fleas !

I got home from 4 days away to find that “someone” in the neighbourhood collection of felines has gifted me with a magnificent collection of fleas! In the carpet all round my armchair, and in the bedroom. Highly not amused!
It isn’t the resident Chelsea-cat, who appears clear of them. I doubt it’s the Marmalade Garden Cat, who only ever ventures as far as the kitchen. Probably not Murray or his sister, who I’ve never seen upstairs … which means suspicion falls on the very handsome next-door-cat Enzo. I’m on holiday-cover for feeding him all next week, and will examine him closely!
However, I’m well-prepared, even if the little blighters aren’t usually troublesome until September. Carpets sprinkled, left for an hour while I sat in the garden, then hoovered twice.
Fingers crossed that I win this round.

cut flowers

I’ve decided to keep a log for a year of what flowers I have in vases indoors. It might help in planning plants to buy, so that I can work towards filling out any bare spots in the year.

So, from 2nd June, there’s valerian on the coffee table, and a single large alium on the whatnot.

flash photo of vase of valerian on coffee table, sleeping cat in foreground


flash photo of sliver/purple alium


For the past week, I’ve been counting the plastic items I throw out, as part of the GreenPeace “Big Plastic Count”. I’m fairly pleased with the result. What’s interesting is that the great majority of the plastic I chuck is in the form of cat-food pouches – 23 items in a week.

Sadly, Chelsea-cat refuses to eat any other kind of catfood – and when she does rely on the perpetual cat-feeder full of dry food, she gets badly affected and her back legs stop working properly (which I think is a diabetes issue).

Anyway, my results: 34 pieces of plastic chucked in a week in total, of which I noted 23 were cat-food.

damage repair

The rose arch blew down in the recent gales – partly my fault for not pruning it, so there was a mass of very long shoots to catch the wind! Today’s the first day I (and the weather) have been up to doing something about it.
It’s now upright again … though given the contribution from next-door-cat Enzo, it may not last all that long!

fallen wooden rose arch


repair rose arch with black cat on top.

morning has broken …

Having got up just after 6 yesterday (‘cos it takes painkillers a few hours to kick in, and I had to leave the house at 9.30 to cycle up to a Green Party event), I’d decided not to set an alarm but to sleep in this morning.

I woke shortly after 9 to the kind of vaguely-uncomfortable sensation one gets when one is being stared at. Chelsea on the bedside table, unblinking.

Chelsea cat glaring

garden bits

A fairly warm but overcast and slightly breezy day. I managed to dig over the bed that had held last year’s very unsuccessful carrots, adding compost and making two mounds to eventually plant courgettes into. I discovered yesterday that I’m out of yellow courgette seed, so have ordered some “Shooting star” (my usual).

Experience has taught me that a wire-mesh barrier to protect at least half of any catmint that I plant out is utterly essential! It took Chelsea-cat less than 30 seconds to discover this one ….


While I was away at my Mum’s, there has clearly been an unsettled atmosphere among the resident and visiting felines. Someone – not sure who, but my suspicion is next-door-cat Enzo – sprayed the carpet, in the corner of the room I normally sit in.

The usual application of diluted vinegar as soon as I got home on Monday evening reduced the stench from utterly unbearable to merely mildly distressing. However, as today I had to shift the furniture round anyway (to get out the duplicator to do Green Party leaflets), I decided the time had come to deal with it properly. Carpet cleaner dug out of upstairs cupboard, and loaded with strong shampoo mix with a couple of drops of rosemary oil. Vigorous cleaning of affected area took place.

I’m now sitting surrounded by displaced furniture, and dis-assembled carper cleaner (as I can’t put it away until it’s dried inside). It is, of course, raining heavily outside, and despite having turned the central heating up the carpet is clearly going to take an age to dry …

room in disarray


A session this morning of dragging out the duplicator to print Green Party stuff was not entirely improved by the curiosity of next-door-cat Enzo.

I eventually dug out an empty box and persuaded him to use that, rather than the ones full of the paper I was working on!

Enzo in box

ginger cat

I hadn’t seen the ginger cat (who I think is homeless) for several weeks. He turned up again yesterday, emaciated and soaked to the skin. He’s desperately scared of humans, and runs away if I even stand up from my chair,in the adjacent room (I could wish that other invaders were as scared of me), and clearly wasn’t coping. So I’ve been putting out assorted leftover tins of catfood (of varieties that Chelsea-cat has decided not to eat) in a dish just inside the cat-flap. Hopefully, that stops him raiding Chelsea’s dishes.

He looks a bit better today (I think he spent last night in my kitchen, while Chelsea was upstairs with me). This is him, having shot out when I went to make a coffee, sheltering under the garden stool.


This afternoon, my neighbour came round to ask if I could go round and feed their cat Enzo after Christmas, as they’re away. Of course I said yes.

I’ve just been woken up at 0215 by said Enzo jumping on my bed. I carried him downstairs and let him make his way out through the cat-flap. Twice. He’s back for a third time, having sauntered past Chelsea-cat (who’s downstairs in the back room on the arm of my chair, quite unconcerned). I don’t have the energy to dispose of him for a third time!