First, in June 2008, came a young sorrel Abyssinian cat called Sen-Chan and a slightly younger English Springer Spaniel called Tom. In October 2008, they were joined by Tama-Chan, a ruddy Abyssinian girl kitten. The three lived so happily together, playing and cuddling in the French countryside with their mistress, known as #1. But in early January 2009, tragedy struck and Sen-Chan went to the Bridge at not yet 18 months. For a while, it was just Tom and Tama-Chan and #1, remembering sweet and gentle Sen-Chan, and the one who came before him, the fierce and noble Ikkyu. But then, in April 2009, a little red furrball, Sei-Chan, joined the family! She was followed in October 2009 by Yuu-Chan, a playful but very mellow little sorrel boy. And then Tama-Chan had kittens and little Bibi, a ruddy male, stayed with us. Sadly, we lost our beloved Yuu-Chan in September 2010, but we soldier on and live and love in our little corner of rural France. And we now have a big little brother in Vidock, a Percheron stallion, a little little brother in Genji, a blue Abyssinian, and a big little sister in Violette, a Percheron mare.
Tom: When #1 and I went out last night so she could get one last breath of fresh air around midnight, the outside looked quite normal, but when we woke up this morning, it had changed!!! Everything was white! #1 says it's called snow and it is the first time I have seen it. We didn't have any at all last year! Compared to the kind of snow some of our blogging friends get all winter-long, this wasn't much, but it was beautiful and it was FUN! It's already melting...
I think it suits my colouring!
Here is our outdoor Christmas tree:
Sen-Chan: We are not being let out, which I think is grossly unfair! So, I am having to concentrate on Sunday blogging:
Tama-Chan: As I mentioned a few days ago, I have started to explore the house in which I live a lot more, and I have been making lots of wonderful discoveries. I had already been enjoying playing behind the bookcases in the study, which was once an attic, but I decided to have a closer a look at what was actually in the room the other day!
I discovered this:
It's a BIG cat tree and it has a really nice and cozy hidey-hole right at the top!
And then there was this: This is a smaller kitty condo that once belonged to "The One Who Came Before." It sits right next to #1's chair, next to her desk!
But here was the best of all discoveries:
This is #1's desk which is very big, and on it was a beautiful cushion she called a Boogie Mat, just perfect for me to curl up on!
Now that I have discovered the desk too, #1 has made enough room for both me and Sen-Chan, and says she will get anther Boogie Mat as soon as possible.
From #1: Yes, I had a very good day in Paris, thank you! I went to the Louvre Museum to see an exhibition of works by Andrea Mantegna and then did some "exotic" grocery shopping since the depth of the French countryside does not yield many types of food ingredients other than local.
Although we are not American and this is just an ordinary day in France, our #1 lived in the States (Chicago, the new Presidential city!) for several years and gained an appreciation for how lovely a holiday Thanksgiving is. In fact, she was talking with some friends yesterday who had also lived in the States and they decided to have a proper celebration next year! So, in the spirit of our American friends, we would like to say how thankful we are to have each other and a #1 who loves us, and for all the wonderful friends we have made through blogging!
From Sen-Chan The Red
From Tama-Chan The Cute
And from Tom The Joyous
PS from Tama-Chan: I had a big adventure this morning as #1 took me and Tommy away in the wheely box and when we got there, I got poked at TWICE by the very nice lady! Once with a little needle and a second time with a HUMONGOUS needle! She said they were bringing all my shots up to date and putting in my microchip.... ARE YOU LISTENING, TIGMUT'HEP?!
PPS from #1: We will not be posting on Friday as I am escaping the "gang" and heading into Paris for the day, so they won't have secretarial services available!
Tama-Chan: Now that I've been here for over a month and have realised that Sen-Chan is not a Big Red Monster but my sweet and loving brother, I have been doing quite a bit of exploring and, yesterday, I found a wonderful new toy!
I started investigating under the benevolent eye of my big brother...
there was this scritchy bit in the middle...
And a groove with ball in it...
I could head butt the ball...
or whap it with my paw...
It went round and round. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..................
Tom: The sun is finally out after days and days and days of rain. The fields are still soggy but it was great to be out. #1 and I first played Frisbee on the big lawn behind the house, and then we moved to the field behind, with all the reeds. We played for almost three quarters of an hour and when she started down the lane, back towards the house, I tried very hard to convince her to come into the big field for yet another game:
Even though I looked at her pleadingly, she said we had to get back.
So now I am going to have to wait several whole hours until my next Frisbee game. Sniff...
Sen-Chan: Well, it's not actually snowing here, but it's a really nasty day out with cold wind and rain, and Tama-Chan and I have therefore decided that we are going to spend the day snoozing!
Tom: You know me... I'm an all-weather dog, and I have already had an outdoor adventure with #1 this morning. We went to visit an apple fair at a nearby village and bought some locally-made apple cider vinegar. We then dropped in to see a friend. There was a nice fire burning in the fireplace and I began to feel sleepy........
Tama-Chan: Even though I am still only three months old, I have already started my apprenticeship as a gourmet, under the guidance of my brother, Sen-Chan. Since we live in France, we decided that cheese should be our initial project. Opportunity came the other evening when the phone rang as #1 was eating her cheese. She had to step away from the table and we stepped right in!
"OK, now looks closely" said Sen-Chan, there are two types of cheese here, Gruyère from Switzerland, which is a hard cheese, and Chaource which is a soft and creamy cheese. Unless you can get #1 to cut the Gruyère up into little pieces, the Chaource is the better bet because youc an simply lick it!"
And thus we spent a delightful and very companionable moment, enjoying the finest cheese! I can't wait for the next lesson!
Tom: Do NOT, for one moment, think that I am dispossessed! Believe it or not, #1 does not eat the rinds on the soft cheeses, and guess who gets them?! Do I look anything but spoiled?
Sen-Chan: We were over at our friend Daisy's blog and saw that today is "Fierce Fighter Day" when we remember all of the Ones That Came Before that have bravely fought battles with cancer, FIP, diabetes, or any other struggle, and have now gone on to watch over us.
As the oldest member of our gang (at 16 months...), #1 has put me in charge of remembering IKKYU, who died of complications from diabetes and renal failure in late August 2007. The renal failure had started several years previously and the diabetes was diagnosed a year before his death. He was brave and always showed great dignity through his suffering. Here are a few photos from the last year of his life:
Neither I nor Tom nor Tama-Chan got to meet Ikkyu but #1 has told us about him. He was a pretty special guy and an awsome (and fierce!) guard cat! We will always carry him in our hearts, and are proud to be following in his pawsteps. I am doing the cuddles, Tama-Chan is handling the fierce "bits" and Tom is having all the adventures he always wished he had outdoors.
Sen-Chan: According to #1, whisker photography is a delicate art as the light must be just right, and it's better not to use the flash. She was rather pleased with this picture she took of mine:
Aaaah, the wonders of a little sunshine!
Tama-Chan: In my case, it was sunshine PLUS a little luck! This picture was taken by #1 before I came to live with her and the boys, when she would visit me regularly at Uncle U's. I was sitting in my carrier, outside, on a sunny day. Isn't it FUN?!
Tom: Well...... I guess I can't really compete with the kitties on the whisker thing, but #1 says that I give off such a wonderful overall impression that it doesn't really matter at all!
Tom: #1 said we have to be quiet about this one because we have been waiting and hoping for it ever since little Tama-Chan, our very own princess, arrived in our home exactly four weeks ago. These pictures were taken yesterday evening and we are very excited about them!