Of Birds, Domesticity, Sleep and Good Catteries

Breakfasted with the lark this morning. Or, more accurately with the blackbird. There may be larks in this patch of London, but I have not heard them. The blackbirds, Mr and Mrs, are increasingly strutting their territorial stuff, reminding all comers, whether human, avian or cat, that this is their manor. There’s a lot of proprietorial sitting together on walls. As they haven’t dive bombed MasterB, I’d say they don’t have eggs yet. The bossy wren who did not conform to the bird book’s description of a shy bird, is nowhere to be seen, or indeed heard. I think he had his singing lessons from the local corvids, and they are strangely quiet this week too. Normally the waist coated chuck of the magpies accompanies each day, while the crows laugh and chatter high in the trees by the railway line.
I have two new domestic challenges today: vacuuming and ironing. Octavia lent me a rather fab fluffy duster on a handle. It made me feel I should be wearing pearls and a day dress whole I floated it gently over the bibelots. By the end of my labours I was a bit doubtful. She gave me a snowy white duster that now looks very grubby. I am tempted to buy my own, but it isn’t very environmentally friendly. The instructions say you can ‘just throw it away’ and install a new one. Maybe not. Getting the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard, attaching the hose shouldn’t take more than an hour, and it will be good to remove fur and crumbs from the floors. The ironing poses more of a problem. Those of you, like Cousin, with utility rooms where the iron and ironing board are in a state of constant readiness, may not understand the difficulty. I reckon I can iron with my left hand, but setting up the board, uncoiling the iron from its home on the wall, and more significantly returning it there, feels like my own personal Everest. Honestly, I take my hat off to Nelson. Though maybe someone else did his ironing. Continue reading


Trevor, A Cat on Form

Yesterday, realising we were close by the cattery, Octavia and I sent a text message to ask if we could drop in and see Trevor. The answer was yes.
He had just enjoyed his first day of freedom in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and mingling comfortably with the other cats, pinning one who had offended him to the ground under a bush, and retreating for a nap from time to time in his own house space. Someone came to see him last week, liked him, but has not offered him a home. Which means, if you are quick, this glossily healthy boy could be yours.



Continue reading

Straying Alive

So here s/he is. His/her gender now in question, but we didn’t want to do too much invasive peering at his/her nether regions.
When I say we, I mean Chris at the Cattery. Breathe again. The white and back stray is now in safe hands, and literally in a warm bed. The sleeping rough episode is ended.

When I took breakfast out she scrambled from her hidey hole at once. I had thought she had a sore on her leg when I saw her in the gloom. In daylight it was clear she has sores on both front legs and one is making her limp. I resisted her demands for seconds and thirds and instead we had a bit of a love fest. When I went in I was a bit worried she might try to follow me, and maybe that is what happened, because having talked to Chris on the ‘phone and got the go ahead to bring her in, I couldn’t find her. I looked inside the binshed and there she was, crouching in the corner, and fortunately where I could pick her up. Which I did. She didn’t resist though she was obviously worried when I closed the door and it made a noise. The car was already open and the cat basket in place. She lifted her nose to mine and I told her she would now be properly looked after. Continue reading

Safe and Sound

He had a prodigious poo in the garden, right in the middle of the grass, and tried, ineffectually, to cover it with grass. MasterB was hiding in a shrub. Ginger has biffed him a couple of times in the past few days, and although he had approached MasterB with his tail hoisted in the flag of friendship, my boy was taking no chances
I sat on the edge of a flowerbed and watched. I spent around an hour and a half watching, grooming, stroking, this evening. Ginger was friendly but skittish. Sudden movements made him run. I gave him the catnip to play with; stroked his head and experimentally held a clump of his fur on the back of his neck. He stayed calm, but we were yards away from the cat basket. Bluebottles buzzed around the cage. Very unattractive.
It was getting close to seven o’clock. Despite the lack of anti-biotics, Ginger’s face was much less swollen, although I could see a big pink hole just below his mouth. I fished around in the cat basket and found a biscuit. I offered it to Ginger. He leapt on it and ate it. A hungry boy.
I moved back to the basket, fished around some more and oiked all the biscuits I had hopefully put there on Sunday onto the ground. Ginger advanced. So did MasterB. I cuddled MasterB and stroked Ginger.
There would never be a better time.

Continue reading

Silver Lining

The good news or the bad news? Which first? Usually we choose to hear the bad first and get it over with. So, finally deciding on a short list of a couple of cycling holidays, I called the cattery to check dates. Not good. August is almost booked out and the dates they could offer don’t work with my hols. I had hoped for a week away being active and a week at Cousin’s. Back to the drawing board. Oddly there is a walking holiday in Northern Ireland I quite fancy, and the hotel for the first half is in cousin’s local town, that could feel a bit surreal. I am tempted. Or walking in Guernsey, cycling on the Welsh borders. The NI option would mean a walking holiday that could be followed by a few days chez Cousine. So not terrible bad news. More inconvenient.
So what about the good news? Continue reading

It’s a Boy Thing

MasterB is outside. I can’t say I envy him. It is very very cold tonight. But I guess a boy has to do what a boy has to do, and running about in the cold seems a peculiarly boy activity. That said, I rather missed my running around with Westie Boy this morning. I’ve got lots of wobbly footage. In this bit, he isn’t playing with his indestructible ball, but seems to be enjoying some rather unfocused running about.

MasterB has been extremely vocal for most of the day. He started when I arrived at the cattery and just kept going. Some of his remarks from the pet carrier on the passenger seat beside me on the journey home sounded tantrumesque. But mainly he has kept a loud commentary on everything and anything, including some possibly very personal comments to a neighbour washing her window frames. Continue reading

Of Holidays, The Cattery, The Kitten and Cameras

The bag is packed. MasterB is at the cattery. What a rotten thing to do to my boy on Valentine’s day. He hissed and growled at the other cats. He was not happy to be there. I picked him up and popped him onto the cosy faux sheepskin bed under the heat lamp and kissed him goodbye. Then I snuck off to reacquaint myself with the kitten.
I had already seen her through the window. As soon as I rang the door bell she had looked out at me, rolled on her back and turned on the charm with a force Mae West would have had problems equalling. How she hasn’t got a home yet is a mystery. As cattery Chris said, she certainly knows how how to sell herself. She is so confident, so friendly, a real character cat who loves people. Apparently she settled in at the cattery (she’s in the house) from the moment she arrived. Various people have expressed an interest, but have concerns about how their established cats will react. I’m in the same boat. And I know MasterB doesn’t want her here. Continue reading

The Moments Before

Nearly time to go. The bag is packed, just a couple of last minute things to put in. But first the ginger ninja needs to be delivered to the cattery. This is always the moment when I want to cancel the holiday. I hate leaving him, even though I know he’ll be well looked after and cuddled.
Now the summer is behaving itself it seems doubly unfair that he should have to spend a week in a pen instead of lying in the shade of the cherry tree:

In the Shade of the Cherry Tree

or climbing in it: Continue reading


I’ve had a great break at my cousin’s and it is nice to be home again. In an hour I’ll be able to collect the ginger ninja from the cattery. I’ve bought him a new biscuit ball and play tunnel, but having a cuddle is going to be the best bit. I expect he’ll want to go climbing outside and have some energetic play.
Can’t wait…