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Guest bedroom update: someone moved in!


I had put my tent up to air – when I first put it up, I left the flysheet and outer tent door open, just the inner mesh door closed, to let air circulate.

Then I closed all the doors cos it had started raining. and it stayed that way for a few days – wanted to make absolutely sure it was dry before taking it down, and showers kept interrupting.

It was dry and sunny today, so I thought I’d lie out in it for a while; took me cuppa and ciggies but not (unfortunately as it turned out!) my camera.

Unzipped, rolled up and secured all three doors, crawled in and stretched out, taking my specs off to get the sun on all my face with no interruptions.

After about ten minutes or so, something made me look up at the roof – the top of the dome of the inner tent was bowed inwards in what looked a perfect bowl-shape, filled with something dark.
My first thought was that rain had got in and collected, but then realised it couldn’t be – the inner tent is made of mesh, any rain would have gone through to the floor.

So I reached up and touched it very gingerly with a fingertip, and it was soft and furry! I thought, a squirrel’s up there! so I poked it, and it unwound and shot down between the layers to the ground and then I saw that it was the black cat that I’d named Bagheera; seen it a few times at the end of the garden – it never came close to the house (well, not when I was around) or took any milk that I left out.

Wish I’d had my camera on me, I could have taken a pic of it in residence. It must have been sound asleep, because the tent moved as I unzipped the doors, rolled them up and tied them in place, yanking the ties to make sure they were tight. But then, the wind would probably have moved the tend more than I did. (Maybe I could have got out, got my camera and come back without waking it – I wouldn’t have to move the tent to do that – but it never occurred to me at the time.)

but here’s a pic of where it was – the dent it made in the top of the dome is still visible:

Wonder how long it had been kipping there? from the first day I put it up? Did worry a bit that, as it climbed up, it would have had to use its claws, which might have damaged the tent and made it less waterproof – but then realised it would have climbed up the inner tent, which is mesh all over, so it could have hooked on without tearing.

And what would make a cat creep under the outer tent in the first place? I know, cats and curiosity, but all the same … it wouldn’t know what might be inside, possibly a danger to it. Maybe it is a feral cat and just wanted to get out of the rain, can’t blame it for that!

I’m afraid I did indulge in a bit of instinctive “get off my land!” – it wasn’t hurting me, but I chased it off anyway. Besides, I thought it was a squirrel, and I’ve read that they’re loaded with fleas.

thought: maybe, while I’m trying to set up insect hotels and bee hotels, I should set up a cat shelter as well??

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We had one that used to sleep in the G/House Fran, I didn't mind, it needed somewhere warm for the night, when i went in on the morning it used to not half scarper lolz.. Thats a nice tent BTW..

29 Mar, 2014


thanks, Younger Daisy. It was more the shock of suddenly discovering it than anything else - I'd been in there about ten minutes and it had been hanging over my head all that time! (lol maybe thinking about Australian "drop bears" that attack by falling out of trees on to your head!)

The tent's due to come down, if it stays dry today - I only wanted to air it, and to see what state my "chum" had left it in. both needs have been satisfied now.

It's a pretty good tent - 3-person, so just about enough room for me and my stuff (I should think that the "3 persons" would have to be very good friends to share that closely!)

I hadn't used it for years, so an airing was due in any case.

Prob with most tents is that they have to be pitched tent first - so if it's raining, the inner gets soaked before you can get the flysheet on. I've got one that does pitch flysheet first (only had to do that once, and it was a pain fumbling under the fly to find the tent attachment points!) but it was do-able. That'll be the next one to go up.

Wonder if I could rig something at the end of the garden for Bagheera? maybe a plastic crate with a loose cover. but what else might move in? and should I encourage it anyway?

29 Mar, 2014


I wouldn't encourage it Fran, It might use your garden as a toilet YUK. The one in my G/house wasn't a stray, i think i knew the owner and the cats name was Beethoven lolz. I think some cats get let out at night for all night even if they dont want to hahaha

29 Mar, 2014


I am pleased the cat found shelter and a dry bed.

Thats a nice tent. Happy Camping !

29 Mar, 2014


agree, Younger Daisy - besides, if I want to enourage birds ... not sure that Bagheera, or my other feline visitor, Gandalf, is a stray or feral - Bagheera has shorter fur, but it does seem well kept. Gandalf has long silver-grey fur, a bit messed, but nothing like it would be if living wild. and that one's bold - I've had to stop it making determined efforts to get indoors!

thanks, Diane. I'm sort of glad that it got itself snug it's just the way that I found out that it had! I haven't camped for years - used to be in Scouting, and can't get used to campsites that are just rows of tents (apart from anything else, it's not a proper campsite if there's not a real wood fire. though can understand that commercial campsite owners would't be too happy about that)

Someone said I should get rid of them, but my thought is, i might never use them again, but if i get rid of them i'll defintely never use them again!

