The Hunting Season

With the hunting season upon us

Hamishina, our beautiful tabby cat, packed her suitcases and took herself off on holiday, a hunting holiday. She checked herself into the various cat-friendly ‘hunting lodges’ around the farm, without even so much as a ‘goodbye’.

Anyone who has visited the pottery will have seen the Persabus ‘lost cat’ signs. The Persabus ‘Please check for cats in your car before you leave’, made years ago when the children were ‘children’. Over the years those pottery cats have been renowned for taking themselves off on adventures around the island.

Hamishina is particularly partial to the odd adventure

Whilst her sister Archieina likes nothing more than to curl up and laze in a sunshine spot in the farmhouse, Hamishina splits her time between ‘sojourns’ in the farmhouse, and wild hunting adventures.

Accompanying the younger members of the Persabus clan on an evening stroll along the single-track road and through the farm, as the sun was setting in the sky, she happily ran alongside before diverting off into the hedges. That was the last sighting of her. She then disappeared without a trace. At breakfast time there was no yowling, meowling from Hamishina at the kitchen window. A morning practice she has honed to a fine art, as she demands to be let in.

At the farmhouse door, there were no ‘trophies’ from a night spent perusing and hunting in the fields and hedges. Something we actually did not miss, although Ruby and Bramble, the farm dogs were slightly disappointed when these tasty morning ‘treats’ suddenly stopped.

Archieina dutifully continued to turn up daily. Quite enjoying not having to share the contents of her cat bowl with her sister. She could binge to her heart’s content, before curling up for the day on a comfy cushion, in a comfy chair. Archieina would happily never leave the farmhouse again, except for the necessary visits. She is an exceptionally clean cat, but a definite home bird.

Hamishina on the other hand…well that is another story.

Two weeks passed and we were all beginning to really miss our lovely and demanding Hamishina, wondering if our lovely tabby would ever appear over the doorstep of the farmhouse again.

We imagined her, suitcases at her side, relaxing on some far-flung beach, with a ginormous pair of sunglasses perched just above her whiskers, enjoying sunshine and a wee cocktail or two.

It has been a beautiful week on the island of late afternoon rambles

out along the headland to the pebble beaches beyond Bunnahabhain. When the sun has shone it has been warm enough to enjoy refreshing dips in the sea. Last weekend, with the tide right out, we even got to enjoy those annual ‘mermaid’ swims in the deep sandy pools among the rocks at Machir Bay.

On the damp days the pottery has been going like a fair

All within the ‘new normal’. Face masks have been donned, sanitiser at the ready, and just one group or family in at a time has made for some lovely visitors, lots of chat and suddenly we are moving on a new ‘plane’.

It is strange, but also lovely to reconnect with people again. To get the chance to welcome friends, new and old.

The Persabus ‘design’ teams have been busy working hard on their ‘pottery take-aways’ and the results have been bright, colourful and cheery, as the kiln has been firing away on all cylinders each evening, working its magic to seal those memories onto ceramics forever.

The only downside to the whole time has been the absence of our lovely Hamishina

So, last night in the late evening sun, following the lead of a possible sighting of Hamishina from Mairi the magic sheep lady, who lives just across the fields, we set out to see if we could spy our lovely tabby cat.

As we wandered through the deep grasses and wildflowers calling her name, we were just met with the bleating of the sheep. Their guttural bellows, as they happily munched away, letting us know they had not seen the cat. We imagined sneaky Hamishina, spying us from afar, and darting down a rabbit hole, her whiskers just peeping out, not yet ready to come home. We called and walked, and walked and called.

We reached Mairi’s back garden, and walked around the perimeter, looking into the polytunnels to see if Hamishina was there. We met the ducks, and the chickens and the dogs, but no Hamishina. Just as we were making our way through the waist high bracken Mairi called to us.

There, perched high on an old drystone dyke, was Hamishina, meowling loudly. Shouting across to us.

I don’t know who was happier, Hamishina or us

She skipped along at our sides all the way back along the track, across the road and up to the farm. Stopping every few paces to roll onto her back for a belly rub.

Hamishina spent the night curled up on her favourite chair in the comfort of the farmhouse. She popped out for the ‘necessaries’ and happily hasn’t left home since.

Until next time…

hami
jess and hans
hansel
machir
bunna beach
pottery sunset
hamish
ham