happy going to the Cattery, used to sleep in his bedroom at night…”
“He’s a different sort of person,” I say.
So hopefully he will be alright, the little monster. Can’t wait to give him a cuddle.
Have had some messages from chaps who want to meet this week so had better get on with setting up some #Tinder Dates now I’m back. There’s a tasty 27 year old Norwegian, and a 31 year old who messages yesterday.
“You have a great body! When are you back in London?”
“Just wait till you see my Mind!” I reply.
“Can’t wait!” The reply crashes into my message box.
Will let you know how I get on…