Hmm. The title doesn’t have a very impressive ring, innit? But that is what we did – not me on my own, of course. Rose, Lawrence and I went down to the local fuel merchant, while LT got the coal shed ready and we fetched half a tonne of smokeless fuel in 25 kg bags. Then they had to be put in wheelbarrows, wheeled to the shed, unloaded and stacked. With three wheelbarrows, this turned into a straightforward production line and LT lifted each bag into a barrow, Lawrence or Rose wheeled it, I wheeled it in and tipped it out and lifted it into position.
Halfway through, my arms started to give out but, fortunately, Rose’s Boy arrived at that point so we stood him in the shed and my job was reduced to wheeling each barrow into place once it was brought to the door. I volunteered for that particular job as the doorway is very low, though there’s room to stand once inside, and I’m the shortest so have to bend least.
And it’s done, so our respective stoves will be stoked for some weeks to come. We have loads of wood but you get more heat and it lasts longer with coal.
We’ve been having a few cat issues recently. Since Lawrence and Rose have been visiting London regularly for his medical treatment, his cat Chip was finding life a bit stressful. He spent time in a cattery and the occasional night alone, but it didn’t suit him and he’s come to live here for a while. This isn’t too easy for Rose’s cat Rummy, who is reasonably sociable – as is Chip – but found it an intrusion. Eloise cat isn’t sociable at all and was quite put out.
While Rose is here, it’s okay. Rummy is very much her cat and only tolerates other people, though he’s getting more friendly. But he has not been at all well behaved with the outdoor cats. For quite some time, he has had the habit of joining them when I feed them – appearing nearby and asking for food, which I give to him separately. Sometimes, as I walk down to their barn, I see him clock me from Rose’s garden and sprint along, often round via the field, to join us. However, for the last week or two, he’s been attacking the other cats. He and RasPutin have always hated each other but they mostly hold a truce – RasPutin used to be the winner in a squabble but he’s old and less capable now. I’ve seen his tabby son Zain stand and not let Rummy past, to protect his father. The three other siblings are much more timid though, especially the two black boys and, frankly, Rummy has been bullying them. The other day, as Barney cautiously approached, Rummy appeared from a hiding place to dash at him – RasPutin went to the rescue and there was a standoff. I have to have two feeding places in case they’re too afraid to come to the usual one.
However, the good thing is that, now Rose is back again, Rummy is much happier and today he just came along and waited for food in the normal way while RasPutin, Betty, Fred and Barney were fed first. Zain hasn’t been seen all week. I do worry somewhat but they are feral cats and sometimes vanish for a while. I haven’t seen their mother since February but, in the absence of any evidence, I assume she has adopted a family and moved territory.