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14 June 2005

One of those endlessly interesting questions that life throws at you; after a devastating event, what do you actually do? And, doubled up for those of us who keep a diary, public or otherwise: after reporting such an event, what do you actually write about? Nothing stands up, nothing is good enough to justify itself, nothing has weight enough for the moment. You set yourself up for a fall, because nothing can follow that.

But this of course is what the word bathos was invented for, so letís go into it wide-eyed and deliberate. I was meant to go to Appleby this weekend for a crimewriting jaunt, but obviously I didnít; I stayed home and wrapped my cat around myself, kept in touch with people as distressed as I am, repotted a few chillies and watched a lot of television, listened to the radio, read practically nothing. That last is partly a function of concentration and commitment, utter lack of, but actually I havenít had a book on the go for weeks. I think itís because Iíve been so devotedly reading and rereading my own work, word by word for the rewrite, I just canít face more words-on-paper at the dayís end, or at least nothing that demands any degree of involvement. I have been reading magazines and recipes, but nothing more exacting.

But radio, cat: there was an idiot on the radio, a professor, an expert in vocality, who asserted that nobody knows why cats purr. Hah! We know perfectly well why cats purr. Itís because theyíre smug, self-satisfied, utterly content with being the highest life form known to exist. More specifically, a small black cat of my acquaintance purrs because she has eaten to her satisfaction, she has enjoyed her litter tray, she is anticipating the sleep of the just, and in the meantime she is sitting on Chazzie, which is just absolutely fine by her. What more reason does she need?

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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.