Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bathroom complete - after a horrible week!

Two tabby cats
Pair of wonks
Before I tell you anything else, I'd better get the horrible week bit out of the way. Ziggy, one of our two kittens went missing. We saw him at midnight on Wednesday, but he didn't show up for breakfast on Thursday morning. This might not sound like much, but because they were born feral, the kittens are VERY greedy, and pretty much inseparable. We'd wanted both anyway, but the charity wouldn't have let anyone who wanted to separate them have one. They had to be together. At first, if they couldn't see each other, they'd cry hysterically. They've got better in the months since we've had them, but they are still very attached to each other - if Pippin walks into the room and mews, Ziggy immediately gets up and goes over to her. So, you see, missing food and not being with his Pippin was very unusual for Ziggy, and we were worried straight away.

He still wasn't home after work, though we walked round the local area calling for him. I'd made a few flyers that I put through neighbours' doors. (I was so upset that I got our house number wrong, despite having lived here for 15 years, so I should probably apologise to my next-door neighbour!) He didn't come home that night at all, and we were utterly miserable.

Next morning, still no Ziggy. I emailed local cat rescue charities, tweeted, did Facebook posts (there's a local lost/found pets FB group) and made even more flyers, this time bilingual English and Polish as we have a lot of Polish people living locally, and I thought it might help to make the flyers more readable. Battersea Cats and Dogs' Home tweeted me and pointed me to their list of Things to Do on their website, including putting dirty laundry in the garden as a sort of 'scent beacon'. After work we flyered all round the area, and that's where we struck lucky. One lady who has a cat a lot like Ziggy said she'd seen him down the road a little way, and noticed him particularly because he was so similar to her Max. Another group of ladies chatting over a wall said they'd seen him outside their homes the previous morning - and that was a MASSIVE relief because it gave me hope that he was alive, and wasn't trapped anywhere. Still no Ziggy, though. Pippin was distraught, so clingy and mewly.

We went to bed feeling miserable and then at about 1am on Saturday, just over 48 hours after we'd last seen him, I was woken up by mewing. I realised there were two cats in the room, but didn't dare to believe one was Ziggy... I turned the light on and it WAS Ziggy! Nervy and very hungry, but safe and sound. So, I definitely recommend patrolling the area to leave a scent trail, and piling grubby clothes in the garden as a scent beacon, if your cat goes walkies. I'm sure that's what lured him back. He slept a lot yesterday; I don't think he'd had much rest during his 'adventure'. And Pippin was as pleased as we were to have him back.
When I'm not piling stinky pyjamas on my lawn, my garden's got some nice things growing right now. This iris is new. I'd always wanted one, so when Pete gave me gardening vouchers for my birthday, I treated myself.

And here's the bathroom! Dan the Plumber put in the new suite and did the tiling (the tiles are Hoxton from The Bath Store), and even built the custom tiled bath surround.
Pete and I did the painting, and Pete sanded the woodwork and I put several coats of dark varnish on it. I'm really pleased, it has that 'Victorian Explorer' vibe we've really been going for. When we go to Spain, we're going to be keeping an eye out for anything nice that might look good in there, possibly a new mirror or some nicer pots for the orchids. The orchids remind me of my McDonald grandparents; granddad used to collect them as a boy in Burma, while Nannie turned out late in life to have a tremendous talent for getting them to flower. I bought these orchids when I got the iris. Might as well have Asian flowers in a Victorian Explorer's bathroom, no?


28 comments :

  1. YAY! The Zigs came home!
    Nepalis don't like cats very much because they think they are bad luck. I won't tell you what has happened to some of our kittens.

    That bathroom looks like a picture in a magazine! Love the orchids & the Dutch bearded iris too.

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    1. :-( I don't know how anyone could hurt a kitten. One of the things I loved about burma was the general kindness to animals. People don't have pets, but cats and dogs are allowed to do their thing unhampered, and are fed in some temples.

      I took the mismatched towels and bathroom scales out for the photo so it would look nicer! Even so, I can't believe I have such a lovely room in my shabby little house.

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  2. So, so, so glad to here that Ziggy is home safe and sound, it must be a massive relief, I can only imagine how stressful it must have been, I think one of the hardest parts about owning a cat is that they are so independent you can never be sure what they get up to once they are let out the house.
    The bathroom is beautiful so warm and inviting I love the Spanish touch, its such a great way to remind you of a place you love and is the perfect place to spend many a relaxed hour!

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    1. Yes, I get stressed now whenever he's out of sight, though he does come running whenever I call him. I still can't quite believe he's not going to disappear again immediately. We have a catflap so they can come and go as they please. Pippin stays close to the house, but I think Ziggy likes to hang around with the big bad boy cat gang.

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  3. That looks lovely - you have a spacious room too, which helps. The orange walls are cracking. I love that you're not saying it's finished 100% and plan to add to it from your travels. Very Victorian, they loved souvenirs! X

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    1. I thought the walls were a bit too orange at first, but with the dark wood and white bathroom furniture, they work pretty well.

      We've always had a policy of bringing back decent craft souvenirs from our travels - locally made pottery, food, that sort of thing. It helps keep local traditions alive and ensures money goes straight to the craftspeople in the area, rather than to a factory thousands of miles away mass-producing tat. Plus we can generally only afford one really good souvenir, which stops us filling the house with loads of cheap ones.

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  4. Jon and I were so happy to see that Ziggy was home yesterday, the naughty little monkey. Bet he's grounded now.
    Your bathroom looks absolutely gorgeous, I love it. You've done a cracking job. I bet you can't wait to trawl the Spanish markets for some trinkets.
    Irises have appeared in the garden in the last week, I love them. No idea where they came from, I didn't plant them. xxxx

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    1. He still goes outside, but he hasn't been going very far, and comes back to me when I call him.

