Saturday, 30 January 2010


From my window.

The next photos are from Carol's where the rescued cats are kept. Please ignore the idiot who thinks his camera can photograph an interior while shooting through a reflective surface. The cat, however, is lovely and friendly. Want her?

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Molly and co.

This is Molly the cat from a broken home. She was neutered a couple of days ago and I picked her up from Carol's this morning and had her at home for a couple of hours which gave me a chance to get to know her.

The photos don't do her justice as I've never seen a cat with markings like hers -patterned ginger and tabby. She has a sweet nature, being very friendly and I thought her new owner would fall in love with her straight away. And she did thanks to the clever little cat making a fuss of her and her not quite three year old son. Her husband is a big cat lover and her two other kids aged 5 and 6 were dying to see her. She's gone to a nice quiet area surrounded by countryside and is going to be loved to pieces.

The next cat is a recent arrival at Carol's, a very friendly light tortoiseshell who should find a home very quickly.

Last is an elderly black cat who is recovering from a goitre removal. It's not a very good picture because I'm a lousy photographer. I took a couple of dozen of the previous two cats before I could get one in which they weren't moving.

Monday, 25 January 2010


Carol has managed to re-home four cats today, including two that were taken from their owner, who sadly has bowel cancer, only this morning. I can't remember which the other two were as I'd never seen one of them (the cat belonging to a squaddie who was about to be posted to Germany with his family, and apparently a lovely friendly little thing). If only every day was like this.

I was supposed to go and pick the two cats up but couldn't. I seem to have come down with another bug, some kind of chest infection, muzzy headache, and weariness combo. I was also supposed to be dropping off Molly the calico cat from last week (to be rehomed on Thursday) at the vets tomorrow morning for neutering, and taking another one to a different vets for a post-operative checkup but I've cried off those as well. Thankfully, Ian F is happy to do the runs.

Can't remember if there's anything scheduled for Wednesday, but on Thursday I've got to fetch Molly from Carol's so she can be picked up here by her new owner.


As you've seen, I sometimes like to reprint Funny Cat photos that particularly strike me. But there are also snaps which also strike me that I don't put up on this blog because I just don't like them. The majority of these are pictures of what I call freak breeds such as the hairless Sphynx..

These poor creatures are hideous and about as appealing to me as a human being without skin. I'm sure that in character they are typical cats, affectionate and loveable, but they are freaks. They are deliberately created by humans out of some perverse aesthetic need. It does the cats no good at all as they have to be house cats. They couldn't survive outside.

Then there are the cats with stumpy legs like a dachsund. This cat is just deformed. It's unable to jump properly like a normal cat and like its own instinct tells it to. Again, it will have to spend all its life indoors, or at best in a high walled garden.

It's one thing to encourage certain traits that don't distort cats significantly from the norm, such as a particular type of fur, though I'm not keen on the long thick coats. Sure there are exceptions  -the Maine Coon is a good example of a healthy breed adapted to a harsher environment, or the attractive British Blue- but it just makes me sick when they are bred for a freakish non-survival trait such as the two above and those with ear folds whatever they are called.

But then I should declare my bias -I don't like breeders in general. Yeah, sure there are decent one who care about the health of their animals, but most I suspect are just in it for the money and if that means freak breeds, so what.

I may have mentioned this before but once at Vets4Pets, a woman who bred pugs asked me if we had any cats as they lived on a farm and needed them to keep the mice and rats down. And, oh yes, because they were near a main road, cats were always getting knocked down.

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Caturday (Saturday). Just been up to Asda to get cat food for Carol and kitten food for the feral kitten at Lynn's. Carol has just phoned to say that old Ted, one of the two skinny tabbies we took to the vet's last week, has died in his sleep. He was old and frail and the only thing strong about him was his loud cry.

Following negotiations on Wednesday night, a guy called Simon came up from Teeside, via Seaham, to bring his step-daughter's young calico female. His step-daughter had just moved in with him and the girl's mother, plus her her children, after being abused by her partner and the cat was one thing too many. Also he has dogs. Luckily a colleague of Susan's has agreed to take it in a week's time. Meanwhile it's in Carol's care.

