According to Greavsie, cats walk backwards while they are being sick. Dogs don’t. They stand still and then, belatedly, go to the door and ask to be let outside.

Tilly is rarely ill. I have known it – Christmas day one year, when she had evidently nipped across the field and raided a neighbour’s bin for the fatty remains of the pan juices. that was a good’un. She was so taken by surprise that she didn’t have time to get off the sofa, though she did at least lean over so most of it went on the floor. Today’s offering was only a few minutes after she’d finished her dinner; I expect a hair was caught in her throat because she was anxious afterwards, for she is a polite little dog and never one to waste food, but not ill. Now, she’s curled up next to me looking as demure as usual.

We’ve got an explosion in the rabbit population. There is nothing up in the vegetable garden as they’ve eaten all seedlings as they emerge. I’m afraid that this probably means an outbreak of myxomatosis in a year or so, as that’s what happens when the burrows get overcrowded. We used to have rabbit-proof netting round the veg garden, but it has been gradually removed as it hasn’t really been needed for some years.

Any suggestions as to what I should replace my car with (another car, obviously. I am not cycling to Norwich and beyond)? I don’t care about cars, so matters of design and technicalities are a matter of indifference to me. Mike, who is splendid at finding cars at a low price – Ro’s cost around £400 and has lasted for 2 years with no problems so far – doesn’t quite get the notion that I rather want something less than 15 years old, so I might have to look myself and I’m awfully, awfully bored at the thought. The only thing that consoles me in my car debacle is that I cannot lose more money than the original owners, as I paid less than they lost on their 3 year old car, so I don’t want a new one. I need it to be comfortable as I ache enough already, with infinitely changeable seat positions as I’m short, like to sit bolt upright but with room to move my legs. I want a smaller car than I have now, but not too small – a hatchback or estate so that I can fit in stuff – with good legroom in the back as most passengers are of an age to not fold up very small. Mike will suggest something reliable but ancient, but I want power steering and central locking and a good CD player, which is not something he’d think matters. You see, hardly technical. Most of all, reliable.

May I mention, by the way, in reference to the horrid (it did bristle a bit, as it was fresh) initial subject matter of this post, that the Sage did all the clearing up? First he approached with a shovel, then he came along with a cloth and washing-up liquid to wash the carpet. I merely wrung my hands and thanked him. I’m good at that.

13 comments on “Watchunder!

  1. martina

    Greavsie is correct about cats walking backwards when they get sick. It is the first sign to me to go run and get paper towels. Hope Tilly is okay now. Let her eat some lawn grass and it will settle her stomach. No car advice here-I think you are meant to be chauffered in a Rolls Royce.

  2. martin

    May I suggest that you look at a Saab ?. The four door 93 would suit a lady of the country. It has a very large load space in the boot with the back seats down. The price on one a few years old is quite good.

  3. Blue Witch

    There is a definite hole in the market for a website that allows you to enter your car decision variables and spews them all out with a list of perfect choices.

    Focus estate is what most people with your requirements settle on. But *I* wouldn’t buy a Ford.

    I’d say that your choice depends on whether running (fuel mpg, insurance, car tax) and servicing costs are important to you, and where environmental considerations come in your scheme of things.

    Talking of spewing, I’ve never seen a cat be sick backwards. Ones I’ve seen do it on the spot and then run away. But not backwards.

  4. Z

    I said to Ro that websites and advertisements only refer to matters that I’m flexible about – he thinks I should simply do some groundwork, test drives and the like. But blimey, so boring. I don’t care, I just want a reliable car that’s comfortable, not too scruffy and less expensive to run than the present one.

    Fitting a bike in the back is a good indication of the size I need. But the truth is that I’ll just take the first acceptable car that comes along.

  5. Three Legged Cat

    I hate buying cars, having a car is great, but the buying is a pain.

    I found the What Car? website quite useful last time (4 yrs ago), although I did have to register & give bank details to get to the useful stuff. I cancelled the direct debit after I had received my free magazine so it didn’t actually cost me anything.

    I ended up with a Honda Jazz – officially a super-mini so cheap to insure, also good on fuel, totally reliable. Bikes fit in the back (although we do take the front wheels off). Would cost a lot more than £400 though.

    My Jazz looks almost identical in size to my sister’s Ford Focus, but her car made (and continues to make) a bigger dent in her finances. Her car also has a lot of dents in it, but I won’t go there.

  6. sablonneuse

    May I say, from experience, that cats don’t always walk backwards when being sick. Sometimes they stand still, or lean sideways so as to spread it around – but they certainly don’t walk forwards.
    Tiled floors are a blessing when there are six felines in the house who love to go out and eat grass and then bring it up indoors. Mine also love ‘decorating’ the armchair covers (preferably the day after I’ve washed and changed them)but I still love them all to bits.

  7. Z

    Apparently, when Rovers had a Honda engine they were splendid. I’m not sure that a Jazz would be quite large enough, but I’ll have a look. It’s not just space to carry stuff when the seat’s down, but also when people are in the back seat. They need legroom and I need a reasonably large boot.


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