Sunday 10 September 2023

Ruppin - aka Shy Boy or The Terrified Tabby

Who will now beg for my last corner of toast?

Who will snore gently between us both at night?
Who will tap my leg to ask if he may jump on my knee?
Who will sense when my heart starts to race and purr slowly to slow it down?
Who will shadow me at the washing line and guard me from dive bombing swallows?
Who will come for walks with me round the garden, always a few paces behind and stop like we are playing statues?
Who will turn up at tea time, ravenous for food, just as we have started to eat?
Who will fall asleep in front of my iMac screen when I'm trying to watch Youtube?
Who will sit on my keyboard and refuse to budge?
Who will play tag with me from the agapanthus?
You were a sweet, gentle soul, needy, sometimes weird.
Wherever loved pets go when they die, I hope you are appreciated there, because you deserve everything and more.
Know that my heart is broken now you are gone.

Ruppin was killed by a vehicle on our country road, sometime on Friday 8th September. We had been visiting friends and spotted him lying in the road just as we were about to turn into our driveway on our return. I suspect he'd been in pursuit of a rabbit and a car had hit him. He was a slight cat, so the driver probably thought he'd hit a rabbit and continued driving.

I jumped out of the car just in case he was still alive, but he was very still with his head thrown back. In the light of the headlights I could see he wasn't breathing. But when I picked him up he was still limp, but not warm. There wasn't a mark on him, just a small amount of blood coming out of one eye. I sobbed all the way down the driveway.

We put him on a cushion inside a basket on the verandah and I covered him with his favourite cardigan of mine. Mango, our large ginger boy was very distressed. In fact he was running close to him on the roadside when we found him. Both cats sniffed his lifeless body. Cumin was upset I could tell.

We buried him on Saturday morning inside a copse on our property, opposite the windows of our study. He is lying wrapped in a warm blanket shroud next to our old boy Otto. As I started to dig his grave, I disturbed a plump rabbit. So the boys will always have "company".

We are both devastated and in shock. In the last 12 months, he had become a bit of a house cat. We were used to him eating his breakfast after sleeping on our bed all night. Habitually he wouldn't re appear until tea time - whatever the weather, he was out in it. He was a loner. But then he started to stay at home after breakfast. He would sleep in my old chair or curl up inside the office curtains. He'd be there all day. So he was showing all of his 11 years. After I had radiation therapy, I was frequently sat in our lazy boy chair dozing. He sat with me all the time, and slept close to me on the bed at night.

The night after he died, I caught my husband standing by the side of our bed crying. He looked at me and pointed to his side of bed "he should be here, this is his place" It was a routine. I always go to bed first and read. Within seconds, Ruppin would jump on the bed and sit just below Simon's pillow and start washing himself. Then he would go to sleep. Every evening, Simon would mumble to him "you have to move now", and would assist him by lifting up the duvet and gently rolling him towards the centre of the bed. Ruppin loved it and never resisted. We would then both go to sleep with an elongated tabby between us like a slug of tobacco.

So now we are four. Two gingers and two old codgers, missing our wide eyed tabby.

Bless you, wherever you are. You will always be missed.

Thursday 17 August 2023

Post Radiation Therapy

I am two months "the other side" of the radiation therapy for my brain tumour, and thankfully am feeling a lot more normal than I did immediately after the treatment. I was put on a course of very strong steroids which made me hyper awake and permanently tired simultaneously. The only positive, aside from them reducing the swelling on my brain, was that for the first time in many years I didn't have pains in my knees. Sadly that has worn off and I'm back to my creaky self again.This was us a few days before we headed north to the hospital in Auckland.

Next week I have a follow up appointment in Wellington, as my care has been transferred to a radiologist who is a former colleague of the radiologist I was treated by in Auckland.

I have had little energy to do anything since early June, and unfortunately caught a terrible cough and chest infection 3 weeks ago which I have just recovered from, so not much to report in terms of activities. So here are a few photos from my very small life down a country road in rural NZ.

