Saturday, 25 October 2014


Arrived a couple of days as his owner -who visited my house and I explained everything below and as a result  is very happy about him being in our care- very reluctantly had to give him up. He's going to be with me for three weeks (maybe longer, depending) while he gets his vaccinations. I'm also going to have him chipped. Originally on dried food, he's taken well to Felix pouches. He also needs to lose a little weight. As you'll see from the photos, he's a really beautiful cat and he's also very gentle and affectionate and only two and a half years old. Because he is such a special cat I'm asking for a donation of £100 for him.

There are several reasons for that, not least of which being the need to generate income for Animal Krackers and every little bit helps. Secondly a precedent has already been set for this last year when I adopted Aelfric, the pedigree British short hair I'd fostering, checked the going rate for cats like him and gave our a treasurer £100. Another reason, one that I've been made aware of by others, is that less scrupulous people have been known to get special cats from rescues at a low rate and then sell them on for a quick profit. By asking what we are we're ensuring that it just isn't worth it for someone to do this and that Winston will be taken by someone who loves him and will love him for the rest of his life.

It's been suggested that Animal Krackers as a charity shouldn't discriminate between breeds and moggies, Well, with all due respect, that is bollocks. Our purpose is to get the best homes for the cats in our care and this is one way of doing it.

Now that serious stuff is out of the way, here are some photos of the handsome beast. The first is technically the most accurate and the best.

This last one is my favourite even though it's too bright. I like the slightly tilted angle and the posture of Aelfric.

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Missy, now with Adele.

Actually they aren't too bad.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Yeah, okay, so Missy has already gone. Helen T took her to Adele B's flat (Adele having only just gone back from Canada the same day to find she's fostering four kitten-cats including Missy. All are doing well I've been told today.

Instead I got Dora, a three month old sweetheart, whose owner decided it wasn't a good idea for her to keep on living with his four lively children. Dora, after less than 24 hours here, has already begun to explore the house, though she's very nervous of the other cats. She is also very affectionate and loves being cuddled so I doubt if it will take long to find her a home. It won't, however, be with children under 10.

Bronia is about a year old, has had kittens before I acquired her ten days ago, and is due to be spayed with Maisie (see many previous posts, also left on second photo down) on Friday. She spends most of her time in my spare (book & DVD) room but has started venturing further afield (see below). She's friendly and likes being stroked but isn't what you call a nursey cat. Has a good appetite.

The kitten that was due to be delivered at midday today wasn't, though I wasn't surprised as I'd hadn't heard anything since the initial contact.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


One of these days I'll learn how to take decent photos of cats. The colour is off-balance; Missy is actually a grey tabby and a 5-month old kitten-cat. She arrived yesterday afternoon along with Evan a 3-year old all-black boy. Evan came with up to date vaccinations and I took him straight through to the re-homing centre where he promptly hid under his bed and, when I replaced it with an igloo-type, hid himself in that. He'll come out of it.

I put Missy in the conservatory which was vacant because Todd the stray I took in last week forced his way through the locked cat flap on Saturday night and hasn't been seen since and I've boarded the hole up. Missy promptly hid in a corner of the window behind the blinds.

After leaving her alone for a while, I went in and picked her up and stroked her. Missy responded with cries, hissing and growling. But no biting or scratching. And this has been pretty much the pattern, though she is mellowing. I pick her up, stroke her, she howls and growls, I put her on my knee, she howls and growls but doesn't try to jump down, I stroke her, she  howls and growls and rubs her head against the back of my hand, she stares at the other cats looking in and howls and growls and rubs against my head, and so on.

I think she'll calm down quite quickly and become a very loveable cat.

The following photos were taken through the conservatory door because that was the only time she'd stay still long enough to get a halfway decent picture.

Regulars at the shop won't be seeing Sue Hardy there for a while as she's recovering from a knee replacement operation last week and not having a good time of it. I'm there morning and teatime to feed her (used to be our) cats and check she's okay and am always available if she needs me. Susan and I haven't lived together for over a year a half but the cats still treat me as if I've just popped out to the shops.

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be getting another kitten tomorrow lunch time.

Friday, 17 October 2014


I'm feeling too lazy to write a proper post so here are my Facebook entries for the last two days.

