Monday, 31 March 2014

A joint venture

As you know, dear reader, we are fortunate in residing close to our human guardians' relatives. This has always been a most fortuitous arrangement but I am delighted to report that after much thought and consideration, it is about to be enhanced. The estate of our guardians' relatives has a greater acreage than our human guardians' and it is this very fact that has been discussed and considered over the winter months. Much to our guardians' delight, the joint venture of a kitchen garden for the benefit of both estates has been agreed and commenced much to the satisfaction of all. The recent months has seen raised beds built, seeds chosen and planted, paths laid and beds dug over, indeed the strawberry bed is already planted and the potato bed almost complete with planting scheduled for the forthcoming weekend, weather permitting. Our female guardian has spent some enjoyable hours over the last few days digging these very beds as you can see and admire. A most enjoyable physical activity to be had and one that will bear "fruit".

The guardians relatives have a most delightful estate with wooded areas and pond, the kitchen garden, a croquet lawn and more. Spring time brings forth the most beautiful of spring awakenings with thousands of daffodils amongst the woods:Wordworth's fanfare to the daffodil could not more joyous an occassion behold. It is such an uplifting sight that brings hope for the year ahead. It is a much appreciated sight and draws many visitors from the local village.

In the words of that great, great writer, Jane Austen "it is a truth universally acknowledged" that the creature my brother fears, the D-O-G, is not perhaps the quietest nor sensible of creatures, however their quite joyous escapades amongst the woods and daffodils did bring a fond smile to my guardians lips.

Hither and thither they ran sniffling and sneezing at every fresh scent, every little rustle; so many new smells and sounds to be heard all the while serenaded by blackbirds and robins, wrens and thrushes. Such a rapturous cacophany of sounds, sights and smells; in the words of the poet Robert Browning "Oh to be in England now that April's there" and indeed tomorrow we are.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Well, I do declare.......

Dear, dear, reader, such joy. We have today heard from our antipodean cousin. A fine elderly gentleman, Mr Oscar Stuart. I cannot express the delight my sister and I beheld at the little envelope winking at us from the mechanical postal device. Such a joypus occasion. Oscar and I used to frequent the same Gentleman's Club and often shared accomodation in our youth. He is a fine gentleman is he not, with quite the choice in furnishing; I do believe my sister has a twinge of envy when spying such beautiful ornamentary in the furnishing. For my part it is a delight to see that his human guardians understand the needs of an older gentleman, and have furnished him with an assortment of comfortable resting places.

 It is quite, quite hard to believe that this fine specimen of cathood is now sixteen, yes, sixteen human years old. We believe that he is true to his name, Oscar, reminding one of the character Dorian Gray for his youthful appearance but one can rest assured, dear reader, that this was not at the cost of his soul, which I can personally vouch for and is very definitely intact.
As you can see, we are both firm believers in the benefits of a restorative afternoon nap, regardless of what country you inhabit.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Spring Forth

"...so many things in so little time" the words of Honoré de Balzac, dear reader, are so redolent of the activity that abounds in springtime. A little warmth and a smattering of sunshine and oh my, my, the human guardians are positively energised. The estate lawns have been cut, the edges trimmed and the inner sanctum behind the yew hedge is receiving a most severe trim. Not content with this, the clothes line has billowed with garments a plenty and windows thrown wide. Why, my sister and I have maintained a firm stance upon a most comfortable item of furniture, lest we be swept up in this drive for order and cleanliness.

We did however take an early morning perambulation beyond the estate to enjoy the local countryside. We took a moment to enjoy the spectacle of a pair of newborn calves in the local gentleman farmer's nursery field. What a joyful site. 
The mother cow kept a keen eye on us and, as we took some images for your perusal, became a little agitated at our liberty, then moved towards us. On hearing the warning lowing of the mother rumbling in our ears, we decided that perhaps a hasty retreat was in all of our best interests. We did not wish to upset her and her calf, you understand.

On our return we took a moment to enjoy the warmth of the early sunshine in the sanctuary garden and were delighted to be joined by our good friend, Cedric. We spent a a few moments passing the time of day but left Cedric to enjoy a light repast, of which he is very fond. He could be heard happily murmuring to himself the whole while. Such a joyful sound.

Believe me dear reader, I cannot tell the joy it brings me to see my most precious brother enjoying the warmth of the of the early spring sun.

He spent quite some time warming himself and enjoying the quiet of the countryside, redolent with bird song and scents of spring.
I leave you with these delightful images; I do believe they are a joy to behold.


