Blogtober 2022 : Day 4

Do you ever have those days when you wake up knowing that you’ve got a lot to do but there seems to be so much that you don’t know where to start?  That was me this morning, so after not so small daughter and my husband had left the house, I sat down with a brew to Write a List because I knew that I would feel so much better when it was all down on paper.

By the time I reached for a second page because the list was considerably longer than I had thought, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all so I decided to take the dog for a walk.  That’s always a good plan of action, I find – when you’ve got a huge list of things to, go and do something completely different! 🙂

Autumn leaves on trees across a green field. The leaves are turning red and the sky is grey

Outside, the leaves are starting to turn but aren’t quite as far on as I’d imagined after the cold days the other week.  It’s gone a little bit warmer again and maybe the trees are deciding to hang onto their leaves for a bit longer.  I was writing yesterday about my Split Mitten progress and it looks like there’s no immediate rush to get them finished 🙂

I saw sweet chestnuts on a tree today.  I usually spot the horse chestnut (conker) trees and love looking out for conkers on the ground, but I always forget about the sweet chestnut trees (these are the edible type of chestnut but I’m not a fan).

Sweet chestnut cases amongst green leaves.

Here’s a sweet chestnut case – the spines are softer than a horse chestnut case and there will be three or four small chestnuts in here instead of one or two big conkers.  I thought it looked like a little bottom lying on the pavement and that cheered me up!

A green spikey sweet chestnut case lies on a grey brick pavement.

Back home, I sat down with a brew and ignored the list.  I thought I’d write my Blogtober post for today instead, and then add it to the bottom of the list and tick it off as a job done to make myself feel better 🙂  I’d just sat down when Hattie the cat came in through the open window (I’d forgotten to close it when I let her out) carrying a something that wasn’t her usual feather.

Aargh!  It turned out that she’d graduated from feathers to a live mouse which she proceeded to drop and we both watched it scurry off.  OH NO!  I’ve lost hours of my day to mice being brought in and then casually abandoned, leaving them to head under the bookcase and me to have to sort it out.  Fortunately, this one scurried into a corner and I managed to stop it disappearing out of sight – it’s lucky I’m not bothered by mice, I didn’t think twice about trying grab it! – and then the dog and the other cat joined in and the four of us worked as Team Mouse to try to catch it.  I think my constant encouragement of “Don’t let it go under the bookcase!”, “Stop it going under that chair!”, “Aargh, I can’t believe you’ve done this!” did the trick 🙂

I don’t know who dealt the fatal bite (I can assure you it wasn’t me as I was holding up the end of the sofa at the time) but the poor little thing was quickly despatched and now the window is firmly shut against any more presents of that kind.  I know that some of you might be distressed by this, but we live in a place where field mice are plentiful so although I am always upset to see something like this happen in close proximity, there’s a good chance it would have happened outside anyway if the window had been shut.

What I did discover this morning as I held up the sofa with my superhuman strength (blimey, sofas are heavy, aren’t they?!), is that ours seems to be some kind of black hole receptacle for feathers.  Our sofa sits very close to the floor so I usually brush where I can, and push the vacuum cleaner hose under there, and I’ll even move the sofa to brush underneath it from time to time but I’ll be honest and say that I can’t remember the last time I actually lifted it up.

It wasn’t pretty.

It turns out that moving the sofa to brush underneath it just moves all the stuff that’s underneath it as well so you don’t actually get any of it.  I found lots of dog hair, little bits of cardboard (why?!), a chocolate eyeball that must have been from a long-past Hallowe’en (urgh) and feathers.

A pile of grey, white and black feathers on a wooden floor.


I had no idea that Hattie had brought that many in and hidden them under the sofa.  I must put nearly that many in the bin every couple of days when she brings them home – even the postman commented about the number of them on the doorstep yesterday and thought that there had been some kind of terrible bird-related incident outside our front door.  The only good thing is that I know that she’s picking these up, not forcibly removing them from the birds (mice are one thing, birds are quite another!) but it’s a wonder that we even have any birds around here when it appears that we’ve now got several birds’ worth of their feathers in our house!

Anyway, all of these are now in the bin, the dog and Astrid are resting after our adventure, Hattie is back outside (presumably stalking more feathers) and it’s time for another brew.

