Perhaps I’ll go back to being a bunny person.

They were so undemanding.

The day got off to a really ropy start at some ridiculously small hour. Fact is, the past few days have all started the same way.

Today was just the cumulative effect.

Patches head-grooming attacks have intensified.

Grant laughs. “Push her away, firmly.

Cat wrestling seems firm to me.

That’s what it has become and for a small cat, she is amazingly strong. Determined to deep-clean my face.

In all the years I’ve lived with cats, this has never come up and I don’t know how to deal with it.

Shutting doors just means the other ten will always be on the wrong side and protesting loudly.

Playing games to tire her out? She’s not into that sort of thing. And “pre-lights-out” is dedicated to reading. Playing games with cats would just get me wound up.

Sleeping draughts? I think not.

Just give in and let her wash the insides of my ears and nose, pull my hair and lick my eye lids.

Could you ignore it?

Some would suggest dire solutions. No, never.

When I first knew Patches she was a kitten, in need of surgery for bi-lateral patellar subluxation in her back legs. Either that or euthanasia.

It was my early days of cat fostering and I didn’t plan to start with having a kitten put to sleep when surgery could give her a normal life.

She healed well and settled in to the foster suite where she curled in a corner with Sophia and Bob.

They were missing their snuggle-buddy Bu who had just died and they seemed rather lost. So I fell in love, as I always do with the down-and-outs.

We lost Bob before coming to New York.

Sophia and Patches stayed together at first but when Patches gained a little confidence, she migrated to window boxes and cat trees where Sophia still feels insecure.

These days Sophia’s buddy is Lily who doesn’t curl up with her but lies along side. When she isn’t propelling herself at 90 miles an hour through the house, that is.

So I cannot not be delighted that Patches has become so attached to me.

It just isn’t quite so delightful at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Patches abandons the grooming session just in time for breakfast which she takes downstairs, please, so Grant has to toddle down there after her.

Upstairs, meanwhile there is the daily chorus of:

“Oh! I can’t be expected to eat that!

Ten minutes later, once we are out of the room….

“Muffin, isn’t that the stuff you couldn’t possibly..?”


This morning I confess I said I couldn’t care less if they bloody well starved.

Then Lily took another extended walk.

She came back in her own sweet time, pausing in the tentative way she has, with one paw off the ground.

Maybe she has commitment issues.

She came back in a mood to match my own.

Muttering and grumbling about some great unfairness and injustice that she had been subjected to.

“Not going up there to see them anymore, ever!”

she wailed as she marched past.

(No idea where she had been.)

“I need a lie down to get over it!”

Then, with a great effort she hauled herself up and huffed on home.

Where she continued to complain, loudly.

At least the morning rounds had revealed a couple more Monarch caterpillars.

As well as a “maybe”, too small to say for sure.

So many of my subjects are un-cooperative, I have to appreciate those that are obliging, even if it’s a fly.

A bit of searching revealed that this is in fact a hover fly that is a pollinator and feasts on undesirable insects.

Which proves the point that you should never make assumptions based on what you think.

I’m going outside in a minute to befriend this chap.

He’s quite handsome, don’t you think?

After feeding our ungrateful tribe this morning we went out to view a cloudless sky.

About an hour later, that was old news, but I am always happy with partly sunny, especially when there is a delightful cool breeze.

Given the expectation of rising temperatures in general, I enjoy whatever comes.

Mother groundhog is enjoying the easy life now and is beginning to take on the appearance of a beached elephant seal. Which is part of Nature’s plan.

One presumes that this is also Nature’s plan.

This plant arrived last year, unbidden, and I almost rejected it as a weed (those assumptions) because it was big and green and not too exciting.

Then it flowered profusely and the blooms were gorgeous. I can’t think of another plant that grows its flowers directly from the stalk, though Grant says there are some in Africa.

PlanNet identified it as an Impatiens and I read that it self-propagates, which certainly appears to be true judging by the vast number I see out there this year.

Like everything else in my life, my garden is rather hit-and-miss! Make that completely.

1400 and all is well.

The caterpillar count is 4.

The fishing forecast is good. Or bad if you’re a fish.

And it looks as if I’ll be watering again.

Our water comes from my well and is only a problem if power fails. Which is why we have a lot in bottles.

Just in case.

12 thoughts on “Ingrates

  1. Here’s a thought to keep Patches out of your face and hair…. How bout washing your hair before bed in something she wouldn’t like, something medicinal maybe. And that scent would probably get on your pillowcase and that may discourage her…..

    1. It’s a good thought. Just have to find something she doesn’t like and that I can live with. I have awful sensitivities to odors!

  2. Thank you, Carolyn, for my evening treat, including the handsome creature and your philosophical musing.
    About Patches, perhaps she needs the grooming as part of emotional bonding? The way monkeys do?


  3. I found myself chuckling as I read this, and absolutely enjoyed myself!
    Thank you for sharing.😻
    Sorry about the”3am grooming”, though……😐

  4. The groundhog looks well set for hibernation later. Years ago, a Vet told me that our cat licked us for one of two reasons.
    1) Insecurity and bonding.
    2) To get salt from our skin.
    I never knew which one was the reason with our cat.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Insecurity sounds right and bonding. A couple of the others look so pissed off when she comes to sit on me. How do I explain that I love them and have room for all?

  5. A wonderful post! An enjoyable read and great photos!
    I know it is easy for me to say from a distance but I would just accept Patches as she is. I had a cat that was so haughty (aren’t they all haha) but her son was the most affectionate cat that I have ever known; constantly nudging and walking/sleeping on me 🙂

    1. Oh, I love her to bits and I am delighted to cuddle her. Sometimes they all seem to “have issues” at once and I get worn out with the cleaning and general running around, but I cannot imagine life without them.

  6. There are no two ways about it … in your house, the cats are kings and queens. Just make sure to give them the food they prefer (and at the spot they prefer ☺️), and all will be well!

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