Happy Caturday! It’s been an odd few weeks in this house, with building work going on, and feeling a little cooped up and overrun with mess everywhere. My parents decided to change the kitchen, bathrooms, and garden this year, because we live in an Edwardian house with old plumbing, electricity, and a layout that was in sore need of some TLC. We’ve been living in this house since my sister and I were children, and the last time we changed anything about the house was a loft extension (where my husband and I live for now), around twenty-odd years ago.
I kicked off the DIY renovations earlier this year by insisting I paint my Mum’s study for her, because she needs a calming, peaceful place to relax and do her work (she’s retired but still works as a freelance theatre captioner). This was back in late March. After that, in May, the studio in the garden was built, and we began the process of landscaping the garden. Most of the garden is finally finished, although the back area can’t be planted up or finished until spring rolls around.
The past two weeks, we’ve had a fantastic team of people working on the electricity, kitchen, and a new deck leading out from the kitchen. It’s exciting because there are five adults living in this house and we all need somewhere we can cook, spend quality time together, and generally improve quality of life (especially since my parents are retired, and perhaps in the next few years will want to downsize). We had a narrow galley kitchen, and we’ve knocked down the wall between the kitchen and separate dining room, and it makes a world of difference.
However – one little inhabitant of the house is having a bit of a tough time at the moment. Most days during the week, I have to keep Coco (Chocolat), our little tortie cat, shut up in our loft bedroom because of all the banging, dust, and general orderly mayhem taking place downstairs.
The past few days we’ve been letting her out first thing in the morning for a bit of air, and then again in the evening when everyone has finished for the day, but despite how patient she is, I can tell she’s not enjoying being stuck in one room for around eight hours a day. Today, the plasterer is here until 4.30 so she probably won’t be able to go out considering it’s Bonfire Night in the UK. At least she can wander the whole house this evening. She does have everything she needs – cat tray, food, water, warmth – but she loves being outside in her garden. She runs around chasing invisible things, and likes to explore the gardens on each side of us.
I have a few different nicknames for her. A favourite is ‘little bear’ because she does resemble a tiny little bear. She’s cuddly even if she doesn’t always like to be hugged or picked up (she is affectionate and loves a good stroke around the face and occasionally a belly rub, odd considering most cats don’t!), and being a tortie, has a short neck and black, brown, ginger and red fur. Having said that, she’s a pretty bear, with her expressive green almond-shaped eyes. I’m sure if you met her and got to know her, you’d fall head-over-heels too. Today I’m keeping warm and spending the afternoon with her, writing and reading. I hope you all have a wonderful Caturday and weekend!
‘The city of cats and the city of men exist one inside the other, but they are not the same city.’ – Italo Calvino, ‘The Garden of Stubborn Cats’.