Monday, 24 March 2014

A job well done

I do declare dear reader that it is our good fortune to be cared for by such hard working human guardians. Further to my last little missive in which I noted the various tasks required to maintain the estate, than I find myself proclaiming on a job well done. I am delighted to report that the work to complete the removal of the apple tree is complete and if it were not for the bare patch of earth and the sawdust from the giant mechanised cutting machine then one would not know there had been a tree there at all. My brother and I are most delighted. 

We must, of course, note the kindness of our human guardians relatives (the sister and brother in law of our female guardian); we are most blessed indeed that their estate lies close to ours and does not require too tedious a journey to visit. We are fortunate that the guardians have a warm relationship and can oft be found visiting, partaking of tea and enjoying ones company. It is a delightfully reciprocal relationship with laughter, fun and hard work on both sides that works so well. Most fortunate for all parties concerned - my brother and I are mindfully tolerant of the fact that they have D-O-G-S (My brother is particularly nervous around these creatures, hence the whispered spelling of their category). These dear people kindly agreed to assist with the disposal of the debris from the tree and organised a number of managed garden fires. Now I do have to comment at the almost maniacal delight of the dear sister at the thought of a good garden fire - one to watch I believe! 

Not content with this, the guardians delighted us with the fitting of a new gate into the inner garden under the yew arch. It is a joy to find ones inner sanctum restored to the safety and security we have previously enjoyed. The bitter wind over the last two days did not deter them and warmly wrapped against the weather they persevered; such tenacity, such strength of character - to be truly admired.

Two days spent at hard labour clearly takes its toll and two very tired guardians retired early. Obviously my brother and I were most keen to ensure their every comfort and warmth therefore took the liberty of joining them. After a little reshuffling, a comfortable night was had by all. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Further signs of spring

Further forays have ensued this very day, and oh the joy to see the evidence of springtime bursting forth so readily now. The human guardians keep a very fine garden amongst which I have found nestling the prettiest of spring blooms; my brother and I are great admirers of a well kept garden. Sadly, the human guardians were called away from the estate for a great many hours today and thus I am only able to present the beautiful Hellebore for your admiration.No matter, for I am sure many opportunities will present themselves soon enough.

We met a number of friends along the way with whom we passed the time of day and admired the many birds that we encourage upon the estate. I am inordiantly fond of the robin, a cheery bright little bird who is ever present in the garden nearest the house. This may, in part, be due to the little titbits and treats that are festooned upon the apple trees for their delight. Our dear friend Cedric is also fond of the birds however I do declare it to be for the tasty little morsels that he manages to forage from them, indeed he can oft be found loitering beneath the very tree on which they gather.

Alas, as you are aware, duty always calls, and we spent some time inspecting the recent work upon the estate. The winter weather has had many effects and there are a number of projects that require the attention of the human guardians; a number of gates and gate posts require renewal as well as the continued removal of the old apple tree. My brother also likes to walk the estate boundaries to ensure that all is well and can be known to be return to the home late in the day. I, of course, return a little earlier; the weather still has a nip in the air and the rather troublesome hailstorms of yesterday were perhaps more than I cared to endure for a prolonged length of time. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

High Jinks

My brother and I are uncommonly fond of one another, so much so that we have been known to jest at the expense of each other. Dear reader, one cannot resist when the moment takes one's fancy and, it has to be said, that such a moment presented itself last evening as we retired for the night. Dear Jinks likes to accompany our human guardians to the bedchamber and spend a few moments of his time settling them for the night. This may take the form of a warm embrace or indeed a little game of chasing a foot under the bedcovers much to their delight. Last evening, however, he excelled himself in a new game which required some facial contortions of the like I have never seen on my brother. I am afraid, dear friends, I simply could not resist the opportunity this afforded me and with gleeful intent employed one of the human guardians to capture one such moment. Oh dear me, what fun and joyous laughter we all had - the joy such a simple game bestowed upon us all. To the consternation of my dear brother I have enclosed an example for your perusal. Does he not look so sweet! Indeed it has to be said, I do believe my brother to be quite the most handsome of men despite his expression; quite, quite dashing with the most beautiful eyes. I leave you, of course, to judge for ones self.

