Saturday, 31 December 2011

GREAT NEWS! Tabitha Tabs is published!

'Tabitha Tabs the Farm Kitten' a fun and educational children's book, is now available on Amazon and may be found by clicking on the picture of it in the sidebar!
Tabitha Tabs is aimed at the 7-8 year old reader to read for themselves and may be enjoyed by younger children who need it read to them.  The stories aim to educate as well as entertain, introducing children to wildlife and the countryside and all the wonders of nature seen through the eyes of an inquisitive kitten, encountering for the first time such things as metamorphosis of frogs and dragonflies.  The dangers of disobedience are also explored when Tabitha has a close encounter with a fox, and falls in a tank of oil.

I am hoping to be able to bring out associated educational material like 'what to look for in spring/summer/autumn/winter with Tabitha Tabs' and 'what to do with Tabitha Tabs' with such projects as making a simple kite, pom-pom chicks, leaf rubbings and what you can do with them and so on.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Brothers are there to be washed.

.....And sisters are there to do the washing. Most washing is done by Rebel who has a very busy tongue ready to deal with any brother's dirty ears.

This is not to say that Worrals won't lend a hand, er tongue, because she does.....

And as usual it is Merlin who is the main target of his sisters - possibly because they are really his sisters and not just by adoption.....
Note the careful stranglehold Rebel has on Merlin to make sure he stays put.  Mostly he submits to being washed.  Sometimes however he protests.......

Monday, 19 December 2011

It's chilly.....

I thought I'd managed to accidentally delete a pic of Biff being unwontedly photogenic but I found it!  He and Fenella are happy to sleep cheek to cheek as you might say when it gets cold enough......
Worrals comes to have her little jacket put on in the morning - she spends most of the night in the bed with me or on top of the hotwaterbottle on top of the bed - and thinks herself very stylish.
life is a bit of a yawn at times however....

The kitties are still inspecting their hedgehog who is still awake; they helpfully knocked his tub of mealyworms all over the floor.  I had to pick them up.  I'm not really squeamish and they are dead but......
Merlin says we should get a dog to blame such things on.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

All snuggled up

It's that time of year when cats like to pile up together in random piles.  This is a gratuitous excuse to show cuddled cats.
Worrals always manages to be unnecessary...
Jasper sandwich!
right before they woke up and started washing each other
I love little sister, her coat is so warm
for a bonus point, map all kitties and determine where one leaves off and the next starts
there was intermittent washing going on here

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Well, it's winter now.

Cold weather has Worrals very glad of her little jacket, now she waits obediently to have it put on and tied up.  I have a selection of cats vying for lying on top of the hot water bottle or inside with me at night. The fire is going all day now and is also a much desired venue. 
Worrals didn't need her jacket in this one, it was toasty in the room. Below however is another favourite spot of hers, on my arm, on her back.

Snuggling together is always popular, and Jasper is very tolerant of a little sister under his chin

I love this one where Merlin is holding Jasper's hand:

Merlin likes to pat hands and faces and reach out to hold while he falls asleep!

Biff would like you to know that he isn't feeling photogenic, all this cold damp weather plays merry hell with a fellow's rheumatics and he isn't in the mood.
Fenella however is in one of her favourite spots a lot of the day, sprawled on the linen basket, all unnecessary and relaxed. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Abandoned Cats - very small kittens

I've been reading a post at Emma's blog [and she's kindly posted the reply I made] and obviously the thing to do with abandoned cats is to take them to a shelter if you can, unless you plan to adopt! however if you find yourself lumbered with very small kittens it is imperative to realise that they cannot pee or crap without a bit of help.
After feeding with a dropper, dolly's bottle, syringe or dedicated feeding bottle [there are a variety of formula mils for kitties at pet stores and the vet, and at a pinch I have used SMA] it is imperative to stimulate micturition and defecation by holding kitty on her back in one hand and using a piece of damp towel to simulate mum's rough tongue rubbing down the belly towards the tail.  Kitty should obediently produce. Mummy cat eats this or washes it away - just wash it off with your damp towel and use a clean piece for the next kitty.
Remember new kitties must be fed and toileted every 2 hours round the clock.  It is GRUELLING - but rewarding! after a week or so you can drop to every 4 hours.
2 week kitties
At 3 weeks you can begin to introduce solid food though the kittens shouldn't be fully weaned before about 6 weeks [one reason poor Worrals has sucking issues having been abandoned by mummy at 4 weeks].  When given a feed, solid or bottle, you can then try introducing kitty to a litter tray.  For little delicate toes, sawdust might prove a better incentive than granular litter.   If nothing is forthcoming, continue to use the method of stimulating with a damp towel.  They should however soon get the idea.
4 week old kitties
Our kitties were happily producing at 4 weeks old in the litter, which made life easier and were perforce more weaned than ideal.  I continued feeding with formula milk for the next 3 weeks as well however.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Worrals feels the cold....

Worrals IS made of silly putty; this was also pretty much the position I discovered her sleeping under my duvet in bed this morning, all unnecessary on her back.

