Strange goings on in our animal kingdom

Its been an unusual animal day in our little French world.  This morning, we went to let out the rabbits, chickens and ducks only to be greeted by – silence. Very, very strange and not a wee bit apprehensive. Normally there is lots of quacking, the odd cock-a-doodle doo, and cluck. The rabbits being silent we are used to, the feathered friends – never.  Our first thought was predator and we wondered what we would find, or fearfully who we would find missing.

We rounded the hedge to find 3 ducks sat by their door (it’s mesh so we can see inside) silently waiting. They are never silent. And in the chicken house the Cockerel was perched on high, with our grey chicken sat below him. A quick check in the coop through the side entrance found the little brown chicken in-situ. That left only our little black chicken to find. We found her underneath the coop, her preferred place for laying eggs, so that meant all present and accounted for. Phew!

I opened both houses and none of them moved. They were definitely spooked about something. We check on them several times that morning and it wasn’t until about 10am they finally emerged, acting like nothing unusual had happened. Weird and worrying, and no idea of the cause.

Then we had the logistical nightmare of working out what to do with our kitten and duckling whilst we sorted errands and work out. We tried separating them by floor in our cottage, but that didn’t work. Maggie, our 2 1/2 week old duckling, became too upset. In the end Maggie went to the vineyard with David, watching him put up wires, and generally enjoying being outdoors and underfoot, whilst Gigi, our 8 week old kitten, drew the short straw and had to stay at home (as she has yet to go outside).

However, speaking of going outside, upon getting back from my weekly shop, as it was such a lovely day, I decided to ‘introduce’ Gigi to the outside world, or at least a view of it. As Gigi had never thus far been outside a house we knew we needed to show her to the great outdoors in stages. We put a cage up around the doorway so she could go out a short distance, but couldn’t get out. Then we left the door open. It didn’t take long for her natural curiosity to take hold and within minutes she was tentatively exploring. Her first sight of birds enamoured her (uh oh), as well as all the new smells and sounds. It wasn’t long before she was sat contentedly watching and considering the extension of her new world.

With Gigi now focused on something new, it gave Maggie and I the freedom to spend some time together. She helped me do the dishes. Okay, she sat at by feet and nibbled happily whilst I did the dishes, but we’ll be working on that. Then, once the sink was clear, it was filled with water and she had a lovely bath. I can’t not laugh when she has a swim. She is like a little fussy lady, sticking her toe in first to determine the temperature, followed by her beak and finally she pushes her way out of my hands and takes the plunge.

It’s not long before she is frolicking about, diving and swimming under water.

She normally swims and paddles around for about 10 minutes and then very distinctly wants out. She now looks like she did when she was born, all wet and sleek. She spends an hour after her bath preening, fluffing and drying her feathers, with the odd bought of eating in between.

With all this activity going on – it’s time for a nap.


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