Sunday, 25 August 2013


(Warning: poo is mentioned several times in the next paragraph.)

First post for two weeks. Not that I haven't been busy. The first thing I do when I get up is clean up cat and kitten poo, then I feed the cats and kittens, eat my my breakfast  and by the time I've done that there's usually some more smelly kitten poo to clean up. Adult cats aren't so bad; they go once, maybe twice a day. Kittens seem to go all the time and when you've got five that's an awful lot of smelly poo and not all of it goes in the litter trays. I love these kittens but if three of them aren't re-homed in the next three weeks then they're off to the re-homing centre. Here are two of them.

Yes, it's Tam and Tom the Fabulous Tabby Twins (one of whom just jumped on the keyboard and deleted the phrase as I was highlighting it) and possibly the most adorable kittens you've ever met in your life. Okay, they're just bog standard tabbies but they are bog standard tabbies who love curling up on my knee together, who'll climb up my legs when I'm typing, play happily with the other kittens, sleep next to me, play with children, like the 7-year old daughter of Martyn the other van driver, purr loudly and love company. Leave me alone, you little monsters, I'm busy!

Re-homed two cats in the last two days at the re-homing centre. Alfie the shy pretty grey tabby and Princess the soft furred black and white who loves people, children and other animals.

And, of course, two more have arrived. This time it's two black kittens, the last of those which were kept in the shop. Both are quite shy but then their mother(s) were feral.

I've also heard from some of the nice people who've taken in some of our cats and kittens.

This is the grey and white kitten now called Tammy (or Brian, depending on who you asksleeping with her two new older friends.

Below is Bombino, now Arthur, sleeping next to his new best friend and it isn't a cat!


Norris and Jimmy happily share the same house but aren't friends and have their own spaces.


It's always nice to hear how our re-homed animals are doing, especially when their kind owners send photos as well so thanks to everyone who took those above.

Hopefully another cat, who was reserved weeks ago while her prospective owners went on their holidays, will be collected tomorrow. That will make three in three days. If only it was one every day all the time, but hell, I'd be really happy if it was just two a week -one is the current average. 

You'll have to excuse me as I've now got to clean up more smelly stinky messy kitten poo!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


I'm terrible at thinking of good names. As some of you may know, I've been known to dabble in novel writing and the thing I'm worst at (among many other things I'm sure) is thinking up decent names for my characters. I've changed some names so often that I sometimes forget what name I'm currently using for some of them.

The same thing applies to cat names. I even bought a (cheap remaindered) book of cat names which contained over a thousand plus their meanings. Every time I've had to name a cat I've checked it out and never once used any of them.

Right now I have four kittens out of five in need of names. The fifth and the one I've had the longest is called Tiny because she was the smallest of the litter. But kittens grow up and stop being Tiny (and stop being, as someone else called her, Wobbles).

To backtrack for a moment, let's look at the four adult cats I have and their names. There's Fifi (fee-fee -as in: I'm a diva, give me the money) the black and white female. Actually this is a rare example of a fairly decent name for her. Check the previous post for her photo and tell me she isn't a Fifi. I didn't name Aelfric (ale-frick -as in: give me a fri...oh work it out for yourself) the pedigree British short hair, though I tried several which didn't fit, instead settling for the name I found on his micro-chipping certificate. Actually I quite liked it. It's Anglo-saxon in origin and there was a history-writing bishop in the tenth century with the same name and he does look just like a history-writing tenth century bishop, doesn't he? Aoife (ee-fa -as, nothing springs to mind) came about because I heard it in the news recently and remembered that a contestant on a show called So You Wanna Be Julie Andrews or Fagin (or something like that) called Aoife. (Hmm, I may be defeating my own argument that I'm crap at names.) Okay, and lastly there's Tiger (tie-grrr) the long-haired tabby to whom I gave the same name as a long-haired tabby who lived with me and Susan a few years ago and was knocked down and killed at age 3. So, hardly an original name. Mind you, I was at the vet's yesterday with him and another  customer commented admiringly that he did look just like a tiger so maybe not original but at least appropriate.

Back to the unnamed kittens. I did think of calling Aoife's two small kittens Maeve and Fiona in keeping with their mother's name but they don't do anything for me so I'm still pondering. Cait and Clodagh perhaps?  Umm, Cait maybe, Clodagh no. You see what I mean?

Then there's the tabby twins. I was talking about cat names in the vets a few days ago and someone mentioned, in a completely different context, Catterick (this being a North Yorkshire town which is home to an army garrison). And I thought: Catrick. A pun on Cattrick and also Cat and Rick.

And then I thought: if I'm going to call one of them Catrick, then I should surely call the other kitten Catron as in....

...the end of this shaggy kitten story.

Monday, 12 August 2013


Will no one rid me of these pestilential kittens?

I've re-homed two and taken in two more - the tabby twins. Had them a week now. They're bright, lively, and friendly as the scars on my legs caused by kittens climbing up my shorts-wearing legs will testify. One has -as I type this- just crawled onto the top of my leg. This afternoon while taking a nap, one curled up against my chest, the other against my stomach with Aelfric on the other side curled up against my thighs; Tiger was also elsewhere on the bed. They are absolutely delightful and today I took them to the vets for their first vaccination so that, in three weeks and after their second, if they're still here they won't still be here because they'll be off to the re-homing centre.

Then there's Tiny, from the first lot of kittens, and Aoife the mother of the two smallest. Tiny will be getting his first vaccination in about a week. Aoife was microchipped today because she's staying with me.

I took the tabby twins to the vets late this afternoon to be checked out, plus Aoife and her two kittens (names undecided). The little black one was fine but I just had a niggling feeling that all was not quite well with the smaller grey one. I was pleased when Louise the vet contradicted me and said she couldn't find anything wrong with her.