One of our paddock tenants defrosting early morning

The Daily Leaf being supplied at 3.30pm each afternoon by senior ginger.

The morning serenade by the thrush.

Junior Ginger watching various garden activities on the deck outside the kitchen.

Fernando one of our pheasants eating breakfast on the driveway.

Accidentally leaving the light on in the cherry tree!

Kereru season.

Rosella Squadron

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Health Update 2

The year has vanished. Tomorrow it will be June. In mid June I am going to Auckland for 5 days of radiotherapy to try and stop a brain tumour from growing any bigger. I was diagnosed 2 years ago,  but have been on a "watch and wait" regime. The MRI I had in March suggested I needed intervention. Nothing more to report at this stage, but here are a few more photos from the last 3 months to show that life has gone on quietly.

A visit to friends on the S. Island

The table ready for Passover

Enjoying watching our wild rabbit family

Visiting the National Army Museum

Enjoying my new dungarees.

Saturday 8 April 2023


When I was a small girl, we had a very glamorous neighbour. Her name was Phyllis, and I used to love to visit her bungalow. The reason was mostly because she would allow me to look at all her jewellery and sort out her earrings into pairs. I would have been about 5 years old.

She seemed very old to me at the time, although looking back through adult eyes, I'd say she was about 40. Her living situation was odd, as she lived with her husband and her ex husband. Of course that didn't mean anything to me then, but it makes me raise my eyebrows now. But it was the swinging 60s and Phyllis was attractive. She wore short skirts, chain smoked and rolled her heavily made up eyes,  batting the mascara laden lashes on a regular basis.

Her legacy was giving me a passion for sparkly things. I loved rooting through mum's jewellery box too, but it wasn't as large or as exciting as Phyllis'. Mum was modest in all things sartorial, and she certainly didn't have the funds to splash out on the latest Trifari brooch or earrings.

Today, I was putting away recently acquired brooches (one from a local market, the other from a charity shop), and I remembered Phyllis. She would have approved of many of the items in the box, especially the blingtastic ones. But the ones which are the most meaningful to me are those which belonged to mum, or that I bought on holidays or were given to me by friends.  Condita memorias

Monday 13 February 2023

Health update

Since my post in December, there have been other health issues emerging, so I think I did the right thing by stepping back from being employed. It has taken the stress out of endless appointments and rushing up and down to the capital for procedures.

I am still waiting to see how the year develops. I am currently awaiting the results of a biopsy, which will determine the way forward. 

Thank you for dropping in to the blog occasionally. I hope to add a few recent photos to keep things fresh this year.

Holy Water

 I'm having a "holy moment".

We didn't manage to have our water filters changed last year, (our water comes from our roof and goes through a series of filters). The new filters are 12 months overdue and are just being changed now. It was entirely our oversight - the company did send us a reminder, but last year was a bit of a pickle for me, so I overlooked it.
Mr Filter said "You must be proud. Most people have to change these after 6 months, they don't even make it to one year. Yours have lasted two." It reminded me of the children of Israel's shoes in the desert, and how they didn't wear out.
I believe the Almighty has looked after our water supply in our days of stress, and I am very, very grateful.

Saturday 17 December 2022

Premature retirement

This is mostly a "holding pattern" type post. Yesterday I retired. I am 61 years old next week, so it was premature, and risky in this current financial climate.

However, last week I underwent a heart procedure (thank God it went well) and I am living with the unknowns of brain tumour. So, I made the decision to step back and let my body and brain have a break. I don't know what the future holds and honestly, that makes me grip bits of furniture a bit too tightly when I think about it. 

I am a great believer in making space for opportunities. My "space" comes with fish hooks, as I have some physical limitations, but that isn't going to stop me waiting to see what opportunities present themselves.

A case of watch this space. Meanwhile, I think I might take to baking a bit more.