Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Snow Hell

Housebound, I made a big vat of fried rice with prawns and various veggies that I had on hand. Otherwise, it was minor clinic work, reading with Guido and walking HH in the neighbourhood. Once dressed for the cold (-6°), it’s lovely walking past the yards of my friends and neighbours, everything covered by fresh glistening snow. 

I had a very nice evening, watching movies. Sheba went to bed early. Fred and Ethel joined me on the sofa, Ethel curled up beside me on my right, Fred on my left. It has been a long journey together. When they arrived, they were feral animals. I put them in the bathroom for two days, cleaning up the fur and blood each morning. After two days, I moved them into a bedroom. After two days there, I opened the door; it took a week for them to venture into the big room.

It's been a constant slow, slow journey to where we are now. Fred has taken to sleeping in a cat bed Dwight gave me. It’s in the bedroom where Sheba and I sleep. I have a curled-up blanket beside the cat bed, F&E share these beds at night. But Fred goes there during the day now, and every time I enter the room, he jumps up on the bed for attention.

What moves me is their complete trust in me. Often, when you get 2 animals, they bond with each other, and the owner gets secondary status. F&E are not like that. They are always together; every single time, it’s because Fred has gone to Ethel. It’s never the other way ‘round. But they both come to me. I gave them a lot of attention—most of it at night when Sheba is in bed because she is jealous of the cats if I am affectionate with them.


The rat is not gone. I think he’s learned how to function inside the wallboard. I just hope it’s a male and not a pregnant female. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Wait and see for now, I guess. I won’t have poison in the house, but companies have traps. I may have to call a pest control company.

Asthma set in chez moi when I was 13 years old. I vividly remember going to my doctor when I was 18 and telling him that I’d had a cold for five years. He sent me to an allergist, and I had a gazillion patch tests that revealed no allergies. And I carried on until I started having dreadful asthma attacks and I’d have to go to the hospital. After a few of those, they called me in to have some tests and diagnosed me. 

The most surprising thing I learned from that experience came from my conversations with the lab technician who did the patch testing. There was a long interview before the patching, and during that interview, she asked me if I had any food addictions. I’d never heard of such a thing before. But I did, I was passionate for peanut butter and banana sandwiches—and sugar. 

As she was doing the patching, I asked her questions about allergies and treatments, and I also asked her why she’s asked me about food addictions. And she told me that it was common for people with food allergies to crave that which made them react.

I was thinking about that because I like making friends; I develop deep affections with some. But people bring on my symptoms, and I nearly always fight self-loathing after being with friends. 

I didn’t work well in groups. That’s why I got into projects and short-term jobs, why I became a technical writer, and why school was sometimes a challenge. I developed no negotiation skills. I had no siblings and absent parents, so I grew up short of the experience of compromise and trust.

There’s a chaos of snow out there. I have gumboots that rise almost to my knees, and the snow is deeper than my boots are high. The snow is almost to my knees; I cannot remember having this much snow before. Sheba has a grooming appointment at 9:00 this morning. I’m going to try to get there, but I have my doubts about being able to reach the salon. It’s quite far from my house and there are two hills between us.

Nancy is due here at 11:30, but I doubt that she’ll make it. Perhaps we’ll Zoom; perhaps we’ll postpone. I think the whole of our island will be disrupted. All our ferries are cancelled this morning. We won’t be walking much at all today. Sheba is not fond of snow this deep. Thank God for my fireplace.

It’s predicted to keep snowing all week. Yikes! But rain is predicted for the weekend. Pray for rain. 

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