Thursday, June 29, 2017

It’s another pretty dismal-looking day.

Joni (comment yesterday),  you solved the mail problem. I keep forgetting that I use googlemail on my iPad, accessed through Safari – but that the machine itself prefers its own mail app. There I found the Northmavine Hap. Here it is:

That picture was taken 24 hours ago. I’m not much further on – the rows are long. I counted stitches when I had officially finished the fourth repeat, and was surprised to find myself two stitches short. I am currently engaged in the first pattern row of the new repeat. Something is slightly awry.


I took Archie and his brother Mungo to lunch yesterday at Wahaca. We had a nice time. If I had hoped to learn anything about university life in Lancaster or Oxford, I failed. The conversation largely demonstrated to me how little I know about contemporary life anywhere.

There was a moment – Mungo told of visiting an Oxford friend at home on a newly-built estate in conditions of what seemed to him like preposterous wealth. (And Mungo has Greek friends who have demonstrated to him what preposterous wealth looks like.) His friend’s father had something to do with a hedge fund, Mungo said.

I said, “Bernie Madoff must have lived like that.”

And they, for once, didn’t know who I was talking about.

Helen and I are thinking of going to Strathardle this weekend. What about the cat? I want to take her there, and introduce her to freedom. But Helen has a dog. He is a very amiable dog, who pays no attention to Perdita when he is here. She pays little to him, although she is wary. But I feel his presence will add to the stress of strangeness for her.

I am sorry to have given the wrong impression in my reference to the cat yesterday. I love her dearly, and value her company – but am beginning to realise that she is almost as much of a responsibility as my husband was. I can at least go out during the day, if I can face that reproachful furry face at the inner glass door when I get home. 


  1. Would you consider boarding Perdita for the weekend? A quick Google search has shown me that there are a few Cattery options near to you. I quite like the look of Meadowhill, although it's a little outside the city. A good friend of mine runs a cat boarding facility here in Canada, and I was pleasantly surprised it was busy enough that she earns a living doing so. Even the most particular cat usually does well at a Cattery, in my friends' experience. Lots of interest and stimulation, all suited to the sensibilities of a cat.

    1. Oh! I've just found Catseye Cattery - lots of nice features: indoor/outdoor space for kitties, webcam viewing and a collection service.
      Even if boarding Perdita is not your thing, Jean, it's fun to look at the websites :-)

  2. Jean, when we traveled this last month we used a local service called Pet Nannies Plus. A gal came to meet the two cats before we left and then came in daily to feed them some canned wet food (otherwise we also had a feeder of hard food for them), fill their water bowls and clean their litter boxes. She also brought the mail in each day for us and piled it neatly on the table, that's the "plus" in the name, they do stuff like that as well. And she texted us pictures of them several times over the two weeks! There may well be services like that in Edinburgh. Our girls are always a bit miffed with us for a day or two when we get home but they quickly get over it. Your Perdita has been used to always having someone there recently, she will get used to you going out on a daily basis. Pets are as much of a responsibility as other humans! We always feel bad about leaving ours and miss them but have decided that we can't let them keep us from living our lives!

  3. I will be interested to read about your roadtrip from Thessaloniki and hope it happens so that you can write about it. I returned from two weeks in Thessaloniki yesterday (I grew up there) and the weather in Edinburgh today is not helping me adjust. My cat was looked after by someone who flew in especially to take care of him- not that he appreciated it.

  4. oh dear Perdita! as others commented, she will get used to being alone... unless you want to consider getting a wee kitten as her companion. i have always had two... even though the only pair that was very close was the mother daughter pair. my current pair abide each other but do not cuddle together. however they are also almost 10 so settling into middle age (or older in cat years?)

    i agree about seeing if there is someone who you could pay to come in and service Perdita... she may enjoy being home versus the strangeness and the dog of the trip. perhaps as time goes she will settle in. it has been rather hectic for you and her since she came to you... i would give her time to settle in to your new life as you are doing as well!

    hope the weather holds up for your juant

  5. I think having someone come in for the cats is better than boarding them; they get to have their familiar home and you get someone to keep an eye on things and bring in the mail. Once when we were traveling far from home the cat sitter called me to say the garbage disposal had sprung a leak and she had turned off the water so don't worry. So glad she was there.

  6. Sorry I don't live closer - although I am not a cat person I do take care of my next-door neighbor's cat when they are gone. However, I don't do litter boxes...

  7. =Tamar4:30 PM

    Just as an alternative to consider: It is theoretically possible to get one of those cat litter trays that automatically clean themselves (until the container has to be emptied). That plus an automatic feeder could take care of a weekend. However, some cats don't like them, so the gadgets would have to be tried out until the cat either adjusts or refuses, or perhaps the noise would be annoying.
    But something like that might make it easier to convince a potential pet-sitter to look in on Perdita and be company for her, without having to clean a cat box.

  8. As my cat aged, I decided to try a visiting carer. A teenager in the village had put up a card offering babysitting and I contacted them to enquire about cat care. A very polite young man turned up, speaking advanced RP - at boarding school during term-time - and I explained what had to be done with the litter tray. The look on his face was priceless. It worked out for the cat though.

  9. CatinaFlat?

  10. Glad I could help. I always forget when sending pictures from my iPhone that I not only have to send the pictures, I also have to open the mail app.

  11. My daughter in Melbourne has used the Australian version of Trusted House Sitters to take care of their beloved ancient dog.

    In exchange for staying in your home they take care of all sorts of things. This might be an option for the road trip. You often have several conversations or email exchanges before selecting the person or couple.

  12. Would your house cleaner be interested in a little side job while you are away? Can't remember if she was positively inclined toward the cat.

  13. Pets are a huge responsibility but I have decided that I'd rather stay home and not not go away than be without them.

    Jenny x