Friday, 31 August 2012


We appear to have two guests currently staying at the shop. Whether they are permanent or temporary guests only time will tell. As they haven't given us their names, I decided it fell to me to name them and so, with my usual wit and imaginative flair, here are-

Shop Cat

and Black Bunny
I know, I'm just awesome, aren't I?

Shop Cat had originally been taken in by one of our fosterers. She was in such bad shape that it was thought she might have feline AIDS and so to keep her from giving it to the fosterer's other cats, she was moved to the shop. A blood test proved negative and veterinary treatment, along with some tlc, improved her condition immensely.

She's now lived in the shop for around three weeks and pretty much has the run of the back of the place. This includes the yard but she's shown no sign of wanting to jump the walls and the one time she got out the back gate she hurriedly ran back in. Much of the time she spends upstairs in a light airy room with a bay window she can look out of. 

One thing she does love, apart from food and sleep like all cats, is people. She likes people so much she can't stop drooling when she's made a fuss of. She simply can't get enough affection and returns it by purring softly and rubbing against any part of you she can reach. Rather appealingly, the pink tip of her tongue is nearly always visible. As you can imagine, she's endeared herself to everyone who works in the shop.

We've no idea how old she is but from the lack of teeth I'd guess she's at least nine, possibly several years older. It would be nice if she got a home of her own, preferably without any other cats, but she could be a lot worse off than having the run of the shop and getting regular attention for people. She's certainly happy here.

As for Black Bunny, I have less to say. BB is, as you can see, a bonny bunny. She's quite inquisitive which you can tell from the way she hops around the back yard when she's let out of her cage. She's quite happy to be picked up and stroked which, as anyone who's ever cuddled a bunny will tell you, is very therapeutic and relaxing. A nice home with a garden would be better for her though.

I'll leave you with one more photo of Shop Cat.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Online that is.

You'll need to be quick to catch it as these things disappear off the page within about 24 hours.

Or you can find it at-

If it helps, it has a nice photo of my wife Susan Hardy in it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Much to my surprise, the piece and video about AK's kitten crisis is up already and it isn't as embarrassing I feared it might be. Here's the link.

Monday, 27 August 2012


When I say BSKYB, what I really mean is a charming petite young woman called Nisha who acted as director, cameraperson, soundperson, and interviewer. A genuine animal lover, she'd got in touch with us with a view to doing a piece about kittens needing homes for their news webpage. 

We, that is Susan, me (wearing the Animal Krackers t-shirt I'd had done four years ago), and ~Andrea who turned up later, met Nisha at Carole's where, with our help, she attempted to get lots of shots of cute kittens. Getting them to do what she wanted, however, wasn't that easy. Most of the time I sat back and nursed either a small tortoiseshell kitten that I knew was particularly affectionate or the more nervous of two recently arrived ginger kittens (see photos below). The kitten was very loud but calmed down quickly as I calmly nursed her.

After a while, Nisha decided she wanted to do the interview about why we had so many kittens, how we ended up with them, and why people should adopt a kitten. We did it with me on a settee holding the ginger kitten. Some of my interview, I was told, was actually quite good and some, I already knew as at least a couple of times I broke off and apologised, were crap. 

Ninety minutes later we headed off to Ferryfarm Kennels to see the half-completed cat re-homing centre. Nisha took a couple of shots but there really isn't much to see and she said she'll come back to do a follow-up piece about the arrival of the first cat.

she'll let us know when the piece goes online and I, in turn, will tell you (and lots of others) where to find it. For the moment, here are some photos of those two new ginger kittens. The fluffier of the two is the one that sat on my knee.

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Warning: this post includes a dog.

And here it is at the vets where it was checked out. We had re-homed but after some time the owner got sick of him and wanted a kitten instead. If she did get one it wasn't from us. For a jack russell, he's a quiet and gentle little thing as well as being very friendly. I think he's got a new home.

The cats in the next two photos don't need a home. They're my boys. Leo is the one in the bath and Ted is the one in the cat furniture.

