Chris has started up a blog about keeping hens, looking after horses, pets and the Land Rover.
It’s a great little resource & not too heavy going.
Fancy getting hens? Then check out her site first!
Chris has started up a blog about keeping hens, looking after horses, pets and the Land Rover.
It’s a great little resource & not too heavy going.
Fancy getting hens? Then check out her site first!
Spice, our lady cat, caught a sparrow.
It happens now and then – there are loads of them around and a cat could easily catch several just by running open mouthed down the garden… so no real shock there.
Last time she caught one I grabbed her, opened her jaw & the sparrow fell out and flew off before it hit the ground… (she can be evil and gentle…).
This time it was obvious the sparrow was done for, as Spice ran off before I could do anything. That’s nature for you… but…
…the sparrow was dropped as the four hens of the apocalypse sped down the garden, causing Spice to bolt.
The next thing I saw made me look twice… and keep looking in disbelief, as Chicken 11 grabbed the sparrow, then the four hens played tug of war, chase and catch with the sparrow, before taking it in turn to pick the carcass clean.
These are spoilt, well fed hens – but I’ve said it before about them – if there is something that can be eaten, regardless of if they are hungry, then they’ll eat it.
They are Omnipovores… Where ever there is something that can be eaten, then there you will find a hen…
I’ll never look at those dozy, daft, feathery, chirpy, psychopathic raptors the same way again…
Thanks to Megan Eisenbraun for pointing me in the direction of this poem by T.S.Eliot.
She figured out that the cat that attacked me could be Growltiger (or at least a relation!).
GROWLTIGER was a Bravo Cat, who lived upon a barge;
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of “The Terror of the Thames.”
His manners and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, he was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye.
The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame,
At Hammersmith and Putney people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore: GROWLTIGER’S ON THE LOOSE!
Woe to the weak canary, that fluttered from its cage;
Woe to the pampered Pekinese, that faced Growltiger’s rage.
Woe to the bristly Bandicoot, that lurks on foreign ships,
And woe to any Cat with whom Growltiger came to grips!
But most to Cats of foreign race his hatred had been vowed;
To Cats of foreign name and race no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear–
Because it was a Siamese had mauled his missing ear.
Now on a peaceful summer night, all nature seemed at play,
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molesey lay.
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide–
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.
His bucko mate, GRUMBUSKIN, long since had disappeared,
For to the Bell at Hampton he had gone to wet his beard;
And his bosun, TUMBLEBRUTUS, he too had stol’n away-
In the yard behind the Lion he was prowling for his prey.
In the forepeak of the vessel Growltiger sate alone,
Concentrating his attention on the Lady GRIDDLEBONE.
And his raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks–
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.
Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but Griddlebone,
And the Lady seemed enraptured by his manly baritone,
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise–
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes.
And closer still and closer the sampans circled round,
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound.
The lovers sang their last duet, in danger of their lives–
For the foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives.
Then GILBERT gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde;
With a frightful burst of fireworks the Chinks they swarmed aboard.
Abandoning their sampans, and their pullaways and junks,
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks.
Then Griddlebone she gave a screech, for she was badly skeered;
I am sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared.
She probably escaped with ease, I’m sure she was not drowned–
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.
The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop,
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop.
Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the strand.
Rats were roasted whole at Brentford, and at Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok.
Monday saw me go to the Hospital as the pain was still a read b$%^&*. The infected area had also stopped reducing, so in accordance with my release instructions from Hospital last week I went in for a check up.
Blood tests and movement showed a good infection reduction to that point. The pain was suggested to be bone bruising, but unsure. I was then told to visit again Thursday (yesterday) for another check up. Meanwhile I was told that I didn’t need the sling or to keep my arm elevated all of the time.
Thursday – Ominous Hospital verdict:
Tendons & Wrist actions themselves seem okay… but inflammation & continued deep pain have pointed the Doctors to the following:-
Put arm back straight back in the sling and keep it upright.
Take another 10 days of top strength antibiotics.
Visit hospital Ortho-ward again next week.
Specialist Microbiologists mentioned.
Talk of surgery & flush raised it’s head again…
…So… Infection still a problem…
In linked news – Thank you Speedway Squad for not one, but two mentions in episodes 101 and 102.
I have no idea what I need to get mauled to make it three in a row…
For the first time since I was released from hospital (FOR THIS) I went for a walk with Chris, her Mum and Alex. The last few walks I had been on I noticed about 21 Swans on the lake – by the looks of it 3 generations.
