1623/7th august 2023

Do people over there in Vermont ever look our way and think we have the good weather?

Curious how Mt Tom is so often bathed in sunlight when we have gloom!


Inasmuch as my days ever had a plan (ha), said plan is currently being adjusted…

Dawn still arrives at an early hour, though it’s hard to tell these days because of the heavy overcast.

Even so, one or the other cat usually gets me going. I mutter, but it’s a good thing to be up at a decent hour.


Decent being six-thirtyish.

Maybe the cats themselves woke late this morning. I doubt they thought to give me a break. I know their routine didn’t change!

Yesterday’s wake-up was a foot in an eye which tends to get me going.

Last night I read longer than usual and with no wake-up it was 7 before I rose.


Hardly late, but a lot of other friends count on me.

Seed and nuts and carrots must be distributed. But before I get to that it’s the morning medication game for Toby, Muffin, Patches, Penny and Willow.

While Penny was poorly, there was an extra medication, a small pill that had to be quartered.


Penny is agreeable and takes her regular medication without fuss.

Add 1/4 of a pill and it goes to hell.

Grant is the one who administers her medication. I’m not saying I could have made a better job of it but the man gets agitated, if you know what I mean.

So anyway, usually I am up in time to medicate the others as well as run around outside and on a good day, I can clear messages etc from my PC before Grant emerges and we do breakfast, cats first, of course.


On days when there is no such head-start, I can catch up quickly enough.

I could, but then I gave in to pressure and allowed Willow to join the walkies gang.

Perhaps there will be a day when I relax about it, but for now I supervise.


15 minutes shouldn’t make a difference, should it? A mental adjustment is all that’s required, I know.

But right now I feel as if I’m running behind all the time. Especially when I get up late.


Tinkerbelle hesitated yesterday, not wanting to tackle Willow just yet.

So she set a foot on the middle of the door mat where there was a puddle of rain.

She shook her paw in disgust and had to push her way past the door.

How frightfully inconvenient.


What do I think will happen to Willow if I don’t supervise?

She is very curious and moves like lightning. What if ….?

If you ever had a cat go missing, permanently, you will understand my neurosis.

Then why don’t I worry about the others? I do, I do. I do.

Where we are in the country, the dangers are few and the outdoor excursions are short.

Except when Dee Dee or Lily go walkabout. Then I get anxious. They come back with a look that says: “What?”


So, for a few minutes each morning and sometimes in late afternoon, I loiter around outside. And since I’m there I stoop to yank up a weed or two while swatting at mosquitoes.

If they must torpedo me, they are fair game. They must, apparently. I have always been tasty to mosquitoes.


Muffin has to consider her every move.

Analyse and evaluate.

“Should I go, or should I stay?

Last week I found a dead sparrow by the seed trays. Something about dead birds is particularly poignant. I held it in my hand, such a tiny, defenseless creature.

It was early, before the walkers went out. Perhaps His Nibbs killed it? I want to rage at cats that do this, but then I’d have to rage at my own species for all the wicked, pointless things we do.


It would be hard to believe that gentle Penny could ever have killed a bird.

She likes to take a short walk and sit down on the path, heated by the afternoon sun which probably eases the pain in her arthritic hips.

She suffers sometimes with urinary tract infections but her latest problem was due to inflammation in her intestines.

Did cats and dogs always suffer from human afflictions? When I was a child pets and particularly cats almost never saw a vet and they seemed to live longer.


But now they are exposed to all the same environmental crud we are and a good number have their genetic make-up messed with by designers who seek to make them cuter, more marketable.

That should be illegal.

No animal should be programmed with a known disability. It is obscene and immoral.


It boggles the mind that some bereaved pet owners have their pets cloned, believing they can have their animal returned.



Since we had so much smoke from the wildfires, I wondered about the fate of the Monarch butterflies and I was not surprised that we didn’t see any.

Then a week or so ago, Grant found caterpillars. There were 3 possibly 4, but they soon all vanished.

These caterpillars move around a lot but usually we can find them.

The larger one may have turned into a chrysalis and could be anywhere.

But two days ago I did find a caterpillar. It was dead and some sort of insect was feeding off the tiny corpse.


The image is too sad, to post.

It looked as if the insect had just chanced on a good meal but I don’t think it had caused the caterpillar’s demise.

As harsh as these things seem, it makes them easier to accept if another creature benefits.

Maria Wulf over at Bedlam Farm has been posting about the Monarch caterpillars she found recently and I am hoping hers will complete their cycle.

Two years ago I witnessed a butterfly emerge from the chrysalis and take off on its maiden flight. It was magic:


As I often point out, I am an abysmal gardener. At best I fumble about.

This year’s cone flowers grew well but seemed too closely clustered. So I pushed them gently apart to give them room.

Before long, flowers.


Enthusiastic flowers! My eye goes to them constantly as they almost seem to pulse with life.

Considering them this morning, I realised that the weight of the blooms is sufficient to maintain that initial spread I gave to the stalks.


Looking closer, I observed that a few stalks were shorter, the blooms much less healthy, deprived as they were of space and sunlight.

When the flowers are done, they must be removed to make room for new blooms.

It struck me that they are a metaphor for life in general.


5 thoughts on “Metaphor

  1. I agree that designer animals should not be allowed, and anyone who makes obscene profits from “farming” pets, or unnatural crossing of breeds, should be locked away in an oubliette.

  2. I’m not so sure that pets live longer than when we were children, but the lives they have are indeed blighted by designer breeding, additives in pet food, pesticides, and additives in water. None of those existed at the same level in the 1950s/1960s, and pets were generally fed on our food scraps, bones, or cheap cuts of meat or fish sold by ‘pet meat sellers’.
    I have a near-neighbour who is a vegan, and feeds her pets with expensive ‘Vegan Pet Food’. I have tried to tell her that cats and dogs cannot cope on that diet, but she won’t listen to me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I am vegetarian but even I know you shouldn’t force a pet to be. I think pets used to live longer “in the old days”. I have lost too many cats far too early to kidney disease and cancer. Not to mention Thimphu who died aged 8. With his flat face the vet wasn’t sure he would survive kittenhood. He was a gift from friends but I didn’t trust the breeder and as I’ve said I think what they do is wrong.

  3. It seems to me that the cats enjoy walking around outside. It’s a win-win situation, isn’t it … they enjoy their walk and you pull out weeds 😉. I love your beautiful flowers – they look so cheerful!

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