I guess a new bucket would have solved his problem but then he’d have had no song. Just as shutters would solve the problem of the window through which dawn shines and wakes us up (or did in summer). We can’t close the door or the cat scratches it. Put the cat downstairs? There’s a dog down there, put the cat out then… Australians don’t do that, it protects the possums (but there aren’t any possums in France? The French let their cats out at night… need I say more).
It began with a birthday present. Wallace (and Grommet RIP) were given as kittens for Delia’s birthday. Then, in the windswept wilds of Worksop, it was a no-brainer to keep them in the kitchen at night. The same in suburban Worksop, then on to the leafy lanes of Lindfield (in Sussex not Sydney). Breaking the combined chains of commuting and the dragging debt of mortgage, moved cat and us to France. Initially all captive in a cave of a gîte but then to the delightful Chez Nous of Beaulieu the pattern of kitchen confinement for the cat was broken (singular now, via demise of two companion cats). And then along came dog and we had to institute apartheid, at least at night. Siena downstairs, Wallace upstairs.
All settled until we went on a short break and (dog in kennels) Wallace had the run of the house but not to the outside. This worked well, friend visited to feed him and he enjoyed sleeping in our bed (Wallace, not the friend… as far as we know that is). Coming home and Wallace now accustomed to greater comfort would scratch at the bedroom door. Now Wallace had been through the thick and thin of moving hither and thither with us and Delia felt he deserved consideration. So the bedroom door gets left open for him and, hence, with the unshuttered window, dawn wakes us.
Or it did in Summer. Now, dawn is a pleasant way of telling us (well, me at least as I blunder shut-eyed to the loo) that, there being a glimmer of light through my eyelids that it is 7.30 and so time to get up anyway. This is of course getting later and before Christmas arrives I expect this glimmer will indicate 8am or even 8.30. I guess as spring arrives and dawn reverts to her habits of an annoyingly early morning nature something will have to be done. Shutters are possible, blinds are cheaper but difficult to fit with the way the window is, if it was straightforward, I’d already have done it!
Sitting here I can hear scuttling something(s) in the loft. A neighbour had talked of a problem with loirs (initially I heard loi which means law and led me down a whole different conversation until I figured out he meant loirs- some kind of animal in his loft). Wikipaedia tells us that it is a dormouse (Gris Gris or Loir Gris, not sure which but since the first is an edible dormouse and is protected, lets assume Loir the ordinary dormouse). Anyway, mouse traps were triggered but nothing caught – these things are quite big nearly rat sized (incredibly cute with a squirrel like bushy tail but they do eat electrical wiring apparently). So we have a rat trap on order from ebay (they are sold locally but are pretty expensive). There’s a whole different tale of folding loft ladder collapsing as I check the traps but, as I said that’s another story.
However as I sit here listening to the scuttling, there’s also a distinctive fluttering. It’s definitely a bird; either that of our loft is becoming a whole new ecosystem. And I know what’s going through your minds kill two birds (or bird and dormouse?) with one cat? No, I am not putting Wallace in the loft at night!