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Spring 2012

great indoors Keep your cat healthy and happy. Comforting cats of care homes

Puss in books

Meet some well-read felines

Fabulous fundraising Behind the scenes with a money making marvel

Canterbury tails Marvellous medieval mogs

Plus Steve Miller, your views aired and giveaways galore!

Leading Specialist Manufacturer of your favourite

Fostering Branch Rescue Pens Unit 5 Coates Est Nailsea Bristol UK


- With Windows and Doors Open -

KEEP YOUR CATS SAFE! �� � �� � 01493 782244

Special “Super Screen” designed to keep your Cat Safe. Professional fitting service included. Suppliers to CAT Protection & Catteries. Free no obligation quote. Rowan Lodge, Back Lane, Burgh Castle, Great Yarmouth, NR31 9QJ Lindee Lu

From the Editor  General enquires  Cats Protection, National Cat Cantre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  03000 12 12 12 (calls charged at standard rate) @ Subscription enquires To change your details, become a Special Friend, subscribe, make a donation or become a member of Cats Protection:  Supporter Services, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  0800 917 2287 @ Editorial submissions  The Editor, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. @ We reserve the right to edit material for clarity or space. Cats Protection is not responsible for the opinions, advice and factual content of contributed items. The views expressed do not necessarily conform to those of the Trustees. Advertising enquires  Cats Protection, National Cat Cantre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  03000 12 12 12 (calls charged at standard rate) @ Advertisements are accepted in good faith and we endeavour to check their accuracy. However, the charity gives no guarantees or endorsements of the products or services advertised. Cats Protection cannot accept responsibility for any correspondence between the parties, nor can they be expected to arbitrate should any dispute arise.


irstly, thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out our survey. We were amazed at the response; not only by number but also by the positive feedback. It seems, on the whole, that we’re doing well but we have taken the opportunity to address some concerns and queries raised through the survey on pages 30 to 31. The statistics from the survey will be gathered and printed in the Summer edition. On pages 32 to 34 we tackle the topic of indoor cats and Victoria Regan discusses how to keep your feline happy and content. We also visit a number of cats who are making the world of difference to residents in care homes on pages 20 to 22. We’re always on the lookout for cats who live in unusual places and we’ve added libraries to this list on pages 16 to 18. On pages 36 to 38 we go back to the Middle Ages and visit the cats who graced the pages of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Langland’s Piers Plowman. Cats Protection is very lucky to have over 8,000 volunteers around the UK whose work is paramount in giving so many cats a second chance of happiness. On pages 44 and 45 we meet another one of them, the amazing Julie Seymour who won the charity’s 2011 Fabulous Fundraiser Award. We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers so if fundraising or fostering is something you might like to do, then don’t hesitate to get in touch! Finally, it is also my sad duty to say farewell to our esteemed Deputy Editor, Tom Briggs. He has worked on The Cat magazine for five years, but has now moved jobs. Thankfully he remains with the charity as Digital Communications Officer and will, no doubt, continue to contribute to the magazine in his new guise.

Francesca Watson Editor

The Team

Published quarterly by: Cats Protection

Deputy Editor 2 Tom Briggs

Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd.

Creative Designers 3 Ryan O’Hara 4 Rasoul Hudda 5 Sam Roberts

Please recycle this magazine when you have finished with it


Editor 1 Francesca Watson


4 1


Photo: Lee Bishop

The Cat  Spring 2012


Contents Spring 2012 Cover photo: Rigg

Regulars 6



Dear CP


Cats’ tales


Paws for thought


Our favourite things


Playing detective


Ask the vets


Walker on the wild side


Ali’s cats


Coffee paws


How can we help?


Diary of events


Cats Protection in focus


Find your local Cats Protection


Kids’ corner


Making memories


Remembering cats


Book reviews


The Cat  Spring 2012




Feature articles


13 Celebrity interview TV’s Steve Miller weighs in about calorie counting and cats

16 Shelf life Literary felines who call their local libraries home


20 Home comforts We find out how cats have become a welcome sight in care homes around the country

30 Survey Some answers to questions posed in our recent magazine survey

32 The great indoors Keeping your indoor cat happy and entertained

36 Cats of the Middle Ages It wasn’t all witchcraft and black magic!

44 Putting the fun into

40 44


Behind the scenes with one of our fabulous fundraisers

50 AGM notice Book your place for our Annual General Meeting

Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs. Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) SC037711 (Scotland)

The Cat  Spring 2012


Celebrity paws

The 2011 Celebrity Paws auction was a huge success generating almost £7,000 for Cats Protection. The top bid of £1,519 was received for the illustration by Simon’s Cat creator Simon Tofield, which is the highest received in the five years the auction has been running. In second place was a contribution by illustrator Quentin Blake that reached £557 and in third was artist Sir Peter Blake’s drawing which sold for £446. We would like to thank everyone who helped spread the word about the auction and contributed to its success this year, your support was greatly appreciated.

National Cat Awards 2012


The Cat  Spring 2012

Our Fareham & Waterlooville Branch recently received a rather unusual trap neuter and return request. A stray cat had taken up residence in a local graveyard and had given birth to four kittens inside one of the tombs. The cat was being very well cared for by local residents, council workers and the organist from the church. The branch decided that the best course of action was to trap the mother cat, neuter her and then return her to her territory. With the cemetery being consecrated ground, permission was sought before attempting to get the kittens out of the tomb. The Sexton and his assistant readily agreed to help with this unusual and exciting request, lifting and propping up the tombstone to make it safe while the Kitten Fosterer and Welfare Officer, not without some trepidation, reached inside to collect the kittens. All four of the kittens were in good health having been very well looked after by their mother. All have been successfully rehomed, one being adopted by one of the council workers. The mother cat was returned to her unusual residence in the graveyard receiving a warm welcome back from her dedicated band of carers!

CP to the rescue!

Photo: Eric Silverberg

It’s red carpet time for those magnificent mogs in your life as Cats Protection proudly announce the National Cat Awards 2012! Widely known as the ‘Feline Oscars’, the awards are designed to celebrate real-life stories of friendship, bravery and heroism in the cat world. Previously known as the Rescue Cat Awards, the competition has undergone a significant change and is now open to all living cats in the UK, rather than just former strays and rescue cats. We’re on the prowl for nominations and entries can be submitted from Monday 19 March and owners have until Thursday 31 May to enter one of these four categories: • Hero Cat – Cats that save the day! • Best Friends – Where best feline friends have radically improved the quality of human life • Most Incredible Story – Belief-defying, true stories from the cat world • Outstanding Rescue Cat – Fabulous felines adopted from animal welfare organisations A new Celebrity Cat category has also been added to recognise superstar cats in the public eye. Cats Protection will be asking for suggestions on its Facebook page, which will be followed by an online poll on the site to determine the winner. A glamorous award ceremony will be held at a prestigious venue in London in late summer. The event will be attended by celebrity judges who will present the awards and pay tribute to the nation’s top cats. Peter Hepburn, Cats Protection’s Chief Executive, said: “These awards highlight how cats make wonderful pets and enhance many people’s quality of life, so it was important they were opened up to all the nation’s cats. The stories we hear on a daily basis really demonstrate the benefits cats bring to their owners.” Keep an eye out for entry details on our website

Tomb raiders!


Feline Freddie is a National Trust treasure

Emma, Soloman and Steve

I mew!

