Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


There's a Killer on the Loose

by admin - 21:00 on 05 June 2010

Mr Pheasant gave us another early morning call today; 5.15 is no time to be woken by his unmelodious shriek.

A bleary peek through the bedroom curtains explained why he sounds so loud of a morning – the provider of unwanted reveille was perched on Master Marten's gate, which is directly below our sleeping quarters, showing off to two of his three wives.

Marten 21

Master Marten, not Mr Pheasant

Being observed unsettled him, for he hopped off the gate and waddled back to the apple tree to guzzle some of the seed dropped from feeders by his smaller winged brethren. Matchgirl and I attempted more sleep.

This being another hot, sunny day (interspersed with brief monsoons) Matchgirl and I made the most of it with a healthy Black Isle walk. The sun also stirred some jungly urges inside Spider who took her longest stroll so far from the doorway of The Rural Retreat – so far that on her return she had to lie down for a while. She must have forgotten that she's an old cat.

Marten 20

Bess, who accompanied us at a distance like a teenager unwilling to be seen with the family, was clearly unimpressed by the lack of stamina; when we returned to the cottage, where Spider flopped beneath the dining table, Bess stayed outside to stroll some more and affirm her status as alpha cat.

The weather clearly had an effect on pine martens too, for Master Marten arrived at the unprecedentedly early time of 7.15 this evening. His Nutella was already served but I'd not yet put his egg by the gate, not wanting it to boil in the sun, so he had to go without.

His arrival coincided with another shower, which combined with darker skies and my own ineptitude meant I've still not got the award-winning snap I desire, but if he continues to dine so early I'll have no excuse for not getting one eventually.

Marten 19

Splashes of what looked suspiciously like washed-out blood dotted his bib. It didn't appear to be his, so he must have had a proper meal before joining us for pudding.

When he'd gone we discovered that a very quiet Bess had watched him from her perch on the outside kitchen windowsill. Never forget that Master Marten is a trained killer.

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