Eloise has been adjusting really well/  She clearly thinks that a litter tray is a retrograde step and was highly reluctant to use it, but she needed to in the end.  Having been brought up with dogs and calm cats, she is well behaved and responsive and, today, i let her out into the garden – Rose’s garden, that is, which is outside my back door.  There was much tail-waving as she explored and then she met Rose’s cat Rummy and that was fairly stressful for both of them.  I’m sure they will establish their pecking order and I’m not going to worry unduly.

Later, I let her out into my garden, which is unfenced – she isn’t the wandering sort and I didn’t think she’d run away, and so she didn’t.  She kept mostly to the paved area by the house and the little grassed area, and jumped on the woodpile (due to be moved over the summer) and then into Rummy’s garden, but he wasn’t there and she jumped back again.  Then she saw my cockerel, which was most amusing.  She crouched and chattered – if you have a cat you may know what I mean – it’s as if her teeth are chattering with cold and she made the sort of sound you’d make if you were shivering.  She actually dribbled at one point!  I asked Roses exactly what message was being sent – it was ‘whoo, I really want to eat that but I can’t actually get to it so I just have to look and chatter’ – often if a cat is looking through a window at a mouse, but in this case it was something jolly big.  Eloise stalked the chickens afterwards, which was funny.  I stalked Eloise, of course.  She’ll learn the chickens are out of bounds.

Some hours later, when I went to shut the chickens up and feed Momma cat and kittens, I found two large cows in the way.  The gate was shut, so they must have come the other way through the nettles.  Spotty Perdita was very good and came towards me through the gate, once I’d opened it, but Monty went the other way towards the hen house.  The kittens were waiting but didn’t dare come too close to half a ton of cow.  Although nervous for my sandalled feet, I wasn’t scared of the cow and, once she’d relaxed and started eating nettles, I slipped behind her and turned her towards the gate again.  So there was no drama really, though it was a bit of a nuisance.

Tabby kitten is very tame and one of the black ones stands its ground.  The black with white paws is next bravest, whilst the other black kitten only comes when I retreat, though it now watches me without running.  Mother cat (who had probably been fed by Roses) came to greet me as I left the field.  She wants lots and lots of stroking and affection, she craves it.  She’ll not be happy when she sees Eloise, I suspect, but her territory is the field and barn, there is really room for all.

I was very anxious on Wednesday for a while, because my accountant was due to call on Thursday morning and I hadn’t got any papers ready – this is for three separate tax returns, it’s not all that simple.  Dilly was very kind and let me cry on her shoulder, then I pulled myself together and phoned to cancel the damn meeting, or rather postpone it for a fortnight.  No further excuses, of course.  Then I went over to them for dinner, so a horrid evening turned into a good one.  I’ve made a start on getting things ready, but I hate paperwork at present, it brings out all the anxiety I mostly hide.

I do have more help outside, though, now and that is excellent.

It’s five past nine.  Is this too early to go to bed?  No?  Thank you darlings – I’ll have a bath and then read, it isn’t really as bad as all that – though I suspect I’ll be asleep within the hour.


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