Animal farmstead

Eloise cat will have her operation tomorrow. I’ve given her a meal and she’s allowed a small meal at 10 o’clock, then nothing except water. We’re leaving in the morning at about the time she’d expect to have breakfast, so she won’t be too badly off there. When we get to the vet in Ipswich. she will have a sedative and painkillers in advance of the anaesthetic and operation. They’ll keep her overnight and we’ll pick her up on Friday morning. Then starts the month of rest and gradual return to mobility – living in a cage and being taken for walks on a lead – before she’ll be free in the house for two or three weeks. After that, she’s good to go.

Good news is that I’m quite sure that Polly Garter’s single chick is a female. I can’t remember how old she is, though I could look back to check, but she’s a nicely rounded little thing with a short neck and legs, nothing of the rooster about her. Of the three younger ones belonging to Frostier (a bad tempered version of Foster – though all I mean really is that she is very protective of her chicks), my preliminary opinion is that there are two girls and a boy. They’re too young to be sure, though. And then there are Scrabble’s half dozen. We’re working out how to get hold of them, in their awkwardly placed coop, to go into a more convenient one. Even there, I’m still considering where best to put them. The coop I have ready is going to be quite small for them as they grow up and, as Polly G is quite unhappy in her small coop – she wants to be out and about, she laid an egg this morning – I could put her in that one. I don’t want to let her out for another week or two, while her little girl is so small. Anyway, it will all be sorted out soon. If they were tamer, it would be easier, but their instinct to protect their youngsters makes them difficult to manage. I’ve never made pets of them, though I’ve always been gentle and, if one is in a nest box, I’ll stroke her. Mostly, I don’t handle them much, though.

The barn cats know that Rummy isn’t around. The day after he left, I was feeding all the chicks and they came to tell me that it wasn’t good enough, they wanted their breakfast at once. They rarely have come that far from home in the past, but they’re expanding their territory. Eloise will chase them, when she’s able, but it’s only for show.

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