It is not beyond the wit of man, on this occasion my brother, to find the opportunity for revenge therefore I will need to be on my guard, thus I wish you a speedy goodnight before my brother comes upon this little missive! Oh the mischief we do employ.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Mrs Coney

Well, dear reader, I do declare! This morning I partook of an early light repast before setting forth to undertake some necessary works amongst our local community. I had barely set forth when I spied one of our local gentle women folk, Mrs Marc Coney, scuttling forth along the other  side of the hedgerow that boarders the estate. Now, it has to be said that this dear lady has been most blessed with a large and exuberant family. Once I had managed to attract her attention we stopped a moment to exchange news; on enquiring of her family I was somewhat surprised to hear that all, that is ALL, her daughters had been presented in society this season. I could not suppress my somewhat aghast exclamation of " all" that burst forth from my shocked visage but yes, dear reader, it is true, all have been presented in society. It has to be said however that the Coney family are popular for their hospitality and the genuinely warm feeling one has on meeting them. I could do naught but wish her well with her endeavours in gaining suitable matches for them all. In the words of Tennyson let us hope that "Spring has sprung and a young man's thoughts have turned to love" for ALL of these young things Mrs Coney has brought forth in such numbers! I do not fear about letting this little snippet of gossip slip, dear reader;  Mrs Coney and her dear kind husband are somewhat renowned for broadcasting their family trials and tribulations far and wide.

It has to be said, dear reader, that despite her obvious many concerns regarding her offspring, Mrs Coney was beautifully attired against the cool spring morning in a fetching fur cape, long gloves and tippet that finished with a charming little bustle type creation made of contrasting fur to compliment the rest of her attire. So chic!

I spent the remainder of the day visiting some of my favourite spots in the local community and was rewarded with the many signs of spring; the damson trees are beginning to show early signs of blossom bursting forth, the honey bee is ever present on the estate dashing to and fro from the hives on our dear neighbours estate. Such a joyous and uplifting season, do you not think

Sadly, duty calls, dear friends and I must attend to the many matters that require my attention. I wish you farewell for the moment.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Tired lumberjacks

Without a question of doubt the human guardians have expended considerable energy this very day. Yes dear reader, a further episode in the demise of the apple tree. The energy required to remove this rather stately apple tree has been immense and this evening my sister and I are taking the liberty that this affords; we are very comfortably ensconced on a human lap apiece. It has to be said watching them perform this task was quite exhausting in itself but one has to keep a firm hand on the running of an estate. I occasionally sallied forth to ensure a suitably tidy completion to today's undertaking. The weather, it has to be said, was quite marvellous - warm with a light breeze; just enough to be cooling during such physical activity. I fear I do not like the immense noise of the machine that they utilise but, dear reader; modern day technology has to be grasped - even if it is rather odiferous whilst in use. I am oft teased by my sister for the requirement of a job well done but pray dear reader, who is this winsome young thing undertaking a minute examination of the works I ask?

My dear sister arrived home yesterday after an early foray in to the wilderness surrounding the estate. She had, in the true proprietary manner that she is renowned for, brought home a "foundling" to be "re-homed". This did cause some consternation amongst the human guardians when the poor little thing escaped my sister's warm embrace and attempted to return to its "hovel". Only the firm handling of the situation by our female human guardian ensured a suitable re-homing. It has to be said my sister gets unduly attached to these little things and can be known to make a dash for the solitude of her own boudoir in an attempt to keep the poor thing with her. Alas, we are unable to become guardians to them all however our human guardians are adept at this re-homing. From the photographic momento of the occassion one can see that my sister has ensured that any "foundling" is throughly washed before she will even consider their next step!

It is a joy to wander the estate and come upon the banks of primroses, the dancing hazel tails and nodding heads of the daffodils that grow there; such a simple but delightful pleasure that heralds the new season. I leave you , dear readers, with some fine examples to delight upon.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

My, my.....

My, my, dear reader, whilst I am a firm believer in the sanctuary of a well written letter, never would I have believed in the joy one can find in this new form of correspondence. Our dear human guardians also seem to delight in this new found form of messenger. It has to be said that there is nothing more thrilling that the delivery of a personal message, or dare I say, even a billet-doux (I have to confess, my sister, being such a natural beauty, has received her fair share of the latter but please, I pray, do not so much as whisper that I have mentioned this little matter!)

We are indebted to you for the interest you have shown in our rather, some would say staid, lives and lifestyle however we are firm believers in a life well led; the natural joys of the beautiful countryside we inhabit, good food, good companions and friends with whom to share it. A simple but joyful pleasure to hear the morning birdsong, crisp fresh air to breathe and a tasty little morsel to slake ones hunger.

It has to be said that my dear sister and I do have a penchant for the odd little piece of mischief - perhaps the kitten in both of us re-emerging. Our dear guardian has, of late, taken to the fine art of crochet. Oh dear, dear, the memories evoked from a simple skein of wool rolled in to a ball. To our joint amusement, many an hour has been passed lately in this simple pleasure. Not perhaps so amusing to our human guardian but with a little encouragement and carefully compiled, shall we say, facial expression even our guardian can see the delight it brings. My sister can be most winsome and wide eyed when required, as one can see for ones self!

