Friday, 10 August 2007
looks remarkably comfortable up there, doesn't she? She's lying on some of the strips I've cut for Andrew and Sarah's quilt, and she's trying to snooze, despite the attentions of her beloved Advo. Twas not always so; when we got her, she was a frightened six month old kitten, mother of her own litter (Merlin was one of hers, the runt of the litter, apparently, but that's another story altogether.). The thing about Millie was that she had a very black and white approach to life. Cats, she said, were not allowed on the furniture. If she saw her sister Mollie up on the sofa, or Merlin, for that matter, she would box their ears and screech at them. Same if they sat on anything that wasn't a newspaper. Or even without any provocation at all. Attack first, ask questions afterwards, that was our Millie. (Mind you, she had the sense not to attack Advo, though she has been known to dot him over the nose if he importunes...).
The vet explained that she could cope with cats, or she could cope with humans, but not both together in the same household. So the other cats Got It, as we were a bit on the big side for attacking. Gradually, over the time we've had her, she has relaxed. She now sits on my knee, sometimes, purring. She gets on the bed for a snooze like everyone else; the table, too, any quilt that happens to be around, whatever. She purrs with enthusiasm when stroked, and she talks endlessly, particularly if there's no grub in the bowls.
She's a changed cat. Amazing what a lot of love will do for a cat. Or a human, for that matter.... it's all just a question of time and faith.
Sunday, 5 August 2007
was basking happily in the shallows on Friday. I haven't looked today, but given that it's around 80 deg, he's doubtless doing the same today. Though we've always lived in rural or semi rural communities, this is the first garden in which we've had a pond. It delights us both. This year, the frogs have been particularly enthusiastic, and lots of tiny baby frogs are leaping in and out of the pond. They get bottom marks for brains, though; I put in a 'bridge', a piece of wood that I thought would be easier for them to use to get out of the pond. Instead, they ignore it, or, in one or two instances, scramble up the side of the 'bridge' to get to the edge of the pond and then climb up the much steeper incline. This is not the brightest behaviour I've ever seen in an animal...
The newts are incredible too. Every so often, there's a flash of orange belly in the pondweed, and another newt sculls by. They are such beautiful animals, in movement and repose. And then of course, there's the dragonflies dancing around the pond. We didn't have dragonflies in Scotland, their shimmering grace is a delight.
And then, of course, there's the domestic animals, the four cats. Or is it five? We seem to have acquired a fifth, or at least a half of a fifth (the half that eats...). Black as midnight, thin as a rake, with a torn (and healed) ear and a terror of all humans (I'm sure it's not just us...). Not sure if it's a he or a she, but it gets on tolerably well with all the cats here, though we do hear it crying a lot, perhaps it's more of an armed truce. It does have a tendency to sneak in when nobody's looking, and wolf up whatever food is around at a rate of knots. We heard it coughing yesterday, and hope that it'll calm down around us sufficiently for us to be able to see if it really is ill, and if so, to allow us to help it. I'm planning to spend a bit of time in the garden next week, preparing a place for my new shudio, perhaps we can get to know each other a bit better that way... though my four tend to congregate around me in the garden, as if to say, hey, what *are* you doing here, this is our space...