Thursday, 23 July 2009

Cats, but not the musical

Last year we got a bit startled by strange noises coming from the loft of the toilet block on the campsite. It sounded like something was running around at high speed, but what it was we did not know. Our best guess was a squirrel or a dormouse, both of which are abundantly present in this part of the world. But some campers were adamant that they had heard meowing as well.
We have no cats, so it seemed a bit far fetched, but soon all was revealed when we saw three tiny cats peering over the beams of the loft whenever someone was doing the washing up. A bit later we also noticed a big cat sneaking in to the toilet block in the morning, and sneaking out before lunch time. It appeared, that a cat from possibly a nearby farm wanted to kitten in a restful place, and had found the peace and quiet it wanted in our loft. Unfortunately, because of allergies of one of us, we cannot keep animals in the house. On the other hand, cats on the premises would be ideal to keep the amount of field mice and moles at bay. We decided to try and keep the cats here. We bought cat food, put it down in a quiet place together with a bowl of water, and were hoping for the best. The mother cat obviously ate the food and drank the water. Some wise guys told us, that we had to stroke the kittens every so often, to create a bond between human being and animal. But how to get hold of three red striped devils who shot off like rockets as soon as one only pointed at them?
After a while we found out that the cats had discovered that dangling toilet paper is a challenge for young cats. One can imagine the havoc three kittens can cause with paper they found in two toilets….
The mother was still visiting, but the visits were not so frequent anymore. One day we had to go out for a couple of days. We bought an automatic feeder for the cats, hoping for the best. The feeder is a very simple container with a hole at the bottom. Gravity moves the food from the container into the bowl attached at the bottom of the hole. The kittens obviously did not trust Newton, and decided to give him a helping hand. When we got home, the whole toilet block was covered in cat food. But all good things come to an end. One day the mother appeared, meowed a few times, and marched off into the woods, followed by the fabulous three. One came back for a short time, but by Christmas it was seen last, and never heard of ever since.
It was a very pleasant surprise when two of our campers, who went out for a walk came back followed by a small white kitten with a black tail. For totally unknown reasons the cat seemed to like it here, and it looks like we have got a new lodger on our hands. The cat likes to be stroked, patted, and is constantly trying to get into the house. We have bought some fresh cat food, put water out, and every morning we have a “stroke the cat” session. Every so often, for lunch the cat is being bribed with some leftover tuna from a tin, and the campers are also very caring for our youngest guest. How long this will last? Time will tell….
Well, time has told. The cat disappeared a couple of days ago, most likely never to be seen again....
The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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