Bonnie, our eldest at 15, has just been diagnosed with arthritis in her back legs, plus she seems to be having a bit too much diarrhoea, so she has medicine three times daily and a pill twice. Bonnie, much as I love her, is a bit of a psycho-cat and does not take kindly to having pills thrust down her throat or medicine squirted into her mouth as the scabs on my hands attest and that's despite wrapping her in a blanket.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Sometimes I hate photos with captions and sometimes I love them.



This is a post about nothing much because, as the title says, it's been a very quiet week.

Saturday, I did my regular cat food shop for Carol at Asda and also picked up some kitten food for John who is the gentleman who's looking after the first feral kitten we trapped. He called round for it in the afternoon with his wife, whom I'd hadn't met before, and they are both lovely kind people devoted to cats.

Dropped off the cat food to Carol on Sunday morning.

Earlier this week I emailed Cats Protection asking for another pad of neutering vouchers which are now on their way. I emailed asking about how old they advise that kittens should be before neutering as I'd heard it could be younger than the traditional six months. The reply was that they recommend any time after 3 months. I'll have a word with the vets who normally do this for us and see what they say.

Rang Lynn a few minutes ago to see how the feral kitten was after a week in her care. It's coming along nicely, uses the litter tray, is interested in the other cats, doesn't behave aggressively when handled but still nervous but then its only been a week. Very promising.

I may have to pick up a cat from Dawdon in County Durham on Friday and arrange for it to be neutered and possibly pick up a cat from Roker Park vets on Friday afternoon, Ian F having dropped it off in the morning for an operation to remove a goitre.

A quiet week on the cat front. I had coffee this morning (which I do almost every Wednesday) in the city centre with 2 ex-colleagues from the library, Denise and Sylvia, whom I've known for 40 years and they retired the same year I did (2008). Both are cat-lovers, fortunately, as I usually spend a lot of time updating them about my cat activities -neither have computers so they don't read this blog. Early tomorrow evening we're off to a retirement do at a pub for Phil the local history librarian. Must try to talk about something other than cats.

Friday, 15 January 2010


This poor old soul was put to sleep last week when Carol took him to Roker Park Vets. I wasn't involved but I wasn't surprised.

So, Thursday and I woke up at 3.30am and didn't get back to sleep. At 8.00am I was outside waiting for Ian F to drop off the van. When he did, I went over to Carol's to pick up three young adult males for neutering at Williams & Cummings, the nearest vets to us and the only one authorised by Cats Protection to accept their vouchers. I got home at 9.00am just as Phil rang to ask me if I'd take one of the feral kittens we'd been keeping an eye on. I was annoyed as I thought it had been agreed to leave them where they were and catch them for neutering in about three months time when they were old enough.

9.30 and I was out again to Carol's to pick up her and two old skinny tabby males and take them to Roker Park Vets. One, Ted the noisiest cat in Sunderland except when's he's having a fuss made of him, has a long history of thyroid problems. It was decided to try him out on what would be, if they worked, a long-term treatment with pills. The other cat, Oliver, had a horrible abscess on his chest which was dripping with pink pus. He also had other problems and had been losing weight for some time. We decided to end his suffering.

I dropped off Carol and Ted and drove to Gateshead to the funeral home to pick up my mother's ashes. Then further down the road to Hawkesbury House to pick up her remaining effects -mostly photographs as I'd told the manager to keep what they could use and donate the rest, if suitable, to a local charity shop.

Home and filling in neutering vouchers which then had to be posted which meant a trip to the Post Office as I didn't have any stamps. When I got back the phone rang and it was a lady wanting her cat rehomed. A genuine and good reason this time. They were at Caterick Army base but her husband (and her) were being transferred to Germany and the cat didn't travel well at the best of times. Initially I said I'd have to check with Carol but when she described it I said we'd take it. I knew Carol had space as two cats have been put to sleep and two of the three being neutered today were being rehomed tomorrow. This one is four years old, had all its vaccinations, chipped, neutered, good with other cats and dogs and great with her 15month old son. Sold!

