First time outside

After we collected the cat I checked online how long you should keep a cat inside to settling into their new home, before letting them venture outside. The advise varied from 1 week to 1 month, so we thought 1-2 weeks would probably work well for us, she is a very affectionate cat and usually in the same room as I am in so we weren’t worried about her wandering off.

However, Electra had very different ideas and wanted out as soon as possible. Every time we opened the door she was trying to squeeze past and she would sit on the windowsill and meowing longingly when the kids were playing outside. After 3 days it was becoming too tricky to keep her in and we didn’t want her making a dash to get out so we decided to leave the back door open and let her explore her new garden.

Well, really her first garden as she has been a house cat up to now, she has never been outside, except in a carry case being taken to the vets!

 

She was a bit wary when she was first allowed out, especially with grass – which was treated with great suspicion. But she soon started to enjoy herself.

She has even discovered the joys of tree climbing and so far has only had to be rescued with the stepladder once.

More Christmas craft – I blame Blue Peter

One of the programmes from the UK we watch every week is Blue Peter and last’s weeks episode included instructions to make a Christmas stocking for your pet. There are loads of craft/stationary shops (with more crafty stuff than you can wish for and sheets and sheets of felt) here and we have a good one just round the corner so it was easy to get all the supplies we needed.

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Firstly, we made a template and then cut out the felt. I decided it would be easier to do the sewing by myself, and I am glad I did, the felt is very tough and going though both pieces was hard work, in fact my wool needle got stuck and I ended up using pliers to pull it though. It also took a lot longer than I expected, about 1 hour per stocking! It was surprisingly pleasant though, I put cheesy Christmas music on and it even started snowing to add to the mood (plus it took so long that I didn’t have time to do the ironing – bonus!).

So in true Blue Peter style, here’s some I made earlier.

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The next day Katrine and Gregor got stuck in decorating their stockings:

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All finished, with clothes pegs to help the tinsel stick.

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Electra’s has been filled and we are going to take Pippin’s back with us and fill it when we get to the UK.

IMG_0816It is sad we can’t be with Electra this Christmas, at least she will have her stocking.

 

Pine cone decorations

The weekend before last we went to the Pine Forest and gathered a bag full of pine cones, now we had to turn them into decorations, to add to homemade tree.

 

The decorations are not doing well this year – Electra is having too much fun taking them off the tree whenever she can.

Getting braver

Today I took the kids up the swimming pool in Ulsan Grand Park, which might not sound that brave but for me it is. Driving to a new place, navigating customs that you don’t know and then just managing the kids in the pool. We met up with friends which made it a lot easier.

A wee note on the driving, a couple of months ago I was terrified but today I had a pushy taxi driver and I refused to move till he reversed. No being flustered or bothered by the beeping, and erratic lane changing. Quite proud of myself really.

Right, enough self congratulatory twaddle and back to the pool. Gregor was a bit miffed that he had to use the female changing room, as he is used to taking himself off to the guy’s.

First difference you have to take your shoes off before you go into the changing room, if you don’t you will get told off. Then, everyone has to wear a swimming cap. So I had to pop back to the shop to buy three; blue for Gregor, yellow for Katrine and purple for me.

The pool is really nice; there is a lap pool that was busy with people doing laps (go figure), a wave pool, a shallow kids pool, a massage pool, a hot tub and a water slide.

The wave pool was switched on at 11 and everyone who goes beyond the line has to wear a lifejacket, even, if as an adult you are never out of your depth. The waves were only on for 20minutes and when it closed the slide was opened, also for 20minutes. Katrine was first down and then Gregor who had last minute nerves, but a gentle shove and he was away, and loved it and had more turns than anyone else.

Then to the showers, obviously Koreans are less prudish. Katrine felt a bit self conscious but then I think she got the fact that if everyone is naked, no one is looking at you.

Really fun day and a great end to the holiday. The children are now tucked up in bed, the school bags are ready and taekwondo uniforms found, so I am writing this and watching Strictly Come Dancing (on the computer as the VPN on the iPad is too slow) with some chocolate and the cat.

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I think she is a fan.

In answer to the cat question

Of course I got a kitten!

 

After the cooking course on Thursday, I got the heads up on the possible location of some kittens. I headed straight there, it was only  a ten minute walk – I am getting so much better, and braver, at getting around. There are lots of dog shops in Korea, but cats are not so popular (though both still eaten occasionally) so I was really pleased when I found this shop. I actually had a choice of kittens.

 

It was between one of these blue (grey) sisters (I didn’t get the breed.)

 

 

Or a boy or girl of these, extremely cute, Turkish Angoras.

The girl had tow blue eyes while the boy had one yellow and one blue.

 

I went for personality though and one kitten was a lot more friendly that the others. Here she is, our new kitten.

 

 

Also, could you image how much fur you would get of the Angoras – Richard’s black work trousers would be covered. At least the grey hair won’t show up so much (well I can hope).

 

She has been a huge hit with Katrine and Gregor, poor Hamlet the hamster is not longer getting so much fuss. At first she was very shy and hid behind the still-no-put-up pictures but by day two she was friendly happy wee soul, who occasionally pounces at you from behind the sofa.  First thing we had to do was choose a name, and where else could we turn to for inspiration but Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Elliot. We have a copy illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which has been a bedtime favourite for some months now.

The Naming Of Cats by T. S. Eliot
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter–
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
Drum roll please. Her name is Electra, we haven’t picked the second name yet, suggestions welcome.
She spent one night hiding somewhere, one night with us – when we was determined we should wake up and play – and one night snuggled up on Katrine’s bed. Gregor’s bunkbed is too high for her at the moment, but hopefully she will sometimes sleep with him as well.
Some more photos of Electra, I found this multip-picture setting on my camera so thought I might as well use it.