I had to keep my arm elevated still, but that didn’t stop me getting into the thick of the action with the birds. Yes, they aren’t the tamest and friendliest of creatures, but I’ve known them for a few generations now (likewise, they know me). I wouldn’t suggest you go up to swans in this way…
These swans were happy enough feeding around me – even the various geese breeds that showed up were in good spirits. The younger ones were a bit over zealous, but in a gentle way.
One young swan wanted my attention from behind where I was crouched down, and to do this it stretched around me and gently pecked my cheek – very gently…. I turned around and he just stood there expectantly for some bread. He came over as I put bread down and let me stoke his back and wings… then a few others came over for more of the same.
Even after I ran out of food, these birds were quite content to just hang out around where I sat…. so I got my iPhone out and recorded them. You can see how close they were – even the Canadian goose pecking around my feet…
As for the cat bite – I shaved my arm so I could keep check on what is happening. The tendons still ache and the swell is still very painful. The redness of the infection has reduced, but the reduction has slowed – If it doesn’t keep reducing, then I’m still likely to have my arm cut open and flushed.
Hopefully, and if Facebook isn’t being a pain (yeah…. some hope….), then this link will take you to the photo’s surrounding my cat attack event and hospital visit.
Thanks to all the Tweeters that kept me going through the (continuing) ordeal – and thanks to everyone else on Facebook, Text and in the flesh – Too many to mention.
The tweeters I shared my hospital bed with….
@drop4three @Drolgerg @Annjj @Boolbar @brynmorgan @CaminoHolidays @lowster @Mangowe @janetc413Nelso @noodlechett @Anglia_PA @VALENTINO_KING @Xenaclone @DaivRawks @thefuckingpope @flangelina @FlissTee @MinxITup @SerenityWorks @hang_check @rutitoottoots @hairlessheart @ngowers @XlilmissdeppX @feline9 @Shawnsewcrazy @pinwingirl @1Bibson @ScottyLikesCake @zafkhanjc @belindaang @troublebrother @srs11 @victoriark @belle_lulu @fudgecrumpet @Orchidflower @Care4Horsescom @LAH27 @appleblossombea @marathondog @raincoaster @ross_owen @noSPicedhAM @castewar @speedwaysquad @Aussiemandias @JennWebb @doriens @mrsfudgecrumpet @DaveMyers1 @SunnyNici @Dalevich @notjustmum @janeslee @VonOtter @red_lego_man @Spangila @balemar @pitstopmark @helengregory @xGallifreyGirlx @gillian_b @_lyraelson @lizgoingon @DarrenGriffin @Dolly61 @_NSL @crissyrob @ladyjanefairfax @widget53 @tylermassey @loopy_lala @moogyboobles @pixies_mum @ambernectar @Welshracer @AtteroIgnis @MillaJovovich @bobbyllew @suziperry @RichHL @warrenparkinson @herodian @lowster @eBeth @Twistedlilkitty @oneluvgurl @AliBee16 @JabberingJude @iknowitswinter @peekaywrites @_Bryony_ @AKGlass @mediacoach @dai_bach @sylv666 @Sheshel @KizzieAwful @Anflaw @bonnycross @KingofShaves @BenSmith9 @karenstrunks @DC_Zol @mediocre_mum @GrahamLawler @OlorinLorien @Moonchild66 @dartacus @h0llytweet @jojosim @victoriark @KazHall @linda01923 @michelledh @nannynick @ShoeGal007 @Gonk
Yup…. there’s a lot of them and they all rock! Cheers for the conversations and concern. I feel a very wealthy man for the number of people who stepped up to give me support.
Mobile blogging this from my hospital bed…
Chris goes out to a party. She hardly ever goes out (I don’t tie her up), so I really wanted her to have a good evening. It was fancy dress & she looked great!
Later that night:
All the cats have just come in. Before I get to lock the cat-flap I hear a thumping, crashing noise in the kitchen.
I go out & find a mean feral tomcat freaking out.
The first thing I thought was….
No one will believe the description of this cat! It’s a cacophony of the most evil cats ever drawn on cartoons!
It had one snake eye glazed in a white mist, a glaring black eye & a scar across its nose. Both ears were shredded & it was covered in dirt & mud. It’s growl was guttural & menacing…. It was a cat that would need to be toned down in a book or film because it was too unbelievable…
It was a cat that, had Sir Arthur Conan Doyle seen it, literature would of had “The Cat of the Baskervilles” in place of that, on comparison, soppy hound.
It was big. It may have had a Bulldog as a father…
It was mad… The cat flap was set to “In only” to get our cats in for the night. This had the effect of cornering the Hell Cat…
As I went into the kitchen, crouched down & arms out, to keep it in one place & to open the door for it (which would work for most cats), it went nucking futs.
