Sunday, 16 December 2012

RIP Pebbles

Pebbles drifted in and out of unconsciousness all night and finally passed away in her daddy's arms.   We have buried her under the bay tree where she was sniffing around on her harness only yesterday. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Endings and Beginnings

Pebbles bless her is on her last legs, but her eyes still say she wants to live so we haven't carted her to the vet.  We had very extravagant teas of fish 'n' chips several times because all she would eat was battered cod or fishfingers - so fishfingers for lunch - but her appetite is now dwindled again.  She did however get a new lease of life when the new kitty arrived, one-eyed mackerel tabby Dora [originally Holly but she's A-Dora-ble as well as being very much Dora the Explorer] who has no respect for age but Pebbles has enjoyed watching her play - and has let Dora curl up beside her, and even joined Dora on a chair.

My dear kind friend Lucinda sent Pebbles a heated bed for her poor old bones and she has been willing to share it with little Dora, who arrived after travel in awful conditions, she was frozen and ravenous.  Not a cat transport we'll be using again. 

Dora is so friendly she gets on with all the others, though Worrals is not always enamoured - poor Worrals resents any new cat for not being Merlin I think.  Dora and Pixie are special friends and I will be posting pics of them wrestling and playing together. 

The only time Dora is still is when she's asleep which happens suddenly and in the most floppy positions.

Worrals does tolerate a stripy little sister as you can see...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Jogging along...and some real news

Pebbles having been told she can eat what she likes is taking this fairly literally and insisted for several days on eating nothing but Gourmet Gold salmon [I think it's marketed as Fancy Feast in America].  She has deigned to eat other strongly fishy things too, and has developed expensive tastes.  She likes what expensive tastes like.
She's lost some weight and her fur isn't in such good condition but she's enjoying pottering about from window to window to swear at the birds, then climb onto her daddy's chest for a sleep, and spend the night in his dressing gown. 
She has taken over some of my bales of fabric which she has emptied to sleep on for the early morning excitements of the view out of the side window.

Pixie meanwhile is still going from strength to strength and likes to perch on the mantelpiece over the range like an ornament.
Isn't she pretty next to the vase of  kniphofia and senecio! 

Biff has a new toy; I made the cats a nip mouse as a prototype before making more to sell in Anya's auction for various Romanian cats. Biff has been stoned ever since and has been ridiculously kittenish.
Worrals got very excited too, and I had to take the other mice out of the house to sew at the Knit and Natter club I go to so I didn't have any 'help'!

Well now the real news...
You may recall I featured 3 Romanian kittens in an earlier post; Norocel and Sonia have homes, and so does Holly.  Holly is coming to us.  We will be - until dear Pebbles throws in the towel - a 7 cat family. This is the latest picture we have been sent of her...

As Pixie runs Worrals and Rebel ragged, wanting to play with them, it is to be hoped that she and Holly will enjoy playing together...
Pixie is in the habit of pouncing on dangling tails, and Biff was most disconcerted to be 'pommed' from below when he was on the wood box; and getting up to make a dignified exit to have her arms around his neck to give him a big kiss!  Biff checked that nobody was looking, licked her nose, and stalked off, pretending indifference. 
What Biff, Jasper and Pebbles will make of a kitten is anyone's guess!  But Jasper likes kitties, and Biff is a lot more laid back these days, and Pebbles doesn't like any cats very much anyway!
Rebel has become very much a lap cat in the colder weather and I get a cuddle from my girlies on the sofa in the evenings.  Worrals likes to help in the garden on fine days, and she and Rebel enjoy being outside where they can be kittenish without having to entertain Pixie, who is only allowed out on the best days on the harness while her paw is still bear.  However great news on that front - she was 'making puddings' on me a couple of days ago and I noticed that one of the claws on her bad foot was able to move and make puddings on that foot!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Some bad news

Just been to the vet today, and Pebbles is not doing as well as we hoped; in fact she's dying.  We don't know how long she has, but then with kidney disease I guess you never do.
This is a pic of her 2 days ago, perching on her daddy's shoulder like a parrot.  What a sweetheart she is! all we can do is love her to bits for as long as she has.  Today she has been acting OLD.

