The rehabilitation of Lilli-Puss

Lilli at the SPCA

New strategies in the rehabilitation of my lost and found cat Lilli-Puss, who is shut safely in my sewing room. Naturally I am taking her reintegration into my house extremely seriously. Read on...

Compulsory socialisation

This happens before food. After a tiny taster, I sit on the floor, and she practices some serious smooching before I magically whip out the rest of her meal.

No reminiscing

No more silly reminiscing about how sweet she was as a little kitten. 'Awwwww - you were such a lovely baby' - that sort of thing is very annoying and counter-productive. My new rule is talk forwards, not backwards, so to speak. So this morning I sat on the carpet and told her what my plans were for the day. I'm going to start chopping down the Gunnera. Then put all the huge leaves in one pile and all the stalks in another, to dry out. And it worked! She very nearly, almost, sat down on my lap. I can bore her into domesticity, perhaps?


Made a great start to the Gunnera clean-up, which I rather enjoy. These giant perennials are an absolute hoot - and a nice nuisance, since the roots can easily block waterways. When I'm feeling more in tune with winter I'll put on my neoprene suit and slice some of the roots back. This is easily done with even a blunt spade.

 The Gunnera leaves have turned brown.
Wheelbarrow Ready for Action

Then I pottered around happily in Middle Garden, an area which I don't control overmuch. Pulled out gorse and broom seedling - sweet little things! Trimmed the beautiful green Phormiums and some browning ferns, dug out a dead Hypericum shrub.

 You can see the roots growing through the water.
One Clump Almost Cleared

Collected armfuls of dead Cordyline leaves, tied them in bundles and popped them into the trailer for the next bonfire. They're also useful as fire starters for the indoors log-burner, but my Cordylines drop enough leaves to light a thousand such winter fires.

Next Morning...

Resisted the urge to reminisce to Lilli-Puss. Told her about my Silver Swans ballet class instead. She flopped (briefly) on my lap, which was somewhat gratifying. Told myself I shouldn't feel sorry for her being shut in a room, since she shows absolutely no desire to escape. Right. I'm off to ballet. Chasse, Pas de Bourree, Hop, over and out!

Much later...

No gardening - too drizzly and cold, far too muddy. Mooched happily all afternoon, walking the dogs, having cups of tea with Lilli-Puss, and writing music. Am very lucky to share my life with animals. Am enjoying my newly focussed conversations with Lilli. This ban on sentimental reminiscing could be enlarged to include my human friends, hee hee...

 Very susceptible to a silver-leaf condition. But flowers in winter, great for the early bees...
Viburnum tinus Flowering

The garden looks very wintry now, full of greens and browns. But there are other colours to enjoy. Some Phormium hybrids have blushing pinks and rose reds in their stripes. Viburnums are flowering creamy white, and I saw the tiniest yellow narcissus on the edge of the Allotment Garden. All that's missing is some blue sky!

Me in the Water Race

Friday 18th June

Now Lilli-Puss is in the newspaper - in the 'lifestyle-cute-stories' section. No comment! I am doing my positive best for her. This morning at breakfast time I told her that she was famous. 'Stop twittering on and feed me!' was her reply.

Then I went to chamber music, came home to the loudest purring and smoochiest lunch-time Lilli session, and decided that my positive best was pretty awesome. Walked my dogs, then continued trimming the Gunnera. Right at the end of the day I put on my wading suit to stand in the water race and cut off the unreachable stalks and leaves.


Aargh! Both gumboots of my suit were leaking! Blast! Nothing lasts for ever, I guess. Cold, wet feet in a minute, thankful for my woollen socks. Took the quickest of selfies, as one does, when one is standing in the water race with cold wet feet.