Thursday, 26 September 2013


Welcome Home, Tiger.

Yes, he's back.

After taking him to the vets to be checked out, the young woman finally had to accept that Tiger wasn't her Tabby. The vet confirmed the neutering and that Tiger was just too old to be her cat..

Even I had been convinced because there were so many similarities and she, as she admitted to me, wanted to believe he was her missing cat. I even offered to let her keep him but she really wanted her old cat back and I think she now accepts that that's not going to happen and its finally put her mind at rest.

Ah well.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Everything below, up to a point which will be obvious, was written late yesterday afternoon and I stopped writing at 6.15 in order to get ready to go to the pub. Ignore the 'feel free to skip it'.)

This is just an excuse to show off photos of my cats. Feel free to skip it; it's not really important. Unless, of course, you like seeing photos of cats and kittens.

I'll start with Fifi who is the longest resident here -all of five months or thereabouts. As more cats arrived she retreated to the spare (an unfair description of the treasured place where I keep all my books, graphic novels, and DVDs) room. Recently, however, she's been venturing further afield and now spends much of her time in the kitchen, moving around from window to chairs to table, to kitchen benches. She still bolts when any human other than myself appears. I think, from the previous person who took her in, she's a one-person at a time cat. Here she is, having made a mess of the kitchen.

(Ahem. Miss Fifi would like it known that she is not responsible for the mess the kitchen is in. Indeed it is quite true to say that the food-giver has cropped the photograph so you don't realise quite what a mess the kitchen really is. Miss Fifi wishes to add that this is not a complaint as it makes the environment more interesting.)

Aelfric has been, since the moment he arrived, completely adorable. Shy at first and although still wary of strangers albeit not as much as Fifi, he's now a sociable, friendly affectionate cat who cuddles up to me and is quite happy in the company of other cats and kittens. I'm only really doing this post to show off the photograph of him with one of the kittens. A moment earlier they'd been curled up asleep but alas me moving around woke them. It's still cute though.
(His Grace The Abbot Aelfric says, "Talk about faint praise. I'm undoubtedly the most beautiful handsome cat in the world and this bozo is lucky to have me."

Aoife of course came with three kittens and a month later had two of her own (one of them is above). I had her spayed yesterday -from which she quickly recovered- so there won't be any more. She's placid and quietly friendly. When she wants affection, she'll reach out with a paw and touch me to get my attention. Unfortunately she does this with her claws out and if I'm asleep it'll be my face she touches. Although generally indifferent to the other cats as long as they don't get too close, she now spends much time in my bedroom which is Tiger's main residence and often frequented by Aelfric. Aoife is also very sociable with other people.
(Move the camera, buster, or I take your face off.)

And then there's Tiger. He lost a lot of weight in his first week with me which was only properly revealed after I'd had him shorn because of tats in his long fur (see previous posts). He now put on quite a bit and is even heavier than Aelfric. He's possibly even more friendly with people than Aoife and loves having a fuss made of him. He loves cuddling up to me on the bed, resting his head on an arm, purring loudly as I stroke him. He's also very vocal which might be cute in other cats but not with his strangulated voice. Still, he's very loveable.
(Tiger objects to this description of his mellifluous voice and would like to state in his defence, "Arrgh-huh, rachk grllll grah-uh-hkkk.  Mrrrr-a-a-a!)

Ten minutes later and ten minutes before I was due to go for the bus I received an email from a young woman who'd read my blog and believed that Tiger, yes Tiger, was her cat who had been lost for six months.

I quickly replied asking her where she lived and then went for the bus.

Nearly three hours, a half pint of real ale, a glass of pinot grigiot which came with the meal (pork ribs and chips) and three quarters of a bottle of Hardy's shiraz (the house wine), later I rolled into the house and checked my email.

She lived in the same area where Tiger had been found. There followed a quick exchange of details and it looked as if Tiger was her cat. In the morning, when less affected by alcohol, I noted some discrepancies I'd missed. Chief among them being that he hadn't been neutered when he went missing and neither I nor the lady who'd taken him and had had it done.

