The truth if it was that she was lonely. Now the funeral was over, the clearing out and the moving both done and she had time to be properly rested for the first time in years, she was lonely. It seemed ridiculous really, just when the world seemed full of endless possibilities for the first time since she’d taken up carer’s duties for her parents all she wanted was company. No, not company, companionship.
She hadn’t realised how little of her old life she still had. It had been different when her parents had been able to go out, before fragility and finally dementia had limited their social lives. They had gone to every family function and held court, as well as keeping up membership in a variety of clubs. Working full time and looking after them, she’d barely been able to keep up.
Then, gradually, they hadn’t been able to go out. Her father hadn’t become unable to tolerate long car journeys so that had cut them out of anything beyond his range of tolerance. Fear of emergency had made them need her available to help because her mother could never have lifted her father if he’d fallen. It had been worse when he’d begun to wander.
After her father died, life with her mother became more difficult. She didn’t blame her brothers and sisters for not coming round after her mother had hit one of her granddaughters with a walking stick. In the end full time care had become essential, even if her mother had refused to go into a nursing home.
Now that was all over too and despite her siblings concerns over the fairness or otherwise of a twenty year old will, she had never expected more than an equal share of her parents’ estate. She had taken out a mortgage on the little house, perfectly fine but a little old fashioned, in a suburb she could afford. The trouble was, she thought, that she didn’t know anyone who lived near here.
There was a purring sound and something rubbed itself around her ankles. She looked down and found herself looking at a cat that had the general vague beaten-up-in-the-past air of an ex-footballer or boxer. It was some sort of brown-based tabby, with longish fur, greenish-yellow eyes and a look she interpreted as, “Feed me.”
She sighed. She could always have a cat.