En promenade with Trixie

Trixie is not the kind of cat that shows much interest in people. She is very vocal, but that’s telling people what she wants, not an attempt at meaningful conversation. The only time she was known to allow anyone to pick her up and not protest was when she was an abandoned kitten and was looking for a home daft enough to take her in. Her behaviour has changed quite a lot since we’ve been here. Not that she purrs or sits on your lap or anything demeaning like that, but she has developed a taste for going walkies. Every afternoon she comes with me, or me and Finbar on a stroll around the property. It’s two hectares so it makes a reasonable stroll for a cat.

I set off down towards the stream, and Trixie follows.

Trixie begins

She knows the path

She knows the routine

We meet one of the noisy critters that chuckles all night. It thinks we can’t see it, but the water in this bit of the ditch is only about half an inch deep.


Come on Trixie

We inspect the deer damage. This is supposed to be what happens when they rub their horns against trees, but since they do it systematically to the young saplings, I wonder if it’s not that they are eating the bark.

Deer damage

Trixie takes the lead along the hedge. She inspects the animal runs while I take pics of the orchids.

Trixie ahead

There are only a few serapias in our meadow, but the one at the other side of the hedge has masses of them. This one appears to have a bee stuck in it.

Sarapia orchid

There are hundreds of bee orchids

Bee orchids

and a big clump of these that look like birds’ nest orchids, but since they are rare and grow mainly in pine woods, I wouldn’t swear to it.

Birds' nest orchids

Looking across to the house. The pink flower is a pyramid orchid of which there are hundreds. We’ve noticed that the people round here leave these orchids standing when they mow their lawns. I wonder if there isn’t some local legend about them.

Meadow high

A very old blackthorn with sloe berries forming

very old blackthorn

Fig and walnut trees in the patch that was the old kitchen garden

Fig and walnut

A bit of the massive vine that we are liberating from the brambles


The next section is where the grass snake lives and I don’t like to hang about. It is very large and it hisses. Then there are the oak tree where squirrels live and both Trixie and Finbar are very keen to get at, so I carry Trixie, protesting vociferously until we get to the poplars and the black locust tree.

Home again

Home again.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “En promenade with Trixie”

    1. Trixie is a funny cat, but then they all have their foibles. This has got to be quite a habit with her. She shouts for me to wait when she lags so far behind she loses sight of me.

    1. I love this place. At the moment we only walk around the edge of about a third of it. The plant life in places is at my shoulder height and I’m afraid of treading on things.

  1. Thanks for letting us come along on your walk! My cat also doesn’t like other people much, but she’s made an exception for me, and now wants to be on my lap or at least nearby almost all the time. Still, if we ever went outside, I can’t imagine her walking alongside me. She’d zip right off, I’m afraid!

    1. We’ve had Trixie since she was about five months old. Son had gone to the primary school to pick up his little sister and Trixie wailed at them as they were on their way home. She followed them, wailing her head off, across the main road and along a busy boulevard. She followed them inside the house, needless to say. She never set paw in the street from then on.

      1. Yes, I think she’s been pleased with her humans. Though she complains a lot and growls and hisses horribly if you try to get her to do something she doesn’t want to, or even just pick her up, she’s never scratched anyone.

    1. I’d have photographed it if I’d had a camera ready, but I was hanging onto Finbar’s lead and a bit uneasy myself. I didn’t realise grass snakes were so big!

  2. Another cat who likes going on walks with her human! It’s quite rare. Mine also decided on her own to come with when I went out. I think it’s also the environment – the space of nature. She also used to be a stray and I now wonder whether that has something to do with it too? Born into a sense for adventure? That’s where the comparison ends. Charlie loves to be picked up and cuddled, sits on my lap at every opportunity, sleeps close next to me and wants to play all day long. I have to insist on private and working time.

    I gawked at the ‘hundreds of orchids!’ There’s none here where I live but for cultivated ones in people’s gardens.

    1. I think we’re lucky to live in an environment that is technically rural, but the holdings are so tiny all the farmers have day jobs and don’t bother with the pieces of land that are difficult to get at. Since it’s quite hilly there are lots of valleys that aren’t worth their while cultivating. The old couple who had this place before us only ever had four or five cows that they sold when they retired. The meadow has possibly never been cultivated so it’s just a mass of wild flowers.
      The other cat, the little one with issues never ventures further than the front doorstep. She spends her time catching lizards in the attic. It’s safer ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. If you can get hold of the book: Particularly Cats and Rufus the Survivor by Doris Lessing – highly recommended! A non-fictional account of her encounters with cats over many years.

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