But that appears to be the only 'going wrong' event that has happened chez Malarkey Manor, so I poo-pooed the Mercury conspiracy theory, deciding that one single boiler-based hiccup does not a catastrophe make.
Until Thursday, that is.
On Thursday, Andy remarked that Tybalt, our own Prince of Cats, seemed to have a lost weight. And I agreed. Yes, he had. All of a sudden-like. He was slimmer. But in other respects he seemed his usual self. Racing around with Flora, chasing Mr Light in the kitchen...Mr Light is the spot of light that appears on various surfaces in the kitchen in the morning at this time of year as the sun is coming through the window at just the right angle to reflect off my watch or a piece of cutlery as I buzz around the kitchen getting ready to go to work. The cats sit in eager anticipation of Mr Light making his appearance, then chase him all over the shop. Of course, Mr Light's movements depend on my movements - and thus there are often many cat/ human leg collisions and other cat-based accidents...but I digress...
...Tybalt, on Thursday morning, seemed fine. Thursday evening, he was a little quiet. Friday morning - quiet, too. But when I got home from Pilates on Friday afternoon, he didn't do what he usually does when I come in the front door, which is run down stairs to say, 'Helloooo!!! How are you? Rub my tummy!' It took me ages of calling and searching to find him. He was in my arty-crafty writing room, in his favourite place on the cushion under the table. He managed to walk from there to the landing and then just flopped down. He looked weary and sunken-eyed. I held him to me. And I knew, straight away, there was something badly wrong.
Within an hour he was in the surgery, having blood and urine samples, and x-rays and scans taken. He was so good. So patient. Because, I now realise, he was so exhausted and so ill.
Tests run, and some initial ones not looking good, Tybs was put on a drip and whilst Andy wrote up his notes and packed up samples to send to the lab, I was kneeling on the floor, bottom in the air, head in the kennel cage, singing 'Stars Shining Bright Above You' to my best beloved companion of almost 12 years, because I didn't know what else to do. Luckily, no-one came in and the singing arse went unwitnessed.
We didn't know exactly what was wrong with Tybalt - he was anaemic, there was the sudden weight loss, his kidneys didn't look great, he was dehydrated...we went home, hoping for stability over deterioration.
The next morning, after a restless night but, luckily, no phone calls of doom from the night team, Andy returned to the surgery. He phoned an hour or so later - more scans showed a mass on Tybalt's spleen. He was under anaesthetic ready for an operation. Andy said, 'I am hoping to remove the whole spleen. But it might be inoperable...and...well...you know...'
He didn't say any more. He didn't need to. I knew.
A year or so ago, I would have sat somewhere quiet, lit a candle and said a little prayer to whomever or whatever might have been listening, concentrating my energy on the operation going well. But, because of events in the middle of last year that challenged that faith, and changed the way I think about these things, I couldn't do that. It is the first time I haven't been able to pray for one of my animals when they are unwell. I know this will sound 'wrong' to some of you, but the whole concept sounded, well, stupid.
Instead, then, I sat and sewed. Embroidery. Rhythmic, distracting and requiring of patience. I thought about Tybalt - about his funny ways, his handsomeness, his gentleness. And I cried a bit, and prepared for the fact that he might not be coming home. There was an image of him in my head, him wearing a green tartan bow tie and a red fez, just like Matt Smith as Doctor Who. Tybalt said, 'I am going travelling.' I thought, yes - good idea! Have fun, my handsome furry friend!
Andy phoned. Tybalt was awake, his spleen removed. The tumour removed. One of the other vets looked at it - splenic tumours in cats are very rare - and she said she had seen similar problems but they were not tumours, they were haematomas which are like bruises. It might be a haematoma. Anyway, the spleen has gone away for biopsy and we aren't thinking about the results because we are concentrating on today.
Today, we have Tybalt home. He is in a massive cage in the living room, on a drip. He still isn't eating, although I tempted him to a lick or two of Marmite. He is cushioned and blanketed, he has hot water bottles, he has pain relief, he has a massive surgery wound in his tummy. But he tried to roll over for a tummy rub when I saw him first thing this morning and he managed a purr. His litter tray was soggy which means he got up and had a massive wee in the night, and this is good. He also tried to make a run for it at one point, because, I suspect, he doesn't like being tied to a drip and wants to go upstairs to his favourite cushion under the table in my arty-crafty writing room. Andy has said that once his drip bag is empty, he can come off the drip and move around where he likes. Which might encourage him to eat again.
We don't know what his prognosis is. The most important thing is that he needs to start eating again. And this whole mess has nothing to do with retrograde Mercury. Or faith.
Today is about enjoying the sunshine, and doing some more embroidery because sewing brings me great happiness. And checking my cat, Tybalt, every now and again and delivering a chin scratch and tummy rub and maybe another chorus of 'Start Shining Bright Above You.' And listening to Andy downstairs making chocolate chip cookies because cooking lovely food is his way of de-stressing from what has, for him, been an even more stress making situation, him being Tybalts's surgeon and all. And thinking of Heather who is off to a wedding fayre with a chum who has asked her to be a bridesmaid. Tangible things. Life things. Real things.
Because today is all that really matters.