Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘rabbits’

Pets need Bed and Breakfast Too


Head down concentrating hard with the heavy patter of torrential rain beating rhythmically down on the conservatory roof; I became aware of people in my garden.   I looked up to find Mini Son with one of his teachers.  She was carrying a large box and he, a crutch. A pang of panic punched my stomach; had he been in an accident, why did he need a crutch, haven’t I been here before?  They reassured me he was fine, as out of the box they pulled a white fluffy rabbit.

I have two rabbits; technically they are my children’s but guess who looks after them.   Following another long cold winter we have let them out of their hutches into the garden which gives them freedom and exercise.  They have now discovered the weather worn holes in the back fence not to mention the broken panel in the back gate that no longer closes.   I also suspect they have dug a tunnel under their hutches to the field behind.  A large expanse of open field which is public ground, unfortunately planted with so many tiny trees that no-body is able to use it.   My children being the exception, they play the modern equivalent of cowboys and Indians shooting and hiding and battlefields.  They have a base up in the trunk of the ancient tree that commands the far left corner of the field and watches over the estate.   They play a mix of ball games or rugby tackle mauling with a range of local kids on the small area kept tree free for future development.

This has given the rabbits a hitherto unknown freedom which they are currently taking full advantage of.  Smudge has developed a teenage attitude and has a regular nightly meeting around midnight with two local cats.    They sit on a nearby roundabout and play together.  Somehow I do not think it is the cats in command.    Smudge has also developed a strong attachment to getting into the cage of a nearby female rabbit.

I often get people returning Smudge or telling me my rabbits are out.  I have stopped running after them.   They come back when they want food, when it is wet for shelter or sunny to lounge on the decking and have a wonderful life just lolloping around the fields.  A few dogs have chased them and they lead them straight home and under the DSC_0015 DSC_0068decking where they have I suspect a myriad of tiny tunnels.

Mini Son’s boxed rabbit was a young fluffy white one not unlike our own Magic, it had been running round the car park at school, cars narrowly missing her and she was now cold, shivery and very frightened.  I was sure it was the errant female Smudge had previously been enamoured by. Mini Son had come home for some bedding and rabbit food and if I knew the owner could I contact her.  Impulsively I told them to put the rabbit in Magic’s cage. At least she would be dry and could be picked up once I had contacted the owner.

I rang my friend.  It wasn’t hers, their female was still locked away safe from stud in waiting Smudge and tucked up warmly and dryly in her pen.    I spent the rest of the working day contacting people to no avail; it seemed that no-one had lost their pet.  I left messages with the vets, haven’t I done this before Reg (!.

As I prepared our evening meal, contemplating with each chop of the carrots how I should break the news to Sexy Sporty Dad that he might need to feed an extra mouth tonight, there was a knock on the door.  A man dripping wet in overalls and wellies stood on the step.  He looked as if he had spent hours chasing round looking for a lost pet.   Delighted he had found me before Sexy Sporty Dad arrived home I was about to take him round to the hutch when he asked if I had lost a rabbit.

Was I not supposed to say that to him?

I stood, now dripping with the  rain beating down my back looking at all three rabbits as he produced yet another rabbit.  This young blackish brown one was cold, shivery and very frightened.  He had been caught under the cars in his road near the school.    He had been running about all day apparently with a white one earlier and caused many a car to break suddenly.   It had taken the man ages to catch him.

Coincidences! There are some coincidences that I just don’t believe in.

These were a pair that had escaped together, it made sense to keep them together.  That is how I came to have two extra bunnies when Sexy Sporty Dad arrived home from work.  All my contrived explanations and assurances that I had already prepared were unnecessary as he knew the whole story before the door had even closed.   Mini Son desperate to show him the new pets, Middle son was busy thinking of names for them and No 1 Son nonchalantly asking to borrow the car while our attentions were turned.

Jungle drums finally worked and a series of texts, mobile calls and facebook messages led a local mother to ring me to ask if I had one of her missing pets. Over the moon that I had both, she arrived as the rain began to cease its relentless pommeling with a large overnight bag to retrieve her mischievous monsters.

Reunited with two rabbits a much relieved parent left, our own pets resumed their quest for freedom and I served dinner.

The crutch? It had been used to catch the rabbit!


I have a very exciting development in the Memories saga.   A friendly barrister has agreed to read the book for authenticity.  I have naturally sent it off to her before I or she can change our minds.  I hope she doesn’t throw it back as rubbish.


Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy


Fighting Felines

My garden is a permanent battle ground for local cats at the moment. I was tolerant but since the demise of Tetley last summer, who had the monopoly on my garden; the neighbourhood moggy population has decided that I am fair game.  Well game on moggies because I am fighting back.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not against pets and realise for many people they can be life enhancing companions.  However they are not for me.  We have two rabbits Magic and her son Smudge whose lives are so boring and non functional that you have to question their raison d’etre.  Once in a while they escape and have a fun packed day in our garden feeding off my herbs and vegetables.   Not unlike Mrs McGregor I threaten to put them in the pot ready stuffed with herbs.

Of course, despite my antipathy towards them I could not serve them up in a stew.  I have eaten and cooked rabbit, as a child helped rear poultry for food and I am happy to coo and admire my sister’s pigs and lambs before buying said meat from her and producing wonderful family meals.  My self sufficiency does not really extend to putting the family pets in the pot whatever havoc they may have wreaked upon my barely budding beans and prolific parsley plants.

We also have Reg; the cockatiel, who is a story in his own right and one day I will embellish liberally on Reg and his exploits.   He thrives on human company having moments of self expression when he sings and talks incessantly.  Thankfully the effort for him is short lived leaving him exhausted and in need of yet another nap.

I have entertained the idea of a puppy in the house on many occasions; it could be a deterrent for the faction of felines defecating in my herb garden.   Three children would be delighted at the arrival of a tiny bundle of mischievous fur with their promises to look after it and walk it, clear up after it etc.    I, generously would give it a week before I was walking it and maybe not that long before I was the one clearing up the little packages left whilst we were asleep or at work.    Not to mention the chewed shoes and ripped clothes left lying around by teenage boys.

I cannot even begin to imagine the attraction of getting up in the rain and snow and embarking on a trek across the fields with nappy sack in hand.   On a particularly cold morning I guess the warmth of the filled nappy sack could potentially have benefits but one I struggle to accept.  When I have my mansion with suitable area of garden for dogs to run and do their business, I may reconsider my feelings towards muts in general.  For now my home and already cluttered life remains resiliently puppy free.

The same cannot be said for cats.   They come in to my garden uninvited and use it as a public meeting place watching the rabbits for signs of escape so they can enjoy a well fed tasty takeaway.   They sit at the conservatory window , their eyes transfixed on Reg, waiting for the door to be left ajar so they can sneak up against his cage salivating.   They use my ornate bath herb garden for their toileting habits and are not in the least bit penitent.

It is time to fight back.  I have finally been driven to the point of insanity and invested in a cat repellent device which I have gleefully

Claiming back the herbs

installed in the bath.   The adverse, although some might see it as positive, effect of this little tool is the deterrent effect it has on teenagers.   The gadget emits a high pitch sonic drone which really seems to bother the ears of my two teenage boys.   Mini Son can hear it but is not agitated by it.  I can hear nothing.

I woke this morning to an ultra low eerie wave of sound, a little like the sweep of the old air raid klaxon but far more futuristic, similar to the continual wave of a Jedi lightsaber.  Realising the device was turned on and in some spooky retribution I was being subjected to punishment I leapt from the covers and ran into the garden to turn it off before the whole family was wakened.

Standing in a cold damp garden in just my nighty and bare feet I found the machine already off and the noise dissipating into the foggy distance.  Was it an alien alerting his amigos, a walker whistling for his disappearing dog or a complex and confusing additional dimension to the dream I was dragged from?  Or maybe the moggies are fighting back. I may never know but I do understand the low sonic wave the boys find annoying and will remember to turn it off when they are around.

Needless to say I have not seen any cats all weekend and even the dogs, whose owners are not so diligent, have failed to leave their little gifts where the children all play.  Even more remarkably there has been a lack of teenagers hanging round the house; so there may be some benefit after all.

It has been a busy week for writing,   I have sent off 6 stories to the Reader’s Digest 100 word story for this year’s competition, hoping to match Middle Son’s success last year at the very least.   100 words is not a lot and the whole story has to pivot round one sharp scene with a twist in the final sentence.   In contrast I am writing a short story on conflict for which I am researching Hindu religious culture and producing some interesting first person prose.  It may end up too long to be a short story but I can’t tell yet if there is enough backfill to make a novel.

I was approached at work a couple of weeks ago to pen a press release.   Delighted with the challenge and recognition I sent off the piece to the local paper and was over the moon when it was published the following week.  I claimed ownership from them to add to my portfolio; you know the ever increasing published and unpaid writing portfolio, people I have worked with for years suddenly found me interesting albeit transitory.

Finally I have launched a new blog.  This has been a long time in the making not because it is difficult but time and events always seem to have delayed its creation. It is a very different type of blog with a few words introducing recipes and comments after to tell how they went down.   I hope people will interact and give advice and comments back so the original recipes become catalysts developing online threads  and experimental menus.  Please take a look and try out the recipes, let me know what you think.

Happy eating I am off to clear out the herb garden and plant fresh for this year so we can actually use the cat free herbs.




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