House sitting in the Languedoc region of France

Hello and welcome to the latest blog from The Olivia Rose Diairies on February 11th 2023.

A few days ago we left Le Shack and drove for about five hours due east. For the next month we shall be looking after two dogs and one cat, staying in a house only two minutes walk from the centre of the charming, artist’s town of Pézenas. The Étang de Thau and the Mediterranean are  twenty minutes drive away.

Fergie and Eric

Five hours driving, just under 400 km, isn’t that far but the landscape is very different. At Le Shack we are used to rolling hills and a wide valley floor planted with sunflowers and maize. In summer it looks like a painting where the artist has chosen to experiment with limited colours for maximum effect, a vast expanse of yellow and gold beneath blue skies. In winter the fields are left to stubble, drab and brown, and it is hard to remember how glorious it was only a few months ago. Here in the Languedoc region of France we have swapped our maize for cactus and our sunflowers for vines, their bare stems gnarled and twisted with age. Even though it is warmer in this part of France, there is no sign yet of any green shoots. The vines, like the rest of us, are longing for the spring.

An example of one of the vines.
We passed this whilst cycling.

The cat, Ronaldo, has not been well and the owners took her to the vet a day or two before we arrived. It would seem that French vets work on the basis of why give one remedy when you can give two, or more, and hopefully one of them will work. To the bemusement of both her owners, and now us as surrogate owners for the next few weeks, Ronaldo has no less than 15 medications to take each day and we can only assume that the vet is working on the premise that if it doesn’t kill her it will cure her. They’re not all different, some are the same tablets or sprays to be given three times a day. We give her eye drops from one bottle, wait ten minutes and then repeat the process from a different bottle. She has two herbal pills twice a day that are so big even I would struggle to swallow them. Morning and evening we add five drops of something that smells like Vic nasal rub into a steaming bowl of water, put both the cat and the bowl in her cat box and leave her in there for fifteen minutes with a towel draped over the box so that she can breathe in the fumes. She actually quite likes that ritual but she is not overly impressed with the rest of it.

She looks a little cross here and who can blame her? Having said that, she puts up with it all with great stoicism and doesn’t seem to hold it against us. If it were me I’d be running in the opposite direction as soon as I saw the pills coming out the cupboard, but she still purrs when we pick her up for a cuddle.

As an aside, there is a connection between the names of the animals. Can you tell what it is?

And talking of cats leads me on to the news that Michael’s Etsy shop is now open for browsing. You can find him at where there are a selection of prints now available to buy, as well as the option to commission a personal pet portrait. At the moment there are just ten prints for sale, but the collection will be added to over the coming months.

Below is a preview of two of the prints.

And that is it for this week. We should be able to get out and about next week so I hope to have some good photos to share with you.

Take care.


12 thoughts on “House sitting in the Languedoc region of France

  1. Yep. They are all football related. Man United? Alex Ferguson. Eric Cantonna and Cristiano Ronaldo. Well done to the owners!! Hope you enjoy your time there and get about and enjoy. Love the cat but fancy having all tht medication…… Well done Michael getting your site up and running on Etsy. Will have a look at that. Take care both and enjoy. xx


  2. Gosh, that grape vine looks ancient. You are definitely in a great wine district. Do you imbibe?
    Very sweet pets, but what a routine for the kitty! The name connection of course was lost on this Yank. 😉
    Bravo for Michael. I’m glad he is getting his work out into the world. Wishing him great success!


  3. Great to see the photos of your house sit and countryside. I guessed the connection was something to do with football! The pets look great and good luck with the feline medication! Wishing you every success Michael with your new venture!
    Love to you both and enjoy


  4. I did wonder about a female cat called Ronaldo, but then the penny dropped! That part of France is about 3 hours’ drive from us, but the climate and landscape are totally different. Such variety in France. I don’t envy you having to give the cat all those pills. We have to hide our cat’s worming pill in a morsel of chicken, the only way we can get her to take it. Enjoy your stay.


  5. Well done looking after the cat. Your poor hosts would have been wondering if they could have gone away. Lovely to help and. Million ‘brownie points’🤩. I remember going to the Dr in France and coming out with 7 different potions… it’s just a French thing😘


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