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.
Bibi-Chan: Well, #1 gone and we are crossing our paws that she has a safe and smooth trip, and that the Big Cat passes its annual technical control test on Friday morning. Ms. A and Tommy's "girls" are here, and guess what? Three of them came as Ms. A decided at the last minute to bring Minnie too. She's Tommy's Mummy! We are determined to make the best of this time as we wait for #1 to return.
Tom: Well, D-Day, as in Departure Day, is approaching since #1 leaves tomorrow morning for England. She gave us a bit of a practice run yesterday as she was gone from 7am to 7pm, attending the national agricultural fair in Paris. Fernant's mum came to feed us all and the Chans did a real job on her, convincing her to open two extra cans of food!!!
Anyway, I don't like it when #1 goes away, but my breeder, Ms. A, is coming down this evening to stay with us, and rumour had it that she is bringing with her my sister Sophie and my niece Emily, so I suppose I will not be totally miserable whilst #1 is away. And I will of course still have my kitties to love me!
And there are of course always sticks to play with...
#1 says she will try to keep the blog going during the week she is away but no guarantees that she will succeed each and every day, so please bear with us.
Tama-Chan: The weather has been cold and snowy the past few days, so no time in the run and no sunpuddles. Fortunately, this kind of weather attracts birds to the feeder, and Rufus continues to come by, so we are not totally without entertainment.
#1 has been trying, yet again, to catch up on her ironing, and I have been in attendance:
I have been napping with my sister, Sei-Chan:
Sitting atop the kitchen cat tree, and keeping an eye on the weather outside:
Napping in the basket overlooking #1's desk:
And yes, that is Violette on the calendar!
And generally looking gorgeous for #1's benefit, as I dream of spring...
Tama-Chan: The weather people predicted some snow on this Sunday and there has been a very strange kind of snow falling. The flakes are tiny and, as we have also been getting some wintery sunshine, they glimmer as they fall. It's actually quite pretty. Impossible to photograph, though, says #1.
Now, onto snuggles. I do have a rather unusual shot of me and Tommy to star us off today:
I love my Tommy so much that it's important to put my mark on every bit of him!
Here is a group snuggle with me, Tommy and #1:
And me making sure that #1 has squeaky clean hands!
My Beebs has also been spending time with Tommy:
And snuggling with #1:
Tommy has been snuggling with his pony:
And of course with Sei-Chan:
This isn't exactly a snuggle, but it's unusual to see Sei-Chan and my Beebs so close together!
Genji has been snuggling with Tommy too:
And of course with #1:
And guess what? This week, we have snuggle pics with both Violette and Vidock!
First Violette with #1:
And then Vidock:
We do have one bonus pic for you today. Remember our little friend Tora-Chan who lives nearby? Here is a sweet cuddle pic of him and his brother Chibi:
Sei-Chan: It is cold out there, Friends! After over a week of constant sunpuddles, we have grey skies, a bitter north wind blowing, and little bits of white fluff coming down from the sky. They are only tiny bits and are unlikely to stay long, but we do miss our sun!
As you all know only to well, there is only one thing to do at times like this:
And when you awake, give the outside a very stern look:
And shake a paw at it!
A few days ago, someone mentioned in the comments that we should probably start to get worried as #1 hadn't been anywhere for a while. How perceptive they were! It seems we are being abandoned for an entire week starting next Thursday, as #1 goes to the UK, mainly on Percheron business. Fortunately. Ms.A is coming down from Normandy to look after us, so we will not be starved of either treats or affection, or food for that matter.
Violette: Pretty Neighs, Everyone! Do you remember how last week, I said that I had watched Vidock at work, and that I was told that my turn would come? Well, guess what? It came a lot sooner than I thought. I too went back to school. I had not had any lessons since June of last year, and I remembered everything I had been taught. In fact, Ms. C said that I was an excellent student!!!
I wasn't frightened of the big puddles of water, or anything!
#1 told me she was very proud of me!
Vidock: Studly Neighs! I have been continuing my lessons and I am doing really well. In fact, #1 has been admiring the beauty of my gait in the various photos she took! I have had a couple of lessons since I last wrote about my schooling. Here I am, training with a surcingle and long reins:
Next time around, it was just lunging:
See how beautifully I pick up my feet?
And extend on the trot?
It's fun to go to school, and we both got lots of apples and carrots afterwards!
RUFUS here! Given the hours of entertainment I have been providing lately, The Chans said I could post today. You see, it has come to my long and tufted ears that we squirrels in general have a pretty bad rep on the Blogosphere, and I would like to redress the balance a little.
First of all, may I say that I am a red squirrel, the native European type. I am smaller in size than my American grey counterparts, and I do have these appealing tufted ears, as well as the usual spectacular floofy tail:
We are a protected species in a number of European countries, such as the UK and France. In the UK, we have been almost wiped out by the greys who are bigger and more aggressive than we are, and carry a disease to which we have no resistance. We are in fact extremely cute and loveable!
As for me particularly, I am lucky. This house that I hang out at actually provides food and a welcome! I come down the big branch under the watchful eye of at least one Chan...
I have a choice between walnuts and hazelnuts, although I am told that apples are about to be added to the menu! Sometimes, I will sit on the ledge to enjoy one of my snacks:
It's nice to have such a fan club, don't you think?
Thank you for reading through my post. I hope that this has given you a little appreciation of us red squirrels. Rufus out!