Next up are two friendly adult males who do need homes. The second one was brought to Carole by the police.

Below are two kittens from the same litter. They belong to a lady who keeps taking in waifs and strays, their mother being one of them. She called me because the one in the front has a sore bottom but when I took a look at her sister I picked up her as well because of an eye infection. Wendy the vet didn't think they were in a good condition at all with fleas and worms being only another part of the problem. She's keeping them in overnight and I'm taking their brother to her (Wendy that is) in the morning. Incidentally, the colour balance is correct, the kitten really does look like that.

I was at Carole's this morning after leaving the vets bringing her a van load of food. While there, a little tortie kitten kept crying at me until I picked her up whereupon she immediately snuggled against me, purring loudly when not chewing on my hand. Here are just a few more kitten photos.

There's been no work done on the cat re-homing centre for the last two weeks because no-one turned up to do it. However, I got a phone call from the boss of the company that's doing it to assure me it would all be complete by next week and could he have the rest of the money, please.  I'll let you know next week if it's actually happened.

I may also be able to let you know next week if we've been filmed for Sky TV.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


This is the first book review I've put in this blog and I've included it because I think you'll be interested. I'm lucky to be a member of Amazon Vine which is a scheme where selected regular reviewers on Amazon get two lists of freebies for review every month. Mostly it's books, but DVDs are frequent as is software and other stuff. There's only a limited supply so the 'good' (i.e. expensive) stuff goes straight away, within seconds of the list being posted. Last week's coincided with Animal Krackers' 10th anniversary meal at the Seaton Lane Inn where a good time was had by all. When I got home I checked the list to see what was left and discovered, among several other items, this book and a cat urine smell killer/stain remover so I picked them both. It the spray is any good I'll reprint that review as well. Meanwhile, here's the book review.

Previous published as an Amazon 5* review and titled "Purrfect present for a cat lover."

To be honest, it was always going to be extremely unlikely that I'd give this book a bad review. Indeed I'm almost the perfect reader for it as I'm one of several co-founders of Sunderland's Animal Krackers, a pet rescue charity, and am actively involved in cat rescuing, plus I'm owned by nine happy cats.

This book works on several levels. On one level it's a well-told tale about a human and a cat and is, to use a well-worn cliche, a heart-warming story. But it's more than that. Woven into the narrative is sound advice on how to live with and treat a cat. It's a guide to understanding feline nature. It's also a plea to treat animals with the respect they deserve. It is also a quite harrowing story about a woman who not only has to care for her severely long-term ill husband, a difficult, almost feral, cat and her own personal problems and the illness she develops towards the end of the book which is all so cumulatively bad that I am in awe of the author's ability to cope. It also explains the meaning of the second subtitle.

As for the first, don't believe it. If Tilly was the ugliest cat in the shelter then they must have had some of the world's most beautiful cats there. Admittedly I'm rather fond of torties and called a seriously de-furred one (due to a flea allergy and a neighbour's comment that she was ugliest cat she'd ever seen) I adopted, Bonnie. But Tilly is beautiful by any standards just as her owner is a beautiful human being. 

(Below is another photo of Tilly and, below that, my lovely but sadly passed on,Bonnie )

Thursday, 9 August 2012


I haven't posted anything for a couple of weeks, not because I haven't been busy -if only- but it's more a case of marking time. We are still inundated with kittens but so far have hardly re-homed any. We just aren't getting the calls. It's a shame because they are all pretty, friendly, and socialised with other kittens, cats, and dogs. When I called round yesterday I met a new young tabby and white who cried at me until I picked her up for a cuddle. Some may be a bit more reticent, but every time I sit down I usually end up with three or four kittens climbing over me or looking to be cuddled.

Here are just some of them.

The two below sharing a cage are very nervous but respond to patience and a lot of tlc.


This is the state of the new centre as of this morning. I walked around and inside it and it's surprisingly large. There still, obviously, a lot more to do before we can begin to fill the individual units with bedding, litter trays, toys, etc, but I've been told that all the building work should be complete by next Friday (17th August).