I've been suffering today from an upset stomach. By the time Katya had awakened, and been ushered down the stairs in state this morning, I was stationed firmly upon the couch, with a lined trash-basket on the floor on my left side, a glass of organic ginger-ale at my head, and an afghan over my person.
Naturally, Katya, being inquisitive to the degree that she is on occasion called "Curious Katya", came over to investigate, and upon being told, in quavery tones, that "Charity is sick", she looked *worried* and intended to cuddle upon my tender stomach, before being hastily removed the the foot-end of the couch, and given a piece of afghan. After breakfast, she condescended to sit at my feet and serve as a foot warmer for some time before wandering away in the course of things. She sat there to warm my feet after lunch as well, lured, no doubt, by the fact I had mother's i-Pad, and was watching/listening to Libera on Youtube. ( May I interject that Katya is very fond of Libera, and "yesses" all their songs.)
As I had at this point advanced far enough into my recovery to be able to achieve a sitting positing for some minutes with no adverse effects, I welcomed Katya beside me and gladly. She amused herself for some minutes by thrusting her feet upon my knee, than tickling me and indicating I should return the favour. I tired of this. She then patiently took my hands and "explained" what it was she wanted. Turns out she desired I take hold of her toes, and on the occasions indicated by a wiggling of her fingers, to tickle *her*.
At one point I was obliged to take the soggy trash bag to our burn cage. Someone else would have preformed this unglamours task, but Mother had gone on a shopping expedition, and Daddy was deep in piles of paperwork, and I didn't want to bother him.
On my return, I was so fatigued that I deposited my flip-flops by the couch, and lay without even bothering to flick the much-beloved afghan over myself. Katya looked most concerned. She came up and with almost maternal care, carefully snapped up each and every snap on my mother-hubbard. There are seven snaps, each positioned about six inches appart, with six inches of free fabric at the bottom. She fretted over that six inches, I could tell, and wished that there more more snaps and closer together. She would lift the bottom up and peer at it anxiously from the underside, hoping that she had not missed any. Likewise she smoothed her hand over the line of fasteners repeatedly, and counted them, pressing hard to be sure of their hold. [Even as I type this, she has come from in from outside, perceved my top snap was undone, snapped it, straightened my collar!]
Then, after decideing uneasily that the snaps were not coming undone, she took my limp feet and proceeded to fit my discarded flip-flops on them, which is no easy task. Try it sometime. Put flip-flops on very limp feet, the heels of which are resting on a sofa.
Her concern-evidently that I not catch cold, is touching, and reminds me a great deal of a worker in her orphanage, when I was in Ukraine. We were waiting for something, I forget what, and I had sat down upon the floor to read, my legs in front of me. The day was hot, and the tile floor felt cool and refreshing.
The only other seats in the room were a row of ottomans along one wall, which at present was being used for what looked like the Ukrainian version of an impromptu tupperware party. I say the only seats, because they were the only seats for guests. There was one other seat, a chair behind a rather imposing desk, obviously official. You could tell, because it was the first thing visible upon entering the orphanage. I didn't even consider it. I didn't know to whom the right to sit in that chair belonged. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when you don't know, Don't.
As I said before, I was perfectly happy on the floor with my back against the wall, and the floor was comfortable. I was enjoying my book, when a bustling woman wearing a white coat chanced to see me as she crossed the room. A look of horror filled her ample features, and she indicated, by use of motions and accented words in English recalled suddenly from her school days, that sitting on the floor was perilous to my health, indeed, was gaurenteed to comprimise it as sure as slashing my wrists with a razor, and that I was to arise, at once, and sit in the chair behind the desk. Which, because when in Rome you do as the Romans tell you to, I did, albeit somewhat bemusedly.
The point of this being that Katya has inherited evidently that same slightly old-wive-ish concern for my health, and tends to all my buttoning needs with intensity.
This tale of snapping up snaps and feet warming is to contrast with the Katya of a year ago. A year ago, if anyone were injured, she would crowd around, peer at the injury with interest, and *laugh*. She did the same if anyone were to vomit.
At the time, I had the vague assumption that she derived pleasure from other's pain, but now, with a years' better aquaintance, and not being so addled from stress and lack of sleep, I think Katya was laughing because the commotion was a welcome diversion in her dull day, and she had never been shown enough compassion to know that being sorry was the thing to do. Prehaps she didn't *know* that when people yell,cry, and jump around after slamming their finger in a door, they are in pain and not clowning around.
To see Katya be so concerned on my behalf, and to take all the pains with me she knew how to do, was touching, especially when she has so few ways of giving love. Cuddling is still mostly her way of getting love, not giving it, so she's left to give love the way (I assume) she got it at the orphanage: Playing with hair (the cairgivers all said she loved having her hair done), and evidently, doing up fastenings.