NK Jemisin, THE FIFTH SEASON; Jay Posey, THREE and MORNINGSIDE FALL; Ursula K. LeGuin, THE WINDS TWELVE QUARTERS & THE COMPASS ROSE; Walter M. Miller Jr., DARK BENEDICTIONS; Patricia A. McKillip, The RIDDLE-MASTER’S GAME; John Scalzi, LOCK IN; Anne M. Pillsworth, SUMMONED; Bethesda Software, SKYRIM: THE HISTORIES; and Paul McAuley, CONFLUENCE.
Today, I have been attended by a helpful watcher. Cats. What can you do?
I had the idea that I was going to write about What I Did On My Holidays in the company of excellent people in Newcastle and Glasgow.
But I dug a hole under a flowerbed and buried my cat tonight, so I’m not feeling as cheerful as otherwise I might. Even the contemplation of Saturday afternoon at Barter Books…
and Sunday at Housesteads…
in glorious company, of custard and cake in a café with pictures of cows on the wall…
… is not able to make me a cheery human tonight. Nor the contemplation of Glasgow and lovely people and a delightful second-hand bookshop (Caledonian Books) where I found copies of Oxford Classical Texts in mint condition really cheap.
I brought things home, and the memory of good company.
But Vladimir is as cold and stiff and dead as my grandmother, and it makes me gloomy as fuck.
A leaning tower of research books, mostly. Since the cats like to come in and out the kitchen window, this presents… problems.
I am a cruel monkey.
(Immediately after gaining entry to the house, Visi disappeared under the kitchen table and sprayed the wall. I hate you too, cat. I hope you’re happy.)
One of the neighbours has a half-grown cat called Misty who likes to come around and stare at me through the window while I’m working:
Much staring. Sad cat staring.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the kitchen table, one of the resident household gods emits small snores:
Today I met three tortoises in the ruins of the Library of Hadrian – the ruins green with spring growth of all kinds of plants I did not recognise, apart from daisies and the odd dandelion and green barley, white butterflies and at least one small red and black butterfly that could have been this or maybe this – and later, one very friendly, playful young cat.
So of course I obliged the youthful catling with attention and the regard that is every cat’s due (according to them).
I have been working in one lately.
This is the view of the outside of l’ÉFA’s (the French School at Athens) library building:
This is a partial view of the inside of Salle A:
This is a lovely flowering plant that I wish I could identify:
And these are two of the three cats I saw in the garden at lunchtime:
I miss my cats.
Visi is much recovered from his recent wound, but I suspect he is under stress from the presence of Strange Cats hanging around outside. Well, poor lad, I’d be stressed too if one of them had recently put a hole in my face.
The free vet clinic found nothing wrong with him, so he gets to live in the bathroom until I can acquire soothing cat pheromone thingies to try, and see if that calms him down enough to give him free range of the house again.
Mind, Vlad is as calm as he always is. Cranky, but calm.
Presently in need of fussing over, and bathing with Dettol and warm water, and treating with Sudacrem, and careful watching. Oh, cats.