Ketchup and Catsick… or… Charlie The Vomiting Princess


I am not a confirmed ‘brand’ shopper. To me, it’s quality, rather than name. For example, the toilet roll advertised by adorable puppies will not flush in our toilet. Despite its well – publicised quality, I find it unwieldy and annoying. (I have hay fever at certain times of the year, therefore a plentiful supply of toilet roll on hand, in every room, not just the bathroom, is essential as my hay fever can get… messy.)

My partner prefers branded products, particularly ketchup. It is only by careful label swapping that I have managed to extend his taste range to encompass various supermarket own brands. Really, if you analysed both products, they’re probably exactly the same, just in different packaging.

But not tomato sauce. Not ever. Me, personally, I don’t care. Ketchup, catsup or tomato sauce, I only ever put it on chips anyway. I prefer mayonnaise. To each his own …

Rather like being sick. At this point, I must tell you I am an emetophobic … I have a fear of being sick, myself, and I’m not too fond of cleaning it up either. This fact virtually guarantees that I will be confronted with vomit at some point during the day.

I am always very traumatised when I am sick – one of the vilest sensations in the world, so I go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being sick. Indeed, I envy animals … a couple of back – wrinkling, gut churning retches and they deposit a tidy packet of puke ready for disposal …

img_5468-2“Ughhhhhh, knew I shouldn’t have had that last biscuit…”

It is very easy to tell when Erin, my mother’s dog, is going to be sick. She gets carefully to her feet, eyes bulging, a rumbling beginning beneath her ribs … This necessitates a rush for the back door, as Erin’s rumbles develop into full – blown “Hoick-hoicks”. When outside, she WALKS about still “hoicking” then finally… blessed relief.

My eyes are usually watering in sympathy as I let her back in. She slinks past, rolling her eyes shamefacedly as if to say:

Well, I’m really sorry, but when you gotta go, you gotta go…”

Cats are a different matter altogether. I’ve never actually seen Tooty be sick.

img_4948Ninja Vomitter… Tooty

Lily is:

Left a little something for you. You might want to think about getting the worming tablets out.”


Ting is horrified. She does a weird, face – contorting thing and her mouth opens wide and –


Then she requires reassurance that it’s all right to be sick, it happens to the best of us, and is quite easily remedied.


Charlie, on the other hand, if such a thing is possible, is a very … dainty vomiter. If she was human, she’d be the sort of girl whose hair would be willingly held out of her face by boys while she puked and they would still want to take her home at the end of the evening. A delicate cough, and then whatever bothered her is gone. Doesn’t matter where she is, if she feels the occasion demands it then she will be sick. Down the back of the sofa. Halfway up the stairs. On one memorable, never-to-be-repeated evening, my partner’s clothes, neatly folded for morning.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with her. I know because I took her to the vet… (“But this is the third time this week, Miss Murdoch. Sometimes cats DO just vomit…”)


Back at home, she will usually be sick again: “Now look what you made me do…” I comfort my little girl, praise her for being such a tidy puker, make sure she has fresh water and murmur tender words of love and reassurance into her sensitive ears. She has proved her point. It’s my fault…

[I must thank Alex of BrianAndLily for the idea for this post… I don’t quite remember how the conversation started, but I know it was funny!]


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I don’t do unkindness. Not now. Not anymore. There was too much of it in my earlier life and I reached a point where I felt ill with it… like eating too many greasy chips. I thought I would hate to make anyone else feel as I did and had a quick prod of the old emotions – as you do – to see what I could do to feel better.

Kindness. I am not speaking about dancing around scattering glitter and flowers, and letting people liberties with you. Just little things. Like the opening of a door for someone; a pleasant smile and a ‘thank you’ can make all the difference to a day and make you feel that it is all worthwhile.

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Un-kindness is unnecessary and very rarely justified. I saw something that made me so sad the other day as I was dusting in my son’s bedroom. I had the window open, and we overlook a park. A little boy, only about three, was walking with his mother who was on her phone and pushing a pushchair. He had some sweets, but dropped them and started to cry. Instead of comforting him, or saying:

Never mind, we’ll get you some more,” the woman cuffed him across the top of his head and shouted:

Now look what you’ve done, you little tw**! Well that’s it, you’re not getting any more!”

What was the point of that? How cruel and unkind a response to an unfortunate accident. The little boy wanted his sweets, he didn’t throw them away in temper, he wasn’t misbehaving. As I watched from the bedroom window, the mother seized the little boy and dragged him away, still sobbing miserably.

What did the child learn from that? That his earliest disappointments in life will come from his mother? Not a lesson I would ever want my sons to learn. That it’s all right to hit out in temper at someone who’s already upset? Or hey, life’s a bitch and inevitably something worse will happen when you’re already hurting?

Really, it wouldn’t have taken much just to comfort the little boy, or even say:

“Well, we can’t go back to the shop now, let’s go home and watch television and you can have some more sweets tomorrow.”

IMG_6447 (2).JPGA pink rose, traditionally associated with kindness, love and gentleness

The ‘un’ kindness of the whole incident struck me as sad and unnecessary. However, I’m not judging the mother, perhaps she had a bad day… but there is always room for kindness, and a grateful smile from her little boy could have been her reward if the whole scenario had played out differently.

So. As I said previously, there’s no need to be unrealistic about the kindness you bring to the world, just think about what you do. You’ll feel better in yourself and you will have a better response from the people you meet. And, here’s a thought, be kind to yourself too. Give yourself a break.

(Thank you to Iman Refaat of Perceptions for inspiring this post and making me think about kindness. She’s a lovely person, check out her blog for inspiration, positivity and encouragement.) 

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All featured crystals are examples of Rose Quartz, my favourite crystal. It is linked to the heart chakra and helps to promote love, compassion and empathy.

Day #2 of 3 Day Quote Challenge

Inspirational Quotes:


This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

14th Dalai Lama

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You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

From ‘Desiderata’ by Max Ehrmann

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It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

From ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley (I mistakenly attributed it to Nelson Mandela – apologies!)



Today’s nominations are:

Serena Sinclair


The Smiling Pilgrim


The rules again:

Post 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days

Nominate 3 new blogs each day


All photos were taken by my son!