Chivers was a much much better patient when a similar thing happened to him a couple of years ago. He tore a huge long strip of skin from off his back and we struggled to stop him licking it until we made him a jumper from one of John's socks - this was a better design than what we gave Boris because this one had holes for his legs to poke through and the cuff around his neck used to roll back so it looked like he was wearing a proper feline sweater! He was such a good boy as he had to wear this for weeks until his back healed sufficiently - good job this was in March otherwise it would have been far too hot for him.
On the subject of pets we have been catching up with the Supervet Series and the remarkable work that is now performed on animals to prolong their lives or give them a better quality. Way back when I lived in Cecil Street in Yeovil in the early 1980s my lovely cat Pinkie disappeared for weeks and we thought she must have been run over as Cecil Street ran parallel to the dual carriageway in Yeovil town centre. Some weeks later I went off with my great friend Haze to choose a replacement from a litter of kittens and came home with two, Sam (originally called Sophie until things began to grow) and Megan. Shortly afterwards Pinkie returned home with two broken legs and a shattered pelvis which the vet thought had been caused by her being kicked rather than a car accident. She was duly pinned together and we had to keep her in a cage whilst the broken bones healed. She had a fit in the cage as she hated it so we eventually cleared the spare bedroom and kept her confined in there - her main purpose in life then was to escape at every opportunity. She did heal - and I don't actually remember the vet bill being particularly extortionate and there was certainly no physio or hydrotherapy. She went on to live a long life - she had a weakness in her back legs and succumbed to arthritis which would periodically temporarily paralyse her hind quarters and she would walk round in a handstand. Her front half became well developed and made up for the weakness in the back so if she wanted to sit on you she would put her front paws on your leg - firmly hook in her claws and drag her way up which could be excruciatingly painful if you were barelegged! I don't think I ever really appreciated what that vet managed to do for her all those years ago but having watched this programme I do now.
So more pictures of cats as I nipped off this morning to feed Millie who we are looking after for a while whilst John and Susan pay a visit to the UK - this is clearly a popular thing to do at this time of year for ex-pats!!
We love Millie - she is such a dainty pretty little cat and she looks so much better at the moment in her winter coat than she does in the summer.
She was waiting for me when I arrived and wasn't too bothered about her food she just wanted some loving. Susan had left a brush for her so I spend a little while giving her a bit of a groom and then as I made my way back to the car she followed me - food untouched. It would be so lovely to pick her up and bring her back to ours for a little holiday but I think our four would have quite a bit to say about that.
From John and Susan's I went straight to Art at Sheila and Klaus's. Poor Sheila has had trouble with her teeth and it has left her with a painful problem with her gums that is going to need investigation. She is seeing a specialist on Wednesday but that does mean that she is going to miss the Ladies Lunch at the Droushia Heights Hotel which she organised.
My latest picture is a challenge for me as I have never done a pastel pencil picture of a human being. The picture I chose dies not have a very distinct face so I thought it would be a good starting point. It is a typical village lady dressed in black but black is a challenge because in the light it takes on all sorts of different hues and skin tones are proving to be a challenge too and don't get me on the subject of hair!!!!!
Still I am enjoying this challenge - it is good to stretch yourself occasionally and stray outside your comfort zone and hopefully I have enough Monday's before Christmas to try and get this finished - not that it is a present for anyone but whilst I am on a roll I would like to get it done!
When I got home from art, and sorting out Elena's Instagram conundrum, the cats had positioned themselves in front of the gas fire and were clearly very appreciative of having it lit. We had a man come today to try and work out why it keeps going out after about 20 minutes. He didn't solve the problem in its entirety but we have now at least got the gas being delivered at the correct pressure and, on further investigation, John has been able to find a few things that are not right with the fire. This bloody fire has been a nightmare - it is too clever for its own good and so can regularly switch itself off because it doesn't think conditions are right.
It is really nice to have this alternative form of heating when you just want to raise the temperature by a few degrees for a short while and it looks nice too. The trouble is it is just too unreliable and it is doing John's head in.
He had it on for ages whilst I was out belly dancing and then when I came home the damn thing wouldn't light again - good job I wasn't cold - Sofi made sure of that as she had us working hard with our wobbles - but more of that later.
It would appear that the ten day's of rain forecast last week are not going to happen - in fact the latest forecast showed three periods of showers today and then from tomorrow a long period of settled weather which is good for Project Pool and the workmen are coming tomorrow rather than Wednesday as the weather is tipped to be good. They were spot on today three heavy-ish showers during the day interspersed with some sunshine.
It was Belly Dancing tonight and Diana kindly picked me up and we went down to Polis together - reduced numbers this week - Elena had to leave early, Louise had attended a funeral earlier in the day and Cara didn't turn up for some reason. This left Jouta, Diana and I valiantly keeping up the good work.
We seem to be unable to keep the routine in our heads but it isn't helped by the fact that the end seems to change each time we practice!
Even though it is much cooler now and definitely much cooler in the dance studio we were all sweating like mad. I had a wardrobe malfunction as my coined scarf kept falling down - I would like to think it is because I have lost weight but I think I just picked up the heaviest one available!