I'm very pleased to introduce you to some very special cats though.
This is Rosie, she's an 18 year old tabby. Ash described her as 'an old soul' and I think he's right. She's got the bearing of a great queen or a pharaoh's cat. Even if she drools a bit when she's being made a fuss of =P, it's hard not to drool when your 126 in cat years!
Hidden behind her in that picture is George. You can see him better here:
He's a great big ginger tom cat. He's getting old too, although he's younger than Rosie (I think he's 15). He loves snuggling up and is very affectionate but has an annoying habit of extending his claws just enough to be uncomfortable when he's perched on your lap! He's also very heavy to carry!
This is his twin brother Fred (yes they are named after the Weasley twins =]). He's a bit more taciturn and reticent than his brother, but if you sit quietly he'll come and rub his nose against your hand and purr like a steam-train. Unfortunately he has a nervous habit of pulling out his fur =[, it makes it easier to tell him and George apart but he must get cold in winter. I brought him some cat treats for 'healthy coats' to help it grow back and he went completely nuts over them so I hope they help!
So that's the furry companions, time to meet the feathered ones. We'd better take them some food...
They have hen food to eat all the time (mostly corn) but they like fresh vegetables too so here are the off-cuts of courgette and spinach from an omelette I had for lunch and a couple of tomatoes which were going a bit soft; they were home-grown but I didn't pick them in time and they fell off the vine and went squish on the greenhouse floor!
It's very hard to take photos of hens, they move so fast!
They live in this brilliant fox-proof compound. The chicken wire on the sides goes under the ground too and the slabs around the outside stop foxes from digging their way in! There are 2 hen houses to choose from; 6 like to sleep in the big one and 2 in the 'upstairs apartment'!
They lay their eggs in the houses too, sometimes in funny places, I'm not sure how they managed to lay these against the wall...
Oh no, don't even think about it....Please don't go out there...Come away from that door!
They like to escape! On the last morning the wind blew the door and they all got out. I was nearly late for work because it took a long time to round them up. I sent my boss a text to say 'I might be a tiny bit late, the chickens have revolted!' I really felt like I was in Chicken Run! Besides, there won't be many times in my life when I'll have an excuse like that for missing the bus...
They were definitely plotting, very shifty if you ask me!
I'm going to miss the hens and the cats most of all. It was a very lovely week though =]