 Tuesday 6.23pm
Moved Amy Farrah Fowler and Marcy May to our re-homing centre this morning. Rizzoli, the ginger female I took in on Saturday, likes sleeping next to me. And at 5.45pm I got a call from a local vets asking if I could take in a friendly stray young cat. Let's see. Maisie's kittens have moved in with Joanna, so I move Maisie in with the rest of the cats, the new one can go in the conservatory. So that's where he is.
Wednesday 9.32am
Wednesday morning, it's six o'clock and I phone Susan to make sure she's awake. She is. Next it's empty litter trays, feed cats, feed myself, check email. That done I pick up Susan at seven and take her to the Royal Hospital where she is going to have a knee replacement operation today. I try to convince her that no-one has ever died from a knee replacement op, fail miserably, give her a hug and go swimming. 

Back home for coffee and a cat-gnawed slice of stollen cake before getting to grips with my new Miele vacuum cleaner which arrived yesterday. I usually meet friends for coffee in Starbucks Wednesday mornings but I have to stay in because I'm expecting several parcels including: a replacement keyboard as this one has started being erratic, a new point and click camera as my current one has stopped working, the new Peter Hamilton doorstop SF novel (a smidgen over half price from Amazon), and maybe another book and a couple of CDs from Amazon Marketplace sellers. But right now the vacuum cleaner. And if I haven't heard from Susan by teatime I'll give the hospital a call.

Wednesday 8.27pm
Went to see Susan after her knee replacement op to find her in good spirits despite a drip in her arm and a machine pushing blood through her legs. She admitted to a panic attack on the way into theatre but kept on going with the help of a sedative. Hopefully she'll be out by the weekend. She's in a small ward with three other ladies of a similar age and is happy with the way things are going. So, good.

Thursday 10.47am.
Susan had a rough night, is now on morphine and very sleepy. The old people's home where her mother resides was taken over by new management a few months ago and very much to the benefit of its residents. They've now been in contact wanting a cat for the place. I was going to take a resident and staff member through to the re-homing centre when it occurred to me I had the (hopefully) perfect candidate in my house in the form of Rizzoli the two year old friendly ginger girl. I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday 12.49pm
Rizzoli now has a new home and a new role in life -making very elderly people happy. She's going to be a house cat but it's in a very large house with a lot of people available all the time to make a fuss of her. I think it's going to work out fine but I'm still holding my breath as we've never done this before.

Thursday, 7.00pm.
Had to pop up to Asda earlier to buy new pc speakers and an HDMI cable. Why? Because one or more of my cats keeps chewing through bloody cables -Ipod, Ipad, speakers, ear phones, landlines, HDMI, tv power cables,

Friday 10.00am.
Another day, another cat. Didn't go swimming this morning, went to the parcels office to pick a thick steampunk SF novel which couldn't fit through my letterbox yesterday, and then I went to pick up a stray cat from not too far away. Nice young woman who'd been feeding it (and who'd put it on Facebook), has a couple of cats, but also pregnant and didn't want to risk catching anything from a stray. The cat seems friendly and isn't hissing at my cats -she's in the cage at the moment- and I'm taking her to the vets at 10.30 for a checkup. She's had kittens not too long ago but from the state of her they'll probably be at least three months old. Here she is.

Friday 3.10pm.
Just got back from seeing Susan who, if not a barrel of laughs, was at least up and about, albeit slowly and painfully, with the aid of a walker and managing to get to the toilet unaided. She asked me to get the phone numbers of two ladies she'd become friends with and who were leaving today. While I was doing that and explaining my role in Animal Krackers, the phone rang from someone at Washington asking me if I could help with a possibly injured and possibly kitten. I'm going tomorrow morning at 9 but I'm not promising anything. The new cat from this morning, which I've named Bronia and which I didn't promise anything either, is only a year old and I've booked her for spaying in a week. By the time I'd finished speaking with the ladies, a friend of Susan's had arrived making me surplus to requirements so I left and here I am with coffee and chocolate biscuits.

Friday 4.36pm
Time to feed the cats and after that it's off to Ferry Farm to hand over Mayhem the lively loveable young boy to his new owner.

Normal service will be resumed.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Amy Farrah Fowler and Marcy May (see recent posts) received their second flu jabs this morning and were then taken, by me, to our re-homing centre at Ferry Farm Kennels. Poor things weren't to happy and they crouched down as far as possible into their adjacent cat-beds. They will get used to it and three cat cuddlers arrived about the same time and will have made a fuss of them.  

