As the Queen once famously said about her entire year, this has been a weekus horribilis (aka a horrid week). In fact things have been extremely stressful since June when Navajo died.
On Tuesday afternoon I heard that Kate, a friend from my Drumming group, had passed away. Kate is the gorgeous redhead in the centre with the beautiful smile. This pic was taken on the day we made our drums. We breathed the drums to life in another ceremony together. We met up regularly to drum, sing, attend sweat lodges or other ceremonies. Kate was such a bright soul and a wonderful, kind person and she had a beautiful voice.
Kate had cancer and had been ill for a long time so at least she is now at peace and no longer in pain. I lit a candle for her and said a little prayer for her transition through the veil and for the ancestors to welcome her.
It is so sad and tragic to lose someone so young. Please say a prayer for her soul if you are so inclined.
Then on Wednesday Lily took her kitty Toothless to the vet as he had not been eating properly and she thought he had been losing weight and they discovered that something was wrong with his kidneys and that he was very dehydrated. They kept him overnight and put him on a drip to hydrate him and gave him some anti-nausea meds and he managed to eat a bit. They did several tests on him and the results were very bad for all of the tests and the vet said he is in pain and will not recover. They told her she could take him home for a final weekend and then bring him in to be euthanised on Monday. She took him home on Thursday night but today she decided that it was unfair to keep him home if he was in pain and she could tell he was in a lot of discomfort. Her Dad took her in today to have him put to sleep. My heart breaks for her as she found him as a tiny little feral kitten who had been abandoned by his mother before he was even weaned. She bottle fed him and he grew to be a gorgeous kitty. I feel so sad for her and Josh, they loved him so much.
I mentioned in my last blog that the vet found a growth on Pixie’s lady bits and they had done a biopsy. On Wednesday we also received a call from our vet to say that we needed to bring Pixie in. As we had been waiting for the lab results from her biopsy that sent me into a panic, if it was good news why would they need us to come in? I could not believe that both Lily and I were struggling with our babies at the same time. Finally, it was a bit of good news as the results confirmed that there was no malignancy and it was just an inflammation of some sort. She had been on anti-inflammatories since the biopsy and the swelling has gone down a lot so the vet took a blood sample to see if her kidneys are coping with the meds. The anti-inflams have worked wonders for her arthritis, she is running around like a puppy instead of her usual slow waddle. Yesterday she jumped across a huge gap between the couch and footstool, then across another gap and on to another footstool. She seems to think she is super-dog all of a sudden. They are going to keep her on the meds and see how she copes. It is non-steroidal so she should be fine. Her bits still seem itchy on occasion but much less than they were and hopefully that will stop soon too.
Last weekend’s long weekend went far too quickly as they always do.
Last Saturday we went around to see Caitlin and Wes’ new home now that they have unpacked and their furniture is in place. It is looking so cozy and pretty. The outside furniture I bought them as a housewarming gift is so comfy and fits perfectly on their patio. We had another truck full of stuff to take over to her and ended up bringing home a truck full of rubbish to take to the dump for her as well as some bits and pieces to drop off at DARG for their garage sale money raising initiatives. We took them a milk tart, a bottle of the gin I had won as a gift for Wes and a huge bouquet of yellow roses for Caitlin to brighten up the house.
Norm and I pottered about all weekend doing things around the house. Norm cleaned on top of the bedroom cupboards as every time we opened one we had bits of random rubbish falling on our heads. There was loads of bits of rubble up there from the building work and it is now clean and tidy. I cleared out the bedding cupboards as we had so many blankets which we do not use as well as old bedding which was faded or damaged and even bedding sets for single beds when we no longer have a single bed. We put together 4 black bin bags of bedding for my friend to take and distribute among her family and friends. I am glad it will be used by someone instead of just going musty in our cupboards.
Norm also repainted the bedside units for the back bedroom. Norm and I picked these up about 20 years ago from a guy who did metal work and had his items for sale at the Malvern Antiques & Collectors Fair in the UK. The black metal had become a dull grey after many years of use and they both glass tops had chips on the edges. Norm ordered new glass and they look like new now. The bed frame in that room is wood and black metal so they go so nicely.
Monday was Women’s Day as mentioned in my last blog. Norm disappeared off to the shops that morning and I was banned from the kitchen once he got back. I could hear him banging around and could smell bacon which confused me as bacon is not typical High Tea fare. He eventually called me through and I was presented with an amazing spread. He had picked up some fresh strawberries and pastries at the shop and he had piled the cake stand high with grilled little sausages that he had wrapped in bacon, devilled eggs and bite sized open faced sandwiches of smoked salmon and cream cheese and cream cheese and cucumber on fresh slices of french bread.
The weather was cold and rainy so we could not sit outside so we just ate it in the dining room.
He is so thoughtful and kind and I am very spoiled! It was all so delicious.
On Tuesday one of my orders from Mr Price Home arrived. I ordered a lovely cushion with needlepoint proteas to go in my favourite wicker chair. I remember buying this chair around 1995, I had just moved into my own little cottage which was part of a commune in Johannesburg. My friend Cathi took me to a cute little shop in Rosebank and I bought this chair, a couch and a TV unit. I adore this chair and it is all I have left from that excursion. It has travelled from Johannesburg to Northern Ireland, all over England and then back across the oceans to Cape Town.
