Tuesday 27 September 2016

A Mum-Seeking Missile

Our two new kittens, who came to us on the day after Brexit-vote day (24th June) are, we estimate, now 4 months old. They are big and lively and have long out-grown their willingness to stay contained within the Sitting Room so we leave that window ajar for them and have taught them to come and go through it so that they get access to the whole garden and yard.

Chip (boy)
They are, however, a bit small  and silly yet to be able to cope with a chase or an attack by the terriers. Deefer would possibly be OK on her own but the 'pups' in pack-mode are a different species, rushing in teeth-first, desperately trying to get in faster than their sibling. Real 'red mist' stuff with no thought to whether this is allowed prey or just ratty vermin needing several bites and shakes to kill it as fast as a dog can. The kittens have showed a tendency to try to get back into the house through the other (non-Sitting Room) windows or doors, which would (and has) land(ed) them in the doggy parts of the house. A mad scramble then ensues to rescue the silly kitten and secure the dogs. We have to remember when we open the Sitting Room window, to close all the others far enough to prevent kitten ingress.

Chivers (girl)
We have started to warily try out some controlled 'meetings' and looking at options like crating the kittens in a room to let the dogs get a bit familiar with them and calm down the killer instinct a bit. Liz tried one yesterday where the 'pups' were locked in the bedroom and Deefer was allowed access downstairs. She apparently walked right past the kittens to go steal their food. Progress of a sort, we guess.

The Araucana x game cock-bird always
manages to look totally demented.
This morning, though, a rude awakening of a new sort. We were lying there semi-asleep in the last few minutes before my alarm goes off (07:30) with the dogs scattered over the duvet as normal. I had every reason to think the alarm would sound, I would get up and then prod some snoozing dogs into action so that I could take them out for a 'comfort stop'. Suddenly all hell broke loose and the three dogs were charging about the bedroom down and around each side of the bed, round the foot-end or over the top (and us).

Guinea Fowl also managing to look demented. 
They can't actually get under the bed as the space is full of suit cases, crates of bed linen and 'other season' clothes but the spaces are small enough to allow in cats and Soldier in particular likes to wake me up for (his) breakfast by playing with the dogs and winding them up. In the half light I assumed he would be, as usual, on my bed side table 'asking' to be let out (and then fed downstairs, of course). Then I saw the real cause of the chaos - a kitten was running around and diving under the bed whenever a dog got too close for comfort. Luckily he was still intact and Liz, awake and out of bed in an instant was able to scoop him up while I tried to hold all three dogs at a distance. Obviously we had left too many windows open and the bedroom door, and the kitten had woken up, then gone out, come back in through the kitchen and hunted us down in our sleep. "That boy is like a Mum-seeking Missile" was Liz's comment. Luckily, no harm done and a lesson learned.

K-Dub hacks off render with the medium
sized kango hammer. 
Meanwhile, work has started on the kitchen extension. First job once the site had been cleared was to hack off the render on the house side of the new space, so that we get a lovely attractive stone wall in the kitchen, instead of the stippled "gravel-dash". The plan was to hack off this, rake out the (pointing) cracks between stones and repoint with pale mortar which will contrast with the beautiful dark grey of (we hoped) the lovely quarried, shaped stones.

Raking out the old pointing and the 'gobs'
of render in the cracks
We were not at all sure that the stone would be beautiful, of course. Plenty of the internal walls proved to be a right old mess of concrete blocks, old bricks and re-used rubble. But 'no', we were delighted to find quality stone work with big blocky 'coin' stones at the corners and well bonded rows of good stone throughout. Some of the coins are 13" high and one was a gorgeous black stone which will make quite a feature. We were also delighted with how "handy" (well) the render came away. You can be days chipping away inch by inch. You don't know till you start. The kango-ing, raking out and then wire-brushing were all dusty, messy jobs and my hair felt like a Lego man's one-piece plastic wig by the end. It was pure joy to be able to get into the shower.

Lovely stonework revealed. 
Since these pics were taken we have moved on. The plumbing has been moved to accommodate the new roof (mainly sneaking the vent 'stack' out sideways through what will be a block-work in-fill mini-wall so that we do not have to make a big hole in the new roof). We have also measured up and now ordered all the timber for rafters etc. That should arrive tomorrow. More on this in the next post.

The Buff chicks are a month old now. 
Tonight we will be a bit more careful with the windows at lock up. By the way, I love that the spell-checker on this site offers you 'mango' for Kango. While trying to work out what a Mango-hammer might look like, I am also trying to see tropical fruit used to remove concrete render from the outside of a house.

1 comment:

Care Towers said...

Exciting times on the extension - hope it all goes well!