cat or sword?
I was once again feeling guilty - if the cat was ill, I had plainly done something wrong - or neglected to do something I should have done. "I never meant to have a cat," I muttered defensively, scratching Joe behind one ear.
He purred back. People don't have cats - cats have people. Joe decided some while ago - could it be three years back? - that he would be our cat. So I'm responsible for food, bills, trips to the vet and general cat-care.
It's usually my son who assists and, last fencing day, he collected Joe from the vet. "He's had x-rays," my son told me, "and a sedative."
I got home from work to find a sleepy, slightly confused cat and a son preparing to go out on a trip he'd arranged some time ago.
Plainly I couldn't leave Joe to go fencing. I settled down at home and tried to persuade Joe to eat his food, which had been sprinkled with white powder on the vet's recommendation. Joe didn't approve.
He began by trying to scrape the powder away with his paw. It didn't work. He tried sliding his bowl away and pretending I'd forgotten to feed him. He tried indignation and pathos. Finally he managed to turn the bowl over and spill its contents all over the floor.
Cat 1 - human 0 (the usual score).
We both had an early night.