Forget flowers, a posh candlelit dinner or a moonlit beach – when Steve Tickner wanted to propose to his cat lover girlfriend, he came up with the perfect way to pop the question. Enlisting the help of Cats Protection, Steve surprised Emma Parkinson with a visit to the National Cat Adoption Centre – where he dropped to one knee and proposed surrounded by 200 homeless cats. If that wasn’t enough, Steve, also introduced Emma to 10-year-old Soloman – a stray black cat he had secretly picked out previously to come home with them. Emma said: “I was speechless. He introduced me to Soloman and said, ‘He’s coming home with us, but there’s a catch – will you marry me?’ “Of course I said yes straight away and was just over the moon. I had been working on Steve to get a cat for years but he’s always said the time wasn’t right. “Soloman came home soon after and has settled in really well. He’s ever so affectionate and we couldn’t ask for a better pet to join our family.” Steve explained: “We had just moved and finally lived somewhere suitable to own a cat, something Emma had wanted for many, many years. “I’d been thinking for a while about proposing and as Emma is such a cat lover I thought it would be great to combine the two. “I went to the National Cat Centre a couple of days before and the Cats Protection staff were terrific and helped choose the perfect cat – when I met Soloman I just knew Emma would fall in love with him.” Manager of the National Cat Adoption Centre Danielle Draper said: “Cats make brilliant family pets and we are delighted that Emma and Steve marked the beginning of their married life by adopting a cat from us. We don’t know much about Soloman’s past but he had obviously had a tough time on the streets and we’re thrilled to see him in a loving home. “We wish Emma, Steve and Soloman lots of luck and love in their new home together.”

A cat found on the streets of Birmingham has landed on his paws after being appointed Chief Mouser at the National Trust’s Packwood House in Warwickshire. Six-year-old tabby and white Freddie is settling into life at the beautiful 16th century house after he was adopted from Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre in the late autumn. Ann Mount and Dennis Graver, from Packwood House came looking for a new mouser to replace Ann’s pet cat Junior, who was retiring from a life catching rodents. Ann said: “We needed a cat that would settle well outdoors and would be sociable with visitors and the centre recommended Freddie. He was lovely and friendly and really enjoyed a fuss! We looked at other cats but decided Freddie was the perfect match.” Freddie has fitted in very well and is very much to the manor born. Ann said: “Freddie is an excellent mouser; the staff keep a scoreboard for him and he is catching two or three rodents a day!” When not on the prowl, Freddie enjoys the care and attention he gets from the home’s staff and volunteers as well as visitors to the property, often wandering up to the kitchen gardens for a play. He also sleeps in a bed in one of the property’s heated greenhouses. Packwood House’s park is open to visitors all year round with the gardens and the house open from February to October.

Mouse spotted!

The Cat  Spring 2012



Fancy breaking a world record? CP needs you!

Bridgend Adoption Centre has high hopes for 2012. Staff and volunteers are going to attempt to break the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as cats. The current record stands at 800 people and we’re determined to smash it! The event takes place on Saturday 30 June, 2012 from 12.30pm in Adare Street in Bridgend’s town centre. Registration will be at 2pm with the attempt at 2.30pm which will last a minimum of ten minutes. If you’re interested, you can dress as any type of cat, domestic, breed or big cat. The costume must be full bodied and recognisable as the chosen animal. There will also be a Moggytastic show where you can enter yourself under the following categories: • Cutest Kitty – Children 12 yrs and under, all types of cat welcome • Wildest Whiskers – For wild cats small or large • Posh Paws – Any pedigree cat breed • Marvellous mogs – Any colour non-pedigree cat • Top Cat – most outstanding cat chosen from winners of the other classes. The only place to be at the end of June has to be Bridgend and don’t forget your whiskers!

Here’s to our young supporters

We recently received letters from Francesca and Geraldine from Darlington who had one of our collection boxes. They’d managed to raise £6.50 which they then sent on to Cats Protection. Fran is nine years old and Geraldine is seven. Geraldine told us that her cat had sadly died but she still had a hamster and she very kindly drew us pictures which we’ve printed below. It’s so great to hear we’ve got supporters as young as Fran and Geraldine who obviously love animals and especially cats so much. We know that the future cats and kittens will be safe with friends like these!

Letting the cats out of the bag

Seven very lucky Welsh kittens have been taken in by the Cats Protection’s Adoption Centre in Bridgend. A passer-by discovered the zipped PVC handbag by chance and opened it to find seven kittens, some of whom were semi-conscious. The kittens were seen by a local vet who confirmed they wouldn’t have lasted much longer due to the lack of oxygen and heat exhaustion. Adoption Centre Manager, Sue Dobbs, said “I have seen many cats and kittens abandoned in the 13 years I have worked at the centre, but this incident was particularly distressing. The kittens were dumped when we were closed with a total disregard for their welfare and I was aghast that anyone would be capable of such an act. Thankfully the kittens are making a good recovery and will be available for adoption shortly.”


The Cat  Spring 2012

Every year thousands of people put their faith and trust in Cats Protection when looking for a new addition to the family. Behind each volunteer and member of staff is a wealth of experience and expertise which means when you adopt one of our cats, you can feel safe in the knowledge that he has been given the best possible care. When he leaves Cats Protection, your cat will have been treated to a top-to-tail medical.

We also provide four weeks’ free insurance (terms and conditions apply) giving invaluable peace of mind and reassurance as you and your cat embark upon this lifelong friendship. All he needs now is a loving home to make his dreams come true – over to you! T: 03000 12 12 12 E: W: Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

This means he will have been: • Fully examined by a veterinary surgeon • Vaccinated at least once against flu and enteritis • Treated against fleas, roundworm and tapeworm • Neutered if old enough • Microchipped

Do you have an interesting story to tell, a point of view you want to air or something that you just have to get off your chest? Send your thoughts, views, stories, funny photos and ‘mewsings’ to The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email us at Don’t forget to tell us your return address and please remember that your letter may be edited for length.


A Velcro cat no more

From Laura and Kevin Shipp, Bracknell, Berkshire spent a great deal of time researching places to find our new friend and I came across the website for my local Cats Protection. I browsed through and came across a baffling section, ‘Our Velcro Cats’. It meant that they had ‘stuck’ longer with Cats Protection. In this section was a beautiful little face, Elsa. It seemed she had diabetes and her daily injections had discouraged others from giving her a home. The face we saw just caught our hearts and we had to see her. We went though the home checks and then the important day came, meeting Elsa. She stared at us, greeted my husband and then walked next to me, jumped onto the sofa and put her two paws onto my leg. It was like she said “these are mine.” When we collected her, we also took the fleece we had left previously, which had our scent, with us so she would have the scent of her wonderful Fosterer, Susanne. We felt it would help her acclimatise. We have now had her in our home for over a year. The joy at having such a cat as Elsa over a simple injection twice a day could mean so many miss out on having a new member of their family. The injections we give Elsa are very simple and she helps us by crouching. I think she knows that we are there to help her and love her. The other things that took time were building her trust and allowing her freedom to go into the garden. The garden to her, at first, was a very scary place, but we took her out every day and now she spends every minute she can outside, often rolling in the dust and lounging in the sun. The funny thing is that every couple of hours she comes inside for a little fuss and cuddles and then trots back to her garden, happy and reassured. So, I look at this story and ask – why did I write it? My husband and I think that there are so many loving ‘Velcro Cats’ – older cats or those with health conditions – that could enlighten and bring such joy to everyone. Opening your mind to find out details of cats such as Elsa can mean you find your perfect companion. The main thing I have found is that, without the tireless work of charities such as Cats Protection, we would not have found and fell in love with our little girl, Elsa. She is so much part of the family, she is now named Elsa Shipp.



The Cat  Spring 2012

My little star

From Rachel Coulter, Farnborough, Surrey got Simba as a kitten at eight weeks old back in January 2009. I knew he was the one the moment I saw him, even though it wasn’t him I had gone to view. He was full of character and would be bounding around even playing by himself when the rest of his siblings were fast asleep with their mother. I was going through a rough time after a string of bad luck. I was feeling lonely after both my siblings had moved home and my parents had split up. Shortly after I had also split up with my partner. During this time I was also hand rearing some kittens that had been attacked by their mother and Simba would get up in the night with me and have a sneaky drink of their replacement milk formula. Then I would go back to bed and place the kittens next to me in a cage on top of which Simba would sleep. I had become quite attached to the kittens and was planning on keeping one as Simba seemed so keen on them. Unfortunately, the kitten I had chosen unexpectedly died only a few days after opening his eyes. Throughout this tough time, Simba was my saving grace. He was the most affectionate cat I have ever known. Often banging on the bathroom door because he wanted to come in and be closer to me. He would sleep on my bed beside me every night, placing a paw on my hand as we both fell asleep. He would be waiting at the door to greet me at the end of the day and insisted on sitting on my lap at every opportunity. I cannot describe what a special cat he was. Unfortunately I only had the pleasure of knowing Simba until he was nine months old as he was fatally hit by a car. I miss him very much and have found it very difficult to get over his loss. I have a tattoo of a star on my back in his memory as I never want to forget how special he was. I had to explain to my nephew where Simba had gone – to heaven to be a star!



