and the next three days will also be busy.
I will be forever grateful to the friend who knocked quietly on the door yesterday afternoon. She stood there with a large, square, white plastic box in her hands. When I opened the door and invited her to come in she said, "No. I just thought this might be useful."
The box contained a large fruit cake - enough to feed the adults as well as the kittens over the next couple of days.
A.... was gone - almost before I could hug her and thank her. I didn't burst into tears but I came close to it because I have to admit I am feeling tired.
Having the Senior Cat in hospital is not a holiday. It is surprising how many people think it is.
"It's giving you a break Cat," people tell me.
"Are you catching up on some sleep Cat?" they ask me.
No, it isn't giving me a break. There is all the watering to do - something the Senior Cat has been doing. He has been doing it slowly. It has been taking him four times as long as it takes me but he has been doing it. It isn't something he will be doing quite as much of in the future but gardens do need watering in summer. I want to keep his precious plants alive for him.
And I am not catching up on sleep. I suppose I am too used to sleeping with "one ear open" listening for him. I wake in the middle of the night - and then lie there wondering how we will cope when he comes home.
But it will be easier when he comes home because visiting him each day involves Middle Cat collecting me and a car journey through roadworks and other assorted hazards. Middle Cat can park in one car park without needing to pay but it is a long walk from there to where the Senior Cat is incarcerated. Middle Cat and I are getting a lot of exercise!
So, the cake? The mothers of the kittens do not make cake. I suspect that they have never made cake in their adult lives. Birthday cakes get bought. They don't have home made Christmas cake.
We rarely had cake when I was a kitten. My maternal grandmother made cake - although both she and my maternal grandfather were seriously overweight and should not have been eating it. We were not there to eat it though. My grandmother would send my mother descriptions of the cakes she had cooked. It did not encourage my mother to make cake. She was too busy. If something like that was needed my mother would make a batch of Anzac biscuits (oatmeal cookies to those of you in the USA) or, even more rarely, "afghans" or what we called "patty cakes" (cupcakes).
After my mother retired she bought and read a good many cookery books. I gave away a pile over a metre high when she died. She did experiment with the occasional cake then...sponge cakes, "ginger fluff", and recipes given her by friends. It was fine if we had visitors and they could help to eat it.
My paternal grandmother rarely made cake apart from Christmas cake. Although she came from a farm she wasn't a cake eater. My grandfather didn't much care for it either. He liked rich fruit cake in very small slices but he preferred cheese and apples with salt.
I have made cake. I still make cake. I make cake to take somewhere else and, once in a very long while, I might make cake for us.
Right now there is need for cake making. The only thing I wish is that my friend could see the kittens devouring it with such pleasure.