Colman and Mummy

Hi, Kevin here.  Perce and I had a discussion and we decided I’d write about Colman, because it’s a whole year since he left us.  And since Mummy’s done some funny things this week, we need to tell you about her, too.  But she hasn’t left us, let’s be straight about that.

Colman and I came to live with Mummy in 2012, and we’ve had a great time with her.  Colman was already nearly four when he arrived, and he celebrated his seventh birthday about a month before he went over the Rainbow Bridge.  This is one of our favourite pictures of him, although to be honest, we all look good with birthday cake!

Colman's 7th birthday 2015

Colman’s 7th birthday 2015

We had a great time together.  He was an amiable chap, with lots of funny stories, and he was the sort of guy you could rely on if you were in trouble.  He was also very  loyal, although he didn’t trust people until they’d proved themselves.  Once they had, he was true to them right to the end.  I wrote the whole story about how we came here last year, but I just thought you’d like to remember him, and what a good chap he was.  I bet he’s having fun over the Rainbow Bridge now.  Although I must admit, I wonder what happened to their peace and quiet once Dylan arrived :O

Now, what has Mummy been up to, I hear you ask.

She told us a couple of times last week that she’d be going out on Thursday and coming back later looking a bit funny, and she might not be able to give us a run or clean us out on Friday.  Well, it’s always good to have warning if something strange is going to happen, because we are creatures of habit.  Wake-up, cuddles (meds for me), clean-out, run around, breakfast, nap, hay, nap, lunch, head-scratch, nap, grass-time if we’re lucky, nap, supper, snuggle if we’re lucky, nap, cucumber, bedtime.  You get the picture.

Well, she went out as she said, and came back a while later looking a bit like a bee, with one huge eye.  She showed me closer and it was a plastic cover over her eye.  She said it was to stop her from scratching or rubbing it.  She’s been having trouble with it.  I know because I’ve seen her do funny things because she hasn’t been judging distances well.  Anyway, she had an operation on it and now it’s a lot better.  She says it’s getting better every day.  The good thing was, she could pick us up and give us our usual cuddle and run around on Friday, no problems at all.  So she must be fine really.

We’re very glad Mummy is fine.  We love you, Mummy.

It’s been raining

It was very, very hot earlier this week, and we didn’t go out till our runs were in the shade and it had cooled down a bit.  It was still hot, but nice.  Then Friday it rained.  Mummy was pleased it rained because everything needed water.  The grass was getting crispy, which is okay, but I’d rather it was juicier.  Mummy says the rain will make it juicier.

IMG_3272

The first rainy day also had lots of noises called thunder with it.  I don’t mind thunder; I know it’s just up in the clouds.  Kevin said he and Midge looked up and checked with Mummy to make sure it was just thunder and then went back to dreaming.  Saturday it rained still, but Mummy went out for the day, although she came back for a cup of tea and went out again soon after; she said the buses didn’t run late enough or something.  I don’t know what that means.  It wasn’t actually raining on Sunday when she came back from wherever she’d been, but she said the grass was till too wet for us.

This morning she went out really early, just as the radio came on.  She just gave us cucumber and breakfast – no run or clean or cuddles.  Kevin got his meds, though.  She said she’s going to London with some books.  She’ll be back this evening.

Well, that’s okay, Mummy, but when are we going to get our run?  Tomorrow?

Autumn Leaves

I’m getting a little confused by the things Mummy gives me to eat, so I asked Kevin to come and explain them to me.

img_3363

Here’s my breakfast yesterday.  I’ve had a little nibble, then gone off to eat my pellets.  The thing at the front with the blue-green leaves I think we had in the winter.  What’s it called, Kevin?

That’s kale, Percy.  Mummy grows it all year round, but mainly for the winter.  She was complaining about slugs eating the  small plants she’d put out, but I guess she has enough growing now to give us a leaf now and then.  It’s yummy isn’t it?

Yes.  Kale.  I like that. There are three leaves at the side, dandelion, which I love, then the smaller very tasty one, and the nice, slightly prickly one that’s upside down (with the silvery side showing).

The small one is the nasturtium, Perce.  It’s very flavourful isn’t it.  When the leaves get large I think they’re a bit hot, personally, but I like them this size.  The upside down one is raspberry.  I don[‘t think we’ll be getting them much longer.

Is that because winter’s coming?

That’s right.  I think that’s why we got that little bunch of carrot shoots that are underneath your raspberry leaf.  Mummy was very frustrated earlier in the year because she kept sowing carrots and they kept not growing.  Now she says that she sowed some more when she cleared the middle bed and put the kale plants and radicchio out, and now they’re absolutely surrounded by baby carrots.  She told me we’ll get little bunches like this until she’s got them tamed and in rows with room to grow.