      I'm not sure what sort of souvenirs we'll bring home. Three of the cities we're visiting have handcraft specialities: damascene work in Toledo (won't be that; it's done on iron so not suitable for a bathroom), ceramics in Seville (we'll deffo head for the potteries in Triana) and marquetry in Granada. Ideally we'll get things straight from the factories/workshops - put cash into the local economy.

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  5. Oh Mim, it must have been horrible when Ziggy went missing. I'm so glad you got him back! Our Phoebe never leaves our garden, which is such a relief. I love the unusual Iris and your bathroom is looking amazing. xxx

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    1. It was really heartbreaking. We love our kitties so much!

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  6. I was avidly checking your Facebook account once you'd raised the alarm about Ziggy to check whether he was back or not. I know how frantic I was when Norman disappeared for nearly two days. I'm so glad he's back and Pippin can relax again. Bloomin' cats, they do like to worry us! xx

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    1. He was a little sod and ignored poor Pippin this morning. She wanted to wrestle and he just brushed her off, so she went to play with her Cheese Chase toy alone. I ended up sitting on the floor to play with it with her.

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  7. I was so relieved Ziggu came home. I was obsessively checking facebook for updates, I even dreamt about him at one point! Andy was relieved too xxx

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    1. We were so distraught! I couldn't bear to think it might be him before turning on the light, because I'd have been so disappointed if it had been an interloper.

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    2. I can imagine! When my nan died, her cat who became our cat, Jessica, went to live with a friend and she simply vanished within hours. They were besides themselves with worry, as were we. Eventually she was found, in their spare room, wedged behind a wetsuit. When she came to live with us she would vanish, sometimes overnight. Cats can be little beggars xx

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  8. Im so glad you got your cat back! The bathroom looks very nice

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    1. Yup, when something goes badly with a pet, nothing else in the world matters, does it? We were so pleased he came back. He keeps following my husband around now!

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  9. Oh poor you, and poor wee Pippin. You must have all been going loopy with worry. Bloody cats, they do like to go off on their own and have a wee wander to themselves. Mittens used to do it. She was away for 6 weeks once when she was a stray. I cried myself silly and was at all the doors. Still no idea where she was to this day. I am really very glad that Ziggy is back home safe and sound. Your bathroom looks absolutely gorgeous. I LOVE the tiles and the floor is fabulous. Xx

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    1. The floor does have one down side - the dark colour shows dust a lot more than the old honey pine colour! I forsee much more hoovering in my future...

      I don't think Ziggy enjoyed his wandering, he was very nervous when he got back, and hasn't gone far from the house since. So at least he's learned something!

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  10. I'm so glad Ziggy made it home safe-must have been an adventure. The tip about the scent trail is a very good one to know-it is new to me.

    That is a beautiful iris, and the orchids look perfect in your beautiful new bathroom. I like how you worked out the cabinet beneath the sink.

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    1. The sink cabinet came like that, I do like it - much nicer than the jumble of cleaning cloths and bottles that used to sit out in the open. I mean to varnish the slatted parts of the doors to match the floor at some point.

      The scent beacon was something recommended by AnimalSearch. If he goes wandering again, it'll be the first thing I do.

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  11. I have followed you in your desperation, dear Mim.
    I've been there, you see.
    Every second of the day, I 'd pray to find my kitties (yeah, I've been there more than once). I've feared walking out the house, since we live so close to the turbulent road - and my greatest fear (it still is) is finding my beloved pet.. in a horrible state, lying lifeless on that darn road. That happened - and it hurt.
    We give our hearts to those furry creatures.
    They are our companions.
    I'm ever so GLAD Ziggy is back, and when I was the "hug" Pete gave him, I knew you two are amazing cat-friends. :)
    ....Even though I don't have cats at my home, I have my two lovely male mutts at my moms (across the street). One of them is a street-walker. That fool just LOVES leaving mom's yard and strolling down the street. No idea why. He also loves walking across the street, to my house, and greeting me.
    He has been doing that all the time, ever since I moved out.
    ...
    Your bathroom (we come to that now) looks amazing. No, honesty. it looks like a page from my Art/Decoration magazine.
    You two (lovebirds) have done a GREAT job.
    Two thumbs us!

    M.

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    1. We were distraught. I couldn't bear the thought of him having been hurt and alone - as it is, he seems completely healthy, just a bit frightened by the whole experience. He really doesn't like to hear cars now, so perhaps it will help to keep him away from the road.

      He is Pete's 'Little Man' really. He follows Pete around and headbutts his legs all the time.

      I can't quite believe it's *my* bathroom - it looks too nice! Now it's making us want to sort out the rest of the house.

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    2. I'm so glad your cat returned safe and sound. How interesting about the scent thing - I must remember that for any friends or family whose cat goes AWOL.

      The bathroom looks delightful and very tranquil - love those tiles and cheers for Dan the plumber!

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  12. Thank the universe that this story ended on a positive note for all - very much including your beautiful cat - involved. I'm deeply sorry that you had to go through such a profoundly stressful experience though. The horror that fills you will a pet is missing is pretty much incomparable and I truly hope that you never encounter it again with any of your pets.

    Tons of hugs & understanding,
    ♥ Jessica

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  13. Glorious! I am also pleased that Ziggy came home safe and sound! cats eh? who'd 'ave 'em? x

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  14. When you think about it logically stinky clothes make sense, as I say my sister was convinced that was what brought her cat back. They are a menace aren't they?

    Your bathroom is lovely, it's a great size as well. I'm sure you will find a perfect treasure on your holiday. x x

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  15. I'm so glad that you and your cats were reunited. It must have been a horrible time. I really like what you have done with your bathroom, it looks fab.

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