International Cat of Mystery.

Oh dear. Please prepare for an 'I am so lucky' gush. Tissues! Peppermints! Today - one of those days. It started with Buster the black cat, missing for last night's supper and this morning's breakfast. Where was she? An immediate change in the mood. Three of my cats have 'disappeared' in the last five years. Age and health reasons for two of them (ginger Percy lived with feline aids, Lilli-Puss had chosen to be a reclusive hay barn cat). The heartbreaker - Little Mac, our young and lovable house cat, for whom I spent weeks searching, without success.

Friday 16th September

And so, these memories only partially blanked out, Non-Gardening Partner and I checked all the rooms and cupboards in the house. Then we wandered around the garden, calling her, feeling worse by the minute. Buster does go out a bit, and hunts in next door's paddocks. I thought about the car hazards on the road and the driveways... Aargh! Buster! International cat of mystery - please don't be lost, or in trouble.

But all was well. Buster was curled up in a warm furry ball in cat lounge, having burrowed underneath the cushion. Out came a languid black paw. Me? You've been calling me? Never heard a thing.

 Simple, and appealing.
Pretty Daffodil

Furry VIPs

I took the dogs to the dog park and explained it all to them. Furry pet friends are soooooo very important in my life. Very Important Pets! And I understand that joy and sorrow in furry friendships are intertwined. Life spans are too short. Rusty, my old dog who is very much enjoying his medicated golden years, nodded. Winnie just snappy-barked at me. 'Stop blithering and throw the ball.'

Welcome to the Weeding Fairy

And then the nicest thing - my weeding fairy arrived. She weeded, and also pruned the roses around the cottage, gently scolding me for allowing forget-me-nots to smother their bases. I heard myself coming out with all the excuses. 'But roses have never done well here. The ground is too stony. Anyway, they were pot bound rejects. Just not healthy, even when I bought them.' The weeding fairy fixed me with a superior stare. Yeah, right? OK. Time to bow gracefully and admit the error of my ways. My weeding fairy is right. My roses and I are incredibly lucky to have her. We love her to bits!

 A reliable, mature, robust model.
My Weeding Fairy

And then - more lovely things. I went off to play jazz piano in a recording, and that went pretty well. Then I cooked a lovely pasta bake for the evening meal. NGP was so enamoured of it (men and stomachs) he offered to help sort out my Visa bill (mainly vet visits, house food, coffees and sushis). When I went to bed my knee was a bit achy. But I ignored it, because my day had been blessed with so many good things. Yeay!

 Just starting to go spotty.
Plantation Pink Camellia

Friday 16th September

Another yeay! I worked hard all day, planting pansies in pots by the cottage and gathering up burnable rubbish from behind the pond. I trimmed the shrubs (Viburnums and Corokias) which were overhanging Pond Cottage's garden, and pulled out unwanted Euphorbias, so the irises and roses have yet more space in which to grow.

Then I retraced my steps to the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden and burnt the remainder of that garden's rubbish, too. Now I've run out of potting mix, with still more Lobelias and pansies to plant. I like them in pots or baskets.

Tiddles the tabby certainly lives garden life on the edge! She was 'helping' me, while Minimus (my grey cottage cat) lurked beneath the cottage (like a troll under a bridge) and guarded her territory. Tiddles, no fear, kept wandering over and half-peeping under the verandah. No, Tiddles! Don't do it!

Saturday 17th September

Today I am celebrating three things. First, a good 'My knee didn't ache at all' night's sleep. Then the 'I am so lucky to have a water race' concept. It just so happens that the water level is right down. So access is easy, and I shouldn't need to clump around in my frog suit (AKA waders). First I will be cleaning up the Phormiums and ferns by the river pump, then I will plant my bags of irises.

 Two pretty fluffies.
Love Spring Daffodils!

+10And thirdly, some exciting dog-news. Big brown Escher is staying for the weekend. We are a three-piece dog pack again! So do I miss him living here permanently? The answer is 'No and yes.' Oops. Wrong way round!