Your resident cat is feeling "wiped out" this morning. Yesterday's festivities were noisy and then noisier still.
We are fortunate enough to be included in Middle Cat's "in-law" family for Christmas each year. They have always been very generous about this.
I attempt to do my fair share of the work by taking food I have prepared and helping with the clearing away and so on. Still, they don't have to include us and the Senior Cat and I would stay at home quite happily. We aren't particularly keen on parties at any time.
Middle Cat and her husband picked us up and we set off - and then had to turn back because Middle Cat's husband had left the all important "honey crackles" on the table. (For the uninitiated these are made with cornflakes, sugar, honey and butter - you melt the latter into a sort of butterscotch, mix the cornflakes through and put this overly sweet mixture into the oven for about ten minutes. The assembled Christmas Day crowd demands them.)
When we eventually arrived at our destination it was already noisy. It grew a little noisier as, just behind us, my two nephews arrived and then more of their cousins. I could smell the inevitable barbecue. I added two loaves of home made bread to the table to help the first course along. (There was more to come.)
The Senior Cat retreated to the far end of the outside - away from the cigarette smoke. I volunteered help by putting things on plates and tossing salad and then, like the Senior Cat, retreated to the far end of the long trestle tables. The Senior Cat was then in earnest conversation about new developments in 3D printing with Middle Cat's nephew-by-marriage.
At the other end it got noisier and noisier. Even copious amounts of chicken, lamb, and turkey didn't seem to make a difference. The two loaves of bread I had taken mysteriously disappeared - along with two dozen bread rolls and five different varieties of salad.
Much later desserts appeared. I am sure there were more honey crackles than appeared. I know I made three dozen but only about twenty were on the plate. The rest of those had mysteriously disappeared too. The cheesecake and the pavlova didn't last long either.
It got noisier still at the far end of the table. My nephews had long since left them to it. They don't mind a party but they wanted to actually have a conversation. I discussed a potential doctoral topic with one of Middle Cat's nieces-by-marriage and then the nephew-by-marriage who is doing film production started to tell the Senior Cat about his plans for the coming year. There are certain things he must include but he didn't have a story line. He looked at me with that look of, "Come on, think about it."
He went on talking to the Senior Cat. I sat there and talked to his father about something else entirely different. Then there was a lull in the conversation. Someone appeared with coffee - and tea for the Senior Cat - and yet more food. I gave the young film maker some tag words to start him thinking. He made notes on his phone - whatever happened to paper and pencil?
In the midst of it all there was an eight month old Jack Russell terrier wandering around. She was a delightfully good tempered dog who endured multiple pats and tummy tickles. But, there was a bewildered look on her face. Who were all these people invading her territory?
Eventually someone gave her a small piece of lamb and she carried it off and ate it before lying under a chair for a nap. The Senior Cat and our host's father also went for a short nap.
Several of us at the quiet end would have been happy to join them.