Greg's diary
May 1987
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This page was entered manually from memory, indicated by the brown text, thirty years later, on 2 May 2017. Much detail has been taken from Yvonne's paper diary of the time.

Friday, 1 May 1987 Rosbach → Waltenhofen
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Cat show in Kempten tomorrow. Mrs. Friedrich had promised to look after Rostoff and Greggie, our Borzois. But when we called her on the phone, there was no answer. Tried lots of people, but they all had some issue, and finally we left them with Ralf Lichtenstein and Uschi Mack out in the back of beyond. We had just got back home when Mrs. Friedrich rang up and asked when we were going to bring the dogs...

Off round 15;30 in unseasonal heat (why don't German cars have air conditioning?). The first 1½ hours were terrible, and the cats were suffering, but then the traffic eased, and we arrived in Waltenhofen round 19:0. The Schmidts from Mörsfeld were there with their cats. The place where we were staying had just changed owners, and the new ones had difficulty finding our room. Had dinner in the “Adler” in the next village. The staff there had difficulty with the combined influx of Mayday visitors and the cat show people, and the food was pretty mediocre.

Saturday, 2 May 1987 Kempten
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The room wasn't up to much, nor was the bathroom. But to make up for that, the cats woke us at 5:30. Breakfast was good and plentiful.

At the cat show, I had a run-in with Mrs. Hombach about the cages, and nearly left before we had started. Yvonne calmed me down, and Mrs. Hombach also returned to her “Rhenish happy nature”, to quote Yvonne. I put on a white coat and registered as a steward. For some reason this time the cats were particularly uneasy, and I got a few scratches and bites.

In German cat shows, the cats are brought to the judges, not always an easy thing. The brave souls who do it are called Stewards (in German as well).

In the evening to a hunting lodge, where the food was good, but the air less so: a cigar smoker at the next table spoilt it for Yvonne. But we had something to celebrate: two of the Schmidts' cats have become champions, our Clove [chocolate Burmese] got a CACIB, and our Polyxenia [brown Burmese, I think] was Best in Show. Early to bed, but we didn't sleep any better.

Sunday, 3 May 1987 Kempten → Rosbach
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The weather started off warm and sunny, but in the course of the afternoon a cold front came by with hail, and later snow. At the show, there were even fewer stewards, and Yvonne did it for a while, though she swore never to do it again.

To my recollection, she never did.

I didn't do well either: a Maine Coon bit me in the right hand, going almost through the palm just below the little finger. Off to the hospital, taking Mme. Biacasse [?], a French short-hair judge, with me: she had a swelling on her chin, but she didn't speak German.

The name is from Yvonne's diary, but although her handwriting is nothing like as bad as mine, neither of us can uniquely identify the name.

The hospital treatment was less than good. Despite my insistence, they refused to give me antibiotics, though they should have known that a cat bite is about the most infections thing that can happen to you. Instead the doctor spent much time attending to Mme Biacasse, who apparently had other issues: she works in a pathology laboratory, and the doctor knew better than she that the other issues were really dangerous. In the end he removed the infection, apparently almost without anæsthetic.

The journey home was terrible. My hand swelled up like a balloon, and I had to get Yvonne to drive at night, something that she dislikes at the best of times, but this was through the driving snow.

Monday, 4 May 1987 Rosbach
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Off to the doctors this morning. She put my arm in a sling, and I'm off work for a week. Bloody idiot of a doctor in Kempten! If he had given me an antibiotic, there would probably not have been any problems.

Yana had spent the weekend with the Langers, but she wasn't in the best of shape either: she had spent a lot of time coughing.

We later discovered that this was an allergic reaction. For reasons we never understood, Mrs. Langer used ridiculous quantities of fabric softener, and Yana was allergic to the overpowering perfume.

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