Pray, do excuse me but I feel quite exhausted and find myself making the unbelievable faux pas of yawning; I am most contrite dear reader, please accept my apologies. Perhaps at this juncture one might bid you all good night and hope that I bring my manners with me next time.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Thinking ahead t'ward summer time

Oh the joys of kind and solicitous human guardians. Clearly, dear reader, one's human guardians have more kindness and consideration than one gives them credit for. I know, I know, after the number of years we have been settled here one should never be surprised at the little kindly acts they undertake to make our feline lives more comfortable.

Do let me tell; today I had been visiting the local, I believe they are called, "fast food" establishments in the area and taking time  to consider the very fine fresh selection that was at my disposal (always so difficult to choose when the variety is so good, do you not agree?) when I noted a little flurry of activity amongst the human kind on my very own estate. Obviously, being of an inquisitive nature, I ventured forth to see for myself the focus of such activity behind the yew hedge - so useful to avert prying eyes and maintain privacy. Well, for one moment I felt positively faint, yes, faint. It is hard to believe that the humans are not mind readers but there on the terrace was the most desirous of things, a Lutyens bench.

Oh, those beautiful architectural lines; far be it for me to be covetous but, it has to be said, that in the words of William Morris, one should  

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"; naturally I extend these sentiments to the estate.

Clearly, being of a fine pedigree one has to maintain a certain level of standing in feline society and be prepared to lead the way in doing so. I am delighted that one's human guardians have finely tuned their assessment of our needs and fulfilled the brief for keeping abreast of these requirements. My brother and I are delighted and know that our good friends, Cedric and Henry, will be very interested in this latest acquisition.

It has to be said that with the onset of spring and the warmer weather, thoughts have strayed to more leisurely pursuits of late, however despite the beauty of such a fine example of furniture and the warmth of the sun, the decrease in temperature today has reminded me not organise too many outside activities until we have a prolonged spell of warmth, dear me no.
Indeed, as one can see, the excitement was all just too exhausting for my dear brother who required a prolonged nap upon a convenient warm human guardian. I therefore took the opportunity to partake of a restorative nap myself before considering any further strenuous activities.



Monday, 10 March 2014

Busy activities calender

Profuse apologies, dear readers, we have been remiss in keeping you up to date but oh my, my what a busy time we have had these last few days - we are quite exhausted; however, duty calls, and I will endeavour to update you regarding our busy schedule.

Firstly, dare I mention the arrival of spring appears to have come upon us and oh, such a welcome thing it is. I know you will join me in rejoicing at this timely arrival. Such joy to feel the warmth of the sun on one's visage, to delight in the general feeling of wellbeing it brings. As you can see my brother, dear soul, is looking positively youthful in the warmth of the sun -what a fine specimen of cathood he is, do you not agree? A fine catch for any young lady, however, my brother is of a very shy and retiring nature preferring to spend his days with our human gurdians and I, much to our delight. How fortunate we all are.

Dear me, apologies, I am so easily distracted by the fine feline form (being naturally artisitc in nature, you understand).
Our days have been further busied with overseeing the removal of the apple tree my brother reported in his last missive. As you can see, we kept abreast of the work with regular updates on progress and my brother ensured suitably tidy working practices were maintained. He has a gimlet eye for detail and clearly engaged the humans in some detailed conversation. One can tell, dear reader, from the commanding look in his eye as he walks toward them in a most purposful way; not a look to be misread I assure you - quiet he may be, but most insistent on quality at all times, even when discussing work such as this with the gardener and under gardener. No stone is left unturned in his insistence on a job well done.

As one can see, I do feel the need occassionally to be discrete and undertake a little light grooming whilst these directions are being given. There is much work still to be completed however and I fear that our time will be utilised for quite some period of time over the coming weeks in continuing the standard my brother requires - Si a officium est dignitas effectus is est dignitas effectus puteus - the motto of any self respecting feline.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Cold snap

Well, dear reader, there was a certain crispness in the air the evening before last therefore it was necessary to reintroduce winter measures.