Perfect pergola

Group Captain Boothby and The Cat

From Sue Murdick, Philadelphia, USA live in a city townhouse with a small patio. I also have three cats who are extremely precious to me and have struggled and brainstormed for a long time about what to construct to allow them to go outside without risking them jumping over the six-foot fence and wall and geting out of my yard. I had an angled pergola built. As the carpenter was building it, I decided to also have him build a tree house for them to go up into. It’s worked out wonderfully for me. My cats love being outside and I can allow it worry-free.


From: Gordon B Barratt FCA, Former Chairman of Cats Protection League ay I draw your attention to the Spring 2011 edition of The Cat and the article on 80th anniversary of The Cat magazine. The piece failed to mention that Group Captain – the former Chief Executive – and Mrs Boothby produced six copies of the magazine a year for nearly 20 years – unpaid and in their own time. They gave up a room in their house as an office and spent many long hours of their time, often working late into the night to meet publication deadlines. The Group Captain took over the charity when in difficulties and dragged it out of obscurity, putting it on the animal charity map. It is thanks to the selfless contribution of people such as these that the charity prospered. Editor’s reply: We certainly agree that Group Captain and Mrs Boothby made a huge contribution to the development of The Catmagazine and also played a big part in making us the strong and respected charity we are today. We apologise if this omission caused any offence and, although we were unable to specifically mention everyone within the article, we are certainly most grateful for the part they all played in promoting a happy future for the many cats we’ve helped since 1927.


Common name but a special cat

From: Carol Barnes, Stockport, Lancashire read in the winter edition of The Cat that ‘Charlie’ was the most common name for cats. My dear little Charlie, who lived with us for 16 years, died recently. He had a common name but was a very special cat. His middle name Mungo means lovable in Gaelic and he certainly lived up to this name. I adopted him from a cat sanctuary where he had been left in a cardboard box with two tins of cat food – but no can opener! When young, he demonstrated his affection by bringing me presents – mice, frogs, earthworms, all live of course. As he grew older, he became more vocal and his particular brand of ‘catese’ was easily understood by family and neighbours. He recognised the sound of my car engine and was always ready to greet me at the door. My neighbour said he did the same for her. He was a particular favourite of the postman and always rolled over to have his tummy tickled. We have very happy memories of our special Charlie – the plaque on his grave says ‘Charlie, everyone loved you’.


A real golden oldie

From Tania Mathews, Beckenham, Kent fter reading the latest issue of The Cat, I noticed the letter sent in by a reader enquiring about the oldest living cat. I thought you might be interested to learn about Nigel, my one-eyed white Persian cat whom I adopted from the RSPCA back in April 1998 when he was aged 11. In just a few months, he will be 25 years old and while he may now be blind in his one eye and slow with arthritis, he is still very much my constant companion and a source of wonderment to all those who meet him!


The Cat  Spring 2012



Back to black

From: Isabel Sweet, Taunton, Somerset aving supported Cats Protection for a number of years, I have just received my first copy of The Cat – Autumn 2011 – which I am reading with great interest. Your letter from Kelly Merriman Black magic especially made me smile. My story begins with a tabby and white called Leo. He was 12 weeks old when he came to me some 18 years ago. He would curl up in my arms whenever he needed a cuddle. It was just the two of us for about five years, until one summer’s day a sleek, black cat turned up in the garden. Well, you know how it is, one day turned into seven years and he was one of the calmest cats I had ever known, even jumping into the car if he had the chance. I named him Panther and he would never sleep indoors, although he would scratch at the front door to be let in for food then go out of the cat flap in the back door. After Panther died, I felt I had to get another cat and went to a rescue centre where Pawsha came into my life. Pawsha was a big black cat, about six or seven years old with real attitude… she bit me while I was stroking her in the cattery! The first night I brought her home she got out through the cat flap while I was sorting out a litter tray for her. She was nonchalantly wandering in the garden and came back to me as soon as I called her. Within three days, she was in and out of the cat flap as if she had been with me for years. Life settled down for a few years, with Leo and Pawsha vying, but never fighting, for my lap. And then Tramps turned up, a complete black-and-white tom. He would come in for food but kept a wary eye on me. I asked at my local vets, plus rescue centres in case anyone was looking for him. After a couple of weeks, with no sign of an owner, I managed to get him to my vets for neutering. He came back to me the following day when I was told to keep him in for a few days, but he promptly got through the cat flap and disappeared for 24 hours. However, he did come back and stayed with Leo and Pawsha, the three of them never quite being friends but tolerating each other. Unfortunately, in January 2006, Tramps was taken ill and died after being with me for about four or five years. 2007


brought more bad news, as Pawsha was taken ill in the July and had to be put to sleep at the end of August. Leo took ill in the October of that year and was put to sleep on 5 November… I cried my eyes out in the vet’s car park both times. The week after Leo had gone, the house was really empty so I asked a cat lover at work if he knew of anyone who had cats that needed a good home. He gave me the number of a Fosterer with Cats Protection and I went to see two sets of kittens, all five months old. One set consisted of two pretty sisters, white with small patches of tabby in them. The others were a brother and sister, wide eyed and curled up together. Problem was, they were black with white medallions under their chins and I had said I didn’t want any more black cats! Silly me, guess who I fell for?! Four years later they are just getting out of their teenage years and settling down. Pip, the lad, is a bit of a wanderer and Tilly is a hunter, but both lovely cats. Tilly has just started to curl up on my lap in the evening, while Pip will sleep on the back of the sofa. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the lodger, Bramble, who lives down the road but spends most of his time in my house – he’s black and white, as well! Please give black cats a chance, they will return your love ten-fold.

Our Star Letter wins their own SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap. All other printed letters will win a SureFlap cat mat for your puss to wipe its paws on! The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap is ideal for cat owners needing a simple, stylish solution to the problems of intruder cats. SureFlap identifies your cat using his unique microchip number, unlocking only for your pet and leaving unwanted visitors outside. SureFlap is compatible with all European identification microchips and does not require your cat to wear an uncomfortable, restrictive collar. Available in brown and white, SureFlap can be installed into doors, windows or walls and fits into the hole left by most existing cat flaps. It runs on four AA batteries which last up to 12 months with normal use. To find out more visit or visit their Happy Cats page on Facebook


The Cat  Spring 2012


Steve Miller TV presenter Steve Miller talks to Tom Briggs about felines, Fat Families and volunteering for Cats Protection

