Bright Eyed Buttons


Buttons face on.





Buttons (or Toots as I call her) is the final addition to our cat family.

I have to say right now that there were two things we agreed when we went to Saudi Arabia:

1. We will never have pets as they are too much of a tie.

2. Never, ever, will we take home an abandoned Saudi wild cat from town.

The first of these high and mighty principles went out of the window with Isis.  The second went out of the window with Buttons.  One dark Wednesday evening (the last day of the week in Saudi at the time), Peter took me to Khobar, just to get out of the compound and only to buy some buttons for one of my quilt projects.  It was busy and he had to park well away from the shop, so I walked through the back streets of Khobar to get to the shop.  I went on ahead to my button shop, with Peter following after he had parked the car.

27 Sept 2012 2

Rescued Buttons.

27 Sept 2012 1

Buttons first day.

28 Sept 12

Dehydrated and frightened.


On my way through a dusty, potholed, car park, I heard this “Meeeow”.  I turned away but there was then an insistant “MEEEEEOW”.  I could not carry on, so I went back and there was this tiny, weak, dirty, frightened little kitten.  She could only have been a couple of days old and was right under the wheels of a lorry – no survival prospects at all.  My heart ruled my head and I just had to save her, so I tucked her into my Abaya and waited for Peter in the shop – I wondered what he would say!

Fortunately, Peter is as soft hearted as I am and he carried the kitten back to the car, even finding a small box in a skip on the way.  He made holes in the box, found a teatowel from the back of the car and had the kitten calm when I got back.

So, now four problems arose:

1: How to keep the kitten alive (neither of us had cared for an orphan before);

2: How to get her into the compound past security;

3: How to get her registered with the company Vet;

4: Whats should her name be?


Poor Buttons as found.


Poor little thing.

A phone call to Abby helped with Problem 1 (we bought some kitten milk replacement power in a local pet store on the way home – this was fortunate as it was the last one they had).



Problem 2 was solved by tucking the kitty under my Abaya and looking innocent.

Problem 3 was solved by a kind vet after we told him that she just appeared in our back yard.


A few days later.

Problem 4 was easily solved – what else but “Buttons” for a name (by the way, I did manage to get my buttons from a rather surprised looking shopkeeper).


A happier girl, with a toy.

Buttons 3

Buttons settled in.

buttons 1

Buttons at home.











Peter’s home made maze.









Peter was a brick caring for our little Buttons in our warm spare room.  He fed her every hour for the first day – he never got any sleep, but by the third day, Buttons was lustily sucking on her syringe and taking her milk.  A survivor if ever there was one!  After that, we shared the feeding and cleaning, and Buttons went from strength to strength.  Peter built her a maze and climbing frame out of old cardboard boxes and fabric and we gradually introduced her to the other cats.   Luckily, they all accepted her and gradually she became one of the gang.


Happy Buttons 1.


Happy Buttons 2.


Happy Buttons 3.








Buttons is not at all like what we thought she would be.  Saudi wild cats are typically scrawny, scraggy, shorthaired, skinny and fiesty cats.  Toots is small, stocky, hairy and loving (when she wants to be!).  I guess good food and love had a lot to do with that.  On the subject of food, when she was young, we had to drive to Bahrain to get baby food for her (none was available in Saudi).  We also had to get sachets of food for the other cats when no supplies came to Saudi, and we got stopped by customs on the Causeway for bringing in meat made from cats, but that’s quite another story.


Buttons with a nest.






Just the right size basket.















So, to cut a long story short, Buttons grew up happily and healthily with us and the rest of the cats.  She survived the trips from Saudi to the UK and from the UK to Denmark and really seems to like living in the wilds of Djursland.  We go for a walk around the woods and fields every day and she behaves just like a dog, following along and not going too far away.  Sometimes, she gets too tired and needs to be carried home, then she crashes out in front of the log fire all night.  Then, up in the moring at 5am, whining to go out.


Where’s my food?


I’m the boss.


Me and my pal Fluff.




Toots climbs to the top of my design wall, pulls all the pins out and drops them on the floor!





