This is one of our favorite houses from the early days of our marriage. The house was built in the 1930s and it was originally a bank. There was a smaller house abutted to the back and just out of sight to the right was the bank manager’s house. There was a little railroad boom at this time and this tiny village, nay hamlet, benefited hugely with a bank, hotel, shop (it was still called the emporium). The rail line was still there but had been cut in the early 60s – so shortsighted. If they had only known the oil boom was coming to Aberdeen.
It is hard for you to envisage but it was a taller than average house – the two floors were almost equivalent to three on a normal house as you can see from the cottage behind. The attic was unbelievable – you could have had parties up there. We had three of our first batch of cats then, Pippy, Muffy and Puss. Pippy was exquisite but she was a little monster at times. See my post, Pippy was a Welsh cat…
Both the kitchen to the left of the conservatory and our bedroom above were vaults for the bank and the walls were incredibly thick with big windowsills for the cats to laze on. You can see that we had to repair the wall as the original renovators had not installed a strong enough lintel for the kitchen window. The window in the bedroom opened from the middle – probably for safety as it was a straight drop to concrete below.
I kept hearing Pippy crying but couldn’t figure out where she was. Eventually, I tracked it down to our bedroom but she was nowhere to be seen. Finally, I looked out the window and the little minx had jumped from our window to the neighbor’s rooftop and was now trying to jump back which was almost certainly doomed to failure. I knew there were no ladders big enough or fire station for miles. I ran next door to our lovely new neighbors. He was training to become a Pastor after years of working for Oxfam (a non-profit charity) in Africa.
He and the children ran to help me and I have no idea how I did it but I stood on the windowsill, stretched my body across to the rooftop while the neighbor was hanging onto my legs for dear life. Amazingly, I grabbed my bad cat and brought her in through the window. It felt like one of those scenarios where mothers lift cars off their children. Pippy was fine, the window closed and the adults were shaking. The children thought it was the biggest adventure EVER!
When Teddy came home from work that night he was horrified by all the possibilities of what could have gone wrong, not helped by his fear of heights. I could write a book about all the naughty things Pippy got up to. This photo shows her either playing or terrorizing my original cat, Tibby, who lived with my mum. I still have that original rocking chair which belonged to beloved Nana. It has since been covered in exquisite silk but now has a blue Walmart blanket on it because the current
demons cats that we live with…