Monday, Jul. 15, 2002
Dear Diary:

The spousal unit's back has been bothering him more and more over the past week. This morning he woke up and he just couldn't move, so the cats and I have him home today.

You can imagine our consternation over this troubling break in our normal routines.

Now that he's out of commission for a while, I've come to realize how much I rely on the spousal unit to:

1. lift heavy things

2. fix things

3. deal with any pests the cats might bring into the house and (list snipped in the interest of brevity)

1249. perform marital duties.

(And of course, the above list was numbered and prioritized with most important items at the top.)

In the normal course of events, I would have thrown him over the back of our snowmobile, taken him down to the river, deposited him on an ice floe and waived a poignant good-bye. However, we are in that eight weeks of poor snowmobiling we Canadians call "summer" and so this is not an option.

I am being very brave about this.

We've always had more of a partnership marriage than a traditional marriage, so I've never really waited on Paul. Today he definitely needs a lot of care and so I've been a regular Florence Freakin' Nightingale, bringing him little snacks and drinks, rubbing his back and just generally taking care of him.

Have I mentioned that I'm being very brave about this?

Just checking.

The situation is even more grim for the cats, who are used to having our bed for mission control, the place where they grab most of that 22 1/2 hours of badly needed daily sleep.

They were also willing to be very brave about the situation and mete out a generous 20 per cent of the bed to Paul until they got a whiff of The Stinky Chinese Liniment.

Yes, I've been forced to rub his back with The Stinky Chinese Liniment. The cats feel The Stinky Chinese Liniment is an unspeakably foul odour that no feline should ever be forced to tolerate. One whiff and they wrinkled their noses in disgust before decamping for our living room where they are at present sleeping on the sofa, emanating tsunamis of disgruntlement over this unspeakable cruelty.

I am very lucky they haven't phoned the S.P.C.A. over this. Thank heavens they never learned to program the speed dial.

Hopefully, the spousal unit will be feeling better tomorrow. I don't know how to break it to him, but the cats have made it clear that otherwise he's going to have to spend the day on the sofa.

I can see their point. After all, there's only so much you can ask of a cat, eh.


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