Archive | February, 2011

Waggledance, Dance, Waggledance

26 Feb

These two old beehives stand in the grounds of the manor up the lane. I don’t know whose they are or how long they’ve been there, but they seem to be empty. I quite fancy myself as a beekeeper, and am half-tempted to ask if I may fill them with honeybees. Of course, I would need someone to tend them when I’m away or ill, and for some reason, Bunty is too fearful of stingy insects to do it. Any takers?

Fearful he may be, but also fond. Bunty once wrote this poem for me:


Bees the, the, the bees

Buzz around buzz-buzz me buzz on me

Tales telling Tintagel to of me

Quiet lie I here, under waiting

Betwixt watching and tasting

Waggledance, dance, waggledance, dance, waggledance

Dilly-dally dally-dilly-O

Tomorrow yet and yet tomorrow goes

Dilly-dally dally-dilly-O

Waggledance, dance, waggledance, dance, waggledance

Never Send a Taxi to Brigadoon

23 Feb

Brigadoon is a Scottish village that appears once every hundred years, and the rest of the time is unfindable. They say it’s fictional, but that’s a lie, because I live there. I know this because everyone who tries to find our home gets lost. Our hamlet is not on the map. If you use a GPS, you’ll end up somewhere completely different. Giving directions is a dead loss, because we’re not specifically anywhere: we’re on the way to various places, and scattered among fields. It’s so spread out that any visitors who make it to our door are forgiven for thinking we have no neighbours at all.

Now, as Sod’s Law would have it, our rustbucket of a car fell to bits a fortnight ago, leaving us with a motorbike to get around on. Inevitably, our pets chose this period to fall to bits themselves, necessitating five veterinary consultations over the past nine days. Obviously, I  had to rely on taxis to get me to my appointments on time. You see the problem. They got lost, didn’t they. Every single one of them.

I developed a little routine. I’d book them to arrive fifteen minutes earlier than I needed them. Then when they were ten minutes late, I phoned them up and let them know I knew they were lost, and talked them through their journey to reach us. One taxi company sent three different drivers before one finally happened on our house by accident: he had parked beside it to look at a map, got confused, then knocked on our door to ask for directions.

The last-minute kerfuffle of directing drivers and ushering animals into pet carriers meant I kept forgetting my camera. I wanted to show you photos of Broccles (rabbit) and Twogoose (guinea pig) visiting the surgery. It was Broccles who required the most visits, bless him. His damaged eye had needed an examination and three check-ups. The injury is healed now, but it’s uncertain if he’ll ever regain full vision in that eye. As for Twogoose, the vet reassured me that I am Doing Everything Right for his dodgy bottom.

Here’s  Broccles sharing his post-eye-medicine treat with his best chum Colin.

The Wrong Cat Food

22 Feb

This is Monkey: a cat betrayed by the humans who love her best.

It’s the pet shop woman who’s ultimately to blame. She told us that dry cat food with a high meat content is nutritious, great for their teeth, and more slimming than the stuff we had been buying them. Sure, it’s ten times more expensive, but she said it practically pays for itself.

And it actually did. The cats loved their new kibble, yet were satiated faster and for longer than on their previous food. They only needed a tiny bit each day. Monkey started shedding her flab and looking as svelte as she had in her adolescence. Pochi, who had been underweight, got heavier.

The change, however, led to diarrhoea. The pet shop was running an offer on sachets of uber-posh high-meat-content moist cat food, so Bunty picked up a few and gave one to the cats. The diarrhoea disappeared.  So did their liking for the kibble. Now all they wanted was the sachets.

Bunty gave them what they asked for. Their appetite for the stuff was insatiable. They polished it off in no time at all, and Bunty went out to buy more. The offer had ended on the uber-posh stuff, so Bunty bought a shedload of Felix sachets for them. Felix is sort of posh.

Having yowled at us for twenty minutes this morning to wake up and feed them, they each took one bite of their breakfast Felix, decided it wasn’t food, and continued to yowl.

They are now on hunger strike, and we have 95 sachets of Felix to get through.