I asked the Senior Cat last Tuesday.
"Why? What's wrong with it?" the Senior Cat asked looking down at his shirt.
"There's a button missing, there's a hole there and the collar is showing definite signs of wear - as in frayed - and that mark is glue from the shed."
"Oh, I thought it was all right."
I said nothing more. The Senior Cat really does not notice clothes. As I am not someone who spends a lot of money or time on clothes for myself I am probably not a good example. I really don't care terribly much except that - I like to look clean and tidy!
We have been having these sort of conversations for years. We had another similar conversation on Friday.
Yesterday he came out dressed for church and, because he should look clean and tidy for church, I suggested he change his shirt. He admitted, "I wasn't really sure about it."
I hate sounding as if I am nagging but something must finally have registered in his "clothing thoughts" because he said to me, "After lunch could we go through my shirts and mark the ones that I shouldn't wear out?"
YES! His wardrobe is crammed with shirts. He has shirts which he has had since before he retired. They are more than forty years old. Or rather, he had.
I was ruthless. I took a bin liner into the bedroom and I pawed through the shirts. I pulled the most ancient off their hangers and stuffed them into the bin liner. I marked others "S" for shed and garden. I marked some "H" for house wear. The unmarked ones are the shirts he can wear out. I also hauled out a pair of shorts he has not worn for over twenty years and his dinner suit - not worn for about the same length of time. I brushed his one and only suit - worn only at funerals and weddings.
The wardrobe does not look so crowded now. He has enough clothes there - more like the amount I have. (I have sufficient but my wardrobe could not be called crowded.)
There is one thing in his wardrobe however that I would not dare to even contemplate throwing out. It is his 66 year old Harris Tweed jacket that his father made for him the year the Senior Cat married. It has been relined a number of times. There are patches on the elbows and it is worn at the cuffs, collar and along the front. It doesn't look good. But yes, he can still fit into it and yes, he still wears it. I could not ask him to give that up.
The shirts are something else.