I'm trying to stick to my plan this week. Last week saw everything shuffled around and chopped and changed so the plan was more of a suggestion really.
Yesterday was a complete wash and we ended up phoning out for food. I dropped Chloe at school and then ran around the town like a headless chicken for an hour before arriving home spending a bit of time glued to the laptop, I did a bit of cleaning and laundry and then rushed down to collect her from school again (those three hours go in fast!).
We came home and had a bit of lunch and I was just doing the dishes when I spotted the poor cat (that I hadn't been able to find all morning) huddled under a tree and soaking wet, so I ran out to bring her and get her dried off when I noticed something weird. A bald patch at the very base of her back just at her tail. I hadn't noticed it before and I assumed that when she's dry the hair above it is long enough to cover the patch, but because she was soaking wet I could see it a mile away.
So I Googled it.
And because Google never fails to return nothing but advice from The Party Pooper, The Bearer of Bad News and The Pessimist when faced with symptoms as search times, I thought stuff that and phoned Assisi instead.
They said it was probably nothing but that it should be checked just to be on the safe side and that because she wasn't my cat and I was just keeping an eye on her until someone (if anyone) claims her, I could bring her down to the centre and their vet would check her over.
Not my cat, eh? When I've ran out into torrential rain, waded through my very flooded back garden, suffered clawings just to get the poor thing dried off in case she would catch a cold and chased off varying sizes of much, much hissier cats than her. Not my cat! Oh but I beg to differ!!! Still free vet care you say...
Anyway, we took her to the centre and they checked for the obvious, fleas, ticks, skin conditions and said that she was clear of any on board inhabitants and infections. I started treating her with frontline a couple of months ago and mentioned that just in case but they said if it was an allergy then she would have symptoms on the back of her neck too as its the dosing site. She was grooming herself a lot during the examination and the vet asked if she does that a lot. She does actually, I've often commented to the husband that if nothing else she's a very clean cat. Well it turns out the cat is stressed.
The vet said that during any big change, such as a new home a cat can remain anxious and stressed for up to a year before truly settling in. There were a couple of funerals in our immediate area right before the cat showed up and we have a suspicion that the owner of the cat has passed away and their relatives maybe don't know about the cat so its understandable really if that's the case then she's likely to have come from a very quiet home to this mad house.
So, the menu plan because I bet you're absolutely starving now after reading that lot!
Vegetable soup and crusty bread. I have a big pot of the stuff bubbling away in the kitchen and Chloe and i will make the bread when she comes home from school.
I picked up ribs yesterday morning when I was out and I'll just put them in the crockpot in the morning with barbecue sauce and stick a couple of big potatoes in the oven for bakers in the afternoon.
Fajitas. Easy peasy and I have everything in the house for them already and Chloe and I can make the flatbreads in the afternoon.
Snack night. I want to try and make pizza pockets. This will end in disaster I just know it will but Robert's disgusted that we can't buy the pizza toaster pockets here. I'll throw some mini sausage rolls and chicken dippers int he oven too so that we won't starve.
Fish of some description. I have trout and some cod in the freezer. I haven't really decided whether to just steam some fish along with potatoes and veg or make a fish pie with butter sauce and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese.
Cured ham (bought at the continental market) and mushroom risotto and as always Chloe and I will be having a poached egg on top. Robert still needs a bit more convincing that a poached egg on top makes any risotto a good risotto.
I made a cheapy chocolate cake yesterday just using my basic sponge recipe but subbing 25g of cocoa powder in place of the same weight of flour, I then sandwiched chocolate butter cream in between the two layers and Robert's away to work with a slab of it, on a plate, in his lunchbox. He'll tell me I'm weird for bothering with the plate and fork when he gets home but we're not animals for crying out loud.
Bread, obviously. I'll need two crusty bloomers and about 8-10 flatbreads depending on what size they come out.
Oat and Raisin cookies. I've been meaning to make these for a couple of weeks now and somehow still haven't got round to it.
There may or may not need to be another cake for later in the week, Robert's going in a training course with a colleague and I'm told he gets a grump on if Robert doesn't bring him cake so I'll make one for him to take to the course on the last day.