C is For...

and my CATS

I took part in the 2015
A-Z April Blog Challenge 

Have you ever read Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee?

In one chapter Lee describes their neighbours at their old farmhouse near Stroud in Gloucestershire. They are the two Grannies, Granny Trill and Granny Wallon, two old Biddies who were permanently at war with each other.

 Granny Wallon – “ 'Er-Down-Under” lives downstairs, and fills her days making wines, gathering ingredients from the hedgerows and slowly fermenting the fruits. 
Granny Trill, “'Er-Up-Atop” spends her days combing her hair and reading her almanacs. As a girl she had lived with her woodsman father and still seeks comfort in the forest. 

The two women arrange their days so that they never meet, doing their shopping on different days, making use of different paths, and continuously rapping on their floors and ceilings. 

One day Granny Trill is taken ill and dies, soon followed by Granny Wallon, who loses her will to live. They detested each other (if I recall, we never find out why?) but at the same time, lived for each other.

So what has this to do with Cats? MY cats?
Well, I  sort-of have ‘Er-Down-Under and ‘Er-Up-Atop.

Mab usually lives Downstairs and Outside.

Puss-Cat's Penthouse Suite - the Hay Barn
above the Dairy

In nice weather, come the summer, she has her Summer Residence in the Dairy and Hay Barn. She spends her days asleep, her nights hunting. When it rains and the nights grow colder, she moves to her Winter Home, which is my study. 

She sleeps on HER chair,

 or in HER basket (which is actually MY 'In' Tray)

then disappearing at night to forage the hedgerows. Although in her case it isn’t for fruits and berries to make wine, it is for mice and voles – and the occasional rat, which she delights in leaving as gifts on the carpet in my study.

Mab pretending to be a barn owl?
Sybil is ‘Er-Up-Atop.

She often roams the garden by day, going as far as the stable yard if any one of us happens to be there, although she won’t go near the horses. 

She often hides in the trees and complains – loudly – that she ‘can’t get do.. ow..ow..wn!”

By night she sleeps on my bed, usually by my feet, occasionally on top of me. She goes out from upstairs, comes in, goes straight upstairs.
She plays with her toy mice and her favourite ribbons along the landing, which is wood flooring so you can hear her bouncing about – it is almost as if she is rapping on the floor.

The two have their own routes, their own timetables, own ‘dining area’. 
And yes, hiss and spit at each other should they ever meet.

Fortunately they are only four and five years old, so it will, I hope, be a long while yet before I discover whether they will, one day miss each other.

2020 Update ... 
the two cats have reversed roles!
Mab now lives UPSTAIRS

They still hate each other... 

Website: www.helenhollick.net

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Blog: www.ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.com
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Twitter: @HelenHollick

And as an extra for the letter C....

Maybe not quite a box of chocs for Easter but I can offer you a 
Selection Box of delightful authors 
and a free download.
Dip in here... http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/

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  1. from: Carolyn van Poppel
    My two cats have a similar story to yours in that they seem to lead solitary lives and are not keen on one another. Winter time is the only time they would be inside together and then they usually fight over a particular spot on the mat in front of the fire! Loved your piece. Carolyn from Pastimes-Passions-Paraphernalia.org I am also participating in the A to Z Challenge. https://plus.google.com/115155784593192016432/posts

  2. I have to admit I'm not a Cider With Rosie fan, but that probably stems from being made to read it at school :) As for your kitties, awww, they are adorable. We have two as well, one is currently sitting behind me in my chair, so I have to sit right on the edge :).
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    1. I read it at school too - GCE English! I read it again a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was also a Tv drama of it which was very good. Funny how we put ourselves out for our cats isn't it? LOL :-D

  3. Now that's one classic cat. You make me want to adopt again. We lost our last furry friend in Novemeber of 14.

    1. Oh I'm sorry to hear that ... sending a virtual hug.

  4. Your kitties are adorable! I loved learning about their routines and how different they are. I'm sorry they don't get along. Maybe in time that will change too... Loved seeing the photos of them (especially with the one sitting in your In Basket!). Thanks for the book introduction too. Happy A-Zing
    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks Michele - I suppose as long as the two cats are happy with their own individual lives then its OK. Thanks for dropping by - happy A-Zing!

  5. Hi! I haven't read the book, but I do like cider and cats.

    1. Well Devon is THE place for scrumpy! (cider ... or zyder as they say here in Devon)

  6. Hi, Helen,

    I love your blog, and especially your graphic for the A-Z Challenge. I haven't read this book, but it sounds like one I would enjoy. Years ago I had two dogs and two cats, and the cats lived in the bedroom while the dogs roamed the rest of the house. When one of the cats died, though, the other came out and made friends with the dogs. I have a photo of her holding paws with one of the dogs.

    1. Cats are such independent creatures aren't they? Cider With Rosie as an autobiography by Laurie Lee about his childhood in Gloucestershire in the early 1900's.

  7. Lovely post, Nadine, and the photos made it even better. Maybe the cats will become friends with time. Who knows.
    Silvia @
    Silvia Writes

    1. Maybe they will - time will tell! Thanks for visiting my blog

  8. I love cats and I love pirates - from now on I'm your follower.
    Evalina, This and that...

    1. :-) .... come back for P .... guess what its for.... oh and E might interest you as well! (If you like reading and loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie you will probably enjoy my Sea Witch Voyages http://www.helenhollick.net/bookshelf_seawitch.html

  9. Thanks for checking out the blog Helen - I worked in the Western Morning News in North Devon back in the day - very pretty area..

    1. It certainly is - I well realise that I am very lucky!

  10. A good book and chocolate . . . what more could anyone ask? Loved the story about your two kitties.

    1. Thanks Marcy - and thank you for dropping by my blog!

  11. Anonymous11:33 am

    Love your Cats :) They are beautiful :)

    1. thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - apologies for any delay in replying, I'm trying to catch up with everything! :-)


Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)