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The cat and I both visit the doctors, it is my bank balance left writhing in agony

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 19 April 2024

I was first up and my encounter was scheduled, it was my diabetes check up. When the Shipmans test your blood they obtain a three month average trailing score of blood sugars. So this chat was about bloods taken on March 4: two months of sobriety, healthy eating and exercise and one month of drinking and over indulgence during the olive harvest and then Christmas.  Yet my results were stunning, a 25% reduction in blood sugars, albeit from a terrible start. The nurse was full of praise and said how much thinner I was looking. I think she meant I looked less fat but the trend is my friend.

Anyhow, we will do another set of bloods in three weeks’ time and that will be three months of healthy eating, exercise and more or less complete abstinence from the sauce. Okay there was a celebratory Protestant whiskey when Ireland won the Six Nations and a couple of medicinal Protestant whiskies on a weekend when I felt unbelievably ill. And I had a bit of chocolate last night to console myself about West Ham’s European exit but three bad moments in 90 days of otherwise pure virtue with an ongoing weight loss surely sets me up well.

We have agreed to review ongoing medication when we get the next blood sugar numbers and also some cholesterol readings. On that score I have been damn good except when it comes to the cheese I eat with apples as a snack.  I will strive to cut out the cheese from now onwards leaving a splash of milk in my coffee as my only dairy input other than Greek yoghurt which is, apparently good  for you. I have ordered 2 kg of cashew nuts from Amazon to accompany my apples going forward.

Having arranged two other appointments for other issues I was thus feeling good about myself when I returned home only to find Quincey, the fatter of our two cats, lying there with what seemed like a marble over an eye he could barely open.  I was seven minutes too late to get a regular appointment with the vets so had to use its out of hours service operated from exactly the same building. Quincey was too lethargic to fight as he usually does when you put him in a cat basket. I really did fear the worst. His screams from the basket as we headed into Wrexham only compounded my worries, but he always screams on car journeys, I was just feeling pessimistic.

In the end it was just an abscess caused by a bite from another cat. What is known as nasty grey cat, a bruiser from up the road who often invades our garden, is the prime suspect.  Quincey suffered examination and even a thermometer up his bottom with fortitude but kicked up a fuss when jabbed with penicillin hissing at the vet who said that she was “a nasty woman”. That is the phrase used to descrbe the Mrs when she feeds Quincey only half a packet of cat food so he knows it well. His agony from the jab was nothing like that felt by my bank balance. Both the cat and my bank account will head back for the in hours service tomorrow for a second helping of pain.  Overnight I am told to expect the abscess to burst with puss pouring out in the same way that my poor bank account has seen so many earned pounds pouring out today.

But Quincey, locked in the house overnight already seems to be rallying and I am cheered by my encounter with the Shipmans as well. The outcome for both of us could be a lot worse.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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