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.


Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?

by admin - 23:22 on 07 August 2010

One of the pleasures of feline pet-keeping is knowledge of the secret life they can lead. I'm not talking about Spider, here – she's an open book – but much of Bess's existence passes independent of her alleged owners.

As was demonstrated today...

Matchgirl and I spent a convivial night in Dunvegan on Skye where I enjoyed my annual reunion with old friend Shirley and her husband Jerry who'd travelled from the depths of Essex to recharge their batteries in the Highlands.

With them were two other Essex couples, making the most of their friends' hospitality, so a jolly time was had by all – as testified by the number of empties cleared away next morning.

We could have stayed a second night, at risk of liver damage, but Matchgirl was reluctant to leave the resident moggies alone for two nights, even though Uncle James had volunteered to perform feeding and cat litter duties, so we left as soon as we were capable (about noon) and arrived back at The Rural Retreat three hours later.

Common Lizard 7

One of the clan MacPrescott was at the gatepost to greet us, as was a vociferous Spider inside the cottage, but Bess was conspicuous by her absence.

After an hour of calling, Matchgirl reached panic point – this was too reminiscent of the beginning of the mog's Near Death Experience last year. We checked again inside the Retreat's boundaries, then widened the search to her regular haunts outside, then to anywhere else we could think of.

No sign. Matchgirl was distraught.

But we had another appointment on our hectic social calendar to keep, so while she got ready upstairs I sat on the sofa and watched the garden through the open door. Which was when the stop-out ambled into view – if she'd been a man she'd have been dressed in slacks and Hush Puppies, a blazer slung over her shoulder and a Panama hat on her head. Life is cool, her expression suggested.

She did become more animated when a well-filled bowl was put in front of her, which she scoffed regardless of Matchgirl's relieved petting. Cats have their priorities.

Where she'd been is a mystery and will probably remain so. Had she been out of earshot? Had she ignored us in a sulk that we'd left her alone overnight with Spider? We'll never know.

So what could have been a strained evening out with Matchgirl's friends Griff and Lou ended up as jolly as the previous one. It began on the patio of their home near Moniack – a gaff even more palatial than Dee's mansion in the Borders – where gossip was exchanged and the view across the fields to distant Ben Wyvis was admired, then moved indoors to the conservatory for food, drink and Griff's extensive CD collection.

Most relaxing – especially as, being the designated driver, I was excused alcohol for the evening, which wasn't the hardship the others seemed to think it was. The drouths.

Bess had gone walkabout again when we returned to our humble abode, although Matchgirl was more relaxed about the absence; her head was too full of lust for her own multi-bedroomed mansion, complete with extensive grounds and sit-on lawnmower, to worry about cats.

Me? I'm happy with the rustic charm of The Rural Retreat.

Special Attention

The returned wanderer receives special attention from camera-shy Matchgirl. The gatepost that's the home of Clan MacPrescott can be seen at the bottom of the drive.

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