The humans lit the log burner much to the relief of my sister who is partial to a soupçon of warmth. Despite sitting extremely close to the fire, we are pleased to report she has not suffered any injuries despite being a whisker width from actual contact with the scorching metal. Needless to say, I personally sit a safer distance from the fire, preferably on an obliging human lap after a little light supper. My sister, however, once generally warmer had other ideas, prefering to enjoy the warmth together; she is seen here very kindly shielding my eyes from the light

Once the temperature had risen above freezing I took the opportunity to sally forth and survey the estate, a first since the recent storms and inclement weather. We are indeed most fortunate not to have been flooded despite vast amounts of water tumbling forth off of the fields into the lane that sits at a lower level to the fields. We do however have to report the sad demise of one of our fruit trees; the humans are most upset but in practical terms one has the comfort of envisaging further winter warmth for the coming year. I do have to admit to the little frission of excitement that tingled along my spine at the thought of my ageing bones taking perhaps a small perambulation upon the trunk and branches of this beautiful old tree before it is reduced to firewood. How joyful to feel the wind in my fur and reminisce at many joyous occasions romping among the branches when I was younger.

My sister has been rather busy over the last few days assisting the rabbit population with the sudden increase in size and need for rehoming. In the mean time, I have set to and spent some considerable time finding suitable material for my little communications with you all. Here, you can see me directing and proof reading for your delectation.
Well, I have no doubt that my sister will have some lively snippets for your perusal over the coming days. I therefore wish you goodnight.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Oh how delightful

Well, having taken a short foray outside this morning I swiftly reassessed my options and headed homeward. I bade a warm good morning to Cedric and Henry  who were partaking of an early light breakfast. These two charming gentleman are of the pheasant species. I must admit to a certain pang at the delightful beauty of their plumage but, it has to be said dear reader, they are not perhaps the sharpest of  characters if you fully understand me. To be fair, they are pleasant and undemanding neighbours; a fact that is so vital in the countryside and sadly one that cannot be said of all country dwellers. It is a sad and unforgiving fact that many creatures residing in the country fail to adhere to the unwritten code of the countryside; respect one another and never, heaven forbid, overstep ones boundaries, dear me no.

Thank you so much for the interest you have shown in our little communications, so delightful and most flattering.

After the excitement of yesterday my brother and I have spent a quiet day resting. We do hope the weather improves shortly and have particular sentiments for those poor souls affected by the flooding; our heartfelt sympathies to all of you and we can only shudder at the thought of the vast swathes of water in which you find yourselves. We are thinking of you.

Now, I must wish you good evening as my beauty sleep calls and I do wish to be fresh for what the morning brings. Adieu.

News from the colonies!

A reply from the colonies already; before one can say "lobster thermidor".
I have to confess, I was clearly a little overawed at the speed of this technology but dear reader I rallied! (I could after all hear a little light supper being prepared).

 After such excitement my brother and I need our rest therefore I recommend a warm and comfortable resting place to rest the weary head as we are demonstrating. I post this missive to ensure ones relatives are gratefully acknowledged.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Might I just add

Might I just add a little bit about ourselves, dear sister?

Firstly, hello to our cousins across the water - both in the colonies (by this I mean Australia) and the Americas. We have not actually met but I know that the human guardians are in contact and exchange correspondance. I am afraid I find any sort of travel rather tedious these days and prefer surroundings that are more familiar as one gets older, a fact that I am sure many of you agree with.

We chose our human guardians when we were 3 & 4 respectively. We are fortunate that they do seem to dote on us and are kindness itself, giving us every consideration and little comfort to make our lives respectable and reputable amongst our peers.

It is true that I am not, shall we say, as forthcoming as my sister when meeting people but I will endeavour to contribute at times when I feel that my voice is required, particularly to represent the male of the species. As we are all aware, the male of most species rarely "chatters" but tries to add a measured and eloquent contribution at the appropriate juncture. Granted, this is not always the case but be reassured dear reader, this is my perhaps my forte.

We are LIVE!!!!


Now dear reader, clearly with such delicate paws as mine it will be somewhat difficult to type; my brother and I therefore concur that the human guardian will be allowed to do this for us with the sharpest of gimlet eye over the shoulder.
I am a fine specimen of Maine Coon if I do say so myself, my brother is an equally fine specimen of cathood. We are suitably cared for by two very doting humans, for which we are grateful now we are growing a little older (13 & 14 respectively).
I am a little more forward than my brother and have the sharpest of wit however my brother is much more easy going prefering a suitably comfortable sofa or indeed bed on which to recline with the companionship of a good publication, magazine, paper (broadsheet only) or book. I suppose one could say that I do have the upper hand in the relationship with my brother which may indeed account for the pose in one's portraiture.

We have agreed to utilise this more common type of correspondance to keep the wider family informed and up to date.