The big news here is that Cleopatra has arrived. We visited two friends' homes while we were so close to where they live. Cleo soaked up the hugs and love, fell asleep soon after we arrived at our first friend's home for morning tea and didn't wake until it was time to go. She was more awake for her visit to our second friend and, apart from disgracing herself on the carpet there she managed to win hearts wherever she went (she was even immediately forgiven for the carpet incident). She had fun and experienced a lot of new things to see and taste (she tried a rose leaf but spat it out and decided that meat or bones were much better). Cleo travelled the six hour trip home with a few stops, lots of sleeps and little fussing. She had her blanket I'd sent the breeder with all her family's smells on them and found comfort in that whenever she started to fuss a bit. We stopped at McDonald's for an early dinner and I bought a meat patty for her. I'm afraid to say Cleo has become a McDonald's adict and can't get enough meat patties in her opinion. I only fed her a quarter at a time with at least an hour in between and she gobbled each portion up and looked for more.
The cats are less than impressed with the arrival of Cleo, the chooks confused each time she and I visit to collect the eggs. They stand back and discuss the matter amongst themselves and Eros, the rooster, just waits for this ridiculous ball of fluff to start something. She never does. The most Cleo does is snag a piece of the food scraps thrown out for the chooks and hunkers down to have a chew. She shows no interest in the chooks at all.
Cleo has tried to befriend the cats but they won't have anything to do with her. They stand back on the other side of the barricade set up to keep Cleo on the kitchen floor and off the carpet (we don't want a repeat carpet incident here) and make rude comments about little St Bernard pups. Cleo has learned to rise above it and dream of the day she's bigger than the cats. I keep telling the cats that day is not far off and now is the time to forge a friendship where they have the upper paw. I'm ignored as only a cat can ignore a human.
The shocking news is that a firm friendship is being forged between Cleo and the ferrets! I know! It's got to be breaking all sorts of laws of nature, but the fact is Cleo loves the ferrets and they are prepared to put all their negative St Bernard thoughts behind them and give the fluff ball a chance to redeem the breeds reputation. Each morning I let the ferrets out of the inside cage before putting them out so they can have some Cleo time. Cleo and the Gang of Three romp around the kitchen floor and have a great time playing together. Today Cleo got a little rough and I had to intervene to save a ferret. Why Jocie didn't just bite Cleo I have no idea. Perhaps she realises the fluff ball is only a baby and she was trying for that rare commodity, ferret patience. What ever the reason, poor Jocie was coming off second best in the game. I put out a couple of eggs that Cleo had helped collect yesterday for Cleo and the ferrets in an effort to calm the pup and get the friendship back on track. It worked a treat. Here is the evidence. Jocie isn't in the photo but she did join in at the beginning then decided the opportunity for a cuddle with me was better than communal egg eating.
So, cats aside, the Christmas spirit is alive and well in the Spring Rock menagerie. Graeme is tolerating it all as usual and knowing that "This too will pass". The family arrives this afternoon with Justin and Savannah coming here for Christmas lunch tomorrow. I love having them all here and enjoy just sitting back and watching all my kids joking and chatting with each other while the grandchildren play one and other. Don't get me wrong though, I get very little sitting back and watching time. My seven grandchildren don't believe an activity is complete unless I'm there in the thick of it too and love that more than anything.
From everyone here - the chooks and Eros, Teddy the horse, Hedwig and Hermes the galahs, Byron, Cecilia and Jocie the ferrets, Tristan, Ambrosia and Nefertiti the cats, Cleo the baby St Bernard, all the ewes, lambs and rams, Graeme the poor fellow sharing a home with them all, and me - we hope you all have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love and that you have a fantastic New Year.