Monday, 23 July 2012


Taken on Monday 23rd June 2012, these pictures speak for themselves.

And here are some more kitten photos you haven't seen before. All pictures, above and below, were taken with my Galaxy phone.

And, lastly and please don't be shocked, a dog. About every six months I collect some good quality donations from our shop from a kind lady who lives in the Doxford Park area. She owns a bearded collie that, despite only seeing me twice a year, remembers me and always makes a massive fuss of me. Last Friday when I turned up, I'd barely opened the cab door before Dylan (the dog) was leaping up at me and licking my face. He's absolutely adorable and if I was ever to go in for dognapping, he'd be top of the list.

Friday, 20 July 2012


One of those odd coincidences. Saturday morning and I got a call from a lady wanting her three youngish un-neutered females re-homing. Sorry, full up, try (only at more length and more kindly in tone). Phone down, checked email, found one from a lady and her husband offering to foster cats for us. I called her and she sounded very nice and very suitable so I put the two together and the three cats were at their new foster-home at Peterlee by the end of the afternoon.

I drove down on Tuesday morning, getting lost by over-estimating the distance on the map from the A19 to her house, to check everything okay. Which it was. Sarah is very experienced with cats and a real animal lover and who said all the right things. She's also rescued two chinchillas which are pictured below after the cats.

This handsome 6 month old and just neutered ginger boy has been re-homed in the last couple of days but I wanted you to see him. The grey and white kitten in the previous post was also re-homed just a few hours after I finished writing it.

You've seen this mother and daughter (the only survivor of a litter of five) before but I just like this photo.

When I was at Carole's yesterday, a young (about 4 months I'd guess) black female called Leona sat on my knee, purring away and then rubbing against my face (and biting my nose and ears a little too). I'm not sure if she's the one in the photo but in all honesty young black cats all look alike.

Lastly, a few tiny terrors.


I got a call from one of the committee, heard the words "eighty year old" and "kitten" and said very loudly, and without really hearing what I was being told, "No! She can't have one."

But that wasn't what the call was about. An 80 year old lady already had a kitten (see above) but realised she'd made a mistake because it was too much for her. So off I went and took it to Carole's.

Rather than hammer home the message of this post, allow me to illustrate the point I'm making from my own life. Susan and I are 64 (well I will be in about eleven days) and we have 9 cats aged from 2 to 15. We both come from families where it is not unusual to be relatively physically and mentally healthy at 90. I go swimming for 4-5 sessions of 40 minutes each every week. Susan, once she gets up, never stops.

But there are no guarantees in life. At five foot five, I'm at least 40 pounds overweight which classes me as obese. I'm on cipramil, perindopril, and statins and have been for years. I should wear my two hearing aids all the time (but don't). Were it not for two cataract operations ten years ago I'd be legally blind by now. My memory, always poor, gets worse and I can just about feel the brain cells dying in their millions. Susan has her own aches and pains.

There are no guarantees in life, especially once you hit your sixties and what we don't want to happen is that we die leaving young cats behind to an uncertain future. I am hoping for at least another ten reasonably active years at roughly the same pace. On that basis, the plan regarding our cats is that (and all this approximate) we won't be taking in any new cats until most of them have come to the end of their own lives. 

And then we will only adopt elderly cats like Lotus whom we took in last year. They are always the hardest to re-home anyway but the main reason is that there's a very good chance that we will outlive them as well as providing a good home for them in their old age.

There's also another reason. As you slow down and your joints stiffen, you don't want a young cat which stays out all night and runs around like a lunatic destroying everything. You want one like our Lotus who just sits in the garden without jumping the fence, likes sitting quietly on knees or curled up on the bed. When you get old you want a cat you can cope with, not, as the lady I mentioned found out, one you can't. So the point I'm making is this, that, for a variety of reasons-

Elderly cats for elderly people is best, for the cats and for the people.

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Woke up this mornin'
Got that tick in mah leg blues
Oh yes, ah woke up this mornin' 
With that blood suckin' tick in mah leg blues.

Which is unusual as I tend to associate ticks with the country. The first time I saw one it was stuck in the neck of a farm dog which I reported to the farm manager (who happened to be my mother's second husband which explains why I was on the farm in the first place). This time I woke up and found the tick in the side of my right leg just below my knee.

