Our Life in Burgundy

Version française

The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

April 18, 2012

Update on the kittens – 10 months old today!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Mary @ 17:53

 As Chris could not bear to part with any of the kittens we still have all four of them. And White Cat, their mother, still has us. She thinks the kittens should be long gone so she hisses at them if they come within spitting distance. The kittens take no notice of this and like to see her.  White Cat sleeps peacefully on our bed during the day. Do you remember Chris saying Don’t feed that cat, and She’s not coming in the house…? When it gets dark she goes out for the night shift and the kittens stay in.

White Cat

White Cat

The kittens still have their distinctive personalities. Benedict is the rather greedy adventurous one and is usually called Oy! Benedict!. Benedict is dapper, like an old-fashioned gent with moustache and beard, dressed up in a sleek grey frockcoat with white waistcoat.

Benedict and Claude

Benedict and Claude

You might think he would be the boss but it is little Blanche who rules the roost. Blanche is petite and pretty with big dark green eyes and she gets what she wants by batting her siblings on the nose or, with Chris, being cute.

Blanche with Benedict

Blanche with Benedict

Smudge is easygoing and rather plain but just like her mum. From her we can guess how amiable White Cat might have been had we had her from birth.

Smudge

Smudge

Claude is a rangy bag of bones covered by a skin that is two sizes too big. He is rather clumsy with his outsized feet and somewhat simple, but he is beside himself with pleasure when he is offered a lap.  Claude is by far the biggest cat but he is the last in the pecking order and will just sit and watch while the others eat his dinner.

We do have more than the one chair

We do have more than the one chair

 

So, there you have it. We have gone from an ordered household with a no pets policy to living with five cats within the space of a year. The moral of this tale is don’t feed any stray cats!

You can look back to previous kitten blogs on  http://www.cormatin.eu/blog/?tag=kittens

October 19, 2011

At four months – kitten update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Mary @ 10:25

I’ve just discovered it’s quite difficult to take photos of the cats at 4 months because they are either asleep or dashing about. We are surprised to have got them to this age without them being run over on the road, eaten by our neighbour’s mastiff or lost in the drainage tunnels.

Benedict is still the clever one. Quiet but cunning. He’s the one who is fitted with the battery which keeps going when the others have stopped.

Benedict

Benedict

Blanche is the pretty one. Petite like her mother with a tiny miaow. She has dark almond shaped eyes and, although independent, has started seeking out Chris’s lap.

Blanche

Blanche

Smudge is the big one, quite thick set and fluffy. She is the domestic one. She finds the dustpan and brush fascinating, and always comes to help with cleaning or gardening. She has a very loud purr and throws herself down in front of you to be stroked.

Smudge

Smudge

Claude is the nice but dim one. He has an incredibly loud miaow. If you shut the kittens outside he will sit on the terrasse looking pathetic and howl to be let in. When you open the door a crack the other three rush out of hiding and force their way in.

Claude

Claude

I had always wondered how they could all be so different until I read that when the female cat is in season she will go round every tomcat she can find. With each she will release an egg so by the time she has finished  she might have a litter of kittens that each have a different father. This genetic variety helps their survival. I have seen a tom that looks like Benedict, and another like Claude. And a local feral cat which is black has also produced two white kittens so there must be a white tom around.

September 10, 2011

Our family – 12 weeks old today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Mary @ 19:07

 

Chris with Smudge and Claude

Chris with Smudge and Claude

The kittens continue to thrive. They have the well defined characters that were apparent from their earliest days. Benedict is still the leader of the gang. Like his mother he is thin and wiry and streetwise. He has a sleek grey coat like polished pewter. Blanche is the absolute clone of her mother, small and slim and independent.  Both would rather stay out and play than come in for food.

Blanche, Benedict and Claude at 12 weeks

Blanche, Benedict and Claude at 12 weeks

Smudge lives up to her name and is often more a dirty yellow than white as she likes to roll around in the dust. Claude is still very much the baby of the family. He has the loudest voice and yells when he is stuck up a tree or has lost sight of his mother. Smudge and Claude are fond of their food and are rounder, fluffier, more domestic cats. They are very friendly and like being at home.

White Cat tries to keep Smudge clean

White Cat trying to keep Smudge clean

We had a setback with White Cat who went to be sterilised last Tuesday. We had meant to take her three weeks ago but the grandkids had come and on the day, with all the pandemonium, White Cat could not be captured. So unfortunately she was well pregnant when we eventually got her to the vet’s and it turned out to be a major operation rather than just a simple speying. When she came home she had to be kept away from the kittens for a couple of days as they were hostile to each other. Then one night White Cat felt strong enough to lick them and all was back to normal. The kittens have had to grow up a bit as she is not well enough to supervise them closely and, despite them trying, they have had to stop their occasional suckling because she’s covered with a huge plaster underneath.

I’m totally impressed with Jèrôme, the vet who operated on White Cat. He treats her as if  she is the most precious cat on earth rather than just a skinny stray cat without a proper name. The nurse calls her Mimi which is just ‘puss’ in French but I think that rather suits her.

August 14, 2011

The Wood-turner of Sigy-le-Châtel

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , , , — Mary @ 18:17

It was an interesting experience to go to a one-man show performed by Philippe Dyon, the wood-turner of Sigy-le-Châtel. Sigy is near Salorney-sur-Guye, just to the east of Cormatin.

The show was entitled ‘The History of Wood Turning’. M. Dyon is an excellent narrator who told the story from the Stone age via ancient Egypt, the invention of lathes, the use of robots for mass production, to the art it is today. At each stage he wore amusing costumes and there were interesting effects with a stroboscope and flying ribbons of shavings. During the story M. Dyon turned some chair legs, a cup which became a lampshade, and a spinning top for which he is famous. He made it look so easy!

'Inspiration'

'Inspiration'

The wood-turner was adamant that photographs should not be taken as he wants his work to convey an emotion and if a camera gets inbetween you and the work then the effect is lost. Having thought he just meant during his performance I did take a couple of photos in his exhibition room afterwards and was thoroughly admonished for it. So I would doubt you will see many photos of his work.

Exhibition of wood turning

Exhibition of wood turning

Friday night was also the big Night market at St Gengoux. This is held twice in the summer, in July and August. There  was a carnival atmosphere with music, wine and food,  enjoyed by families, locals and tourists alike. There were stalls with all sorts of decorative work, painted containers, wooden plaques and jewellery, all made locally. As usual we stood entranced watching this fellow making glass animals.

The glassblower at St Gengoux nightmarket

The glassblower at St Gengoux nightmarket

There is a lot of artistic talent in this area, an amazing number of potters. Often there are  exhibitions in Cluny. And of course if you can visit La Filaterie, the old textile mill down by the river in Cormatin, to admire and buy the work of many local artists.

I can’t go without showing you the latest picture of the kittens, now 8 weeks old! They spend their days running about on the woodpile while White Cat tries to keep an eye on them all.

8 weeks old!

8 weeks old!

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress