The additional commentary (which I'm afraid I delete) of "zzzzzzzzzzz" is contributed by his back paws only when he's dreaming.
The additional commentary (which I'm afraid I delete) of "zzzzzzzzzzz" is contributed by his back paws only when he's dreaming.
In my brief visit home between end of sports day and home time, I stood at the kitchen window, cup in hand, watching the inhabitants of the garden. I thought they were all of the feathered variety, until glossy black Jack appeared to be in two places at once. Her second instance rapidly became an unknown cat. (Our garden's cat who has been around for years is black and white with an unnaturally shortened tail and so much fear I've never in almost a decade got close up to say hello to him. He's not been around since the hens arrived. I'm not surprised.)
I ought to have recognised the fact sooner: the little birds--sparrows mainly--were doing their damnedest to warn the entire neighbourhood, louder even than when the squirrel was hanging around.
The cat removed itself from the undergrowth sufficiently that I could see it was a kitten, six months, say, at most, and all black with real glittery green eyes: very handsome. He (I got the impression of "he" tho' no visible proof) carefully explored the garden, even setting foot in the chicken run. He ignored the clamour of the small birds and barely gave a glance at the larger ones. He didn't get too close either.
The hens just stood, necks craned, heads on one side and stared, immobile. Absolutely quiet, which, bearing in mind Jack's vocabulary and garrulity, was disconcerting. I imagine they stayed that way until the kitten left (which was after I had to go to fetch my own little kitten). They needn't have worried about him: either was bigger and at least as well armed: those beaks are quite sharp and immensely swift and accurate.
I wonder if he'll be back.
The hens have taken to hanging around the back door. It's a shady enough spot and it's where people bearing food appear from. The cats, unsurprisingly, have taken to hanging around the opposite side of the back door or by the open, but screened, dining room window. I opened the door this afternoon and Jack--always the braver of the pair--stuck a foot over the threshold. Fred followed. Little stared: if a cat's jaw could drop, it would have done. Since I draw the line at hens inside the house, I gently removed the chickens, extracted the child who was also in the doorway and shut chickens out and cats in. They're now eyeballing one another through the window.
I'm beginning to wonder if Big's return to shitting behind the front door is due to his displeasure at the new occupants of the back garden (the indoor cats do regard it as theirs even if they don't go into it). Little is definitely annoyed by the new inhabitants, but she simply comes and tells me about it--repeatedly.
Little finally made it back to the vee ee tee, was x-rayed--both her foot and her dodgy shoulder. One toe fully healed, the vee ee tee is a little worried about how close to the outside edge of the bone the second pin is, but that's all the more reason for leaving the pins in. There's a something floating around in her left shoulder joint, probably explaining the odd tightness in her walk and the occasional, non-car-inflicted limp. Nothing more to do for now. Much relief.
Builders still on course to start in a week's time.
Xmas will be at Sutton Hoo. Looby Loo exceedingly pleased. (I'd not risked telling her where we'd thought of going until it was booked.) Xmas shopping progressing too.
The result of my 'flu-ey stuff is joints very bad, exhaustion, and limbs that feel as if they've been bunged in boiling oil, and dermatitis. Just in time for festivities and visits :-(
And I'm now entirely addicted to ( cut for spurious tension )
Ouch. Immediate cramp in the left calf this morning--birthday--"The heating's making a funny noise," says M leaping (-ish!) out of bed in order to discover the spurting valve that needed fixing--to--We broke our record and totalled a nit comb in less than one use--me!
But the day's looking up. I took my new, cutesy, white fake fur* handbag (which was my early birthday present to me) into town, did a few errands and bought salmon and ingredients for trifle (I really don't feel like a cake, but trifle, that's another matter).
I have cards--with cats--and emails--with cats. If not felicity, we're striving for felinity.
And it looks as if the plan to decamp to somewhere more interesting, and not too distant, for Xmas might happen. Now to check if Sutton Hoo's still available.
* Bag to be kept out of Biggle's way, since it probably falls into the broad category of white soft toy and is therefore liable to be um... mounted. The tally thus far is one white teddy bear with a suspiciously nipped neck and fur missing err... elsewhere, one white soft kitten in a similar condition and at least one attempt on a pale pink ball of yarn.
The Little Cat. It's getting a tad stir crazy, it is. But it's purring. More importantly, after this morning's bad experience with a long claw caught in the bedclothes, it's allowed me to give it a pedicure and even permitted the claws on its baldy paw to be trimmed. This also gave me the chance to check how many stitches have been removed--and the answer is, only the one. Good cat.
Our joint fashion tip: the toy poodle shave is definitely best left to the toy poodle.
And there's progress, tho' too slow. We have no rubble out the front and salvaged bricks out the back. There is a partition roughly halfway across the living room (with a door giving access to the wreck at the front), which is keeping the noise down and the dirt out. There are down pipes from the gutters outside. The cleaners come on Wednesday. Which is when two lots of builders are coming to do quotes (the ones I already regard as my favourites are coming tomorrow and have already rung up asking preparatory questions), and when Little goes back to the vet for stitch removal.
Nice things: Looby Loo came home with a certificate for listening especially well; I've acquired a £5 Amazon voucher; I got my Michel Houellebecq on H P Lovecraft book today; and smelly stuff courtesy of BPAL and eBay: Pink Moon (may go to LL), Honey Moon (Mmmm, Bzzzz, spice?), and testers of Mata Hari (nice) and R'lyeh (neat). I'm wearing both Mata Hari and R'lyeh, which is more of a plot idea than a recommended scent combination.
Annoying things: builders (whom I don't want to get the contract for the rest of the work, tho' they clearly expect to); encountering the word "intercity" in one of the Bletchley in WWII sections of Cryptonomicon where it jarred as too modern a term (tho' I must check this out) for the setting. It's broken the magic, and I was enjoying the book greatly, and I'm not sure if I'll carry on. It took a good twelve months to make myself forgive Alastair Reynolds for the misuse of "crescendo" on the first page of whichever of his books it was I've read--Revelation Space?--and actually buy it. It was still necessary to take a deep breath and hold it through the first page before being able to enjoy the rest of the read.
Little's back home. She's had an eventful day. M left her at the vets who were already worried by the fact that the wound on her foot hadn't healed. She was headed for an X-ray to see what was what inside the paw.
The 'phone call came with the bad news that she has two broken digits, uneven fractures, which along with the open wound meant that splinting was not an option. Putting pins down the fractured bones was. It took an hour (no, I'm trying really hard not to think about the bill: the X-ray was a hundred quid for a start). We went to the surgery at six and Little made her wobbly way to the door of the cage and then meowed: I've not had a meow since Tuesday evening. She tottered a bit while we looked at the X-rays. Then we got her to walk into her carrier and took her home. I think she's high on pain killers, but she's perky, limping less than before the op, drinking and taking a slight interest in food--and she's escaped from the front bedroom once already.
Looby Loo, who is fascinated by the vets, saw the hospital upstairs from the surgery and was fine, but now will not go into see Little. The leg, bald and stitched, is really putting her off. Understandable, I suppose.
So there's only Biggle not here now. Soon. The place isn't right without the two of them.
Well, thanks to various friends to whom we are most grateful, we had lunch out two days in a row, and played two new games: Gloom would probably benefit from being played late at night, with candles, atmosphere, etc rather than with a little girl bouncing around on cushions and taking an age over her turn. She did quite well though. Greed Quest was very silly indeed.
To add to the games, Looby Loo demanded a dose of Carcassonne on Saturday afternoon. She was very miffed that this time the grown ups beat her.
Yesterday the music stand (antique store for sheet music with handy tilt top for use while copying your ms) plus my sewing box went off to Dorset to be repaired.
Today, the piano tuner has been booked to assess the damage to the piano, the surveyor has been and gone and has been told to get a move on getting the information out to builders for quotations, the burglar alarm people are due to come and reattach a motion sensor, and Little....