That sounds good.  They’re very tasty.  The thing with the red stem we’ve been having for ages.  I liked it at first, but sometimes I leave it till later.

Oooh, chard!  I love chard.  I know Midge leaves his stems, as Mummy gives them to me in the morning when she cleans the cages.  She always gives him a chance, just in case he was saving it for a midnight feast.

Oh, does Midge do that too?  So do I.  Mummy gives my leftovers to Oscar.

Well, some things we like and others don’t, and other things others like and we don’t.  I gather you don’t like tomato.

Eugh, no.

Oh, I love tomato.  And blueberries – stop making that face, they’re yummy.

You can have mine.  And strawberries, too

I usually do🙂  What do you think of the corn husks and tassels?

Those new papery things?

That’s right.  We only get those for a few weeks at this time of year.  They come from a shop in the village, and they get them from the farmer up the road.  They’re much better than shop bought – these ones even have green leaves on the end.

Well, they’re all right, I suppose.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

I suggest you acquire it as soon as possible, Perce.  Once they’re gone, it’s a whole year till we get any more, unless Mummy tries growing them again.

Does she grow this funny shaped lettuce?

The oak leaved one, yes.  Here’s another picture of it on Midge’s breakfast pile.  I think we finished up the plant today, as the stalk was in it.

img_3362

Oh yes, that’s a better view.  What will she plant instead?

Winter lettuce I expect, or more radicchio.  There isn’t much time left for things to grow to the stage where they’ll get through the winter.  But I think Mummy has some blankets to put over the tents she’s got on the vegetable beds to keep them growing a little longer before winter comes.

That sounds very complicated.

You’ll get the hang of it.  You haven’t mentioned the rudbeckia leaf.

Oh, I like those.  I’m glad she only gives us one each time, but they’re very yummy.  And the marjoram, too.

Did we have anything else today?  I’ve forgotten.

I don’t think so, only pellets and hay.  No carrots.  She says I put too much weight on when I get carrots.😦

I don’t have a problem with carrots.  Unless I don’t get them, then I lose weight.  I wonder what we’ll get tomorrow?

I’m still eating today’s breakfast.

Really?  I’ve finished mine.  Do you want me to help you out with anything?

You can have my tomato.  Oscar doesn’t need it.

Thanks! (Slurp)

Kevin had a birthday

I’m sorry I wasn’t here last week.  We had a birthday party for Kevin’s official birthday.  He was six years old.  He had cake with six candles on it, and six pieces of strawberry.  He said it was very nice, and when Mummy took the candles away he asked her to share his cake with us.  I didn’t like the strawberry thing.  I didn’t like it when Mummy gave it to us earlier in the summer, and I still don’t like it.  Mummy gives us lots of strange things I never had at my old home, and not enough cabbage, in my opinion.  She tried something new this week, called corn cob husks, which the others loved but I thought they were boring.  We only get these in September, apparently.  Kevin tells me these things.  He says he’s trying to pass on the wisdom of those who have passed it to him.  Sometimes I wonder if he’s making it up, but he seems to eat all his corn husks and a lot of the fruit, too.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Kevin and his cake, and also a funny animal which was on the leaf above Kevin’s run.  It’s called an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar.  It was nearly as big as me.  Well, no, but it was the size of Mummy’s fingers.

IMG_3355

Oscar has a fright!

We’ve been out in the garden most days last week, if Mummy wasn’t late from golf.  On Saturday though, she put us out when it finally looked like it was dry enough, and then a few minutes later Mummy said she was worried about the black cloud that had snuck up on us.

She went and fed the birds, then went behind our runs to pick the rest of the beans, and sure enough it started to rain.

Suddenly she fell into Oscar’s run, right into the middle of it, with a crash of the jars for putting the bird food in their feeder,  and Oscar shot around his cage trying to hide from the giant who had fallen from the sky.  It was only Mummy, but he was scared out of his wits, just running here and there.  Maybe she nearly fell on him, but I don’t think so.  Mummy was stuck, though.  She’d got her foot tangled in our wire fence.  There’s Mummy trying to get the wire off her toes while she’s lying sideway on the ground, one leg in the air (the tangled one), and the other on the ground.  It looked very strange.  And it’s starting to rain now in earnest, and we’re getting wet, but it’s nice and warm and we don’t really mind.  But Mummy’s anxious to get us in straight away and she’s still untangling herself, and Oscar’s still behaving liked a frightened rabbit.

Anyway, Mummy got her foot free and tried to calm Oscar down, but he’s having none of it, so she gets him into his tent and puts him back in his cage and he’s still running laps!  I get back in my cage and tell him to calm down, but he’s dashing around like a mad thing.  And Mummy’s gone out into the pouring rain to collect Midge, who’s sensible and gets in his tent, and Kevin, who says he’s only been out ten minutes and he doesn’t mind getting wet, and Mummy saying “in the tent, Kevin, NOW!”

