The Summer morning started peacefully, even the parrot Auguste, who tried to get up early, could not raise us. My guest and I achieved to get out of bed around 10 am and shared a leisurely breakfast, feeding fruits to Auguste in his cage. The guest thought it was very funny that the parrot tries a fire-alarm imitation every half hour: peep-peep! at 9 am, peep? at 9:30 and peep-peep! peep-peep!!! at 10 when he finally got his way.
She had fallen the day before and hurt her knee. Some Arnica creme gave her confidence for her last day of tourism, dedicated to shopping - probably motivation enough all by itself.
As the bathroom was occupied, I thought to make the best of my dirty state and the sunny day and plant some bushes in the new pots. That meant a trip to the garage box 2 streets away to fetch two 50 l bags of earth. As I’m quite stubborn, I got them home on the shopping cart, but then I needed a break.
The first to disturb the peace was my young neighbour an osteopath. She had broken her knee. Must be an epidemic. Another stubborn girl, she had found accommodation with a friend to avoid the stairs to her bed on the loft and drafted him to deliver a couch table and to sand it down, if I provided some sanding paper and my magic tool to sand the sides.
The young man started his machine and filled the courtyard with high pitched noise, which mounts and reverberates between the buildings. 12:40 on a Sunday, an ideal time for sanding. I waited for the first neighbor to jump out and tell them to stop but was disappointed: a few neighbors came out, but none dared forbid the sanding. I have to try that one as well: wear an impressive structure on your leg and nobody will scold you.
I had lunch and suddenly Auguste gave up his efforts to break through the kitchen window to watch the sanding from closer up and flew to the other room, calling. He has a special call to alert me about things, that are no danger but strange, so I went and found my other neighbour holding a ladder against his house and a young man on the ladder.
« We are looking for the cat! »
In this moment, a black cat watched down on us from the roof. The young man climbed higher and tried to reach the cat. They had extended the ladder just a few steps, so it did not reach the roof by far. He tried to get the cat by reaching just a hand over the roof and the cat took a few steps back. I had played that game already with Auguste on the roof with the same lack of success.
He climbed one step higher, clearly fearful, and the cat went to the other side of the roof.
I suggested to extend the ladder further, it could be higher than the roof.
« My husband climbed that roof a few times, when the second floor neighbor locked herself out. … How did the cat get there anyway? »
« I’m living up there now and Minou jumped out of the window »
« Pleased to meet you, new neighbor!"
After a few trials they decided to put the ladder just under the roof and to try to attract the cat from that position, just the upper body of the owner higher than the roof, clinging with one hand to the roof. Minou took her time, but finally he got a paw. That transformed the small cuddly cat in a black demon with raised hackles, all claws extended, hissing and scratching whatever portion of skin it could get. The cat's owner tried another grip and Minou planted all claws into the tin roof whilst her master tried to pull her to the abyss. Iiiii, that’s a terrible noise, it had us all wincing.
The neighbor suggested a chair, so a second person could stand on it and take Minou, when she came over the roof. He did not sound the enthusiastic volunteer for that position, as we both remembered the last cat that he had saved from another precarious position, which had not appreciated the favor. I brought a step stool to avoid at least a broken leg, but it did not seem probable, that Minou would come down that way. She had escaped to the other side of the roof again.
I brought a blanket to wrap her in and explained that I do that with Auguste: wrap him in first and then disengage claw by claw. The young man high up over the courtyard seemed a bit dubious over such acrobatics, wrapping his struggling cat into a blanket whilst standing on a swinging ladder.
I fetched an extensible ladder, which reached only halfway up, but at least it would be possible to get the cat once the owner handed her down.
« There is no other way: I’ll have to get on the roof and get her. But how get her down? »
« A bag? »
« I’ll get her transport box »
He climbed onto the roof, the neighbor climbed with the empty box and a scarf to lower the bag on it and handed it up. The cat was in the box within a minute.
There is another airbnb apartment in the house and the current guest had come home, watched the proceedings but had not dared stop for a chat or some funny advice as other neighbors did. Whilst the neighbor climbed up to receive the box, he was on his second trip to the garbage bins - at least he will return the apartment with empty trashcans.
As soon as the neighbor had the box, he realized that he could not climb down with it nor turn to lower it down, the ladder swung under him and he is no acrobat either.
I climbed up on my ladder beside the other and took the box, so it was lower, but then I could not lower down the box either, as I was practically standing in the upper branches of some bushes.
The guest was on his second return from the garbage bins and got his money’s worth: one young man peeking over the roof, another one on a high ladder and an elder lady on a second ladder, whilst the young couple had started sanding again. He will probably report, that they have strange customs in Paris.
The neighbor climbed further down and got Minou again and I could finally get the box whilst standing on firm earth.
« We will hold the ladder, do you want to come down? »
Obviously Minou’s master had second thoughts about that: it’s not easy to step from a roof onto a ladder that you do not see and that is a good step deeper under the overhanging roof.
« Should we call the fire watch? »
« We should have called it for Minou, before I got up here! »
One leg over the roof « You nearly got it (that must be reassuring) a bit to the right!… Um, attention »
Somehow he managed not to slide the foot between ladder and house and made it down safely.
« Thank you so much for your help! » - « Why would you thank us? You provided the Sunday afternoon spectacle for free!"
