Today, I woke up late. This is not like me. I obviously needed a good sleep though, because I was asleep half way through an episode of Chuck, glasses on, warm in my duvet on the settee and I didn’t wake up again until 8:30 this morning.
Noireau, our new cat, joined me for most of the night on the settee. I picked him up on Friday morning from the vets in Champniers. He is a big boy – bigger than Basil or Fox were – but soft as butter. He had spent a couple of hours down here on Friday and then retired to my bedroom and the dining room. For a blind cat, he’s actually very adept. I don’t know how blind he is – maybe completely in his left eye and a bit in his right – perhaps tunnel vision.
He’d been hit by a car and left at the vet’s. She’d operated on him – his left optical nerve was completely detached and his right side of his head was very damaged. She’d fixed him up thinking he’d be someone’s cat, but he wasn’t tattooed and he wasn’t chipped. Upon asking about, it turned out he was a stray. Lucky boy to have had the vet fix him before checking. Maybe he’d have been euthanised otherwise.
And that’s where he’s been ever since.
He hissed a little at Tilly when she came for a smell, but other than that, he allowed himself to be subjected to the smell test from Molly. She likes to shove her nose in things. He tolerated Tilly skipping around him. Now he’s fine. He’s not lying with them – but they aren’t bothering him, and he’s not bothering them. It’s amicable. He’s not cuddled up on Moll like Fox did sometimes, but then nobody relaxed like Mr Fox.
He finds his litter tray fine and he finds his food okay too. He manages to climb up on beds and settees and only occasionally walks into things – mainly things below his head height and not directly in front of him – hence why I think he’s maybe got tunnel vision. He even got up on the back of the settee before – that old haunt of Basil, Fox and Tilly. We’d washed everything thoroughly so nothing of Foxy’s can get on him, but maybe it’s just a good cat spot.
Personally, I think us finding each other – it’s fate. I nursed a little half-dead, wormy, maggoty kitten back to life three years ago – he’s now my sister’s rogue cat Clint. He’s deaf and a little damaged, due to his early run in with cat flu. So to have a half-blind cat, well that’s fine. I’m used to it. Of course, Clint can see so he can jump, but he can’t hear so he’d probably have a very short life in the wild or outside. Our new boy can’t see so he’s not going to be climbing up things.
Abi’s got a lead and harness for Clint, so he can go outside. I’ll probably do the same for our boy. His name is Noireau – Blackie. He doesn’t respond to it because it’s only been his name for a month or so, but I quite like it. It reminds me of Blackie Lawless from WASP. He’s already acquired the nickname Hercule. Hercule Noireau. Or Noirot. Honestly, I could rename him. If he was a stray, he probably wouldn’t even have a name in the first place. I’m going with ‘eau’ because there are more Google entries for Noireau. You can also spell it Noiraud. Or Noiro. But it seems as good a name as any. No other name popped out and said ‘Call me this’.
It’s also sad because the reputation of the black cat in France is still very attached to superstition. Nobody wanted him because he was black. This is a shame. My mum had a lovely black cat, Penny – and then another, Tasha. And Noireau is very, very lovely and clings to you when you pet him.
Monsieur Noireau spent last night down in the front room – and seemed to have spent most of last night sleeping on me. He’s only moved to go to his litter tray today – and he has given me lots of cuddles on the settee. From time to time he gets up for a little wander, but he seems to be getting used to everything now.
Outside was a shock this morning though. The world was almost completely white. This might not have been a shock for me in Manchester, but usually, around here, the snow is not too deep. Usually, a couple of days of snow, a couple of inches thick, like when I arrived here in 2009. Today, it was in drifts (little ones!) against the door. The snow had come in through various holes in the lean-to and was lying in little drifts up the corridor. It was 12 degrees in the house, but given I’d fallen asleep with my clothes on, I wasn’t cold!
Nevertheless, our toilet, which is attached to the lean-to, and definitely of an outside kind of temperature, isn’t an exactly pleasant place to pass the time and I’m glad I’m not constipated. I even went to the toilet in the supermarket yesterday just so I didn’t end up back home with a cold bum. There’s no way to go to the loo and avoid exposing a bit of yourself, save a catheter. And it’s not THAT cold. Putting gloves on also isn’t a good idea. It’s hard to wipe your bum when you are wearing gloves!
I finished (except the buttons) the cardigan pattern my mum had sent me for Christmas as well late yesterday. It’s taken just over a month, but it’s been a busy month and some days I’ve not done anything on it. It’s really cute.
It’s the first very complicated thing I’ve knitted – I’ve done a cardigan before and I can rib, purl, knit, stocking stitch and garter stitch with the best of them – but this was a little more complicated – k1, yrn, p2tog, yrn and so on to the last k1. The little pattern on the front was the hardest bit, but once I’d done a row or so, it was an easy stitch to do. Now I’m doing some leg warmers in the same wool. Sometimes, cold breezes go up my trouser leg. Just saying.
The collar was the weird thing – stitching the collar across the three panels. I enjoyed sewing it all together too.