Anyway, everyone’s in and the rain is pouring down, but we’re all safe and not really wet.  Oscar is still running around his cage though, and Mummy tries to catch him, but he’s terrified of her.  Eventually she gets him and takes him in the other room for a sit down cuddle, and he’s calmer when he gets back, and we all settle down with fresh hay and talk about the day Mummy fell from the sky into Oscar’s run.

IMG_3099

Oscar’s fine now, and we had a nice run in the garden yesterday, and nothing happened worth telling you about!

Oscar’s on the hammock

I don’t know if I told you, but when Mummy gave me my nice new bed for Oscar & Midge’s birthday present, she gave Oscar the Hammock.  It was George’s hammock; he was given it by one of his fans.  I wasn’t sure how to use it, so Mummy gave it to Oscar.

George under the hammock

George under the hammock

At first he ignored it, although he occasionally put his front feet on it to talk to me through the bars.  Then he took to sleeping under it.  Mummy liked that, since apparently that’s what Fred and George did.

Oscar on the hammock

Last week Oscar started sitting on his hammock, and even lying on it.  He did what Dougall often did, though; he dropped his cucumber down the side and couldn’t find it until Mummy showed him where it had gone.  Dylan never dropped it down the side, so I’m told.

So now the hammock is occupied again, and I have my nice bed which Mummy puts a comfortable layer of hay on as she knows I like it that way.

And I’d say all’s well with the world, except Midge and Mummy both have slight tummy upsets.  Midge is on Cisapride.  I don’t know what Mummy’s on.  Maybe it’s been caused by watching the Olympics too late into the night.  It was nearly 4 am on Saturday, or rather Sunday morning. She said it was all the fault of Jess Ennis-Hill.  Mummy says funny things, sometimes.

Mummy’s been writing all last month

Mummy writes books which star Fred and George, and sometimes Hugo, Victor, Humphrey, and now Dylan and Dougall.  And also feature  Auntie Dawn’s Mariusz, Saku, and Willoughby, and Auntie Doris and Uncle Bob’s piggies, and Auntie Vikki’s…..

covers for the princelings series

The Princelings of the East series 1 – 6

And now she’s written a book in which I’m the star.  She says I’m co-starring with Dylan and Dougall, and it’s called The Princelings of the North.

I was a bit disappointed I had to co-star with those two, but she says I’m already in Humphrey’s book and in Willoughby’s book, so I shouldn’t worry.  Apparently I’ve been disinherited by my uncle and exiled to a lonely castle miles from anywhere, and Dylan and Dougall rescue me and help me get my ancestral castle back.  Sounds good to me.  She says it won’t be out till next year, but it’s good to know it’s on its way.

Mummy also finished Willoughby’s book in July.  It’s called Willoughby the Narrator, and I’m in that as well. Fred and George and Colman are in it too, as well as Mariusz, Lupin, Nimrod and a very brief appearance by Atticus.  Victor and Hugo might be in it too. She hopes that will be ready to be published in the winter.

That’s what Mummy does every morning when she’s in.  She sits at the computer next to me and writes books.  Except now she’s editing them.  I think she knows what she’s doing, anyway.

It’s August

Apparently it’s August today.  I don’t know how people tell the difference.  One day is much the same as any other, although sometimes it’s sunny and warm in the morning and wet in the afternoon, which means we can’t go outside.

Although we can tell the seasons.  It’s getting darker earlier, for example, so we know summer is getting older.  The purple tree in the garden which has nice leaves is starting to drop them, but Kevin says it always does that early, but it’s the first to get them, too.  And Mummy has started to bring us in whole pieces of plant.  Yesterday we had twigs with apple leaves on them.  Kevin says they are ‘prunings’.  Mummy cuts them off to make the tree a better shape for growing apples.  Sounds good to me.  We also get long bits of bean plant, and even beans! Those were very nice.  I’m not keen on bean leaves although Kevin likes them.  Have mine, Kevin.

CIMG2877

We see Mummy cut long bits off all sorts of plants but we don’t get all of them.  They aren’t good for us to eat.  I don’t know how Mummy knows.  It’s just one of those mysteries in life. This is a very old picture of George and Fred with a pea plant. Mummy says they look less than two year old there.  So it’s definitely ancient, because they would be nine years old by now.

August can be a hot month.  I hope it’s hot enough to go out but not so hot it makes the grass all brown. Fingers crossed.

Apparently I was supposed to mention Hugo last week.  It was his anniversary on Tuesday.  I didn’t know that, and I think Mummy was too busy to explain.  But his picture is up in the gallery now.  He looks very smart.  Mummy says he was a bit like me, but more swaggering.  Should I swagger more?

