Working together

0639/26th August 2023


Given the number of caterpillars, one might expect to see a lot of cocoons, but I think they are less obvious than the Monarch butterfly chrysalises.


This is the first Tussock-moth “graduate” I’ve seen this year.

It was on the storm door this morning.

It made no protest when I took it’s photograph. I daresay it was still trying to process the shock of its new incarnation.

“Wow! How did this happen?”

Can you imagine falling asleep and waking up in an outsized winged body?

The glass door was not a good place for it , so I urged it into a flowerbed where it could discreetly ponder:

“What in hell do I do with this lot?”


2 years ago, I witnessed an unveiling.

A flash of colour drew my attention to the Siberian tea where a butterfly had literally just emerged from its chrysalis.

It climbed very slowly out of the leaves.

Watching, I sensed that this magnificent creature was testing its new body, taking account of its new being.

It seemed heroic. I wanted to cheer.

Silently, I did.


It was a long journey, up and out for this butterfly, but by comparison not that much longer than for another Monarch which I saw a few days later.


That one had attached its chrysalis to the side of the house which seemed a tad exposed, but all went well.

In each case, the butterfly took approximately 25 minutes with its pre-flight checks.


No sooner had I pointed the Tussock-moth in the right direction than I had to reorient some sort of hopping insect.

They don’t find what they need indoors and when they sing their tale of woe in the night, it can be a little irritating.


As I keep pointing out, insects would be less likely to come in if door were not left open for the benefit of the walkers.

And as he points out, closing the door behind them means us having to hang around waiting for their return.


It would never do to keep them waiting.

Lily howls for doors to be opened, but the others are more meek and unimaginable things could happen if they waited on the doorstep!

Because I am nervous of them being out, I put up with the doors left open.


Apart from bugs coming in, having two sets of doors open means that the little darlings may easily slip in undetected.

They don’t find it necessary to announce themselves.

It’s much more likely they’ll find a nice dark corner in which to conceal themselves.

Thus we waste time looking for absent cats that aren’t.


Blackie’s early outside explorations leave us with only one totally indoor cat.

Shy Sophia is only just beginning to explore the inside of the house. She has been with Grant since she was a kitten, always safe and loved.

It is a complete mystery what can have so traumatised her.

Now she wanders about and sleeps on a sofa or in an open box. Progress!


Sophia is a lovely little cat.

This morning a bit of fresh catnip got her quite excited.


We noticed lately that Toby and Lily seemed to be thick as thieves.

When she wails, Lily is loud otherwise she is very quiet.

She unobtrusively sits with Sophia as if offering friendship to a needy companion.

So I thought perhaps she was watching out for geriatric Toby in the same way.


This morning though, Grant was curious to see what Toby was finding so interesting beneath the fir tree by the garage.

As it happens, another catnip plant has sprung up. Those two were keeping it to themselves.

Isn’t there obviously a kept secret between those two?! (above)


Patches has always had weepy eyes and explosive sneezing bouts. Possibly an allergy, but we have never been able to get to the bottom of it.


In frustration, Grant searched the internet and came upon a cat owner with similar experience.

Her cat had benefited from administration of amoxicillin.

Starting with very small doses, Grant gave it a try and Patches got relief.

Though she’s not thrilled about having it squirted down her throat!


Muffin supervises the concoction:

Just as well we don’t have to get it into that squirmy cat!


Yesterday I alluded to changes.

Nothing to do with the 8 cats pictured here so far today, nor Willow, nor Tinkerbelle.

Which leaves….

Cats have a genius for making you feel stupid.

As Grant remarked:

“We could fill a room with all the purchases we made for cats that never got used.”

Yup. That’s true.


A considerable amount of time recently was expended worrying:

“How can we help Lucy?”

The late night wailing I decided, was due to hunger pangs.

Blackie was stealing her food.

Having made this discovery, I realised that Lucy was emotionally conditioned to believing that food = assault!


So now she had to be persuaded to eat.

“You give me that yummy stuff, I eat.”

Bribery. Ok, fine. Whatever it takes.

Meanwhile we must prevent this happening again.


We agreed on an enclosure for our blind girl. I hadn’t quite worked it out, but we had to do something.

Said enclosure arrived just before last weekend and there being a cleaning day, we put installation on hold.


Another failed cat project had caused me to fetch out a small pillow which remained on the sofa where I sit for breakfast.

Hearing Lucy cry one morning, Grant went to fetch her as he had often done.

After breakfast she was brought back to sit beside me at the computer, but that morning:


“Thanks very much, I think I’ll stay.”

The pillowcase had once been a tee shirt of mine, but I doubt that was the attraction.

She just really likes that pillow.

We were hardly going to drag her away.


“Leave her”.

“If she cries I’ll come get her.”

0756 hrs

1153 hrs

Not a peep.


1502 hrs.


It became a matter of:

“What to do about Lucy at bedtime?”

We took her back to her normal place, where before long she took up wailing.

When it continued, I picked up Lucy cradle and all, and placed her beside my bed, offering my hand for comfort.

Understand that I attempted this, when Lucy first went blind and it hadn’t been what she wanted, then.

Women and cats can change their minds, right?


Perhaps, having come to terms with blindness, Lucy began to remember previous favourite places and to accept adjustments. Like being carried!

In the early stages of blindness which happened overnight, her focus would have been on very basic needs, but now she has gained a little self-confidence.

It’s probably as simple as that.


Could we have worked this out sooner? Sometimes I think we are too hard on ourselves. When a beloved friend suffers of course we wish for instant answers but usually patience is required.

We all had to work it out together.

To see Lucy no longer cowering beneath a bench and obviously feeling secure and content for the first time in months, makes me so very happy.


8 thoughts on “Working together

  1. This story is so heartwarming……
    Your dedication to your beautiful kitties is so inspiring, and just what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing.
    The photos of Lucy are very, very sweet.
    I love reading about all of your cats, and wildlife. ❤️


  2. I never fail to have lots of admiration for your patience. I do my best for Ollie, but even he wears me out sometimes, and he is only one dog. I could not imagine having two dogs, let alone the horde of cats you care for.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Dogs are different, more needing of their human I think. I believe we only take on what we know we are willing and able to handle. I always felt so humbled by nurses especially in memory care hospitals. I would not be able to do for an hour what they do every day. It was pointed out to me that you can only give back, or pass on what you have been given. Humans came up short with me and animals always filled that space which is why I love them so much. Even when they drive me dotty!

  3. I had a good laugh at the photo of Toby and Lily … they almost look like two crooks who just want to make sure no one sees them (or know anything about their secret) 😄. I’m so glad to hear that Lucy is doing so much better now – she sure loves that penguin pillow (beautiful photos).

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