Friday, 4 February 2011


This isn't intended to be a weekly post but it seems to be have been going that way for a while now. Sometimes I might manage a couple in a week but not often.

Anyway, this post is mostly about Stray Aid. I've mentioned them several times in previous posts and you can check out their website in the newly added sidebar of favourite websites. And if you live in the North East of England I strongly recommend that you do. In the past we've helped out their charity shop at Seaham and very recently helped them set up a new shop at Easington Colliery (grand opening tomorrow) by providing stock and with Bernice, one of our helpers who lives there, getting the shop organised. We also send food and bedding to their base at Coxhoe. I did that on Monday of this week but, as I found out later, not all of the bedding we had for them so we scheduled another trip for today. There are photos of Stray Aid scattered around in several posts with the best, perhaps, being the recent Snow Dogs entry.

Stray Aid also sometimes take dogs from us for re-homing -they are primarily a dog rescue- but also occasionally cats. Earlier this week at young cat was handed in at the unopened shop at Easington and Andrea and Susan brought it through to stay temporarily in the office of Animal Krackers shop. He's a youngish un-neutered male with a quiet and very friendly nature. Susan even asked me if we could take him in. This, after frequently telling me off for bringing home Daisy and then Little Bob a few months ago. Here he is.
He's not the most prepossessing of cats but he has a vulnerable appealing charm.

A lady from Washington has been in touch with us about handing over four of her seven cats as they're too much for her. One is only six months old so we can her as she'll be rehomed in five minutes. I had hoped that Stray Aid would take the other three but when I rang they only had space for two. Now someone locally had been pestering us to take her cat -she's pregnant, a common reason for dumping animals, cats in particular- so that was the two.

However Cat One above was fostered out but too late for me to arrange for another cat so this morning I loaded up with bedding and went to pick up the cat. This heavily pregnant woman opened the door holding a cigarette in one hand. To say this annoyed me, and for more than one reason, was an understatement but I said nothing. She was pleasant enough and, apart from being overweight, the cat was quietly friendly and placid and in good condition.

So off we went to Stray Aid where Sue the vet checked her out and, as I'd forgotten to ask her name, called her Carmel. Here's Carmel.
Although not as heavy as she looks, Carmel still weighed in at 6kg. She was fine on the examination table, letting herself be poked and prodded without too much complaint and no real struggle.

Sue put her in a carrier and while we were talking brought out a kitten, which had just been handed in, for examination. I helped hold the little thing while it went through the same procedure Carmel had. Its bottom was a little mucky so Sue snipped away a few clumps of matted fur. Wherever it had come from, it had been handled regularly was quite happy to held and stroked and purred loudly in appreciation. John, Sue's husband and partner in Stray Aid, came in and we chatted about the problems animal rescues faced -mainly from people who had no understanding of the limitations small local charities like ours face in terms of resources. I'd have quite happily talked all day as long as I was holding the kitten but we all had places to be and things to do. So here's the kitten.

When I got home I brought in with me a piece of cat furniture I'd picked up on my travels. It smelled somewhat of smoke so I gave it a going over with a catnip spray, got out my camera and sat back to watch.

Normally the only place you'd find six of our cats together is in the kitchen at feeding time, and there's another one out of shot.

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