The grassy square opposite the house is strewn with fallen leaves, innumerable shades of yellow and ochre. In the late afternoon sun a little boy - fair hair, bright red jumper - pushes an equally bright red bicycle through the leaves. The bike is a bit too heavy for him to control and he swerves from side to side as he makes his way home, his small body consumed with effort and concentration.
Guarded forays into the outside world - no more than one a day followed by rest - but so much time is spent on my own. Reading. Watching TV. Surfing the internet. (TV has tended to take over when pain levels are up; at such times escapism and distraction rule). These days the recovery consists of small spurts of progress followed by consolidation. Energy levels are still horribly low so graded but regular exercise (important not to miss a day), a good diet and fresh air, along with fortnightly cranial osteopathy sessions, are what is needed. I can't speak too highly of cranial osteopathy and of my practitioner. It has saved me.
So hard to focus, to formulate ideas, to string thoughts together. If my ego were writing the script I would have used the past two years to produce a first novel or learn another language or read the complete Russian classics. What a joke. Such achievements as there have been seem pretty paltry from the outside but that's not what this period has been about, not at all. It's been about survival, being stripped back to the core.
The cat's blood test results are in. The problem doesn't seem to be kidneys as I had feared. Instead one of his liver readings is higher than normal, plus he has lost a small but noticeable amount of weight over the last three months. These symptoms could point to something ominous or they could simply be a consequence of his age. Vet's advice: bring him in for regular weigh-ins every three weeks or so. If he continues to lose weight then another blood test to clarify exactly what is going on.
Meanwhile he's happy. Eating, sleeping, purring. To be honest my instinct is to leave him in peace.