It’s Christ…mas!!!

So, we finally made it to Christmas Day. We were worried about getting everything ready in time, considering work and the zoo leave us with almost no free time at all. We did the last of the shopping a couple of days ago during one of the worst storms I can remember. Arriving back home with food for us and presents for the animals, we were soaked to the skin, but we still had to deal with a soggy field shelter and damage to the roof of the chicken run. We’ve been incredibly lucky though, as so many in our area are without electricity today, or worse, are trying to salvage something from the devastating floods. We’ve been without a phone for a few days, but living in the country it is something we are used to. It could be some time before we are connected to the outside world again and I’ve realised how much I miss my forum, friends and blog.

I always had a mind to do a blog post on Christmas Day, but it suddenly dawned on me it was going to be impossible. Or was it? I have my first ever smart phone, so surely I could find a way. I didn’t reckon on such a bad connection though and having spent the past two hours sitting in the top room of the house repeatedly pressing the refresh button, I finally learned how to copy and paste on an Android phone and I now have an app to open a text file. Things are looking up, so while the phone is on charge in the kitchen, I had better get this post written.

We thought we had everything we needed for the big day until we settled down last night to wrap the presents. The cats always see this as a time to play and Bubu discovered he could run off with the cat toys faster than we could get them safely wrapped up, but eventually we were finished. Now the only thing left was to decorate the tree and I sat down and waited while my husband went up to the attic. And I waited… and waited. Finally he came back down with nothing but a box of lights and then we remembered we had to throw our old tree away last year. It had been moulting badly and we thought it could be dangerous for the cats if they started eating the bits. We had both forgotten we needed a replacement and now it was too late! Never mind – we got the lights out anyway and after half an hour of frantic untangling (with three cats supervising) we decorated our Indian cabinet instead. It’s a very tall piece of furniture and frankly it’s the best “tree” we have ever had.

It took us five hours to do the animals today. It normally takes three, but it needed another couple of hours to help the cats unwrap their toys, distribute the treats and install the new radiator hammocks. The ferrets played with their toys and we let them all lick the vitamin paste we had bought as a treat. All except Welly, who seemed to think we were trying to poison him. He had a bad start in life, so can be forgiven for being such a wimp. The chickens have a new treat holder and even the wild birds have a big box of suet blocks. (Come to think of it, we haven’t exchanged our presents yet, but then we haven’t had dinner either. That will have to wait until after the evening round of feeding and cleaning – ours isn’t a traditional Christmas at all…)

In the hope that my cunning plan works and I can actually publish this post, here are a few photographs taken not far from home last year. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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