A real character is our Toots, with a most peculiar way of walking – when she’s going somewhere, she stomps along with a most positive gait: a bit like a soldier on a forced march! Our little oasis sure beats the streets of Khobar for her and we would not be without her.




Settling in Denmark, June, July and August.

We had the warmest summer in Denmark – a heatwave for months!

The weather was terrific: sunny days stretched endlessly for three months, with only the occasional  heavy downpour to freshen things up.  We had some pretty scary lightning and thunder but that only lasted for at the most one hour, then it was back to sunshine.  One of the lightning strikes hit one of our trees and did a fair bit of damage, but we hope that it will survive.


Lightening strike on our tree


Peter with shards from the tree.



Blossom in our garden.


Buttons admiring our apple trees.











We did up the old greenhouse and planted it up with tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, egg plant, melon and marigolds. The lawn was a lumpy thing, having had years of moles, and overgrown with dandelions, needed attention.  Peter bought a second had mower and got to work on it.  Now it looks OK, and good enough for us to have had a croquet court on it (a bit cross country style, with lots of local hazards, but great fun).


Peter mowing the lawn.


The repaired greenhouse and new beds.




As we were clearing out all the overgrowth and dead shrubs, we found beautiful wild flowers everywhere.


Blossom and butterflies.



Poppies in the field.


More summer flowers in our hedge.


Ox eye daisies.


Thistle and one of our bumble bees.
















In the house, we covered up the tatty walls with quilts, so we could move into the house while we decided on a plan for renovation.  We moved a lot of our furniture in from the store and unpacked some kitchenware into a lovely oak dresser that Peter found in a reclamation yard back in the UK.  At least my treasured Spode china is back in use again after 6 years in boxes!


Quilts as wallhangings.


Bedroom before the builders came.


Sitting room quilts.


My Spode in the Welsh Dresser.











The kittens all settled in very well – it was as if they had always lived there. Pepper (the shy cat) came out of her shell and explored outside as soon as she arrived here.  Pepper became much more confident and was the last in at suppertime – quite a change from her hiding in the airing cupboard all day in the UK. Horus started catching mice and moles. They all spent a lot of time snoozing in the sun, walking in the woods with us and playing.  Peter had to go away a couple of times on business and Horus seemed to think he would like to go too!








Isis and Horus on Peter’s home made garden table.


Pepper asleep.


Fluff and Buttons in our wood.


Horus and Fluff in our wood.


Buttons asleep on her sheepskin.


Isis in front of the fire.


Horus wanting to go on his travels.



























The garden grew, the sun got hotter and we spent most of our days outside, trying to get the garden, field and wood in some sort of shape.


Part of our garden.


Seedlings in my new bed.


Runner beans, French beans and peas.


Courgettes in a tub.


Garden produce.


Where did this sunflower come from?




Runner Beans.


Pumpkin flower.





























We worked on creating a quilting studio for me out of our old three bay garage.  With a lot of effort and very little money, we managed to convert one garage into a well set up quilting area – the next step is to do the second garage bay. Peter found some lovely double glazed windows in a reclamation yard here in Denmark – we have enough for two of the bays, so I’m looking forward to doubling the size of my studio over the winter.  The builders have set up to run power and water across the yard to my studio – all the pipes are set up, they just need to dig a trench “sometime soon”.


Bay 2 of my studio in progress.


Bay one of my studio started.


Windows ready to go in!


Windows fitted.


Insulation for the floor of my studio.


Studio floor finished.


Airing the studio.


Some of my quilting goodies set up.


Sitting area for hand sewing in my studio.


More of my quilts!



Quilt project.


Quilt project.


Applique project.


Applique project.


Sailing boats.


Stars and circles.


Quilted aprons.


Quilt and Sid in the garden.





















Some Dear Jane blocks.

Some Dear Jane blocks.


Some more Dear Jane blocks.


Yet more Dear Jane blocks.


Even more Dear Jane blocks.


BOM blocks.


More BOM blocks.




































In addition to all the work on the house and garden, I did some quilting on my small frame, some more “Dear Jane” blocks and some of the “Quilting on the Square” Block of the Month I’m getting.

So, that was my summer: now we’re moving into the Autumn for my next post!