Photo: Courtesy of Steve Miller/Sky

QUESTION Can you tell us a little about your cats? ANSWER Sadly last year two of my four cats died of old age. I miss them so much, but I look back with fond memories. Jamie died at 16 and Jack managed to hit the grand old age of 18. I now have Minnie who I rescued. She is four and is such a fun girl although a little timid. And then there is my princess Blaxie who is 14. She rules the place and is definitely Queen Bee. QUESTION You have helped numerous people with your motivational expertise and your show, Fat Families, has been nominated for an award, but what has been your proudest achievement and why? ANSWER Wow, that is a difficult one to answer. I guess it has to be becoming a published author and gaining distinction status as a clinical hypnotherapist. I was always told at school that I was “average” and would end up in a run-of-the-mill job. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, but it feels good to have gone beyond the expectation of my teachers. QUESTION What is it about cats that makes them the best pets? ANSWER Cats are such good company; their intelligence is superb and with lots of love given to them, they become your best friends. What’s more they love the clean life so anyone worrying about them leaving a mess, don’t be! I can’t imagine a life without cats to be honest. Waking up without my cats around would make my house feel empty. QUESTION How did you get into your line of work? ANSWER I’ve always been interested in supporting people and I do believe that with self belief, determination and

a motivated heart we can do things we often think are impossible. I trained as a hypnotherapist after using it when suffering from anxiety years ago. I was so impressed with the results that I knew I wanted to become one. And 15 years later, I love supporting people to overcome anxiety via hypnotherapy. QUESTION You’ve lent your support to Cats Protection on a number of occasions; notably during our I’m a Celebrity... Let Me Volunteer campaign last year. What was it like spending a day as a CP volunteer? ANSWER Oh that was such a fun day! I absolutely loved it. The best thing was rolling up my sleeves and getting in the pens to give them a clean and feed the cats as well as working in the shop. The people were so friendly and I have become good friends with many of them. I will definitely keep my involvement going because it is so much fun and, what’s more, I get to help look after the cats. QUESTION You recently had a new book published; can you tell us a little about it? ANSWER Yes it’s my fourth published book and is called Steve Miller’s Slimming Secrets. I share for the first time my personal struggles and what we can do to slim down. The content includes how to use self hypnosis techniques, meal plans using my 80-20 as well as overcoming emotional eating habits. QUESTION What can we learn from cats? ANSWER For me, the biggest thing cats teach us is how to live life independently but, at the same time, have relationships with other people. Cats are so clever they can do both. QUESTION Your programme emphasises the danger of obesity in humans, did you know that it’s a very real problem in cats too? ANSWER Yes and it really concerns me. I think some owners think they are being kind by over feeding their cats. Being kind is sometimes saying “no” even when your cat looks at you asking for more. It really is important that our cats keep a good healthy weight because allowing them to live an obese lifestyle means health problems are more likely. QUESTION What is the funniest thing that any of your cats have ever got up to? ANSWER When Jamie was alive he always got into mischief. He was very clever and would open the back door to go out and play. And then there is Blaxie who greets me every morning by patting me with her paw which basically means “Steve get up I am hungry!” Steve’s new book Steve Miller’s Slimming Secrets is published by Metro Books and is out now.

The Cat  Spring 2012


Funny, weird, or just plain photogenic; this is the place to show off your cat for the remarkable creature he is. If you think you’ve got a cat who deserves his 15 minutes of fame then write to us, at Cats’ Tales, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email including a contact number and a photo of at least 500kb in size. If you would like your photos returned, please enclose a self-addressed envelope. Your letters may be edited for clarity and length.

Sleepy head From: Jean Cooper, Dunfermline, Fife Here is a photo of my cat Dinky lying in bed about to fall asleep. She really likes fresh bed linen and recently, after I had put a clean pillow case on a pillow, she was found asleep under the pillow, but inside the pillow case!

Strike a pose!

How’s it hanging? From: Helen Elliott, Eastbourne, East Sussex This is Strawberry who likes to adopt this strange posture in his cat’s cradle. I have never before had a cat who has done this. He was a stray until I took him in three years ago, so his history is not known, but he is tremendously affectionate and a good mouser. He brightens my days with his antics! He loves to be cuddled on my shoulder and he particularly likes to put his paws around my neck, which is a bit alarming as then his face is in mine! He tries to nibble my nose and accidentally drew blood once, but I am wise to it now. He also likes to drape himself around the back of my neck. He also loves bare feet – I have learned now! – and will put out a paw to stop me if I try to pass by him on the stairs!


The Cat  Spring 2012

From: Joy Carter, Gosport, Hampshire Just look at these two posers pretending to be a couple of posh ornaments! In fact they are just two of the feral cats I’ve been feeding for over seven years for the Gosport Branch of Cats Protection. They only come indoors if I am alone and shoot outside if the doorbell rings or someone else is in the house. They’ve never been touched by anyone apart from me and the vet when they went to be spayed or neutered! They will come on my lap and be fondled, but if I try to pick them up they struggle and scratch. They make the rules and I just comply!

READERS’ CATS Friendly Felix From: Tim and Jenny Hunter, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire Felix and his three siblings were brought to us from a farm early last summer. We looked after the kittens and found homes for the two strongest ones of the litter. The smaller and less robust two kittens were Felix and his little brother. Sadly, despite much love and attention, Felix’s little brother died as he had an irregular heartbeat and stopped eating. We decided, however, to keep Felix as he is a perky, friendly chap and he has most certainly landed on his four paws! We called him ‘Felix’ because his name means ‘lucky’ and he is fortunate to be alive. He looks angelic, but is actually as muscular as a mini panther. He is a very happy, intelligent cat who is full of life and extremely inquisitive. He charges through the cat flap like a racehorse and has the appetite of one, consuming virtually anything which is edible rapidly and without complaint! He is especially fond of cat milk. All in all, he is a welcome addition to our cat family.

In a flap From: Lesley Smith, Heswall, Wirral Here is a picture of my two female cats Ashe and Safi on their first encounter with the cat flap when they were six months old. They are littermates and came from a local rescue home and were too frightened to go out in the garden at first. Now they are two years old and come and go as they want. They even follow me around outside the house accompanying me when I go to visit neighbours.

Bedding in From: Fachtna McAvoy, via email I thought that people might like to see this picture of our cats, Tasha – Burmese – and Lenny – British shorthair – on a bed-share. Tasha is 20 months old and came to our house with her brother Rudy. It was devastating for us all when Rudy suddenly became ill and died; the house felt very empty without him. After a while, we decided that it was the right time to get a new kitten and we were so lucky to find Lenny. He has been with us for two weeks now and, as you can see, has settled in amazingly well with Tasha. The bed they are in originally belonged to our dog Lily and she still thinks she can get in it once the cats have finished grooming each other!

The Cat  Spring 2012


Photo: Rundbaken



The Cat  Spring 2012

life L inda Harrison looks up some of the many cats who have adopted libraries as their homes


hat is a library cat? Quite simply, it’s a cat who calls a library his home. Sometimes the moggy gets rescued by a kindly librarian and is allowed to stay, other times he simply decides to adopt his favourite bookshelf and moves in. There are an estimated 600 cats around the world that happily live as the resident feline amid books and journals. By day, their job includes greeting visitors and keeping them company while they sit and read and helping to create a calming presence. By night, they earn their keep by catching mice and rats.

Old tradition Having a resident puss at a library is not a modern idea, it’s an old tradition that goes back hundreds of years. In fact, the libraries of ancient Egypt are believed to have welcomed felines. One of the biggest armies of library cats lives at Russia’s most famous museum, the stunning State Hermitage in St Petersburg, which has a substantial library. Felines are believed to have hunted rats and mice at the Hermitage for more than two centuries. They were originally introduced to keep the rodent population under control during the building’s former life as the Winter Palace, the state residence of the Russian Tsars. These pampered felines even had their own special servants! Today, there are believed to be 50-70 cats in residence and they’re considered by staff to be full-time museum employees. They aren’t usually allowed in the exhibition halls of the museum, although they sometimes sneak in to prowl


‘There are an estimated 600 cats around the world that happily live as the resident feline amid books and journals’ among the priceless works of art and statues. The cats tend to live and work in the labyrinths of the basement, where they are fed, looked after and allowed to lounge and sleep at leisure. The doors have holes to allow the cats access to the courtyards outside, where they love socialising with visitors. Many of the cats were previously homeless in the city, while others were brought to the museum after becoming victims of cruelty. So revered are the animals, there is even an annual event held in their honour called The Day of the March Cat, where visitors are invited to paint or draw the legendary residents.

