News from 2017

Myrtle and Tony's year 2017

Dear All,

What a strange year this has been. The seasons seem to have merged together; nothing positive just much of the same. The garden birds are still collecting nest material and some plants flowering well into November.

Birthdays have been celebrated and Kaja`s grandson Patrik was confirmed in April. Arne and Thor have joined the local scouts and Kjeld went for a holiday with Kaja and Gunnar on their boat to Sweden.

First in our card; our cover is one of our new roses, taken at Halloween!

Halloween rose

Next in our card; two awnings and the flagpole that are amongst the changes we have gradually made.

New fitting

We have had some sad events during the year. The first was Jenny's death, our friend Olwen, and some of our Hamilton Way neighbours.

Since last year's letter our cats have grown older and some of them have died from old age. When we moved here we brought seventeen cats with us and within a few months several kittens were born, of which we kept just Jack so by mid 2008 we had eighteen. Four kittens were born here before Jack and all found homes after a few months, so it was pretty crowded on and off! Out of those that then occupied our new house many of them were born over a short period of 5 years or so a decade earlier, and now with so many growing old together we have lost several over the last two years, leaving us with only seven today.

This year Willow, the first pedigree Danish cat we had, died at the age of 14. Then Pengelly, Evvy's son, died at 11 and Clementine, Willow's son, died at 13. Twinkletoes also died this year - she was a rescued kitten who we had for 10 years before she went to live with Fin; was 20 and a month when she died - the oldest cat we have ever had! Following the death of Oliver at Christmas in 2016, the feeling of an empty house is not difficult to imagine.

On a routine check by our gas supplier it was found that part of the high pressure components were installed in a non-standard position relative to the house so in October we had a lot of work to do to move those components and relay the supply pipe. As the positioning was planned when the house was built, the supplier has accepted that they should have been more critical at the time and so have reduced their standard fee for all the work to an acceptable level.

Big Bake day in 2016 ready for Christmas was its usual success as was the Christmas Eve party. Now we are ready for this year's events.

Zarina, our youngest at 6 is still with us and adores getting visits from Kathrine. Little (!) Jack is left as the only kitten to have been here 9 years ago.

It has not been a very good year for Myrtle as she had some falls that shook her up a lot. Luckily the problem was found and a simple treatment to reset ear crystals proved effective. Since then our doctor decided to arrange some thorough checks, through the hospital specialists, to be sure that she has no other hidden problems. Those checks settled most worries on that score and a final check in January should hopefully settle our minds. The after effects of the ear problem has unfortunately left her feeling more uncertain with walking any sort of distance. We have now got a handicapped parking permit for the car and the kommune has provided her with a collapsible wheelchair that Tony can use to push her around on our weekly shopping trip and in and out of the various hospital departments she had to visit. Christian made a carrier for it that fits on the towball, so it only has to be lifted about a foot.

Tony has fared rather better as his eyes are no worse so he can still get a driving license. His hearing has deteriorated to the extent that a hearing aid is probably now necessary, but as there was an opening in a University research project, he will have the opportunity to get treatment and aids for free if needed. He still goes out with Christian and Kathrine (and their boys!) a few times in the summer to rent out our marquee, but weaker muscles means that he now has to be careful not to strain them if Myrtle needs a lift up. Again the kommune has stepped in and given Myrtle a 24 hour telephone number to call for immediate assistance if needed.

Love Myrtle,Tony and our cat family.

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