Weeks without a mention of running – not a whisper, not a complaint, nothing.
No, I haven’t dropped out of the Marathon and yes! The banging on about running will continue ALMOST IMMINENTLY! But really it’s because, for the last fortnight, I have been in Thailand with my family. As holidays go, it was a good one. Chat, horrible jokes, gin and tonics, games of Snatch It and Bananagrams, new places (for me, at least) to eat and watch the sun set, and the inestimable luxury of stepping outside and it feeling as though you were stepping into a warm bath, only without the humidity.
I read more books than I have in ages, stuffed myself with everything, and got to spend time with my brother and his utterly fabulous girlfriend who has just moved out to Singapore to live with him. From the sounds of their first dinner party this weekend just gone, they will either be high society by March, or dead.
And what of Cat Brown? My neighbours, and friends, very kindly offered to watch her or have her at their houses, but whether I was worried for Ambridge, my flat, or her running off/destroying things and never coming back, I decided to put her in prison for the duration so at least I’d know where she was.
To say that Ambridge was unimpressed with the idea is an understatement. I carted her off to Cozy Catz cattery in Norbury, which despite its spelling is actually run by an extremely nice, sensible man called David and his mother, Val. It came highly recommended by my Domestic Sluttery pal Sara, who in addition to running has an adorable cat called Swinton who stayed there recently. Swinton is quite dim and only mastered looking out of the window after three months in Sara’s ownership.
I didn’t visit before taking the cat, but as it came recommended and was easy to get to from Camberwell – bus to Brixton, bus from Brixton, five minutes walk – that seemed good enough for me. They were also fantastically relaxed: like a complete idiot, I left the cat’s vaccinations form at home. Rather than making me trek all the way back to Camberwell, and back again, David let me text him a picture. A very apologetic and thankful picture.
While having a lovely time in Thailand fulfilling my one-a-day policy of drinks served in tropical fruits, I idly wondered why I hadn’t heard from the cattery. I started wondering if she was still alive. “No news is good news,” said my mother, muffled from her sunlounger.
I twigged why I hadn’t heard from the cattery when I dozily got to Brixton and switched my mobile data back on to find a text and some pictures of the cat looking outraged in her luxury pen:
UPDATE: Trevor Ubdegrove on Twitter has done this quite amazing drawing of Ambridge in borstal. LOVE!
She was even more cross when I collected her, and expressed her disgust at some length and volume, before singing the Les Mis score all the way home. This wasn’t helped by the fact that two hours later – the cat still lecturing me on abandoning her to two fluffy baskets, toys and 24/7 heating – I went away again for the weekend like a total abandoning cow.
Luckily, two weeks in cat borstal seemed to have ironed out her bad habits. Or at least it did until she was back, pawing at my face at 5.45am, insistent on some entertainment. Sadly, post-holiday I’ve completely forgotten how to say “Sod off” in cat.