Oh, and I have added “clean under sofa” and “catch the mouse” to my list and ticked them off 🙂


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24 Responses

  1. Irune says:

    Hahaha, your adventure with the mouse, the feathers and the cat is hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing. What a naughty cat! I’m sure you never feel bored 😀

  2. Barbara says:

    I’m imagining all the bald birds in your neighbourhood after that post. Definitely smiling in my corner. I like your plan on lists and definitely adding to it when you’ve done extra. As for the mice catching, that made me chortle too. Hope you managed to master the main list. Mind you doesn’t the dog need another walk. B x

    • winwickmum says:

      Ha ha, the dog has retired to his bed under the stairs after all the exertion and the cats have been in – and out – and in – and out – and are now wrestling on the sofa. I’m having to hide the list in case it’s caught up in the chaos … 🙂 xx

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    I never forget the day one of our three (at the time) cats brought in a live mouse and the two dogs and my neighbour’s little boys were all in hysterics about catching it – that was over 30 years ago and it has made me smile remembering! Your Hattie has great predecessors in Surrey!
    The end of your list is a little like my husband’s lists – he does a chore and then writes it on a list and ticks it off – he tries not to look at my lists as they can get to be too long too!
    Cleaning under my sofa has just been added to tomorrow’s list!
    Loving the daily blogs! Thank you!
    I have been thinking of you today as I have just started a new Milly Johnson which will wend it’s way northwards to you if you like when I have finished it!

  4. Bārbel says:

    I really can relate to the writing of long to do lists. I do the same, just adding stuff I actually did and crossing it off. Your post did make me feel so much better about it and made me chuckle. Thank you.

  5. Yes I ‘check’ the cat’s mouth before I let her in…dead things half eaten on the porch are one thing (hydrogen peroxide will remove the blood) but in the house, no thank you. (I’ve been there and done that with another cat, and she also would bring them in live…the mice…the rats fortunately she apparently had to kill the carry them around.)

  6. Simon says:

    I often think about writing lists of things to do, but, knowing how long they’re likely to be, I don’t! At least you find your mice! Ours live in the loft and die in all the inaccessible areas and stink the house out! Don’t s’pose you hire your cat out do you?

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh no, that sounds horrible! We had a mouse in the loft once but a man from the council was able to sort it out (may be worth a call to yours?). It sounded like it was running around with hobnail boots on! You need your own cats … 🙂 xx

  7. Lynn Chivers says:

    I loved your story of the morning. I had a word with my cat after she left me a present of a dead mouse that I only found by jumping into my wellies – she’d left it in the foot of one boot!! I explained that it was natural for her to catch and even eat things that were small and furry or feathered, but that she should eat them outside the house. She never brought me another mouse.

  8. Helen says:

    Oh you have made me laugh. Simba likes to hunt. He likes to sprint to the kill zone – under my bed. I had the neighbour in to remove a dead mouse once as he wouldn’t let me near. He hid from the neighbour. The door is not left unattended now – not that I’d catch him sprinting in with another.

    • winwickmum says:

      At least it’s too cold to have the doors and windows open – I’m going to have to come up with a plan for the summer! 🙂 xx

      • Helen says:

        Cats are so funny. Mine ‘prefers’ butterflies. Jasper almost caught a pigeon but luckily the stupid thing flew into the shed wall, scared Jasper and then flew off!

        • winwickmum says:

          I haven’t seen many butterflies around at all this year. Ours are quite happy to chase flies (and the number of broken plant pots that were on windowsills will attest to that! 🙂 ) but thankfully haven’t brought a pigeon home yet! xx

  9. Lucy, Netley Abbey, Hampshire (England) says:

    One of my cats used to bring home knickers from other people’s washing lines.
    I never did own up when the neighbours complained about “the knicker stealing perp” thankfully my old cats can’t be bothered hunting now and my kittens prefer playing with the extensive moultings from my long haired GSD :-)) Enjoying your daily posting although having to do weekly catch up this week.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, that is the funniest thing, it certainly knocks our feather collecting off the top spot of daft things to bring home! Our dog moults extensively too, I think he’s just trying to make a smaller version of himself out of fluff! 🙂 xx

  10. Helen Leonard Perchard says:

    I think your cat was in on the procrastination of tackling your list.

    You should put the feathers in your compost bin as they are nitrogen rich and a huge benefit.
    Love reading your blogs and seeing your surrounding area.

    • winwickmum says:

      Ha! I could have done without the help of a mouse to distract me from the list! 🙂 Good advice about the feathers, thank you, I’ll do that! 🙂 xx

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