Purring with Christmas Spirit

It would have been a very happy suitor a few years back if my ability to hold my alcohol had been as pathetic as it is today. Whatever, it was Christmas night and I was on roller skates with absolutely no brakes.

I would like, however, to categorically put the blame all in the court of Georgia’s boyfriend, David. You see “Dave has all the moves” said the challenge was set to see exactly who did have all the moves on Christmas night at Indus, when Buena Terra – Bali’s ultimate Latino band – would be playing.

Christmas fare with Latino music, my good friends Amanda and Garth; the very lovely Georgia; that menace, David; and Isobella, my darling daughter, and her equally gorgeous boyfriend, Felix (has to be gorgeous with a cat’s name) is my idea of a perfect way to spend Christmas evening.

Actually let me say at the outset if I have the ability to dance even one step in salsa it is due to Made Alfa and his exquisite partner, Intan, who have for the past months tried, with the patience of Job, to teach me the salsa basics. David, according to Georgia, was going to show me some real styling, all self-taught and absolutely the way he impressed Georgia the first night they met.

The food was delicious, the music fabulous, the wine flowed.

Aother possible reason for my thirst upon arrival at Indus could have been that just prior to our departure I had to put out cat food for dear little Mrs Socks, one of the stray Bali cats that I feed. I noticed that she had an eye infection so I quickly returned to my room to moisten a cotton pad with hot water to try and wipe her eyes. Easier said than done and I was all dressed for the evening – so I arrived hot and bothered and in need of hydrating. Water would have been the smart choice.

So there we were, David and I, ready for the Christmas dance-off. In my defence, I am more than double his age and he is an accomplished tri-athlete having just completed the Western Australian Iron Man. This has nothing to do with one’s dancing ability, of course, but with the ability to hold one’s liquor. I am ashamed to say that I lost. David won hands down. He was the best all rounder, had all the moves, albeit cat-like, and he didn’t wake up the next morning with a screaming headache and a sincere wish that the past evening’s events could be erased from memory with a twitch of Samantha’s nose. I am totally mortified as to the antics that were performed by one who should, at one’s age, know better.

Now from the solace of my terrace at Second Honeymoon, swearing never to grace the dance floor when consuming any amount of alcohol ever again – my new year’s resolution – I try to write. They, on the other hand, Isobella and Felix included, have all left for Sengkidu, leaving me with the dilemma of how to deal with poor Mrs Socks’ eyes.

Instructions from the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) read thusly: Flush and clean the eyes using a saline solution, making sure to wipe from the inside corner of the eye to the outside and then put the antibiotic ointment into each eye, rubbing gently to ensure it is distributed properly.

Mrs Socks is a sweet little tabby cat with three white feet. She appeared on my doorstep earlier this year but since the arrival of The Doorman – my very handsome Bali dog who has taken up residence on my terrace – now sits on the safety of the back fence each evening waiting for dinner. I don’t think she is owned and if she is then she gets very little food. I know she has had one litter of kittens as she got quite fat there for a bit. I never saw her kittens. She disappeared for a while and when I next saw her, at most two weeks later, she was painfully thin and her nipples hardly looked like those of a nursing mother cat.

Now she has this horrible eye infection. She needs vet care and to be sterilised. I have to admit that it is due to a horrible incident last year that I am reluctant to try and catch her. How I wish a couple of glasses of wine were all it took to give me the courage to grab her and pop her in a cage and get her to BAWA. So many cats in Bali are in need of attention. BAWA has been inundated with kittens because the cats, male and female, unseen, are wandering the streets at night and reproducing.

I went down to Sengkidu to spend an afternoon with the crew. They are all in holiday mode, swanning around poolside and at the beach. There is no sign of David’s “moves.” In fact it is Felix, the wonderful, who is about to take to the floor with salsa lessons. Under duress, but I know he’ll love it.

It struck me, though, thinking about the past few days’ events that perhaps a salsa evening would be a purrfect way to raise funds for BAWA.  However, in the meantime, they urgently need your help with donations of every sort – towels, cleaning equipment, cat and dog food and, of course, money. Please visit their website, www.bawabali.com, or ring 0361-977217. Your assistance will be gratefully received.

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