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An unexpected French birthday gift

kitty in france

I woke up early this morning as usual – the cockerel across the road was singing away at the first hint of light, which in this case was Thierry the farmer driving his tractor with lights on down our lane at 4.30 a.m.

My daily routine is fairly consistent. First I let the cats out (I have 5, all strays I’ve taken in) they sleep in the utility room at night and each have a favourite space on the shelves. Then feed the ducklings who have been living in rabbit run cages on the terrace with their mums. It seemed like a good idea to keep them there, they are in cages so nothing can get to them and after a wet August they have kept dry and well. However after three weeks the terrace doesn’t look like a place I’ll ever want to sit and drink tea again. Then I fed the ducks, geese and chickens in the pens at the bottom of the garden. Fed the nomadic ducks that live under the hedges and a wheelbarrow in the garden. Took the dogs for a walk and settled down to write.

I switched on my FB page and there was a greeting saying “Happy Birthday”. I had completely forgotten it was today.

My friend called from two villages away to say she was going to come round and bring lunch and I assured her I was too busy. An hour later she arrived with a delicious lunch and a bottle of wine.

“Why are your ducks on the terrace” she asked bewildered (she is a seasoned bird keeper). I explained I was worried that they would get cold and wet or eaten by foxes or wild cats.  She looked at me as if I was quite mad, got a pair of gloves on and helped me move the cages and ducklings up into the pens.

“As if they’d get eaten by wild cats” she laughed.

Aha, I said, it is possible, I got bitten by one myself on Monday. A pitiful little wild kitten turned up at the back door. It had followed my cats home and was trying desperately to be friends with them, rubbing itself up against them. I tried to feed it and comfort it but it was having none of it. It was incredibly skinny and looked as if it might be going blind, it clearly needed to go to a vet. Like an idiot I tried to pick it up and it regained strength, went completely wild and bit me so hard on the finger that it went right through the nail. Then it ran.

It has been back and forth since then, following my cats and eating the food I’ve left outside for it. When it turned up today, my experienced friend caught it with minimum fuss, washed it’s eyes and checked it over. It has all manner of problems but desperately needs help with its eyes that are so sore they are red all over. She popped it in a cage and is going to get its eyes treated and look after it while I am away next week. So, it looks like I may have another cat.

It is a truly pathetic little creature and I really didn’t want any more cats but I guess when you’ve got 5 one more doesn’t matter.

So welcome to Marvin (Hank Marvin/Starvin) the birthday kitten.

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