Friday, 7 March 2014

I got caught in the aisle

of the other supermarket yesterday. I do not normally go into it at all. It is owned by a big multi-national company. They have ruthless market strategies. More and more of their goods are "own brand" and sourced from overseas. I don't have a "loyalty" card and I pay cash. They don't like either thing.
There is one brand of tea the Senior Cat particularly likes however and it is only available in there so I venture in once in a while and buy it.
Other people do use the place of course, despite the rather dim lighting and the very poor layout of the store - and thus I got caught by someone who needed to talk. I escaped an hour later - but yes, she needed to talk.
Like me she lives with an elderly parent. Unlike me she is married (without children) and her parent is demanding. Her parent is very demanding. I was aware there were problems but, even allowing for minor exaggeration, I had not realised just how demanding her parent is.
Her parent is younger than the Senior Cat and physically a good deal more able. The Senior Cat is much more independent and does a great deal more. He is not demanding. He is appreciative of things which are done for him. He enjoys helping others and still has a wide range of interests. At ninety-one he is still enjoying life. I know he is fortunate in that he can still do a great deal - and that makes me fortunate.
I often wonder though what it would have been like if my mother was still alive. Things might be quite different. Her mother, my maternal grandmother, was the most demanding woman I have ever met - demanding of companionship and things done her way. My mother saw that in her mother - but not in herself. I know, if I'd had to look after both her and the Senior Cat, I would not have coped.
I am not suggesting that looking after the Senior Cat is easy. It is not easy to look after anyone else if you try to do the job properly. It is however much easier when someone says something like, "Have you got a minute?" or "Would you like me to do that?" - and when they thank you for doing something.
The Senior Cat is like the other supermarket. (It's well lit, sources as much as it can locally and deliberately employs students to give them experience and much needed income._
The Senior Cat has my loyalty card.

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