Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Saturday, 11 August 2007

FeelingHouses

My second day of CatCalls at one of my favorite places .

Favourite for many reasons , one that they were one of my earliest families , they have a garden that I love , part of my tasks being to feed birds and fish out there and also to do with the happy feelings in that particular house .
When I started out my daughter was much younger and she liked to come with me and help me . She named the garden the Fairytale Garden and this is how I still think of this job " Im off to the Fairytale Garden now " and everyone knows where I mean .
The bird feeding is serious stuff here , as there are bird feeders galore hanging from trees and with benches strategically placed to ease the task and provide a resting place for the boxes of sunflower seeds . Laura came with me yesterday and spotted mealworms in a container but I decided to exercise my right to ignore those as though I'm sure they weren't alive they still had a wriggling look about them . Mealworms are best left to the experts .

I still feel the absence of the biggest and friendliest boy cat who was part of the family but is no longer with us . He loved company and would invite us to sit down with him in the sitting room and give him a few cuddles once we had come in from the garden duties .
The girls are a little less friendly and how much I see of them seems to depend on how hungry they are , though yesterday there was quite a lot of maiowing and affection and L was of the opinion that she was trying to tell us something .
Later we discovered a poor dead bird under the feeders and wondered if this was the work of the sparrowhawk , though if this was the case the bird would have been taken away ?
Equally I would have expected a bird caught by the cats to have been brought into the house ...? A mystery . Either way , I will need to decide on disposal . At Debbie's there are frequent baby mice brought in as gifts , and we have an agreed routine that they are wrapped in a tissue shroud and committed to the compost though with a few words said over them .
I feel that in this case, having eyed up the compost bin , a burial is more fitting . I will ask D to help later , remembering previous disastrous burials I have conducted , and of which I will say no more ( on this day at least ) .

The feeders have gone down considerably since yesterday so I top them up again .



One of the things I love about this job is the opportunity to spend time with cats , but also there is something fascinating about houses . Interesteing how people live and the space they create for themselves and the feelings that attach themselves to a property when it becomes a home .

This particular house is relaxed , comfortable, light and somehow uplifting and only the alarm system gives me any cause for hesitation . Odd therefore this morning when as I crouch outside the front door the better to find the keys in my bag I think I hear something inside and have to steel myself slightly to go in , hurtle across to the alarm and do the business there before checking to make sure there is nothing or no one sinister inside . The feelings don't immediately fade so I lock myself into the house , something I rarely do , then open the garden door knowing that being out in the garden and announcing my arrival to the cats will restore my equilibrium .
And of course as soon as one of the cats approaches me noisily , everything is in its place again and I know the noise I heard could have been anything , the cat flap , the heating system , traffic outside , any of the hundreds of groans and creaks that are in all houses . ( heating system? In August? I will console myself with anything !) But I do a quick check around inside the house before I start preparing the cat food , making sure there is no one lurking .

I am rarely spooked in other people's houses , though some have definite vibes attached which I think are to do with the past . Ive also had experiences of things not being where I left them , or things I've left one way being another when I arrive . I have an almost photographic memory for how I left a room and can always sense ( or notice ) if someone has been in whilst Ive been out . Some families have cleaners , though this is rare when they are away on holiday and this sometimes explains things . Occasionally it turns out that other family members have keys and pop in to check on things , though usually I will have been warned about this to avoid being startled should we all turn up at once .
But just occasionally there will be a house I feel wary in . Its never stopped me doing what I do . I've lived in ( and arguably do still live in ) houses with odd goings on and its been a source of fascination rather than fear .
Today for example I couldnt find the fish food scoop anywhere . I looked everywhere and finally , knowing it was there , right there yesterday , I look in the pedal bin and hey presto , there it is . Now that could have just been me absent mindedly dropping it in there instead of in back into the fish food box situated alongside . Or something else ? Who knows ?

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