It's hard to believe Fall came and went with nary a post. Let's start the new year with renewed vigour and resolve to post more of the on-goings at Shim Farm, shall we?
So, in no particular coherent order, let's get on with it!
We had a little brunch for friends in early December, since Eric's work schedule had him working right through the Christmas holidays. Eric had just returned from a trip with a bag of chocolate Saint-Nick's, as well as the rotund candle from one of the many Christmas markets that abound in Europe in November and December. With a fine cup of Glühwein or four, Eric turns into a voracious shopper, despite the fact I can't even ask him to wait in the car for me while I nip into the grocery store on this side of the pond. I'm like a kid in a candy store when Eric comes home and plants his bags on the living room floor, jumping up and down, asking, "Whaddya bring, whaddya bring?" Eric rarely disappoints, and the candle unwittingly became a symbol of the holidays for me this season.
In older news...
One of our kittens, Pepper, now known as Minou, came to visit us for what was supposed to be a "week to ten days" and became a six-week stay. (I'm playing catch-up here, because he was with us in July and August). The first 3 days, he ignored Popina, BobCat and Schatzie, and then suddenly, on day 3, just as I was about to tear my hair out in frustration, the light suddenly went on, and Pepper emerged from his shell. He and Pop would tear around the house like in days of yore, having 2 play fits a day, mid-morning and late evening, as they were wont to do when they were still kittens. Pepper, like Poppy and Piglet (now Tuxedo) are all curious about water:
Pepper has this perpetual "deer in the headlights" look about him. He's a sleek cat, a stark contrast to his fuzzier siblings Tux and Popina:
Tux's about 8 months old in the above photo, and he's large like Pepper, but he has the silky, long-haired coat of his mom. He's the light of his new family's life, and rules his new domain with a furry fist.
Poppy, on the other hand, is a little fluff-ball:
Popina has proved to be a true Northern cat. She loves snow more than anything, and can be found burrowing in snow banks for hours on end. The fuzzy hairs between the pads on her paws accumulate tiny snow balls, so when she finally comes in the house, she can be heard, tippy-tappy, tippy-tappy, crossing the floor until she violently shakes the little ice-balls off. Yet last night, she fought me for the hot water bottle I put in the bed for my perpetually frozen feet, and won. She's a true feline diva.
Aren't they all, though?
Schatzie, our old hag, is pushing 25. Yes, you read that correctly, 25, in human years, at that. She's so old, I keep joking that we're going to carbon date her when she finally keels over. She's getting senile, and maintains her strict 23.5 hour per day sleep schedule. The rest of the time, she's begging for food, missing the litter box, and meowling piteously, for what I don't know. I just let her yowl, she's not in any pain, and her total deafness might have something to do with her loudness, because she can't hear herself, obviously. The deafer she gets, the louder she yowls. The things I do for this cat, you have no clue...
The poor old thing deserves a bit of air time, too, don't you think? Not to worry, I have her fur under control again, because she's the picture of neglect (oh yeah, riiiiight!) in the above photo. I kind of inadvertently felted her by letting her sleep on a real sheepskin fur. The fur-on-fur friction was too much, and despite brushing her regularly, her fur kept matting into uncontrollable clumps. We removed the sheepskin rug, and by cutting out the mats one-by-one, the old hag's finally up to snuff again. She's so old, she's almost given up grooming herself. She'd much rather I tend to her, so she can spend all her spare time recharging her batteries.
Poor Cooper's feeling mighty neglected, too. All these cats, and just one dog...
Gratuitous dog photo, coming right up!
That photo was taken in 2005, but I feel so much better now that it's released from my laptop.
He's such a good boy!
Well, here's to a new year...I'll raise a glass to that!