I've been away. I've been sick. I have a lot of excuses for why I have not been slinking around the internets as much as I'd have liked to recently. My son missed me while I was away. I think. At least, when I skyped him each night before bedtime, the first thing he said was 'you MISS me!'. As he often says things like 'Teddy is scared of the dark' I rather hoped this was a sign that he was going to be pleased to see me when I got home and happily, so he was.
What I didn't expect was how happy the cat would be. Given that he spent the first 16 years of his life with one owner and was at that late age abandoned by death and thrown into a new life complete with a 6-month-old baby, it's hardly surprising that, although he is an immaculately perfect gentlman, for the last 3 years, Sammy has never really shown affection that didn't involve food or warmth.
Recently he's underlined this lack of concern by developing a demanding and highly repetitive one-paw pat whenever the black hole of his stomach needs to have some sort of matter thrown at it. This is the feline equivalent of water torture in which he stabs at whatever part of one's anatomy he has selected (often the face) until one gives in or he begins to slowly, pat by pat, unsheath his claws.
Oddly however (and for the first time) he appears to be genuinely pleased that I am home. It's not that he's rescinded the pat, or even that he's not still demanding 8 dinners a day, it's just that he threw himself at me when I got back and now, once in a while, he comes over for some completely random affection. Just a moment ago, for example, he actually licked my fingers and I hadn't even covered them in butter first.
Perhaps the frog didn't pay him enough attention; perhaps I have better choices in kitty snacks or a slightly softer lap. Who knows? Whatever it is however, it does appear that he has decided that he is happier to have me here than not.
The problem is that the flimsy wall I put up against loving him too much has completely crashed down and now, surely when he has very little time left in the world, it appears I am going to be completely gutted should he decide to shuffle off into the sunset.
I guess it's never too late for love, this life.