I also ordered some bedside lamps which go nicely with the silver finials on the curtain rails.
So the front bedroom is now complete and I am so pleased with how it looks.
We just received the new duvet and pillows that I ordered and today Norm and I will set up the back bedroom. We traded a half moon table that Caitlin wanted for this little table. Norm is going to sand it down to remove the paint and we will varnish the natural wood. I may keep the white bits and do a mix of white and wood, we will see once we sand it.
The little legs match the stool from my grandmother that is now in that bedroom.
The glass panels in the shower were installed this week so the shower is now complete.
A new replacement bath was brought to exchange for the damaged one and was installed and it all looks stunning.
They also installed an air conditioning unit in our bedroom. In the peak of the summer it is so hard to sleep at night as we have a tin roof so the heat can be unbearable upstairs. Due to the high levels of crime in SA we cannot sleep with our windows open and the fan just moves around the hot air so it will be fantastic in summer to have the A/C. It also heats but I love a cold bedroom so we may never use that function. As we have a remote we can always heat the room before we get out of bed on cold winter mornings.
This week we took the elephant photograph I recently won to a framer and I cannot wait to get it back so that we can decide where we are putting all of the art we took down to repaint the walls. That will be the last step in redecoration phase 1.
I indulged my bird and garden addictions this week as well. I bought all of these from a little Facebook page called Remember Me and they were very affordable and they bring me much happiness. I put an air plant into the open holder with the little hummingbird at the top. I added my magic bird crack liquid to the feeder and added seeds for the birds who may be too big for my other seed holder. The birds drank the whole bottle of liquid in just 24 hours!
I also received another bird feeder / bath in my order from Mr Price home and Norm put it by the pool for me today. I love birds so much.
Now for my weekly COVID updates for my 3 ‘home’ countries.
I will start with the vaccine stats. At least 217 countries and territories have administered more than 4 billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. These are the stats of the total doses rolled out in order of country administering them.
In SA 9,339,755 vaccines have now been administered. In the UK 47,215,352 first doses have been administered and 40,206,029 second doses and 76% of the population are fully vaccinated. In the US 197,081,471 people have had at least one dose and 167,699,170 are fully vaccinated. This sounds high but it is only 50% of the population. The US remains among nations with the highest rate of new Covid-19 cases, driven mostly by a surge in the South, where many states are lagging in getting people vaccinated against the coronavirus. This is leading to a crisis in healthcare with many people being hospitalised and ICU beds being filled. In the month of August, the US has so far reported more than 1.5 million new cases of Covid-19, more than three times the numbers for Iran and India. Louisiana has the highest rate of new cases per capita, followed by Florida. Florida and Texas alone have accounted for nearly 40% of new hospitalizations across the country. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Texas account for half of the US Covid-19 hospitalizations, despite accounting for only around 24% of the nation’s population.
In the ranking of total cases per country, the US has remained in 1st place with 37,364,700 total cases, SA is still 17th with 2,582,427 cases, and the UK is still 6th with 6,211,868 cases.
For the grim statistics of numbers of deaths, SA has moved up a spot and is now 16th for total deaths on a global scale with 76,631 lives lost. For both the UK and the USA there has been no shift in rankings since last week. The UK is still 7th with 130,801 deaths and the USA is still holding on to 1st with 637,161 lives lost to COVID and related illnesses.
For the more evenly rated ranking of deaths per 1 million of the population there has been no shift for the UK which is 20th with 1,916 nor for the USA which is following very closely at 21st with 1,912 out of 1 million on average passing from COVID. However SA has moved up another two spots to 42nd with 1,274 people out of a million of the population dying from the virus or from related illnesses.
I am so excited to get my 2nd vaccine on Monday! Norm has now booked our flights to see my Mom in the USA and I hope the rampage of Covid has slowed down a bit by the time we fly. Flying in general makes me anxious but flying with all of those germs floating around is already stressing me out. He splurged on the roomier comfy seats that lie back a bit so at least I can take a pill and pass out.
Norm and I have started watching a series called ‘The Good Doctor‘ and we are both really enjoying it. The series is about a young surgical intern who has autism and savant syndrome.
Norm enjoys this series because of his work with people who have autism and I enjoy it because of the medical aspect. It has some good story lines and I think that Freddie Highmore does an amazing job in it. If you are not familiar with The Good Doctor you may recognise Freddie from ‘Bates Motel‘ or if you are very observant you may recognise him from the films he performed in as a child, such as playing Peter in ‘Finding Neverland‘ and portraying Charlie in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘. Like me you may not realise that Charlie is actually British as he does an excellent American accent. We are still on series one but I give this series 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
Finally, for my musical treats, first I give you the soulful British singer-songwriter ‘Amahla‘ performing a live acoustic version of ‘River’. Amahla has an amazing voice.
The nominations for the MTV Video Awards has been announced and there are some great ones in contention. Billie Eilish is nominated for her ‘Your Power’ video in the ‘VIDEO FOR GOOD’ category (whatever that means?!) She has really come into her own as both a woman and an artist and her work continues to be unique and wonderful.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend and stay safe. Remember to check in on your friends and loved ones who may be at risk or who are isolating alone.
Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo