Sunday 17 July: getting organised
“Listen to that, Dennis.”
“Listen to what? I can’t hear anything”.
No sirens, no angle grinder from the double glazing workshop over the road, no traffic. Just birds. Bliss.
We wander downstairs. A cup of fresh coffee later (courtesy of Patricia’s goody bag she had kindly left us) and we’re ready to get moving. The supermarket is open until midday so we decide to leave the unpacking until later and go get supplies.
The road to the supermarket in Hautefort takes us through Tourtoirac, a beautiful little village that was playing host to an antiques market. We clock the restaurant for a future visit.
The supermarket was surprisingly well stocked. On our recce earlier this year we’d been slightly dismayed to discover that the local shops didn’t stock much in the way of Asian or Vegan ingredients and so had been steeling ourselves for no soya milk, no curry and no vege sausages. To our delight, this morning we discovered a health food and a world food section and filled our trolley – squeezing the gluten free crackers in among *ahem* all the cheese and wine.
Pulling up at home, the bedroom window seems to be slightly more open than it was when we left. Mmm, hope the cats haven’t got out. We enter the house. There are no cats to be seen anywhere.
Both Dennis and I start to panic. I run upstairs to find Blackbeard hiding in the wardrobe and Meena and Zebede under the bed. No sign of Pip. More panic searching, both inside and outside the house. This is not a good start to our new life.
Two hours later, there is still no sign of her. Feeling pretty distraught, I head in doors to start unpacking. The room needs rearranging a little to accommodate my desk and computer so I move the sofa bed out from its current position. As I slide it away from the wall, I get the shock of my life. Pip is huddled behind the sofa, her big, wide, scared eyes looking up at me. I promptly burst into tears of relief. She runs and hides behind the washing machine. Thank god for that.
Slowly throughout the day, Pip emerges. Eventually her confidence grows enough and she gingerly steps outside to join the rest of the cats, which have been loving their new territory – so much barn and land to explore! (They are not quite sure what to make of the cockerel and chickens that have been wandering around though).
It’s now 7pm and Dennis and I are contemplating cracking open the cheese and wine. The cats get fed first. We call them to come and eat. Zebede appears, then Meena and Blackbeard. Where the hell is Pip? No sign. Again, we search the house from top to bottom. She is nowhere.
(Update: 4 August 2016. Pip did eventually re-emerge from her hiding place and is now loving her new home. As too are all the other cats. They’re still not sure about them there chickens though!)