apologies for the intermission

Sorry we’ve disappeared beneath the horizon. There has been a lot going on, the Collections Book is in its final stages, and bits of it are not yet written. I had a nasty shock a couple of days ago — I was looking at one of our big 19th c collections & found a manuscript which the electronic catalogue described as ‘twelfth century’. You can do without that sort of thing in the last throes of writing a book — I was able to take a look at it yesterday & found to my relief that it was no such thing, fifteenth century Bastarda if I’ve ever seen it. The awkward thing is that the contents are a twenty-page poem entirely unknown to science as far as I can discover. Oops. Well, I’m just going to put it quietly down and pretend I haven’t noticed, because there isn’t time to do anything else. On a more domestic front, I came home this evening to the news that the Rough Cat Fillan is badly in the wars. She has a horridly swollen shoulder, presumably an abscess, presumably courtesy of the abominable Leo, whose aggressivity to other cats knows no bounds. He beat Miss Kit up a week or so back: she was quietly digging a little hole in the garden when he appeared out of nowhere and bowled her ten feet across the lawn. There were little puffy clumps of fur sticking out of the poor little thing where he’d swiped her, and I think he bit her leg, but of course I was racing toward them, roaring, and broke the fight up almost as soon as it started. And the bite didn’t make an abscess. Returning to the unfortunate Fillan, the Professor got one of the vets out, but they couldn’t catch the poor beast. The Cats’ Protection League will come by tomorrow with a cat-trap so we may manage to get her to the vets’ tomorrow to lance the abscess and give her an antibiotic. But she’s very wild, and may fall victim to her own stubbornness. Really, with the ferals, you just have to do your best, and accept that since they don’t trust you, your best may not be the best that could be done. But I must say that if I heard that Cat Leo had been squashed on the road my expressions of regret would be, to say the least of it, perfunctory, even though Miss T is fond of him. I gather that in his home circle he is a perfectly agreeable cat. Like his mother Mrs Grey, he seems virtually unable to tolerate the existence of other cats, but this doesn’t spill over into the non-cat population.

2 Responses to “apologies for the intermission”

  1. cp Says:

    Dear Professor Dr. Stevenson, Although I commend your FRanciscan bahaviour, I am distressed to find you, as it were, still on my case, and, be it noted, through one of my children, whose actions may well come from the sad and sudden deportation of his mother. Let me remind you that I am no longer Mrs. Grey, late of Burnside, but the Countess de Grey of the Castle. I ask only for a slight nod and a cessation of the hostilities formerly between us. My current guardisns are aware in part of my history, but I have neither dotted i’s nor crossed t’s.

    yours faithfully Sigelinda de Grey, Cat of the Castle, Defender of the Faith, Guardian of the Virtues und so weiter

  2. Jane Says:

    I’m surprised to learn that the Countess de Grey’s personal name is Sieglinde (’soft victory’), rather than, say, Brunhilde (’battle-ready’). She is, by the way, well and happy, and graciously condescends not to remember ANYTHING AT ALL. But perhaps her choice of name is right enough: she is certainly soft in victory if she has contrived to forget that it was the wholly uncalled-for aggressivity of her regrettable offspring (who was well named) that drove her from her first home and landed her starving upon our doorstep. I think her horrid conduct has very much to do with the fact that the cat Leo sent her frantic with fear and hunger, vile unnatural son that he is. Channelling, doubtless (given that everyone is now an aristocrat) Bernard Hairypaws of Septimania.

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