12 February, 2007

How quickly they grow up!

It only seems like a few weeks ago that we first met Robbie. Actually, it was almost five months ago now and he's grown tremendously in that time. Although he'll still be a "kitten" for another six months, it's got to the point where we're ready to let him roam the great outdoors. Or nearly so: first the little chap has to take a trip to the vet to get his shots updated, get a microchip implanted and have a little snip done. Then it'll be time to get him trained on the use of the cat-flap and reassure ourselves that he'll come home of his own accord. And all this has to be settled before we head off to Nice next month: we'll be leaving the kitties at home while we're away and they'll be looked after by a friend who'll call in once a day so they'll be on their own recognisance as far as comings and goings are concerned.

A little while ago was the ninth anniversary of Thomas joining us. He was four when we rescued him from the shelter, so he'll be 14 (in May) this year. That hardly seems possible either: on the one hand it feels like he's been around forever, on the other he doesn't strike us as being a senior citizen. I read somewhere that 14 for a cat is something like 70 for us, so he's not doing so badly. Madam Sofia, the third of the menagerie, turned five a week after that and a right grown up little Miss she is too! Sophie joined us when she was about the same age Robbie is now: funny how these things work out.

On the food front we've been enjoying more authentic Chinese home cooking chez-nous thanks to our policy of setting guests to work in the kitchen when they come for dinner. My colleague Emma (Wu Lejun) was here last weekend cooking duck and dumplings and this weekend we again welcomed Mei Hua who constructed the complex but undeniably delicious dish shown in the photo.

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