Day 17 and there is still no sign of Jaffa. It’s hard not to despair. Our other pets sense something is wrong too.
Poppy and Pippin have been helping us to scour the woods. But where amongst the thousands of trees do we stop looking?
Zanzi has been walking around the top of our wall where she has a panoramic view of the garden and all the surrounding fields. Where is her brother?
In the house she jumps to the top of the new kitchen units – is he up here perhaps?
And now Mother has joined her in the search.
The not knowing is agony. We have run out of options to check and now feel so helpless
There is a howl in our hearts.
Jaffa has been missing for 8 days now. We have scoured the woods and fields, gone house to house asking people to check sheds and garages, put up countless posters, advertised through Cats Protection and Facebook. Still no news.
It’s so unlike our comfort-loving little ginger chap to leave behind his favourite places to lie in the sun and the supply of Dreamies on demand.
Why would a cat leave behind a garden full of trees to climb, stables to hunt in and endless places to explore, in order to go off, rucksack slung over his shoulder, to seek new adventures?
We are wondering if he might have climbed into a vehicle and then jumped out, to find himself in unfamiliar territory. Is he now out there somewhere – a little boy lost, alone, frightened and hungry?
A message from all: Poppy, Treacle, Zanzi and (especially) us – We miss you terribly.
So Jaffa, if you are reading this: PLEASE COME HOME!
Jaffa has been testing out his nine lives again with spectacular vertical leaps.We have been storing some of our old kitchen furniture in the front room while waiting for a buyer to collect it. Jaffa has been using the position of the Welsh Dresser to gain access to a new place – the top of an antique display cupboard.He jumps vertically onto the top of the dresser and moves across to the cupbard. He settles down into the well at the top of the cupboard where he could hide for days as it’s impossible to see him lying down.
(Of course he wouldn’t stay there for days – too keen to sink his face into the chow whenever it is served up!)From here he can also make a calculated leap up onto the gallery, getting his trajectory just right between the railings (but not to be encouraged)And now, having learned these tricks, even with the Dresser gone, he has managed to climb the side of the antique cupboard using his claws to scramble up the wood and the glass front. (Even less to be encouraged – that furniture is valuable!)
Pippin has been staying with us for a few days. Her owner forgot to leave her coat when she was dropped off but she is so skinny that when we tried one of Poppy’s coats on her, we could have wrapped the belly strap round her twice – we had to fasten it with duck tape.
Yet Pippin races about happily and rarely finishes her bowl of food, so she’s obviously not hungry. She’s a naturally skinny little whippet and we’re just used to Poppy’s well-upholstered frame.
After their walk, the noise of drilling and hammering from the kitchen fitters is continuing and both dogs take refuge in the conservatory, where for once it is warm from the welcome winter sun.
Poppy dives under the cover on the sofa. This makes good ear-muffs. Pippin is fascinated by the white veil. Is that you in there, Poppy?
It’s chaos here – the kitchen has been stripped out ready for refurbishing and our furry beasts are bewildered. Where is the feeding station? And the chairs and sofas and beds put out for their every comfort?There’s dust and disorder and drilling from dawn till dusk. and now the cat flap has been sealed off to stop the cats from coming in to walk onto the smoothing compound laid ready for tiling.
No wonder that Jaffa has been spotted, suitcase in paws, marching down the drive!And now, to add insult to injury, another guest dog has arrived to stay for the weekend. Yet more disruption to their lives.
Poppy looks resigned. She knows that Fern will bound about, crash into her with rugby style tackles as they race round the paddock, and steal all her toys from her basket in the house. Best just to stay here, keeping her place on the sofa in the living room.Jaffa and Zanzi scoot under the furniture. This is all too much! And to make matters worse, it’s raining outside – again!Treacle is not bothered. She can see Fern off any time she likes. And from up here she can survey any marauding dogs with her usual disdain.
One week of chaos survived – only another three to go before the pet palace will be ready for use again!
The furry purries have been walking warily in the recent freeze. The frosty mornings have meant their paws stick to the patio and the drive – not a nice sensation at all.
Zanzi tries walking on tiptoe and snatches her paws up high in a kind of dressage movement for cats. She has a quick tour of the garden but she’s soon back in her favourite bed by the Aga. Brrr, too cold to stay out long in this. I’ll just let my paws thaw out here.
Jaffa has been investigating the open fire, but the hissing and spitting of wet logs makes him back off.
The most challenging thing is finding a suitable place for performing their toilet. Digging up the frozen earth is not an option and we’ve forgotten to put out a litter tray.
But what luck! Jaffa’s found a pot to pee in. He’s tried a few for size. The first one’s too big and the second one’s too small, but this one is just perfect.