Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Here’s a puzzle for you.

My cleaning woman was here yesterday morning – a wonderful Romanian friend of Helen’s, who hopes to resettle here. We have perhaps a dozen words in common, and manage fine. She and Helen speak Greek to each other. She left the kitchen window open a couple of inches.

While I was sitting with my husband in the hospital, I worried a bit about whether Perdita would wriggle out and fall to her death two stories (I prefer the American plural) below. She didn’t. She’s fine. But I found this on the kitchen floor when I got back:

Perdita refused to explain or even comment. I was afraid at first that I would find a dead or (far worse) a wounded bird somewhere in the house. We have had them in Strathardle. Amourous crows, trying to nest in the chimneys, have fallen into the wood-burning stoves and from there made their way into the house. You would think that could only happen once before the house-holder would get a grip and ensure that the doors of the stoves were closed upon departure, but we have had at least two such episodes. The damage and mess in the house was very considerable. Disposing of the corpse(s) of the bird(s), when discovered, was the least of it.

However, that didn’t happen here yesterday. Thank goodness.

I can only assume that a bird (a pigeon) sat on the windowsill and Perdita swiped it with a well-aimed paw.


I had another good day with the Uncia, five rows done, twelve remain. I could finish this weekend! It is a great comfort to reflect that finishing-finishing will be negligible. I joined in a new ball at one point, Perdita broke the yarn once. That’s not much in the way of loose ends. And I enjoy blocking.

I cast on some Kaffe Fassett Regia socks during the hospital visit. I am tempted to buy more sock wool – there are lots of wonderful things out there. But sock-knitting will end abruptly when my husband comes home, and that could be any day now.

Heidi Schultz’ “Devil’s Slide” shawl pattern turned up in my “Promotions” queue this morning, and I instantly added it to my Ravelry queue. Its appeal is much the same as that of the Tokyo shawl which I’ve already got, as far as bias-construction and comforting-drape is concerned, but I also love that flash of colour in the middle.


  1. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Oh dear, Jean. That's another one added to my ravelry queue. I've got just the perfect yarn to use. But Christmas knitting must be finished first....... Liz Phillips

  2. Pigeon feathers come out very easily, and they look he right sort of shape and colour for off a pigeon's flank. I guess it will not be sitting on your windowsill again, and haven't you got an enterprising cat.

  3. One of my cats brought in a live starling a few years ago. I wasn't here at the time but apparently it was quite a chase when the starling got loose given that both cats, my two children (under 10) and my husband were all trying to catch it. Eventually my husband managed to chase it out a window though as it only had about three feathers left it wouldn't have lasted long. I still find starling feathers in the Christmas decorations every year.

  4. Perdita is a star kitty! She is very smart! I have a sweet kitty now and my husband is a fan of our Timothy. He is five months old, a grey tabby.
    I have so much new sock wool and I enjoy the little wooden DPNs. What needles do you use for sock knitting, Jean?

  5. I had a mourning dove in the third floor a month or so ago. Seemed like a young one, but I still have no idea how it got in. There was a smallish gap between window and screen, it could have wriggled through but it took some doing, I'm sure.

  6. We had a bat in the bedroom last week. Doors and windows were closed but for the small hole at the bottom of the screen door for the cats. The bat was resting on the wall. I opened the door to the deck, closed the other door and it was gone an hour later.
    That was our second bat in the bedroom.
    We once had a rattlesnake in our bathroom. That was a story for the ages!

  7. i would be careful indeed about the size of the window opening. cats can squeeze thru the most amazingly small spaces.

    do you have a screen on that window (are there screens in Scotland?) if not, then how about opening the top window down? or is it too high (with a ladder perhaps?) to let some air in.

    or i would chose another window that is more 'cat proofable' or unattainable by her jumping up.

    in the states you can buy 'portable screens' about 12-18 inches high and adjustable widths so that you can fit them in the window to keep it open with out letting various birds, etc enter.

    i have always had at least one and usually several windows cracked a bit even in very cold weather.. i cant stand being in a sealed environment so always have it at home. (at work i sit in a windowless office with no fresh air and no natural light. it is hot and depressing).

    all my windows have screens and storm windows, so i lift the storm a few inches and lower the screen - my two cats each have their own window .. one in the front one on the side - and will sit for hours.