The move in September to the stone house has meant the loss of outdoor privilege for the three boy cats. We are too near the road to risk them outside.
Consequently, they've needed to find new ways to exercise.
Nellie enjoys vaulting to the top of the kitchen cabinets--the better to oversee you, my dears.
Bobby enjoys lounging on top of the fridge--reaching down to swipe at our heads when we
open the door.
Edward has helpful instincts, especially when household tasks involve water.
Here he offers to assist at dish washing.
The three boy cats have always had an affinity for water, wadding through puddles at our old home, happily stomping through wet places.
Nellie and Edward, and often their brother, Bobby, insist on taking showers with us.
Edward, perhaps because of nearly starving as a kitten, relishes his food.
He has become rather obese and definitely lazy.
Cat food isn't stored in this cupboard, but who knows, there might be something edible there.
Willis has claimed several spots at the farmhouse.
Once he has warmed through near the wood stove in the kitchen he can often be found reclining against a sofa cushion.
Sally is one of the tortie sisters brought to the old home a few months after we moved there.
Sally and her sister Sadie have always been 'barn cats' never interested in coming into the house.
They trolled through the gardens, followed us on errands in the barns.
When I moved them to the stone house, they lived for a month in the laundry room.
They spent four or five days--with Willis and Willow--in the washroom/entry at the Amish farmhouse.
When we carried them out to the barn, Sally promptly disappeared, although the other cats immediately settled into the small carriage barn and its environs.
Sadie and Willow explored the nearby brush pile, often appearing from among the heap of branches when I called them.
I called Sally also, but there was no sign of her.
After a month I reluctantly conceded that in her distress at being moved she had perhaps run away.
The other possibility--that she had been killed by a marauding wild animal--didn't bear consideration.
One day last week Jim went to the farm alone to move a trailer load of our belongings, while I stayed to ready the stone house for a showing.
He returned gleefully announcing that Sally had appeared--plump, sleek, and anxious to be noticed.
"I told you she would be back!"
When I went with him the next day, there was Sally in the train of cats coming from the barn to greet us. She was her former social self, pushing against my ankles, waiting to be petted.
How I wish she could tell me why she stayed hidden for so many days.
Charlie took to the new lodgings immediately.
He bustles about in his usual rather witless way--going in and out of the house whenever the door is opened. He fusses loudly, gets under foot.
Eventually, when he runs out of things to tell us, he curls up in a chair near the stove.
When I headed to the barn on Friday, Jim called after me, "Is Charlie in the rafters?"
It seems he had been up there the day before and Jim assumed he would come down. The barn is not a lofty building.
Charlie, who had apparently spent the night in the rafters, was happy to discuss the matter with us, but utterly refused to come down.
[Both Willis and Willow go up into the rafters, have a bit of a thinking session and come back down.]
Charlie sat and squalled.
Jim finally took pity on him, fetched the step ladder and climbed to Charlie's level.
At that, it was necessary to snatch him by the scruff and lower him ignominiously to ground level.
Charlie had a sip of water and a mouthful of kibble then decided to keep me company on my walk up the ridge.
Back at 'home' Teasel is in charge.
As soon as we come in at dusk she lets us know that it is past time for 'tea.'
'Tea' is a word well understood by all of our house cats.
The mere mention causes a stampede toward the kitchen.
Teasel is as clever as she is beautiful, and not above wheedling.
She likes to tell me that she has NOT HAD HER TEA--even though Jim may have dished it out minutes earlier.
Teasel [a.k.a. 'Mamma's Darling'] has always been my cat, since the chilly November evening in Wyoming when I discovered her sitting in the frosty grass beneath our bedroom window.
She was a tiny kitten, very much alone.
I have always told her [and anyone who will listen] that an angel surely swooped her up from some dangerous place and dropped her where she would be rescued and loved.