Washing days and creaky joints

cat on aga

I love steaming my old joints over the stove

Mum says Mondays used to be washing days when she was wee, but that was in the olden days before machines did the work and at least 100 kitty generations ago. Now any day can be a washing day. I am very happy about this as it means a steady supply of damp cloths to sit on. Oh, I know, cats don’t sit on wet things, but these are not so much wet as steamy, because Mum hates ironing and Mum has Old Smokey Joe the Aga. Agas have hotplates with lids. When the lids are down they are hot shiny surfaces, great for doing the ironing on. So Mum folds her clean washing onto the cleaned hotplates and lets the Aga do the work, turning the clothes from time to time so they don’t get burnt and to ensure her folds and tucks (and she does so love her pleats and tucks) are pressed to her liking. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and we cats have been associated with gods for thousands of years. So its only right that the clean washing should be next to the Goddess of the household. For that reason and since the Aga dragon and I are best friends, Mum knows she can’t keep me off the stove so she places towels over her washing to keep my hairiness from her washingness. I climb aboard and steam gently. Nothing better for easing the ancient joints. Sometimes she put wool insulation on top of the stove too to protect me from high heat: she knows I can’t resist heat. I bet there’s a spa out there would pay a fortune for my ideas. I’ll accept payment in tuna fish and duck breasts if you are reading this….

Its a roaring night tonight. Bet the neighbours in the village think thats the wind making all the noise, rattling rooftops and windows, loosening slates and shaking the trees. I know better. Its on nights like this that the Aga dragon cuts loose. He whooshes up the chimney sending sparks up the lum, perches on the chimney can with his swishy tail knocking lumps of mortar from the stack and whistles to his dragon friends. Then he is away over the rooftops, causing all the aforementioned racket. When he gets back he invariably loosens slates which slide into the gutters. The humans call it “storm damage”. If only they were more observant. Tonight the dragons must be out en masse. Mum has the radio tuned to something she calls “civilised” or Radio 4. A news programme said that a fire in Oxford which fire-fighters had extinguished has been relit by the wind. By the wind! As if the wind is full of spark and flame. No! its the dragons cutting loose from their chimneys and roaring round the towns and cities. I bet a posh place like Oxford is full of Agas and the country stoves are bound to be solid fuelled and dragon-filled. You see if I am not proved right. It’ll all come out in the wash, as the humans say. Now washing, that’s more my idea of fun. Come on Mum, get that machine unloaded, I feel the need for a steam treatment coming on.