I love my life. I really do. But sometimes it can be something of a trial.
For example: the other day, I was minding my own business, sitting in my garden, when I espied the approach of my young kitten protegée, Zac. He was walking across the road - or, at least, trying to - whilst his head was bent down low, studying something that was troubling him about his little belly. He was so preoccupied with his self-examination that he tripped on the kerb on my side of the road. Charitably, I did not laugh. He looked up at me as he squeezed between the fence posts and joined me in my garden.
"Uncle Jasper," - (Don't laugh. It was his mother's suggestion, made after Zac started asking me if I "would be his daddy?", which necessitated a difficult conversation with him as to why dogs could not be kittens' daddies). - "Uncle Jasper? What is this?" He gestured with a paw to the base of his belly.
"Er..." I barked, apprehensively, "Well, Zac, that is your willy."
"What's it for?"
"Um, well, you wee through it."
"Yes, I know. But what's it for?"
Why? I asked myself. Why did I get lumbered with this? I only wanted a quiet lie down in my garden. Zac continued, totally oblivious to my increasing discomfort. "Mummy hasn't got one."
"I should hope not."
"Sophie [his sister] hasn't got one either. Just me and Milo [his brother]. Why? Don't ladies need willies?"
Where to begin? I bit my lip. There were a myriad of witty ripostes I could make to this statement - none of which were suitable for the ears of a child. What a squandered opportunity. I sighed. With small children and such queries, honesty was always the best policy.
"Well, ladies have something different." I said, carefully. "Boys have a willie that sticks out. Girls have a willie that sticks IN, inside their bodies. It's like a pocket in their front-bottoms." I kept my claws crossed and, this time, luck smiled upon me.
"Brilliant!" mewed Zac. "I knew you'd know. You know EVERYTHING." I breathed a sigh of relief. Before I could change the subject, Zac pre-empted me. "Uncle Jasper, is it true that you beat up that big mean dog that lives 'round the corner? Mummy said you are her hero."
"Hmmm. Not exactly..." I muttered, recalling my encounter with Eddie the Rottweiler. "He's certainly big - but he is never mean."
"Yes - but you mustn't judge someone just by how they look."
I was divided between feeling incredibly wise and shamefully sanctimonious. Fortunately, Zac chose that precise moment to stretch out and go to sleep in the sun, beside me. I had a quick check, to see that no-one else was looking, and then gently patted his little stripey head.
I wish all such troublesome situations were so easily resolved. My beloved partner has been to the hospital to see someone about the lump in her breast. It is quite likely, it seems, that she will have to have major surgery to remove a significant portion of her left breast. She isn't happy. I visit my own physician this Friday, with regard to my abscess, to ascertain whether or not I am to have my eye stitched closed temporarily. A move I shall resist with every fibre of my being.