<Thump, clatter, whump>
Me: Right. There you are Tiggerlump.
Kathleen: Don’t call him Tiggerlump, you’ll hurt his feelings!
Me: He’s a cat darling. And he can’t speak English. Plus he is a lump.
K: Well, now he’s a fit lump. Or at least he’s had his fructose blood test, or whatever it was.
Me: I still can’t believe that you had to go in and help the nurses when he tried to puff himself up and look tough.
K: He’s a great fat kidder. Looks tough, but he’s not.
Me: Not when you’re there, no.
K: He took one look at me and realised that he was in big trouble and deflated and gave me his unhappy whiskers. There you go, Tigger, out you go.
Me: He looks affronted. And Seb’s on his perch also looking affronted. Whose idea was it to take two of the cats to the vet today again?
K: Both of ours because it had to be done. Booster shots, even though they don’t go outside.
Me: Good thing too. Tigger’s last thoughts would be on the line of “What’s that big thing coming towards me? Perhaps it’ll be my friend?” followed by a splat as the car runs him over.
K: He’s not an outside kitty at all is he?
Me: Christ no, the worms would be lining up to mug him.
K: Where’s Toffee?
Me: Um… she’s peering suspiciously around the post at the top of the stairs. I think she thinks that she’s next for the vets.
K: Life’s too short for three trips to the vet. <Pause> What time’s the game again?
Me: <pause, eyes swivel> Um, I think it’s on at three. I’m going for a walk. I’ll grab my walking boots. I don’t think I’ll need a coat though, it’s crazy warm. <Walks into kitchen, grabs boots, kisses Kathleen, whose eyes have narrowed slightly as if she suspects something>
K: Have a nice walk sweetie-pie.
Me: I will. <kisses her again, walks outside, closes front door, sits on step to put on walking shoes.>
K: <opens front door> You lying liar! It’s been on for five minutes! It started at 2.30!
Me: <cringes> You know what I’m like whenever Wales play. I get nervous!
K: We’re playing Italy! <Closes door. Opens door> You’re just afraid to watch it! <Closes door. Opens door> We missed the anthems! I love the anthems!
Me: I get teary at Hen Wlad fy Nhadau!
K: Well I don’t! And we once saw your dad on the pitch singing it! <Closes door. Opens door> I’m so mad at you! Stop laughing!
Me: Well, you’ve seen Wales play more rugby recently than I have!
K: Go for your walk! Git! <Close door. Open door> I hear you laughing you know!
Me: I can’t help it! <finishes lacing boots> Right, see you soo. I love you!
K: I love you too. Even if you are a sneaky sneak who lies to his wife about when Wales games start.
<I walk away, down the road, into the forest and walk, communing with nature, being chattered at my squirrels and being eyed by pollen-pregnant plants that will soon be making my life a misery. 10% of the walk is taken up by thinking about how warm it is, how much we’d like a puppy, how practical a puppy would be once Kathleen starts her new job at her new school and how insane it is that London and the South East is being impacted by a drought in March. The other 90% is taken by worry about how Wales are playing given the fact that the Italian forwards are carved out stones from the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome. About 45 minutes later my shredded nerves finally allow me to pull out my phone and text>
Me: “COULD YOU GIVE ME A HINT AT THE SCORE BABE? GOOD? BAD? I LOVE YOU! XXX XXX XXX”
<A pause. Then my phone trills>
K: “HAS THE GAME STARTED? XXX XXX XXX”
<A street in NE London is treated to the sight of a giggling Welshman>
K: “9-3 at halftime. Halfpenny kicking well.”
<A street in NE London is treated to the sight of a swearing Welshman.>
Me: Fuck. Needs to be more than that.
K: “16-3! WE JUST SCORED!!!”
<A street in London is treated to the sight of a running Welshman>
Let me cut a long story short. We ended up winning 24-3. On Sunday we play the French for the Grand Slam (a clean sweep, winning all five games in the Six Nations). If Saturday was bad for my nerves, Sunday will be far, far worse.
I’d better get the walking boots ready. And charge the phone up. Kathleen’s going to be doing some texting to her nervous husband.