He seemed out of sorts and actually scratched Mary - the first time he's ever done that - I turffed him and he went missing for two days - my mum was concerned but then I say him apparently sunbathing on the decking. I thought it was odd he didn't come in and eat but not enough to go and investigate. The next day Alaric was cleaning out the chickens with the jet washer and spotted Tom in a little hidden away bit of the garden - not running away from the jet washer.
He knew something was wrong - this was very un Tom like behaviour and he picked him up and dumped him into the kitchen stating - I think he must be ill and went back to jet washing. Then Tom just sat there whilst I decorated cakes - I don't like the cats in the kitchen whilst I'm preparing food especially Tom as he would always jump up on the sides when I wasn't looking or fish food of the worktop etc... So I tried to usher him through to the library and that's when I saw that he couldn't use his back legs 🙁
I called Al who phoned the vet and got changed into not wet chicken poo covered cloths and I got the girls to stroke Tom and say they loved him and explained he was ill, sick, hurt. I didn't think there could be a good outcome and I wanted him to know we all loved him.
Tom was placed in the vet basket and whilst I waited for Alaric, Lithium came and started nosing the basket and Tom her - he has/had been the one that bonded with her, cleaning her and snuggling with her and teaching her to eat etc... So I lifted Lithium into the basket expecting her to hope straight out again but she didn't she snugged down and licked him until Mary came back again.
Then Al left with our ginger menace, he came back with an empty basket and we had to decide what to say to the girls - did we do it before or after the party etc... We decided to tell them before so they would have the party to look forward to rather than a party ruined by the news afterwards, I was crying anyway so I doubt I could have hidden it.
He'd had a blood clot and though they can opperate, it is painful and comes back again really quickly, and he had basically already had three days of restricted circulation to his legs. He didn't purr when we stroked him and look so fed up and forlorn - when we chose for Hydrogen to have the op she had even though there was little chance of survival it was be she was still so purry and glad to see us - she hadn't given up. Tom on the other hand had come home to die.
Alaric stroked him at the vets and it was always Al's clothing he would curl up on. He was a beautiful cat and we shall miss him very much.
Mary keeps asking if Tom's hurt and if he is at school or work, she doesn't understand but she knows we are sad. We are getting the ashes back so maybe she will understand more then.
So three weeks of chickens and... Bloody Chickens!!!
No I am not regretting getting them but they are actually bloody chickens, two of them are being naughty and peeking the other two so we have bought anti peck spray and sprayed them - it is basically the stuff you put on kids nails to stop them bitting them, so I think it just makes the other chickens taste bad - the only issue I have is that they preened themselves straight afterwards so I'm not convinced it is going to work - we will have to see!
Also they have destroyed the door on the compost bin :/ But they did give me a whopping 6 eggs in one day! So I shall forgive them 🙂
Also the feathers are really starting to grow back!
The rabbit seems confused about what species he is!
So yeah I went to college yesterday 🙂 (without my Drs note as they receptionists didn't know where he'd put it as it isn't a sick note as such and he wasn't in - who would have thought that it could be so difficult :/ ). Anyway - I got there with the minimal of shouting to get myself out of the door - I thought I was going to be late and then got there like an hour before it started so orientated myself and picked up a tea.
I really enjoyed meeting the other students and discovered I know lots of stuff that is relevant to others like the different ways to run planitariums (planitaria?) and a slight astrophotography knowledge, theatre and science and so on... Of course I still can not spell for toffee and babble at people or stammer and my legs hurt from sitting down too much and so on but I am really looking forward to my first lecture now 🙂
Also the insight I gleaned from how others work was interesting and I feel valuable already even though we've not yet done any of the course as such! The library is amazing with all the electronic stuff etc...
My first course is...
Science writing 🙂
I ended up with two free sessions at the end of the day which I used to go and sort out the fact I wasn't appearing on the system but had been sent the welcome stuff etc... as expected it was the issue with my English GCSE cert :/ I lost it in the 2007 floods and didn't know what exam board I'd taken it with - I didn't even know you could get replacements until a despairing update on Facebook got the teachers and ex-teachers amongst my friends telling me how to sort it 🙂 I emailed my old school Gaynes and got no reply 🙁 I phoned them to no avail and got quiet frustrated then I did abit of internet stalking and tracked down one of my old teachers and messaged her - she responded the next day and I sent the form and the cheque off to the likeliest place. They had to go and check weather it had turned up at the college and clear me as qualifications varified - so I should be able to complete registration this afternoon from home and then set things in motion to get my swipe card etc...
