Tuesday 31 March 2009

by the sea

The kittens arrive on April 17th. Still some way off, they are after all, the intended central attraction of this blog and so I have wondered what to write while they are absent (very ‘unblogger’ like, I know). I could show you our allotment; tour the garden with all our plants; hold a mini book club… but no, instead I’ll show you some photos from last weekend, during a family trip to Bournmouth for a jazz weekend. The weather bright, exhilarating, copious intakes of fresh sea air, the folly of heading out with no brolly only to discover the extraordinary charm of an English coast when the sun shines and it is Spring.

The delicious last moments of distraction milked to the very end, crowned by a day of delight at Mottisfont Abbey on route home. Famed for its old roses, my father spotted a rose, Lady Hillingdon, which my Aunt grows in her garden, brought from a childhood home, it is nearly 100 years old and still going strong!

Friday 13 March 2009

But what of those before?

My heart goes so gladly out to meet the love and regard of our pets (or indeed were we theirs!). Even just remembering them quickens my heart with pleasure. So who were they? Allow me to introduce them….

Nippy, never was a name so suitable. With shining eyes, she ‘nipped’, unrivalled as the fastest little climber, outstripping any other, with no fear of heights. Roofs were a mere dalliance, even at 20 years old, though she lived even longer than this. She loved adding amazement to the surprise of her human family. What seemed like near extinction to us was all but reanimation for her!

Phoebe – glossy, silky to the touch. Always up for some fun. She had an inner brightness and anticipation, the look of a dog that had hardly begun to discover what life had to offer and behind it all a promise of softness and obedience. Her nose was nearly always rough and dry because she developed an infection in it once. Mum would pat it with olive oil which helped, though Phoebe would roll her eyes when the bottle came out of the cupboard, she never liked it and would smack her lips by way of rebuke.

And then there was proud, brave Bella. Born of a wild farm based mother and a feral father. Deceptively mild but her claws only seconds from being unsheathed. Capable of the most marked condescension of guests, or as she saw them, aliens. So too was she voluptuous when she spread herself out, shooting half-opened eyes, gleams of veiled savagery. We were best friends. She yielded to my love. Evenings led to play, that turned often to something more sinister, her shape just discernible, pencilled delicately against the fading light in

the garden as she stalked me poised for attack. Me, hunched behind a shrub, breathless, wondering if I could make it into the greenhouse before she launched herself onto my head.
But what of her leg? Nothing more than an infant, she returned one night, leaving a trail of blood from her mangled leg. In utter dismay, horror and unquenchable sympathy, my parents found her curled, with flattened ears, beneath a hedge. She made a faint, rather squeaky exclamation of distress and pain when they spoke to her. She grew acquainted with the vet as he operated over a period to save what he could of her limb. She mastered the plaster cast with credulity but also skill. As to her bravery, I can find no adequate expression.

Monday 9 March 2009

Everything but them

When I left for work this morning, I met the postman lugging a huge box up to the door and it was addressed to me. But no time for a grand opening until now. Card and paper and tape strewn all about and a collection of feline focused goodies....
Will the boys be as pleased as me with the things that are for them.

Not one but two!

It isn't long now. I never imagined this would be the year. Indeed, the month when, not one but two, join us. Our snowy home to be opened up. The hole filled, the circle completed. Do good things come to those who wait then? Two boys, white, blue eyed, everything I could have wished for. Fluffy too.