Near to Aurignac, France
It was in late October that we had our first experience of a new and promising way of travelling: house sitting. We were lucky enough to land our breakthrough gig in the French countryside in the Toulouse area looking after a cat. The home owner, Sarah (name changed for privacy), cooked us a lovely dinner and we chatted late into the evening about all of our travels.
She had previously told us the story of how on a dark night, a kitten was born in a barn under a bright star, and so (believing the next messiah may have just been birthed) named him Brian in reference to Monty Python's Life of Brian. The tiny black ball of fur evaded capture for two weeks, and once finally caught it turned out that the kitten was a girl. Even so, the name stuck.
Sarah departed the next morning and Brian took an instant liking to us. She enjoyed curling up at the end of our bed and taking up much more space than a cat should need.
She purred ferociously and would sometimes look pointedly at her food bowl. Brian and food were like two peas in a pod if peas ate each other and there was a constant supply of one of them. She had a particular fondness for ham and Sarah left a packet in the fridge for us in case Brian needed encouragement to bond with us.
Our stay coincided with the last couple of matches of the Rugby World Cup. We procured cider to go with the telly watching and chomped through shallot and vinegar flavour chips while cheering on those glorious men in black stubbies. Occasionally while we were curled up on the couch Brian would wander about meowing. I'd check that she had food and her attention meter was filled before giving up and returning to my seat. The messiah was most displeased about something, though what I had no idea. Apart from the random fits of meowing she seemed to have no qualms about her new roommates.
Then Sarah returned with a new cat friend! Brian hissed and skittered off - not a promising start to the relationship but I hope they're now getting along well.
It was a brilliant first experience to have for house and cat sitting, and we already had the feeling that we'd enjoy it as a means of travel in the future. We did make a couple of day-trips during our stay which will be covered in the next two posts - Aurignac and Surrounds, and Toulouse!
Today's post was almost called: More Ham for the Son of God