‘Tiddles had been my cat for one year when I noticed my expensive wool mat next to the litter tray was sodden with cat pee… I gave Tiddles a stern talking to. Timid cats are more prone to being dirty as they are insecure. Calling her ‘dirty girl’ her ears went to the side of her head, thinking she was in trouble, she was in trouble……………Half an hour after telling her off I’d pick her up and cuddle her and tell her “You’ve got to be a good girl and you’ve got to get the bottom in the litter tray.” She doesn’t like the talking to. I went on a damage limitation exercise, putting the litter trays on the tiled floor as she tended to pee next to the litter tray. If there was a puddle I could see it straight away. I got the litter trays with the hood on. She eventually got clean.’
‘I bought worm tablets from a shop in Ashby and wrapped Fifi, my #cat, in a towel and forced the worm tablet in her mouth. As an open act of defiance, after her worm tablet, she would sit on the video recorder, right where she knew where she wasn’t allowed to sit, making me, Beth and Hannah laugh. In fact, the only time she sat on the video recorder was after her worm tablet. I’d make my daughters laugh when i’d tell them that I’d found the worm tablet spat out behind the armchair when I was hoovering. How Fifi managed to keep it in her mouth and make it look like she’d swallowed it, good acting on her part.’
‘Beth ( my eleven year old daughter) found out loads of information like when a cat blinks it is kissing you and when your cat sits with it’s back to you they are telling you that you are the dominant cat as the pose of back turned is a submissive pose in the cat world. Fifi (my black kitten) loved to get in things like Beth’s jelly bean school bag when she’d got home from school. And give her a cardboard box, she’d be in the box whilst I’d be figuring out how to assemble what had been in the box, my latest acquisition from the catalogue. I used to shout at Beth and Hannah. Fifi would jump on my lap and look into my eyes beseeching me to stop shouting. She was a calming influence.’
‘I didn’t have any friends so when the Jehova’s Witnesses knocked on my front door I was happy to aske them in for a bit of company. One day I opened my front door and two ladies were stood there. Back then, I was the least tactless person with my minimal social skills but even i was taken aback when one of the ladies said to me, “Do not fornicat”. I looked in surprise, what was she going to say next, what could she say after that but she just gave me a leaflet.’
‘During our conversation the exorcist looked into my eyes, his blue eyes now piercing and intent. he’d managed to make the demon speak and he zapped it. My head was throbbing and pulsating for a minute. No flashing lights, no anything. Just the pulsating of my head backwards and forwards. Our conversation resumed, his demeanour back to his friendly self. He made a joke, “It’s not like how Hollywood portrays it.”
In 1985 I got my first black kitten, ‘….she kept me permanently amused. When she was small she’d climb up my pink velour curtains I’d bought from the catalogue and hang there. She liked to nudge my pen with her nose when I’d be writing for my studies, so i couldn’t write properly. I made the classic mistake of giving Fifi a saucer of milk every time I opened the fridge door. As soon as she heard me put the kettle on my gas cooker hob she’d start hovering near the fridge door waiting. She did used to be sick a lot, cats can’t digest milk. Beth (my daughter) found out loads of information like when a cat blinks it is kissing you and when your cat sits with it’s back to you they are telling you that you are the dominant cat as the pose of back turned is a submissive pose in the cat world. Fifi loved to get in things like beth’s jelly bean school bag when she’d got home from school. And give her a cardboard box, she’d be in the box whilst I’d be figuring out how to assemble what had been in the box., my latest acquisition from the catalogue. I used to shout at Beth and Hannah. fifi would jump on my lap and look into my eyes beseeching me to stop shouting. She was a calming influence.’
‘Did becoming a mother change Fifi’s erring ways? No, not one bit. She was just the same irascible mix of independence and love for all mankind. Belinda would never dream of going up to strange people, preferring to stay in her own garden………Belinda liked to sleep on the back of the armchair, somewhat hazardous, as she had the endearing habit of falling off the back whilst she was fast asleep, thinking there was a large drop, when, in fact, her back paws would only be a foot from the floor.’