Anyway, she and a friend (sister?) arrived about an hour ago. She showed me some photos which did resemble Tiger but they weren't as good as mine in terms of a sharp picture. Nevertheless, there were so many similarities that were impossible to dismiss. She was 99% certain Tiger was her Tabby. We agreed that she'd take him home but if it became obvious by his behaviour he wasn't Tabby she'd bring him back.

I'm not happy at all that he's gone but I am satisfied that he's gone back to a good loving home. Ian's the name, homing lost cats is my game. (Don't worry, I'm cringing at that as much as you are.)

Assuming he doesn't come back I have now a vacancy for another cat and there's a very friendly five month old grey and white kitten-cat called Moustache in my conservatory.

Normal service, albeit more abbreviated than I intended it to be, will now be resumed.  

After dosing them daily for a week (with the many scratches and bites to prove it) and worming them, the kittens bowels have mostly  (mostly but not entirely by any means) firmed up and they mostly (mostly but not entirely by any means) use the litter trays rather than messing on the floor but I'm still not convinced that that they're completely better so I can't re-home them until I am and Moustache has to stay in the conservatory even though he's frantic to get out.

Here are some new photos.

These two, the youngest, are just starting to lose their kitten tummies.

Goodbye, Tiger.

Monday, 16 September 2013


Carole, who is our largest fosterer, hasn't been mentioned much recently (though often in the past) because I've been more focussed on my cats and kittens and the re-homing centre. I've meaning to get caught up to bring you news of the many kittens she's looking after and, believe me, she is looking after many many kittens and here are just some (okay, quite a few) of them ranging in age from around 2 - 7 months. Most of them are friendly and even those which are shy will easily be brought round by some tlc lavished by their new owner.

If you want to give a kitten a good home I suggest you call Carole -079777 69109- and go see them.

This kitten wants to love you. Really. Open the cage and he's the first to greet you, shoving any other kitten out of the way. Go see him (or her, can't remember which) and I defy you not to fall in love with her (or him) too.

Next up is a good photo of Mitzy the latest addition to our re-homing centre, a lovely friendly girl around four.

Kitten Poo Update.

The poo sample test results came back today. All have the Corona virus which apparently is very common to cats. But they also have some kind of bacteria in their guts which is the main cause of the upset. and is going to be treated with Synulox. That, plus more wormer, should hopefully clear up the bowel problem. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks.

If it doesn't, I'll be stuck with them as I can't home them under these circumstances. It also means I won't be able to foster any other cats or kittens in case they pass it on. Oh well, we'll see.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Whatever, just get to the point.

So it's Wednesday morning when I go to Starbucks for an Americano Grande with hot milk to drink in please, thank you. To have coffee with my retired friends from work who are both cat lovers and don't complain that I'm boring them to death talking about cats. I was halfway there (and halfway from the bus station, which is logical I suppose given that was my walking starting point) when Susan rings to ask if I can take in a single kitten. Just one. Four weeks old. Oh ***!@@@!!! (That's rude words in gibberish.) But what the hell. I told her to give me the address later.

Much later and numerous calls before I got an answer I finally get the address and phone number. I rang the person to say I'd be half an hour later than the agreed time. I was told the kitten was about 9 weeks. The location was Murton, a place I'd only driven through. Frankly it's a place most people only drive through. (Just a joke, dear readers from Murton, sorry.) But, armed with my trusty A-Z and with only one relatively minor detour I found the place twenty minutes after setting off. The kitten, of course, was nowhere near nine weeks old. More like six months, five at the youngest and is either female or a recently neutered male, probably the former.

She's now in my conservatory, sitting on the windowsill, staring at either me or one of the cats. She's very friendly, likes being stroked, purrs easily. I'm taking her to the vets tomorrow to get her first cat flu vaccination and generally checked out. You can check her out first below.

Mitzy is a new arrival at our re-homing centre. She's a youngish friendly and  pretty cat who came with veterinary documentation and a letter to her new owner. I doubt if she'll be there for long. The photos were taken with my phone which explains the poor quality.

Post Script.

Poo update.

I took the kittens and two poo samples to the vets. Their condition was declared fine and the poo samples sent off for testing.

Yesterday I had the rest of my downstairs floors laminated which makes it so much easier to clean up the loose poo and the smell doesn't linger either. That still leaves my bedroom which is becoming a favourite location for everyone except Fifi. 