Dewey and friends The US has a particularly high number of recorded library cats, although, unlike at the Hermitage, there are usually only one or two allowed per building. Possibly the most famous library cat was Dewey, or Dewey Readmore Books, to give him his full title. The fluffy orange tom became the resident cat at Spencer Public Library in Iowa after staff found him as a tiny kitten – he had been put in the book return one cold January night in 1988. The library’s website tells the full tale of how the board of trustees as well as the city council had to approve Dewey’s adoption. And when Dewey moved in, he won the hearts of staff and visitors alike. He is said to have loved sitting by the front door each morning to greet the public, while staff cared for him, making donations towards his food. Dewey’s fame spread so far that he became a national celebrity, generating plenty of publicity for the library around the world. He appeared on TV, in books and on postcards – where he’s shown lounging on the paperbacks and keeping guard over the computers. He even had a documentary made about him in Japan.

The Cat  Spring 2012


Photo: Willet Memorial Library at Wesleyan Collage


Fidel, checking out more than the books

Sadly, Dewey passed away in 2006, but he is still remembered as being a loving presence in the library. He’s even got his own website! Other library cats around the US include Browser, a large black tom who lives at the Pine River public library in Minnesota – Browser has his own blog where he reports on library news. Meanwhile, over in Colorado, there’s Buster – or Buster Bailiff to give him his full title – a red tabby with a torn ear who loves residing among the books at Fairplay Public Library. Another US library where they’re very proud of their cat tradition is the Willet Memorial Library at Wesleyan College in Georgia. The library had a female cat-in-residence called Squeakers for more than 20 years, she lived at the library from 1985 to 2008 and loved greeting guests. The current feline is Libris, who, according to the college’s website, bears a striking resemblance to his forebear, with glossy black fur and a splash of white on the face. Apparently, modern-day working library cats like Libris and Squeakers inspire a great deal of reading and receive stacks of fan mail and greeting cards. And the college website states that library cats are not forgotten when they go up to the great cattery in the sky. In the US alone, 22 have been immortalised as statues, five are virtual ‘e-cats’ and four are toy mascots. In addition, the Doris and Harry Vise Library in Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, is reputed to be haunted by a cat ghost, which has been seen floating through the air before disappearing among boxes stored under a table.

Grand titles Meanwhile, Dewey isn’t the only library cat to have appeared as a character in books and films. The documentary Puss in Books: Adventures of a Library Cat, made by comedian and film maker Gary Roma, explored the phenomenon of library cats in the US. Roma was said to have been inspired after discovering the Library Cat Society – an organisation set up to promote cats in libraries but which now seems to be sadly defunct – and he set off to visit various library cats around the country. These included Dewey and other felines in their bookish kingdoms with names such as Decimal and Bookums. Exploring their lifestyles, he discovered many were content to curl up in readers’ laps and sleep on circulation desks, while others held grand titles such as Librarian in Charge of Rodent Control, Marketing and Public Relations, and King. In Europe, one library cat who has really made his mark is a friendly black-and-white tom called Kubus. He was found as a bedraggled kitten in 2003 on a patch of grass not far from the small public library of Tychy, a city in southern Poland, according to the website and quickly became a much-loved addition to the library. Staff fed him at their


The Cat  Spring 2012

own expense and people would visit the library just to see Kubus. He was especially fond of lying on the shelf stacked with philosophy books. However, after about six years, an anonymous letter arrived complaining about how visitors with allergies couldn’t visit the library because of Kubus. Poor Kubus was given the sack! He was taken to live with one of the staff but became very unhappy, hardly touching his food. After a while, visitors heard about the decision and, outraged, started a petition for Kubus to return. It gained 600 signatures and soon started generating headlines in newspapers as well as being picked up on radio and TV. This furore ended with the President of the town putting out an official statement declaring Kubus ‘not guilty’ and he was allowed to go home. According to recent reports, he is still happily ensconced at the library. The UK has also had some library cat residents through the years, although some moggies have been pickier than others about making a library their permanent home.

Fidel’s raw Deal Deal Library in Kent has one such feline in Fidel, a friendly black cat. Fidel used to visit the library almost every day, perching at the front door and waiting for staff to open up. He usually spent his days curled up asleep on his favourite blue chair, only leaving when he spotted his owners arriving home across the road. But a recent refurbishment at the library has left Fidel a little put out, and he has since cut his visits down to once or twice a week. Staff say Fidel seemed upset at the new layout of the library and also at the loss of his blue chair, which was thrown out in the refurbishment. However, Fidel is still extremely popular with library visitors when he does decide to make an appearance and, like most of his fellow library cats, he loves nothing more than being the centre of attention. These are just a few of the special moggies making libraries around the world happier, friendlier and calmer places to visit. There are many others who make themselves indispensible reading companions, or are just waiting to be discovered. So the next time you’re browsing at your local library, listen out for a contented purr. Who knows? One of these learned felines might have their eye on your favourite bookshelf for their next home.

Further reading

I can’t leave my best friend behind! We know that for many victims of domestic abuse, leaving violent relationships is made impossible simply because they cannot bear to lose their pets. That’s where Cats Protection, in partnership with Dogs Trust, steps in. Through the Freedom Project we take in and provide safe refuge for victims’ cats until their owners are in a position to reclaim them. Since 2004, we have helped more than 120 families to escape domestic abuse. By making a donation today you can help us to support even more. Make a difference today:

T: 0800 917 2287 W: Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

20 The Cat  Spring 2012




 om Briggs finds out how cats have T become a welcome sight in care homes around the country


he elderly are, perhaps, the people to whom the affection of pets matters most and, all too often, cats are handed over to charities like Cats Protection when their owners move into residential care homes. To hear of a friendship ending in this way is heartbreaking; we all know what fantastic companions cats are and how much joy they can bring into people’s lives, so having to say goodbye can be devastating. It is heartening, therefore, to know that cats are becoming a more common sight in care homes around the UK. As all cat owners know, there are numerous health benefits to having a feline friend. As well as their mood-lifting qualities, it has been proved that contact with them can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. It has also been suggested by some studies that time spent with them can help to prevent illness and allergies. Further evidence, as if it were needed, that pets have a massively important role to play in the lives of the elderly.

The Cinnamon Trust The Cinnamon Trust is a national charity which helps people and their pets stay together when they become less mobile or have to move into care. Founded in 1984 by Averil Jarvis, MBE, the Trust has some 10,000 volunteers who carry out all manner of tasks to overcome any difficulties owners may have. This includes everything from buying food and walking dogs to taking full-time care of animals if their human companions are admitted to hospital. A worthy cause, we’re sure you’ll agree. Every year, it publishes a guide of the best pet-friendly residential care homes and holds an awards ceremony for those at the very top of the rankings. Elizabeth Court Rest Home in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex was one of the finalists.

Evelyn and Tibbs at Elisabeth Court Rest Home

Photo: Tom Briggs

The Cat  Spring 2012


FEATURE Case study: Oscar Oscar won the Best Friends category of Cats Protection’s Rescue Cat Awards in 2010 after making a huge difference to the lives of the elderly residents at Mount Care Home in Wargrave, Reading. Initially a stray, he was adopted to improve the atmosphere for residents. He settled in immediately, preferring to spend time indoors with the residents and has made a huge impact on their quality of life.

