I was up early every day the other week, of which more anon. When I went out to defrost my car I found a cat. This cat has been visiting us for ages, perhaps years, to collect some of the food we leave out, and has been so ubiquitous of late that Mum buys him cat food of a Saturday, doling some out to him daily. We originally started leaving out food to attract the local badgers, but over the years it has got ridiculously out of hand, and there are not just badgers, but cats, foxes, waddlings of ducks, and even the occasional hedgehog (who ate quite contentedly beside the badger). On this occasion the cat was asleep. The day before, Mum had put an old duvet outside, ready to take it to the tip, and the cat was wrapped up in it, all snug, or snugger than if the feline had no duvet at all. Every morning I went out he or she was there, and we inevitably did not have the heart to throw away the duvet. A little after two this morning, I popped out to my car to fetch some things, and there, snuggled up in the duvet was the cat, sound asleep until this great lunking human came clomping around and shining torchlight at the back of an innocent feline head.
There's no question of the little chap coming inside. That is not because we are secretly diabolical villains or so terrified of cat hairs on furniture that we would let someone freeze. The problem is that Mum's asthma does not generally respond well to cats (or dogs, chickens and several other pets), so if we let the cat in, we force Mum out. That might be a bit excessive at this chilly time of year. We do have a slight surplus of hot water bottles, and my brother has been armouring the rabbit's and guinea pigs' homes against the cold with these apotropaic devices. I hope you all are enjoying the approach of Christmas or whatever seasonal festivity cheers you!