On the picture, you see the white tin roof on the right side building, onto which the cat fell from above. It's actually two stories high. The neighbor was sanding beside the pink garden chairs, my place is between. The story is one of my Just for fun stories - I wanted to start the calendar with a harmless adventure
Thank you Helga for your funny story. There is something about ladders! My husband and I have a self contained house on airbnb here in Victoria, Australia where we are currently having unusually heavy rain - I read in the news that 12 men over 50 years old have recently hurt themselves falling off ladders when they tried to clean out their overflowing gutters!
And currently I am enlisting the aid of friends and neighbours to help with the cleaning and gardening at the house, which my husband and I normally do together. The reason? - because 20 years ago my husband fell off a ladder while he was pruning a tree! That changed the way he walks, now he has to have foot surgery!
Hi @Phyllis, sorry for your husband! I think all humans have the belief they are invincible and can’t get hurt till the day we have an accident that changes either our health or our good looks. So far, I never broke a bone nor got a scar, so I still act like I’ m made of rubber and climb on roofs. But I bind the ladder to a beam or rooftree holder now ;-)
Cheers @Robin, Auguste a perfectionné l’exploitation des visiteurs: Admiration pour lui ou terreur pour les ignorants ;-)
I’m fond of your opossum stories: did you choose a day? Please do!
do you imagine, that I served cangoroo to a guest yesterday?
@Helga Hahahaha, what a fine bird!
No I haven't chosen a day Helga, I just took a bit of time away from my current duties because I wanted to see some of those nice faces I miss.
Now listen Helga, this choice of food of yours you serve for your guests.
I try to stay away from 'cangoroo' because I find it much too tough and ......indigeste!
I prefer to serve 'Kangaroo' it is leaner and better for the cholesterol!! Hahaha
I won't say I have the possums under control but, we stay a respectful distance apart now. We are currently over-run by literally thousands of white sulphur crested corellas. They come here each summer after they have stripped the almond orchards bare down on the peninsula. Tourists love them but we hate them.
They strip trees and devour any fruit they can find. I wish I could rid myself of a few to serve as partners for Auguste!!
Touchée, @Robin, Kangourou it was, bought for the fun of it and the low cholesterol. There is some ostrich in my fridge still, but they are raised in France, close to my second home.
Your birds are beautiful, but two parrots inside is a flock. Especially in a small place. You will have to keep yours. And I know how many fruits they eat: I swear a few times a day, when I step onto a chunk of orange, apple, a raisin, a cherry tomatoe. As they never eat all of it ;-)
The Cat story was definately entertaining for my morning coffee time. Our stories are a bit different but it is good to know that we arent the only ones with adventure in our lives. We live on a farm in the US and since beginnning our Airbnb experiences last February we have had some extremel interesting people. They have arrived from places far west, north, south and east. There have been guests from China, the Caribbean and a couple scheduled for Feb from Australia. What is amazing is that many of the families who come are most excited that we do not have internet, TV, and very little phone reception. It seems to be a sign that we are on information overload. They are especially interested that their children get to see farm animals up close and even pet the horses, our farm dogs and occassionally a chicken, cow, rabbit or goat. Many of the children had never actually seen a live chicken, horse etc. and feeding the chickens and getting the eggs is an early morning treat. The love feeding the horses apples and carrots which has made for some very spoiled horses.
Given the fact that we are 20 miles from the nearest town of 10,000 people we have been thrilled with the response. If there are other farm families reading this, we are looking for other ways to offer our guests interesting things to do at the farm while they are here. We offer volley ball, badmitten, basketball at the farm. Parents seem to enjoy just sitting on the porch swing and allowing the children to play in the 2 acre yard. There are a million acres of forrest land around us so there is some advunture trails they can explore but suggestions are welcome. I appreciate the suggestions of things to have in the cottage (three bedroom so it sleeps as many as 10) and will incorporate some that we had not thought of. We do offer a case of bottled water, fresh eggs (always a hit) and I usually have fresh apples, bread, butter, jelly, local honey, pancake mix for the kitchen and all bath items they could need. I love reading about other's adventures and we will try to catalogue ours for the future.
One more question is how to best use all the wonderful notes we have collected this year to our advantage guest's input.
Blessings to all
James and Jimmilea Berryhill
Hello - in your last note, may I suggest keeping a binder or small notebook in the desk that folks can write in to leave either you the note or things they found fun to do for the next guests pleasure. We live in northern CT and I’ve found out more about my community I live in from my guests that attend because they’re here for a competition or a show! It’s a great way, other than guest reviews on line, to allow people to hear from all your guests, good or bad, but in their own hand.
I think i would live love your farm! It sounds wonderful as does a trip to Paris!
Great story @Helga and a fantastic way to kick start our month of celebration. I'm glad to hear everyone was ok and I think it is one of those cripping, but humorous story that would be great at a dinner party! :) I do hope that the cat doesn't make a habbit of it... I wonder if you could teach Auguste to be a rescue parrot?
Now there's a thought!
Thanks again for sharing this.
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Lol, @Lizzie, the cat did make a habit of it. The second time it was still a bit of a commotion, but the third time I hardly noticed it ;-)
The owner, a young musicien, handles the big ladders as fast now as if he would simply change a light bulb inside. If the house manager catches him at it one day, he will be one drafted to change light bulbs for the outside lamps, as she does not climb.
Auguste will decline, he is a watch dog, no rescue dog. Watch and attack if possible, no rescue.
Lol, the parrot loves everything coming in metal or plastic tubes. Toothpaste, shoe cream and creams for all kinds of ailments may have a stylish stripe of silver duct tape in my home. But Arnica is not rubbed on the bird, only on humans ;-) it works miracles for hurting tourist legs.