A miscellany of cottages and kittens

At first when I realised it would be roughly three weeks after moving before I was connected to the world again, I thought I’d make notes. They never progressed outside my head. It took a few days to shake the mental habit of publishing, either on the blog or Twitter or Facebook but in fact, I’ve enjoyed this unconnected time at home: no phones, no internet, no TV or radio. Life has been very quiet and very linear. One day, I had to wait in for someone to deliver a bookcase I’d bought. There were other tasks I wanted to complete that day, but since I couldn’t so much as make a phone call, they went uncompleted. I’m so accustomed to multi-tasking that it felt strange simply to wait.

Gradually, and especially at weekends, I fell into this new, slower rhythm of just being, and of focusing entirely on whatever I was doing at the time. It’s certainly been an inconvenience on occasion, without the facility to make plans on the fly or default to the internet to look up a bus timetable. On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of time for kitten watching.

Here is a random list of things from the last few weeks:

  1. The plumber came to light the Rayburn, just as the weather turned unseasonably warm. Half the cottage is heated just by the Rayburn’s presence and it’s going to be awesome when the weather turns again. A heated towel rail is the best.
  2. There is nothing bouncier than a kitten at playtime. Belle and Charlie can jump up, sideways or both directions at once. Their reactions are amazing and it is better than TV any day of the week to watch them scampering and clambering around.
  3. Oxford’s traffic is abominable. It takes me an hour to get to work no matter what time I leave, and it’s only 10 miles. I’m using the Park & Ride, and I hate the bus, so that really might get me cycling.
  4. On a moonless night it is so dark outside my cottage that I can’t see a thing, except stars. I hear the birds roosting, and then owls calling. A family of pheasants seems to have its home in the garden, because I see them at dusk or dawn. A red kite lives nearby, and circles low over the village.
  5. The kittens have only once been mewing outside my door in the morning, but the thought of them being hungry gets me up at 6.30 to feed them. It is a dangerous exploit to go downstairs with two small cats jumping around your ankles.
  6. After a perfect drying day, nothing smells like line-dried linens.
  7. I am quite hard-hearted enough to maintain a ‘No cats in the bedroom’ rule. Particularly after they’ve pissed on the bed twice in the same week when allowed in while I was getting dressed in the morning. Of course, the bedroom is now the place they are most interested in exploring, and as I throw one of them out, the other one runs in. It’s like herding kittens.
  8. I have furniture! And books! And a bunch of stuff I’d forgotten I owned. And a lot of handbags.
  9. The entirely hideous fireplace is worth it for the entirely wonderful wood fire. Half a woodpile came with the cottage.
  10. The friends who have visited so far have said ‘You live in the middle of nowhere!’ or ‘You’re a bit of the beaten track here, aren’t you?’ They’re right. It’s a good thing.

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I've run out of books. Again.

3 thoughts on “A miscellany of cottages and kittens”

  1. I am envious too — sounds like Midsomer Murders minus the murder part. Do you have a garden?

    I think you know I volunteer at a cat shelter, so I can’t let the problem of them going on your bed pass without a stab at trying to help. Has another pet been on the bed linens before? If so, maybe they are remarking the scent, and a good wash will solve the problem. If not, you might spray your blankets with some lemon scented spray. Cats hate the stuff and hopefully it will discourage them from making more messes. In the meantime, a plastic mattress cover can save your mattress. We had one very unhappy camper tell us in no uncertain terms that he was not pleased with our move to a new home four years ago. He’s since adjusted fine, but I don’t dare take off that cover.

    If they start marking elsewhere, a trip to the vet to rule out a UTI is in order. Another friend of mine went through that with her cat. Once treated the cat was fine.

  2. Thanks, Helen.

    Debby – I do have a garden and I’m responsible for maintaining it. And the only murders that happen around here are when the stupid pheasants fail to get out of the way. And really, that is suicide by car. Thanks for the advice about the cats, I will certainly try a lemon spray (and on the sofa, too). There’ve been no other problems at all, so I’m putting it down to over-excitement.

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