And right there you can see why.
That's Mr. Goodman. He's the last of our cats. All his previous companions have departed our household over the last few years due either to old age (Mr. Squeak was eighteen when his body simply wore out) or an increasingly frequent and profoundly upsetting new form of attrition: roadkill.
The little country road which was very quiet when we moved here -- it'd be an event if a car passed more than once an hour -- has become busier and busier over the last few years. Our house is badly placed in that we're just past a sharp curve which forces drivers to slow down... and after that, they then (in the all-too-familiar manner of frustrated Irish drivers in the countryside) immediately hit the gas again. They don't much care what's in front of them when they speed up, it seems.
Bubble, Beemer, and little Pip were all lost to us this way. In all cases it was mercifully instantaneous... not that this was much consolation. They had all been raised as outdoor countryside cats: keeping them in was never a realostic option. They lived happy lives until those lives stopped. Now only Goodman's left, and he's sad, because until now he's never been alone in his life. We've been holding off on dealing with this while we started working out how to handle the problem, since we really don't want to lose any more cats the way Beems, Bubs and Pipkin went.
Now, though, it's time to get Mr. G. some friends, and we have a request in at the best of our local rural vets for a pair of female littermates, eight weeks old. But these guys are going to be actively dissuaded from going out in the road. We're going to be installing in-the-ground pet security fencing, the kind that keeps the pet from crossing it. Goodman won't mind this, as he doesn't roam much at his age (he's thirteen and was neutered early) and the kittens won't mind either; our yard's a good size inside the fencing, and they'll have plenty of room to do the usual crazy kitten things. (And ideally they'll run Goodman ragged, which he'll enjoy. Even at thirteen he has a lot of fun in him: when he gets the wind up his tail, his "handbrake turns" on the tile at the bottom of the stairs are something to see.)
Last week we ran a sale at our Ebooks Direct store to help defray the costs of the fencing (which are fairly hefty). Since we're not quite where we need to be on this as yet, I've asked our store manager to rev up the discount codes and start the sale going again. We're deepening the discount a little, too: until further notice, everybody can have 60% off anything in the store. The discount code is JUNEJULY -- if you need info on how to use the discounts at our shop, it's here.
All the ebooks in our catalog are included -- you can browse the catalog here to see what we have to offer. Newest in the store are the Peter Morwood "Horse Lord" prequels Greylady and Widowmaker, and DD's new ebooks Raetian Tales 1: A Wind from the South and Stealing the Elf-King's Roses: The Author's Cut; and of course we also feature (and are discounting) the 9-volume Young Wizards International Edition complete sets.
All you have to do to obtain the discount is use the discount code / coupon code JUNEJULY during the checkout process. As mentioned above, instructions about how and when to put the code in are here.
If you feel inclined to pass news about the sale on to others by Tweeting or retweeting, blogging, reblogging (from Tumblr), sharing (on Google + or Facebook), or whatever, that would be very kind of you, and Peter and I and Goodman will all thank you very much indeed. (But you knew that.) :)