Black cats

Ninj3

This critter is our Little Cat. She’s the one with problems. We found her in the street outside when she was tiny, had hardly any fur, was full of worms, with a ruptured bowel, and suffering from acute malnutrition that affected her motricity and sense of balance. She had two operations on her bowel, which seem to have been more or less successful except for a bit of incontinence. The eczema is chronic and periodically, her fur still drops out. All of it, right up to her shoulders.

As you can see from the weird position of that back leg, she has difficulty managing four limbs. Her legs don’t bend in the right places so she plods, flat-footed and very noisily and extremely un-cat like. Because she has lost her sense of balance, she falls out of windows, off walls and out of trees. For the first couple of years we had her, she wasn’t allowed outside because we were afraid she would fall into the neighbour’s garden and be eaten by the German Shepherd. So we kept her indoors and she fell out of the second floor windows instead.

I thought I’d post a pic of her while her fur, if not luxuriant, is at least present and covers most of her. Her expression baffles me. It’s a world-weary, leave me alone-type of expression, which I don’t think is intentional. She’s a sweet-natured little thing, absolutely fearless (which we can probably put down to some kind of brain damage), and terribly destructive.

Her name is officially Nina, sometimes Ninja, after her habit of rolling off window ledges, Ploddy or Scabby, for obvious reasons. She doesn’t respond to any name, so I’m guessing we haven’t discovered it yet.

The one below is Trixie. The Boss. Nuff said.

Trix8

 

May 8 Victory in Europe Day

(Crédit photo : Eric FEFERBERG / AFP)

filleok_reference

Well, Le Pen was well and truly trounced in Bordeaux with a whopping 86% for Emmanuel Macron. There were no spontaneous celebrations, unlike when François Hollande was elected, but civic duty had been done to block the unpalatable FN. Bordeaux is typical of one of the many French Paradoxes. It has a reputation for being snooty and bourgeois, it has some very snooty neighbourhoods and a lot of ‘old’ money whispering around. Yet it votes left in all the elections, and just to be contrary, votes without fail for a right-wing mayor.

Whatever you think of the liberal policies Macron will no doubt try to introduce, he actually does have an idea of economics and has more than the simplistic ‘It’s the fault of the immigrants’ reply to every question. But nothing is less certain that, just because the French voted for Macron as president, they will vote his way in the legislative elections next month. Some call it keeping a balance. Others call it utter chaos. This is France, so don’t imagine that the FN will roll over and die. And expect Jean-Luc Mélenchon to get back in the saddle and bring the young people out on the streets behind his far left party. The fun isn’t over yet.

Microfiction: Gardening

In the pot with the dead primula, something was poking through the withered leaves, not a single shoot, more like a brush sprouting.

I rescued the living thing from the pot full of death and flinched away from what lay on the trowel—no healthy root, but a clump of brown pods like pomegranate seeds emerged, dense and shiny, chitin-like, a colony about to hatch. The mass quivered. Was it the breeze? My trembling hand? I hesitated between destroying the thing and curiosity. Curiosity won.

I have put it in a pot in isolation at the end of the path, away from the flowers. I inspect it every day, watch the brush bristles shove higher, purplish brown, awkward-looking, thrusting in different directions. Today, small, flat leaves opened. Like hands waving. In thanks, or in threat?

New toy

Some of you may remember that a couple of years ago I bought my first ever mobile phone, a little Wiko Goa. It was tiny but it did the job, and it had a camera that I was thrilled to bits with. When it liked the lighting, it took gorgeous photos. Unfortunately, in June of last year it stopped receiving emails, and sending me the photos it took was taking days, literally. it got very possessive of its pics and in the end, refused to part with them at all. So I treated myself to a new phone, an ultra cheap Chinese phone but which claims to have a super camera.

I’ve had it for a fortnight now, and tried out the camera during the freezing cold miserable weather we’ve been having. I was a bit disappointed with the result; everything looked over-exposed. However, on fiddling about with it this morning, I discovered I’d had the flash turned on all the time, and it actually takes pretty good photos for a €60 phone.

These are the photos I took this morning.

Sky fish

morningskyfish

Every time I stop, Finbar jumps over the parapet. Even though the tide is coming in, it’s not the moment to fall in.

riverdog

Pont de Pierre east-facing.

bridge

Pont de Pierre shady side.  bridge2

A new aim in life

It’s seven years since we adopted Finbar. For seven years he has lived in town; his domain is bounded by the garden and stops at the front door. Every morning he has to be forced out of the house to go for a walk which isn’t a city pavement walk, it’s along the river and through the gardens where he has a whole pack of friends. Still, he has to be dragged out, trembling, because he’s afraid I won’t bring him back again. Now he has discovered Tamberlan, the farm named for some very mysterious reason after the Mogul emperor of Marlowe’s play.

Finbar now has a lot of meadow to call his own, and a small road that luckily only sees about six cars a day go past and a few walkers at the weekend. Because he has to charge over to them, barking just to let them know who’s field this is, and I have to go out and apologise. It’s a great way to meet people.

guraddog1

So now, he wants to be outside all the time, and when I say, time to go inside…

guarddog2

Nightmare trip

Just thought I’d post this to show how weird imaginations run in families. At supper this evening, son told us the very vivid dream he had last night in which Trixie (fat black antisocial cat) was killed when the Zeppelin she was piloting crashed. Pilot error was not at fault. She had been targeted by Sir Ian McKellan who, for some obscure reason, was after her blood and had her shot down. She was last sighted scuttling into the galley as the Zeppelin went down in flames.

I don’t somehow think I shall be working this into a story. If you want to use it, feel free. And good luck.Trix8