Positive December day 1

Oooo-eee, that post on Saturday eh? Well that was pretty raw. I’m always in two minds about being as honest as that because on the one hand, it’s so cathartic; but on the other hand, it means people I know in real life might want to discuss it with me. Yikes!

I guess honesty is the best policy, though – life sucks sometimes, and there’s no point in pretending it doesn’t.

I have decided that in an attempt to feel remotely Christmas-cheery, I will post a positive thought every day from now until December 25th. All my absolute FAVOURITE things about Christmas start after the 25th – for starters, from the 27-30th I’ll be volunteering at Crisis At Christmas again (this will be my seventh year!) For me, Christmas is all about volunteering at Crisis – one day I’d really like to volunteer over Christmas Day itself.

So, on to today’s positive thing, and (probably of no surprise to anyone at all who knows me) it’s this guy:

Smudge

Smudge

I’ve had Smudge for a about 3.5 years now. He’s ten and a half. I got him pretty much by accident.

The back story is that years ago, I had a cat called Jerry. She was the love of my life (at the time) but sadly I only had her for two and a half years – she died at the age of 7 after a short illness. I tried very hard to save her but decided in the end it was kinder to let her go. I sometimes regret not trying harder to save her life, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do (the only remaining option was a major operation with only 30% chance of success).

After she died I was devastated, and pretty much decided I was never going to have another cat. I come from a cat-loving family, so this was pretty radical.

Fast-forward 7 or 8 years, and I’m living in a new house, renting out my spare bedroom for extra cash. I advertised for a new lodger, and got an enquiry from someone who was looking to move fairly quickly, to get out of a bad situation – oh, and would I be able to accept her cat, too? I said yes right away, as I reckoned it’d be great to have a “lodger” cat – all of the fuzz but none of the long-term responsibilities. Karoline & Smudge moved in, and Smudge settled in pretty much right away. It transpired he’d already had a very peripatetic life, and Karoline was his second or third owner.

Life pootled on for a bit, and then Karoline decided to move out, as tenants in London do. But she wasn’t able to take Smudge into her new place, and asked if I’d take him on full-time. I admit, I was torn – on the one hand, I’d fallen in love with Smudge (despite his despotic tendencies); but on the other, I really liked the freedom of pet-free life. But in the end the decision was never in doubt – of COURSE he was going to stay with me.

All this happened a month or two after I met my boyfriend. All three of us live together now, much to Smudge’s chagrin – he will tolerate men, but I think in his ideal world, he’d be the only man in my life.

I am really grateful for Smudge because – despite the scratches, the bad temper, the 3.30am wake-ups, and the fleas (oh god the fleas) – I love him to pieces. He keeps me company when my boyfriend is away, and he keeps my boyfriend company when I’m at work. He’s soft, handsome and has a big personality.

I’m the first person to admit that how I feel about Smduge is probably a bit unhealthy. He won’t live for much more than another 5 years or so, and when he dies (which he will) I’ll be devastated and distraught all over again. I think this is just a pact you have to make when you get a pet, though – they will die, but until that day, you have to give them the best life you can. I hope Smudge is happy, despite being the outright grumpiest cat I have ever met.

This is probably the most I will write about ANY of my things I’m grateful for, BTW, because Smudge is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT. Sorry everyone & everything else in my life, but you gotta get in line.

Monday – more playing about at BGWLC

  • Squats: 3 x 3 @ 70kg
  • Deadlifts: 3 x 2 @ 90kg
  • Good mornings, some light OHP
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