It shot straight at my left arm (furthest from it!) and went to town, biting down hard on my wrist, to the bone. This was a new level of pain for me…
I pulled free… or tried to, but as most people with cats know, a cat with a fight in mind is like the bastard child of a Chinese finger trap and a garden wood chipper…
It span up and around my left arm, sinking its teeth in again, and kicked out tearing my right hand.
It let go & shot into the house. I gave chase & managed to get between it and the stairs. As cats run scared they go flat out with no care… claws out getting grip on whatever they can…No way was this git tearing up stairs and shredding my sleeping little Alex!
I managed to herd it back into the kitchen by using a blanket to fence it in.
I freed up the cat flap, grabbed some water & chucked it at the cat to make it bolt out of the door from its position on the kitchen shelves….(I was praying it wasn’t about to start flinging pits and pans at me!!!)
…. Success! The cat bolted…
I examined the damage… Shaken & still in severe pain from the bite.
I cleaned the wound up. It looked deep, but clean. I covered it with antiseptic cream & dressed it. I wasn’t about to call Chris & ruin her evening. If it got worse, then I’d call her.
The bite has swollen a little, but looked mostly like bruising.
We took a trip to Frimley Park Hospital to get it checked out. The medic was surprised at the bite radius… and due to the nature of the wound I was given a Tetanus shot.
Medic said I’d done a good job with cleaning & dressing it (I should hope so! I’ve just re-qualified as a First Aider!), and told me to return in 24 hours for a further check up, as bites like this can turn bad quickly. I was given some heavy duty antibiotics and headed home.
Wrist is painful to bend. Went for my usual cross country jaunt, but had to leave my Nordic poles at home as I couldn’t use them on the injured arm.
Couldn’t sleep as arm was throbbing. Put it this way, try slamming your fingers in a drawer… then keep doing that to the beat of your heart… and do it a bit harder each time so you don’t get used to it.
I was running a high temperature, but I put that down to a bug that Alex had just got over. Sleep wasn’t easy.
Standing in the bathroom I had sweat running off of me. I still put it down to a cold bug as I had a bad throat too.
I took a shower & noticed the bite was much bigger & redder…
We went to the Hospital for the check up…
One of the staff took my wrist & moved it up and down… something I really couldn’t do myself.
In two words: It Hurt.
Moments later a Doctor came in, saw the red mark (infection) had spread down my arm and said straight away I was to be kept in overnight.
The “these things can go bad very quickly” had happened.
I was still in pain from my wrist manipulation and apparently weak from the infection spreading…
The Doctor went to put in the needle for my intravenous drips and to take samples from the line. I’m not keen on needles, but I don’t mind them and it’s really only the thought that makes me cringe…
The needle went in. I felt fine. I’ve had needles in me before – injections and giving blood, so no drama… but my head went light…
I told the Doctor I was becoming dizzy & nauseas. I was laid back & the dizzy became a 25 vodka shot drunken stupor…
I felt all energy drain from me, I became clammy (sticky, not shellfish like) & a cold sweat poured from my head. Chris said my skin went very pale & my lips turned white…
Thank God I’d done that First Aid re-qualification! As all these symptoms occurred I was mentally aware. I realised I was going into shock. Had I not realised this, then the experience would have scared the Hell out of me.
I lay horizontal for a while as my body spun back to speed, then was wheeled away to get my first IV of antibiotics.
After the first dose I was then placed into the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) for observation overnight.
This is where you find me now… Laid up with my arm in an elevated sling to stop the infection tracking any further. A “Bradford Sling”… a sling that I am sure has been banned as cruel and unusual in the Geneva Convention.
I was going to wait until I got home to do a blog entry, but so many kind and curious friends in the flesh and in cyberspace wanted to know what’s been happening…
To all those who have followed this on Twitter and Facebook and given me support and best wishes, I thank the lot of you! You’ve kept my spirit up wonderfully!
To Chris and Alex – I love you loads and was so happy for your visits today (even when Alex played “poke daddy’s IV needaarrgghhh!”)
I’m still in hospital – and feeling quite lucky really.
This morning a Surgeon tested the infection and became very aware it may have got into a tendon or two.
Straight away I had my food and water stopped. A drip was put in my arm and I was prepared for surgery for the night.
The surgery involved to clean the infection from the tendon is not for the faint hearted…
From elbow to hand on the back and front of the arm two cuts are made.
These are opened up so that the surgeon can flush through and wash out the infection.
The arm is dressed, but left un-stitched, for 24 hours at which point it is flushed out again, checked over and stitched.
