We may have a bt of a problem. It’s my two-legs… she is up and dpwn all night like a yo=to most of the time at the moment. And when she does manage to sleep,she is as likely to be on the sofa as in the bedroom. How are you going to sneak in?
I mean, our place is tiny anyway… not much of a place to hide a large man in red, not at the best of times…but with her awake and pottering, there will be nowhere for you to hide.
She says that you will manage, even if you have to twist your continuum, whatever that means… It sounds painful to me, and I’d rather you didn’t do yourself any injuries. Lots of people need you, especially this year.
I mean, I’d like the turkey and stuff, but my best present is still having her around to share it with… so don’t twist anything for me!
All I want for Christmas …
My mother wanted a cat. When my sisters came to visit her, she talked about cats. They all had cats and were happy to engage in lengthily discussions about the delights of cats, and the therapeutic benefits of having a pet.
In February of that year, 2014, my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Who would have that the seemingly innocuous fine needle aspiration performed by a trusted doctor would have such a significant impact on our lives?
When the call came informing me that the lump was malignant, I’d been shocked. The doctor had said it wasn’t cancer. He’d assured us that he was merely being cautious and there was nothing to worry about. I am sure my shock was secondary to my mother’s, but it didn’t feel like that at the time. In retrospect, I would have preferred more honesty from the doctor. The diagnosis wouldn’t have been so unexpected and overwhelming if he’d said nothing.
My mother had gone through months of horrible treatment and now she wanted a cat.
The problem was my oldest son didn’t want a cat or any other creature. Animals flew in the face of his obsessive-compulsive disorder (“OCD”) which involved a fear of germs and contamination.
But my mother wanted a cat, and she’d been ill and needed uplifting. What to do about the cat?
Fate decided to intervene and on the morning of the 16th of December, my youngest sister arrived with a kitten. The poor little thing had been found living with its mother and siblings in a parking lot outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.
What could I do? We couldn’t turn the kitten away and my mother took to her immediately. So, we hid the kitten in my parent’s cottage and left for a Christmas party, taking Gregory with us.
After lunch at the Christmas party, I thought I’d better let Greg know we were going home to a cat. It was a mistake to tell him at the party and ended up with us leaving early and taking an extremely upset child home.
Neither of my parents, nor the cat, made an appearance that evening and by the following morning, Greg had formulated his plan of defense and the negotiations about where the cat was allowed and what she could do began. She was only allowed in the cottage and not the house and wasn’t allowed to do anything that infringed on Greg’s lifestyle.
The following week, we took the kitten, by then named Push-Push, to the vet for her injections and a general health inspection. A few months later we took her to be spayed. Greg had become used to the cat by this point and there was grudging acceptance of her existence, although even to this day, he doesn’t have anything to do with her.
Around the time that Pushy was spayed, my sister arrived with another abandoned kitten. Smudge had been found in a run-down house occupied by drug addicts. The mother and her six kittens were struggling to survive on a diet of left-over pizza. Smudge is a short-legged cat and is also a tortoise shell. She was in a much greater state of neglect, strangely enough, than Pushy was although she was living in a house and Pushy was living in a car park.
Smudgey also had a trip to the vet. She had midges in her ears and had to have a treatment programme, but her hearing was not impacted, and she is fine now.
Pushy has ended up being a time share cat. I have her 50% of the time and my dad has her the rest of the time. Smudge is a one-man cat. She follows my dad around like a puppy and cries when he goes out and leaves her.
This is the story of our Christmas and Easter cats, both of whom have brought a lot of happiness into our lives.
My mother is now in officially in remission as her treatment ended in August 2015.
About the author
Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).
All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.
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While the Bombs Fell
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.
Through the Nethergate
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
Robbie also writes as Robbie Cheadle
The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery
… a perfect recipe for sharing with children. Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.
You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:
or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at email@example.com.