It feels like months since I have written because I usually write a bit every evening after work and then just have to edit and tidy up my post on Saturday, but this week I have worked late every night as I had a deliverable due for close of business on Friday. I was just too tired and fed up with sitting at my laptop to write for pleasure after almost 10 hours of writing for work. But I met my delivery date and I think I did a great job on it considering I only received my data extract for analysis on Friday afternoon.

I have also been very stressed as Norm was supposed to be going on a business trip for 2 weeks and I was frantically trying to get someone to come and stay with me as I would struggle to cope with life, dogs and work (i.e., Mr Finn McCool). Yesterday we heard that Norm’s trip was cancelled due to the new Covid variant which the SA scientists have discovered. From a purely selfish point of view it made me very happy that Norm is not going away, but when the various countries started restricting inbound flights from SA it panicked me that we may not be able to go to the US in a few weeks.

President Biden announced that the US has restricted travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. However as a US citizen I will be allowed in and as my spouse so will Norman. The only risk is that our flights are cancelled and we struggle to get another one. So for now we wait to see what happens. I will be so devastated if I cannot go and see my Mom but as my friend said when she was unable to come home for the holidays, we have no control over it and we need to just accept whatever happens. I am just not very good at being powerless.

Meanwhile Norm and I will go back to restricting our exposure to other humans and stay home as much as possible. This when we had just dipped our toe in the waters of socialising with our friends.

Last Sunday we invited around my friends Joe and Michelle for afternoon tea and cake. Norm went to the shops and stocked up on breads, cheeses, cake, pie and other snacky bits and pieces for us and for Joe’s son Noah. Joe brought some divine home baked scones which were delicious.

Noah was desperate to meet Finn and play with him and even brought a tennis ball. However when Noah arrived Pixie took a shine to him and followed him everywhere. Pixie loves children and nothing makes her happier than playing fetch and her and Noah played ball for hours.

It was a very hot day and was quite windy but Noah wanted to swim. Finn was fascinated by this and Pixie continued to stay by Noah’s side.

We had such a lovely afternoon chatting and relaxing.

It was so nice to entertain again.

Caitlin and Wes had been away for the weekend so Norm had popped over to check on their cats on Saturday and in the late afternoon Caitlin came over to collect her keys. Finn was very happy to see her and they had a little cuddle.

Finn continues to devour everything in sight. He discovered the basket of kindling we keep by the fireplace and we have had to move the basket out of reach. Note that there is no rug here as he was eating my lovely expensive new rug and we had to take it up until he becomes more civilised.

He also loves to pull the toilet paper off of the holder and distribute it throughout the house. The bin has now joined the toilet paper holder up there as he has decided he likes to unpack them.

Finn is driving the poms mad with his antics. He is so jealous and cannot bear for Norm or I to give attention to any other pet but him. He and Pixie fight over toys and balls regularly.

But the other night when Finn howled like a banshee in the middle of the night when he managed to somehow hurt himself in the crate, Pixie ran over to the crate to try and help him. She does have some maternal instincts, I think they are just buried very deep.

All Finn wants is to play and he is desperate for the other dogs to accept him. He shadows Panda everywhere and would love nothing more than to pile up together to sleep.

He is so happy when Panda tolerates him for a wander around the garden and he comes bounding in with a huge puppy grin at the fact he has a pal. It must be hard to go from living with 9 other litter mates who love to play to a couple of geriatric grumpy poms who nip you on the nose when you get near.

Norm gets up with him when he wakes up and cries, it could be 4am or 6am but he is always awake by sun up. They come down and Finn goes outside to do his business and then Norm feeds him at 6:30. If Norm dozes off Finn sneaks back upstairs and leaps on top of me to wake me up. Violently. That is always a fun way to wake up.

However we adore him and he has moments of gentle loving cuddles. Our biggest issue is that he bites us so hard with his tiny sharp teeth. Norm and I both are covered in bloody scratches and puncture wounds. We try to give him an alternative item to chew but if it is my daylight attack I do not have anything to hand except, well, my hand.

I had asked Lily to come down and stay with me while Norm was away and she has booked off of work so she will still come down on Monday and stay until the following Monday so she can bond with Finn and spend time with us before we travel (I am sending the universe a ‘when’ not an ‘if’ about our trip). I am really excited about seeing her.

For a musical treat I give you the beautiful original song ‘Friendly Fire’ by Holly Humberstone. I adore Holly’s soft, rich tones, she has a gorgeous voice.

These lyrics in particular really resonate with me: “If I hurt you it’s just friendly fire. Well it happens all the time. Guess I’m broken by design. If I burn you it’s all friendly fire.” I wondered if Holly is a Virgo but she is a Sagittarius. We Virgos have very sharp tongues and can devastate those we love with our words. It takes a special person to understand us and still love us. I am so glad I have found my special person. He knows I love him and my toxins are boiling over from past damage and are often not related to the current situation, it is just a present trigger of a past pain.

We have some violent weather this week. The SA Weather Service announced a warning of severe winds all across the southern coast and we have experienced it here. One of our bird feeders blew off the tree and the other rocked so much it distributed all of the seeds across the garden. Last night we had such loud thunder and bright lightning that it was a bit scary. We seldom have such storms here and Finn was on high alert. It wound him up so much he did not have his usual evening nap and instead he bolted around the house driving everyone mad. Eventually he just crashed and fell into a disturbed sleep, twitching and whimpering.

Today is a bit less windy and the rain has stopped but the sky is very cloudy and grey.

I hope that you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and that you have a fabulous week ahead. Stay safe, wear your masks and for goodness sake get vaccinated. It is the only way that we have any hope of this virus dying down. I suspect it will be part of our lives forever now and we have to learn to live with it but we need to do our part to try and keep it from mutating into more and more new variants.

Until next time, socially distant air Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo

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