2010 - 2020
Thank you for 10 wonderful years !
I owned two territories, one on either side of the river Rhine: The top floor of a more than 100 years old townhouse in the very heart of the posh spa town of Baden-Baden, in Germany, and a country house in the small rural village of Roeschwoog, in Alsace, France. They are just a half-an-hour’s drive apart. Needless to say that I hate that travel nevertheless: Getting locked into a basked, riding on a back seat of a car, and passing trough an elevator . . . but with time I got used to it, and at least I always have fun when I can do my best to delay the packing-procedure, by having a nap in whatever place where I am most in the way . . .
During the summer I enjoy a whole house plus my private outdoor space between house and garage, known as the “Biergarten”, and I keep fit by moving (at whatever moderate speed) up-and-down all these stairs, first from my entrance door (for which my implanted chip is my house key) down into the cellar, and then all the way up to the “cat room” with my attached own private bathroom on the second floor.
The winter I spend in a luxurious apartment just next door to the famous thermal baths. My housekeeper has chosen this location, because he loves the hot waters so much. I just like the view into the trees with the many birds and over the park, where all those little doggies are walking their owners, preferably in miserable winter-weather. Serves them right . . .
For me, no thermal water. The occasional rain showers in my outdoors summer territory are more than enough:
If it should start raining while I am outdoors, napping on a chair or under my hedge (where I have built a nest among ivy and catnip), I often do not notice when rain starts: Only the outermost layer of my rain-proof fur gets wet, so I do not notice it. But when I finally venture indoors in my wet raincoat, I am very careful not to jump on a bed or even on a chair: I announce my presence, and I wait to be dried with my always freshly washed personal blue-yellow-green striped towel.
From here I watch the hectic traffic in the "Impasse des Vergers": Average is one car, two pedestrians, and one dog or horse per hour. Less on Sundays, holidays, and actually most days of the week ... but I can also hear the ocasional train (type TPV - "train petite vitesse").
No box can ever be too small or too full . . .
For the winter months I grow my own woolen underwear - lots of it, even as I do not go out at all and have a choice of comfortably warm places. My fvorite is the cardboard box in which the x-mas or birthday presents from our dear friends in the Alps have arrived, and which I can then shape to my liking. That is, after all, what I have my sharp claws and my strong teeth for. Removing all the resulting bits and pieces of cardboard and such is what my housekeeper is for. And, if I have any spare time between all the napping and lapping, I watch TV, or I read books. More about my favorite literature later, maybe. It will even add a new page with a bibliography to this site, so please check back later !
Most of all, love eating. There is nothing better than really fresh meat, preferably that of rabbits (because there are no fresh mice any more in either territory . . .). Rabbit liver is top, followed by other parts of those rodents, and after that come liver or fillet of a turkey or of a chicken . Veal steak or Tuna fish (with shrimps, please) are acceptable substitutes, and after all there are bowls with some “brekkies” of various brands (no brand-names mentioned - we earn nothing from promotions), available in the cat-room, round-the-clock. What I do not eat at all is wet cat-food from tins, independently of its brand name or alleged "healthy" contents! This is a no-no! The old story is very true: A cat-food manufacturer paid a fortune to the designers of the label and for ads and to the TV companies for prime air time – there remained only one problem with their product: The cats hate it!
Some of the food I need to grow my winter-underwear. All year round I get brushed every evening before receiving my midnight-snack. The resulting wool is then sent to a nice lady who spins it and my housekeeper already benefits of a beautiful warm shawl in the winter. This year he might even get a sweater (that shows how hard I worked) – provided he finds someone who knits it for him. His own handicraft talents were sufficient for a simple rectangular shawl, but neither he nor our female (not feline) companion have the know-how for knitting more than a rectangular piece (she certainly is a talented artist, but not a practical artisan). Some samples here show what she did in respect to our species, and much more about her extraordinary work can be found on her own web site at https://gfvonbelair.wixsite.com/mysite
No, that's not a second cat . . . this friend is my housekeeper's fur hat.
And here are pieces of "art"-work created by my housekeeper, who is an artisan rather than an artist, but his creations look like me - remarkable, isn't it ?
I am, by the way, the only member of the household who has the nationality of at least one of our territories: I have a French/EU passport. My housekeeper and his companion together have four different nationalities – and none of them is French or German . . .
So, here we are. Some other facts (that probably interest nobody): I have over the years become far more vociferous. I found out that meoooowing is the best way of getting something (like food or just attention) and so is purrrrrrring for saying "thank you" for food and cuddles. It took me some time to discover that humans respond very quickly to meows and one can even teach them to recognize their meanings. Or, maybe, my complaints at least get on their nerves and I get a snack, just in order to silence me while I am busy eating. We are a multilingual household anyway – the environment speaks French or German or the Alsace-Alemannic dialect, the housekeeper communicates with his companion only in English (because they do not understand each other’s mother tongues at all), and my housekeeper talks to me in a Swiss-German dialect (because for some years he lived in the Bernese Alps with a gang of farm-cats understanding only this language).
Nevertheless, we all understand each other pretty well, at least if we want, and we do not always want to want. This even in spite of the fact that the family member who was born in the country which on the map looks like a cat (see below and have a guess) and which gave its name to a recognized sub-species of felis domesticus has some reservations about our species. But she nevertheless does much of the shopping for me. She often catches my absolute favorites - see below:
I am waiting for my dinner . . .
. . . and two of my favorites just arrived - purrrrrrrh and thaaaaanks !
Finally, here are some Quotations from people who understood cats, at least to the extent that the human species is (or will ever be) able to learn understanding anything at all, and to the extent that us felines want to be understood in the first place. This list even includes a Quotation completed by me:
“To err is human” Seneca
“To purr is feline” Fluffy
“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” Leonardo da Vinci
“Cats are put on the earth to remind us that not everything has a purpose.” Oscar Wilde
“Time spent with cats is never wasted” Siegmund Freud
“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” Albert Schweitzer
“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” James Herriot
“A happy arrangement: many people prefer cats to other people, and many cats prefer people to other cats.” Mason Cooley
(. . . and sometimes I think that my housekeeper must be one of those)
All of the above are so right !
So this is my story - memories of 10 wonderful years !
Thank you, dear old gray Tomcat Hans and dear Schwinigely !