A few people have asked how Minky and Spook would be with kids. They're brilliant with Aran, not even a hint of jealousy, so they would be fine with really young kids, and would grow with them and adapt. The're ok with older kids, as young cousins and relatives have been round and no problem. I doubt, though, that Minky would cope with them at that boisterous age... she hates being picked up and can be nervy with new people, so if a young kid was chasing her she's likely to spend most of her time under a bed and I wouldn't want that for her.

It is starting to look like our only option is to hand them over to Cats Protection and I'm not dealing with that very well. They have a waiting list for cats needing to be rehomed, so we have some time to keep trying.

All of this is opening up old wounds which is just adding to the stress and anxiety. Old wounds that I thought I had dealt with, but were obviously just muffled by the meds. There's a whole host of emotions running round my system that I haven't felt for over 5 years, all adding to the difficulties.

Does anyone remember 'Golden Hands' and 'Crafts' magazines, from the late 60's/early 70's? Golden Hands dealt with fabric and textile things, Crafts covered everything else from woodwork to photography to glass. The projects look very dated now, but the magazines' approach was techniques heavy, and would put most modern magazines to shame. Very thorough and informative. They were an education in themselves, building up the skills levels in weekly or bi weekly chunks. Very influential to a young, bright and creative kid.

My mum collected all of them, and they were what I grew up on. I'd spend hours pouring over them, reading them from cover to cover. In the summer, I'd lay a blanket out in the garden, get out the box of magazines, and plan all these things I'd like to make. I made all my early dolls' clothes from them - Sasha and Gregor I think were the dolls' names. I loved it all, and my mum gave me this box of magazines, because I used them so much.

I've always felt that all this went a long way to make me who I am today. They are at the core of my strongest childhood memories.

When my mum and dad seperated, both myself and my brother stayed with my dad. My mum needed space to sort herself out, so we gave her it. I was in my mid to late teens, and understood what was going on.

Nearly every night my dad would come to my room amd sit and cry on my shoulder. That was tough, I couldn't help him. He may have lost his wife but we'd lost our family. My brother bottled things up and didn't talk to anyone and I became the 'pillar'. My emotions and feelings got supressed because I had everyone else's to deal with.

When it came to sort out belongings and all those things that get stored, my mum came round and went through everything with him. My box of magazines came into question. My mum did tell him that they belonged to me, and should talk to me about them; they were no longer hers. My dad believed me to never use them and wanted to get rid of them. My mum tried to tell him otherwise but he wouldn't have it. He may have done it out of spite to my mum, I don't know, but he went ahead and dumped them. The whole lot gone.

I didn't know this had happened until a few days later when my mum told me. My dad didn't think it was worth telling me. I was so unbelievably angry and hurt that I was ready to leave home there and then, and never talk to my dad again. I meant it, too. My mum talked me into staying and trying to sort it out with my dad, but it was too late, the one thing I valued more than anything had gone.

I couldn't bring up the subject with my dad, I was too angry.

I spent literally years trying to replace all the lost magazines, including dragging home a complete set of 'Crafts' magazines in their binders from Edinburgh on the train, where I'd found them in a flea market. It nearly broke my back, they were heavy, but I wasn't leaving them behind!

It probably took me about 10 years, but I finally replaced them all. I don't use them much these days but they stay with me, they have their own space on the bus. They represent much more than my childhood memories now.

I still can't talk to my dad about all this. I did try telling him a couple of years ago how upset I'd been, but he didn't really get it. And this whole fiasco with the cats has reminded me about how insensitive he can be. I accept his reasons for not wanting the cats, it's the fact that he left it so late to tell me, and didn't think to tell me earlier. You'd think he'd know that the sooner he told us, the more chance we'd have of finding them a new home - a year makes a lot of difference. He hasn't tried to help us rehome them either, yet through his work he has loads of contact with older people and pensioners and various charities, all possibilities. He just doesn't get that he could do something. He's washed his hands of the 'problem', and that's that. If this was me letting someone down like this, I'd be bending over backwards to put things right.

What hurt me most about the situation with my magazines was not just that he'd thrown them out without asking me, it was that he had never seemingly noticed how important they were to me. Even after all the times I'd asked him to get the box out for me because it was too heavy for a kid to lift. Even after all the lists of odd materials I'd want just so that I could make some project. Even after all the summer days of laying out in the garden with the magazines around me. He just didn't notice.

Over the years, he's thrown a lot of things out that have belonged to me and my brother without asking us about them, so I don't trust him anymore. Even if he had a change of heart tomorrow about the cats, I doubt I'd be happy for them to stay with him.

He's helping us store the bus, so I'm trying not to fall out with him. Actually, he doesn't seem to have noticed that I'm trying not to fall out with him. There's so much anger running around in my system, unable to vent in the right direction because I'm trying to keep the peace, at least until we leave.

Onwards into another day of phoning and emailing to see if we can find somewhere for our ladies. Have even placed an AD on Gumtree.

AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesCats, Head Zone