Wanting to see for myself how cats make a difference to people living in full-time care, I decided to visit Elizabeth Court. It’s worth noting that I went along on Monday 16 January. I wouldn’t normally go into such minute and apparently trivial detail, but this particular date had been dubbed by the media as ‘Blue Monday’ due to it being statistically the most depressing day in the calendar. It may as well have been mid summer’s day! As well as seeing residents’ faces light up at the mere mention of their pets, the general atmosphere in the home was overwhelmingly upbeat. Speaking to Manager, Carol Robinson, and Head of Care, Mandy Dade, confirmed the happy feeling within the home and that the cats play an important part. “The first pet we had was a cat,” says Carol. “In 2004, one of our residents came in and asked if he could bring his cat, April. Because Mandy and I are both animal lovers it seemed quite natural to say yes. That started the ball rolling. She’d been in a cattery while he was in hospital and he desperately wanted her back with him, so we couldn’t say no!” April’s arrival sparked quite an influx of other animals into the home. As well as two resident dogs, there are three guinea pigs, five rabbits and three chickens – oh, and seven other cats too! April is joined in the feline contingent by Coco, Patch, Sunshine, Tibbs, Billy, Misty and Barney. Asked if they anticipated having so many pets living in the home, both Carol and Mandy laugh. “Over the years it’s progressed a lot,” says Mandy. “And I don’t suppose we’ve stopped yet!” “We’ll aim for one cat per resident!” adds Carol. “The residents love the cats and the cats are very loyal to them,” Carol explains. “Evelyn’s cat, Tibbs, will follow her all around the home. She’s even got her own special place in the lounge where she sits next to her. She never leaves her side.” Coco, meanwhile, arrived at Elizabeth Court as an indirect result of Cats Protection’s Black Cat Awareness Day. “We saw a newspaper feature about black cats needing homes, so

The Cat  Spring 2012

Of course, nobody can tell you about the strength of the bond between the residents and their cats better than the residents themselves. Speaking to some of them really emphasised the importance of having feline friends around. For the most part, my questions quickly became conversations about the characters of their cats; naturally, this was proof enough, although the glints in eyes, body language and smiles also spoke volumes. However, speaking to one particular resident, Doris, put into words the strength of feeling that thousands like her have for their pets. Asked how she would cope without her cats around, her succinct but powerful reply is “Life wouldn’t be any good to me.”

Case study: Mungo & Midge Mungo and Midge were adopted by Wraysbury House, Worthing from Cats Protection’s Worthing & District Branch last year and have become established and well loved in the home. Shan Scott, who volunteers for the branch said: “Cats like Mungo and Midge can contribute enormously to the life of an elderly person either living alone or in a residential home. It is widely recognised pets have a high therapeutic value and can help combat feelings of isolation by offering companionship and unconditional love. Seeing two cats like these happy and secure in a new home is incredibly rewarding.”

Photos: Helen Tinner

Photo: INS

Strong bond

Elizabeth Court Rest Home


asked the residents whether they liked the idea of getting another cat,” says Carol. “Some of them were very interested, so we rang a couple of rescue centres. One of them told us about an 18-year-old black cat who they thought would struggle to find a home, so I said we’ll have her!” Philip and Coco are now the best of friends. “Philip absolutely adores Coco, he idolises her. It gives him something to talk about and something to think about. He fusses over her and she means the world to him. “At the same time, another gentleman, Brian, adopted a younger cat called Patch; he is in a wheelchair, so we needed to get him one who could get out of the way of his wheels quickly!” So how do visitors react to there being so many different pets in the home, I wondered? “They love it,” is Carol’s emphatic answer. “Everyone comments, jokingly asking if we’re running a cats’ home or a vet, but we’ve never had anything negative.”


… and Midge


Alex the Brave Maddie Purslow explains how her cat, Alex, adapted to being asthmatic


always think that when you encounter a problem in life, there is nothing more comforting than hearing about other people’s experiences. So, with this in mind, I would like to share my story of Alex the asthmatic cat and his inhaler with readers of The Cat. My 11-year-old Chocolate Point Siamese had been coughing for a while, but as anyone who lives with this particular breed will tell you, they are inclined to be a bit wheezy and so I didn’t worry. However, when it became clear that this was no ordinary cough, I took him to the vet. When he was first diagnosed with asthma I was quite shocked. I didn’t realise that cats could suffer from it and I had certainly never come across anyone among my cat-loving friends who had encountered it either. At first, Alex was put on a low dose of steroid tablets and was managing quite well. But just before Christmas, he had a very bad attack of breathlessness, which ended up with him spending the night at the vet’s in an oxygen tent. Thanks to the skill of my vet and his team, Alex survived but it was clear he needed something more to help him. Initially the solution was to increase his steroid dosage, but the vet advised me that this was not a good long-term strategy. We carried on like this for a while until Alex stabilised and then an inhaler was suggested. Now, as I’m sure anyone who has ever tried to give a cat a pill will understand, I was sceptical. Especially when I was told I would have to hold a mask over the cat’s face to administer it! However, I duly picked up the inhaler from my vet and worriedly took it home. It consisted of an ordinary asthma inhaler, like you or I would use, and a broad plastic tube about the diameter of a small mineral water bottle, at the end of which was the mask. I looked at it, looked at Alex and put it in the cupboard for a bit. Feeling demoralised by this ominous piece of kit, I decided to trawl the internet for help. And ping! Like a light going on, there was lots of help, including a brilliant site called Fritz The Brave which I would recommend to anyone with an asthmatic puss. Little by little, watching other people calmly administering their inhalers, I realised that this was ‘do-able’. Following their advice, I introduced Alex very slowly to the inhaler, just letting him see it and be near it at first. Any encounter was accompanied by treats and a trigger word. In our case it was the unlovely phrase, “Time for your Wheezy Bag, Alex” – as suggested by my husband, who

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

I have since nearly forgiven – but it worked, little by little, I was able to hold the mask over his muzzle, just for short periods at first and then working up to using the inhaler in conjunction with the mask. I made sure that we stuck to a strict regime; same time, same place, even the same words and plenty of praise. Within a few weeks, it became a routine for both of us. So much so, that now, if I forget for any reason, Alex appears and does one of his best lusty Siamese yowls to remind me it’s time for his medication… and treats, of course. I do have to say at this point, that Alexander is a very sweet natured boy and so maybe I have an advantage, there but I am sure given time, most cats will cope. Finally, I must tell you that since starting the inhaler, my very own Alex The Brave is doing fantastically well. At Christmas 2010 we were looking at a tired old puss now it’s like having a kitten around. So to anyone being faced with the dreaded inhaler, don’t despair, there is hope

The Cat  Spring 2012


There are so many great things out there for cats and their owners. Here are just a few of our favourites…

It’s in the bag The Cat Gallery has a plethora of cat-related gifts for everyone and this elegant leather shoulder bag is definitely something special. We just couldn’t resist the Kitten in Clover shoulder bag in Ciccia’s new Winter 2011 design. If there’s a brand for cat lovers then surely it has to be the Ciccia range. Each bag, purse, wallet and key ring fob comes adorned with their familiar cat design making the wearer’s allegiance to the feline form obvious for all to see. The bag retails at £100 and is available from The Cat Gallery via its website or by phone 01904 413 000.

Dinner time


Konichiwa, kitty In Japan it is believed that these Lucky Cats will bring prosperity to your business and bring you riches! This delightful Feng Shui Good Fortune cat is ceramic, gold coloured with its right paw raised. The Japanese love to have Lucky Cats or Maneki Neko as mascots, to bring good fortune, invite happiness and bring prosperity to a business or home and we’re lucky enough to have three to give away! Each comes in a wonderful origamiwrapped box which adds to the whole delight. These sell at £6 each and they, with a whole array of other lucky cats, can be bought from The Japanese Shop, phone 01423 545 020 or via Mark your entries ‘Konichiwa’.


