When we moved to France we bought our 3 cats from the UK with us. Stupid, a black and white British short hair, Evil Bob, a pure white cat, and Purple, our little tabby.
Unfortunately we lost Stupid in our second year due to a stroke, at 15 he was quite old and had certainly enjoyed his time lying around in the sun in the summer and in front of the fire in the winter.
We lost Bob in December after she was hit by a car and had spine and internal injuries, she also managed to get to age 15.
Purple is now our last UK cat, and my word, she is a survivor. She had a tough start in life when she was dropped down the stairs when a tiny kitten by the children in the home she came from, when we adopted her in 1997 she had already developed a head shake very reminiscent of Parkinson's disease. Two years afterwards she was badly mauled in a fight with a dog. Five years after that she went missing for 3 days and eventually came home with half of her face missing, gangrene had set in after something mauled her, the vet suspected a fox attack, but he stitched her face together leaving her with a twisted face, her whiskers on the left side of her face are now up nearly at her eye and she has a permanent dribble - but still alive.
Having used up several of her nine lives, we though a life in France would be one of relaxation for her, but she took to hunting here like a fish to water. Now at 15 she is scrawny, deformed, quite smelly and completely blind, but still with us. At least she was until Monday afternoon, when she went outside for the toilet and we did not see her again. To be honest, by Tuesday morning when she had not returned we were more concerned in finding her body than finding her alive.
Then earlier this afternoon, our neighbour knocked on the door with what we thought was her corpse - but no - she has survived again. He found her wandering around on the grass verge a kilometre up the road. Apart from being a bit damp from the storm and very thin, she seems uninjured. Amazing.
We always joked that even with her maulings and her Parky's shaking she would outlive all of them and she has, as well as outliving 2 kittens we had adopted here in France.
But none of that has any bearing on today's project.
In between the storms and the blustry gusts I managed to get my willow coppiced ready for some basket weaving at the weekend.
I was not very experimental last year and only made some cone shaped bird feeders which did work really well until one of the kittens we adopted decided they would like to eat bird food too (seed studded fat balls) and pulled them down out of the tree and chewed them to pieces.
I would like to have a go at making some plant pot holders, perhaps a bread basket, something simple anyway. I also intend to get some Christmas decorations on the go, stars, balls and hearts, ready for decorating next Christmas.
More photos and info to come over the weekend.