Tuffy-Cat and I have been hibernating in the office all morning, the two oil heaters working hard to transform it from a chilly damp space into a toasty warm one. While I am beavering away at the computer, multi-tasking as usual, the Fluff-ball is, as usual for her, fast asleep. (Never mind ‘cat-naps’. What a misnomer. Let me assure you that her cat-naps last waaaaay longer than 5 to 10 minutes.)
She is pressed tightly against one of the two oil heaters, paws tucked almost underneath the heater to ensure all-round warmth optimisation.
Occasionally, and quite inevitably, she singes her sensitive nose, eliciting a startled sneeze, complete with flattened ears. After a few frantic heat-dissipating licks with her adorable pink tongue, she does a few slow, slow, sinuously winding circuits of her snuggle-sock, rolling herself into a tighter and tighter ball, before plunking herself down in exactly the same position as before. Nose against the heater. Ay. Will she ever learn?
A loud thunk on the roof, followed by a rolling sound, and a dull thud on the lawn at the back, interrupts my concentration. Another thunk.
“What on earth?”
A home invasion?
The most recent strategy of thieves in our neighbourhood is to lift off roof tiles and to climb in through the roof, because there’s less likely to be motion sensors up there, and because they can quickly access any alarm wires and snip them. Clever, isn’t it?
Better go check. Luckily, there is a lull in the rain. I put on my bright red slip-on boots, and clump outside. The sound of claws scrabbling up a tree trunk signals that the culprit was a squirrel, who has accidentally dropped a pine cone on the roof, and scampered down to retrieve it before the competition has time to snag it.
Phew. Well, that’s a relief. I prefer squirrels any day.
While I am outside – gosh, it seems like I haven’t been outside in a long time! – I notice that the creepy-crawly in the pool is floating motionless in the water. The pump is still chugging away, though, but it doesn’t sound at all happy. Straining, almost.
Hm, not good.
I open the weir.
I don’t think it’s supposed to be this full of leaves. I hope it’s not broken. And the blue leaf-catcher is so tightly packed with leaves, that it’s a miracle it is still floating. Oh dear. I guess I’d better deal with this.
I walk over to the outside electrical box and switch it off. Then I fetch myself a towel from outside to kneel on, because the paving around the pool is wet-wet-wet. I brace myself and dip my right arm into the — ow-ow-ow-ow!!! —- freeeeeeezing cold water of the pool to unclip the leaf-catcher. I shake it out on the compost heap, and — yeeeeeek! — reconnect it to the plastic pipe.
Oh man. This water is seriously cold.
Holding my breath, I dip my right arm into the arctic waters at the weir to loosen the creepy-crawly pipe, before quickly withdrawing my arm. Ooof. I think it’s going numb. Oh well, maybe I won’t feel the cold then.
Another deep breath, as I reach in all the way to remove the blue lid from above the basket. I can’t even see the basket beneath, the weir is so full of leaves. I wait for the leaves to settle again, working up the courage to lift out the white mesh basket. Right, here we go!!!
H-o-o-kay. T-t-t-t-teeth chat-t-tering, I empty the basket onto the compost heap too, before briefly turning on the pump to clean the weir of the leaves that I wasn’t able to scoop out by hand. They’ll get trapped in the next filter anyway.
I put everything back in the right sequence, plug in the creepy-crawly, and turn on the pump again.
Aaaaahh…. (Sigh of relief.) It’s working again.
A sudden flurry of raindrops reminds me that this was just a lull in the rain! Get inside quickly!