Tuesday 21 December 2010

The Lady from SATESE

This morning we stayed at home as we were expecting the lady from SATESE. SATESE is the organisation which oversees and approves the installation of fosses. They make sure everything is done to the norms and regulations. She's visited us before to check that the filter bed was in order before it was re-covered by the topsoil but this was the final visit for the formal 'seal of approval'.

bird watching
While waiting for her to arrive we re-stocked the suet balls in the maple 'bush'. It was once a tree but has been coppiced by the previous owners so is now more of a bush. We have a continuous to-ing and fro-ing of blue tits and great tits. Robins and other birds pick up the crumbs on the ground below.

Obviously with 2 cats there is quite a bit of interest in the feeding birds. However, both cats seem to focus on the mice and vole population--bad news for them, but good news for the birds. Shadow is what one would call 'a good mouser'. He can easily bring in 2 a day. They are always dead and he doesn't play with them; he eats them, hardly ever leaving a trace. You just hear him 'crunch'. We've cut down on his cat food a bit as he is becoming rather too 'well fed'. Most we've had in a day is 6. Can't say we like it, but it is his nature to hunt and there are zillions of mices out there.

blue tit in maple 'bush'
Katinka, being younger, isn't as profficient. Quite often they are still alive. When this happens we liberate the mouse or vole and tuck it into a pail in an old towel. We leave it in peace and quiet for an hour or so. If they survive, we let them go free--which is 70% of the time. 
Madame from SATESE arrived just before noon. Armed with a large jerry can of water she opened up  the 'regard' (viewing hole I suppose in English) in the septic tank where the pipe carries the water out to the filter bed. Then she went to the filter bed and opened up the 1st 'regard' there. Coming back to the septic tank 'regard' she poured the water in and ran quickly--well as quickly as you can in sticky clay soil--to the filter bed regard to see if the water had flowed down the pipe correctly. 'C'est bien' she said. The correct incline had been achieved on the pipes, making sure gravity caused the water to flow down to the filter bed.

So next week we will recieve a certificate which states that our fosse septique has been properly installed and meets the required regulations.

butter wouldn't melt.....


Susan said...

Cats in the wild are specialist small mammal hunters, so given the opportunity that is what domestic cats will hunt.

Niall & Antoinette said...

We spoke too soon; since then we've had 2 blue tit fatalities