Tomorrow, the world…

Out of the two Maine Coons we have, Django is by far and away the better hunter, with many bird and small mammal kills to his name.

However, Oscar achieved a first today – as far as we know – by cornering a snake.

Whilst we were having lunch in the garden, we saw that Oscar was busy jumping and pouncing on something. On closer investigation, it proved to be a grass snake about 70 cm long which Oscar had got backed up against the trunk of the large oak tree in the center of our garden.

We distracted Oscar so that the snake could escape, although he saw where it had slithered off to and watched that spot for an hour afterwards.

I’ve been wearing gloves to clear undergrowth of stones and sticks before I strim in case of snakes and, having seen the grass snake that Oscar was facing off to, I’m glad I have.

There are adders about, I’ve been told, and although their bite isn’t fatal, I don’t fancy finding that out the hard way…

Stop press, Oscar just caught a frog.

So, that’s the animal kingdom sewn up – Django has the birds and mammals and Oscar has the reptiles and amphibians…

Fussy eaters…

…always awkward buggers and especially when they’re your own bloody cats.

Since we had Django and Oscar as kittens, and up until we moved to France, they’ve both eaten the same food.

Django ate Felix Choice Cuts pouches – fish only – and some dried Royal Canin Maine Coon food:



Oscar on the other hand ate nothing apart from the Royal Canin food. In fact, he still doesn’t eat anything else. Each bowl is attacked with equal relish and as if it was filet steak, foie gras or caviar…




Fortunately, we’ve managed to wean Django onto Whiskas which is often on special offer here and he’ll now eat the pouched poultry varieties as well as the fish.

However, supplying Oscar with what he likes has become rather less easy. Last year, we ordered 30kg of the Royal Canin food from a company in the UK. It cost us about £140 with free delivery and arrived less than 48 hours after I placed the order – fabulous service and a great price.

Here, in France, it’s amazingly expensive, about 50% more, which is bad enough, but when you think that Royal Canin is a French company, it’s fucking ridiculous.

And that’s the main problem relocating to France – some things are stupidly expensive, although we reckon it just about evens out when you take into account the fact that some aspects of the household budget are cheaper.

However, after discovering that the company we ordered from last year no longer delivers here, we found another UK pet suppliers that will deliver to us and, although more expensive, 20kg delivered here will still work out about 33% cheaper than buying it in France.

The moral is, I suppose, to shop clever whenever possible. So, we keep our eyes peeled for special offers – although the BOGOF culture hasn’t really reached here yet – and then stock up:

  • Pork leg joints at €2.50 a kilo? Grab half a dozen and slap ‘em in the freezer!

  • Twin pack of Palmolive washing up liquid at just over the price of a single bottle? Get 3 packs for the store cupboard!
  • Cheap tomatoes? Make a vat of pasta sauce and freeze it!

Also, French value brands seem to be better than their UK counterparts, with Super U’s Bien Vu dark roast coffee offering amazing value, for example.

However, it’s clear that what was once a cheap country, compared to the UK at least, is no longer cheap.

So, it’s by no means all biere et boules here.

On the other hand, I haven’t seen a single chav since I was over in the UK last December and that counts for a lot…

A tail of woe


Oscar – Maine Coon #2 – was a little off-colour yesterday.

He was just lying around looking wistful and didn’t seem to want to play with his feathery stick or thug up birds in the garden.

We gave him the once-over and found a lump just beneath the root of his tail.

I looked at it and found some bitemarks.

‘Ah ha…an abscess,’ I thought.

So, sure enough, this morning after a quick phonecall and a trip over to our excellent vet, Oscar got his abscess drained, a thermometer up his arse, a painkiller injection, a shot of Amoxycillin and some pills to take for the next five days.

He seems brighter, which is good news.

Phase 5 of the plan

Pet passports collected today.

Here’s Oscar celebrating amongst the bluebells in the garden.



Purring like mad.
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Phase 4 of the plan

The cats are booked in next Tuesday for a blood test to see if their rabies shots have been effective.

If so, then we can take them across to France but if we want to bring them back inside 6 months then they’ll have to be tested.

However, if we stay here in the UK for 6 months and then get a second clear blood test then we can come and go as we please.

So, that’s what we’re doing.

Next phase is to think about selling this place and decide on an area of France we want to move to…

So far Brittany, Normandy, Pays de Loire and Poitou-Charentes seem favourites.

We shall see…

Another gratuitous cat photo

What the heck…


Django is in the foreground, with Oscar behind him.

Cute, or what?

A lookee-likee?

Here’s Totoro:


And here’s our kitten Oscar:

Uncanny, isn’t it?

Let it snow x3

Possibly the best snow we’ve had here in beautiful, vibrant Milton Keynes for several years.

Schools are being closed, everything still looks clean and white and the cats have been out enjoying it.

Oscar in particular, being the younger of our two Maine Coons, went a bit mad and tried to chase every falling flake he could see.

Here he is looking out at the falling snow:


After a catnap…


Oscar and Django sharing some quality fraternal time.