When we saw the cats yesterday, Big was hiding in the corner looking wide-eyed and peaky-faced. He did eventually come out and purr a little and M gave him a good combing. Little was quite lively, tho' limping, and purred a lot. But the paw was not right. It's bending in not quite the right place, one toe was still out of line, and she's obviously in pain. So she's off being X-rayed as I write. More uninsured losses to pursue.
To a certain extent I'm as worried about Big, who does not take to change and upset very well at all, poor boy. Stress brings out the congenital cat 'flu too. Little is tough and will recover.
I fed the two logger-headed creatures at 4.00 pm. Big had spent the afternoon sleeping aggressively on the dining table. Little, with the fiercest look on her face--real defiance in the face of the knowledge of what she was doing--had remained in the box. Both came and ate and then Little went to sit close to the open window and Big, his face going from pinched and worried looking to relaxed and Cheshire cattish, reclaimed his spot.
No fur flew.
There's a cat asleep in the empty box from yesterday's organic fruit 'n' veg. delivery.
Okay, no problem there. A cat is generally to be found sleeping in said box.
But not that cat.
In an act of extreme, and potentially suicidal, provocation, Little is in the box.
Big has sniffed at her, but has, as yet, taken no action. His brain does look like it's cranking itself up to have a thought. Possibly a dangerous one.
Could do with a thunderstorm to distract them.
Big has just wandered over and howled in that "I want my supper" kind of way. My instant reaction was the--pointless since he's deaf--"Four o'clock", that being the time for feline supper. Except....
At five past four, Little wandered over, prodded my thigh, mewed as if to say "I don't usually need to remind you, but..."
So at 4.05, Little and I wandered into the kitchen passing the white lump in his organic vegetable box and I fed the one awake cat.
I can only assume that Big's internal clock is slow.
I was just washing my hands in the bathroom, when Big strolled in. He looked at the empty spot beside the airing cupboard door, empty because Little is no longer on guard. He gives one of his throaty interrogative yowls:
He's been asleep since breakfast, curled up in an organic veg box, and has missed the drama.
He sniffed around the door for a second and wandered off.
One of those occasions when being a deaf white cat really sucks.
It's a starling. It fell down the hole in the roof this morning. Little sat outside the airing cupboard and told me as much. So, it being morning, I decided it was M's turn to check. Bad move: M can't find things right in front of his eyes--including little starlings. It went quiet and Little left her watch post for a bit. She went back half an hour ago when the noise resumed, louder. The racket was too loud to be coming from the loft.
With not a little trepidation--small birds in a confined space get me the way moths do (unlike large fierce birds)--I locked Little out of the bathroom and opened the airing cupboard door. Hidden in the warm spot beside the heating pipes behind the pack of bog rolls was a little hatchling. Easily spotted since it immediately opened its mouth and screeched for food. Mainly down covered but with the spikes of its flight feathers showing through. I wrapped it in a flannel, dumped it in a box and covered the box with another box. Little accompanied me downstairs and watched.
I shut the curtains and the little one piped down. What to do in such a situation?
- Ring M and explain that he was wrong and Little was right (which is pretty normal: Little, like all the women in the household, is always right). M offers to come home and put it back in its nest.
- Get out a pouch of feline urinary cat food and feed several bits into small bird with huge maw. (At one point it tried to swallow the teaspoon and swung aloft until I persuaded it not to.)
- Line box with newspaper to keep it warm and comfy.
- Google some more.
- M came back, blocked hole (down which nothing but bird has fallen for a year now, so complete collapse of end wall not as imminent as I'd originally feared), deposited bird (just fed for the third time!) into nest.
I did consider the other option, killing it outright, but it was uninjured, seemingly not badly dehydrated, and working very hard at surviving. I hope it does. Bearing in mind their potential longevity, the same birds may have been in residence here longer than us. The nest, apparently, is a conical edifice several feet high. So there's been a lot of effort put into it.
Annoyingly, with my thoughts far more on avian welfare and removing bird from curious cat, I failed to take any pictures.