Saturday, 31 March 2012


I've taken up a new sport. It's called: Concrete Diving.

I just invented it yesterday. I'd picked up some stuff from an elderly lady, driven to the back gate of our Grangetown shop and taken it inside. On my way back out down the steps to the back yard I tripped over my own feet, stumbling down a couple of steps before completely losing my balance and flying headlong into space.

Luckily the concrete backyard broke my fall. Luckily too, I didn't land on my face, not that it would have made much difference to my general appearance if I had I suppose. My right forearm bore the brunt of the fall with my right leg not far behind. 

The shock was worse than the actual fall and I just lay there for about a minute, catching my breath, trying to calm down, and mentally assessing my injuries which I quickly decided were minor, before trying to move and getting to my knees before accepting the offer of help standing up. The two ladies who'd been working through the back, brought a chair for me to sit in, made me a cup of tea, and gave me a chocolate biscuit, all three of which I needed. Thanks, ladies.

Now, just over a day later, my forearm is densely peppered with reddish-brown scabs, it's slightly swollen, and there's general mild pain in it, in my elbow and in the socket at the top of my arm. If it doesn't improve in a couple of days after resting it, I'll get it checked out though I think that's unlikely.

Nobody to blame except my own stupid self. There was nothing on the steps to cause me to trip and they were dry. Pity really, cos I could have sued for compensation. Though if I did I'd also have to pay for a divorce. Only joking. I hate these parasitical law companies who publicise their had  an accident, no win, no fee (and not much money if you do win after we've taken our cut). I think they're scum and I'm not impressed with the people who use their services believing it's a chance for easy money.

In the last post I mentioned two five month old cats, a brother and sister which I'd picked up from Hebburn and managed to get re-homed the same day. Alas, it didn't quite happen like that. The black was also female which ruled her out as her prospective adopter wanted a male. Both were nervous and stressed by the change in their circumstances and the tabby lashed out at Carole when she was showing her.

Both settled down and proved to be lovely friendly cats, the black one in particular who was re-homed this week. Both have been neutered and hopefully the tabby will get a home soon. Incidentally, both are much prettier than these photos indicate.

I haven't been blogging much because I don't go to the vets as often with Kings Road Practice at Southwick (and a quarter of a mile from Carole) being opened and don't get through to Carole's as often though it's still at least three times a week. I did get call this morning but I'm out of action for a couple of days until my arm gets back to normal, or I possibly get over the shock which still may be taking its toll. I'm usually quite phlegmatic about minor accidents but with my 64th birthday this year minor accidents aren't quite as minor.

Ironically I'm swimming more than I used. Until about three weeks ago I'd do twenty, maybe 22 or 24 lengths and then stop. I now do 30 as a minimum and got up to 40 once last week and that's four to five times a week so that's a 50-100% increase which has got to be good for me.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Twice a week I take either bought or donated food to Carole's and usually take a look at the cats. Yesterday I was particularly interested in Rosie (see previous post). I found her in  a cage buried under a blanket. I pulled it away and, while she tolerated me stroking her, it was clear that she wanted to hide away so I let her do just that. A little while later I came back and this time she was actively friendly. So, a little improvement but she really needs a nice quiet home with an owner who can give her lots of love. I hope she gets one soon.  Here she is. She's actually prettier than she looks here.

Before proceeding any further, I should warn you that at the end of this post are two photographs of me with a cat. If you feel that the sight of a 63 year old cat rescuer with more chins than fingers is too much for you, go no further.

Now the little grey kitten from the previous post is now in with another litter of kittens and their mother which I couldn't resist photographing. At the time of writing he's been homed for about fifteen hours.

Carole's own cats are usually very friendly and I always take time to make a fuss of them. (There is one notable exception who approaches you like a friend but only to lull you into a false sense of security before striking with fangs and claws. Carole insists he's not like this with anyone but me but I don't believe her. He's the spawn of the devil and he's most definitely not the one in the next two photos.)
 Much better than a parrot.

Lastly a recent arrival is this friendly big thick-furred two year old neutered male. Highly suitable for re-homing.

Three Hours Later.

I was just in the middle of checking all the above when I got a call from Carole. A guy at Hebburn, part of the South Tyneside conurbation, had two young cats to re-home from his grandmother who had just died and he had a cat-hating staffie. By coincidence I'd had a call from someone who wanted a young male companion for his four month old male kitten and Carole had also had a call from someone I used to work with and these two kitten-cats sounded ideal for both of them. I dreaded driving through to Hebburn as I don't know the place but the address was very easy to find. No photographs I'm afraid, but not a bad morning's work.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


1. Rosie's Story.

This isn't a happy story and it doesn't have an ending yet.

Last week we got a call from a couple who wanted rid of their seven year old cat because they fancied a change. They wanted a kitten or a puppy.

Yes, take a breath and let that sink in.

There are several responses with the first being a torrent of bad language which is inappropriate in a Parental Guidance (PG) rated blog like this one. The second is to ask: are they adjective deleted stupid?  Sadly, the answer is yes. Fearing for the cat's safety if we didn't take it, Carole asked me to go get it. 

It was a bit of a drive, by my limited standards these days, a round trip of over 40 miles down to the coast and east of Peterlee to an old pit village. And, yes, the owners were thick. They clearly didn't understand that throwing a cat out of its home of several years was a bad thing and there was no point in me trying to explain it to them or showing how I felt. I just took the cat and set off back up the A19, hoping against all hope that her previous owners don't get their hands on another kitten or a puppy. 

I decided to take the cat to our new vet. This is King's Road Practice run by a lovely person and talented vet called Wendy whom we new from her days at Roker Park Vets. She's just set up on her own on the site of the old PDSA clinic at Southwick which is conveniently a five minute walk from Carole. Wendy thought she was older than seven and it was obvious even to me that her teeth needed seeing to so I left her in Wendy's tender care. I should add that Wendy has adopted the three-legged cat as her practice cat (as in veterinary practice not a cat to practice on) and it's very happy.

While her teeth have been fixed -she was also covered in fleas- Rosie is stressed out by the change in her fortunes and is clearly apathetic and unhappy. She desperately needs a new quiet home and a lot of love.

2. Five Kittens.

Another phone call and a quick trip up the road to pick up five kittens. The owners were having their male cat spayed but weren't going to neuter the kittens' mother because she never goes out. Somehow I don't think that will be the end of the story. Anyway, the photos are in sequence: by the fire in their home, in a box on arrival at Carole's, the next morning at Carole's (this morning). The grey kitten is from a separate litter.

3. One More For The Road.

On the way to collect the five, I also had to pick up a stray kitten (actually a young neutered male). The lady who'd taken it in has put a card in a local shop window so I'm hoping its owner might claim him. Wherever he came from, he's socialised with dogs and other cats and is friendly with people.