Poor Cats

I’ve mentioned before that I feed the “Poor Cats” of the village. It started when we had the really cold weather and I felt sorry for the group of cats that appear to hang out around the Post Office. I now feed them pasta and some cheap cat food every day. Often their meal includes remains from Pomme’s dinner, or some grated cheese, or some bits from our plates. Today they had a tin of tuna cat food mixed in – it was an absolute success! They went wild for it, each cat hunched over its plate (I use 7 or 8 different plates, so that the more timid cats don’t have to worry) and scarfing the food like there was no tomorrow. Then , when the quick eaters had finished and started prowling round for extras, there was quite a bit of hissing and paw-lashing.

There’s another woman who arrives sometimes to feed them as well, so they’re probably doing reasonably well. I don’t know where they all sleep though.

When I go to feed them I call ‘Minou! Minou!” (French for “Puss!”) and often four or five come running to meet me. Others start congregating at the side of the Post Office, with a chorus of mews and meeps. I have taken a few photos, but the cable to download them onto the PC is playing up, so you’ll have to wait. But we have:

Tiny Lil, Baby and Tabs – these are three tabby cats, all quite young. It’s very hard telling them apart, but I think Tiny Lil is the most timid, who will often hang back and doesn’t always get any food. Baby gets quite possessive of his/her food, and is usually the last to finish, as s/he cleans up everyone’s leftovers. Tiny Lil will sometimes come quite close to me, but shoots off if I look at her for too long.

Jetty and Tilly – two black cats, named after two black cats belonging to my mum’s neighbour. They are timid too, and scoot about like two shadows.

Ginger Pudding – he’s an enormous fat ginger cat. I don’t think he’s really a stray – his long fur is too tidy and clean. And he’s too well fed. I only give him a little food and shoo him away when he tries to muscle in on the other plates.

Minou and Minette are two grey-tabby-&-white cats. Minou is shyer than Minette, but has started rubbing him/herself against me when I arrive. Minette is very friendly and although s/he loves his/her food, s/he also enjoys a stroke and a scratch.

*****

Back to school today. It was okay, I suppose. I have learned that L., the rather disturbed young man in the class, is not being quite as helpful as I had hoped. One of the other students has told the son of a friend that, when I’m struggling for a word in French, which L helpfully supplies,  he is, in fact, supplying me with a rude word rather than the word I’m searching for. Ho, ho. What jolly japes. Still, maybe this should encourage me to learn more French!

I have finally got round to writing the dates for the terms in my diary. Imagine my horror when I discovered that, because we had a 2-week half term in February (so tout le monde could go ski-ing) there’s no half term in May. We have a 10 week term, no break. Usually there would be at least a few Bank holidays in May (both 1st and 8th) but in France, if the Bank Holiday falls on a Saturday, then it’s tant pis – You don’t get another day off instead. And guess what! They’re both on Saturday this year. The only saving grace is that we finish on 3rd July rather than struggling on for another 2 weeks like our English compatriots.

*****

I wish I could write thoughtful comments, or describe my spiritual journey, or make pithy observations about the World. But somehow I don’t do that kind of thing very well. So you get me bimbling on about stray cats and school. Sorry!

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3 Responses to “Poor Cats”

  1. Ian Says:

    No apology needed; I find your day-to-day life fascinating.

    On your French word for ‘Puss’, what sounds do cats make in French? As in English has ‘Miao’ and ‘Purrrr’; how do cats sound in French, if they sound differently?

    Prayers and best wishes for a long school term ahead, and your learning of French apart from L ; I am sorry to say I did laugh a bit at that — only because I could see myself having that trust and being unaware too! 🙂

  2. agatha Says:

    Clearly the Auld Alliance is alive and well – Scottish schools also finish 3 July (or before)

    Ian, when I visited my French exchange friend I was told that French cats go “ron ron” but that might only be in the suburbs of Paris.

  3. Ian Says:

    Thank you Agatha; and I now also have a wondrous image of Parisian cats not being understood by cats in other areas of France. 🙂