It’s been an animal-heavy few days.

First up we took Voltaire and Gigi to the vet. Volty, currently known as Radar Kitty, has had an open sore under his chin for quite a while. We’ve tried various dressings on it but he always managed to scratch them off. I called by the vet and got him a cone of shame (the name we’ve adopted from the film Up!), which in French is known as a ‘collier Elizabethan’ (since it does look a bit like an Elizabethan ruff), although I confused things slightly by asking for a collier Victorien to start with!! I knew it was one of the queens!

radar kitty

Anyhow, every time the wound had almost completely healed, Radar Kitty would get his cone off, have a good scratch and rip the thing open again. Ouch and eeeuww. He was definitely an Unhappy Cat midweek so we got an appointment for him on Friday. And that morning, Gigi started limping again, and she seemed a bit miserable too. She’d appeared to have a sore leg a couple of weeks earlier, but only for a couple of days and then normal service appeared to have resumed, although occasionally her leg looked a bit ‘wobbly’. But she was eating, jumping and hunting happily enough until her relapse.

So we loaded them up into the gigantic, heavy metal animal transporting cage someone gave us and took them off, mewling sadly, to the vet. They’re now both slightly spaced out on anti-inflammatories, and also antibiotics in Volty’s case. I’ve also got to get him another drug from the pharmacy. This comes as one large tablet which they’re kindly going to crush up and divide into ten kitty-sized portions for me.

So kitties done. Onto alpacas. Seamus went walkabout and is now in the stable with the other males until we get a chance to shore up his fencing a bit. We think he probably fell out accidentally since he’s a very timid chap and not given to brave adventures.

seamus before

And thirdly pigs. First to escape was the piglet – well, he’s eight months old now so I suppose technically a proper pig by now. Oberon sabotaged the electric fencing by rooting piles of earth onto the wire in his field, and that massively reduced the current travelling on to the little pig’s field. He soon discovered this and took the opportunity to go for a potter. He was easily rounded up, tempted with a bucket of grain and is now in a stable. Then this morning Chris opened the front door to go out and feed the pigs, and there was Portia waiting for him! She had a habit of getting out of the girls’ field last year until Chris put up a third strand of fence wire. She’s been in Obie’s field for a while, but clearly has remembered that she has a secret way out of the other field, to which she was returned the other day, along with very pregnant Rosie.

Portia during one of last year's escapades

Portia during one of last year’s escapades

She’d had quite a ball during her freedom: she’d been in the polytunnel but luckily not rooted up all the garlic, she’s been over two small piles of compost and slept in one as there’s a very definite pig-shaped impression. And she’d got into the grain bin and eaten enough to induce tummy ache. She’s lying down today, looking a bit uncomfortable. You’d think she’d learnt by now, since this is exactly what happened several times last year!

Nosey llamas

Nosey llamas

And lastly llamas. They didn’t get out, but they’ve had an exciting day today, one that will surely go down in herd history. First they all lined up to watch Portia during her perambulations, and later I saw them all running up the field together while Oscar gave a couple of scared sounding alarm calls. A few seconds later, on their return trip down the field, I saw why. A deer was running alongside their fence and the llamas were running with it. It dashed down the fenceline before hopping over it and disappearing into the woods beyond, hotly pursued by the herd, with Lulin at the head. Oscar kept at the back, clearly encouraging the girls to see this dangerous critter off. He’s such a wuss!