lundi 28 mai 2012
A is for Animals
A is for Animals
Let’s be honest, Henri is not the most attractive cat on the block. He’s completely black with a large, odd-shaped head. He turned up in our garden about 18 months ago. As he was wearing a collar, we assumed he had a home and was just out for a stroll. As time went on, the collar got ever more shabby until one day it disappeared altogether and was never replaced. We concluded Henri was a stray.
We don’t know what his real name is. We started by calling him “Intruder”, but then Gavin felt that wasn’t very friendly, so he became Henri. Henri pops round several times a day for something to eat. He comes into the kitchen and will even let Gavin stroke him. He then gives him a little squeak or a few soft purrs, but he won’t let me go anywhere near him. Our cats, Angus and Kandy, tolerate him but that’s as far as it goes.
Last winter, during the week when temperatures rarely rose above -10 Centigrade, Henri spent a few nights on a cushion in the lounge. But as soon as the thermometer rose again, off he went. We often see him patrolling up and down the road. He doesn’t seem to want to move in, he just likes to know there’s somewhere he can go for a meal. Problem is, of course, when we go away we put our two in Gill’s cattery. Last time, we had to ask a friend to come round every day to put something out for Henri.
On the subject of animals, I now have a bit of a dilemma. I started knitting an Aran scarf in our Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group. And very stylish it is too. But somehow I seem to have promised the finished item to George, one friend’s five-year-old grandson and Rupert, another friend’s Standard Poodle. I’ve been told both are eagerly awaiting the finished product and have been assured that it’s “just Rupert’s colour” and “George is looking forward to wearing it”. Good thing really that it will take me another couple of winters to finish it. I’m sure at least one of them will have forgotten all about it by then.
To complete this animal miscellany, everyone around me seems to be acquiring chickens. Today I met three that have recently arrived from Normandy to take up residence in a friend’s newly-built hen house. They journeyed there in a sturdy wooden box. Other people acquire their hens as chicks from a local market but have sometimes ended up with cockerels. Not much good if you want eggs for breakfast.
Now, anyone who followed the saga of the travels of my passport will be interested to learn that after it left Brussels, it took a little detour to Lyon before reaching Toulouse and then being despatched here. And now I have just received an email claiming to be from FedEx telling me that there’s a parcel waiting for me in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s apparently too big to be delivered free of charge, so I have been instructed to download a document which I should then take to the Post Office. I’m sure that will please the staff in our local Post Office in South West France. If I don’t do this, I have been warned I will be charged $9 a day for storage. All things considered, they can keep the package. Something tells me it’s yet another scam… Still, it makes a change from bank workers in the Ivory Coast wanting to give me €10 million to set up a charitable foundation on their behalf.