A tale of two kittens

In January, back when the world was “normal”, I looked out the kitchen window one morning to see a wee scrap of ginger kitten holding a piece of stale sourdough bread,  frantically trying to eat it. Of course my heart melted, I was out in an instant, and introduced the wee thing to the wonders of meat and gravy in a can. Several meals later, an even smaller grey bundle joined it’s sibling under the house, and suddenly I was feeding two feral kittens.

It turned out that all the local Cat rescue organisations were full to the brim, and the SPCA would only accept the kittens if they were tamed, so I kept feeding them. I talked to them, touched them, and got them used to my presence. Eventually they played at the back porch, and peered in the door, so I let them in, and stayed frozen in place while they explored. Meanwhile, they were growing bigger of course.

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Exhausted from playing, note the tangle of pink yarn in the foreground. Ozzie to the left, Harry to the right.

It turns out the best way to tame feral kittens is to feed them roast chicken, lots of it. Needless to say, we ate a lot of roast chicken last autumn. My family swear they got one meal, then the kittens got the rest, but I’m sure it wasn’t quite that bad.

They were about ready for desexing and rehoming when COVID hit. That’s when they moved in, and made themselves really at home.

So, it turns out that Ozzie likes sleeping on crochet blankets, preferably wool, and has claimed the bay window. Harry prefers chairs and pools of sunshine, though a lap is also good. They still like Roast chicken, though tinned cat food and biscats are now on offer. They are amazing hunters, and believe all mice are to be shared with the family, so we have a special “remove the live mouse from the house” glove next to the door. This is my daughter’s job, while I distract the cat.

Having never had cat siblings before, it has been a pleasure to see them groom each other, fight, play, and sleep snuggled up.

They bought us a lot of joy during lockdown, our little ferals.

 

Almost Spring

I rewarded myself today for undergoing a Covid test. It was unpleasant, but the Ministry of Health has asked for the public to come forward and be tested, to make certain we have no community transmission. So, in exchange for a swab induced migraine, I got flowers.

I also grabbed a Taranaki Rhododendron Festival Guide. New Zealand’s premier garden festival, and a source of much inspiration and dreams of horticultural splendour. My Mum lives in the region, and it is an annual event for us. We pore over the guide, discussing the gardens on offer. We select, compare, shortlist, rank and hoard loose change for cash plant sales and emergency cups of tea. We also visit many gardens in the Fringe Festival, smaller gardens not of the scale or age of the main festival offerings.

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But best of all, I started a new quilt. I am repurposing some EPP shapes to make the Sweet Sunday Quilt by Treehouse Textiles.  My first EPP project was in William Morris fabrics, and was too dark in value and repetitive in block design. I shall donate the leftovers to Hospice , where they will hopefully find a home.

The wrinkled table runner is from a trip to Estonia. I am so grateful now for the travels I undertook during my graduate studies. The world has never seemed so far away from us, down here at the bottom of the globe.

 

Changes

12407071-2512-4f73-a7de-40bd867efe7e.jpegNearly two years into a new property in the country.

A new life.

A new job, then no job again, thanks to COVID-19.

New health challenges, but things are looking up.

Family moved to town, so new relationships beginning to replace those formed in childhood.

A child at Graduate School, so one less at home.

And everything in the shadow of Covid. The 1pm daily briefings are no longer a necessary part of life, but are still an often watched reminder that the virus is still out there in the world. A daily dose of anxiety, and then reassurance of no community transmission.

Meanwhile, life here continues in the space between what has been, and what we hope will return.