Lots of follow up checks take place.
In really simple terms they peal my arm & jet wash it.
Midway through the day the Surgeon was encouraged by the reduced swelling and slight pain reduction. He was encouraged enough to postpone (in view of cancelling) the surgery.
That’s where I am now… In a slightly happier place… Schrodingers Cat Bite, so to speak…. Until it is checked tomorrow I am and am not having surgery…. Slightly ironic…
Just had trippy 2 hours due to pain killers. I mean proper trippy….
I realised as soon as I took them that I was off to la la land, so whacked on Pink Floyd: The Wall, and just let it drift over me.
Vivid stuff… weird imagery…. Still half out, but had to buck up as Ward Reg just did walk arounds.
Surgeons & microbiologist came and checked me out.
They are happy with my range of movement and rate of swell reduction.
Pain in tendons has reduced & is now more focused around the actual puncture points.
Due to this I am to have one more IV antibiotic course and then tablets for 10 days. I also have to keep my arm raised in the Bradford sling still…. even at home, where I’m off to today….
Yes! I’m being released!
If things start to go backwards though, that operation will be waiting for me.
Thanks everyone for your continued support and messages. They really helped keep me positive through the most frightening experience I’ve encountered so far!
Okay… boiler is dying. Downstairs radiators have given up the ghost.
Some dope cracked my Audi headlamp by wheel spinning in gritted snow.
I’ve been off work for the past week with a bad case of flu, topped off with a chest infection – I’ve been boiling, freezing, shaking, sweating, creaking… blah blah…. fed up of the whole thing, and now finding it very hard to breathe, A bit like having a weight on my chest and trying to breathe through a folded up towel… probably (I’ve not tried).
Then stroking our big black cat I find a lump between his shoulder blades… so a trip to the vet is due….
2010 is being a git.
Anyway, it wasn’t a totally bad start – We had snow, and Alex loved it.
Before I became ill I had a good week of snow fun with Alex. It was tainted by idiot chav types knocking the snowman’s head off – but I fixed it with a metal pole in the end. I had to use the pole because the snow had turned to ice crystals and wasn’t sticking together!
Eventually the chav idiots twisted the head around – but a bit more snow and warmer weather meant he could be rebuilt again…
Eventually the weather turned even warmer… and the snowman took his last gasp….
So… for a bit of fun, rather than focusing on the current bad hand 2010 has dealt us, here are some pictures of the snowman… as he morphed through attacks by chavs and weather…
Beheaded… then re-headed with a pole… then head twisted around
Mr. Iced T
Too tough for the Chavs…
Things got too warm though….
Almost three years ago…. Miew… the big daft sleek Labrador of a cat gave me a gift…. HERE IT IS
Tonight a similar thing occurred.
Okay… I’ll go a step back…. The two boy cats were sniffing around the couch. I decided to pull it away from the wall, where I see one of Chris’s headbands all gnawed up…. BUGGER…
My first thought is mice living in the couch… so I lift it and put a box under one end to keep it elevated. Taking a torch in one hand… and pushing the cats away with the other… I look underneath….
Yup… a mouse…. although no sign of poop or couch damage. Good… it must just have come in and hid there. Trouble is how to catch it.
It’s between me, Miew and Trouble. If Trouble gets it, it’ll be in for a bad time. If Miew gets it, it’ll be dead in a fraction of a second… or perfectly safe (Miew is an idiot!).
I try to get it…. I place tubes down to try and capture it, but with no luck…. and then it runs out and hides under Alex’s big toy truck. Miew has it pinned…..
I move the truck and Miew grabs the mouse and zooms upstairs…. BUGGER again… I give chase.
Sat outside of Alex’s room Miew holds the mouse. I grab Miew by the scruff and he drops the unharmed mouse who makes a dart for Alex’s room. Luckily we put a rolled up sheet under ALex’s child gate to stop the cats crawling under and making a noise at night.
The mouse hides in the rolled up sheet, so I carefully scoop it up. Chris opens the front door and I release the mouse away from the house. It scurried off with no sign of damage.
Miew is such a gentle giant! 1 stone of big and sleek cat!
As for the mouse….I think the little critter was bought in with some of Christines horse gear, or had been hiding for some time…. Initially I thought it might be living under the couch, but there are no holes or anything, so it was just hiding…
Well, my damp cat, soggy wood chomping critter and dodgy water heater have given predictable results…
This is just 15 hours into day 2 of the experiment. That’s a fair increase in traffic!
I realise some hits are generated from people visiting through the links I put up, but the search engine data shows that a few too many people have dropped in after Googling naughty stuff….
It just goes to show, doesn’t it?