Monday, November 22, 2010

Another blessed weekend

Would you be able to remember what you did over the weekend of 20 and 21 November, 2010? Gattina of Writers Cramps (who, BTW has become a grandmother this week, congratulations again, Gattina!) hosts a meme called What did you do this weekend? Do join us on this fun meme if you wish.

Our weekend started off quite normally. Early on Friday morning, Grant decided that Shadow should be let out of the window without his leash. I'm not ready for this yet and reluctantly agreed. He opened the window, and within a few seconds Shadow had jumped out into the garden and wandered off on his own.

I completed a few chores (which always entails feeding animals) and when I looked again, Grant was at the motorgate at the top of our garden. Shadow had somehow gotten into the street and didn't know how to come back inside.

I dashed back into the house to fetch the gate remote and before I even returned to the driveway pressed the "open" button. Unbeknown to me, Grant had his arm around the back of the gate trying to cajole the cat through the gap, so of course, I almost took his arm off.  After bellowing at me for opening the gate (how was I supposed to know he had his arm behind the gate), he walked into the street and fetched the cat, who was blissfully unaware of the ruccus he was causing in our family so early in the morning!

Once we had the cat back inside, I put his harness on him,  took him to the "large" garden where he has been acclimating for the past five weeks and let him roam without a leash. Once again, Grant said he was sure the cat would do what all our cats do and stay within our garden boundaries. Once again, I left Shadow and came indoors.

Within a few minutes though, I checked the place where I'd left him and... he was gone! Missing! Vanished!

Grant and I dashed about the garden (I banged Shadow's two metal plates together) and called the cat. No sign. Grant then looked over our rear boundary wall and there was the cat. He was sniffing around in the bank manager's yard, ignoring our calling and begging. Brat!

We decided we'd have to drive around the block and enter the bank manager's property from the front. Which is what we did. We raced past his house to the back and gave the house-lady who cleans for them,  the fright of her life. She thought we were intruders. I apologised and explained that we lived next door and that our cat had come over the back wall. She said she'd just seen the cat and he went "that-a-way"

While we looked in the direction which she indicated, I told Grant of our other neighbour, Prashant, who's cat had recently disappeared for a month. Grant was so agitated by this story that he hopped over our OTHER neighbour's wall (the lad who's tree I had cut to open my vegetable garden to the sun) and there was Shadow! Brat!

Grant managed to pick him up by the sruff of his neck (Shadow is very tense when he's out in the garden and growls if your touch him suddenly) and held him over the wall for me to attach the leash. We got him into the car and drove back home with him.

So much for leaving Shadow to "roam" as all cats do, according to my darling husband. As I was in the garden for most of Friday morning, I had Shadow playing all around where I and the gardeners could keep an eye on him.

On Friday evening, I once again had Shadow out in the garden (on the leash, which he drags around freely) I was taking photos of the garden. My favourite passtime, especially on a Friday! When I looked up again, Shadow was missing!

I called Grant and together we walked around and around the garden and house calling the cat! The third time I rounded the front of the house (which we don't use that much) I peeked in on the veranda. No cat. Just then I saw the blue leash at my feet in the flowerbed. Looking up, I saw Shadow sitting on an empty bird bath gazing at the birds in the weeping mulberry tree. Brat!

So that is why when you see photos of our crazy Sudanese cat, he is still on his leash. I walk or sit near where Shadow is playing and exploring but if he should dash after a bird or lizzard (which is why he went over the bank manager's wall), I can step on the leash and pull him back to safety. We will persevere and continue to walk Shadow out in the garden and hope and pray he soon becomes "street or rather garden" wise.

When I'm indoors or we leave the house for any length of time, Shadow is asleep on "his" chair in the office lounge. At least we know where he is. And at least we don't spend HOURS running around the neighbourhood after a brat-cat!
After the rather traumatic start to our weekend, we needed a motorbike trip into the country! Early on Saturday morning we packed a flask of coffee and sandwiches and headed east towards the Lesotho border, sixty kilometers down the road. Not a long ride by our standards, but it did the trick! We returned relaxed and ready for more of Shadow's escapades
 The Eastern Free State is looking absolutely beautiful after the abundant rains this month
 Trying my hand at an artistic angle of the barbed wire fence and the farmlands beyond it
This road which leads to Lesotho, (a neighbouring country) is normally very quiet on a Saturday morning. However, this weekend was the world-renowned Cherry Festival in Ficksburg and these vehicles were obviously on their way to it
Coffee and sandwiches on the side of the road

After a quick cuppa and a bite to eat, I picked up a huge pile of litter where we had stopped. As I could'n take it back home on the bike, I placed it under the tree. I 'll phone the recycling centre I deal with and ask them to get their driver to look out for it when he travels that road later this week
 I couldn't resist adding a photo of the ponds as we braaied in the garden
After church on Sunday, while Angus and Amanda were visiting us, they took the motorbike for a "spin"

Our Marquard grandson has recently had a bout of measles (after his innoculations) and is teething furiously now. So he has been a little out of sorts, poor little mite
I just had to snap Angus and Amanda who were taking photos in the garden
As usual, Grant braaied (BBQ'd) and I made a focacia bread as one of the accompaniments (recipe to follow)

For more posts on what people did this weekend, click here


  1. Except for the "Brat Cat"---you all seemed to have a wonderful weekend... Shadow is just a curious CAT you know!!!!!!! ha

    Looks like a nice ride for relaxation... AND--I'm sure it was nice seeing the kids and the grandson this weekend... Poor baby---I remember those days of teething....

    Have a good week, Jo.

  2. Wow, Jo, what a weekend, thanks to Shadow. My heart stopped a couple of times as I was reading about his escapades. What a boy! And soon I'm just going to have to click on the photo below, in your might-also-likes, because it looks like Shadow in a refrigerator.
    First, I had to find Marquard on Google Maps and also Lesotho. I had been hoping you'd be closer to Botswana. O well, you know I'll probably never get to Africa unless I win the lottery and can get there by ship. LOL
    My weekend involved a little bit of practice with my new camera, including a picture of Dick and Lindy taken indoors without a flash (my next Pet Pride post) which made me very happy. Outdoors it is very, very cold, and the snow is still deep. Tomorrow (Monday) I'm going to go out in my car, however. That will be a major adventure. Or maybe Tuesday. I'll take the camera in case I crash and need to document the evidence.
    I hope your little grandson feels better soon.
    Hugs to Shadow and one for yourself.
    Luv, K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Such an eventful weekend. Mike and I were both just lazy.

  4. Shadow weet hoe om jul besig te hou! En jul motorfiets-rit lyk heerlik - ek ♥ al jou foto's en beskrywings!

  5. OMG ! what an adventure ! I thought I read a crime story with a kid(cat)napped kid (cat)! Breathless I am now, lol ! What a little monkey ! must be his sudanese blood, lol !
    Now I understand that you have to leave him with the harness, and one thing : never listen to men, lol !
    How nice to have the visit of your little grandson !

  6. Wow what an adventure! I remember when our cat , years ago got out. I think she was more scared than we were,lol. That Bread looks great.

  7. Poor old Shadow, can't be trusted to behave. Now I understand the reason behind his leash.
    Glad you're having fun otherwise.

  8. Good luck with Shadow. I've had cats and I can't imagine trying to keep them in my yard. On the other hand, my dog Socks won't stray more than 10 feet from me. That does sound like a nice weekend.


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