When a cat moves abroad

Oh I am sorry!

Yesterday flashed by and I didn’t write here.

We got back from Portsmouth at 5am. Slept till about 11am and then drifted around in a woozy dream. About 8pm we decided to have another sleep and although I intended to get up again and write a post – I didn’t wake again until 6am this morning.

However, I did take photos yesterday of Phoenix’ first day in Cornwall.

P1100137How does a cat behave when exploring a new home?

She drops to the ground if there is an unfamiliar sound

P1100121She explores in ever-increasing circles from the safe base of home

P1100124She seeks out camouflage

P1100132 She gets up high to gain perspective

P1100141She uses her special  abilities – such as walking down a vertical surface

P1100142She is balanced and poised at all timesP1100143  Then at the end of the day, she finds the best place to sleep

ImageShe has been travelling for four days. Mostly in the car but also in a private cabin on the crossing from Le Havre to Portsmouth.

Phoenix was a street kitten in a small village in Catalunya. She was managing by herself by the time she was 6 weeks old, sleeping in car engines and eating what she could find.

P1090549Now her new life starts in Dolphin Cottage.  Country smells, birds chatter, the feel of the breeze in her fur and a huge expanse of green land to explore.  This is to be her new queendom.

She is used to wearing the harness – it only took a little time and patience to get her to feel comfortable with it and this made her journey and her first steps outdoors easier and more relaxed for all concerned.

She’s a good reminder that no matter how your life begins – wonderful things can happen. And surprises are always just around the corner.

When you face a new life remember the advice of a travelling cat

1. Keep close to the ground

2. Explore in ever-increasing circles

3. Try to blend in with your surroundings

4. Get up high to survey the area

5. Use your special powers

6. Keep balanced and centred at all times

7. Get enough healing sleep!


Till tomorrow my friends!


Virtual Vermut

It’s blowing a gale outside and is definitely the night to sit in front of the fire and have a drink and a chat with a friend.   I am here with the fire and the vermut – actually red wine –  I can even offer you mince pies…… and hopefully you are here too for the chat?   (Thank you Bodhi Chicklet for keeping the glasses full in my absence!)

The room is quite empty now as you can see. I have brought in a garden table and on the top you can see two envelopes full of old postcards which sold on ebay today anda spiral notepad containing everything I need to remember while organising the move
If you were here I could show you Blue’s new ramp which arrived this morning and which thankfully seems to be all that was promised in the advertisment

Light, strong, wide, non slip and most important of all, acceptable to Blue. It is a Solvit ultralite bought from Easy Animal who have a freephone advice service and I would highly recommend them.
I could also take you outside when the rain stops to show you the cabin we were working on all summer

I’ve been up there today trying to sort out old diaries and deciding which ones to burn.  I never thought I would do this but actually I am tired of heaving them around with me and am not sure I would want anyone else to read them.  Along the outside wall are a selection of my sculptures. I am amazed at how many there are and how small they seem when put outside.

I went to an auction today to watch some of my things flying out of the room for very low prices – it could be disheartening but I am well beyond the point of caring. All I want to do is get this house empty and I am still fighting with the little stuff which I neither want to keep nor throw away.
I stare at it and wish it would just dissolve. If you were here perhaps you could take it away?

Two very good friends came all the way down to Cornwall from Suffolk last weekend. They even brought their own bed!  Both the dogs loved having familiar people staying and spent the nights guarding their room to make sure they too didn’t disappear

But sadly on Sunday they did and so we three are here again, listening to the wind rattling the letterbox and counting the days till next Monday when we set off.
My old house is changing – it still feels like a safe cocoon but the time is coming to let it go for a while and stretch my wings and fly. Think of the swallows who were born this year in my garage – one day they flew around and around the field and then….they climbed higher and higher, set their compass to south and trusted themselves to the air.


Today is a very sad day. My old cat – a beautiful ginger angel called Dandelion – died. It was sudden, or rather it wasn’t expected. He was over 17 but a gentle giant with a huge heart and still totally in charge of the house and gardens. Only last week he saw off a neighbours cat with fierce yowls and a commanding presence. He died today after only 24 hours of seeming poorly. He had rarely been off the land, always protecting his family and his patch and perhaps twice taking the trip to Penzance to the vet where he behaved with impeccable manners as always. He was the sort of cat who would open his mouth for pills if they were deemed necessary. He never used a litter tray in his life preferring to go outside whatever the weather and however he might be feeling.
He arrived here 15 years ago on a stormy night in November. Blue was a puppy and she sounded the alarm – CAT IN DISTRESS!!!   Outside high in the branches of a hawthorn tree was perched a ginger cat meowing for help. Once inside the house he quickly settled down to eat and sleep and never left again.
Many people have known and loved him, seen him for the special soul that he was and come to pay homage. One friend named him the Dalai De Mandolin. Like all beloved creatures he had many secret names, whispered into his soft red fur as he purred his pleasure and gave back love.
He never scratched or hurt a human. He could attack an invading dog or cat but when two new kittens joined the household 12 years ago he allowed himself one soft growl and then took them under his wing. He had always been a rabbit hunter and with two more mouths to feed and young ones to initiate, his daily kills trebled in number. We had to fit new doors to the porch to avoid waking every morning to more gory gifts.
Today he lay in peaceful calm and took his last journey asking only for our companionship. He didn’t need help – he knew what to do and a couple of hours after padding into a dark and cool clothes cupboard, he was gone.
A writer called Derek Tangye used to live near my house in Cornwall and he once told me that when big changes are happening in your life, sometimes your animals chose not to come with you along the new road. He believed that they know when is the time to arrive and when to leave. and if we trust them and don’t get in their way, they will follow their instincts quite naturally.

So here I am, in my empty zen house, preparing to move my life south to Catalunya, and saying goodbye and thank you to a great lion of a cat whose spirit is now roaming free.  Who knows where he will turn up next or who he will be? Dandelion – I will be looking out for you.