Visitors and residents of Ménerbes know all about the ‘northern’ and ‘southern’ cats. Feral cats have been a problem in many French villages – they say one is born every 17 minutes; but we have all been working hard to keep them under control, provide the correct birth control and allow them to add to rather than adversely affect the characters of the village.

We have the ‘southern cats’ under our jurisdiction and there are 5 – Smokey-Bleu the matriarch; sons and brothers Tabby and Mr Worm; sons and brothers Big Tiger and Baby Tiger.

The fathers have all been neutered and they prowl the surrounding farms.

Each winter, our cats need shelter andwe have created a dormitory up on a terrace for them to sleep warmly and to be safe from predators.

This year, they have acquired a new basket to add to the array of furniture in the dormitory.

Mr Worm cleans his brother Tabby in the new basket. Bliss!

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