Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Missing Cat and Halloween Hijinks...

It's been a busy few days since I was last here - BUSY but not terribly productive I'll grant you.

You'll remember at the weekend, we had our first taste of proper cold weather this year...  Saturday, whilst starting off cloudy and dull, turned into a cold evening...SUNDAY even colder and what was I doing for most of it? - Wandering around in the dark with a torch shouting for George (the silver tabby cat).

He's quite a timid chap (for his size) and never stays away from the boat for more than a couple of hours... even then, I'm sure he's in the undergrowth "watching us"... The trouble was, on Sunday, because the sun was out, MORE people than usual were walking their dogs off leads down the towpath... about 2pm, Sox (the black cat) came bounding in to the back of the boat, accompanied by the noise of a couple of  Spaniels barking and scrabbling around....  I thought no more of it and carried on reading my book.  A few hours later, I called George but there was no sign of him.  As it got dark I got a torch and began looking for him.  Now OK, he's a cat and we're TRYING to find him a new home - away from boats but given I'm a big softie when it comes to animals, I wanted to find him...  to make sure he wasn't injured somewhere.

As I was wandering around in the dark, I came across a group of thugs  young lads carrying air-rifles and of course with no sign of George still, was imagining all sorts...

I wandered around for an hour or so before going back in to get warm.
By about half seven, it was already down to 2.3 degrees outside.  George does not like the cold so I went back out again and extended my search area....  by about half 9 I'd had enough so gave in and went back to the fire.  Every few mins I opened the wide hatch and called him- hoping to hear a meow.... Nothing.

It wasn't until Monday afternoon, when after several more "searches" did we hear a feeble "meow" coming from about 50ft away...  it appeared to be coming from a heavily over-grown area, thick with bramble thorns... SO, armed with loppers and shears we began cutting through the scrub trying to locate the source of the noise.  Of course, we were NOT helped listening for him due to a chap using an angle grinder on the boat moored opposite.   Every so often we'd hear a faint "meow" but it was proving very difficult to isolate exactly where it was coming from...  by now, both of us were prickled and cut to buggery from the thorns.  After about half an hour of hacking (and swearing) there was a lull in the grinding and finally George had the sense to make himself heard again... 

It's hard to make out from the photo but he was well and truly wedged up a hawthorn tree, with bramble thorns embedded in his fur trapping him - not far from where the dogs had been when Sox came running back the previous day.  Poor chap had obviously scrambled up there in a hurry to avoid said canines and had been unable to free himself.

The annoying thing being that if he'd had the sense to make  a noise in reply to my calling, he could have spent a night in front of the fire - rather than wedged up a tree  through a harsh frost.    Getting him down  required ME (13 stone of clumsy ginger) climbing up the tree and untangling him.   I half expected him to wriggle and make it difficult but he just laid there whilst I freed him as carefully as I could bless him... a few hours later after a good feed and warm, he made himself comfortable
They're not usually allowed in there but given his ordeal, I made an exception.

Soft or what?

WHILST I'd been out in the dark looking for him, I invariably bumped into a few boaters - a couple of whom, mentioned they were having a bit of a Halloween soiree if we'd like to come along... nothing big, just a few other boaters, food and drink etc.  Now as most people know, I'm not good in a big crowd of people but in the spirit (no pun intended) of the invitation, accepted on behalf of us both and last night, when Andy got in from work, we wandered to their boat, complete with a fair amount of drinks AND some toffee-apples I'd made earlier in the day...they weren't my most successful toffee - I don't think I got it hot enough because the gas ran out about 10 mins into the boil and rather than changing the bottle I thought I'd get away with it...

The observant among (amongst?) you will note I couldn't find any lolly sticks in Sainsbugs so I improvised with bamboo skewers...  planing to warn folk about the "sharp" bits...  irrelevant as it turned out because the toffee whilst set, remained SO sticky that the first bite glued your teeth together anyway lol. - The smelled nice on the fire though!

It was a very sociable evening and the hosts had spookied their boat up for the event and made us feel very welcome - us being the "new kids in town"...

I think it's fair to say by the last photo I took at about half 2, Andy had enjoyed the wine, home-made cider and gin...   an hour later, it was time to head home.

THIS morning we're both a little fragile but it was an enjoyable evening and good to get to know our neighbours a bit better - folk have lead such interesting lives compared to us...  it's a good community to be a part of... and because folk make an active CHOICE to become part of it, the sense of belonging comes naturally.

Until Next time...

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