Friday, 6 September 2013


Yes, the Tabby Twins have been re-homed -separately. I'm glad and I'm sad and I'm sure regular readers know why. If you aren't one of them, skim through recent posts.

The first went yesterday. A family came all the way from Washington on public transport to see the kittens which said a lot to me. One of the tabbies made it clear she liked them so I gave them a lift home and left the kitten with a lively family and a friendly shih-tsu. I've been sent photos already. Apart from an initial wariness over the dog, she seems fine.

Tabby 2 has gone to a nice young woman with a good pedigree. Her partner's parents are Animal Krackers volunteers and I know her mother from my library days. No photos yet but he's only been gone less than two hours. He'll be living with a four year old female which I hope takes to him.

Sniff, sniff. (That was me shedding a tear.)

Only 3 little monsters to go including Tyrannipuss.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


"Prepare to die slowly and in great agony, puny humans, at the Seven Magical Claws of Tyrannipuss, Demon Cat from Beyond Infinity!"

* Of course there is nothing beyond infinity, but then while Tyrannipuss is powerful and fearsome he is not the brightest Demon Cat in the universe.

This was demonstrated when Wuffles the Wonder Dog, Protector of the Planet Earth, who, after recovering from injuries inflicted by Tyrannipuss's radioactive power-propelled poo pellets, laid a trap consisting of vast quantities of fresh chicken breasts cooked by Wuffles the Wonder Dog's own microwave breath which he had placed in a titanium cat cage. Once Tyrannipuss had been trapped in the cage, Wuffles dropped it into the deepest part of the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Alas, brave Wuffles the Wonder Dog might just have made a mistake as this was the last known location of Space Godzilla following his defeat at the claws and radioactive breath of mighty Godzilla himself.

The world waits anxiously for developments. Wuffles the Wonder Dog, meanwhile, is chilling out by a hotel pool in Acapulco and drinking from large bowls of margheritas.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


1. Worms.

No, this isn't a review of the old the computer game (which I used to have) but then you wouldn't have expected it to be. It is a sequel to the previous post which should have been called, if I'd been honest, POO.

Don't worry, there are no photographs, not of worms (or poo) anyway.

Last week I almost homed the Tabby Twins but alas it fell through. Then I got a call from a lady who lived locally and wanted a kitten. I thought Tiny (the last of Aoife's not-litter) might be suitable and invited her to call in and she did indeed like her. Arrangements were made and I took Tiny over. Next morning I got a call. Tiny had done a very loose poo (I can't spell diarrhea) and not in the litter tray. It might be a different diet -Whiskas instead of Felix- and a different cat litter -gravel instead of wood chippings. I brought both round. I also gave her a de-worming pill. Later that day, more loose poo and almost in the tray. The lady's cat had done a runner and was refusing to come in. The smell was more than the lady was used to. (Doesn't bother me as I have it all hours of the day and night. I spend almost more energy cleaning up poo than I do when I go swimming.) So Tiny came home.

And a couple of hours later she did another poo -in the litter tray and with dead worms in it. That was it. I wormed the Tabby Twins and the larger of the two young kittens. Next morning, three lots of poo with worms in them. I've since wormed every other cat and last kitten earlier this afternoon and am awaiting the smelly results.

Incidentally, getting cats and kittens to swallow pills is no easy matter and is distressing and painful to cat, kitten, and human being. Very few take the attitude of, "Oh, you want me to swallow this thing. Okay boss, no probs." It's more a case of, "Help he's ramming this thing down my throat! He's trying to poison me! It tastes horrible! I'm going to vomit!" Accompanied by much squirming, wriggling and active use of teeth and claws.

To lighten the mood, here are two kitten photos. No poo guaranteed.

2. Abandoned Kittens.

A story about Animal Krackers was on page 3 of the Sunderland Echo last week, plus an editorial comment. It was followed up by Sky who did a video piece on their local Sky News webpage; here's the link-

Basically a refuse worker at the council tip found two day-old kittens in a box. We were contacted and a fosterer, Lynn, took them in. She'll be nursing them and hand-feeding them for the next few weeks as she did the kittens in the last photo below.