I went downstairs to let cats in/out, then lit and blew out a match and applied the hot end to the tick's body. It twitched but didn't let go. So I went outside into the garden, struck another match and let the flame lick at the tick (and my leg). This time it squirmed and loosened its grip enough for me to knock it off, leaving a red swelling behind. Then I fed the cats and myself (cereal for me in case you were worrying -I don't like the taste of cat food) and went to look up ticks on the Net.

I do have a back garden and am regularly on my knees picking up smelly cat poo from the soil but I didn't do that yesterday. I did, however, take a trip to the countryside to pick up a very heavy and old chest of drawers for sale in our shop. Made a nice change from city driving, to drive along winding roads and through avenues of trees, over rickety bridges, by the side of railways tracks (an intercity train even hurtled past at the moment). Shame about the torrential rain but you can't have everything. Even though I hadn't been to (or even heard of) the tiny place I was visiting (which is very close to HM Prison Durham) I found it easily enough. Turn right off the A690, turn left, turn left, turn left again over a distance of several miles and there you are. I have to do that many left turns to get to the main road at the top of my street (we live in a cul de sac). But as I was never in any contact with soil it couldn't have been that.

It is, however, possible that it came in on the body of one of our nine cats so I'll be checking them very carefully.

Oh yes, I looked up ticks on the Net. As a result I'll be checking the swelling carefully over the next few days to see if it turns into something like a bullseye. (I may also develop muscle pains and fever.) If it does, I have Lyme Disease (early stages) and at which point I'll contact my doctor as it's a particularly nasty thing to have if left untreated.

I'll let you know.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I mentioned in the previous post that I'd be featuring some new kitten arrivals. What I didn't know at the time was that they'd be ginger (plus a couple of black ones). At the bottom is another photo of the kitten whose poorly eyes seem to be well on the way to healing and who is much livelier as a result.

But if you love ginger kittens, prepare for a feast of them.

Sunday, 8 July 2012


Apart from these below, there'll be another five to photograph the next time I go to Carole's. The first kitten here I rather fell in love with. Incredibly difficult to photograph because she just wouldn't stay still as she ran, jumped and climbed all over the place, but was also happy to be cuddled.

The next kitten Susan and I saw with Carole at the vets. Her eyes were swollen shut and there was a strong chance she might lose one if not both of her eyes. Thankfully she now now seems to be on the mend, though there's still a way to go. She's also pictured cuddling up to two of her littermates. 

And here's some more recent arrivals.

The adult cat is Ossie who I rescued at around 5 months old, seemed absolutely lovely so Carole decided to keep him, and who then turned into a vicious little monster who can seem friendly one moment then launch a savage attack the next for no reason whatsoever other than I'm within clawing distance. This is the only cat that I can recall that I've ever disliked and if it wasn't for the fact that I deliberately moderate my language in this blog I'd be calling him some very rude names.

The kitten in this picture is the sole survivor of a litter of five. Sadly her brothers and sisters just weren't strong enough and faded away but she looks as if she's going to make it. Here mother, by the way, is a lovely friendly cat that we'll be having spayed in a few weeks. Hopefully she'll find a home soon after that.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


Seeing as our first one last November was such a success, we decided to do it again. Again, it was mainly organised by Sue Hardy, which is not to decry or minimise the great efforts -before, during, and after- put in by lots of people which is much appreciated but who are far too many to name. Despite fewer people turning up, with the church hall being merely quite full as opposed to almost overflowing, we still managed to raise over a thousand pounds which is more than we did on the previous occasion.I should also note that the food and the punch went down well and I hope that people who drove after drinking two glasses of the latter didn't get stopped on their way home. Even I only had one. (Only joking, it wasn't that strong. Honest, officer.)

I took quite a few photos, some of which you'll find below, and almost all of poor quality compared to even my normal pathetic standard, because I was fiddling with my camera in an attempt to increase the shutter speed. Whatever I did, I failed miserably.

Lastly, while there I spoke to Dawn, the wife of Mark of Ferryfarm Kennels, who told me that the erection of the cat re-homing centre should begin next week which means, fingers crossed, that we might be open for cats within four weeks, maybe even sooner. More news as I get it.