One evening last week, the Calamity Cat took a leaf from her sister’s book and decided to explore the flat roof on the extension at the back of the house. The Princess was often to be found on the roof and used to use the window to the study as a door to get back into the house. However, Calamity is well-named and has never been agile or co-ordinated enough to get up there. Until last week, that is. We have no idea how she did it or why – the first we knew of it was when we heard her cry as she tried (and failed) to work out how to get down again.
While D went to get the ladder, I talked to her and distracted her from attempting to jump to the ground from the roof. Once the ladder was in place, D went up and called to her but she retreated out of his reach. She was clearly uncomfortable up there but she wasn’t ready to be rescued either. In the end, D stayed up the ladder and talked to her while I ran inside up to the study, being careful to shut the little ones out of the room first – we didn’t want any more adventures!
The Princess was an old hand at leaping in through the window but Calamity was totally confused. She could hear me calling but couldn’t tell where from. In the end, I had to hang out of the window to attract her attention so that she could see the window was open for her. She told me off in no uncertain terms for making her jump so high but she did eventually make it on to the windowsill and safely into the room. We are hoping it was a one-off – we certainly don’t want her making a habit of coming in that way or giving the little ones ideas for when they start to go outside.
Fortunately, as the weather turns and the days get shorter she is spending more time indoors curled up on my knee or on her radiator bed. We are not much better ourselves. We are lighting the fire most nights and the cats all take it in turns to stretch out in front of it and soak up the heat. Occasionally they even share, but only until Calamity asserts her authority and sends the young ones packing!
We are still doing a little gardening but it is less and less each week. The last garden rubbish collection has been made by the council, meaning that winter is definitely here and we are on our own until collections resume in the spring. We never did get the grass cut one last time – with the frost, dew and rain it is never dry enough. Nor did we finish trimming the hedge. We cut the middle section a while ago and always meant to go back to the ends when we had chance to move the patio pots and protect the new cottage garden bed at the other end. The result is a strange, poodle-like affair which will probably annoy me the whole winter – just not enough to go out and cut it!
Up in the kitchen garden the last of the broccoli has been harvested and eaten and the bed cleared. Apart from getting the fruit trees professionally pruned, we will be doing little up there for some months apart from continuing to harvest the veg and tend the seedlings which have all now germinated in the greenhouse. Down in the flower garden, the cosmos and the evening primroses have finally finished flowering and have been cleared away. The result is that, at first glance, the garden feels bare and devoid of colour. It isn’t really true if I look properly – there is colour everywhere as the photos prove. And yet we mostly see green. It is odd how green almost ceases to be a colour in the garden. We take it so much for granted that we become colour-blind to it and see it as a dull neutral rather than the vibrant colour that it is.
The kittens are starting to show an interest in the outdoors, spending time watching out of windows and the patio door at the back of the house. They will have to wait for a while though – they are coming on in leaps and bounds but are showing little sign of recognising their names yet and we would like to see them respond before we let them outside. It might not mean they come when we call but if they know their names, we will at least know that they are choosing to ignore us!