Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Chassie

Telling the time by the passing of animals

When I met Big Friendly for the second date, Gally, my gorgeous white Taiwanese refugee dog, put her paw firmly on his bejeaned leg and chose him for her own. In time Big Friendly was claimed by Pablo, my ancient cat, who demanded that he pour fresh water into his bowl and take him to drink, and Bayla, the oldest Taiwanese refugee dog, and my first heart dog. When I fell in love with Big Friendly it was partly because of and through my animals.

When Bayla died I was in Grahamstown, and it was Big friendly who had to witness and manage her passing. With Gally we were both there. We are still scarred and raw from the death of Annie, Chassie’s sister and most unusual beloved cat, who was run over in the road outside our house on the one occasion she ventured over the wall. That was about seven years ago.

We know dog walkers from Gally and Bayla’s time, who too have different animals attached to them. Our Linus and Frieda, well known in the neighbourhood and on Facebum as our most beloved pups, will soon be five.

Our nephews’ lives are marked in animal time too, with those that were there when they were born, now gone or leaving, and new ones coming into their lives to mark their transition into puberty and teenage-dom.

Megan’s Head, this blog, is like the historical record of these things, and if that is the only reason to keep it going it is a good one. Frieda’s delicious face stares back at us whenever we open it up.

If you are an animal person you will know how to tell the time with the passing of animals.

Chassie is Back

Photo on 2015-10-15 at 6.34 AM #2Thank you each and every one of you who messaged, shared, called, came to look in gutters, gave advice, support and comfort. Chase is back home, and lying at my feet, after a dramatic search and rescue. My life and heart can return to normal.

For those of you interested, here is the long and boring detail of what happened. I now know that it can happen to anyone, with any type of cat, even a fat, 8 year old, layabout, Big Lubowski personality. Brenton went to call Chassie in (on Tuesday evening), as he does every evening at about 7. I had left 10 minutes before to go to the Alexander Bar to watch the CityVarsity 3rd year final work. I got home at about 9pm to find a frantic Big Friendly on the stoep and no sign of Chassie. At first we thought that he might have climbed up into the engine or bumper of my car and driven with me to the theatre. Our worst and most paranoid fear. The one we visualised endlessly, the whole of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

All the obvious things were done. Vets, animal shelters and groups were called, emailed, and face booked. Posters were put up and flyers made. Big Friendly did the rounds, looking for a body. At 5pm yesterday we took our flyers and started going door to door in the neighbourhood, and our neighbours were sweet, and concerned and attentive. Some people felt sure they had seen him. Our last stretch of the search took us to the street behind and parallel to our one (we share an alley between us). People there told us there were lots of cats in the area. I saw a few in an alleyway and kssed to them. They perked up alertly. And then we heard meowing from across the road. It was clearly Chassie’s voice. It took a while to identify that he was hiding in a gap between two sections of a roof, and he was terrified, but, clearly, recognised our voices. I waited with him and spoke to him while Big Friendly walked home to fetch our long step ladder and the cat box (genius idea) and then there we were, hoisting our ladder onto a stranger’s house and coaxing Chassie into the cat box.

He was dirty, ravenous and terribly needy. I hope he has learned his lesson. We tried to read him the riot act but he just started purring, and hasn’t stopped since.

I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with his return. But then there are friends, family, animal lovers, neighbours, organisations and total strangers who helped. Thank you. Chassie is home (and may never be allowed out again).

Tonight You’re Mine Completely

Big Friendly (my husband, for those of you who have come to meganshead only recently)  and I started the slide down the slippery slope almost three years ago when we got our pups Frieda and Linus. Up until then I had been successful in keeping our past animals off most of the furniture and all of the bed. But with the arrival of ten week old Frieda and Linus all resolve, reason, and general clarity disappeared. Now everybody is allowed everywhere all of the time.

I had a bad bout of flu this last weekend, which kept me in bed (even though it was our 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday) most of the time, and this is basically what it looked like. sickbedmashup


Sometimes there were more, and sometimes there were less. But, if I was in it there was at least one other being on or in the bed. At night, when Big Friendly was in it too, there was another cat added to the mix. Jasmine now sleeps between us, while Chassie stays close to my feet.

When I got up to wee I would come back to this. coneheadandcat


Or sometimes this.closeupsnuggles



Honestly, I am totally used to it. Some mornings Big Friendly and I have to pretend we are still sleeping because the slightest noise means we are up, and then Frieda and Linus, who have been draped over the couches, bound into our room, jump onto the bed and stand, sit or lie ON us.

When Big Friendly gets up to make coffee I have an ‘animal and me’ lie in.

So, every now and then I get to stay in a hotel room when I travel for work. When I close the door behind me I am utterly alone. No furry body follows me to the bathroom and watches me pee. No feline meows at me to open the shower door. There are no bowls to be filled, no cones of shame to take off or put on, no beady eyes asking for strokes, no Jonesie the part-time cat demanding to be let in then let out then in again. And when I finally climb between the sheets of the standard king in the hotel room, that whole bed, for that night, is mine, completely. There is no fur, no spit, no bloody speck from where Linus chewed his paw. No pulled bits of blanket where Chassie or Jasmine kneaded there furry heads off. No stinky dog or cat breath on any part of my body. No warm but immovable lumps making me contort into an unsleepable position. I say to myself with a gleeful sigh, “Tonight you’re mine, completely,” to a bed. I breathe. I flick through the channels on the hotel TV. I read a few lines on my Kindle. I turn off the light. And lie there. Awake. Alone. With all the space in the world, and missing each warm body.

This post is one of nine tandem blog posts, all with the same topic, and all released at the same time. Please check out the other offerings by these amazing writers.










Small Furries

Every now and then there is an amazing animal moment in our house. We have just had one. I ‘needed’ mash for supper tonight and Big Friendly obliged. He is one good mash maker. Mash done and had, there was still some left in the bowl so I took two glomps in each hand to give to the dogs. The cats heard the action and came running! Then began the ritual of dogs first, then cats, eating mash off my fingers. Annie’s back paws were on the dining room table and her front paws were stretched out on the chair back, Chassie was between my legs and Bayla and Gally stood lined up for their turn. It was a hilarious, ‘please can I have some more’ performed by dogs and cats. Love it.

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