For various reasons – including, I fear, laziness – it is a few days since I last brushed Jossie. The result is that I have just thrown a large bundle of her hair out through the big sliding doors at the end of the kitchen, a bundle that was caught on the hedge and in the branches of the sumac.
Quite soon there was a blue tit struggling to break it up a bit and flying off in triumph with what he (or she, as the case may be) wanted. Now, sitting in my chair looking out with my laptop on my lap (which explains ‛lap’ but not ‛top’) I am watching as a succession of tits (great, blue, coal and brown) and sparrows (hedge and house) grab bits with which to furnish their nests. Thanks to their activities, the bundle is now broken up into about six smaller clumps.
What seems utterly daft is that two blue tits have just been fighting over one such clump whilst ignoring two others that are swirling around in the wind, one of which actually brushed over them begging to be taken. But no, only that particular piece that the other one wants will do. People are like that too, aren’t they?
The above was written on Sunday – a day in which Jossie had a couple of really good walks: one with me and one with Marcia. Now it is Tuesday and it has not been a good day. We were woken by very odd noises coming from the kitchen. Marcia was first out of bed and went down to find Jossie in great distress. Early though it was, we telephoned the vet and they were here by about nine. There was water on her lungs and her heart was giving out. She was sedated to relieve her distress and she died very shortly after that. Obviously it came as no surprise, she was at least seventeen, but the house feels strangely empty without her.
THE TADPOLE TIMES
The main tank with the frogs in continues to prosper with nothing of note to report. However, a breakthrough with the young toad tadpoles. I have been trying all sorts of goodies to encourage them to eat to no avail so have been adding fresh water weed most days. The fish have been up and asking to be fed recently (but have disappeared now that it has turned cold again) and the little tub we use to take their food down to the pond was empty. As I refilled it I realised that this was something I had yet to try and I dropped one stick in for them. No good expecting anything until it had softened in the water but when I had a look the next morning there were three tadpoles tucking in. Problem solved.