The Wally and Ted-Bear love the snow. They will happily run around in it for hours, then scamper inside, sit in front of the fire, and defrost, making the floor wet, rugs damp, and the floor muddy.
Being a cat, I have to be more discerning. Smudge will happily sit next to the fire, nice and toasty, without going out at all, only to disappear to eat, drink, or ‘powder her nose’.
I, on the other hand, struggle to balance the ‘I shall snooze’ hemisphere of my brain, and the ‘I wanna go out and kill something’ hemisphere. So, I refuse to go for meanders with hooman in the snow, but when it clears I will toddle along, looking extra fluffy in my winter coat.
The leaves covered the ground, and there was no undergrowth at all, unlike the summer, where it is like trying to make your way through large bowl of porridge. I do like to, on occasion, run full pelt through big piles of leaves, shouting RAWR and generally being odd about the whole thing. You’d think I had never seen leaves before.
Every now and then I will spot something ahead. A bird, crocodile, or something else mooching in the undergrowth. Do you know how hard it is to stealthily stalk something on crunchy leaves? It ain’t possible. It’s like watching a hooman sneak across a kitchen floor covered in rice krispies.
Hooman told me that the trees in Bulgaria have each been designed by a man called ‘Tim Burton’, and they are especially ‘Tim Burtonesque’ in the winter, when the leaves have deserted them. All along the river bank are trees all contorted, twisted, and crooked, like in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ or ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
6km’s is a long way for a little black cat such as myself, even for one particularly furocious. Sometimes I would take a little sit down break, after climbing trees, meowing a lot, coming back down the tree, up the next, meowing again, then running along the ground, and after all that, I like a little rest. By little, I mean about 10 minutes.
Hooman would sometimes walk on, whistling at me, or making daft meowing noises to get me to follow him, but nope. Rest is required. It doesn’t help that often hooman will fail to bring even the simplest of treats. Ham, cheese, bits of chicken, and the like, and he NEVER has milk. This must be some sort of Geneva convention violation?
Hooman has, at times, attempted to take a selfie with me, but whilst I refuse to scratch him to death for attempting it, I will mostly do what I can to ruin the pic. I shall look off in another direction, clean my lady places, or scratch so I just come out like a blurred apparition. This tactic has been quite successful thus far.
We meandered on, and I got to examine every little hole in the ground for edibles that I missed when the ground was covered in long grass. Most of them were out, or hiding behind sofas, and no matter how much I knocked, or thrust my claws into their houses, they never popped out to say hello. Edibles really are an unsociable bunch.
They really were not in the Christmas spirit, and that made me sad…
…as well as hungry.
The Wally was with us on this walk, but as usual he was galloping about the place like a dog possessed by something that wanted to run around a lot. He normally just about stayed in visual range, sometimes poking his head above a ridge, or a tree stump to see where we were, before scampering on in and out of the trees looking for whatever it is dogs want.
Some bits of grass remained all green and nice, which was better underfoot that the hard, spike dead stuff on the river bank. It was like wearing slippers after walking on gravel.
The river was, as expected, gloomy, grim, and clearly full to the brim with monsters, ghouls, and hobgoblins. Hooman wanted to turn back, but I stated quite resolutely that I am predator, and he will be safe, as I have claws. The Wally, however, would be useless in such a supernatural battle, as he would be trying to lick the toes of the evil entities.
The river hadn’t changed since the last time we were here. It looked like someone had mixed, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, added a splash of milk, and poured it into the river upstream. The rain, and melting snow had raised the river level and the mud was all being washed along.
Not putting my wee feet in there.
Despite the river of beverage, there was still some predatory stalking to do. The bank used to have lots of frogs, lizards, and crocodiles along it, and there may be a few remaining, so I examined, and sniffed every part I could find. The pickings were slim. By slim I mean ‘none’. I would have to soldier on, without treats.
It was that time again. The weir roared below us, still miffed at something so we headed up the riverside path to the top, overlooking it.
The river had come down a little bit, but the stepping-stones were still covered, meaning I could not prance over them like before. That would have to wait until next spring.
So, we got to the end of the path, and turned round to head back home where the treats, and fire was. It was definitely time to sit by the fire, and get warm, and snooze off. We had about 1.5 km’s to walk home from here. Hooman asked if i wanted a lift on his shoulders, but I turned him down, instead choosing to plod along at a pace suitably slow for a cat.
The Wally plodded along with us for a while. I made a point of walking up to all the puddles, staring at them, then looking at hooman because I obviously can’t walk in a puddle. He walked on, ignoring my pleas, so I had to walk around them all on my own on the perfectly dry, and puddle free grass, either side of them.
Almost home, and The Wally ran off ahead, obviously wanting to get back to eat some of his dog-scoff. I was quite content plodding along behind the hooman, sitting down every now and then, or scratching a tree to death.
So, my first meander of the winter was done. The weather was chilly, but no snow, which was nice. Time to lounge by the fire…