‘Beth had read that Fifi (our pet #cat) needed to be wormed. I bought worm tablets from a shop in Ashby and wrapped her in a towel and forced the worm tablet in her mouth. As an open act of defiance, after her worm tablet, she would sit on the video recorder, right where she knew she wasn’t allowed to sit, making me, Beth and Hannah laugh. In fact, the only time she sat on the video recorder was after her worm tablet. I’d make my daughters laugh when I’d tell them that I’d found the worm tablet spat out behind the armchair when i was hoovering. How Fifi managed to keep it in her mouth and make it look like she’d swallowed it, good acting on her part. Our lives were always interspersed with the hilarity our darling mischievious cat brought to us.’
and a happy caturday to us all
‘I got a beautiful yellow budgie I called Nufty and his seed and dishes. He was a happy budgie, I’d let him out of his cage for hours and he’d perch up near the curtain rail. Hannah was ten, she was always complaining of feeling unwell so I’d let her have the odd day off………………..That particular afternoon I sat in my armchair dozing off. I heard Hannah saying, “Mum, I’ve killed the budgie.”
Awake from my nap but still with my eyes shut I replied, “No you haven’t Hannah,” musing to myself, ‘No, Hannah can’t have killed the budgie. Impossible.’
Her voice now full of panic, her tone more despairing, she said, even louder, “Mum, I have, I have killed the budgie.” Opening my eyes in dread, there was Nufty, dead on the kitchen floor.
Hannah tearfully explained, “He was in the kitchen and he was flying into the living room. I shut the door on him because I felt like he was flying out of the house. He carried on flying and I shut the door on him again.”
I didn’t tell her off, but I didn’t comfort her. I never considered her feelings and how wracked with guilt she was. Just another symptom of my inadequate parenting skills. It was raining that day, fitting weather for the burial. Tears were streaming down my face. I was so wrapped up in my own misery. Poor Hannah. What i didn’t know back then and I have since told Hannah this piece of information when I found it out, the wallpaper Nufty enjoyed pecking at would have killed him eventually as it clogs the digestive system up of the budgie.
Hannah didn’t ask for any more days off from school and I didn’t get another budgie for twenty years.’
‘…………..I thought I might as well go to the pub, | took my five sleeping tablets, took my pound to buy a pint of lager and set off. As I walked up the stone steps leading towards the open pub door I may as well have been walking through the gates of hell. The last thing I can remember was the open wooden doors.
I woke up the next morning on the old sofa Paul and Jill had given me. I’d been round at their council house…………Jill asked “Do you want this three piece? It’s not got a fire proof label.” It was old and green. Paul brought it round in a van.
Now there was a large fag burn on the back of it. i made myself a cup of tea. I got a bowl of cereal. I washed my face. And I ventured out to the shop. Across the road was a nice guy I knew from the pub. I shouted out to him, “Do you know what happened last night?” He didn’t reply, he just looked shocked.
I went to see Paul and Jill. Paul was doing some DIY. I sat talking to them about how I’d lost my memory in the pub. Jill suggested, “I’ll come with you to the pub and see if we can find out what happened.” Jill was wearing her pretty hippy dress. Off we set. As we entered the back room of the pub, the landlord nearly ran at me shouting angrily, “You’re barred.” I drew back aghast and went home. My mind went in to worst case scenario. Jill stayed as she was going to try and find out for me.’
‘One evening I went out with Allison. On returning, a man in a suit was sitting at the kitchen table. “Who are you?” I asked.
“CID” he replied.
That sobered me and Allison up. Maureen had fallen down the narrow stairs. With the ambulance being called, she was in a lot of pain as she’d dislocated her shoulder, but her having her boyfriend there was enough to nearly get the refuge closed down.
The staff arrived the next morning. Helen took up her position with Jane discussing what was going to happen………………….Assuming the refuge was going to be closed, Jane said, kindly, to me, “You can go to any refuge in the country. You could go to Bath.”
I was thinking that sounded like a good idea. Helen retorted, “Polly can’t go to Bath. She’d never be able to see her daughters. That’s no good.”
We were to have a visit from the council. Two smartly dressed ladies duly arrived and it seemed to land on me to be the representative of us housemates. They sat down, business like, not saying much, because they probably didn’t know what to say in these unusual circumstances. i sat down with them wondering what to say. “Would anyone like a cup of tea?” I asked. They both nodded their heads in approval so I sprang into action making the tea. I just remained sitting with them, trying to look as pleasant and nice as possible and hoping for the best. The refuge was saved. Scunthorpe council is a very kind council.’
‘The two young policemen took me out of mam and dad’s and put me in the police van. It was like a minibus, not the lock up type, so i didn’t think I’d been arrested……………..I was sitiing at the back amongst some traffic cones. The two police officers were sat in the front and they apologised for the van being cold. “Where am I going?” I asked them, meekly.
They laughed a bit and one said, “The women’s refuge.” Our brief conversation ended, we all settled back into our own thoughts in the cold of the van. They parked the van in town and pointed to two terrace houses that had been knocked together, “There’s the refuge. Just go there, they are expecting you,” one said in a friendly tone.