Pixie on the other hand is lively and playful and loves all the world.  Here she is with her big black brother and her little black sister all sharing a chair, Pixie is on the back of the chair, Biff is asleep trying to pretend that he isn't noticing Rebel lying partly on top of him

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Help! furever home needed in UK for 3 blind kitties!

I should think everyone who knows me is aware by now that  I'm involved in rescue from Romania - now there are three kitten-cats in need of homes, who are being fostered by a good friend of mine, Lucy, who wants them to have a good place to go so that she will have room to foster more cats in desperate need. 

Norocel and Sonia are both black and white, 4/5 months old, and are blind through the Herpes virus. 
Holly is a tabby and has lost an eye after being hit by a car. I think she's about the same age. The two fully blind ones will need an indoor home and someone prepared to keep furniture in the same place, and Holly might be better in an indoor home too.
Please contact me through the blog or on and I'll put serious offers in contact with Lucy who will organise a home check. 

Holly, an adorable baby!
Norocel, what a brave little boy!
this is the only picture I have available of Sonia, it shows her younger than she is.  What a sweetheart!
A purr is a purr is a purr, in Romanian or English... who can help these sweethearts?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Antifreeze - it's a problem

I've just heard of another case of deliberate poisoning with antifreeze, and closish to where I live too,  and it happens by accident every year too.  It's time to get bittering agents added to the stuff, which will make it harder for abusers to readily poison family pets as well as preventing the accidents.

Any of my British followers, here's a form letter which I implore you to use and personalise to your MP, and indeed anyone who would care to email David Cameron at please do!  His cat is called Larry.

Dear [MP],
Over the last year there have been more than one incidence of sick individuals poisoning the family pets of others with antifreeze.
There are two issues at stake here; firstly the need to bring in a law to have a bittering agent added to antifreeze, which will prevent accidental poisonings and too make the abuse of animals harder, and secondly to address the issue of harsher sentencing for those who abuse animals, as the current laws are derisory. 
Please consider raising this in the House and supporting anyone else who raises the issues.  In a nation which prides itself as animal lovers, these issues go far beyond party politics.
Thank you for your time,
Yours sincerely,

Thanks all.

Here's a petition I've set up too

Friday, 26 October 2012

At last, 365 cat days is published!

The link I have on the side bar is to Amazon UK, but it's available from Amazon too Here
The royalties from sales of this one will be used for helping with cat rescue. 

Here's a sample of October:

October 9th
Kitkat [4]
Kitkat, like most Siamese cats, loved to explore, and if this happened to be up and down the shelves of a neighbour’s flat, why Surely Nobody Minded Him Taking Liberties?  Wouldn’t Anyone Be Proud To Let Him Kip On Their Bed?  Perhaps he was slightly less welcome when being a paper weight on papers or books his host was trying to use than otherwise but Kitkat was so sweet he could get away with it!

October 10th
Max [6]

Max was one of those cats whose propensities for falling in the pond came close to being fatal more than once as he had no idea how to help himself by swimming.  It did not help his ego that the worst Wolfie ever did was to get a wet tail.  It Wasn’t Fair, said Max,  Having A Pond Left Untidily All Over The Place Right Where A Fella Can Forget It’s There And Fall In.  On his first summer he fell in the pond four times and proceeded to do so at least once every summer thereafter.

October 11th
Sophie [4]
Sophie was loath to come in at night and led her people many a merry dance.  She would stand, as if waiting, and as mumstaff or dadstaff came close enough to think they could pick her up, she would spring lightly away, dancing sideways, sometimes darting under a parked car and peeking out, her whiskery face seeming to laugh at their frustration.  It’s A Good Game Played Slow, she said. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Our lovely cats from Romania, doua dragosti pisici Romani

Pixie and Pufa arrived last night and Pufa is being known as Pufa-Pebbles while she gets used to a name change to Pebbles.  Pufa means, I think, fluffy, but it's a bit inexpedient in English.  They are settling in and far from being disabled, Pixie managed to climb onto the high shelves that I thought were cat proof... though she still has a bandage on her bad paw and favours it slightly.  She is tiny!

She likes the climbing tree we made and quickly found her way to the top of it.

Pebbles is a chunkier lady and has a practical outlook on life and her first act was to check out the facilities!

Both cats can purr for Romania however and are delighted to be given attention!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

I'm forever blowing bubbles

We bought some bubble liquid for the girls, largely to get a bubble blower [and it's the best one I've ever used, hurrah for the Pound Shop, even though I will be making up my own bubble liquid to replace it]  and they have been entranced.  So here is a post of gratuitous bubble fun.

Staring bemused

Are they SUPPOSED to stick together?
But.. which one shall I chase?
caught as she patted it... the look on her face as it popped was priceless
exhausted after her exertions

Bubbles are fun but care should be taken not to let them go near pets' or children's eyes. 
Bubble liquid: about half a cup of washing up liquid to about a pint of water and a good teaspoon of glycerine or, I understand, corn syrup.  Shake well and leave overnight.  It doesn't work right away for some reason.

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Saga of the Purrgola

We had a pergola which was four corner posts and the upper part of one of those gazebos you get in DIY stores, the legs having suffered from an attack of Boy Scouts [long story - don't ask].  Unfortunately heavy snow on the rather exuberant and over-enthusiastic evergreen clematis on it buckled it and brought it in.  We finally got into the jungle of green to hack our way bravely through encroaching and uninvited brambles to find there WERE still 3 seats inside it.

This needed a bit more clearing to rescue the uprights which were still good; and we decided to build it again with reclaimed materials with a roof on as a place the cats could be inside, outside in rain, and where we could also hang washing in the winter. 
Fortunately the estate agents selling and leasing the flats across the road generously throw their old signs into our garden, and in my book that's a donation.
So armed with that, and some stuff given to us by friends and neighbours - some more poles and two sides of an old shed and a few bits of broken trellis - we set to.  Not very fast; we're old crocks but if we take it slowly we can get there.  So, up with the longest estate agent poles for side pieces; and then we find that of what's left only one is long enough to go right across.  Well that went across the middle and the other two make triangles which are strong shapes.
The shed pieces were too heavy to lift so we cut them in half.  It means it's not so pretty inside but we'd never have got them up otherwise.  Oh, and Worrals helped a lot.

I wish I had a shot of her climbing the trellis....

We put old carpet over the boards so that the roofing felt - the only thing we bought - wouldn't rub on the rougher bits of the bits of shed.  We had new secondhand carpet to put down anyway, this helped us get around to it...  and Worrals danced about on the roof supervising me putting in clench nails.  So helpful!  Jasper and Rebel by this time had discovered that sleeping in the shade was nice.

It's a rickety looking structure but it's actually pretty firm [and we're rickety sort of people anyway].  Jasper is asleep on one of his unicorns as you can see.
The unicorns?  someone had thrown them away in a pile of trash in a layby and our son rescued them. They make grand cushions.
We called them Abelard and Heloise because it seemed to suit them...

Rebel prefers dappled shade on the ground....
Were you wondering about Biff?  he came and looked.  He walked across the roof.  He dug a hole at the base of one of the uprights and peed in it.  We took that as approval.  He'll be in there in the winter....

Why is is a purrgola?  it's for purring in of course. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

So am I insane?

I joined a group on facebook which is rescuing cats from, among other places, Romania, with a team of wonderful Romanian rescuers and vets, who are fighting hard for the feral cats there.  And there was one who stole my heart.
She had had her feet tied up so tightly together, and by 10-year-old CHILDREN for goodness sake that she was gangrenous.  Will she lose one or more legs?  as yet unknown .  But if I'm permitted to have her, however many legs she ends up with, she's going to have a home here.  Black cats are not popular in Romania. 
Her name is PIXIE and I named her in memory of Leprechaun, the tabby cat caught in a trap whose story I was following online. 
This is the group Anya's blind cats and dogs which is mostly set up for special needs animals... there's an auction set up there, so do go take a look, if you're in Europe especially the UK!  here for auction
Cute isn't she, so alert despite the pain..

Anyone who does not want to see graphic, don't go own any further as there's a picture of her leg

I'll keep everyone posted!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Attack of ... Demon Cat?

this is a story written by Boudicca Rising about an incident that happened when her cat was determined to get in on the act.  Personal belief of anyone else is none of my business and I will delete any comments that are in anyway intolerant from any side.  

