The List of Uns

Maya, my white-pawed, chronically grumpy cat, is not good in a crisis.

She likes to play chase, but every time I chase her she panics, becomes paralysed by indecision, and finally runs into the nearest corner and flips onto her back.

I’ve explained to her plenty of times that in the wild, this would really be seen as less of a survival strategy and more of a suicidal strategy, but no amount of practice has made her any better at evading fake predators. Every. single. time. she is chased, she does the same thing. You can see it happen. The pupils dilate, her eyes flick madly from side to side as she considers her options, and by the time I’ve reached her it’s too late for her to escape and so she just flings herself into a corner, completely at my mercy.

At first, I thought it was hilarious. Thank God there are no large eagles about that might pick her off the balcony as a snowy snack. I’ve seen The Proposal and that’s the only part of it that has stuck in my mind. Eagles are a considerable hazard for small white pets, apparently.

Lately though, I don’t find it as funny because I’ve realised that we have a lot in common, Maya and I.

Guys. GUYS.

It’s been ages. I know. I missed you!

The truth is, I rang in 2019 with good food and great friends.

…And it was all downhill from there.

I got sick. I spent a full seven days of the first month of the year staring at the ceiling and punctuating the silence with a honking cough that made me sound like a forlorn  (but still aggressive) Canadian goose. I curled myself into a comma and lay there, an entirely useless lump of humanity, as things piled up around me. Layers of clothes carelessly tossed on the ground became small hillocks. The work I didn’t feel well enough to do stacked up. The list of chores I had ambitiously made at the beginning of the year grew longer and longer and longer until it covered four or five pages spread across three different notebooks.

By the time I had mostly* recovered, I was faced by an incoming tsunami of Uns. Christmas presents ungiven. Friends uncontacted. Work unprepared. Tasks untaken-care-of. Shows unwatched. Food uneaten. E-mails unsent.

The list of Uns was very long.

Instead of diving under the wave like I should have, I made the mistake of letting it crash over me. Instead of bracing myself for the onslaught, I just… slipped under the surface.

In other words, I pulled a Maya.

I panicked. I found a corner, and I flipped belly up, paws outstretched, waiting to drown in a sea of Uns.

The past week and a half has been a string of all-nighters and wide-eyed, sleep-deprived flurries of frantic activity interspersed with many, many tea breaks. On Friday, I was in bed by 9pm, exhausted by my attempts to claw my way back to normality. My list is still long, I still have a lot to do, but today I feel capable, or at least prepared. I have my inflatable armbands on. I have decided not to run headfirst into any more corners.

Okay 2019, let’s be having you.

*I still have a cough but it now sounds like a small dog’s bark and comes on with hardly any warning at all, surprising both me and my cats.

  1. Oh nooooo .I can’t believe you were so sick. Well, I hope all those ‘uns’ quickly become scribbled remnants of ‘don’t need to look at that anymore’s very soon. Feel better x

    1. PLEASE GOD! Also thanks!

  2. Oh how I’ve missed you! I do hope you and Maya learn the art of attack so as to better survive and experience less panic in your lives. Good health and hugs my friend!

    1. The Art of Attack is possibly a book you need to write so I can read it and commit it to memory? I missed you too!

  3. I first read it as, “She likes to play chess, but every time I chase her she panics….” which actually made sense to me here at work after 15 cups of coffee and a news deadline coming up in 9 minutes, despite which I’m reading blogs instead of editing sound bites of people bitching about some stupid American football game. But I guess it’s actually “chase”, isn’t it. Pity.

    Welcome back! Sorry to hear you began the year poorly. Where was that newfound love of your life-cum-husband during your time of plague, anyway? Playing chess with the cat? Couldn’t he have been arsed to help out with Mt. Laundry, at least? If that were me, I’d add another one to the list: Un-wife.


    1. The Love of my Life is a very busy person unfortunately so a lot of the time I need to take matters into my own incompetent hands! I myself like to play chess but so far Maya is proving a woefully poor challenger…

      1. Why, does she only play paw-ns?

        1. cymbal crash

          1. Thangu, thangu fans. Be good to your waitress. Good night!

  4. LOL at the comment above! But in all serious, I hope you’re feeling much better now 🙂 Here’s to a happy, healthy 2019 x

    1. Thank you! I hope your year is only good things for you too!

  5. It’s great to see you blogging again!

    1. Thank you! I missed it!

  6. Get well, Stay well, be well.

    1. Thank you! I’m trying…!

  7. Missed you terribly, Quinn. I hope your stories fill your little heart with as much joy and laughter as they do for me! But, all in all, belly rubs are not the worst way to go through life! Glad you are feeling a bit better. Hugs!

    1. Thank you Lane! I missed you too! There are definitely worse things in life than belly rubs….!

  8. My 14 pound male tabby has the same M.O. I’m sure he could really do some damage but he’s a complete wuss. We actually have lots of hawks and owls but I think my cats are a little big to go after. I do see them swoop down on squirrels on a rare occasion.

    1. If they ever mistake your 14lb tabby for a squirrel they’ll be in for such a rude awakening!

  9. I missed ya!!! Happy New Year, I do hope you are feeling better now, what a crap way to start a new year!!!
    I’m definitely like Maya too, in fact as a child I got so anxious/excited playing chasing games I would just run into the person chasing me to get the, being caught, over with!
    Good Luck getting back to normality 🙂 xo

    1. I missed you too! Also, even as an adult I can’t stand being chased, I usually just freeze and curl into a ball which.. actually… maybe Maya learned her survival skills from me? They haven’t failed me yet!

  10. Welcome back! Really really glad to see you on the reader charts again!

    1. Thank you Sunain! I missed it!!

  11. […] hereby tag T, Rosie, Hunida, Sarah, Quinn, and Amanda. Feel free to leave your responses in the comments; I’m genuinely curious what […]

  12. April 9. Just sayin’.

    Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock…….

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