Eloise cat has recovered well from her operation (which was to repair the ruptured tendons in her right hind knee, or stifle as it’s properly called). She rarely limps and is feeling frustrated that she isn’t allowed outside yet. The vet phoned last Monday, to save a journey down to see him again. Two hours in the car for a five minute appointment, when a chat would do just as well – it’s not only hospitals and doctors who have learned that hands-on isn’t always necessary. Last year, when she had her first operation on the other leg, he said that she could come out of the cage into the house after a month, but this time he was rather more cautious and wanted us to wait for six weeks. Well, we couldn’t. The night when I woke up at half past midnight and heard her crying and she was still crying an hour later, when I gave in and went down to let her out into the drawing room, was the last straw. We kept her in the room for several days and then let her have the run of the house. Though she’s very keen to go outside, she’s so much happier now and loves getting back to normal. We had salad Niçoise for lunch yesterday and I saved her a helping of tuna, which was received happily. Today, we had cheese and salad, so I grated her a little Parmesan, which she appreciates. The other cheese she likes is our local Baron Bigod. Rummy used to like Cheddar best. He must miss lunches here. I suspect that Rose treats him like a cat – the king of cats, of course – and doesn’t cater for him at her mealtimes. It’s inexplicable, of course, they’re members of the family after all.
Of course, this means that Eloise doesn’t eat very much cat food, so the barn cats are doing well too.
My darling Chester dog, much missed still after sixteen and a half years, was a picky eater. Sometimes, he didn’t fancy his dinner for two or three days and was restless and hungry; except he didn’t recognise the feeling as hunger and wouldn’t do the sensible thing and just eat. When that happened, I used to grate a little cheese and sprinkle it on his food. He’d eat the cheese and then go on to polish off the dog food. I didn’t feed him at the table, it’s not wise to do that with a dog. They take advantage and have to be retaught the rules. It doesn’t matter with a cat, who acknowledges that rules exist but not that they need to observe them. Simpler to give in from the start, except for any rule that is inviolable which, in Eloise’s case, are not coming where I prepare food and not jumping up onto the mantelpiece.
I’ve been saving wine boxes – I don’t mean wineboxes, but the boxes that bottles of wine come in. I’ve saved five and I’ve a couple of plastic crates too, so that’s seven which fill up the car. Other stuff can go loose, if necessary. Wink says that she’s covered the spare room bed with things that she wants me to bring back, so clearly the packing will have to be done tomorrow before I have anywhere to sleep.
Tim came with me to check the details for animal husbandry. How many chickens are there, in total, he asked. I number them in groups, not overall, so I had to stop and think. Just as well that I put them all down here the other day. Twenty-three, I said. When I’ve posted this, I’ll check back to be sure I’m right.