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.


Wildcats And Wild Cats

by admin - 20:30 on 14 August 2013

The book fair in which I participated at the weekend – an offshoot of the Inverness Book Festival – was a great disappointment, the low number of customers mirroring modest attendance at most of the festival events. That the most well known speaker was Roy Hattersley probably says it all.

However, there was a very silver lining – my discovery on a fellow stallholder's shelves of a volume entitled Wildcat Haven, by Mike Tomkies, published in 1987 as an omnibus of two earlier books: My Wilderness Wildcats and Liane, a Cat from the Wild. It describes how he raised and bred wildcats at his remote Highland cottage.

The book is great reading, and I hoped I'd rediscovered a forgotten writer, but Google revealed that Tomkies is still known, respected and alive. It also revealed that his mystery cottage was by Loch Shiel (he no longer lives there) and that several of his books are now published by Whittles in Caithness. I suspect that my collection will grow.

The Rural Retreat's own wild cats had a busy day today, especially Willow who began it by bringing in an ex-shrew to play with under the dining table. Later in the day I rescued, unharmed, a common lizard. A few hours later I spotted her pursuing a small brown streak across the lawn and rescued another shrew.

Maia concluded the day's hunting by carrying in yet another shrew which escaped into the jumble of shoes, boots and forgotten bike gear that's kept beneath the stairs. Willow had much fun searching but failed to find anything. Maia just watched, bemused by the activity and the instinct that had driven her to catch it in the first place despite her desire for a quiet life. And lots of immobile food.

What Pandora was up to in the garden is anyone's guess but it probably wasn't nice.

Kittens 18.jpg

The Fearless Ones up to no good at the top of the lane today

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