01 September 2012

Busy days as winter fast approaches.

We took Roo back to his family last week. The trip down to Essex was sad for Paul and me as we had really come to love that cat but his folks were ready for him to be there as they move to their new home in Devon.

Long, long drive made longer by pouring rain all the way. We arrived on schedule though, and carried Roo into the house to reunite him with the people who'd rescued him from a shortened life as a semi-feral cat in the Devon countryside.

Oh dear. Setting the cat carrier down on the lounge carpet brought the elder statesman of the three cats Christine and Graham have reared from kittenhood, Smudge, a 19 year old Tuxie who looks and acts far younger than his years. He took one look at Roo and let out a warning hiss then went on his way.

Hope floats. Chris let Roo out of the carrier and enjoyed a lovely reunion with her lad. Things seemed to be going well and Roo was let to explore his new home.

Unfortunately he caught sight of the sleeping Dinks, a female Tortie of some years and went over to give her a sniff...erm, never sniff sleeping dragons. She had Roo pinned under the coffee table so quickly the four humans had no chance to intervene. A tiny cat, she puffed in outrage to three times her size, Roo was in shock and looking for rescue.

It all went downhill from there. At one point our hopes were reignited when Smudge was sitting on the patio talking politely to Roo through the screen door but Roo quickly doused those hopes when he tried to smack Smudge through the screen. Then the next night Roo, who had learned to open the guest room door, slipped out of the guest room and met up with the third cat, Shadow, a gorgeous Angora who wasted no time letting him know she did not appreciate his terrible manners towards the senior members of the house.

Christine and Graham are extraordinary gardeners who have turned their front and back gardens into gorgeous beauty spots. The back garden is completely private and features a pond with koi, harmonious plantings, and a sweet arbor bench overhung with wisteria. We spent what time we were not keeping Roo from putting his would be fur-sibs into vet hospital sitting on the terrace watching the plants grow, it was the most restful holiday I've had in years despite the grief Roo was causing by refusing to become part of a happy family.

The animosity between the three and Roo was not the usual jostling of the introduction of a new cat, it was horribly clear that should opportunity knock there would be a lot more than a bit of fur flying. The decision was made to bring Roo back to Scotland to be the only cat-he clearly does not play well with others and never will. I think he thought he could run the other three off and be Chris and Graham's only cat and that was not going to happen. I know Chris and Graham are heartbroken, they have huge hearts and now there is a gigantic Roo sized hole there. Paul and I love the beast but had hoped things would have a 'happy ending' there with them, it was heart rending to have to load him up and leave for the return to our home.

So we are back in Scotland with a Siamese-Abyssinian cross. We are keeping the hire car for another week so that we can do the annual stock-up, and yesterday the first thing we brought home was 100kg of cat litter, lol! Lugging a bag of cat litter up our hill on foot is never pleasant so we took advantage of having a car to bring in a huge lot of the stuff. We also stocked up on cat food (also heavy to carry home on foot), and people food as well-beans, potatoes, other tinned veg, freezer goods, and oh yea, I have a bushel of apples and one of onions to process for freezing-can't wait. Heh.

Winter is coming very quickly this year. Essex was beautiful, better than a trip to Spain for warmth and sunshine-I'm going to remember the warmth as we go deeper into winter. We left their house in the mid-seventies, as soon as we hit Cumbria on the England-Scotland border the temp had dropped over 30 degrees and it was a good thing I'd put the hoodies and coats close to hand in anticipation of a temp drop. It's been down in the low 40s since we got home, and we are going to have to call in the winter firewood a lot earlier than usual! We have a lot of other winterisation prep to do and I'm not sure how long we'll have to do that as the temps simply don't give any hint of going back up anytime soon. Brr, I need to get the winter clothes checked and the winter duvets aired-LOL and of course it's...pouring rain!

And as for my hopes of getting in a fall garden, well, those are dashed as well. With all this rain (which btw has really been streaming down for over a year here in Scotland) there is no way we'll have any sort of veg garden at all, hence the purchase yesterday of plenty of veg to get us through winter.

Better close now, and get cracking on those apples and onions. One apple pie and the rest into the freezer; all the onions sliced, diced, and into the freezer. I did that last summer and it was great to be able to reach into the freezer for apple pie fixins' and ready to carmelise onions:) But it is a lengthy process getting those things ready for the freezer so I'd better get Paul's breakfast and then get slicing-dicing-arranging on cookie sheets for the initial freeze...

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