Thursday, August 8, 2013

Defying the gods

The gods expressed their extreme displeasure the night of the afternoon that I delivered little black kitten to the animal shelter.
Rain, hail, thunder and lightning was thrown at the Dordogne, not at La Chaise particularly – but it felt like it. We sat (safely) on the benches by the front door, privileged spectators, safe in the knowledge that we had few crops in danger of damage. In total, 22mm of water.

The storm clears

But I felt virtuous and defied the gods because I had learned that there was a new policy at the SPA (Societe Protectrice des Animaux to be correct – I think). No healthy animal with a chance of being re-homed would be put down. This rule was apparently due to the new Presidente of the SPA whom, as luck would have it, I met whilst filling in papers about kitten. Disconcertingly, she was carrying two round tins which, she explained, contained the ashes of cats, one of them her favourite.

Right, so I gulped and asked where she was going to scatter the ashes, over their favourite places? She said, if I heard correctly, that this was pas permis. I had recently learned – by a diatribe from a local mushroom expert - that human cremains cannot be scattered anywhere but have to be confined to urns in formal cemeteries. The mushroom lover said he is going to die in Belgium and get scattered in the sea. May the gods be with him – and may he get his paperwork in time.

Apparently one cannot just turn up at a sanctuary with a stray and ask for it to be taken into care. One needs a paper from the Mairie formally stating that the Maire acknowledges that the – carrier of the cat? - says it is a stray. Then the SPA gives one a paper to return to the Mairie. All square and correct. That's what bureaucracy is all about.

To cheer me up, a couple of people arrived at the SPA in the hope of adopting dogs. More paperwork but at least happiness in prospect for animal and new owner. I decided to leave a 'dowry' with kitten to pay a little towards her upkeep. It was gratefully received and, in due course, we shall receive a tax deductible receipt. All square and correct.

Sun on the Farmhouse wall after the storm

Wednesday another storm, all day long and totally about a centimetre of water. Memo to self: telephone roof tiler to say new roof has been sufficiently tested, he can cancel order for further storms.

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