Well, the trip to the zoo went as well as could be expected given my absence. Ewan enjoyed himself greatly and announced that he liked the Giraffes best. There must be something in the water at Marwell, because there were a number of young babies in residence: the Warthogs had a four-month-old hoglet; there were two pre-pubescent Giraffes; an infant Pygmy Hippo and a Somalian Wild Ass (cue inappropriate comments and laughter from my partner's brother and his friend Simbo) that was a mere two weeks old. I am also informed that there was a healthy-looking little litter of Ocelot kittens and I am somewhat annoyed that my partner didn't try to sneak them into her bag for my supper. Some people have no sense of priority.
Ewan continues to grow in sense and character. His observations on this visit included "Ewan's belly... Jasper's belly", "Jasper is a dog", "Jasper is nice dog", "Jasper says woof." I can argue with none of these statements. I understand that he already has his eye on a young lady of similar age named Tegan at his playgroup. Good man - I am at hand if he needs any romantic tips.
Aside from the short visit of my young disciple, it has been a rather strange week. My partner has tended to my needs admirably, for I have been traumatised by a visit to my surgeon. I have an easily-accessible scab on my neck, which I cannot refrain from picking - much to the annoyance of my partner. It bleeds quite impressively, and often looks as though my partner has been trying to behead me. She is less amused by this. I was consequently bundled unceremoniously to the vets' and cruelly prodded about. My partner, in an act of unbounded treachery, held me still whilst my sharp claws were trimmed, to hamper the scratching process. I was then issued with a tube of foul-smelling gel, to be applied twice daily. I am very cross indeed.
More alarming than the above processes was the examination of a lump that has recently appeared on my left flank. It has caused concern in more than one quarter. A diagnosis is suspected, but a month must pass before exploration will be furthered and an operation may be necessary. Fortunately, the vet agrees that I am fit and healthy enough to withstand major surgery - time will tell if it must be called into play.
I deny this lump: it is false. I have many thoughts as to how Jasper will meet his end: taken by a bullet or blade while defending my partner; over-run by a thousand rabid sharpened-nut-wielding squirrels; even falling, dashed against stone, at the hooves of the Stag. I fully intend to depart this world with a thunderous bang and a flash of glory - NOT lying motionless on a slab with a tube up my a*se.
The Big C will regret the day it chooses to tangle with Jasper Stafford - I will not stand for it.
I'm going to go and hunt squirrels until I feel less angry.