Despite there being times in the run up to it when it felt like it could never possibly happen, we’ve been away for a couple of weeks. The odds certainly felt stacked against it with various health problems – human and feline, and then discovering Tilly was pregnant and due to give birth whilst we were away. A combination of good friends, lovely adoptive parents, and an excellent cat sitter made it possible to actually be at Manchester airport at the appointed time, more or less sane and prepared.
The bookends of the holiday: On arrival in Singapore airport a little video pinged onto my phone – Mog having a cuddle on the lap of one of new humans. Long suffering followers of the blog will know just how wonderful this was to see. On arrival back at Manchester an email to say that Tilly had had 5 kittens, all happy and healthy – though a couple of days later than we’d guesstimated. On arrival at airport carpark, a second email to say she’d had 6! not 5. She’s still in the care of a friend so no photos until the weekend – sorry.
It’s a strange feeling, having been so caught up with cats at home to suddenly not have them. Kind of double edged / bittersweet. I always say that I look forward to missing them. The break is good but its odd to not be organised by a feline committee throughout the day. It’s good to simply walk from room to room without being tripped up by furry people hoping for treats and cuddles, and wonderful to sleep in a bed in whatever position you chose without playing some nocturnal version of twister with them. However, by day two – despite the delights of travel – hands start to feel empty and some of the meaning goes out of life.
China is perhaps not the best place for a cat lover. None were sighted in Beijing. One big ginger tom lorded it over Gao’s house in Xi’an, a few cried outside the great mosque, tugging at heart strings to go rescue. It was hundreds of miles later and up a mountain in Longsheng that we finally made contact with a cat.
She’d managed to install herself in the hotel and happily approached and seduced diners into sharing their supper with her. It’s hard to imagine how far away her nearest family planning clinic was (we’d climbed a couple of hours from the nearest road) but sadly she’d not found it as yet, and I doubt her kits will find it either.
We found another young man in a small village but he was busy guarding his sign
What it would have been better to not see on leaving the Terracotta warrior site in Xi’an was a stall selling fur. Most of the cats we saw in China were white with coloured tails /ears etc. Many of the furs for sale were white with coloured tails / ears etc. We didn’t look too closely and didn’t take photos ……. but the vague image kind of lingers ….