For years, after a plague of evangelical Christians on my doorstep, I have been left alone to pretty much get on with my Pagan life.
Until tonight. Tonight, there was a tentative knock at the door. I knew before I answered it that it might involve somebody selling something. My friends all rap on the door smartly as I am a bit hard of hearing. This was a soft-as-micies-sleeping knock so I just knew …
Answering the door, I recognised the lady from way back. Bless her, several years on and still gamely knocking on people’s doors so that others may knock on the pearly gates.
I stood through the usual schpiel and pro-offered pamphlet to join her at the Group Hug of the Holy Spirit Tabernacle Bigots Society or some such; said thanks but no thanks, I was Pagan … and then my troubles started

How long had I been a Pagan? How interesting. How did I found out about it? Wow. Did I not think that the bible really, truly held the truth? No, oh goodness. She was actually very sweet.
But at this point, a demon cat intervened. Poppet loves the front garden. He loves the front garden so much that he is not allowed outside when I am not home, as I (and my neighbours) have to keep on removing him from the front and putting him round the back. I am well aware of his fixation with the front door as he has, on many occasions, bested me and dived out of it.
Whilst chatting to her, I explained why I was holding the door closed. Poppet got tired of trying to push his nose through my legs (this lasted throughout the topic of whether or not the Romans were here before Christ). Right at the point where I mentioned Augustine, Poppet decided that jumping on my back was an option, so Religious Lady was suddenly confronted by a white grinning cat face looming at her from the dark. She shrieked (and may have peed a little).
But gamely on she went. I am not sure whether anyone has tried to remove a cat from their back whilst holding a door to with one hand – but it is not easy and rather painful, ultimately achievable by being flexible enough to grab hold of cat whilst sending “I’m going to deprive you of fresh fish for a week” thoughts through the human-animal subconscious divide.

Objective achieved and “Ah, so you worship many Gods?” she asked. “Yes” I replied. “Which ones?” she asked. So I explained. I have to admit being impressed by the homework she had done. Poppet tried the scratch down the leg trick but I felt it coming and finally, all went quiet.
We continued chatting back and forth – we had got onto the Koran (we had already covered Hinduism). I was starting to lose steam and interest.
Suddenly, there was a small, breathless squeak from the lady, who was looking down in horror. Poppet, having attempted every which way to escape out the front, had managed to squeeze his head under the door. And, teeth bared and eyes wide, was staring up at us like so much decapitated cat.
I paused for a second, checked that his body was truly behind the door, said “excuse me” and told him off for being brainless. Foiled again, he withdrew and stomped off on four paws into the front room to have a sulk.
“So”, I said, “where were we?”. However, Decap Cat had clearly wrong-footed her and she quickly made her excuses and left.
I bet I am now down as the nice Pagan lady who doesn’t mind a chat but has demonically possessed cats.

full version may be read on Boudicca's blog here

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Brittney goes visiting

My friend Carol asked for a story about her cat visiting his ‘adopted cousins’ in England so this is a whimsy about what they might say and do. He is to be found on well worth a visit

Brittney had been waiting a long time to visit Biff, Jasper, Worrals and Rebel in England. He was sad that Merlin would no longer be there, but he was looking forward to meeting the others! He was sure it would be very different to Las Vegas!

The four English cats were also looking forward to it; the girls eagerly, because Cousin Brittney had written on the computer how much he admired them, Jasper with interest and only a little bit of trepidation such as he felt about all new things; and Biff with some wariness, for Brittney was older than he was, and might want to take charge!

