Starting at around 4.15 am when Shadow sits above my head on my pillow, stares at me (I can sense this even through closed eyes) and meows. The other three cats are sitting up straight on various surfaces around the room; their expressions anticipatory!
In their past life I would rise and give them their tasty treats - little niblets of meat in gravy. Because I wanted to teach them that they can go outdoors in their new home, but need to come indoors when I call, I don't feed them that early anymore. Instead I open our rondawel door and the cats can go out. Ambrose explained that I took a L O N G time to let them out; but that was my strategy. I waited until the whole property was quiet - only me and Grant and the animals (read four cats, two dogs; two horses - stabled and seven guinea pigs in their overnight hutches) then I knew the cats would be confident enough to go out and return at will.
By now it's 4.45 and Skabenga and Eddie, who sleep in the open shower-room next door, are yelping and barking for me to take them for their walk. 5am and we're on the road, the dogs running ahead and me striding along behind them.
When I return I make tea for me and Grant and feed the dogs. The cats are still wandering around although Ginger and Chappie normally wait indoors in case I am about to feed them! By 6.30 all the cats have returned; I close the door and feed them. They return to bed...
I then entice the dogs into their shower-room and close them in. I let the guinea pigs out to graze.
I return to my own ablutions and dress for the day.
The Zulu ladies, Namusa and Thandiwe arrive at 8am and let the horses out of the stables. One mucks out the stables and the other thoroughly cleaned the guinea pig cages. At 9.30, I've prepared a smorgasbord of fresh fruit and vegetables with a cup of pellets for the guinea pigs. As I walk towards their cages, they come running from different parts of the garden. I place their food on their feeding trays; Namusa has replenished their water bowls, and added fresh hay to their hutches. I do a head count - four in one cage and three in the other. The two males are separated else they fight.
Guinea pig smorgasbord
Enjoying breakfast by Gran!
Two of the four guinea pigs at the food- the other two are around the corner with their tidbits
Debbie had ordered a consignment of pecan trees. They arrived on Monday and Namusa dug the holes and planted 52 trees. This morning she and Thandiwe are digging the remaining 68 holes and will plant the remaining trees.
A pecan tree
Namusa watering the trees
Eddie and Skabenga discovering new territory
Skabenga with Thunder
Missy and Skabenga rubbing noses
Missy, the beautiful mare
In the afternoon, I repeat the whole dog/cat/ guinea pig routine. When the guinea pigs are finally in their cages for the night, the cats come out for an afternoon stroll.
Ironically the cats don't take any notice of the guinea pigs; instead they are fascinated by the horses and their sleeping quarters
Shadow moved off and Chappie ventured across for a sniff at the hay
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