Keeping up. Or not.

12th May 2023

“The hurrieder I am, the behinder I get.”

It was a cartoon caption, in a newspaper I think, a long time ago. My aunt saved because she identified with it. I do too.

Ridiculous, isn’t it, for a retired person to feel this way, but I swear my days are getting shorter.


By 11 o’clock this morning, we had been past these trees four times.

So I took 4 sets of photos, just in case the light had improved, or the angle of the lens.


The trees are at their loveliest.

These are the moments you want to last forever, but then would we appreciate them as much?


It was wonderful to see clouds this morning and to discover that the garden had been watered.

The World appeared to have been “fluffed” up overnight!

Nature declares: SUMMER!


Why the trips back and forth? Two of the cats had to get blood taken for a thyroid check.

Funny, my thyroid doesn’t get checked from one year to the next.

But I have the ability to recognise and report feeling “off” and the cats do not.


Weights were checked at the same time, and Muffin has lost a pound which is rather alarming.

She is tiny. 16 ounces is a lot.

So her blood test turned into a senior panel.



Next Tuesday, four more of the gang go for their annuals. And Tinks gets a blood draw.

Tinks will be more trouble than the other four put together.

We will have to plan this carefully…


This morning’s other ‘victim’ was Toby.

Toby is elderly and frail. At times we have expected to lose him at any moment.

Currently, he seems very slightly less emaciated. Today he walked to the end of the drive.


As long as he eats and wants to walk, we have to assume he does not suffer. Or not too much.

One always asks how one will know when the time has come.

Cats shut down. Stop eating. You can see that they have had enough. I know this from experience.

But every time I second guess myself.


Each night and every morning, Toby comes to tug my hair. Sometimes I allow him a quick tug before restraining him.

How I wish I could explain to him why I can’t allow him to pull out all my hair. As if he is offended.


Of course he’s not.

Who knows what he gets from pulling my hair?

Some urge compels him to do it, but he doesn’t go away mad when I stop him!

He doesn’t go off muttering “bitch!”


Every time I groan when Toby wakes me early, I remind myself to be glad that he is still with us, to enjoy every little moment.

Toby has an unknown intestinal problem. It appears to be uncomfortable for him to pass stool. As a result he stopped using the box.

But he religiously uses the same area and cleaning it up is just one more thing we do for him.

The absence of these moments in the future will leave a hole I shall not be grateful for.


Perhaps having so many aging companions is why I feel so unenthusiastic about the changing seasons.

They mark the passage of time.


This will be our fifth summer here.

The eighteen years of my life on the West Coast seem so far away, belonging to someone else.

Moving significant distances tends to turn your life into segments, in the same way that significant losses do.


Forevermore it will be:

“JFK days”.

“Washington days”.

“Before/after someone died”

and so forth.


Perhaps it’s human nature to compartmentalise. To keep things tidy.

Since I can’t seem to keep up these days, things are feeling quite untidy. Too many things on the program for next week.

Dear oh dear. How did I ever cope with work?

7 thoughts on “Keeping up. Or not.

  1. We often wonder how we ever found time for work, and the days just seem to fly by faster each month. We compartmentalise our time by where we lived and are always shocked to remember that we have now lived here for 30 years. How is that even possible?

  2. Oh, I love those beautiful trees … but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the other scenes! I hope you realise what beautiful roads you drive – even if it’s a few times in one day! Good luck with the next lot of cats to the vet – and let us know if your plan with Tinks worked out đŸ’Œ.

  3. This is my 11th year in Beetley, and the first year where I have really missed London. Ollie would hate the city, so I will have to go back when we no longer have him. (If I outlive him)
    When they stop eating and hide away, that sign is so upsetting. That happens with dogs as well as cats, (I have had cats in the past) and I dread seeing it happen with Ollie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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