Have a nice August.

A very strange week

It was a very strange week, because it was very hot, and yet Mummy was out playing golf every other day, and usually she likes to sit in the shade when it’s hot.  I’ve noticed this, and Kevin says it’s generally the case.  Anyway, on Tuesday we went out on the grass and I went in with Midge and Kevin, as we have been for a while now.

IMG_3275

We went out again on Wednesday when Mummy came back from golf.  She tends to come back just before it clouds over, which is good, she says. It means we can go out because the clouds make it not so hot.  I thought it was very nice.

Then on Thursday she said it was time I had a bath!  Last time I had a bath was when I was in the rescue place, so I hoped it wasn’t a bad thing.  She put me in the big white thing upstairs, and ran water over me, and then soaped me.  And she laughed and said I look like a tadpole.  I’m taking it as a compliment.  Then she ran water over me again, and took me out and put me in a small white thing and mopped off most of the wet.  Then we went downstairs and I had a lovely cuddle and watched television with her.  Then it was still hot so I went out in the garden with the others.

Well!!!

They acted like they’d never seen me before!  Midge was rumble-strutting and poking his nose at me, and then he started telling Kevin he was boss.  Then Kevin asked me who I was, and I told him I’m Percy and I’ve had a bath.  He said I must have been very dirty because I’ve had the lice shampoo and I smell very peculiar.  Well, I thought I smelled nice, and I didn’t think I had lice, although I had been a bit itchy.  Scurf and dry skin, you know.

Anyway, everyone was grumbling at each other and Mummy couldn’t work out what the problem was, and eventually she took Midge in, then put me in with Oscar, who was just as bad so she put me back with Kevin.  Then she brought us all in.

Friday was just as bad, so Mummy moved the runs around so we each had a small space to ourselves.  Then Saturday and Sunday she moved the runs and we had a large space each.  I’m a bit sad about it, because I like running around with Kevin and Midge, and even Oscar when he’s in a good mood.  Mummy says when the smell of the shampoo wears off they’ll be fine again, although she say Midge might get a bath next week, and I can get my own back on him.

Sigh.  It gives Mummy more work setting out all those runs, though.  Poor Mummy.

Big Breakfasts

Since I arrived in November, I got used to the things Mummy takes out from the white box for our breakfasts.  There’s usually celery, a few varieties of lettuce, or some cauliflower or broccoli, and there was dark green kale which was rather nice.  And carrots, and peppers and sometimes some other root vegetables. Sometimes Mummy would go outside and find us some fresh kale, which was really yummy.  And sometimes a few other leaves.

The last month we’ve been getting less and less from the white box, and more from the outside.  I have to say, I really like the leaves that come from outside, because they aren’t as cold and they’re much fresher.  Once we started going out in the garden I realised why.  They grow there!  They’re all around our runs, some of them under netting, some up poles and some against the fence.

The past three or four weeks we’ve been getting everything from outside.  And since Mummy said Midge and I needed to diet, we’ve not even been getting carrots, although there have been some carrot-like things on the end of some of the yummiest leaves we had.  I’m not sure what we’ve been eating, so I asked Kevin to explain.  Here he is with two breakfasts from last week.

On the left, the top leaves are runner bean leaves, which I love, but Percy and Oscar say they’ve had enough of.  There’s some lavender lying across, and some of one of the types of mint Mummy has.  There’s a pea shoot, and some oak-leaf lettuce from the garden, and an apple leaf, and I think we had a rudbeckia leaf as well.  That’s a big yellow flower with a brown cone in the centre (not a flat one that’s even bigger, that’s a sunflower).  We also had raspberry leaves that day but I must have eaten them.  The next day (on the right), Mummy rather overdid the pea shoots.  I think she pulled up a whole plant for us.  I ate quite a lot of it, but she eventually took the rest away.  We also have one of the other types of mint, swiss chard with its red stem, strawberry leaves, salsify leaves, lavender again (she knows I can’t get enough lavender if it comes in small portions) and I think she gave us a slice of carrot that day, which wasn’t from the garden.  The next day the carrot tops were from the garden with very tiny carrots, and we had curly endive, too.  Oh, Mummy also gave us a wildflower called nipplewort which grows wherever she wants to grow grass, but it’s very tasty and tastes a little like dandelion.  She gives us that too, when she has some nice leaves handy.  And a special treat is cucumber leaf, but at present she says there are cucumbers growing, so we mustn’t steal too many leaves or the plant will starve.

We also get fennel, parsley, oregano (two  types), and more wildflowers from the garden outside, like red clover and wild basil, and sow thistle (yum), and wild carrot, and vetch.

Is that okay, Percy?

Yes, thank you, Kevin.  With all that variety, I bet you’re not surprised I needed help describing it to you.