Spring is here – it is official - there is frog spawn in the pond and lambs are popping out all over (although as I write the hills around us are clad in sparkling snow) so it is time for an update on the four cats within the Coach House.

They are all alive and well, and before this current wintry spell, were beginning to enjoy the lovely Spring weather, each one in their own way spending more time every day outside in the sunshine. For this pleasure of course there is a price to pay, and to my astonishment we discovered a fully engorged tick buried in Gilly's forehead this morning. It seems pretty early in the year for a tick to be looking for a host, the earliest normally is April, but Gilly drew the short straw on that front this March. After Michael and I removed it with tweezers she sat on Michael’s knee and put her head down between her paws and moaned as only a Bengal can when anything at all has happened to them. Fannie watched fascinated with the full gamut of emotions crossing her face.

Titus, our dear ginger moggie, is putting on a little more weight, and the pins in her back legs (and the resultant arthritis) make her progress up the stairs in particular clearly painful for her, but she is generally well and remains the friendliest and most amiable of the four cats to all comers. Gilly, who continues to chase and terrorise poor Fannie, sometimes also beats up Titus, but Titus mainly stays put and hides under a table keeping her head down both literally and metaphorically. She is a born survivor.

Fannie, the tortoiseshell beauty who is Titus’s sister, spends too much of her day in the box on top of the filing cabinet in my little study, but it is her safe haven and she is happiest there. As the weather improves she does get out more which is a relief as Gilly otherwise would turn her into a total closet cat. She does sometimes rather invite Gilly to chase her though, as she hisses at Gilly whenever she sees her, even when Gilly isn’t actually thinking about doing anything.

Pushkin, our Russian Blue boy, is currently looking especially sleek and muscular and in the peak of health. He loves living here and of the three older cats he is the only one who really enjoys Gilly too. Gilly attempts to chase him from time to time but he always chases her back, which sometimes she enjoys and they rampage round the house for hours, and sometimes she doesn’t like it and goes away and hides. I am ashamed to say that it amuses me to see the biter bit.

And Gilly, the black Bengal, is Gilly. She is a real lover of humankind and is purrfully affectionate to us both and likes to sleep with us in bed under the duvet, but with the other three cats she simply has to be top cat and can’t help herself. Of all the cats she is the greatest hunter too, but fortunately she concentrates her energies in the main on the smaller mammals, such as shrews and field mice rather than the abundant birds that inhabit our surrounding trees.

As soon as the website is updated we will add a proper picture gallery and I promise you that you will have more pics of the cats on a regular basis.