Cats and near misses on nice work

A gentle wake-up, and an early morning visitor from California. The original keeper of Tessy the pedigree cat with a heart condition. She comes over with pastries for us all and a coffee for me. Gently we trick Tessy into her carrier and bring her protesting down the stairs and into Bergman. She’s going for a check-up. She was given a year to live. It’s been a year. She’s fine.

We drop her off and then Lou and I both have work to do. For me it’s emergency tax return. She’s making clothes for DJs. We sit together companionably and work while the cat mummy is having a boozy lunch.

Hours later Lou and I try and make sense of all the arcane inner city traffic restrictions in Brighton, to pick up drunk cat mummy and go back for Tessy. In trying to avoid closed roads I pull up on a pavement directly opposite a camera. I expect there’ll be a letter in the post. So be it.

The cat is well. £1000 worth of well. All she needed was more medicine but they wouldn’t release it without her being checked out and cat cardiology is an expensive business it seems. “Money lubricates everything,” announces cat mummy from the back of Bergman and I’m not sure if she’s happy or sad about that situation. There might have been a cheaper solution, I think. But I get it. It’s a very special being that little beast with a prune-sized heart. And I still have this suspicion that cats help those who are good to them in all sorts of strange energetic ways.

As soon as Tessy was deposited back home safely then I shot back to London thinking I was going to be late for a Factory rehearsal. As I was coming in on the M4 my agent rang. 6.30pm. She just happened to be in the office and being wonderful she picked up and there’s a film I taped for where they think they might lose an actor. He’s tested positive for COVID. Can I drive up north tonight? Damn right I can. I divert home and pack an overnight bag. It’s only a 4 hour drive. I do that sort of thing before breakfast.

“Wait until they confirm,” says Esta, and I do. Time passes. She calls me back disappointed. “Apparently he doesn’t have COVID after all,” she says. Perhaps he’s neurotic, I think. Self sabotaging? Panicking? I stand down. Missed The Factory now. Oh well. It was worth it to roll the dice.

I’m glad I could say yes and I’m thrilled the casting director tried me and had a positive experience. Sure I didn’t get the part first time – it was the one I did in the corner of my hotel room at The Headland in Cornwall, with awkward natural light and my phone gaffer taped to my suitcase handle. Nice that there was some effect. You often never know if you’ve come close. The things we do send ripples.

Cold flat. Warm bed. A good day today and I’m glad the pussycat is well.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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