Technology? Don’t get me started! – By Rosemary Bach-Holzer

The other day I was sitting next to Bob (ex-husband) going through some photographs (cats and I are temporarily staying with him) he had up on his computer.

These digital cameras have a lot to answer for. They have people taking an abundance of photographs most of which, if we’re honest, are pretty useless. We scrolled through picture after picture showing the artistic delights of having on film Shingy’s tail, Shingy eating and my Prada handbag. They weren’t all a loss then.

There was one of Ninja, his mum, fast asleep. One of her waking up followed by another of her even more awake and finally, a shot of her yawning that accounted for the close-up of her tonsils. If I flicked through them at a great speed it looked like I was watching her on video. Yes, video. Ninja and I are of the videotape age we do not care for DVDs. Always not working, slow, not an improvement, they’re about as competent as digital cameras. Anyway, I was sitting there falling asleep when a shot of my Prada handbag in profile scrolled on to the screen preventing me from going into a coma when suddenly, Shingy appeared at my feet. He opened his mouth from which emitted a drawn-out squeak.

“Hello,” I replied. He blinked. His tail swished upon the floor. Looked at Bob, looked at my chair appeared to raise his eyebrows and strolled away probably to contemplate the meaning of life. Or chase Ninja.

“What was that all about?” I asked Bob.
“What was what?”
“Shingy Pavarotti.”
“I have no idea,” he replied with eyes fixed on his screen. Hand engineering his mouse. Don’t like them either. Give me full control using only the keyboard any day of the week. Blimey. I’m a right moaner, aren’t I?

I had no idea either but suspected we’d find out soon enough. Abbott and Costello will get something into their heads and we’ll wake up one day to find a new game has been invented or a new procedure or something in the house has been commandeered.

An hour later, boggle-eyed and in dire need of a strong sweet cup of tea but because of personal afflictions can only dream, I settled for my customary malt drink while Bob settled for a coffee. That’s it. I needed to be revitalised. I left Bob to swoon over photographs of his computer games went downstairs and sat down in front of the television looking forward to catching up on my taped episodes of Neighbours. An hour later and well versed in what had been happening on Ramsey Street but not necessarily revitalised, I went looking for my Prada handbag. And Ninja. I found her doing a passable imitation of a conjoined twin; had she superglued herself to the thing? Lovingly stroked and cuddled my bag with one hand and Ninja and her food bowl with the other trying to decide, which, if I had to choose…

It was a few days later. Bob was sitting at his computer pretending to write an article; Lara Croft can be heard even through a closed door, when Shingy suddenly jumped up on to the spare chair. The same one on which I’d been sitting when we’d been trawling through not David Bailey’s efforts. Shingy squeaked. Jumped down from the chair ran over to where Bob was sitting at his computer and squeaked again. Shingy is a daddy’s boy, which means, if Bob is at his computer playing with Lara Croft, Shingy should be there right alongside. Bob got the message. He put Lara on pause, moved the chair next to his. Commandeered.

Now you can find Bob at his computer with a ginger companion at his side sitting on his own chair. Don’t even think of moving it back to the wall. Bob made the mistake of doing this and it was only when a distraught cat articulated his distress, Bob hastily put it back and there it has stayed.

Looks so weird. Having two chairs sitting in front of a desk on which sits a computer and Shingy in days gone by until he decided he wanted his own chair. Looks even funnier when they’re sitting there together. He doesn’t always occupy it. He does spend some time with me. Shingy, I mean. Bob does too when Lara’s been obliterated, or, after dusting off his old Atari system the Keystone Kapers have once again conquered the world. However, should I decide to sit there I’ll get the full “excuse me, but I do believe you are sitting in my chair” routine.

It was a few days later. Bob and I were going through some recently taken photographs. This selection was far more interesting. Always wanted one of the washing machine and my right foot. “All right, Shingy, go ahead.” I leant forward and waited. I knew what to expect.

He jumped up to squeeze in behind me because there is so much room for him to do that. Yes, of course there is. Like a seasoned rock climber he scaled the back of the chair pulling himself up with his pickaxes, I mean claws. Glad it wasn’t mine. Back, I mean, as flashes of when he was a kitten scaling my leg filtered in and out of my mind whereupon he reached the summit. Wobbled a bit. Turned around. Ten times. That’s ten times I had a bottom and a pair of frozen peas brushing dangerously close to the back of my head having regretted turning round once to check his progress. Settled down in dead chicken position with big ginger haunches sticking out either side of him. I got the message. “All right, Shingy, you can have your chair back.”

Solution? I wonder if there’s room for three. Sorted. Must have suspected something like this would happen, it explains why originally I bought six of the things.

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Rosemary is a published writer and author and has been published in various magazines.

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