Sunday, 4 May 2008

Toms and Queens

My husband has, over the past couple of months or so, taken to calling one of our cats Zara, when her name has been Tilly ever since we first adopted her, about 6 years ago. Zara is the name of my husband's female assistant, who started work for him approximately 6 months ago. The first 5 or 6 times this happened, I generously ignored his faux pas, even though, on 3 or 4 of the occasions, we had been in the bedroom, at the time. On the sixth, or seventh occasion my husband called the cat by the wrong name, we were once again in the bedroom and I asked him, in a very reasonable tone, why he kept calling the cat Zara.

He said that it was because we did once have a cat of this name. I replied that, of course, I did remember that, but she had died about 18 years previously. She had never been a favourite cat of ours. She had adopted us and allowed us to look after her. She had been close to neither of us and I couldn't even remember what had happened to her. In the 18 years since she had been gone, she had hardly ever been mentioned. The only thing the 2 cats had in common was their white and black coats.

The first cat, Zara, had been small, independent, aloof and never approached us for affection. The current cat, Tilly, is large, for a female, and somewhat clumsy. She has rather a large rear end, which she often thrusts in our faces, if she has the opportunity. She follows us around, from room to room, and likes to sleep on our bed, day or night. She occasionally sits on my husband's lap, but never on mine. She likes to sit on my husband's chest, when we are settled in bed, at night, and will occasionally sit on mine. She sometimes chases our tom cat around the house and he sometimes chases her.

It seems an enormous coincidence that my husband has suddenly begun to call Tilly by the name of Zara, only within the last couple of months. I could assume that, after 6 years, our cat Tilly has suddenly begun to remind my husband of our cat, Zara, who died 18 years ago. I could assume that his new assistant, of 6 months, is often in his thoughts. I could assume that our current cat, Tilly, reminds my husband of his new assistant. I would like to insert a table of comparisons, concerning our old cat Zara, our current cat, Tilly and my husband's assistant, Zara, at this point, but I am unable to do so, on Blogger, so the following lists will have to suffice.

Zara Cat
  1. Small
  2. Pretty face
  3. Graceful
  4. Small bottom
  5. Small paws
  6. Aloof
  7. Didn't thrust her bottom in our faces
  8. Never came anywhere near us
  9. Never chased the tom cat

Tilly Cat

  1. Large
  2. Pretty face
  3. Clumsy
  4. Large bottom
  5. Large paws
  6. Affectionate
  7. Likes to thrust her bottom in our faces
  8. Sits on lap and chest
  9. Chases the tom cat

Zara Assistant

  1. Large
  2. Face
  3. Graceless
  4. Large bottom
  5. Large everything
  6. Attempts to curry favour, using flattery and womanly wiles
  7. Fetch me a bucket! Too late, better bring a mop!
  8. Who knows what she might do, for an extra day's holiday?
  9. Whose tom cat is she chasing? Surely, my tom cat isn't chasing her?

My good friend, Christina, recently invited us to her house, for a meal, one evening, which prompted me to send her an email along the lines of the one below:

Hi Chris

I have checked with my husband and Thursday 15th May is fine for us to come round, for a meal, if it is still OK with you. You will be relieved to know that husband and I are speaking, again, so we will all be able to sit around the same table!

Husband has given a satisfactory explanation as to why he keeps calling one of our cats by his assistant's name, when we are in the bedroom. It is because we had a cat of that name, who died 18 years ago and has never been mentioned since. Lucky coincidence, eh?

You were right when you said I should be grateful that he had never called me Zara. I am very grateful. If he ever calls me Zara, I will knock all of his teeth out.

Do you think that we should have soup with no chunks, on Thursday evening?

Much love

Mean Mom


aims said...

The comparisons are scary! Seems like some things are so alike and yet......

Maggie May said...

Blimey! I am first! What do I say! Erm........ he's winding you up!
Well if he called YOU Zara then yes, that would be reason to knock his teeth out.
Maybe he misses the first cat Zara, & has only just realized it!!!!!!!!! Well that was worth a try.
No, he IS winding you up!

Suburbia said...

What's your other cat called? Couldn't you call him something sexy now and again?!!!

