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Archive for January, 2014

Collected a chute de bois today as our log burner has eaten the last one with a gusto. It’s been mild where we are and winter hasn’t shown its teeth yet but there is a feeling in the air that this situation won’t last long. So a few days of wood splitting lay ahead.

The leaves are turning to brown mush on the ground and everywhere instills a damp feeling of decay. Walking I find is the best solution to this mood especially on some of the clear blue sky days when the air has freshened up and there is no cloud to be seen other than a few small white ones to give a sense of size to the panorama. We are in a river valley and in all directions there is an eye-stretching view of a ridge-line, with small farms and the odd hamlet scattered on the partially wooded hillsides.

The rivers are running full now, and we are placed at a junction of three, there is no more thrilling sight to see the waters hurrying along in a full noisy flood. No danger of inundation though I am sure, since we are on high ground and no warnings have been issued. I sometimes spend time atop an old nearby railway bridge and can absorb this boisterous sight for an hour or so hour at a time.

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We have looked everywhere now, poking into hedges, lifting drain covers (he used to hide in drains when he was little). Most people have a wood shed around here and we’ve prodded in these and made a general nuisance of ourselves.

We have other cats and these have been followed in case they know where he is, but that’s difficult, if you have ever tried to ‘tail’ a cat you will know. They don’t just walk straight to somewhere, it’s a matter of sitting at an arbitrary spot for twenty minutes, cleaning themselves, moving ten metres and doing the same again. Just impossible.

Roary had been bullied by a massive male tortoiseshell cat who lived a hundred metres further up the lane. We had nicknamed this creature ‘Uber’ and tried most ways of discouraging him but he was persistent. His interest was our female cats but of course that included terrorizing our ginger non-combatant.

Roary was lightning fast on his feet but a bit dim. He came home a few months back with a lacerated leg, which had an area of fur missing. This was a worry as cats can’t stop licking wounds with the sheet of  sandpaper called a cats tongue. We thought he’d been chased and got tangled up in some wire or similar. Anyway we visited a couple of vets and found one who said he could stretch the surrounding fur and sew him back together. Only problem was ‘keep this bandage on him and keep him inside for three weeks’. Gosh that sounds easy, but in constant 25 to 30 deg c weather and other cats coming in and out it was a near nightmare.

He escaped a few times but by and by he healed and was soon outside lazing around again. But he had lost that edge of pace though which he never got back.

During the Xmas break we checked the internet and it seems his disorder can be brought on by stress and I wouldn’t be surprised if the daily  ‘Uber’ incidents  had been the cause of his final problems; he was so nervous in the end that any sudden noise would send him rocketting around or peeing on curtains etc.

There is the slim possibility he is locked up in someones outbuilding while they are away but that’s now a long shot as we don’t think he ever ventured far in his nervous state.

We all loved the old soldier who was the most docile and good-natured animal you could image. Even when my grandson dropped his sticky lolly in an unfortunate place (see photo), he allowed us to remove it –  and a handful of fur – without any fuss!

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We appear to be in mourning this afternoon. Our big ginger tom ‘Roary’ has gone missing for almost two days. He has a urinary infection and has been in distress over Xmas and New Year. The holiday has prevented us from visiting the vet with him and we arranged to take him there this morning. He has had some pain killers, but that’s all we could do. And no sign of the old campaigner.

The neighbor’s chickens haven’t been chased for two days and made their way into our garden this afternoon – a bad sign if ever – so after a massive search party with the kids over every piece of land near-by we have to conclude the worst. He may be holed up somewhere of course but knowing his habits it’s doubtful.

My three year old grandson won’t stop crying and we are trying to be as cheerful as possible but it’s a losing battle.

We have already had to bury three cats since we moved here and I fear the New Year will start with another.

Roary, come home!

The sleep ginger machine

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