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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.

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19 Jan 2004 Seamus Is Sick Part1
Seamus the cat is sick. Not terminal, but he does have to get his teeth fixed, possibly pulled. The vet said he doesn't need teeth to eat. Excuse me for asking. New German Vet sounded Scottish to Mrs. Monk, but passed Monk inspection nevertheless, due mainly to her willingness to cleanup cat poop with enthusiasm. Sent away to administer antibiotics before big op on Friday. Pray for Seamus.
20 Jan 2004
Seamus is wise to our attempts to administer antibiotics. He now runs for the Cat Flap located in the kitchen door, chased by Mrs. Monk, who seems to know what's good for him. Seamus usually pauses at the kitchen door, for about two minutes actually, checking out what might be on the other side of the flap; maybe a fox be out there, he may be thinking.. But today he made a bolt straight through the flap. Mrs. Monk, maybe confused by this change of cat strategy, opened the door while the poor creature was half way through his personal cat flap door. Try to imagine that scene .....It could have been tragic but we got over it.
21 Jan 2004
Mrs. Monk claims to have mastered the application of antibiotic into cat. What she doesn't know is that two minutes after she "got it down him," I saw the cat walking around with a great white sticky anti biotic gob hanging from his chin hairs. Not a pretty sight. I took over. I wrapped cat in blanket, forced his head back, injected fresh solution and waited, eye-balling the cat for three minutes until he eventually squeaked, indicating that he had indeed swallowed. You have to be cruel.

22 Jan 2004
Crowded waiting room at the Veterinarian. Large excitable German Shepherd, was there to have a leg removed, then a poodle walked in, limping. One man had 3 cats in individual boxes stacked up like a block of flats (apartments). No exotic animals but there was one pampered pedigree cat in a designer wicker cat carrier, who laid there sedately like a feline Barbara Cartland. The lady owner was similarly well turned out.
What happens in these waiting rooms is that people enter and quietly sit down with their pets until someone else passes the time of day with them, thus soliciting the story of the pet's ailment. That's how we learnt about the amputation. Someone says to the owner,

"Is it still raining outside".

Owner replies, "No, He's having his leg off".

Similarly someone said to the lady with the basket, "What nice wicker!"

The reply, delivered in an estuary tone, turned all heads,....


Thus we learnt that Barbara Cartland was just another naughty boy, with an immaculate pedigree, just like Alan Clark.
23 Jan 2004
Vet called. Looks like Seamus might have diabetes. Further blood test on Monday.
26 Jan 2004 Monday
Seamus Vet appointment at 9.30 pm
Mrs. Monk's Doctor Appointment. At 10.30 pm
Seamus was due for second blood test so that they can confirm his diabetes or not. They also required a urine sample, but since he was freshly evacuated of both No 1 and No 2 in the front seat of my car, they were unable to get the sample.
If you have a constipated cat, just put him in a small box and take him for a car ride. (How do you know if a cat is constipated ....never mind) Seamus was therefore kept in the surgery until he co-operates with pee.
Mrs. Monk had no such problem and came back from the doctor with the good news that she is not as sick as she thought she was. Alleluia! She went off to school with a spring in her step. She even kissed me goodbye