I hope her graceless large bottom never darkens your doorstep!!! ;)

Mean Mom said...

maggie may - I wish that he was winding me up. I can tell that it is accidental. I am baffled, to be honest. I haven't made a fuss. I accepted his explanation, outwardly, anyway. He couldn't be obsessed with her, surely? He is small in stature, for a man. He prefers petite. I am not being a bitch, when I say that she would easily make 2 of him. She has been 'sucking up to to him', but I assumed that was because she wanted to get through her probationary period! He is old enough to be her grandfather, in theory! Has she got under his skin, then? The only other explanation is that his mind isn't what it was. He does have to write a lot down, now, because he keeps forgetting things.

Mean Mom said...

suburbia - Our other cat, in theory, is called Satin, but we tend to mainly call him Tom. A few years ago, husband had a theory that I fancied my driving instructor. (I passed my test relatively late in life) How about if I start calling tom cat by the name of my ex-driving instructor? That would stir up a few memories and probably end in divorce, actually, because women aren't even allowed to LOOK, you know.

Mean Mom said...

Thanks to aims, maggie may and suburbia for being brave enough to comment, on this one. I felt that it was a bit of an awkward post, but it is nice to get it off my chest and in a rather jokey way, at that!

MissKris said...

I think it's very telling and sweet that after...I think...a long time together -- I'm not sure how long you've been married -- the little green monster of jealousy is still alive and kicking! My dear Hubby and I will be married 34 years next month and even at this stage I don't like any woman getting too familiar. And at almost 55, my Dear Hubby is still a head-turner! He's more than proven to me how devoted he is to me and our marriage these past couple years where I've had a million female menopausal issues and, recently, a full hysterectomy. A lot of...stuff...has had to take a distant back seat, if you catch my drift. If he can stick by me thru all this, he HAS to love me, ha!

Mean Mom said...

misskris - Aaah! I'm glad that your husband has been a 'rock' in your time of need! It's good that you have obviously received support, as opposed to criticism.

As far as my husband goes, I thought that I'd done remarkably well to allow him to get away with uttering his female assistant's name 5 or 6 times, when she should have been far from his mind! She certainly wasn't on my mind, until he mentioned her!

Liz said...

A quick slap round the head next time he does it might help jog his memory ...

Mean Mom said...

liz - That may do the trick! Otherwise it surely has to be a night on the sofa, or maybe a night at the Travel Lodge, if he catches me in a really bad mood!

Metamorphic Sweet Wood Irene said...

I think you should just stock up on baby food and yogurt. It is a smart thing to be prepared. Any woman would do it.

Mean Mom said...

metamorphic sweet wood irene - You are right, of course. The next time husband upsets me could well be outside of Waitrose opening hours and I would hate for him to starve, just because I have knocked out all of his teeth.

Dusty Spider said...

I have to say it's a bit scary. You've made a very funny story of it but I think you must be a bit worried!? You know him better than us of course. Flick x

Mean Mom said...

dusty - I am bemused, to be honest. If I poke fun at the whole idea, it doesn't seem so scary, but what am I supposed to think? Perhaps he has been flattered by his assistant's attentions. She has been attentive, I presumed because she was determined to get through her probation period. When she got through it, just recently, she was so excited, she rang everyone she knew, it seems. When I was her age, I looked beyond the older men who showed an interest in me. You're right, I have known him a long time. He wouldn't have made the first move, but I've always felt that his female employees could twist him round their little fingers!! He is having a mid-life crisis and she has appealed to his vanity, I suspect!!

Mean Mom said...

aims - I know what you mean. Why does my mind work in this strange way? Thinking about it, though, I do know where this idea came from. I have seen a photo of assistant Zara and it just tickled me, when I realised that there were a few things that Zara and cat Tilly had in common. We joke about the fact that Tilly is very large, for a queen. We often say that she is rather 'butch', in fact, and I did once ask the vet to make sure that she was female! I wouldn't say that husband's assistant is butch, however, to be fair.

Jules said...

Maybe you should, on the QT, go and talk to Zara the Ass. and mention that your husband is confusing her to your large-bottomed cat. That would make her day, don't you think. I mean your cat has wonderful full-bodied qualities, right?

Mean Mom said...

jules - The thought of doing that has made me smile. Tempting. Hmmm.