One of the cuddlers is the nice young woman who's adopting Mayhem. She texted me later to arrange for her to collect  him on Friday teatime.  He's going to a really good home.
About 4.45pm I got a call from Williams & Cumming vets about a young stray male which had been left with them by the person who'd been feeding him but couldn't manage any longer. Let's see. Maisie's kittens have gone to Joanna who is doing a great job homing kittens so if I moved Maisie out of the conservatory and let her go where she wanted in the rest of the house -she's okay with the other cats- and put the new one in the conservatory. That might work. So that's what I did.

He doesn't seem an aggressive cat but is still getting used to it so I'm just leaving him alone. Maisie, of course, keeps wanting to get back into the conservatory as that's been her home for the last three months but she's not too bad and is currently sprawled out on the couch.

Here's the new cat who I'm currently calling Name To Be Decided.
Rizzoli, the ginger female I took in on Saturday, now has the run of the place but so far prefers to stay upstairs with her favourite place being under my duvet or curled up next to me when I'm on/in the bed. She hisses at any other cat comes near but in a relatively mild -just keep your distance, okay- way.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


I'd been booked to go to Ferry Farm on Saturday morning at eleven to induct a couple of new cat cuddlers -a mother and adult daughter. The day before I got a call from a gentleman who was interested in adopting a cat and he'd been given our details by a friend who'd got one from us earlier this year and who would be bringing him up. I suggested that he come at eleven as that would kill two birds with one stone and save me a trip and also petrol (which I claim from AK). Great.

And all went well. He picked a nice young girl about a year old, though I tried to get him to take Aoife who is a nice quiet 5 year old but to no avail. The new cuddlers were both very nice and seemed to enjoy themselves so hopefully they'll be back. 

And while I was dealing with all this I got a call from a lady who lives in South Shields. She'd rung me earlier in the week but called again as she was really desperate. Always a sucker for a sob story plus an assurance that the cat was really really really friendly, I reluctantly agreed. I did warn her that if the cat wasn't friendly I wouldn't take it. People have tried  and (very rarely) succeeded to lumber us with an unrehomeable cat and I was determined not to get conned again. I finished sorting out business and also learned that Sansa, a rather diffident cat when I was fostering her, had blossomed into a lovely cuddle and lap-loving girl.

I typed the post code into my car's satnav and put my trust in it and it did indeed get me there safely, to a nice small modern estate which, like Moorside, is very safe for cats. The story was that her youngest son had developed a severe allergy to the cat but matters were further complicated by the fact that she'd split up with her partner and the house had to sold and she and her two sons were moving into council accommodation which is all very traumatic. 

Her description of the cat proved to be accurate. I've had her for just over 24 hours and she is as friendly as she is pretty. I'm keeping her in the cat cage until Tuesday when Amy Farrah Fowler and Marcy May are going for their second flu jabs and then on to Ferry Farm where they'll share a pen together.

Needless to say I forgot the name of the cat and didn't think to ask its previous owner when she woke me from a nap an hour ago to ask how the cat was doing. For the time being I'm calling her Rizzoli (though she's more like Isles) and if you don't know where that name came from you're missing one of the best American buddy-buddy crime TV shows.

On another matter entirely, Joanna, Animal Krackers' secretary has re-homed five kittens this weekend.


Friday, 10 October 2014


About half an hour after I took this photo, Mischa was put to sleep.

Thursday night and Susan phoned me about 8.30 in the evening to ask if I could take Mischa and her family (see photo) to the emergency vet's at Heworth about ten miles away. Susan couldn't manage the drive because she's having a knee replacement in hospital in the next few days. Of course I agreed. The poor dog had been bleeding from her anus and her owner, one of our volunteers in the shop, told me she thought the cancer she'd recovered from a couple of years ago had returned. In addition, because of cataracts, very visible in the photo, Mischa had been blind for a while. They'd had the dog for 12 years and she'd been an adult when they got her so she had to be at least 13. 