The Cat  Spring 2012

As Christmas has been and gone and a lot of us still have extra goodies we’d have liked to have splashed out on for our loved ones, has provided us with a great little giveaway for our feline friends. Say ‘miaow’ to the coolest cat bowl on the planet! This stylish ceramic bowl is customised with your cat’s name and states whether it is his food or water bowl. The cute paw prints and fish bone design mean there is no mistaking which member of the family it belongs to! The bowl is nice and sturdy, so won’t be tipped over by mischievous kitties and will easily wipe clean. Your cat will be certainly having dinner in style! provides thousands of unusual yet extremely useful presents for all of the family and it prides itself on having the perfect gift for any occasion, including the popular cat products; the SkratchKabin and KatKabin. Learn more about the range at or phone 0844 2495 007. We have four bowls to give away. Mark your entries ‘Kitty bowl’ and don’t forget to let us know whether you would like a food or water bowl, pink or blue and include your cat’s name – up to 15 characters.




cat’ s miaow Timeless elegance Nelson & Forbes has launched a new series of bronze cat sculptures cast in strictly limited editions which perfectly capture the essence of one of Britain’s best-loved pets. The Seated cat by British artist Sue Maclaurin is one of three sculptures celebrating cats, each full of character and reflecting a different mannerism that cat lovers are sure to be familiar with. Each Nelson & Forbes piece is cast in an English foundry, using the ancient art of lost wax and takes two weeks to make. The casting process encompasses 14 separate steps and, importantly for the collector, each time a piece is cast, a new mould is created and then destroyed. This means that, while being completely faithful to the artist’s original work, every piece is very slightly different to the last and therefore unique. Every piece is presented in a hand made gift box and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Sue Maclaurin’s cats are just three of 36 pieces in the 2011/12 Nelson & Forbes collection, which celebrates the best of traditional British craftsmanship. Nelson & Forbes sculptures are available in galleries nationwide, or can be bought from Prices range from £60 to £2,000. For stockist information please phone 01442 256 290.

Open wide!


ProDen PlaqueOff™ Animal is an easy way to improve your pet’s oral hygiene without the hassle of brushing: prepared from specially selected seaweed, rich in vitamins and minerals and proved to help reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. It comes in powdered form and can simply be added to your pet’s food on a daily basis; improvements are usually seen in five to eight weeks. In addition to a balanced diet, regular cleaning and veterinary check ups, daily use of PlaqueOff has been proven to reduce the build up of plaque and tartar preventing the formation of new deposits. It is available nationwide from veterinary practices, pet shops or by mail order. The RRP is £10.99 for 60g. For your local stockist, please phone 0845 226 0660 or visit We have three packs of ProDen PlaqueOff™ Animal up for grabs – please mark your entry ‘PlaqueOff’.

Exciting new Kong cat toys Kong has exciting new interactive catnip toys to entice and encourage most cats’ natural instincts to hunt, wrestle and hind paw kick. Kickeroo Mouse with crinkly body and fluffy tail; Kitty Fuzz Bug 3-in1 toy – a teaser, or can be separated into a cute toy and a ball with a stretchy tail; Fuzzy Bird has a rattling body and a crinkle tail. We have 10 Kong giveaways – each winner will receive one of each of the products below. To win, mark your entry ‘KONG’.


For a chance to win one of our fantastic giveaways, send your name and address on a postcard or sealed envelope to:  The Catmagazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. You can also send your entries via email to Don’t forget to mark your entries in the subject header so we know which competition you’re entering as well as including your name and address in the email body. On occasion we may need to pass on the details of competition winners to the prize suppliers for products to be posted direct. Closing date for all giveaways is 13 April 2012.

The Cat  Spring 2012


A day in the life of a cat behaviour counsellor

Who is the perfect client? Vicky Halls investigates…


s knowledge of cat behaviour is increasing, both within veterinary practice and the pet owning public, so is the demand for the services of the cat behaviour counsellor* (CBC). I have written a great deal over the past few years about the sort of problems that are tackled – house soiling or aggression, for example – and the consequences for the cat or cats in the household. Looking back, however, I have written very little about what it’s like from the owner’s perspective. How does it feel to be the cat behaviour counsellor’s client? Many owners have confessed some trepidation prior to my visit: “Will I be judged on the quality of care? Is it my fault? Will I be confronted with complicated science that I don’t understand? What is involved? What is expected of me?” So, with the intention of demystifying the process, here are some insights into being a CBC’s perfect client.

Contact with a CBC Contact with a CBC should be through your veterinary practice. Your vet will look for a medical reason for the concerning behaviour so you will need to describe exactly what is occurring – when and where – so that all possible causes can be identified or eliminated. If nothing physical is found then a behavioural referral will be made. Your surgery may have someone to whom they refer regularly or, at the very least, details of a member of a specific organisation, such as the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. It is important to make sure that the person or company you are seeing is experienced and reputable and this is probably easier for your vet to establish than you. Once referred you will either be contacted directly or the onus will be on you to make the first approach, either by telephone or email.

Vicky Halls is a registered Veterinary Nurse, a member of the FAB’s Feline Behaviour Expert Panel and author of several best-selling cat counselling books. For further information regarding these and to subscribe to Vicky’s free monthly e-newsletter featuring cat behavioural articles, cats in the news, tips for cat owners and competitions, please visit her website at

26 The Cat  Spring 2012

A listening ear All CBCs should be trained appropriately to convey their feelings of empathy and understanding and their appreciation of the consequences of ‘problem’ behaviour for the owners and their families. Cat owners can be extremely tolerant of their pets’ behaviour – problems are allowed to continue, often for a considerable period of time, due to a lack of understanding of the significance of the behaviour, belief that nothing can be done or a burden of guilt that the owner is somehow responsible. The family often adopts chores based around the problem and over a period of time these compensatory or ‘firefighting’ measures become the norm. Relationships can be fraught between partners if differing views exist regarding any action that needs to be taken and owner stress is often the consequence. When the problem is eventually brought to the attention of a pet behaviour counsellor, it is common for the owner to state that he or she is “at the end of my tether”. If this resonates with you then be reassured that this is a familiar scenario for the CBC and every effort will be made to ensure you feel listened to and understood.

Home visit consultation Cat behaviour counselling is, arguably, an art form and each practitioner will have their own ‘artistic interpretation’ of the science. Most consultations take place in the owner’s home, each one taking between two and four hours, depending on the complexity of the case. It is normally recommended that all family members are present, but if you feel that any babies or small children in your household will be distracting for you, it is worth making alternative arrangements for child care on the day. It will be useful, however, to discuss with the CBC how your children interact with your cat and vice versa. Prior to the consultation you will probably be asked to complete a pre-consultation questionnaire, which will be studied, together with the vet’s referral and your cat’s medical history, before you meet. The questionnaire will cover information regarding your cat – or cats – the people in the household, other pets, the environment, lifestyle, diet and the nature of the problem behaviour. The reality of most cases, once explored in depth, is that there are multiple presenting problems affecting potentially more than one cat in the household. It is definitely worth putting in the time and effort

HEALTH CHECK Photo: Laflor

to complete this questionnaire as it may be very revealing; many clients say that it focuses their mind and often puts a different perspective on things. If there are matters that concern you, or behaviour you have seen, that isn’t covered on the form you are completing, note them separately to ensure that the information is relayed on the day. Keeping a diary of the problem behaviour or taking video footage prior to the consultation will aid the CBC in reaching an assessment. It is entirely likely that you have more than one cat – the majority of owners who seek help from a cat behaviour counsellor have multiple cats – and the CBC will need to establish whether they represent one cohesive social group or exist as pairs, factions and singletons occupying the same environment, resulting in conflict and tension. Part of the initial consultation process will involve questioning regarding your observation of any friendly or conflict behaviour. This will be taken into consideration when a programme of change is put in place. All information you provide to the CBC is your view of your cat’s behaviour and the problem, which will almost inevitably be anthropomorphic – attributing human thoughts and feelings to animals – and require some interpretation. It is surprisingly easy for owners to interpret cat behaviour and establish beliefs about what they are seeing. Every subsequent observation will always be judged based on those beliefs; it is very easy to disappear down dark alleys of misunderstanding when this happens! Phrases to avoid when discussing your cat’s behaviour probably include ‘dominant’, ‘naughty’, ‘devil eyes’, ‘jealous’ and ‘schizo’ as, although you know exactly what they mean for you, it will take a little unravelling. During the consultation, the counsellor will be constantly observing your interaction with the cat and vice versa and any cat-to-cat interaction. This will reveal much more than the verbal history alone. As a result of the information gleaned, the CBC will reach an assessment of the motivation for the behaviour and communicate this to you; it is likely that there will be something that is causing your cat to be stressed. Solutions will be offered together with an expectation of possible results; some situations will require management rather than ‘cure’. You will then be given a programme to follow, usually, in writing. If there are any queries at this stage they should be voiced, as your understanding of what is expected may mean the difference between success and failure. The CBC will offer support and guidance for a period of time, hopefully, to ensure that any changes necessary are made to get the best results. Most programmes last for six to eight weeks but some have elements that are necessary to remain in place for the lifetime of your cat. You will be requested to keep in touch with the CBC via telephone or email or there may be subsequent visits.

