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.


Of Moggies And Motors

by admin - 21:45 on 06 October 2012

Cats and leads go together like fish and bicycles – but never say never.

Incomplete inoculations, lack of spaying and an absolute unwillingness to obey commands mean that although The Fearless Ones are eager to join Maia on her outdoor jaunts, the risk of releasing them uncontrolled is too great.

So today Matchgirl splashed out some of her hard-earned money on two kitten-sized harnesses and leads.

Willow, although just as perky as her sister, allowed her new day-wear to be fitted and adjusted with little complaint; Pandora was less compliant but despite much wriggling and struggling was eventually all togged up for a walk in the garden.

Maia (who has not yet suffered the indignity of the upturned lampshade) remains cautious about her expeditions. Not so the kittens, especially Pandora who wanted to explore everywhere, usually at high speed. After a while, both gravitated towards Tess's willow tree where they proved that climbing comes naturally, even when hindered by leads and anxious carers. Set an example, Maia joined in too, although with care and on much lower branches. The Fearless Ones, if allowed, would have ventured as high as possible on every rickety limb. Kittens don't care.

Both had to be carried back indoors for their tea because they had no intention of ending their fun. More walks will take place soon, although the duo may have to stay indoors early next week: Matchgirl returns to Shetland tomorrow and the challenge of keeping two over-excited kittens untangled could be too daunting for me.

And is it mere coincidence that a buzzard has taken up sentry duty atop a pole just across the road from The Rural Retreat? I'd hate Matchgirl to return and learn that her darlings had become a hawk's lunch.

There was further excitement today when Matchgirl and I resumed our search for a new car. I had a Ford Focus in mind, as Macrae and Dick in Inverness have several Focii on its website, but before we got there we took a quick look at Hawco, Matchgirl seeing me as a Golf driver.

However, almost lost among the ranks of VWs and Audis was a lone Seat Leon. We tried him for size; we went away; we sat in a Focus; we came back; we took a test drive. It was fate.

So on Friday, a little over three years since the death of Señor Seat, I will become the new owner of a silver, six-year-old, 1.6 litre, petrol-engined, five-door Stylance model with one previous owner who drove less that 6,500 miles a year and allowed only a few scuffs and scratches to mar the paintwork. A bargain.

One thing's for sure – Son of Seat, El Niño, or Seat Junior (I'm undecided) – will be locked every night. Either that or attack kittens attached to his door handles by their leads.

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