Finally I lay down on the bed for a nap and managed about half an hour before I got sick of the phone ringing and eventually answered it. Susan: Phil's feral kitten was in a cage at the shop and Lynn (see earlier posts) wanted to foster it. She was also thinking about keeping Bettie (see previous post). I was wanted to take the kitten round in the cage in the van. I was mad. I thought it was totally unsuitable. I f she didn't wear gloves, it would rip her hands to pieces. If it got out of the cage it would extremely difficult to get it back and it wasn't (obviously) house trained. Madness.

I went to pick up the three now ball-less young toms and took them back to Carol's. Then I went to see Andrea at the shop and reluctantly changed my mind. It was a small black kitten, obviously nervous, but it let me stroke it without attempting to remove flesh from my hands, without evening growling or spitting. It let me pick it up, not happy, but it didn't really react. Okay, okay, we'll go with it. I took it round and we set it up in Lynn's living room. I picked it up again just to check and again no clawing, biting, growling, spitting.

A promising start. I'll keep you informed. The other feral kitten (the one which shredded my left hand) which John took in is, he told me over the phone, doing quite well and responding to him but is still frightened of other people.

And that was Thursday. I woke at 3.30 this morning, cleaned up cat shit from the living room tray -the smell being quite strong- let cats out, went back to bed and actually did get back to sleep, and woke again, and slept.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Two cats, one house, two stories.

Hettie (top) is a cat I've written about before. I rescued her as a stray from Hetton, a village on the outskirts of the city boundary. She was given tablets to treat her for thyroid problems but showed no sign of improvement. Honour of Vets4Pets was convinced that Carol wasn't dealing with her properly and wanted her taken away from Carol. This I duly did, despite Carol insisting she was getting the tablets and was kept in isolation away from other cats. I picked her and Bettie up on the same day, Bettie coming from deep in Durham, and took them both to Lynn who had agreed to look after them.

That was four weeks ago. Hettie's tablets had just about run out and it was time to take her back to see Honour. I picked that cat up a couple of hours early due to scheduling problems and took her home where she had a quick look round but mostly sat on the couch when she wasn't trying to get into the kitchen. I did give a small amount to eat just before we set off. She was friendly but it seemed to me that she'd lost weight and got to the state that she really was just skin and bone and I was seriously considering asking Honour to put her to sleep.

Bettie, in the meantime, had settled in well at Lynn's. She's a healthy, friendly young cat with a lovely soft coat and not pregnant as was first feared. She's been outside a few times and returned quite quickly. I'm going to put her photo up on the website and see if we get any takers.

Honour took Hettie through the back to weigh her, returned, checked it against the last time she'd been here -and she had lost weight- and then said that she probably had a tumour and it would be best if she was put to sleep. I'm glad Honour said that because it meant  I didn't. It also vindicated Carol but I didn't say that either.

I stroked her and talked to her until her tiny heart finally stopped.

In the evening I went to the pub with Barry for the first time in over three months since he was hospitalised for heart surgery. While walking through town to the pub I saw a young woman awkwardly getting to her feet after an obvious fall. As she was up and walking when I reached her, I didn't stop. Then I noticed she'd dropped her phone and what looked like a house key. I picked them up and went after her. When I handed them over I asked her if she was okay which she said she was. She did look shakey, mind, but I didn't pursue it and Barry was waiting for me so I went on my way.

I'm still wondering if I should have offered more help. I suspect not; she could have been drunk or on drugs. But I don't know. Barry thought I'd done what I could and should, yet still...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


The current view from my window partly obscured by Max.

Turnip a six month old currently being fostered with Lynn.

Post script.

No he isn't. This is my cold getting to me. Turnip was rehomed a few weeks ago and the lady who adopted him has just been here for a neutering voucher (7th Jan). Lynn is currently fostering the oldie from Carol's and the stray I picked up in from somewhere is Durham.