La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Head Count Pets Autumn 2010

Yup, it's that time of year again, that we do a stocktaking of the cats, dogs and chickens.  It might look like a silly thing to do, but the cats have been 'roaming' the countryside during the summer and are slowly but surely settling back into whatever cosy and safe spot in the house they can curl up in.
In all honesty, I don't stocktake in autumn.  I just would like to share with you the pictures of the animals that are living with us at this particular time.
It is a fact that in summer when one of the cats doesn't pop in every couple of days, I start panicking and worrying until they stroll out of the woodland as if to say " yeah, well, I have been rabbiting, haven't I,  and after the delightful meal,  I snoozed some in the cornfield over there.  Just calm down there, lady."

1. Sam  Greyhound, born 2005 in Ireland.  Came to live with us 30th August, 2008 after spending half a year with Suzanne, Kilcummin - Ireland, who rescued him from a harsh life, being mistreated and starving.

Only 2 weeks ago he lost his cast on his right hind leg after he fractured his toe in 3 places.  How do they do it, I often wonder ?  He is almost back to his former self now, except for the huge tick that is always hanging of his neck..........

2. ......... a tick, called Millie Spanish Galga, born 1st February, 2010 in Cadiz - Spain; rescued with her mum by a local animal shelter and came to us via Greyhounds Rescue Belgium at the end of March.

Boisterous from the start and hasn't let up since. We are all excausted, except Millie.  She chases the cats, the birds, Sam, us (especially me).  We have removed all the scatter cushions and lovely throws from the living room after she spread them out all over the garden. I could go on, but it would sound to much like complaining .....
She is getting a bit more attached to us and wants cuddles, sometimes without chewing off our ear or nose.  There is hope still.

3. Squirrel,  our princess cat, born in Ireland in 1997, has been with us since 1998 (female)

4. Juniper,  a foundling, born in Ireland, Cork in 1998 (female)

5. Xena, born in Ireland, Sneem in 2000, after her mother, Soda (who disappeared when we lived in France) adopted us. (female)

6. Gabrielle, Xena's sister. (female, obviously)

7. Roisin, foundling, born in France 2006 (female)

8. Fergus, a present from our French neighbour, Gisèle.  Born in France 2007 (male)

I would like to stress that I am not some kind of cat snatcher.  The cats that were foundlings, were, as a matter of fact, in need of a loving home.
No, really !

9, 10, 11, 12. Morgaine le Fay (black), Igraine (grey), Morgause (ginger) and Guinevere (white)
Now, Bert warned me not to post a picture of Igraine on the internet, or we could get a knock at the door from animal welfare.  I just would like to point out that she is in fact molting at the moment and that is perfectly normal.

13. Hoggie, the hedgehog.

He isn't really a pet, but is allowed inside every night for about 2 minutes, when he gets a ride in Sam's mouth and then promptly gets dropped on the floor in the sitting room.  We then grab a towel and put him outside again, somewhere safe, till the next day........


  1. Its really great to hear that Squirrel, Gabrielle, Juniper and the amazing Xena are still going strong.

    I do miss Kerrel though, he was so great. I remember when we took him for a big long walk for almost the whole day and he loved it and the next day he was really wrecked!

  2. Hi Molly, yes those 4 cats are still going. They must like us very much as they have moved house with us 3 times and lived in as many countries.
    Kerel was the most wonderful dog you could imagine, we miss him too. There is no way we can let our 2 new monsters of the lead when going for a walk !

  3. I love the fact that hoggie comes in every night for a short while


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