Many apologies for the delay in getting these posts to you but it has taken us a while to balance technology in our field. I’ve powered the laptop up on a trip to and from our nearest town, Lampeter, fifteen minutes away, this morning and the dongle was powered overnight from the car battery.
So, we arrived in our field at 8.30pm on Friday 9th August after a six hour journey. We put up our tent and unpacked some of the car so the cats could see what we were doing and at 9.00pm, opened the back door of the car. Three wide eyed cats slowly emerged, ignored the food we’d put down for them and began to explore. Tiggy found a lap to sit on while Olly and Rowan, sniffed and skitted in the grass as new smells and noises bombarded their senses.
We were soon off to bed…and the cats joined us.
Moving day had been a long one, up at 5.30am to hopefully feed all three cats and get Rowan into Mike’s Mum and Dad’s spare room for the day…we knew Tiggy and Olly would stay close to the house and would come if we called but we knew Rowan wouldn’t so this was the only way to ensure we took all three cats to Wales.
The move went well and we would recommend Reliable Removals as they were friendly, fast and efficient. All went smoothly until 1.30pm when a friend arrived, the new owners arrived and we realised how much was still left to pack into the car and clean…and then we had to gather the cats.
Our original plans had been altered so we only had one car to pack camping and cats, the removal van not arriving until the following Monday afternoon so it was a bit of a squeeze. The new owners were really patient as we ran around and then attempted to get three cats into the car at the same time. It was stressful but, with hugs and tears from Mike’s Mum and Dad and Dan, Mel and Emmy, we finally set off at 2.30pm.
We were so relieved to all arrive in our field but there are some downsides to camping with cats….
A tent is a cat’s playground….this is Tiggy the next morning, attempting to carve out for himself a cat hammock between the two layers of the tent.
Cats like to be as high as they can so they will sit on anything. This is Rowan on my coat and Olly on Mike’s guitar.
Cats take up all the bed… we’d forgotten how restrictive cats on the bed are and, as we are sleeping on a slope, covers and cats tend to gravitate to the bottom leaving Mike and I quiltless and on the floor. They snore too and are in and out all night. Having to leave the inner tent flap part open also invites insects (I’ll expand another day on what I’ve disliked most about camp living!)
Tiggy thinks he is ‘people’ so even with the whole bed to lie on, he insists on getting up close…and trying to eat our meals. We’ve been feeding the cats first, the opposite of home, in an attempt to eat our meals in peace. We’ve been lucky to eat most outdoors on our laps but a couple of times we’ve had to come in and, because we are effectively on the floor, the cats are bemused as to why our plates, therefore, are not for them.
During our first week, Reliable brought up our possessions, my great mate Peter Jones brought my car up and Mike drove him back in his car with a borrowed car trailer, to collect his old Triumph Vitesse and we added to our camp.
We began with one tent…the house we are buying is to the right of this photo….
Expanded by erecting our old campa van awning for cooking in which, as you can see, is on even more of a slope than the tent (when we viewed the house this field was chest high with grass so we didn’t realise how sloping it was!) We expanded again…
…with an awning. We were really disappointed with the quality and knew immediately that it wouldn’t make the ensuite bedroom we had hoped but we thought it would be good for storage and drying the washing…
So The Crazy Cat Camp looked promising…
…for one day! We had a windy night and the gazebo poles snapped. We were gutted, all our plans gone, but the silver lining is….the poles will make a great frame to put netting over when I start growing soft fruit!
So, we’re down to two tents, both holding up to the weather (and cats!) pretty well but what is it really like to try to live in a tent? How does it change the things you normally do? How do your priorities change? Join me again and find out.