29 Mar, 2014


What a funny thing to happen. Those mogs are trying you out Fran, remember my ginger one that ran away every time, then still took up residence!
Spooky has been in our garden a lot in this milder weather and spraying my shrubs and not for green fly either. Thank goodness Spooks has latched on to Sue next door in Brook Lodge for lap landing and food. He has still declared independence though. I think you would have had a shock if the cat had scrabbled to getaway before you realised something was there. Spooky's fur is very well kept but he often sleeps in our gazebo. They are so insistent if they decide to try and take up residence, so watch out if you don't want to get entangled.k

29 Mar, 2014


lol hadn't thought of that, Dorjac, but you're so right - if the first I'd known about it was it climbing down I think I'd have levitated right out of the tent!!

I don't want to encourage either of my two visitors overmuch - i'll offer them milk if they whinge long enough, but that's as far as it goes. certainly don't want closer contact, and very certaintly don't want them indoors - might never get them out again!

And once a cat's made up its mind, it stays made up, I've read - when it finds a good place for WC, it will use it forever after unless very sternly discouraged.

I'm sure they both have homes, but they're opportunistic at the same time - Gandalf always comes over the fence from the left, and Bagheer comes from the right, at the very bottom corner - maybe this is where their boundaries meet.

29 Mar, 2014


Perhaps the previous tenants fed the cats Fran and they are looking to see if you are going to do the same. I know when I moved here the old lady used to feed one and it was always hanging around. It belonged next door and personally I don't believe in feeding anyone else's cat, I'd hate for mine to relocate (as if that would ever happen, mum feeds them fresh fish every day!) should someone do the same.
I get the idea of not getting rid of the tents, sod's law that as soon as you did, you'd be needing it!

29 Mar, 2014


Lol Fran...what a fright...well, it would have given me a fright anyway. Cat probably also full of fleas if it's Feral! Poor thing though...just having a safe snooze and rudely poked! ;)

29 Mar, 2014


I do like your choice of names for them Fran, we have lost cats to neighbours in the past as they insisted on feeding them, Tipsy moved over the road for two years, only got her back by keeping her shut indoors for a couple of months, the lady responsible has sadly died now so we won't lose her again, our black one Ollie we have been sharing for years with some neighbours up the road, they didn't realise the crafty cat was ours and he was eating at both houses, lol, unfortunately the lady in that house has been very ill lately so Ollie has had to be at home more for the past six months, they always say you don't own a cat.
Needless to say our Blue Pointer is only allowed outside to play and never overnight......

29 Mar, 2014


hi Scottish, I hadn't thought of what the previous tenanat might have done and what the cats might have got used to. if they got used to being fed here, they'll have to get un-used to it. i should stop even offering milk, as that would also encourage them to come back - Gandalf, anyway, don't think Bagheera's had any.

lot there's an old English proverb "keep a thing for seven years and you'll find a use for it" - my version is "you never find a use for something till the day after you've chucked it"! or "better have it and not need it than need it and not have it" - also applies to raincoats and umbrellas!

Lol Karen, if it slept though my juggling the zips and rolling up the flaps, it was more than snoozing !

actually, Lincs, "Gandalf" was Katarina's suggestion; the all-black cat just had to be "Bagheera"

I did think of getting a cat, but decided against it cos i want to enourage birds; no doubt, if I had and if it'd been a tom, there'd have been battles royal to establish its territory. and if it had been a queen, there'd be battles of another kind! of course, I don't know what sex the others are.

29 Mar, 2014


Cats need shopping done for them Fran! They mean vet bills. They get fleas Fleas proliferate in warm weather, and we have carpets. I loved Henry to bits,he nearly died after I put some anti flea drops on the back of his neck. Other cats come and pinch their food, if they are slow feeders. I loved our Henry to bits, as he was a real character, even if he did go up the nets after flies!I don't mind Spooky's visits but all other cats get chased off.

30 Mar, 2014


lol thanks, Dorjac, that's really made up my mind! I'd dithered because at the moment I'm free, I can go out when I like, stay out all night or a week, with no need to come back and feed anything - a pet would limit that (even goldfish!) and there'd be the prob of house-training etc. And vet bills, as you say - hadn't thought about fleas, but unless it was kept indoors all the time, that would happen - and what kind of life would it be for a cat to never be let out?

30 Mar, 2014

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