Small designer houses are becoming all the rage in Europe. So I read in Easy Jet’s Traveller magazine on my flight to Edinburgh the other day. Eco-friendly hobbit holes with all the mod-cons are sprouting up all over the country side, as people become more aware of how living frugally is better for the environment and the wallet.
With this in mind I moved into my house-sit in Edinburgh to look after two cats while a couple went on honeymoon. The Irish girl who lived there with her Scottish partner had warned the apartment was small. This didn’t bother me in the slightest, my own apartment in Auckland was only 32 m2, could it be smaller than that? Yes, it could, a lot smaller.
Small houses can be an advantage when the temperature drops into single digits when it comes to heating. However, the heater working isn’t the issue, not having any hot water is. Something is definitely wrong with the water heater, I’m not sure what. Perhaps she did quickly mention the heating breaking the day before, before they rushed out the door to balmy Mexico but I didn’t catch on. Luckily the shower is still producing the hot stuff otherwise I’d be starting to steam myself. Or trying to wash in the sink that has been designed for elves.
Small houses are also fine if animals can go outside but the cats I’m looking after are indoor cats, they never go outside. You have to feel sorry for animals that are cooped up in a small space day after day looking longingly at the garden from the window. So I’m not surprised one of them attempted escape.
Last night a well-meaning neighbour popped down to introduce herself. Unfortunately for us one of the cats took its chance and scarpered outside. Then ensued twenty minutes of coaxing from the neighbour as the cat had wedged itself in between a precariously balanced old stereo and a load of dusty bikes. At one point I’m blocking the garden door cat flap and receiving icy blasts around my calves, while the Scottish woman is crooning “There pet, oooh come oon pet”. I tell her to grab it by the scruff of its neck and she looks at me like I should be had up for animal abuse “Ooooh I’ve never doon that”. Eventually we get the cat inside.
I think it’s been so traumatised with it’s foray into the outside world that it’s quite happy to be back in the cozy lounge made for hobbits. As are my frozen calves.