The past fortnight has been a nightmare, and all because of fleas. We had to cancel our week away- to celebrate our wedding anniversary. In fact, we barely got out of the flat. Every day, we were decluttering, vacuum-cleaning, spraying with Indorex, etc.
From my wardrobe, in which I was keeping, not clothes but books, I threw out ten bin liners’ worth. I virtually filled the estate’s recycling bin single-handed.
Worse than that, though, we were scared to go near our poor cat. We couldn’t stroke her. My wife would shriek whenever the cat drew near.
It got to the point where we thought we couldn’t keep the cat. She originally came from Battersea Dogs And Cats Home seven years ago. I couldn’t bring myself to take her back there, it would break her heart. I went to see the vet, to ask whether she would be prepared to put down an otherwise-healthy cat. She said it was up to us, but that she could help us rehome our cat. I felt disgusted with myself when I left. I burst into tears out in the high street.
People who don’t love animals might not understand this, but our cat is like a member of the family. In fact, it was my wife’s idea to get her, after our first cat passed away. Having a cat there made her feel less depressed and anxious. So it tears me apart to see her acting so coldly towards the cat.
We couldn’t tell anybody. Even though our flat was spotless (thanks predominantly to my wife), we felt ashamed. We always gave our cat Frontline flea treatment, which up until this month worked perfectly. But then, without warning, Frontline apparently stopped working, at least in cities. The fleas there had become resistant to it. I’m hoping that the new stuff, Advocate, will do the job. We will find out in another fortnight.
I’ve barely written anything. I haven’t even done Writing Practice. For the whole week I was off, all I did was wake up, vacuum-clean, declutter, go back to bed again, all the while trying to calm my wife’s nerves (and she would tell you that I didn’t do a very good job of that). I was glad to go back to work, although even there I wondered whether they were living on me.
My writers’ group met up in a pub one night, prior to the start of the new term. It was good to see them again, generally chit-chatting, and not always about writing, either.
There were a few incidental happy times. Walking up to the café for a break. It felt good to have more space. And I’ve got the vacuum-cleaning (which you have to carry out every day for a month) down to a fine art. If you put some music on, it can even become enjoyable. We got a new machine, a Dyson, which I can thoroughly recommend.
But on the whole, though, the nightmare continues.