Sunday, 20 November 2016

Some of the temporary migrants

are returning home today. That will leave three small kittens rather than five. We won't see them until later today. 
Yesterday they went to the "big playground". This is an "adventure playground" on the other side of the city. 
Fearless as ever they sailed down the gigantic slide - having climbed what must have seemed an enormous height. They swung and rolled and jumped and did all sorts of other things too. 
They consumed fish and chips for lunch and then, instead of just sitting there - what a thought! - they headed for more water. This time it was very shallow and just intended for splashing in. It squirts up occasionally of course - the cause of more laughter and squeals. They flung themselves back at the adults. I knew jeans were made for that very purpose but it was nice to have it confirmed.
Later they went back to the swimming pool and proved that they still had energy.
Everyone went out for a meal last night. We have been there before. It is cheap. It is cheerful. The food is reasonable and - most important of all - the staff are tolerant of lively children. Yes, they behaved well but they are lively. They coloured in more pictures at the table. They wandered around looking at other people and other things. The youngest explored everything within sight - looking back occasionally to make sure she could see the people she knew. Her father swooped every time he thought she might go too far.
At two she could tell him "Just looking Daddy!"
Eventually they sat and ate. The just turned four year old kitten sat next to me and consumed a "child size" serve of pasta. She ate it delicately, one strand at a time - with her fingers. Her father just shrugged and made sure that her fingers were clean to start with and that there was an extra paper serviette or two within reach. The child size serve was more than I could have comfortably consumed - and she ate a scoop of ice cream on top of that. (Interestingly she did not want caramel topping or sprinkles - just ice cream.) She told me all about this and what they had done... even the things I already knew about.
We will see her and P.... and J.... again today. "The others will be home but not us and we can have more fun with you. Will you tell us about Grandpa being little again?"
Grandpa of course is my brother. Great-Grandpa, the Senior Cat, is someone they were at first over-awed by but are now prepared to climb all over and talk to. He has problems hearing them but it is surprising how quickly they have learned to take it in turns to talk to him when two or even three of them will try and tell me something all at the same time.
We hope that the oldest of them will remember the Senior Cat well. They have the language to do that. I have memories back to around twelve months of age. Some of them are shadowy but others are sharp, very sharp indeed.  I had the language then to remember things now. My mother found my capacity to remember disturbing but remembering the past can only help to make sense of the present and handle the future.
So, today we will probably talk about Grandpa being little - and perhaps even about Great-Grandpa being little...and perhaps they will remember it. 

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