Lady Marmalade in lockdown
If you’ve ever been owned by a cat, you’ll know that we felines like to come and go as we please, so I fully appreciate how challenging lockdown is for a mere hoomin (I’m not bad-mouthing hoomins, obviously, because I adore my mumma and poppa, especially at mealtimes).
Lock-down is vital because staying home means saving lives. As an apex predator, I’m not quite clear what this ‘saving lives’ entails. Possibly letting go of the mouse after you’ve played with it a bit?
I am however all in favour of staying home, if one’s hoomins have arranged said home to one’s entire satisfaction. Now look. It’s meant to have fur on it. Why else is it called furniture?
I commute from bed to sofa to kitchen and of course to my favourite windowsill where I check on the birds and the neighbours. There are some odd types around now, and no mistake. One of the neighbours has taken to wearing a funny mask when he goes for his daily walk, and he’s made a dinky little hole in it so he can still smoke.
There’s a distinct lack of visitors popping in to worship me now. Sometimes the hoomins ask me to participate in this Zoom thing, whereby I have to sit in front of a laptop and talk to Monica or whoever. This is not at all the same thing as stretching out languidly on the keyboard when I feel like it, and I won’t play along with such indignities.
My people only go food shopping once a week, which makes it most important to help them with the list. Poppa’s essentials are gin and bags of ice, while Mumma wants weird vegetables to make soup. I, the only sensible one in the family, make sure we get important supplies like tins of Chicken Cake and Melting Heart along with Dreamies and olives marinated in herbs. These are my favourite snack, and, if I show my appreciation by licking just one of these olives, I then find the hoomins leave the entire bowl. Result or what?
Mum and Poppa say that shopping means queueing. Believe me, I know about social distancing. Two metres is the same as the length of one lion, or, as I like to put it, a cat only slightly more magnificent than myself.
I sometimes have to help them indoors with their jigsaws. Not so long ago, they had a 999-piece puzzle of the Cotswolds. It never did get finished, especially after I rearranged the bottom bit that featured a dog by a stream.
My hoomins also amuse themselves by watching boring TV shows like Midsomer Murders that they have seen before, though they can’t remember what happened. Would you believe there’s a bloody dog in that too?
Poppa’s having to do more housework than before so he’s now coming across so many toys that I tossed aside a year or two ago. At this rate, he may even find the jigsaw piece with the mutt on it.
Now I know what you all really want to know: when is the lockdown going to end? My eyes speak of infinite wisdom, but even I don’t have the answer to that. In the meantime, we must remember to keep our distance and wash our paws for as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy birthday, dear Lady Marmalade, Happy birthday to you.’