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
by admin - 21:15 on 05 September 2012
Squirrel James has never kept the location of his favourite reds a secret from me, but inertia (and laziness) meant that I've made little effort to make use of the information – not impressive for a would-be wildlife snapper.
So it was good that Soo and Tony are up from The Broad Acres, on holiday and desperate to see a red squirrel at close quarters.
Today was the day when we visited squirrel central, somewhere on the Black Isle, and were rewarded with a sighting only ten minutes after putting out peanuts and settling down to wait. Our stealthy subject descended from a leafy treetop and for maybe fifteen minutes we watched him scamper, eat and pose before dropping to the ground to disappear in a rustle of heather.
My snaps are not the sharpest, and the light could have been better, but I managed enough pleasing results to inspire me to return in search of better ones – after all, daylight martens are no more for another year so red squirrels would be a fine substitute, even if I can't see them from That Bloody Window.
We returned to The Rural Retreat where Matchgirl was still fuming following the visit by Cats Protection's officious Alness branch home examiner. You can read Matchgirl's complete rant on her blog.
The Inverness SSPCA was much friendlier when we visited a couple of hours later. We left undecided (well, I did) but consensus was reached after a short discussion: tomorrow, Matchgirl will stake her claim to the black cat she fell in love with yesterday and ask to bring her into our household on Friday. She'll also ask for the grey kittens to be given to us when they're old enough to leave the cattery in two or three weeks.
This means that tomorrow will be a busy day for Matchgirl: new cat baskets, toys and litter must be bought. A better name for the black mog must also be chosen – Matchgirl's not impressed with the moniker imposed on her by the SSPCA. Suggestions are welcome.
All this excitement, it must be stressed, doesn't mean that memories of Tess are fading. There were a few Matchgirl tears today and there are certain to be more in the future. Tess won't be forgotten.
Great news about the cat too. Looking forward to meeting her.
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