When Brittney was let out of his carrier by his mommy – the English cats knew American cats had mommies not mummies and that he would mew with an accent – Worrals kindly showed him all the litter boxes so he could make himself comfortable.
“Of course sometimes we do a wee outside,” she said, “but if the ground is damp, we like to come in and use our tray. Except Biff; he ALWAYS does EVERYTHING outside, except at night. It’s not safe to be out at night so we stay in when it’s dark.”
“I’ve never been outside!” said Brittney. “Gee-miaow, I think I’m scared and excited! Don’t you have coyotes and packs of feral dogs and wicked SPCA people who steal cats for the pound, even when they have collars on?”
“Gosh, Brittney, we don’t have any of those things!” said Worrals, her eyes wide in horror. “We have to stay off the road because of bad wicked cars, but when you see them every day, you know they are BAD and the noise is scary. Merlin thought he could handle them” she added sadly.
“Well the one that chased him was a feral one and it was going too fast” said Rebel. “Come outside and climb trees, Brittney!”
“Meow! What fun!” said Brittney. “I don’t know anything about outside!”
“Permit us to show you around” said Biff, condescendingly, greatly relieved that he had a good start on Brittney. “And little Worrals, don’t do what you did the other day and go running so far up the tree in your game of tag with Rebel that you need mummy and daddy to rescue you.”
“I was very young, then,” said Worrals quickly, “At least a week younger than I am now!”
Biff gave a superior smirk,
“Come and see our purrgola” said Jasper. “It’s for purring in. It has three seats, and mummy says at a pinch you can squeeze nine humans in if they’re very friendly, so it’s a nice size for three cats.”

Brittney looked about the big garden, there was a yard in the L-shape of the house where washing lines were hung with washing, too high to jump and swing on, he thought wistfully, and up the hill behind the house was the garden, with old mossy steps to get up, and just convenient at the top of one, a greenhouse.
“I like to sleep in the greenhouse” said Jasper. “Mummy put me down a carpet specially to sleep on. It’s my square of carpet. But you may use it” he added hastily.
“Meow, I want to see all the garden!” said Brittney, bounding up the steps. There was a meadow of flowers and grasses at the top, much of it in dappled shade from the trees arranged just so.
“You can always find shade if you want it, or dappled shade, or a sun puddle” said Rebel. “Really our humans are moderately intelligent; you’d almost think they were cats!”
“And where is the purrgola?” asked Brittney.
“This way!” Worrals ran along a path of stones with grass and low growing plants between them. Three benches made three sides of a square, and four posts grew out of the ground. There was a pile of timber.
“Mummy and daddy are rebuilding it” said Biff. “The old roof came in with snow; too many plants made it too heavy. This one won’t be as fancy but it will be easier to climb on and bask in the last rays of sun in winter, as an alternative to the asphalt on the shed roof.”
“So many SMELLS out here!” gasped Brittney. “So many flowers, and green smells and oooooo NIP!” he ran to the patch of nepeta and rolled ecstatically, chewing on the leaves.
The others decided to join him. Then they decided that five cats could just about fit into the purrgola if Worrals and Rebel shared a seat, and Jasper politely invited Brittney to share a seat with him. Biff took his place in the middle of his seat and nobody expected him to share.
“Oh I AM going to like staying in England!” said Brittney.
“The only problem is the sudden showers,” said Jasper, “and there’s a big cloud…”
The first drops of plashing rain fell upon the cats.
“Oh! Oh! The roof of Outside is leaking!” cried Brittney.
Mummy and Mommy both came to the back door to call, and five damp cats ran in! There were fluffy towels to dry them on, which Biff moaned about as undignified but everyone else rather enjoyed.
By the time they had been dried and eaten some tuna, it was sunny again.
“Oh yes” said Brittney, “I DO like England; even though the roof leaks.”

Chipin please if you can

Friday, 15 June 2012

Last pics of Merlin

I finally had the courage to unload the camera.  I'm sorry there's nothing of Merlin in motion, the problem with Merlin in motion is that I'd grab the camera in time to say 'that's Merlin that was'  - our quicksilver little boy was to active to be readily caught unless he had hurled himself into a sleeping or washing position.  Everything Merlin did was with verve and elan; and  every motion was with every fibre of his being.  He would arrrive on my chest with a a loud PURRRRRumph as he cast himself at me, kissing me on the way to rolling around helping with whatever I was writing by seeing how many buttons he could press with his whole exuberant little body.  This is why I have chosen to dedicate 'William Price of the Thrush' to him as well as to my husband, because he helped, you know.  He did no end of interesting things to the text. Here he is reaching up to pat at me to tell me to take more notice of a grey plush tummy than of that silly keyboard.

