Cats

Recent Happenings at The Manor

I'm writing to you from Thailand, where the weather is hot and muggy, but who cares when you have a gorgeous private pool at your villa to relax in?

Remind me to tell you about that time I decided to go skinny dipping, but locked myself out of the hotel room and had to wander around the resort wearing only my sunglasses and a smile, looking for a staff person to help me get back inside. Actually, please don't remind me.

But I digress. I realize that I haven't updated the blog in a while, and since I have a spare afternoon before my final meeting tomorrow, here is a quick update on late-summer happenings at The Manor.

The goats are getting too big for their britches.

While they will follow Bill sedately into the barn at night, I end up wrestling them towards the barn door and then re-enacting what I can only imagine is a scene straight out of the Three Stooges as one escapes while I shove the other inside, repeat ad nauseum. It is slapstick comedy at its finest. I loathe slapstick comedy.

The chickens are happy (except when the goats are playing in their coop).

We're now reliably getting about 5 eggs a day (or about 3 dozen eggs a week). You might think that's a lot, but when I tell you that the kids can easily gobble down 5 eggs at sitting EACH, you understand why I am hoping the flock increases their production even more. (And I've learned a valuable lesson about choosing chicken breeds -- while I love our Asian Blue chickens, their layer/meat combo status means that they are big (and therefore eat more feed) but don't lay as frequently. When they do, however, they are GIGANTIC.

We removed the sacred flagpole.

I don't even want to mention this one, lest we incur the wrath of the local garden club (which put up the flagpole in honor of one of their members). But from the moment we moved in, I wanted it gone. First of all, it lacked the proper lighting due the American flag when flown at night, and there was no way I was going to take that baby down each sunset and raise it back up each dawn. I love America, but I got no time for that.

I also didn't want to install extra lighting -- it's hard enough for me to sleep at night with the streetlights, let alone with an upward-directed spotlight right outside my bedroom door. (Somehow I can easily sleep in the middle of the day with the sun directly on my face, but at night I like total darkness...)

TL;DR: we relocated the flagpole to a fellow citizen, with only a minor incident when he joked that he was going to fly the Confederate flag and I almost had to run him over with my car.

We have a new addition to the family.

After test driving eleven foster kittens in July (including a round of fleas!) we kept the best one. Daisy 2 (named after my childhood cat Daisy) has quickly become a favorite with everyone. At just over two pounds, she rules the roost.

Before I go, a few additional photos of the resort at Koh Samui... I'm already nostalgic...

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Moving with Cats

One of the most entertaining parts of the last few days has been watching the cats get acclimated to the new house.

Expanding their kingdom, one step at a time.

We locked them in the master bathroom for the first night (when we were staying in the hotel). The next day, we let them into the master bedroom, deciding to give them some time to settle before letting them into the rest of the house.

But our cats don't like a slow, measured approach.

By the second night, they were frantically darting at the doorway to the hall every time Bill or I passed through it. (And trying to unpack the bedroom meant we opened the doors about eleventy million times that day.) Freedom was so close they could taste it! To up the ante, Emmie began finding small things (a paperclip, a pen, the x-acto knife) and slapping them with her paw so that they flew under the door and into the hallway.

It was like pinball. But with sharp objects.

 The next morning, I opened the door a crack to see what would happen. Would they slowly peer around the corner to assess the potential danger? Would they meander through the halls, frequently returning to their "safe place?" 

No. No they did not.

They both shot through the doorway and began poking into every room on the second floor. Within five minutes they were chasing each other up and down the stairs. Within 20 minutes I could hear them pouncing on something (please let it be an errant hair clip and not a mouse) in the basement. 

The kingdom was theirs, and it was glorious.

Since then, they have made themselves quite at home. Most notably they enjoy photo-bombing every picture I try to take of the house. So thoughtful!

 Checking out the abundance of wildlife outside the kitchen, and plotting her escape.

Checking out the abundance of wildlife outside the kitchen, and plotting her escape.

 Sitting on the fabric that's ready to be folded and put away? Check!

Sitting on the fabric that's ready to be folded and put away? Check!

 Decorating the new duvet with a sprinkling of black hairs. How thoughtful!

Decorating the new duvet with a sprinkling of black hairs. How thoughtful!

 Taking a nap on the bed and/or pulling all the hair bands out of their basket? Check!

Taking a nap on the bed and/or pulling all the hair bands out of their basket? Check!

Need to assemble some furniture. A cat can help!

No set of tools is complete without a helper cat or two. Just point them in the direction where they can be the most bother and watch them go to work.

 Playing a game of whac-a-kitten with her sister. (No cats were harmed in the making of this Expedit.)

Playing a game of whac-a-kitten with her sister. (No cats were harmed in the making of this Expedit.)

 Watching Bill set up the table in the sewing room. So helpful!

Watching Bill set up the table in the sewing room. So helpful!

Plus they are moody. And decorative.

I may begin a series of photos called "cats in fireplaces." High art, I tell you.

 Emmie lounges in the fireplace. A limited number of these prints are available, signed and numbered by the photographer.

Emmie lounges in the fireplace. A limited number of these prints are available, signed and numbered by the photographer.

 Fiona in the fireplace #6. 

Fiona in the fireplace #6. 

Are they going to cuddle, or scratch your eyes out? It's hard to say.

Aside from their delight in exploring, they are also happy to come sit on my tummy for a snuggle. (But always listening for the front door to open.)

 Emmie can't decide whether to take a nap or race up and down the stairs. She settles for a "high alert" reclining pose.

Emmie can't decide whether to take a nap or race up and down the stairs. She settles for a "high alert" reclining pose.

 And if we're not available, on occasion they will deem to snuggle with each other. But only under duress.

And if we're not available, on occasion they will deem to snuggle with each other. But only under duress.