Saturday, 17 July 2010

July 14th

July 14th is Bastille day in France, the one really French holiday. Many villages have fireworks on the evening of the 13th which is when the party kicks off. Most villages have something on the 14th and in Cormatin it is the annual Brocante de Qualité (read very expensive) semi-antique fair. The public have to pay to get in and this money goes into the coffers of the Amicale a village organisation that raises funds for the old people’s annual meal and the Christmas party for the kids. This is the biggest event the Amicale organises during the year and all hands are called on to the deck to help. The work starts on the 12th collecting the tents from other villages, the tents are all built on the 13th, taken down on the 14th, then returned to their rightful owners or reconstructed at the Chateau on the 15th ready for the Rendez-Vous de Cormatin, a theatre festival which starts at the end of July.

As usual we were there putting up and taking down the tents as well as taking entrance money off the public. We finally returned home at about 10 o’clock at night completely broken and poor Cees still had another day to go! Fifi, our cat, was feeding the babies when we got home and we sat down in the vide to enjoy a well earned glass of wine. Suddenly Fifi screamed and started hissing at one of the kittens, who was so shocked she ran off and the others froze as well. Is this the way a mother cat tells her young it is time to stop feeding? She has been such a patient and tender mother we couldn’t believe what she had just done. We soon found out why. As she got up to move, it was completely obvious she could hardly move her back legs, one couldn’t be moved at all and she was screaming from the pain. We decided to settle her down on her special chair with a cushion for the night and see how she was in the morning. In the morning she was not really any better, so off to the vet in Cluny.

I left her there in the morning and phoned a couple of hours later to be told she had a smashed pelvis and a broken neck that needed to be operated on, perhaps it would be best if we went in to discuss it. When Cees came back from his tent building at the Chateau, we went off to Cluny to see the vet. We both thought it was going to be a discussion along the lines of maybe we should put her out of her misery and it was not a conversation I was looking forward to. The “neck” that was broken turned out to be the “neck” of the femur, bad enough, but not life threatening and the “chat” was just to reassure us that all would be well and we could take her home on Saturday morning, no more feeding the kittens though, so it is a good job that they have been weaned and don’t really need her milk anymore.

Fifi is now home and she has to stay in a cage for three weeks to stop her jumping around too much. Cees, ever practical, managed to pull together enough old wood to make a cage and we welcomed her home this morning.

This is one Bastille day we won’t forget in a hurry!

La Tuilerie Website


  1. Oh dear, so Bastille Day was not good for you two just as it wasn't for us. But so, so glad that Fifi is on the mend and do keep your readers posted!

  2. Your news was part of our bad few days, I just didn't mention it. It is a July we won't forget.


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