26 Jan 2004 Monday 5pm
Vet called. Seamus has got glucose in his blood. Poor old chap.
6 Feb. 2004 Friday
Vet called. Seems that pee-sample suggests that Seamus is only borderline diabetic and that earlier blood tests may have been effected by antibiotics he has taken. Vet wants to see him again on Tuesday.
10 Feb. 2004 Tuesday
Seamus had his teeth pulled. Had to sign him over to the vet, who says he is borderline with diabetes. If we leave it any longer to fix his teeth, then we wont ever be able too if diabetes gets worse. That was the logic but we are now worried about the old chap.
10 Feb. 2004 Tuesday 6pm
His mouth is still bleeding, so they have to keep him in. Now we are worried.
11 Feb. 2004
Seamus OK but Vet tells me he wont eat, so we have to force some liquid goo into him tonight. First thing he did when he got back into the house was go straight for the food bowl. But he knows there is something missing from his mouth, and just walked away. Five minutes later he was back for another attempt to eat. Gave up after a few seconds, so I opened a tin of soft squigy tuna mix. He wants to eat, but just gave up. I offered him some milk which he devoured, then went back to his favourite comfort blanket and curled up for well-earned nap. I keep an eye on. His little pink tongue hangs out weirdly.
13 Feb 04
Seamus is very pissed off. And off his food. Hides behind couch. Punishes us by drooling on the furniture. He still climbs on my chest while I sleep. Sally says that last night we were nose to nose, both of us asleep. "What about the drool" I asked.
18 Feb. 2004 Wednesday
Further developments on Seamus. Seems that he is now officially diagnosed diabetic; no half way house, but the full monty. We had just got over the teeth pulling, and the consequential gob drooling. Things seemed to be back to normal. Seamus is as greedy as ever and I swear he almost started smiling. But then they hit us with the revised diagnosis.
We were given a video to learn how to look after a pet. Video feature a dog who was able to give a urine sample in a cup. Yes, we have questions.
We are also on a four day training programme, visiting the vet to learn how to inject insulin and more. I was given charge of his very own bottle of Insulin, but failed to refrigerate it overnight. An expensive mistake, maybe 50 squids. And that's just the insulin We are running up bills.
Mike said, "maybe its time for the one-way visit to the vet."
"No way", I said, "He's our pal"

19-Feb. 2004 12 PM
Practised injection technique today by injecting grapefruit juice into lemon. Watched Sally try the same thing. To say that she is cack-handed, would be to diminish cack-handedness. Looks like I shall be the nominated nurse, Tonight I inject the beast for the first time.
19 Feb. 2004 6 pm
Gave my first injection to Seamus. The problem is not so much the injection, but more the choosing of the target. Vet has thoughtfully shaved a section of Seamus' neck, to make the target more obvious, to the novice nurse.
Seamus is getting very used to these car trips, but he did disgrace himself in his box. A blessing in disguise because vet was able to do analysis on pee. Poo served no useful purpose. Seamus had good sense not to sit in poo after producing it in confined space.
21 Feb. 2004
Two further visits to vet where I was supervised giving injections to Seamus.
Tomorrow I give first injection at home, unsupervised. We have as yet failed to get a urine sample; something we are supposed to do once a day. This is going to be a problem.
8 mar 2004
A weekend in the Royal County of Berkshire visiting the family branch not seen for 18 months Fell arse over face playing tennis. Trying to hard to chase an unreachable ball. Failed to acknowledge athletic shortcomings brought on by advanced age.
First time Seamus had to take his chances with Diabetes (No Injection on Sunday) Ireland beat England, The World Champions, on Saturday. Seamus Monk, as the vet calls him, was pleased to see us, and being Irish..........., he gloated all the way to his Whiskas.
10 Mar 2004
Seamus has never been better. Thick black shiny coat. He has it seems become something of a kitten again running up and down the stairs.
Putting on weight. Never seen as a bad thing to Mrs. Monk, but naughty as far as Margaret, our vet, is concerned. He is now on 90gms. of food, twice a day only, and he does not like the portions. The begging is now into overdrive. He used to amble over to the fridge, if ever someone got near it, but now he stands next to it at all times like a sentry. If anyone pays attention to this, he will rub up against the fridge with the side of his face. Yes, he loves the fridge even though it contains the insulin, and on top.... is the box of needles.
I give him the needle, and Mrs. Monk does the pee testing. I have never seen her do this and I have never actually done it myself. By the very nature of the exercise, it is an opportunistic task, involving being in the right place at the right time. What that says about Mrs. Monk, I'll leave to the reader.
Today he had a little glucose, damn it.
has negative glucose in his pee.


22 Jan 2004 Alan Clark
2nd part of Alan Clark's Diary is on TV tonight. Last week's enjoyable episode did not precipitate this diary, but it did make me wonder if I should spice up these pages with a few improbable threesomes: Margaret Thatcher and Ann Widdicombe spring to mind. John Hirt was marvelous as Alan Clark. Such a naughty boy. Ran into John Hirt a couple of weeks ago at the National Gallery. Do you know, he completely ignored me...