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January 15th 2010    Tim Candler

    What with the holiday season and a developing antagonism toward days of the week I managed to get black plastic bags to the end of the lane in time for collection.  Last time I achieved this goal was one month ago.  

    Perhaps as a result of this diligence I was rewarded by the sound of boy Turkey gobbling away in that part of woodland which once was a repository for engine parts and tires.  But on my way past the outdoor stove the Grey Cat sneered at me.

     I have seen the Grey Cat's mistress prepare his breakfast.  The process is arduous.  His bowl has to be perfectly clean, rinsed of even the minutest hint of soap and properly dried.  Half a tin of his super supper has to be dispensed into his bowl where it is mixed with several tablespoons of warm water.  This dish is then placed in a micro-wave oven where it is warmed for ten seconds before being gracefully presented.

     

    During the past weeks I have endeavored to maintain these standards.  I have chortled at the Grey Cat while preparing his meal.  I have made those noises which I thought appropriate.   I have hovered by the kitchen door.  And I have known the thrill of accomplishment when the Grey Cat offers to actually taste what I have prepared for him.

    But recently I became convinced ritual is more important to the Grey Cat than any nourishment that might be provided by tins of super supper and packets of desiccated mystery nuggets designed to combat hairball.  So this morning I made a deliberate effort to forego all pretense at ritual.  Indeed I was bad tempered and grumpy, and this because I was fed up with throwing untouched bowls of super supper into the trash bag.

    Then when the Grey cat sneered at me, I felt burdened by guilt.   And I continued to feel burdened by guilt, until we both pulled ourselves together by starting our day afresh.

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