This is feeling a lot more organised on the university part than my experiences with either IC or Birkbeck.
After the admin faff I had some lunch and read the print out of the stuff I couldn't yet get too online and did most of my 'homework' whilst awaiting a friend for an afternoon tea. I was in quiet a lot of pain at this point and had to take the pain killers which did not help my tiredness levels but I was still feeling engaged and happy - I was finished with the work I could do there and knitting a teddy bear when my friend turned up 🙂
He helped sort out the bus navigation and things and I headed off to the Bristol Hack space where Alaric goes on a thursday - I was really hoping he could do a 3D printer induction as I found creepers I wanted to print for Jeany's very late birthday party but alas it didn't happen - instead I knitted more bear and he helped someone with an electronics project - I met someone into computing projects for the visually impaired and wibbled on about stuff to do with that (I've done the In Braille exhibition etc... ). Then I went and slavard over the lathe and talking wood work with the guy using it - I also found a design for my monster boxes for the writing game I've made - the hack space now has a little library going on 🙂
Alaric had bought me a packet of sticky tabs and a kitten note book and sparkly gel pen for college 😀
Oh my godo what a morning :/ I have been chasing to get this drs note for college which resulted in me being informed at 9:30 that I needed to come in and see my new dr at 10 (apparently the one I'm supposed to be under has retired not that I ever saw him as it has all been womens problems since the move). I went in a t-rex bite me t-shirt and belly dancing skirt as they were the first clothing items I came across. Then I managed to get Mary into her pushchair and out the door and closed it - guess who did not have her key? Tried to phone Alaricï»¿ and phone died - white screen kaput! Walked to the Drs surgery as fast as I could which as I was in pain wasn't that fast :/ Arrive at Drs fifteen minutes late but that's ok as he was still going through my notes - get in there and he's like - your notes are vast and a mess did you ever actually get a diagnosis? Me: erm I don't really know I know what they told me I had... go through med history, he's rushing me off a note today so I can pick up tomorrow for college on Thursday and he wants to sort it all out so I am now booked in for a sweet of blood tests and have to keep a pain diary :/ Then I leave and find a pay phone - phone my parents house which is like the only number I can remember but got answer machine so left a message to phone Alaric and tell him that I was walking to his office to get his keys - I made it there and back - was gifted with crisps by an elderly man on a scooter who's way I blocked by being slow and lathargic with a pushchair and now I think it is time for a cup of tea - as soon as I can stand up again :/ Mary liked her adventure.
To weeks of chickens and they are producing between 1 and 4 eggs a day with an average of just below two a day. We have had one more soft shell which is a shame but they all seem healthy and have the good food and vits etc... They are simultaneously malting and growing their feathers back at the same time!
They are becoming cheekier and keep sneaking into the kitchen when they think no one is looking - I am now of course writing a story for Jean and Mary about it!
They are also trying to enclude the rabbit in their peaking order - his response is to bound away and huffling sit in his run so we are making sure he gets some quality non chicken time in the garden - he on the other hand does run up and start sniffing at them and tries to get into their run so it is not a one sided thing.
The kitten watches them out of the kitchen door forlornly and even tries to pounce them with a run up leading to thumps and yowls as her head hits the glass! I let the chickens in to see what would happen and they flapped at her and she went and hid!
Of course the great escape onto the decking appears to be facilitated by a certain 2 and a half year old who opens gates!
Oh and given the chance I think she would move in with them!
Though she does announce they are naughty for pooing as it is not in a potty (the litter tray being the kittens potty you see).
Our chicken egg tracker is almost ready for everyone to see 🙂 And we've been planning on building the bigger run/avery sooner rather than later (I don't do chicken shit on the decking ok - just no).
Also I am finding that even on miserable days I am spending more time outside - there has only been one day when I was feeling really bad pain and fatigue wise that they didn't get let out of the run straight away when we got up and Al went and delt with it anyway and I still got to feed them and round them up. Alaric also seems to be enjoying the jet washing of the run once a week.
And Jeany is going to have a birthday party (yes I know her birthday was actually last month but well..) where all the cakes are made with home grown eggs 🙂
It turns out chickens like to sunbath - if it gets sunnier I will need to put sunblock on their bald bits!
So yeah we are still happy happy with our chickens 🙂
The cats are still making up their minds - the chickens seem to be winning the great stare down comps!