I made another trip to Mount Melleray on Monday. This time Ally came with me. She’d seen my photos of the old cottage and the sheep skulls and thought the skulls would make great drawing material.
So we packed plastic bags and rubber gloves, donned our boots and rain gear and set off up the wet, grey mountains (in the car) to fetch a bucket of bones.
The last day I was there, there was a single, lone sheep in the field.
This time there were two DOZEN….at least….
….two dozen sheep who followed us, nervously, bleating loudly. I had visions of an angry old farmer in a long coat tied in the middle with baler twine, appearing out of nowhere to shake a long crook at us and tell us to ‘clear orf’ out of his field and stop upsetting his sheep.
No farmers appeared though and we were able to gather up two or three skulls and their corresponding vertebrae and ribs, before letting ourselves back out the gate, tying it securely, and making our way back to the car with our hoard.
The sheep milled around the gate and seemed a bit upset that we’d absconded with their deceased ancestors’ skeletons….or maybe they were just disgusted that we weren’t taking them (the sheep) with us. I’m not surprised. I’d have been a bit miffed too if I’d been left in that field on the day that was in it. They were soaked!
Ally and I decided we’d drive a bit further up to ‘The Cats Bar’ for some coffee to try and get the heat back into us. It’s not too far past Mount Melleray Abbey and is on the main road to Cappoquin.
There’s a billboard outside with a price list on it that would certainly entice the price conscientious traveller inside.
Where would you go wrong with coffee and a scone for two euro?
The inside of the pub was clean and bright, and there was a fire lighting beside the bar. We were greeted by the owner (Mick Power) who took our order for lattes and scones. A second fire was lit beside the table where we sat down, and it wasn’t long before we’d warmed up.
The Cats Bar is a family run pub. It was Mick Power’s wife, Tina, who served us our coffee and scones, and there were a couple of boys stocking shelves and helping around the bar, who I expect were Mick and Tina’s sons. The scones were home made and were served warm, with butter and jam, and the latte went down a treat. And there were no complaints about the price. Two lattes and two scones came to six euros. I’ve been into places where I’d pay that for one serving.
With the flames leaping in the gas coal effect fire in front of us, I could have spent the damp afternoon where I was and drank something a bit stronger than latte, but there was work to be done at home and I’d to drive too. However, for anyone interested in spending an afternoon, or indeed, an evening in The Cats Bar with a few bevvies, this website belong to Pat Kiely mentions that they do Bed and Breakfast too. The website is probably several years old though.
Of course, you could always just buy a house nearby. This 4 bed, 2 bath bungalow on over an acre comes with the appealing price tag of just €165,000 over on SherryFitz website and is a mere 2 mile stroll from the bar. Just the ticket if you don’t mind a few bothered sheep following you home.