An Animal Conspiracy

I swear that our animals, despite being in two different locations, can communicate and conspire together. I don’t know how they do it, but judging from today’s adventures, I’m guessing telepathy.

Our first sign that something was amiss was my cat, Vasili, coming in limping on his front paws. We had hoped he would walk it off but this morning, it was clearly still bothering him so to the vet we went! Unfortunately, our local branch didn’t have any appointments available so we had to go across to Nantwich. I loathe going to Nantwich with Vasili in the carrier. The poor animal abhors the car, yowling and hyperventilating the entire 15 minute drive. Even with my hand in the carrier stroking him made absolutely no difference. He’s so bad with the car that on the way back home, armed with anti-inflammatories and an order to keep him inside for a few days, we let him out of the carrier in the car. This was wildly experimental as I know some cats like being in cars and travelling. Vasili does not. But, he was very interested in all the things flying past the window. Interested enough that he forgot to hyperventilate and only remembered to yowl intermittently. Getting out of the car had to be very carefully managed. My husband got out of the car first, closing the door and opening our front door. Picking up Vasili from my lap, I opened the door and made a quick dash into the house, hoping Vasili didn’t make a spectacular bid for freedom and leg it down the street. Thankfully, he didn’t!

Safely back inside and bribed with medicated fish, Vasili curled up on the sofa and zoned out for the afternoon. With Vasili sorted, I headed across to the allotment to feed the chickens. I made the mistake of thinking to myself that the animal drama for today was all over. That was foolish. For the menagerie had other plans! In the Main Coop, I threw out the sunflower seeds and watched Rey, Dora and Flora devour them enthusiastically. But where was Polly? She didn’t seem to be in the run. Maybe she was in the Nest House? Not there either. Surely she couldn’t have escaped? Then a horrible thought struck me. Polly is our oldest hen, could she have died and someone had taken the body away? Surely not. I had another search around and still nothing. I checked everywhere. Just as I was about to give up, Polly appeared out of nowhere. There was literally nowhere I hadn’t checked in the run or Nest House. Every nook and cranny had been checked. Looking at me innocently, Polly sauntered towards the sunflower seeds and tucked in. Bemused and relieved in equal measure I filled up the New Coop food bowl and headed across to Liz and Sarah’s plot.

What greeted me at the door of the New Coop was a rabble of bantams. Juggling the water bottle and heavy food bowl, I opened the top and bottom of the door. As I stepped through the door, I caught a grey flash out of the corner of my eye. Turning, I saw Connie had made a perfectly timed bid for freedom with Foxy eager to follow. I threw down the food bowl and water bottle, swooped down unceremoniously on Connie and lobbed her back into the coop whilst fending off Foxy with a foot. Quickly, I grabbed the bottom of the door and swung it closed, just in time too, as Connie was determinedly marching back towards the door for another escape attempt. Honestly! All the animals had got the wind up them today!

As ridiculous as this situation was, it was about to get worse. Regular readers will remember the eggs that kept appearing in the poo bucket. What I found in the New Coop today has made that look positively sensible compared to where this egg had been laid. I stared for several minutes at the egg. What on earth could have possessed the bird to lay the egg in the water bowl?! She must have perched on the edge of the bowl as she laid it. Why? Why on earth would a chicken choose to lay in the water bowl rather than the massive, warm, dry nest box mere metres away?! I just don’t get how their brains work sometimes! I removed the offending egg and cleaned out the bowl before refilling it with fresh water. Part of me wonders if it was Gertie as she tends to perch on the sides of the bowl to drink but it could easily have been any of them!

Fortunately, Maude and Mavis were behaving and seemed appreciative of some dandelion leaves and sunflower seeds. Maybe their hearing isn’t what it was and they missed the Call to Chaos? Or maybe they simply couldn’t be bothered to join in? Either way, it was a relief to have two chickens not reduce me to a panicked mess!

Back at home, I let the Topknot Gang out in the garden. I watched them closely for fear of another mad escape attempt or get into trouble in another way. Aside from making an absolute mess on the patio as they dug a hole in the flower bed, I escaped any further animal dramas. After dinner, I checked on Vasili to find him still curled up on the sofa asleep.

Exhausted from all the drama, I joined Vasili on the sofa for the evening! The plan for tomorrow is to get the remaining potatoes in and to pot on some of the seedlings in the greenhouse. If I feel very energetic, I’ll clean out the shed assuming there are no more animal dramas….


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