Eloise cat is Queen and she knows it, and so does everybody

It’s still all about the animals, darlings, I’m so sorry. I know I’m dull but, as I’m not actually gay, I have to be proud to be dull instead.

Polly Garter bantam has turned up, sometimes in the morning, but not in the evenings, and I’ve been looking for her nest. I have now found where she’s sitting. I don’t think she’s being dedicated enough to hatch any eggs and she’s pretty safe, so I’m leaving her be. I don’t know where Gladstone is.

Eloise cat is terribly proud of herself. Tim found her, this evening, guarding a tiny dead shrew, which Eloise clearly thought was the Prey Of The Mighty Hunter. It was about an inch long, which is about all that Eloise manages to kill. She can’t manage a mouse. Anyway, when she was observing it proudly, we left it alone but then she placed it carefully on the doormat and I removed it and chucked it in the undergrowth. I’m sorry for the little beast, which was harmless and unpalatable anyway. but Eloise doesn’t kill mice or birds and it’s about the worst she does.

It hasn’t rained. There has been rain in neighbouring towns and villages, but not a drop here. So I watered Wink’s tubs, our tubs, the greenhouse and then went to chivvy the chickens in. Most of them follow me, knowing they will get a handful of mealworms chucked on the ground, but there are usually a few cautious chicks who scamper around outside and are reluctant to come in before their aunties have gone to roost. Being bottom of the pecking order, they don’t get many mealworms and are in no hurry to go indoors. I escort them towards the door but some of them break off and go past it and have to be escorted back – but not tonight. Eloise is affronted that Zain thinks he’s in charge around here, so she chased the barn cats and, to her great glee, they ran away from her. She waited to make sure they wouldn’t come back and stood guard – and that meant that she prevented chicks from going past her, so the homecoming routine took two minutes.

Then I fed the cats and it was only Barney who was too nervous to come. Eloise yowled at him and he ran away, as did all the siblings. Eloise was so impressed with her queen of all she surveys routine. As my one-time cleaner Patsy would have said, she’s now a real swell’ead. They say you can’t herd cats. Eloise has proved them wrong.

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