Wednesday, 12 September 2007

9-11 and a Missing Cat

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I was going to write a few words about 9-11 yesterday but Tabby managed to distract me. On 9-11 I was spending a week with my dad in London. I usually visit on my own (hubby is then cat sitter for the week) and I catch up on visits to friends and family. I remember the day quite well when it happened. On that evening a family get together was arranged with my cousins and families who I hadn’t seen for at least fifteen years. We had all grown older and greyer in the meanwhile – not yet grandparents but we all had good chances of becoming such like.

Anyhow I was looking at the TV with my dad, a black and white old English film where they all spoke like they had apples in their mouth, but it was nostalgia pure. I went to the kitchen to do something or the other and when I came back saw on the TV two buildings burning. As I didn’t hear the commentary before, I really thought it was an advertisement for one of those Bruce Willis films where everyone dies at the end except for Bruce Willis, but it seemed to be too real. Eventually I got the hang of it and was shocked, amazed, and still couldn’t believe it was really happening. My cousin called about thirty minutes later and as he was on his way from home in the car he didn’t know what was going on. Funnily my first reaction was to say to my dad “I bet Bin Laden is behind it all”. He answered “Who’s Bin Laden?” so I decided to end the discussion. Me having Internet and a fan of the most wanted on the FBI site, I was in the picture – my dad doesn’t have a computer. Anyhow how true it all was afterwards. I had been in New York about two years before it happened and had a meal in the cafeteria on top of one of the buildings.

My next problem arose when I wanted to fly back home to Switzerland. I heard that London City Airport had been closed down for the time being so phoned to see what was going on. It seemed that everything was under control and they gave me another flight leaving from Heathrow on the same day. It meant travelling from East to West through London, but it was all by underground, so just needed a bit more time. London City was only fifteen minutes on a clear road (which is not usually the case) from where my dad lives. Eventually I arrived at London Heathrow and as I had time I e-mailed my hubby from the public computers in the airport to say I was at the airport and with the English pounds I had left decided to treat myself to something from the caviar restaurant. I didn’t take caviar but smoked salmon and only got plastic cutlery when they brought the food up. The impact of 9-11 was still to be felt and I remember I observed the people on my flight a bit closer than usual. I just had a funny feeling. London City airport remained closed for two weeks and when we flew off from London Heathrow the plane made a large detour around London. I had flown the route so often I more or less recognise places that the plane flies over.


And now to Tabby’s distraction – When I got home yesterday I was told Tabby the cat was last seen at one o’clock lunch time making her way to other pastures. Not an exception with Tabby but after tea in the evening around seven hubby decided to go on a walkabout and see where she was. We knew she didn’t have a boyfriend as over the last years tom cats didn’t seem to interest her very much. Her favourite walking place is a villa just across the fields near where we live. In any case hubby came back half an hour later with no Tabby. In the meanwhile I had drunk my coffee, it was almost eight in the evening so I decided to see if I had any success. I took the same route and met two Italian workers on the way whom hubby had also met. I asked if they had seen a cat and they said they had already been asked. There was a big evil looking black cat – that was our Nera and she was already at home. Then there was a small tabby cat who was running away from a barking dog. Unfortunately my cats are stupid – instead of trying to get friendly with dogs they just run away. I went further down the path and who did I see. Tabby walking on the edge of the path near the bushes. “Komm Tabby komm” I said in German softly. My cats only understand German and it is not necessary to speak in a loud voice as they hear quite well. Tabby looked in my direction and made a dive into the bushes. Super I thought, so I sat down on a nice stone seat in the gardens of the villa (the villa is up on a hill and the owners died a couple of years ago so there was no-one really to see me). My patience was not rewarded with Tabby’s appearance and I suspected she was peeping through the bushes at me. Eventually with a few quiet swear words under my breath I decided to walk home. Looking back who did I see - Tabby following at a distance. I carried on walking and Tabby got nearer until eventually she overtook me and went through her cat path into the garden Unfortunately her cat path is only big enough for cats so I squeezed through the bushes, scratching myself on the way, and tired but happy we both arrived home again. Big welcome for Tabby from hubby, although Tabby was busy eating for the next five minutes and showed no interest in being welcomed home. I returned to my computer and it seemed that Tabby was bored so she went out again. I think she was just showing off and saying I go out when I want to. She came back half an hour later and went to bed in her favourite cushion on top of the cupboard. She must have been tired as she stayed there the remainder of the night.

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