Well, to recap on the animal front – when I came to France I had never had an animal in my life – I had a son but it’s not quite the same!
Shortly after I arrived, Winston the stray turned up, then Churchill the German Pinscher and not long after that Ella Fitzgerald the spaniel who became a German Shepherd dog. We thought that was it but then ‘Enry Cooper arrived on our doorstep and he was so sweet and tiny we couldn’t resist another kitten. A year later we found a stray dog in our road who was starving and terrified and Frank Bruno entered our lives and we said “that really is it – no more”.
The trouble with saying no more is that when a couple more stray kittens turn up, all your resolve melts away and that’s exactly what happened when Millie and Loulou arrived. They were lovely little kittens, Loulou wasn’t particularly friendly – she’d been living outside in a barn since she was born and was a bit wary. Millie on the other hand had been reared by two little girls who couldn’t keep her and she was the friendliest little kitten ever. That turned out to be her downfall though. We kept them in for a couple of months til we were sure they knew where they lived and were old enough to fend for themselves outside. All was well for a few weeks and then one day Millie didn’t come home and has never been seen since. We think her friendly nature probably meant that someone took a shine to her somewhere and we just hope she went to a good home.
Loulou has become the most loving of all our cats, she squeaks all day long, is greedy and affectionate and has even won over mean old Winston who hates everyone – although at first he wouldn’t come in the house as he didn’t like her.
Loulou, Enry Cooper and Winston sleep in little cat beds in the utility room at night. We used to leave them all in the house to roam when we went to bed but Loulou and Enry Cooper would play all night and knock things over waking the dogs and causing a frenzy, so they were relegated to the utility room.
As the grand old man Winston was allowed to stay in the main house. However as he’s got older he’s got weirder and sometimes won’t use a littler tray and since he one morning decided to leave a very distinct, steaming message for me outside my bedroom door he too is in the utility room.
It’s been 8 months since we last got an animal (not including chickens and chicks). We temporarily had a little spaniel which followed us home after we walked the dogs but she ran away and we are feeding a stray ginger cat from time to time.
We’ve stopped saying never though!A bientôt Janine