ME and Ophelia

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ophelia's late nights

At the moment it is 11:48 Thurs morning and the sun is shining so brightly I can barely see this text on my plasma screen. Ophelia is stretched out sunning herself on the table next to me. She's laying on the cushion where I set my laptop aside, so I can't move to get up and draw the curtains or I will wake her. She looks breathtakingly beautiful and soft. I wish I could take a photo so you can see what I mean. I wrote the following first thing Wed morning Jan 12:

Scottish news reports out this morning say two people were dead and 60,000 homes without power last night as hurricane-force winds caused chaos throughout large parts of Scotland, bringing destruction across the country.

Happily, all is well here. Right now, it's 8.11 Wed morning - the air is calm, sea is a cold gunmetal grey, sky is a clear pale grey. Around this time of the morning, I usually notice the fishing trawler going out to sea. Brrrr. It's amazing how fishermen manage to flex their fingers during eight hours of freezing cold and rain. Even in summer, when there are a lot of boats around, I can tell when the trawler returns around 6pm as it's surrounded by excited seagulls following it into harbour.

Some days I can even tell what kind of day the trawler has had, by counting the number of huge white sacks unloaded at the quayside: usually 11. One day, when I recover enough health, I look forward to waiting on the quayside and watching it unload. I shall tell the fisherman I've watched him from my window almost every day for four years, each time wondering if he caught any Bass. If I ask him for Bass, his reaction will probably be the same as everyone else I've asked around here about where to get Bass: there's a sharp intake of breath and voices drop as if I were referring to a lost piece from the Crown Jewels.

Last night, we went to sleep late because I waited up until 11pm to watch Germaine Greer's interview on leaving the Big Brother house. I don't watch much TV, so late nights are usually due to my blogging or waiting for Ophelia to return home. Each evening, before bedtime, I let Ophelia out so she doesn't wake me at the crack of dawn. Ten minutes later, she sweetly calls out to announce her return and I get up to give her a few fishy treats, a brushing and a cuddle and tell her what a good pet she is. If it's raining she calls out even louder which signals my need to dry her off with a cloth before brushing her.

After being together 24/7 for the past three years, I now know to watch out for moonless nights. On those nights she can be gone for hours. When it's full moon she doesn't want to venture out at all. One moonless summer evening, she had been out since 5pm and by midnight had still not returned. I was too worried and tired to wait any longer, so I went out into the back courtyard and stuck my head - and a torch - through a gap in the wall which is her entrance. It was pitch dark but the torch picked up Ophelia, crouched in silence below the other side of the wall, guarding her entrance. Then the torch picked up a pair of spooky eyes, 20 yards away, zapping me like two laser beams. It was a trespasser, crouched in a stare-out. First one to move is a scaredy-cat. Goodness knows how long they had been sat like that. After flashing the torch at the interloper, it slowly got up and gingerly sloped off. Within seconds, Ophelia jumped up through her entrance with a victorious sounding "Hrrmpph". I followed behind and marvelled at how confidently she sashayed into the kitchen with her head and tail held high. I am the headcat and she was proud of us both.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 1/12/2005
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