I think summer might be well and truly over in my neck of the woods. Mornings and evening have been getting colder, Oatmeal has become my breakfast of choice, and as I type, I'm having tea, leftover broccoli-cheese soup, and cheesy toast with sriracha for lunch.
Also, the craving for pumpkin spice is getting stronger and stronger each day. It's not officially autumn until food retailers and coffee franchises begin to shower the masses with seasonal offerings of pumpkin-spiced EVERYTHING.
Let's just hope there are places here in England that sell this magical substance, preferably in the form of hot beverages, cakes, and other delightful pasties.
Life here in Casa de Howard is lively again, thanks to the arrival of our new furbaby, Jet. Though he cannot filled the Luna-shaped hole in our lives, he's carving out his own space. Unlike the girls before him, he cannot be coerced into cuddling on our laps or in our arms, prefers to sit quite a ways from us on the couch, and can spend more time playing (and demanding our active attention) than napping. But just like Luna and Rei, he loves the hell out of a homemade toy I had constructed out of an old catnip pouch, pink ribbon and a shoelace.
One of the things The Hubs and I noticed about most of the cats here in England is that both short-haired and long-haired have thick, coarse fur. We like to think of Jet as a toy bear cub. He's barely three months, a lot younger than Luna was when we first got her in late 2011, but way more furry.
Jet was last picked in a litter of four. His previous owner decided to keep only one of his siblings, an equally cute gray-haired female and his mama. We had tried a local adoption shelter (lovely facility with a nice garden setup complete with stone garden cats.) but the manager basically told us that because we're only in England for the next 2-3 years, they wouldn't let us adopt. In short, we're temporary, and we'll probably be back by the end of our stay to dump the animal back with them for reasons.
The Hubs definitely had questions about this policy and wasn't hesitant to confront the manager about it. He informed her that we were cat owners and traveled here with our own cat. She informed us that a lot of the animals they'd taken in were from military personnel who didn't want to spend money on shipping their animal. The Hubs persisted and told her that we paid for our own cat to travel with us, and yes, we realize that it's pricey and we may have to go through the laborious process as we did back in the States to bring our pet with us when we leave. The conversation went on like this for another five minutes, with The Hubs arguing with the manager (who was a very nice lady but seriously presumptuous) before the conversation ended with us leaving empty-handed and The Hubs telling the manager as she was referring us to another shelter, "No, we're not going to jump through all these hoops. We're going to do a private sale instead.".
The whole situation made me think about how easy it is back home, to just show up at any local animal shelter or nearby ASPCA, pick a potential pet, be put into a private room with your potential pet and mingle with it to test compatibility, and if you two get along fabulously, you get to go home together that day. We definitely should have made an appointment at this animal shelter ("You just can't walk in here." the manager informed us.) and we are definitely not in any position to tell them how to run their business, it just stinks for them that their adoption policy is convoluted and judgmental.
Anywhoo, as soon as we got home, The Hubs went online and promptly found someone who had kittens for sale. Easy-peasy. We arrived at the owner's house the next day, and the rest is history. Our bear cub-kitty is healthy, active, and happy. The local vet's office is easily within walking distance, and World's Best Cat Litter, our preferred brand of litter for furbabies is widely available here. We iz gud.
The Hubs jokingly likens our acquisition of Jet to a shady back-alley drug deal. We just had to get our fix!