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Posts Tagged ‘Rhumtetum’

I like geese. I don’t know why, but I do. I think it’s because they have presence, and are more than capable of letting people know of their authority, as those with guard geese can testify. My partner tells stories of  various family gander, in full honk, with wings flapping, charging at her as a young girl, before their Christmas demise.  I think one of the reasons I like these creatures is that they reassure me that, depite all the economic turmoil and other worldly problems, life continues. Throughout my life I have witnessed large skeins of geese flying overhead as they make their way to and from a local loch (nature reserve) about 7 miles from home. They arrive around late September and leave around April, spectacularly marking the seasons. Last week on my drive to work I saw my first pinkies, as they are known by some, of the season.  Last week’s gaggle of Pink Footed geese was a small one, less than fifty I suspect; while today’s sighting must have approximated 200-300. Up to 20,000 will winter here in Fife. (picture gobirding.eu)

As I drove past the gaggle in the field I had a strange thought. I wondered what would happen if a teenage goose (is there a name for such a goose or does it just move from being a gosling to a goose?), decided not to come. What if a teenage goose wanted to holiday elsewhere, with other teenage geese? At some point in time, every family’s holiday plans hit the independent cries of  that ‘sounds boring’, ‘I’ll just stay at home’,’I’d rather be with my friends’; usually accompanied by the some form of ‘you can trust me’, or ,’ more often than not, the phrase, or variation thereof, ‘after all I’m sixteen now; I’m a grown up.’ In a moment of madness I started to wonder if teenage geese pass through the same developmental phase.

OK, staying in Greenland or Iceland may not be an option for young geese given how cold it gets there and how hard feeding becomes. But if If staying at home isn’t a viable option, there does appear to be several other destinations where they can spend winter. A few miles from me is one choice and may be preferable to other geese resorts such as Montrose, Aberlady, (both Scotland) or  even Norfolk, the latter is warmer than any of the others but a slightly longer flight. Who knows, there may be some geese put off by longer flights. Which raises another question, which skein do the geese take? In September are there scheduled skeins leaving for different destinations and do different destinations offer different things? Is there an 18-30 club equivalent for teenage geese? Is Loch Leven,Fife, the party capital , the Ayia Napa, of Scotland for geese or is it Montrose, after all, Montrose is at the seaside? Maybe, Norfolk is a better choice after all more geese winter there than here, however, maybe,just maybe, it’s the other way around and Norfolk is the Costa Brava for geese while Fife is for the more discerning goose. It would also appear that some geese may actually fly from resort to resort moving south as the temperatures drop arriving at Aberlady, Aberdeenshire and if it gets too cold moving south from there. There may of course be another reason, that being that these geese are enjoying the best of all possible worlds by mixing the partying resorts with the quiet ones.

As you may have gathered from the above I know very little about these creatures and should, perhaps,concentrate on the cats, cue a cat pic.

Tigh, from our very first litter – still going strong.

Anyway, the geese have returned in their thousands once again. For the next six months or so, I will see them every morning on my way to work, perhaps, as they recover from the night before. But they will be there, reminding me that some things in the world continue as before and that there may just be a better and simpler life  than the manic one that we lead.

Meows

Rhumtetum

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As many will know we have 10 cats. They are all British Shorthairs, among the ten are three toms, one despite his large size is a little cowardly but the other two are large, confident, bold and personable cats.

Leo in hiding

Being cats they know how to manipulate their humans in order to gain food, attention and by and large anything else they want. All cats have these innate skills and have reached their position of power in households across the world by deploying these skills with great mental acuity. Numerous sayings have developed over the years from ‘Dogs have masters, cats have staff’ , “You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals,’ to Churchill’s famous ‘I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.’ But the coolness, control, superiority and decorum of our cats was visibly shattered this week. Other cat lovers confirm our findings that the cool, elegant and at times imperious nature of these creatures disappears when confronted by small humans.

This week we had two of our grandkids over, two children, one aged 16 mths and the other 5 yrs of age who proved to be too much for ten cats. Within five minutes not a cat was to be found, a whole battalion of mice could have wandered through the house, followed by flocks of budgerigars, sparrows and finches, flights of butterflies and flutters of moths. The offer of such bounty would not have brought the cats out of their various hidey-holes so long as the little people were present. Large male cats, even our overweight female queen ignored the whisker test and squeezed their bodies into holes that even the mice would have given some thought to before crawling through.

Cleanest, but maybe not the cleverest hiding spot

The stand down was maintained for a couple of hours; one cat thinking that the grandkids had left, carried out a brief scouting mission only to realise that the kids were in the back garden. He quickly turned about lowered his chest and stomach to the floor, halving his height, and skulked at pace back from whence he came.

Eventually, the kids went home and one by one the cats started to reappear and assert their authority once again. Order was once again restored and the cries for food, attention and anything else they wanted resumed as if nothing had happened.

Yes, the cat may well be superior to us, but perhaps only when we are at a stage where our minds have developed sufficiently for the cat to exercise control. Mini-people represent a challenge best left for mum. If mum, and it is a debatable point, can knock off the rough edges and provide the basic skillls the cat can then work on the rest. Until then, I’m afraid the little terrors (oops children) hold the upper hand.

Rhumtetum

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