Tag Archives: Bus

Bus adventures


As you may have gathered if you have read some of my previous articles, I’ve travelled by bus on a few occasions. And I’ve had one or two adventures while using them.

Did you think those adventures finished there? Don’t be silly!

Shortly after the cat fiasco, (Cats and buses do not mix) I found myself on the bus again. This time with my daughter, Joni, in tow, who at the time was a mere toddler.

She began the journey in her buggy, but after a trip to the local market, where I’d been reliably informed, I’d find fruit and veg cheap and plentiful, she found herself required to walk.

Additionally, I’d been awarded an assistant at the market to help me carry my wares to the bus stop.

The stall holder though pleased with my mass buy, realised immediately that my already laden down buggy could not cope with the weight of the bag of potatoes I’d just purchased from him.

Well, it did weigh 50kg.

Once a bargain hunter, always a bargain hunter…

Anyway, the seller lent me his assistant who very kindly accompanied my daughter, my overflowing buggy, my potatoes and me to the bus shelter and then ran back to his master.

Now, I should maybe inform you at this point, that those men made lifting a 50kg bag of potatoes look like me lifting, say a 2.5kg bag. And at that time I had no real idea of metric as I still lived in the world of pounds and ounces. So waiting there, at the stop, I felt quite chilled and undaunted by what was to come. That is until my carriage pulled up. And I tried to inch forward in the queue.

I could not lift the damn bag. At all.

I dragged at it. Shoved it. And hustled it along, but at that point I knew, I had not a chance in hell of lifting it up the stairs and onto the bus.

So when my turn came, I lifted my child, my buggy, my other shopping then smiled uneasily at the driver and asked him if he could please, oh pretty please be of assistance and lift my potatoes up the steps.

No response.

I repeated my request with as much charm as I could muster. With no effect.

I saw no choice but to become more insistent. So I held my ground and didn’t hand over my money until he agreed to lift the heavy load onto the bus. A shopper has to do, what a shopper has to do.

He finally stood up and heaved the sack, huffing and puffing into his vehicle. Then held his back and groaned as he returned to his seat. I thanked him cautiously and proceeded along the bus to sit with some ladies I’d spotted from my village.

The bus roared along but someone quite quickly interrupted my little chat, and informed me that my potatoes were rolling freely around the aisle.

This led to an undignified scramble from me. Gathering spilt potatoes and replacing them in their torn bag.

Truth be told, the task was pointless. The sack poured out potatoes at a faster rate than I could possibly search and retrieve.

Passengers began to help me in my quest. Passing potatoes. Collecting handfuls of escapees and re-depositing them in their open sack as they departed the vehicle.

After a while of observing the kerfuffle, a neighbour then turned to my daughter and expressed her sympathies to the poor child, on having such an embarrassing mother. Apparently, she had also witnessed the cat incident. 😳

On arrival at our stop, the driver kindly slipped another disc carried our three-quarters filled sack off the bus. Where I abandoned it. Until my then husband could later retrieve the mortifying mass the collection of delicious meal opportunities.

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Cats and buses do not mix


Once upon a time we had a rescue cat. Called Layla. A few weeks after she mewed into our lives, we awoke one morning to find her gasping for air on the kitchen floor.

My then husband and I raced her off to the vet, who checked her over and discovered that she had much internal damage to her organs. He pronounced that she would not live long, perhaps a few months and that we should offer her the calmest and most comfortable life possible.

She should not go outside. She should take tablets for the rest of her not-so-many days. Her life should be kept as stress free as possible as her heart could give in at any given moment. And she no longer had permission to be dressed.

I’d never had an un-dressed cat before, and I cannot recommend it.

Layla leapt from person to furniture, up curtains, down door frames with the acrobatic ability of a true master.

Despite her apparent necessity for calmness.

She also required, at a certain time of the month, affection and ‘pleasuring’ from any given surface, be it floor, table leg or human body part. And her male suitors destroyed the possibility of sleep for us and the slightly annoyed neighbours.

We visited our expensive friendly vet who gave her the cat ‘pill’.

What with tablets and check ups, our visits to the vets were regular. And the situation often arose, that I needed to transport our furry little friend by bus.

At first I placed her in a cat box, but the vet complained that she didn’t like it. That her heart was too stressed. And so I looked for another solution.

I found a cat harness at my local pet shop. You place the harness around the main body of the cat and then hold on to a lead part. That way you can take your cat for a walk. Like a dog.

In theory.

Except Layla did not want to walk. Instead she preferred to ‘ride’ on my shoulder. Like a parrot. On a pirate.

So the parrot and I set off for the bus, to visit the vet.

We arrived at the surgery and Layla sailed through her checks with flying colours. The nutty helpful vet told me that my cat’s condition was much better that day, and I should continue using the harness in order to transport her.

Deluded Delighted I took my adored pussy to the pet shop for a special cat treat and being the friendly person that I am, I got chatting to the young assistant.

Layla had decided to take on her cat role once again, and had at that moment all fours on the floor, somewhere around my feet. I felt a little pull on the harness, I looked down only to realise that my de-stressed cat had discovered a large bag of bird feed. And how to open it. And at that moment bird feed spilled, spectacularly, all over the floor.

I apologised to the seemingly forgiving young assistant and hastened to the door. With my cat in harness and her 50p treat.

We stood together at the bus stop.

Well, I stood. She balanced. Cleverly making use of her claws.

It was peak time for travelling. But we found a seat on the bus. Between the grannies. And the shopping bags. The chatter and the cackle.

I sighed a sigh and massaged my bloody shoulder. And that cat sat under the chair in front of me.

The bus rolled along and I pulled on the lead. Just to check.

The harness arrived in my lap. Empty.

No cat.

Not even a hairball.

I jumped and I shrieked. Crawled along the aisle on all fours. Shoving  shopping bags out of the way. The bus pulled up at its first stop. I ran to the front. Yelled at the driver. Held the passengers hostage.

“Where’s my cat? Have you seen my cat?”

I jumped on and off the bus.

Chinese whispers played through the passengers. Loudly. Indignant moans were uttered as shopping bags were swept aside.

Grimy and near hysterical, I forced my way through on all fours, back towards where I had been seated. Then I saw her. Beneath a seat, two rows back from mine.

All stretched out and relaxed.

I dismounted the bus amidst strange looks and nods. Clicks and pointing fingers. Looking completely ridiculous with a cat upon my shoulder.

As I arrived home my ex-husband kindly inquired about the well-being of our cat.

This is the response he received:

“The cat’s fine. But I need a bloody vodka!”