Greetings from Scotland! How are you all? I hope that you are all enjoying sunny weather and looking forward to many more warm summer days and nights.
Today is July 1st, Staff and I are working at the laptop, she is looking out of the window wondering whether she should be cutting the grass, and I’m sitting next to her with my paws jammed firmly in my ears. There is such a noise outside, you wouldn’t believe it! A while ago Staff discovered a blackbird nesting in the honeysuckle outside the kitchen window. It goes without saying that if I’d come across it first she would have found just an empty nest, but she got there before me and set about creating cat barriers. What a nerve the woman has! She put pots of tall plants in front of the nest and scattered lots of chopped rose prunings on the ground to stop me getting near enough to….erm…..further my interest in ornithology. Staff (she of a thousand eyes) watched the nest like a mother hen. Four eggs were laid, four chicks hatched and mother blackbird sat tight for days on end keeping her young ones dry and warm. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t get close enough for a good look and eventually I forgot all about the kindergarten outside kitchen window.
The young birds fledged and left the nest this morning. Staff realised this when she heard both parent birds making a racket. Mum and dad are, as I write, flying about frantically all over the garden, their beaks full of food, trying to entice the children away from the nest area. Perhaps they’re worried about predators? I wonder why that could be…..anyway they are making so much noise that even I have come indoors to get away from it.
So, paws in ears, I thought I’d concentrate on some office work instead. I’ve decided to tell you all about my week. It’s been a funny old week; some good bits, some bad bits and some just plain weird bits.
It’s been a bad week because:
• We’ve had thunderstorms. I’ve been forced to take emergency shelter a few times. Have you ever tried to shelter from a downpour underneath a juniper bush? Take it from me, it doesn’t work very well. Staff’s friend’s house was struck by lightning three times resulting in a melted phone, a frazzled router and some smashed roof slates. Far worse than that was the night it knocked our internet off for half an hour which meant I was deprived of Twitter time!
• The heavy rain flooded my hideout under the rhododendron – the one with a perfect view of the bird feeders.
• I have still not managed to train Staff to understand that if a fingertip sized area of the bottom of my food bowl can be seen, this means that the whole bowl is empty and must be topped up immediately. Merely shaking the bowl to cover the empty patch will not suffice.`
• Staff and Manstaff are in a gardening frenzy again. Apparently they are having a thing called Open Garden at the end of July which, I understand, involves inviting all and sundry onto my territory and into my garden in exchange for donations to charity. New plants are going in everywhere and I’m running short of patches of weeds to hide in – why do people have such a problem with weeds? I don’t understand it. The old patchy gravel path has been paved over. It was a lovely path to roll on for a good scratch. They never consider what I want, never. Although there is a nice new seat with a good view of the bird feeders, and they are outside working until late which means I get the sofa all to myself, so it’s not all bad.
• Staff has bought one of those wildlife camera trap things. Although we do have a lot of interesting wildlife here I am deeply suspicious of her motives. It is my belief that she really wants it to try and catch me on night time manoeuvres. Does she think I am stupid? Last night she positioned the camera so it covered the back garden so I went out the front instead. Haha! Who’s the stupid one now? If she persists with this contraption I will let her catch me using the vegetable garden as a litter tray.
It’s been a weird week because:
• I had a blue left ear on Tuesday. Staff was chopping red cabbage which stained her hands. She stroked me when I was damp from the rain and the back of my ear turned an interesting shade of blueish purple. I have better things to do with my time than wash my left ear for the best part of an hour.
It’s been a good week because:
• Editor Pauline contacted Staff to say that my previous Scribbling, “What is an Anipal?” has had over 2000 clicks!! I am flabbergasted and delighted about this, I never imagined for a second how popular it would be. My heartfelt thanks to all who have shared the link on Twitter and Facebook, and to everyone who took the time to read what I wrote; I appreciate the lovely comments from friends old and new. You have made feel truly humble.
• I’ve found a new place to sleep! I often go and share Staff’s bed for an hour or two while she’s reading a book at night. I worry about her health and make it my duty to keep the light out of her eyes but for some obscure reason she doesn’t appreciate this. The other night I got fed up of being shoved out of the way so I flopped down on the pillow and wrapped myself round the top of her head instead. Kitties, if you’ve never slept curled round a human head you really must try it, it is very comfortable indeed.
• Best of all, I’ve had plenty to watch this week because all the forestry machinery came back to finish the work they started earlier this year! Proceedings had been called to a halt during the birds’ nesting season for some species or other that Must Not Be Disturbed. Anyway, this week they returned to take away the last of the timber and I’ve been thoroughly entertained watching the forwarder and the wagons at work.
So, that’s been my week! I’ll spend the weekend resting and recharging the batteries before Monday when we shall see what next week brings. But meanwhile I hear a little blackbird chattering in the garden so, while Staff makes herself a coffee I think I’ll just pop outside and see how they’re getting on…….
(You can contact Squirt on his Twitter address: @SquirtTheCat