Saturday, 31 October 2015

Royalty, Roads and Rugby!

Because the dew was so heavy in Sutherland, we cleverly took the tent down the afternoon before we left.That meant that the next morning we were able to simply load up the few things scattered around, (like Alfie who was visiting the bikers and checking up on any 'calling cards' that Trompie had left overnight,) say our farewells and thanks to Jurg and Rita, turn left at the gate and retrace our journey to Matjiesfontein. There we made a sharp left onto the N1 and drove as far as Prince Albert Road. Basically it consists of a railway station, a petrol pump, a church and a bottle store. Turning right, we headed 45 kilometres to our next destination.

On that road to Prince Albert we experienced that strange phenomena called 'somatogravic illusion'. And for those of you who, like me, need that explained in layman's terms, it is the feeling that the road is climbing when it is in fact going downhill or vice versa! We were convinced that we were heading downhill, we could see the road dropping in front of us, but the GPS was telling us that we were in fact, climbing! It was a really strange feeling!

Prince Albert is just beautiful! A corny way to describe a village, but we fell in love with it the minute we arrived!

Clean and green!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Some Days Are Diamonds...........

In the immortal words of John Denver, 'Some days are Diamonds, some days are Stones.'
And our week went from diamonds......and back to stones.

After the happiness and excitement of Tuesday evening when Dilly returned, I never imagined that I would be writing these words today.

Yesterday morning we had to have Dilly put to sleep.

On Friday morning he was fine, ate a hearty breakfast, had his milk as a treat, and spent the day doing what he did usually. And when he didn't come in for supper, we weren't unduly worried......after all, he had been missing for seventeen days so why worry after a few hours?

But when Rob took Alfie for his late night emptying, there was Dilly lying in his kruiwa, and for the first time ever, he did not accompany Rob when he went out of the gate. Rob was immediately concerned, so I went to have a look, but a black cat in the dark doesn't give anything away, and he seemed pleased to see me, even coming into the house and settling on the couch in the office for the night.

I was awake at first light yesterday morning and went down to see if Dilly was in or out. He was still on the couch and when I saw him I knew that our boy was a very sick cat. His one eye was closed and his breathing was laboured. He felt hot and clammy and did not want to move. The vet opened at nine and we were there, second in the queue dead on time.

She tested him for both leukaemia and feline AIDS, and he tested positive for AIDS. There was nothing that she could do and we knew that we had only one choice.

We stayed with him and stroked him and the end was quick and peaceful and painless.

I think that he came home to spend his last few days with us, and I am so glad that when it mattered the most, we were there for him. Dilly was never a cuddly cat, never an 'inside' cat, and he never really lost his 'feralness', but for the eight years that he was with us, he loved us in his own way.

He is now in the garden next to Daffy his old friend, and Clyde who knew them both for a while.

And I can only pray that when my time comes, I have someone to make sure that for me too, it is quick and peaceful and painless, in the company of those people who love me.

Sleep well Dilly.

Such beautiful words. (Thanks to Google)

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Prodigal Cat Returns!

Here are the words of the week:

Dilly is home!

Last night I took Alfie out for his final emptying before bed, and as usual he dallied and sniffed and wandered around and as usual Basil and Kindle came too.

So, there we all were in the road, in the dark, when from down the road came the shape of a cat! A dark cat. I first assumed that it was Morris, but as he had never accompanied us before I realised that it was not him.

And then I looked again and saw our Dilly coming towards me and meeowing with every step!

I scooped him up, took him inside and called to Rob who was upstairs.

We could not believe it. He is fine, a little thinner than he was when we last saw him, 17 days ago, but all in one piece and happy to be home. He ate a large supper and then joined us on the bed where he purred the entire night, in between trying to climb into either my nose or Rob's ear!

Basil and the other two were a little put out I must admit, but they all finally settled down and we managed to get some sleep around the furry bodies.

He is wandering round now and doing a lot of calling. I think he is as happy to be home as we are to see him again! And he has found his kruiwa too!

Carol was right, he was expanding his territory, and I am so grateful to her for all her help.

She truly is an amazing lady!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Sky, Space, Stars and SALT!

And that just about sums up Sutherland!

After leaving Fynbos, we headed through Ceres and over the Hottentotskloof Pass, where brave men are erecting and wiring new pylons that march like broad-shouldered soldiers over the hills and valleys to goodness knows where!

Turn left at Matjiesfontein!

We joined the N1 just before Touwsrivier, and popped in to the Petroport to fill the car and empty us! Then we bought a few necessities like bread and a couple of packets of potato crisps to take with us to Sutherland. At the Matjiesfontein turn-off, we turned left and headed into the most beautiful, empty, vast, open farmland, dotted here and there with sheep, much to Alfie's delight! And we left the Western Cape behind us near Kruispad, as we crossed the unseen border into the Northern Cape!

Welcome to Sutherland!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

If I Could Talk To The Animals.......

Remember these words.... 'This is not the post that I had planned for today, that one is written and waiting to be shared with you, but sometimes life gets in the way and plans have to change.'?

It's happened again.

I have shared interesting, funny, odd and sometimes sad, snippets of our life with cats. Daffy and Dilly were the first feral cats to share our lives, and since then we have welcomed Dopey, Basil, Kindle and Morris (who has had his visit to Aunty Vet and is now recuperating in our garden!) Dilly has been an 'oddball' since he arrived, never taming down to become a full member of the household, but tame enough to be around for meals and on a cold night to spend an hour or so on my lap before meandering off to pass the night in his 'nest' in one of my kruiwas.

Dilly's nest!

He would never allow me to carry him, and refused to stay inside any room that did not have a way out. He disappeared once for three months before re-appearing as if nothing had happened. He regularly stayed away for a few days at a time, but always returned.

Dilly and friend in the garden.

Until last week.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

A Key in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush!!

Here I sit, trying to remember what day of the week it is!

We are back from a lovely two week trundle round the Karoo, well the Klein Karoo really I suppose as there is a vast area to the north that we need to explore in-depth! But it was a wonderful trip and we are ready to head off is Alfie I must admit!

Our first stop was at one of our all-time favourite places, Fynbos Farm. People say that animals don't remember places and people, but Alfie remembered exactly where we were, he remembered the ablution block and the walks that we took previously. He remembered the dogs there and I swear that Layla greeted him like a long-lost friend!

Even the chickens remembered us!

Anyway, Evening One and we were just relaxing, wine poured, chips in the bowl, braai planned, loving the absolute peace and quiet of an empty camp, (apart from us), when my phone rang. And on the other end was our house-sitter, with a slight problem! She could not get into the house! We had given her the remote for the garage as usual, but, the garage door was not opening as it should have been doing when she pushed the button! She had even replaced the battery in case that was the problem! And, she didn't have keys as we had neglected to give them to her, and they were lying inside on the little table where we told her that we would leave them this time!!! And we didn't have keys either! And we didn't leave a spare set with anyone else! No problem, we simply assumed that it was the usual Eskom mess-up and the power would be back within an hour or two and all would be well.........