and "Please may I have your steel ruler?"
I reminded the Senior Cat of this some days ago...there is now a little piece of paper at his place at the breakfast table.
I cannot make the new calendar without it. The only other ruler is a mere 30cms in length The steel one, the one he uses in the shed is 100cms long.
Yes, it is more than time to draw up next year's wall calendar. There are already appointment cards - for the Senior Cat - littering the refrigerator. They need to be on a wall calendar. That way we will (hopefully) both know when he is due to be somewhere. That way things won't be double booked.
"What colour do you want?" I asked the Senior Cat the other day. There were three pieces of cardboard available. One was pale blue - not a good colour in my view. One was lime green - which I had planned to use for something else. One was bright yellow - the same colour as before. It shows things up well - which is what the Senior Cat needs.
He looked at them and then said, "I suppose it had better be yellow again."
I did not argue. My mother used to change the colour each year. We had everything from bright pink to purple, grey to pale blue, yellow, orange and more when she drew up the calendar. Some were easier to see than others.
My mother always seemed to draw the whole thing up in the blink of an eyelid. It takes me several days to do it - on and off. I have to do it standing at the dining room table....mark the lines off, trim off the excess cardboard to fit the space on the cupboard it gets stuck to, rule the lines, stick on the months and days of the week, and fill in the numbers for the dates. Of course my mother did all this in her beautiful "infant school" printing. Mine is barely legible.
After that the various birthdays that need to be remembered go in and the regular items go in. This time there is a wedding to add. The appointments and anything else of importance should all be there for the Senior Cat to see.
I looked at this year's calendar. It is not as full as it has been some years. Most of it appears to be medical appointments for the Senior Cat. That's not surprising. Things have changed.
I found a very old calendar the other day. It was a very strange feeling to look at it. When my mother was alive there really wasn't enough space. Most of the items on the calendar were things she would be doing. The Senior Cat came after that. I was working of course - but I had moved in knowing that even then they weren't coping because of another very stressful issue.
I should have kept all those calendars as a record of what was going on. The Senior Cat writes a diary - in his own illegible mix of "shorthand" and abbreviations - but he can't read the entries himself so we won't be able to read them either.
And somewhere - unless the Senior Cat has thrown them out - there are some diaries my mother kept. I hope he hasn't thrown them out because I will be interested to see what she has to say about that time in our lives. She wrote a brief "autobiography" for Middle Cat to have but it says almost nothing at all.
The wall calendars tell us much more.