Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guilt, etc

Last weekend we went grocery shopping and bought ourselves a new fridge, as you do.  We've lived with rubbish appliances for over four years here and finally gave up. 

The compound was originally conceived for the other multi-national, most of whose employees come from a land of huge white household appliances with bizarre current/voltage arrangements.  To make these folk feel at home, special circuits were installed so that we could enjoy native-to-them washing machines and dryers - ones that could easily accommodate a small elephant, should one be visiting.  The top-loading washing machine uses GALLONS of water, no matter how low one sets the water level, and having a central agitator, is great at shredding clothes and said elephant.  I have always wanted to replace these monsters with a tidy front-loader that would spin out enough of the water that I could also dispense with the gargantuan dryer.  I don't ever use the dryer as it is dry enough in the house for most articles to be bone stiff dry within 24 hours when hung on a clothes horse.  That replacement is my next project.

Along with this foreignness, the appliances selected are the most basic and unsophisticated I have ever seen.  They are cutting edge design from an era before even I was born.

The fridge was not frost free.  It had a cunning arrangement with a fan at the back of the freezer that filled with chunks of ice.  Then it would groan and growl and stop working.  We were on to our third fridge (in four years!) and frankly, I had enough.

We decided we would buy a small overflow fridge, to put the extra contraband (ie p*rk) in it, from our shopping excursions overseas.  We'd looked at a few in the shops and Marius did his research, pronouncing the model we would purchase.  Which is why it only took as a few moments to select a completely different one, with side-by-side doors, and a brilliant, non-space wasting interior.

We have pushed the old dinosaur into the back utility room, where it compromises every other use of the space and continues to grumble.  The kitchen itself is now quiet, filled only with a gentle hum.

When we moved in, we asked if we could have the appliances removed and we would replace them ourselves (own account in expat-speak) but we were told we would have to store them in the house and we would be responsible for them (so we couldn't leave them outside) which is why we persevered for so long.  I have a plan though ...

Marius has signed a contract and has had his new position and promotion approved by all the Boards and Masters, so now it is official that we will stay (groan) here in Exile for another three years.  We are hoping to move to a different villa in the middle of the year - which will be bigger (necessary for two adults, three cats and very occasional visits from offspring, I know), have its own small  pool so that I will be safe to do my hydrotherapy without risk of being jumped on by uncontrolled children, and thankfully removed from the insane common-wall noise of our neighbours.

When the blessed day arrives and we shift abode (about 400 metres I reckon) I will stand high up on my pedestal and demand the removal of the offending appliances and quietly replace them with decent, 21st century ones.

I have done something irresponsible and possibly foolish this morning:  I bowed to Wolfe's incessant demands to go out, after being incarcerated since Sunday.  As soon as I released her I abused myself:  no, you fool, on your head be it, and so on.  She was out for ooh, twenty minutes (yes, long enough to cross the fence and poison herself, I know) and is now back inside.  I told her not to eat anything while she was out and to come back quickly.  I pray she has not made herself ill.

Macc also took advantage of the open garden door and is still out patrolling his estate - but he is in no danger of poisoning I believe, because he has never climbed out and is too fat and unco-ordinated to start now.

Two of Seams' May kittens seem to have survived the slaughter - so far - and one of hers from the November -ish litter.  Black Tom was still well last night although I haven't seen or heard him this morning.  On Sunday I managed to catch LG and put her in a cat carrier (all by myself!  such strength and dexterity!) and later that evening we caught the little ginger cat 'Tiny Tim' as well.  They are both at my friend's house in protective custody.  Tim was very sick on Monday and we were ready to take him to the Vet to be put down, but he has recovered.  He must have only had a little poison.

The last of LG's kittens was on my doorstep on Monday morning, huddled up and ill; she has since died and is lying on the golf course side of the fence. There are little bodies everywhere but we can't get to them to bury them or remove them because of the wall and fence.

We have tried to find out what poison was used and how long it will persist, to no avail.  As we have virtually no rain here, it isn't going to be washed away, is it?  When will it be safe to let Wolfe out and to release LG?  My friend R is trying to re-house Tiny Tim.  He has a reasonable chance as he is still young and cute, whereas LG is a street cat and although she is very sweet and I adore her, most people would not think she is pretty - and that seems to be the deciding factor for finding a home here.

'Tiny Tim', in November 2011
One of Seams' May kittens, 'Helmet' has survived so far,
but his cute, beret-wearing sister succumbed to the poison

We are trying to give the surviving cats heaps of food in the hope that they won't be interested in the baits.  Their lives are in the laps of the gods.

And still no signs of Ratty ....



Stafford Ray said...

Hi, I should have twigged sooner, but it was not until you commented on the mayhem feral cats cause to our lovely little marsupials that I realised where your roots (things that trees grow downwards)are. Do you have an internet filter that finds p*rk? How tolerant!
I gave up on cats years ago when the house cat kept bringing home birds. His most memorable show and tell was a three quarter grown black duck that he brought inside and kept coralled in tbe bathroom long enough for it to deposit enough to fertilse a reasonable sized house garden. When my ex decided to leave she took the cat, thank goodness, solving two problems in one move!
I imagine a sand cat would be a match for any moggy!
Enjop the new fridge. Sounds like you need one where you live.

Anonymous said...

Oh Isabel I can't begin to imagine how sad it must all be.

When I first moved here (my new flat) I bought a new fridge. A small one, a one person one. I love it because it fills up quickly and I can't overstock - which is what I was in the habit of doing because of previous life style.

Jenny Woolf said...

It sounds like the most insane bureaucracy to force you to use appliances you don't want. Isn't there a shady corner you can leave them in, so they don't get fried by the sun? If if it doesn't rain you don't need to worry about rust, I guess.

Horrible about the cats, and alarming too.

Susie Clevenger said...

Enjoy that fridge...What a blessing...sorry you have had so much trouble getting to my blog and thank you so much for your visit.

jabblog said...

So sad to think of all those cats - and peacocks - dying slow, painful deaths. I hope your strategy of feeding them well works. It should, I think, as cats don't gorge like dogs. You'd think the golf club would clear up the little bodies but I suppose the tournament is finished now and there's no urgency to keep things looking pristine.

Well done on the fridge - room enough for all your magnets, by the look of it. I'm sorry you have to stay in exile for three more years but a move to a larger, detached house may be some small compensation.

Kat Mortensen said...

Oh no! I'm just reading further down (to my horror) to find out about the poisoning. I could NEVER harm any animal.

I believe in capture and spaying/neutering. All of my cats are fixed.

How sad this is!