The light is reclaiming the days by stealth. The night’s tenure is shortened by a minute at either end of its lease and suddenly early evening, late afternoon, breakfast time reveal the onward move towards spring. In the garden narcissi, snowdrops, crocii, anenomes are blooming. Next it will be the hyacinths, already pushing knobbly green buds through the middle of the protective sheath of their leaves. Birds are bulking up for parenthood, eating the seed from the feeders greedily. Another year turns.
Jeeves, our neighbourhood semi feral intact Tom cat has gone walkabout. Presumably there will be a kitten explosion in late March and early April. Much as I love kittens, I wish people would neuter their cats. There are too many abandoned cats needing homes, as well as the ones people have to give up when they move to accommodation where pets aren’t allowed. Such bans exacerbate the problem, make pets homeless and deny people the proven benefits of living with a companion animal.
Hartley isn’t sorry Jeeves is missing. It means he gets to spend more time in Helena and Jim’s garden. Last weekend he and Romeo dozed the day away in their summer house as they worked.
Oddly, MasterB, bottom of the feline pecking order in his own garden, is the only one of the cats to like Jeeves, and Jeeves never threatens him with violence as he does Hartley, Romeo and Mr Manx. MasterB and Jeeves have even touched noses, though mostly Jeeves ignores MasterB, stalking purposefully past him, his mind on weightier matters such as food. MasterB hurries after him. With the other cats he runs in the opposite direction.
We are increasingly a neighbourhood of cats, with the humans linked by cats. I have just been given a spare set of keys for some neighbours so I can be back up for the cat sitter while they are on holiday. I think I got the gig as MasterB lives with me. He has served as my reference.