country life

Warning: if you have a thing for cute small wild animals you may not want to read this post. I lack sentimentality. Don’t worry, there are no photos (I have no idea which box the camera cable is in).

So we moved to the country. And my cats couldn’t be happier. Particularly the 3-legged boy cat, Blitzen. (For those that don’t know he had his leg amputated a couple of years ago after an altercation with a motor vehicle.) As my vet says “Nobody told him he’s missing a leg.” As far as I can tell his main disability is an inability to scratch his right ear.

Blitzen has been hunting. He brings me dead chipmunks. But I know he also catches mice. I don’t think he eats them but the local crow population are onto him and clean up.

One thing our new place has is rabbits and hares. We’ve seen the cats eyeing them and even chasing them but figure they might be a bit big. Nevertheless, Mat and I were joking the other day that if Blitzen managed to catch a rabbit, we’d learn how to skin it.

Tonight was the night. He caught a little rabbit and very kindly left it by the back door for us.

We pulled out the John Seymour book on self-sufficiency, and the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall cookbook, opened a couple of beers and got to work. Well, Mat got to work and I read directions from the books and took the guts back out to the field for the crows.

This is a pretty small rabbit. Not really a meal for 3 people. But we are all pretty excited about fresh rabbit caught by the cat and skinned by us.

Oh, and we’re going to pick up some pigs on Sunday. In the station wagon (estate car for the Brits) because that’s all we have and we’re weird like that.

Note: I’ve edited the link for the H F-W cookbook. I had the wrong book in there yesterday. And in relation to Audrey’s comment, we have no desire to get into major hog farming. We’re talking about 2 pigs. Heritage breed. Free range.


8 thoughts on “country life

  1. Oh no, Jo! Not the pigs! Not the pigs!


    Seriously, though… a few pigs are nice. Hundreds, not so much. We’re very happy being out of hog farming, but keeping a few pigs has been a whole different world.

    Enjoy! 🙂


  2. Typically, you should allow the blood to drain when butchering, but I don’t recall us ever doing that with rabbits when I was growing up. I think soaking the meat in cold water overnight might be a good idea, though. Says the vegetarian.


  3. Wow. Just… wow. You really are living your principles. We love HF-W, but I often wonder if could get to grips with my food like he does. Butchering, removing guts. It’s not that I’m sentimental or particularly squeamish, but I think I’ll continue my relationship with the butcher at this point.


  4. Love this! Actually, having a hunting cat is much preferrable to the damage done by a rifle at any rate. It defintely seems you are embracing the new lifestyle!


  5. Wow-I’m impressed. And also, just realizing how much of a wuss I am. :PvBecause we actually have 3 cats, but we never let them outside. Because, as much as I hate the rabbits eating my plants, I hate it worse than when cats leave you “presents” at the door. We had two outside cats when we were growing up, and they were always leaving us the results of their hunts.


  6. I have a friend who lived “in the bush” and only ate things he caught himself.

    While he was fine with hunting, he found stuff that came to him was somewhat more satisfying. Sounds like you have a good delivery system.


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