Joined at the hip!

29th Mar, 2019

In which DD realises that she would sooner be a happy hermit than EVER have to leave her precious fur kids behind, albeit for just a day or two… or three.

And, so, I was yet again faced with that dilemma of missing my elderly mom dearly, feeling the need to surprise her and spend her 82nd birthday with her, but also grappling with the fact that this means having to actually leave my fur kids… something you know by now I find the hardest thing ever to do!

Am I alone in this? A friend told me yesterday that it isn’t normal to feel so anxious about leaving one’s beloved pets. Really? As an official Crazy Animal Lover, I beg to differ.

Being a WFHM (Work From Home Mom), I’m fortunate to spend 24/7 with The Girls (Sammy and Sheba), The Twins (Arty Cat and brother Lewie) and The Budgie Birds (Boris and Georgie), which we all love and are so used to. And because I’m used to being around them all the time, it makes it much harder to be away from them. Just thinking about it makes me miss them already!

But will they miss me?

I know that Arty and Lewie probably couldn’t give a hoot, and as long as The Boys (aka The Dad and Aaron, our teenager) remember to give them their night-time kitty biccies and keep their food bowl topped up, they most likely will neither know nor care that I’m missing. That’s our ungrateful mostly-feral cats for you.  

Sheba Shanks… Yes, she will notice I’m not around. After all, who’ll play ball with her first thing in the morning? And, perhaps more importantly, who’ll sneak her a morsel of left-over dinner at night? But she’s really a Daddy’s Girl and isn’t needy at all, so I know she’ll be absolutely fine.

It’s a bird’s life

Then there are The Budgie Birds, one of whom I saved from certain doom with my own two hands. Yes, many will say that they’re “just birds” and that they’re cage bound (their choice, not mine – after three years of trying, I’ve just about given up trying to tame them so they can roam the house, sob!).

But, still, Boris and Georgie are the most pampered of rescue budgies! I labour ad nauseam over making their breakfast each morning (they do eat a more balanced and varied diet than most people I know do!) and tending to their every need before I knuckle down to work. I cart their heavy-as-hell cage to various parts of the cottage and garden… from their bedroom to the patio, where they hang out from 08h00 – 10h00; under the tree in the shade from 10h00 – 12h30; to the lounge for their afternoon nap from 12h30 – 15h30; to the front of the cottage for some late afternoon sun from 15h30 – 18h00; and then back to their bedroom to get settled for bed. I sing them a “good morning” song and a “time to go dudus” song at night. They need it – really, they do! (And I can’t see The Dad nor Aaron learning the words or even attempting to sing it to them.)

I check on them constantly; after a previous bout of sickness which needed daily medication, I’m paranoid about a draught. No one wants to medicate Georgie the Angry Bird EVER! Or even try and manhandle slightly-kinder-but-not-too-shy-to-bite-like-hell Boris. I speak as someone who’s “been there, done that” – and does not want a repeat performance.

I worry about if they might be too hot – they like a little spray down of water on VERY hot days – or too cold (do they need an extra blankie at night?). Oh, and don’t forget that their cage must be cleaned every morning too.

Hm, I’ll have to start coaching Aaron from a week before on the Budgies – he gets it all better than The Dad.

The Sammy Conundrum

And then, last but certainly not least, comes my precious little Sammy Bear. She recently turned 13 and is, without a doubt, the other half of my heart. I swear she already knows that I’m currently debating with myself about my “visit mom vs leave Sammy” conundrum.

You see, I understand and cater to her every need. I can tell what she wants just by looking at her – I know when she’s tired, sore, sad, or maybe could do with feeding (she’s my high-maintenance dog and tells me when and if she feels like eating). The last time I went away for only a few days she went on a hunger strike. Argggh! If there is a next time I will have to make her something VERY special – something she can’t refuse – before I go so that I can be sure she WILL eat whilst I’m away.

Will The Dad remember to remove his socks ASAP so that she can settle down for the evening with the comfort of a “fresh” smelly pair? Will The Dad kindly but firmly cajole her into waking to go out for a pre-bed wee? Will he remember to give her and Sheba Shanks their bedtime Beeno? Will he listen out for her as she makes her way down the stairs and then back up again?

And, of course, will she cope without her momma? Or should the question really be: Will The Momma cope without her Sammy? It won’t be easy, I can tell you that.  

But I will put on my big-girl pants, hand over my four pages of explicit instructions (single spaced, small font) to The Boys, explain my itinerary to Sammy and leave her with a worn vesty top to remember me by, promise to be home soon and attempt to contact her telepathically while we’re apart…

I haven’t even left yet, but I’m already looking forward to getting back home so we can be joined at the hip once more – smelly socks and all!

(And maybe, if I’m lucky, the others will be happy to see me too...)

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