Saturday, 4 February 2012

Throwing beans at scary men.

Bloody foot prints across the hall.
The victim stretched out sorrowfully by the heater.

Detective Oyomesan was on the case.
But the fat cat victim couldn't talk, and his fur is so thick I couldn't find the wound.

And I had to go to work.

Came home early to take Popo to the taxi....
The vet too had a hard time hunting around the fat, plush pussy for a wound...but finally found a torn paw nail and a little bit of blood.
Two years ago these two kitties came into our lives and I wanted to celebrate that happily, not with some rush-to-the-vet-with-credit-card-drama.

Two years ago they were like this: skinny and scared.

Chichi (left) and Popo (right).

And now they are fat, muscular and far too confident....

Popo (left) and Chichi (right).

ANYWAY. Back to the old lady. Cos this blog is supposedly about life with HER...not me rambling on about my cats....

During the day, thinking about how the cats came to us 2 years ago, I realized it was  Feb. 3 Setsubun, the Bean Throwing Festival in Japan. 
Originally I'd wanted to call the cats "Mame" and "Maki", meaning "Bean" and "Scatter/Scatter", but agreed to Yujiro's wish to delve into his childhood for manga character names instead - he chose the names of two wolf brothers, thus ensuring I will stand in the garden for years calling names which sound in English like Moulin Rouge showgirls.

Bean Throwing Festival is a driving out the bad luck, welcoming in good luck event. Families get dried soy beans and in the evening throw them around the house saying "Demons go away! Good luck come in!", then you eat the same number of beans as your age and eat a roll of seaweed stuffed with vegetables and fish facing in a different lucky direction every year.

Drive away demons! Great! Excellent chance to bond with Okaasan over a traditional event and drive away scary men ringing door bells. Yes! Bingo!

I bought the most traditional-looking box of beans in a supermarket full of peanuts, chocolates and even chocolate-covered soybeans (Hokkaido isn't so traditional) and bought two big sushi rolls.

Got home to whisk the cat away to the vets in a waiting taxi, found Okaasan washing underpants by hand in the bathroom....and wearing NO underpants....just a pajama top. 
Just as well I hadn't brought my friend and her baby home as planned before injured cat saga. Okaasan is increasingly get strange about her clothing choice....this is the third ? time recently I've found her at home without underpants on...

An hour later Okaasan, finally wearing suitable clothes, decided to go out. I gave her money and off she went. I prepped the dinner: HER favorite fish salmon, potatoes, veggies, soup, sushi roll etc etc and a box of soy beans for banishing demons.

Dinner time. Okaasan didn't come back.
Happens all the time.....grrrr...I plan something....and she doesn't show in time, or doesn't feel like eating it.

At 7.30 pm I ate dinner alone. Read the newspaper. Washed my plates. Went back upstairs. Poured a glass of plum wine. Found a movie on the TV. Sat down.

The front door opened downstairs.

Grrrr.....back downstairs. Heat up the food again, chat, chat, chat.

Okaasan was VERY happy about the soy beans. All giggly. We went into her room, opened the window and she took a handful of beans and tossed them out into the snow. Then she gave me beans to toss too. 
Hope THAT drives away the scary door bell ringers from her mind.
Maybe it'll just attract crows near the windows to eat the beans and the sound of their wings near the windows will give Okaasan all kinds of other scary imaginings.

Back to the kitchen where I served up her dinner and sat awhile talking about the lucky sushi roll and things. Then finally, about 8.30 I made the friend-telephoning-soon excuse and left her eating alone.

One more day to go! One more day to go! He just mailed me that he hopes to be back tomorrow afternoon. And then my Full-time Oyomesan Duties will be over, for now.
And will the doorbell ringer stop? I guess so.
Whether scared away by the sight of the car in the parking area, or the reassuring presence of Dear Son in the home....or by the magic of dried soy beans, we will never know.


  1. Love your cats. I used to have cats in Japan, plus stray cats who lived in my garden and wound up getting a decade's worth of food - bah humbug to the neighbors who'd say, 'what happens when you shouldn't feed them' - so instead they had nice long well-fed lives because my heart beats and is warm.
    My own cats were called Bug Raptor, Yoda and Uma.
    The strays were Patience, Flash, John Wayne Gacy and Bitch.
    I do miss them.
    I went away for two years, when I came back, zero stray cats in the 'hood.
    Now my old house has been torn down and the land is being totally excavated and my little pet cemetary for Uma and Patience, well, poor least their spirits are in furry animal heaven, which is where I am going, cos there's no way my soul is gonna end up in human heaven, where so many people have been gits in their lifetimes, not caring for animals and what knot.
    Yep, your cats are adorable.
    Wish I had one on my bed right now.

  2. If I can wrap 2 of 'em up, I will and I'll send 'em to you!

  3. Agree, the cats are adorable. Glad it wasn't a major injury to cause the blood.
    LOL @ okaasan doing her laundry sans undies. Strange.
    Roll on Sunday and the return of the son who is definitely down on the okaasan looking after points of late. You however, have crazy amounts of brownie points and you need to use them.