‘I LOVE Guiness, Mammy!’
Not normally the words you want to hear from a two-year-old. But in this case, he was talking about a neighbourhood cat who we’d befriended a few days before lockdown started. Now the children have been let out on (reasonably) good behaviour, we went looking for Guiness last night, and I’m happy to say we found him.
Though it’s probably pure sentimentality on my part, I’ve come to regard Guiness the cat as a symbol of hope. He’s one of those rare cats who’s more like a dog: runs up to greet you the moment he sees you, and follows you around. I’m missing our family dog, who’s been in the ‘dog hotel’ since this thing started. We were due to move house and so moved in with friends for ‘a few weeks.’ Then Covid-19 hit, and it’s turned into ‘a few months’ separation from our fifth family member, the crazy Staffador, Zeus. I’ve always found animals a great comfort in times of need. If we’d been able to have Zeus with us, I’m sure we could have benefited from the canine company.
But it’s no use saying ‘if only:’ there are many people and animals suffering far greater difficulties than we are. It gave me a boost of hope meeting Guiness on our daily outing yesterday; that life, if not exactly returning to ‘normal,’ is at least becoming more bearable, with opportunities to break free from the bounds of domesticity for a little while.
The New Normal
I was able to take the kids with me to the supermarket yesterday, thanks to further relaxation of the quarantine rules. Though I used to dread taking them both to the supermarket on my own, this time I found the trip thoroughly enjoyable. There was no running wild in the aisles as I’d envisaged. Both kids seemed a little intimidated by the fact that most of the shops in the Centro Commercial were closed, and that even inside the supermarket, the ‘non-essential’ items had been cordoned off. Nevertheless, they seemed glad to get out, and it was good to have ‘co-pilot Benji’ back by my side in the passenger seat. It made the whole ‘school’ day a lot easier to get through.
As I mentioned above, Ollie, my youngest son, is totally in love with our new feline friend, who followed us right to the edge of his territory, then stood there miaowing for us to come back after we’d gone. I knew there was a reason we stockpiled the cupboards with tins of tuna.
When this is over, I see an adoption on the cards…just need to check that Guiness doesn’t already belong to someone, and that we can find a way for Guiness and Zeus to live in harmony…