I've noticed when I take Worrals out for a walk on her little harness she very quickly starts shivering - and can do so indoors too before the fire is lit.
She does like being under a duvet on the sofa:
She likes less being under a duvet under Biff:
Can you see a jaundiced little face peeping out wondering what this big fat lump is on top of her?  Biff is perfectly contented here, a kitty is where it's supposed to be, crushed beneath his iron boot....well, bum anyway, which at least begins with the same letter, innit.

So I've made her a little quilted jacket.  As you can see she was a little suspicious of it at first, those ears are a trifle antsy:

And then she realised it was warm and got a lot happier:

When the fire is lit she's quite happy to charge about and Look! she Found The Green Tickler!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

we still have a hedgehog in the bath but I think he's a knarl.....

Anyone familiar with the world of Harry Potter knows that you can sort hedgehogs from knarls by offering food or milk - hedgehogs tuck in and knarls display deep suspicion.
Barty is deeply suspicious and hisses like a steaming kettle.  He does tuck in however when he thinks nobody is noticing. 
So, wanting a bath, we take his big cardboad run out of the bath and put it in the bedroom.  When we emerge it it to find a hole in the corner where Barty has been doing Charles Bronson as Danny the Digger impressions and no hedgehog.  Fortunately Rebel, who takes her duties towards 'her' hedgehog very seriously is squeaking plaintively and showing us the big clothes press.  Look, she said My Hedgehog is Lost.  What Are You Going To Do About It?  Sure enough, the sounds of an irritated tea kettle are issuing from beneath it.  [Does he think he's a badger or something?  I believe it's badgers who can change into tea kettles in Japanese mythology]. 
Fortunately I can just get my arm underneath the press.  By the expedient of lying flat on the floor I can even reach to the back.  There's a plug box lives under here too and part of my mind is thinking 'please don't pee in the electrics Barty, fried hedgehog and a fire hazard I can do without'.
So, with Rebel's encouragement, giving me little p'rr'ps and getting in the way I get four fingers underneath Barty's belly [and by the way he is very prickly] and jiffle him backwards somewhere between tickling him into submission and bowling a googly backhanded.  Apart from having found some of the fluff and cobwebs Merlin has missed he seemed none the worse for his adventure and I left him stuffing his face after having done things to his box with a load of duct tape.Rebel resumes her usual perch on top of the 'hut' bit of his house dangling over to watch, purring in satisfaction that all is now in ordnung again.
So is he a knarl? 
 Worrals and Merlin had to inspect him too of course, but there's no question but that he belongs to Rebel - she said so.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

We've been busy....

A bit of a rollercoaster since my last post.  First may I point out that the patchworked curtains work a charm in keeping the room warm and hanging a makeshift door curtain does too, all of which kitties appreciate.  And not just for the warmth.....kind of Worrals to go after the cobwebs for me!
Merlin can climb UP but his idea of getting down is to shut his eyes and hurl himself into the arms of the nearest human.  Safer targets like his friend Bethany's hat attract him more....

We still have a hedgehog in the bath, Worrals and Merlin watch him if they've nothing better to do but Rebel likes to supervise cleaning him out.....
We had a nasty bout of worms which necessitated Milbemax, Drontal wasn't man enough; and the kitties were very sorry for themselves for a couple of days while all sorted itself through but the big cats rallied round, even Biff was tolerant, and Jasper really rose to the occasion for his baby brother

Fenella would like you to know that she has nothing to do with the kitties but is in charge in the kitchen - here she is taking care of my linen basket.
I love the tiny bit of tongue.....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

We have a hedgehog in the bath

You may ask, as the kitties did, why do we have a hedgehog in the bath?
Because he's a bit dippy as well as marginal in being big enough to hibernate.  We have a walled garden and take on disabled rescued hedgehogs; we already have blind Cecily and one-eyed Mary-Anne; this is a little boy, named promptly Bartimeus because I was raised on Bible stories.  In Harry Potter reference however, he is a bit of a Barty GROUCH. 
what actually tickles me is how close this photo is to the picture I drew for one of the Tabitha Tabs stories.....
While I'm here, I'd like to advertise Ros Rumbold, who runs Hedgehog rescue, Ipswich.
Ipswich Hedgehog Rescue

No problems!

I wanted to photograph Merlin lying on his back but he stretched - doesn't it look like he's trying to get rid of the paparazzi taking too much interest in the state of his non-nuts?
Merlin bounced back from his little operation very well, but was pleased to have some attention from his sisters....

washing is fine, but Rebel DOES take liberties.....

The big boys are getting more accustomed to being laid on, purred at, kissed and wriggled at by kitties; Biff isn't that pleased but he puts up.  LOOK at his face.....
 and Jasper is cool with the whole business.
If you had been wondering about Worrals here she is - she's been very busy with her catnip mouse

Rebel has been helping me.... well she thinks she has.  I've been thickening my curtains for the winter with random patchwork, and Rebel has to hold things down for me....