Sleeping with the Gingery Gentleman

Recently, I have been sleeping with a gingery gentleman. He’s pretty old. I mean, I’ve always tended to go for the Older Man but this one’s 89 by my calculations – ancient, even by my standards.

And it’s not as if he’s rich. I mean, if you had to, it would be at least a minor consolation to think he was going to leave you the yacht in the Mediterranean and the various villas with the solid gold bath taps and a swimming-pool in every room.

Do let me in, my deario” he quavers, querelously plucking at the duvet. “The old rheumaticks is playing up and I do so need warmth! Raise just a corner of that 10-tog monstrosity, missus, so that I may creep in and make the smaller of the two spoons.”

“I’d really rather not,” I mumble, pulling the duvet tighter around my shoulders. “There’s something about red-headed men that puts me off – Damian Lewis being the exception that proves the rule. I really don’t want those tickly whiskers getting up my nostrils when I’m trying to sleep. And besides, it’s not just the… rufusity; it’s the thin-ness. You’re little more than a skeleton on legs. I’m afraid I’ll roll over and squash you.”

“That squashing thing’s a myth,” he says. “Did you skip the last chapter of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?”

“Quite possibly,” I say. “But do please go away. It’s not just the gingery hair and the tickly whiskers and the thin-ness, it’s the incurable brown-and-watery-eye.”

“Did I ask to be afflicted with an incurable brown-and-watery-eye? Besides, you won’t be able to see it in the dark. Please, lady! Take pity on a senior citizen this cold and windswept winter’s midnight. I’m a veteran of four World Wars. Ten minutes of snuggle-time is all I ask. What harm can it do, eh? A bit of a purr, a dribble or two… it’d do wonders for the rheumatism.”

“Well OK. As long as you don’t do any widdling in situ.”

Widdling? How could you be so cruel! When have I ever widdled?”

“You mean you want a list…?”

14 thoughts on “Sleeping with the Gingery Gentleman

      1. Had to be out all day yesterday. Returned to find the post shredded on the mat, the phone off the hook in the corner of the room, the central heating boiler setting ‘updated’ (that’s Henry) … no ears, though…

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    1. Hello! His name is Old Rufus and he is a bony old ginger cat, about eighteen years of age. He is called Old Rufus because I have another ginger cat ( Young Rufus). I must say there is nothing very attractive about him – he’s a bit repulsive, really but does like to be made a fuss of. Until about a year ago he lived with a neighbour, who was very ill. When she died I “inherited” Old Rufus and a grumpy lady cat called Missy. 🙂

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      1. How can I hold myself from laughing at myself! It’s interesting. I really thought it was a human being. Some cats and dogs enjoy this world more than human beings. I am sure some people would wish they were cats and dogs to have so much fun. It’s a culture. In my culture we value them as pets but no more.

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      2. Hi – yes, I wasn’t sure whether you thought he was a cat or a real gingery old man! I thought it must be a cultural thing.

        You’re right, some cats and dogs do have more fun than human beings. I’ve often wished I was a cat. But I’d want to be a fat, well-fed cat, with a nice human to look after me, not a poor old stray moggie.

        ^ – ^ (this is meant to be a cat)
        ( ~ )

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