Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Don't Mess With Maia

by Russell Turner - 17:20 on 08 January 2018

Some cats never learn. Either that, or Pandora has a masochistic streak.

Meal times are heralded inside The Rural Retreat, sometimes up to ninety minutes before the event, by the increasingly desperate cries of a black cat who appears to think she’s not been fed for a week. Maia (for it is she) backs up her demands by pacing around the kitchen, scattering cat litter and generally being everything a well behaved cat is not.

When moggy meals are is being prepared, volume and frantic activity goes up at least two notches and any cat with any sense stays well away from the hungry monster.

Pandora, it seems, doesn’t have that sense. For reasons we can’t comprehend, our tabby follows the bad-tempered black cat around the kitchen, sometimes behind her, sometimes beside, until a hissing Maia swipes her with a bunched paw (no claws) and Pandora assumes the submissive position, on her back to show her belly. Five minutes later the featherbrained feline is again following around a small black cloud of hopeless hunger, with predictable results.

It happened today, it happened yesterday and it will happen tomorrow. The only explanation is that Pandora likes being bullied.

“But enough of cats,” I hear you cry. “What about today’s run?”

Two sets of 25min trots, split and bookended by five-minute walks, extended my greatest duration (to 65 minutes if your arithmetic is shaky, plus a few minutes of unrecorded walking) and distance (to 5.5 miles). The weather was good – sub-zero but no wind – and I managed to reduce my speed. I could have done more. That’s Week 2 of 16 completed. So far, so good.

There are sure to be tough times ahead, but I hope not as bad as the ones endured by two runners pictured in a blog I came across today, directed there by Facebook’s algorithms (who of course have noted that I have an interest).

I’d seen the first photo before, used as a cautionary tale for runners who are tempted to try new food, gels or drink on race day. Stick to the tried and tested, we’re urged.

The second runners’ hazard I’d never even considered. It seems that there’s much worse than blisters to be feared.

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