Biff may not mourn Merlin as much as the others, but they were becoming reconciled to each other [Merlin isn't really so much bigger than Biff, it's an effect of wide angle.  The size difference was very little]

Finally one where I was trying to work around four cats helping me; Merlin had seconds before been sitting on my head and had decided that my feet were more comfortable. Prior to that he had been right below Jasper which is why Jasper perched rather high, and hasn't here got around to moving.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

RIP Merlin

There's no way of breaking this gently to Merlin's many fans - he has just been run over.  Death was instant. 
In the most quiet time on the quietest day of the week on the road. 
I would not, however, ever change my mind about letting our cats roam outside, Merlin loved his wide range to hunt in. 
I am devastated and so is Simon, who is in bits. I don't think we'll be very sociable for a while. We had hoped to grow old with him as with all the kitties. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Happy 1st Purrthday to Worrals, Rebel and Merlin!

Yes! they are a year old!  It hardly seems possible, does it, that almost a year has gone since I fostered 6 fluffy bundles of TISSSSH.  And how different are the three I kept; I hope the other three are also having a happy first birthday! 
Here they are with their birthday hats. 
No longer Kitties! they are cats now! 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Beware of Dangerous Flea Treatments.

There are flea treatments available, usually those sold over the counter in big stores, which are not going to do your cat any good.  These are the ones which use derivatives from the Chrysanthemum called Pyrethrins or Pyrethroids.  These are a systemic poison and work by destroying the nervous systems of fleas, ticks and lice.  Unfortunately they can also attack the nervous systems of cats and dogs causing seizures which, if immediate veterinary help is sought may lead to complete recovery but may lead to liver failure, damage to the neural system, brain damage or death.  Many of  these cheap products can also cause chemical burns where applied. I am not going to post the often horrific pictures or stories on this blog, but I am going to post links so anyone interested in following this up further may do so. 

One of the main firms which has been shown to cause these problems in America is Hartz; and in the UK I would also strongly advise against using Bob Martin which may not be as bad but there are definite issues.  My researches have shown that Frontline and Advantage are substantially safe but may even so still cause some skin reactions.  This however is a situation of being aware and noting if your cat shows discomfort - not the case as with some other brands where your cat shows horrific symptoms.  
video of fitting cat [Kendra]
FB Justice for Fur Babies lost to Hartz

Sunday, 29 April 2012

April Update

So, what's been happening this month?  quite a lot.  Biff has had a dental which has made him a lot less bad tempered though his rheumatism is still paining him.  I sent for some Glucosamine with chondoitrin from my previously favourite health food company and when the big 1500 mg size pills arrive [ones I'D have trouble swallowing] I realised when I read the instructions the morons had only put an extra label on saying it was for pets as they dose they suggested was a human dose and they talked about consulting your doctor.  Simply Supplements are not my flavour of the month.  The vet however has reassured me that if he will take it crushed in food there's no overdose, he'll pass any excess through. 
As you can see he's tolerant enough to let Rebel sprawl on him....

Rebel has decided to take on the role of her departed sister Fenella; she has appointed herself mouse catcher in chief [she can now manage to kill them and proceeds, like Fenella, to sing over them] and to plant herself in the big tub of grass.  The grass is becoming the worse for wear underneath her after having recovered somewhat from Fenella...
Jasper meanwhile loves all his kitties and is happy to cuddle them
It may be noted that Merlin likes to keep a possessive paw on anyone he loves, but he's a big boy now.  He has killed and eaten his first wood pigeon!  It was a bit of a struggle - they are big birds - but he ran around to show it off to everyone growling and purring through a mouthful of feathers before taking it into the bushes where they wouldn't be disturbed.  He left the wings and Worrals brought them upstairs to me later: Look! she said He Has Left Some On The Side Of His Plate!  Once assured that this was permissible she supervised me in disposing of the grisly trophies with her usual fussy manner.
She then gave him a thorough washing.

It's' usually Merlin and one of the girls in a cuddle so I had to share one of Rebel with Worrals and in the most ridiculous position.

And I have to finish with an upside-down one of Worrals being sillyputty.

The cats have mostly declared April to be inoperative however; the outside room has a roof that almost always leaks.  It's very remiss.  And the skyheater doesn't work either.