Farmyard chickens and dragon flies
   Logo L'Echiquier — au coeur de la Puisaye 
in the heart of the Puisaye —  L'Echiquier Logo 


The animals at L'Echiquier . . .

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Text version  
Cats Dogs Fish Birds  
  Moles Chickens Sheep Others  

Animals at L'Echiquier: well, to start with there are two humans, one male and one female, who think the place belongs to them...

Ø indicates a picture in the photo gallery.

Cats (Felis catus)

P brought four cats with her from Paris (11/2002): VashtarØ, DaliØ, CalicoØ and SesameØ. I brought goldfish from the UK. My last cat Jilly had died the previous year.

Vashtar died in February 2003 soon after moving to L'Echiquier, aged 19. She is buried under the big cherry tree near the gate. Vashtar's original owner, Sue, named her after a ferret in a Sakin (H.H.Munro) story Sredni Vashtarn (n = opens in new tab/window).

In January 2005 Christophe gave us BelfégorØ. Christophe was moving into an apartment and Belfégor, an affectionate, four-year-old male tabby, was used to the outdoor life. He fitted in well with the other cats but retained his independence, often going missing for days at a time. He vanished for good in August that year. We think he may have taken exception to visits from a stray cat who we later named ErixØ.

A young female tabby, Erix was so called because she had moved into Eric's house next door while the builders were there. She was friendly to us but a bit bossy with our cats, who were all wary of her. Eventually, for the sake of peace, we found her a new home with Laetitia, who renamed her EricaØ. As Laetitia divides her time between Normandy and Maryland, Erica now flies regularly between France and the USA.

In June 2005 our vet told us about a kitten in need of a home. He was being cared for by Madame Bègue, who had found him under the wheel arch of a car outside her house in Bléneau. We called on Madame Bègue and left with a black ball of fluff not much more than a month old who later became known as JetonØ.

A jeton is a token formerly used in French telephone boxes and nowadays often needed for supermarket trolleys. It goes in a slot. As Jeton slotted in well with the other cats – and as he is jet black – it seemed like a good name, even if it takes a bit of explaining in both French and English!

P's cats were in the habit of following her around, so I decided this newcomer would be my cat. That's why he's also known as Hiscat.

Dali died in October 2008 and is buried next to the pear tree log that now serves as a seat, overlooking the lake. She was 16.

Another male tabby visits L'Echiquier occasionally. Noisy fights ensue if he encounters the other cats but we can approach him and I've even managed to pick him up once or twice. I've called him Linux because he's new and attractive, but difficult to handle. We've been known to feed him when he seems hungry but he doesn't come into the house. We think he may belong to someone at Le Puits Peleau, just across the Chasserelle valley (the Chasserelle is a tributary of the Loing).

We would like to bring the total back to four, perhaps with a young female tabby... Apr 2010 - we have got one, saw a notice in the vets and now we have a CressidaØ.


So the current cat count, in order of age, is four at Apr 2010:

  • Sesame (b: 5/4/1999)
    • a ginger tom, aged ten, strong, quiet, patient, affectionate.
  • Calico (b:21/5/1999)
  • Jeton (b: 1/5/2008)
    • a black tom, bossy, impatient but very affectionate.
  • Cressida (b: 1/9/2009)
    • a young female tabby, very inquisitive and follows us everwhere.

Back to Back to Manu

There are more pictures
in the photo gallery.
Click on an individual photo or
name to see more
(photos in no particular order)

Belfégor (lost)

Calico (b: 21/5/1999)

Dali (b: 1992 - d: 2009)

Erix / Erica
Erix / Erica (to new home)

Jeton (b: 1/5/2008)

Sesame (b: 5/4/1999)

Cressida (b: 1/9/2009)

Vashtar (b: 1984 - d: 2/2003)


Bird list:-

These of course are all encouraged with bird feeders and nest boxes.

  • Robin
  • Bullfinch
  • Short-toed treecreeper
  • Treecreeper (Eurasian treecreeper)
  • Blue tit
  • Crested tit
  • Coal tit
  • Great tit
  • Marsh tit
  • Swallow
  • Goldfinch (European goldfinch)
  • Nuthatch
  • Magpie
  • Jackdaw
  • Jay
  • Owl
  • Grey Heron
  • Hoopoe
  • Wren
  • Nightjar
  • Greater Spotted Woodpecker
  • Yellow Hammer
  • Chaffinch
  • Brambling
  • House sparrow
  • Tree sparrow
  • Green woodpecker
  • Blackbird (Common blackbird)
  • Song thrush
  • Mistle thrush
  • Bat (no I know its not a bird)
  • Cuckoo


You can see more info here in a '.pdf file'. You will need a pdf reader* to view this file, your browser ought to this automatically for you. Birds at L'Echiquier.

Still more info here on the RSPB site, the RSPB bird identifier   RSPB logo


    Back to Back to Manu

* - Adobe is the classic but Foxit is much smaller.
 PF logo  
  • Rougegorge familier
  • Bouvreuil pivoine
  • Grimpereau des jardin
  • Grimpereau des bois
  • Mésange bleue
  • Mésange huppée
  • Mésange noire
  • Mésange charbonnière
  • Mésange nonette
  • Hirondelle
  • Chardonneret elegant
  • Sitelle torchepot
  • Pie bavarde
  • Choucas des tours
  • Geai
  • Ebou ou Chouette
  • Héron cendré
  • Huppe
  • Troglodyte mignon
  • Engoulevent d’Europe
  • Pic épeiche
  • Bruant Jaune
  • Pinson des arbres
  • Pinson du Nord
  • Moineau domestique
  • Moineau friquet
  • Pivert
  • Merle noir
  • Grive
  • Grive
  • Sauve souris
  • Cuculidae








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