The after hours vet service is a private practice shared with the PDSA. Fortunately Mischa had been registered with the PDSA so, apart from a voluntary donation, treatment was free. If we'd had to go private it would have cost over £130 just to be seen and consulted with any further treatment extra. As it happened the vet on duty (and I don't know if this was their standard practice) did double duty with paying patients getting preferential treatment. Which meant that even though there were only about four other animals needing treatment the entire time we were there, Mischa got treated last after we'd been waiting an hour and a half. 

None of us really expected anything else. Mischa was an old dog and a much loved dog, but it was her time and only right to end her pain. But still upsetting for mother and daughter, particularly the latter who had never known a life without the dog.

After dropping them off, which was just round the corner from me, I got home shortly after midnight when I poured myself a large Southern Comfort and wound down checking my email and Facebook.


I woke thinking it was four and time to empty a full bladder but it was actually six so I got up, saw to the cats and went swimming. Then I collected Amy Farrah Fowler and took her to the vets to be spayed. I didn't know if she actually needed spaying but as she's a stray I didn't want to take any chances. I half expected that, like Marcie May who arrived at the same time, she'd prove to have been done. But she hadn't so a good thing I took her. On Tuesday they're getting their second flu jabs and then it's straight off to our re-homing centre where they'll share a pen.

As a result of last night, I've felt tired pretty much all day. 

Tomorrow I'm meeting a mother and daughter who're interested in being cat cuddlers and someone who's interested in adopting a cat from us. Hopefully both will go well.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Don't say I didn't warn you.

And don't forget: he's available for adoption.

Monday, 6 October 2014


One minute later.

Okay, here are photos (brand new, taken today) and comments (brand new, written today too) on all the cats currently in my house. There are three categories. (I wish I could make a cat joke out that but I can't, though it does occur to me to wonder that if I happened to be a canine lover instead, would the word be doggeries?)

And now: -Category 1:

Available for adoption -come and get them, they're all wonderful (honest!).

These are already on the cats and kittens needing homes webpage but this can be considered as an update.

Burberry and Cardigan, brother and sister, a whole 8 weeks and 3 days old. Burberry the black and white boy is coming out of his shell and actively seeking me out to play with. I'm hoping that Cardigan will soon follow suit.

Maisie, their mother, 9 months old, not yet spayed but if adopted before she is Animal Krackers will pay for the op if you take her to Kings Road Vets. She's friendly, likes being stroked but not picked up (though that could change once she's away from her kittens), good with other cats. Don't be put off by the crap photo.

Amy (Farrah Fowler) is all black with a soft glossy coat, one year old, loves sitting on knees, a bit nervous and will only come to me when I'm sitting down, but in a quieter environment (i.e. not having seven other cats around her) she should blossom. I think she's a lovely little thing.

 Marcy May, 3 years old, is a real scaredy cat who needs a quiet home with no other cats (or dogs, or lions, or wombats, or gorillas or whatever). If she gets that I believe she'll be a very loving girl.

Category 2.

You can consider this as a result of Susan Hardy bullying me about the number of cats in my house and the fact that there's a chance they may outlive me. What we have here are three young cats who are not on the needing homes web page but which I will, extremely reluctantly, and only if you promise not to reveal the story of me, the senior politician's wife, and the emu egg, agree to their being removed from my home.

Squeak, 8 months old, male, absolutely adorable, affectionate, playful, good with other cats, steals your food, squeaks to be on your knee, chest, whatever.

Arya, a one year old female torty, friendly, playful, Squeak's best friend, affectionate, in fact just like him but a tiny bit more subdued, is currently growing a Buddha from her bum

Grey Girl (she's really called Tilly but I never use the name) is 18 months old, born in this house, never been outside, good with other cats, friendly, blah blah blah, the usual.

Category 3.

Don't even think about it! These cats are going nowhere unless it's to the big cattery in the sky and not, I hope, for a long time.

Aelfric, age (forgot, who cares anyway you're not getting him), character -playful, loveable, greedy pig (takes after me), etc.

Fifi, the first cat I fostered in my new house in March 2013.

Rikki, four-ish, had eyelid op, bit of a sad case but seems pretty settled here after about four months.

Emma, about 2, nice friendly girl, etc.

Category 4.

(There is no category 4, this is me summing up/concluding.)

And there you have it, all the cats and kittens in my house: some for adoption, some possibly for adoption and some definitely not (unless you slip me a very large wad of cash that is).


Come back soon. Preferably to adopt a cat.