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The Terrible Trio – Helen, Troy and Petra – are not allowed to sleep on the bed with me. It is enough I have Cookie, Frisky and Snow, and occasionally Pixie. This is the rule. But I guess in my house rules are made to be broken. Every morning I now wake up feeling a load on my chest, I can barely move my legs, but what wakes me up is the inability to breath. Troy is lying on my legs, Helen on my torso and Petra on my head. The moment they realize that I am awake they become very hyper with joy, and from then on it is a game of wits how I can get out of bed, and how they can keep me pinned down.image

Once out of bed I feel that I have had my quota of physical exercise already and don’t need to go walking. Well, it is not a question of need, I don’t have the energy to do that. So off we all go to the bathroom where another game of tug-of-war with my clothes begins. This is short-lived as I am in a hurry to take them down to the garden for them to do their business. Of course going down the stairs sounds like an army on the march. Once at the door they become even more excited and Troy and Petra starts horsing around. Helen shoots out of the door, followed by Troy, but Petra always hesitates. This hesitation breaks my heart. She was let go twice by people she thought were her family, before she came to me. This still resonates with her. I usually step out with her, pet her and reassure her till she is confident enough to go play with her siblings.

The moment I come back into the house without the Terrible Trio, the cats come out. It is true that both Snowy and Pixie are around with the Terrible Trio, but Lizzy, Spicy and Sugar avoid them completely. So out come the cats when the dogs are out, and that is when I start putting out their food.

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Previously their food was in a couple of decorative niches I have on the floor upstairs, but now that the dogs have grown enough to reach them I had to take the cats’ food to a higher level. Now the cats eat on the mantle of the fireplace! Very original house decor.

After giving the cats their food I go have my shower, get ready for the day. When I am not going out for lunch I usually have a leisurely breakfast and while doing so my houseboy comes in to start cleaning, and the dogs come in with him. It is then that the second circus session begins.

Now that the weather is turning a bit cold I have my breakfast in the breakfast room not on the terrace as in summer. This is a lovely, sunny room, rather cluttered and lived-in, with a fridge, a microwave oven and all the plates, cutlery, glasses and mugs I might need for my meals. It is a very warm room and the cats love it. When I am having breakfast Helen is always giving me a run for my money. The game is who will manage to eat the sandwich. Most of the time I do, but still there are the exceptions.

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One of the unforeseen extras for my breakfast entertainment was the fact that the sun reflected off my iPad as I was browsing while eating. I first noticed it when moving the iPad, the reflection moved from the ceiling to a wall, Pixie flew at it, landing in the middle of the plates and glass, startling the dogs that all leapt after him. He panicked and took off in a couple of leaps right out of the room with plates, finger bowls, spoons, forks and knives flying all over the room. The Terrible Trio ran out after him, leaving me sitting there in the debris!

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One morning I woke up to find that Helen had eaten TWO shoes. That day I really had to give her a couple of whacks on the rump. I am running out of shoes. I have now decided that all my shoes will go into one of those huge plastic bins. Another new decorative idea. Although that is no guarantee they will be safe. I have the dry food for the Terrible Trio in one of those plastic bins. One day I was out and came back home to find they had knocked it down to the floor, nibbled at it and managed to get the lid off, even though it is held down by handles that hold it in place. I think I will have to build a vault next to make sure that anything I don’t want eaten is kept safely there, like my shoes, the decorative plants, kitchen towels, my underwear, paper tissues (the cats love those as well), letters, books, printing paper, plastic bags, plastic bottles, the cats’ plastic plates, forks, knives, spoons, ladles, any sort of wiring, the flex of adapters, chargers, lamps, wire mesh on windows and even the balustrade in the balcony. Anything in bamboo or wood like tables or chairs. Yes, and mobiles! It looks like they are eating the whole house!

I love my dogs and cats and my life would be much less without them. It is true they are costing me the earth in damages, driving me crazy with their rowdy behavior, are physically exhausting, and wrecking the house, but they give me such joy, love and fun as to make up for all the rest. When they were operated on and were recovering it was like I was sick. I hurt for them. Thank God they are now all fully recovered and back to normal. I wake every morning to a house littered with things they have shredded overnight, but it is a house full of love and fun. Thank God my houseboy loves them as well.

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