I got out of the van, the booze had worn off, I was cold and trembling. December 1983. I knocked on the plain wood, strong door. it opened, all the women in the refuge were gathered behind the door, waiting to welcome me.’
I was looking for a book Buzzfeed for Dummies and I found one, Google+Marketing for Dummies.
‘There wasn’t much health and safety back then. After being fired from my Saturday job at Woolworths for trying to charge a lady twenty pounds for some light bulbs, it was my only mistake, so rather harsh, I got a really enjoyable job at a shoe shop. The manager was a small, thin man with a red complexion. He’d disappear in the morning when the pubs opened and re-appeared in the afternoon after they had closed. But he was really nice. One Saturday smoke started billowing out from upstairs where the staff room was. He’d re-appeared about the same time as the fire fighters started swarming all over the building with their hoses. he told me, “Go and make a cup of tea for me.” So much for a fire drill. I went up the old narrow wooden stairs, passing the firemen en route to fetch the manager his cup of tea.’
excerpt from when I was very young, mum and dad had got a Corgi we called Whisky, ‘I gave Whisky a forbidden toffee once….Dad had the bag of toffees…..Dad gave me some toffees with the warning, “Don’t give the toffee to Whisky. It can choke him.” Well, Whisky gazed at me and my toffees until I couldn’t stand his imploring gaze any longer. I slipped him a toffee when dad wasn’t watching……And what happened? The toffee got stuck to Whisky’s teeth like superglue. He was struggling to open and shut his mouth. Dad looked at Whisky very concerned and gave me a disapproving look, as i had obviously disobeyed him. The toffee slowly dissolved but it seemed an age before Whisky could open his mouth again.’
My job with the electric and gas company in Clive’s team; ‘We found out houses with SOLD signs on them were the best houses because someone who has just moved into a house likes to get everything sorted out. Clive had started to walk to this house so i started walking towards it as well. We both quickened our pace, just for a laugh. he lost his car once. We all had to go looking for it, he couldn’t remember where he’d parked it. One break, he was on his mobile phone to his wife. I stood aimlessly next to him, wondering where we were going to be knocking next. he walked away from me, i tagged along, following him like a shadow. i hadn’t realised he was walking away from me to get some privacy……………..One evening, I was sat in Clive’s car, he had a call back. it was late. I could hear raised voices. i thought it couldn’t be Clive talking loudly but it was. Instead of turning away and walking quickly from the scene……Clive had chosen to assert himself. I could hear him say, “Don’t you speak to me like that.” he got safely back to the car. The woman had asked him to call back when her husband was at home and all he got was abuse. A young lady arrived, Alice. She was twenty, blode, always wanting a laugh. Clive had us knocking in the rain. It was sluicing it down. We were all walking up the road, I could hear Alice’s voice trailing behind me, “Pollyyy”. I turned round and she was soaked, she hadn’t brought her jacket’
My first job selling electric and gas, Lenny our team leader, dark, handsome but talked too much. Graham our manager, tall, white hair, blue eyes, sense of humour to match Lenny’s. How I loved that job. ‘When we all met up (us team members coming back to Lenny’s car from knocking the doors) Lenny would be on his mobile phone to Graham telling him what contracts we had got. He was on the phone once and he started laughing. We were parked, we all knew a big circular, two way road with a large grass island in town. Graham was going round the circular road, and he was in mid flow of conversation about our sales or the lack of sales, Lenny turned round to us sat in the back of his car, he told us,”Graham’s said, ‘fuuucking heeell there’s a caaarr’ he thought the road was a roundabout.” That job was fun.
At home with my two daughters, we’d got a black kitten, ‘Our first Christmas with Fifi, she disappeared. We all searched for her, Beth found her in the cupboard wrapped round the Christmas cake, licking the icing off. The cupboard door didn’t shut properly, that’s how she got in. How we howled with mirth. I scraped the rest of the icing off and we were left with the middle of the cake. The worst thing Fifi did at Christmas, she could have died from overdosing on turkey fat. I had cooked the turkey and drained the juices off into a bowl for it to set. I was going to use the jelly in a turkey broth. I put the bowl in the cupboard. she got in the cupboard and licked off all the turkey fat. She was ill. She kept giving herself a little lick, as sick cats do, trying to comfort herself as her fat laden stomach must have been churning. her beautiful black coat became greasy as her body was excreting some of the fat trying to cope with the load. Beth, Hannah and myself were horrified for her. We were relieved when she made a full recovery.’
“I Need an Exorcism” is down in price and you can get the Kindle version free when you buy the paperback