Like all the kittens in my house, they empty their bowels several times a day, and my house will be considerably less smelly once they've gone. Come the day!

That was my second trip to the vets today. I'd been there in the morning with Tiger for his second vaccination and decided on the spot to have him micro-chipped as he's not going anywhere. His photos never do him justice as he always looks grumpy when he's actually  a sweety. Mostly he lives in my bedroom but he never objects to the presence of Aelfric or any of the kittens. When I'm in bed at night he'll cautiously approach me but only allow me to start stroking him when he's very close up and then he'll settle down and purr loudly.

Shy of other cats and scared of other people, Fifi rarely leaves my book/DVD room but she seems happy enough, always pleased to see me, particularly if I make a fuss of her which isn't nearly as much as I should.

And then there's the cat who, despite being a complete softy, has assumed the position of top cat of number 48, Aelfric, shown here in his second favourite place to sit/lounge around in the kitchen.

Post Script.

Last Friday, after nine year old tortoiseshell Molly had had her second flu jab I took her to the re-homing centre. After spending nearly all her time in my house under the bath because she was so frightened of the other cats, though friendly and affectionate with people, I decided she'd be better off there. 

A day earlier I'd collected two year old Alfie (a spayed female) who'd been living with an elderly lady, now unable to look after her. She's a beautiful well-looked after cat who'd be best off in quiet home (i.e. no kids or other pets). The photo doesn't do her justice.


Monday, 5 August 2013


Friday morning and I get a phone call from Shiremoor vets (north of Newcastle in case you were wondering, me I thought it was somewhere in Durham) asking if I could take in four kittens which had been found dumped in a box nearby. My first instinct was to say no as they couldn't go to the re-homing centre (not vaccinated and too young anyway) and all our fosterers had more than they could cope with anyway. But then I thought that the kittens I was looking after were spending more and more time in the living room so I could always put the new ones in the conservatory and keep the others out of it. So I agreed to take them as long as Shiremoor treated them for fleas. One of the nursing staff doesn't live far from me so she'd bring them on her way home.

Late that afternoon and I got another call to say that they were infested with fleas and were being kept in over the weekend. Oh, and a staff member was going to adopt to adopt one so that left three.

Four o'clock on this Monday afternoon and I got a call to say another one had been taken home by a member of staff so that left only two. Fine.

Everything was ready. I'd vaccuumed and de-flead the conservatory, washed various bits of bedding, bought extra kitten food, two feeding bowls and two litter trays.

They duly arrived just before five. (I'll pass over the fact that they'd whoopsied in their basket.) I turfed my kittens out of the conservatory and the two new ones settle in while I chatted to the young lady who'd brought them through, emphasising how safe they'd be with me. Mother Aoife and her kittens all crowded in front of the conservatory door. I pushed them out of the way and began to get to know my new temporary residents.

First impressions are very good. They aren't frightened of people or other cats and were just as interested in their new housemates as they were in them. I could pick them up easily. One I put on my knee and it wasn't long before he (they're both boys about 8-9 weeks old) settled down on and purred. The other was more lively and interested in his surroundings.I was told they're quite close so I'll try and re-home them as a pair.

Okay, I know you're dying to see pictures of them so here they are.

They are a little difficult to tell apart but the photos 1 & 2  and 3 & 4 are different.

Thursday, 1 August 2013



(But before I start, something I omitted to mention about re-homing the two cats and the kitten last weekend. Both the new owners learned about them by reading my blog. Yes, my blog, this blog, the one you're reading now. Which, as far as I'm concerned, alone justifies me doing it. I'm allowing myself this small pat on the back because it's my 65th birthday today and entitled to receive a state pension for being officially an old person.)

Thank You.

Although I re-home cats and kittens, I'm just the last link in a long chain and it's all the other people in that chain that I want to thank right now because none of what I do would be possible without them.


Thank you to everyone who works or has worked in Animal Krackers two charity shops, either behind the scenes or in front of them, where most of our income comes from.

Thank you: to everyone who has helped out at our special events to raise funds and to the stores and St Aidan's church for giving us the opportunity to hold them.

Thank you: to our fosterers who've fostered cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and lord knows what else.

Thank you: to those who donated items to us and to those who have bought them (often the same people).

Thank you: to the vets and their staff for the care they have given to the animals we've brought them.

Thank you: to everyone at Ferry Farm Kennels where many of our cats and dogs are sheltered.

And, lastly, thank you: to everyone who has given a wonderful new home to our animals where they'll be loved and cared for for the rest of their lives.

(And thank you to anyone I might have forgotten -like the Animal Krackers committee which I nearly didn't include because I'm on it.)

Another day, another unwanted cat and kittens.

I picked up this young mother and her three kittens this afternoon. All appear to be in good health, all are friendly, and all are available for re-homing.

Updates on my cats.

Fifi is a big Joss Whedon fan. You can tell as this is one of her favourite places to sit.

Tiger is gradually settling in. He shares my bedroom with Aelfric and is beginning to explore further afield. He's regularly coming close to me on bed so I can stroke him. His fur is starting to grow back and now feels soft to the touch. Eating is no longer a problem as he nibbles on dry food intermittently throughout the day and night. Unfortunately his voice resembles that of a strangulated bullfrog with a hernia.

Aelfric, who has a lovely friendly nature, has established himself as Number One Cat in the house. While others limit themselves to specific territories, he goes where he wants.
The kittens, when they aren't charging about making a mess of my living room by scattering books and DVDs all over the place, are as delightful as ever. Want one?