Behaviour programme When creating a programme of change for addressing the problem behaviour the CBC will work with many interventions including changes to the environment or to the way you interact with your cat, ‘behaviour modification’ techniques – such as desensitisation – synthetic pheromones and drug therapy. There is rarely any direct ‘training’ involved and most programmes focus on changes that alter your cat’s perception of the environment and social situation. The programme, if skilfully devised, will be practical and specific to your circumstances. If at any time you feel that you cannot carry out any of the suggestions now is the time to say it. If you don’t feel confident in the instructions or believe they won’t work then this is potentially a real worry. Many CBC interventions fail at this stage because the necessary conditions were not present for a relationship of trust to develop between the owner and the counsellor. In my opinion, this is the key to the whole process.

In conclusion Cat behaviour counselling is complex and the best comprehensive advice needs a full history and behaviour assessment. The client therefore plays a pivotal role in this process – the more you can give, the more you will get out of the experience! *Cat Behaviour Counsellors use various titles including Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist, Pet Behaviourist, Pet Behaviour Counsellor or Veterinary Behaviourist depending on their qualifications. This is not a regulated profession, so your veterinary surgeon will advise accordingly regarding choice of practitioner.

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vets Ask the

Have you got a question? Send your questions to: ‘Ask The Vets’, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email:

CP’s team of veterinary experts tackle your feline-related questions…

My cat refuses to swallow tablets and even sneaks them out of his mouth when I’m not looking! How can I make sure he’s getting his worming medication? A. Kiernan, Gillingham, Kent Encouraging cats to take oral medications can be challenging, but there are a few tips that can help to make the dosing of cats less stressful for all involved. First of all, when tablets are prescribed to your cat, ask for guidance or a demonstration from your vet or veterinary nurse. They may also show you how to use a tool called a pill giver – a sort of syringe with a soft rubber tip which some owners find useful. The basic procedure is shown below: • Ensure the cat is in a secure location where he is unable to escape before the procedure has been successfully performed and ensure you have everything to hand before you begin. You may find it easier to place the cat onto a table or work surface, but pop a towel down first to stop the cat from slipping. Make sure the cat is able to place all four feet on the surface so that it feels more secure. The nicer you can make the experience for the cat, the easier it is likely to be the next time! • Grasp the cat’s head using your non-dominant hand. Position your hand on top of the head, with the thumb on one side of the face at the cheekbones and the fingers on the other. Avoid holding the lower jaw and do not hold the head so tight that it is uncomfortable or the cat cannot swallow. If your cat struggles or tries to pull your hand away from his head, try wrapping him firmly in a towel, leaving only the head sticking out and asking a helper to hold him • Once the head is held, tilt the head so that the nose points toward the ceiling. Gravity encourages the mouth to open • Use your other hand to administer the pill. Place the pill between your thumb and forefinger. Use your little finger, ring finger or middle finger to lower the jaw by applying pressure to the teeth between the lower canine teeth • Once the mouth is fully open, place the pill as far back in it as possible but avoid placing your hand too far into your cat’s mouth • Lower the cat’s head to allow the mouth to close and gently hold the mouth closed. Gently and briefly rub your cat’s nose. This should stimulate him to lick his nose, which results in swallowing, but keep the mouth closed, and gently stroke the cat’s throat until you feel it has swallowed Some tablets can sit in the oesophagus once swallowed, causing discomfort to the cat. Ask your vet if it would be ok


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to give some water by syringe, offering a smear of butter or giving some food as soon as the tablet has been given to help take the pills down to the stomach. Do double-check with your vet first through – to see if the tablet is suitable to be given with food. Some medications work best when given with food, whereas it can affect the efficacy or absorption of others. Also double-check before crushing tablets in food – some tablets have a special coating on them which is important and crushing these will make them less effective. If the tablet can be given with food, you could try hiding it within a tasty treat or in a small portion of the cat’s normal food. Once this small portion has been eaten, you can give the cat the remainder of its meal. Placing the tablet in a normal-sized meal makes it easier for the cat to eat around it. Try not to hover over your cat, trying to see whether he has eaten the tablet in the food. He may sense something is up! If you continue to struggle with tablets, speak to your vet about the possibility of an alternative formulation. For example, some treatments can come in paste, liquid, spot-on or injectable forms, which may ensure adequate dosing. A couple of years ago my mum and dad adopted Poppy from our local Cats Protection. We don’t know how old she is, but she has a bad hip and can’t run or jump; she struggles to even climb up the step through the kitchen door. Poppy is very slow on her feet yet dedicated to my parents but I worry whether the problems in her hip might cause her any pain. Please can you reassure my parents and I that their cat is perfectly happy and that she isn’t in as much pain as she looks like she is when she struggles to get to her feet when she has jumped off the sofa? Catriona Mackintosh, Harpenden, Bedfordshire As we are not in the position to examine Poppy or have access to her full medical records, we would encourage your parents to take her to the vet so that she can be assessed and also so that the vet can give specific guidance and recommendations for her care. It is quite common for cats to develop arthritis; this can be due to normal wear and tear over the years, trauma and even as a result of some other feline diseases. This condition often goes undiagnosed as cats are very good at hiding signs of pain, which can include lameness, a reduction in running and jumping, a change in demeanour and also a reduction in self-grooming. If your vet feels that Poppy is in pain due to arthritis, there are some options that may help, such as feline

HEALTH CHECK anti-inflammatory drugs, weight management and dietary supplements. The vet may also suggest considering some lifestyle changes such as soft, padded bedding, which is easily accessible and warm, ramps for her to easily access areas such as the kitchen door step or other favoured areas. Extra grooming may be necessary with a soft brush if she is having difficulty reaching all areas. If you would like to read more about this condition, we would recommend looking at Cats Protection’s Arthritis leaflet which can be found by following the following link: My cat, Mr Snuggles, has recently had an operation for a tumour in the stomach. We are really pleased that he is recovering well and seems to be full of beans. Mr S is about to start chemotherapy and our vet has advised us to keep his litter tray contents and saliva away from people and our other cat, Billy, please can you advise why and do you have any suggestions on how I can do this? I am confused because I didn’t think cancer could be caught? Mrs Bantry, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire It is lovely to hear that Mr Snuggles is doing so well following his operation. We would always advise speaking to your vet in more detail about the recommendations that they have made as they can be more specific about your particular situation. However, when Mr S undertakes his course of chemotherapy, it may be important to try and minimise any contact with any bodily fluids that are passed by him, such as his saliva, urine and faeces. The reason for this may not be due to the cancer, but because some of the chemotherapy drugs may be irritant. Your vet will be using a specific chemotherapy protocol for Mr Snuggles’ treatment which might be made up of various different drugs; they will be able to advise you on any potential health and safety precautions. While cancer itself is not infectious, sometimes cancer can be associated with viral infection in cats, such as infection with Feline Leukaemia Virus or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. If Mr Snuggles’ cancer is associated with infection with either of these viruses, and Billy is not infected, your vet will be able to guide you on how best to protect Billy from infection. We sincerely hope that Mr Snuggles continues to sparkle throughout his chemotherapy treatment. I have heard that when a feral cat is neutered, the vet will cut off some of his ear, can you tell me why? Tim Harrington, via email The definition of a feral cat is one that is born in the wild and is not socialised to humans when he is a kitten. Once mature, feral cats are unlikely to establish close social acceptance of people. With this in mind it can be very stressful for feral cats to be caught and neutered. Therefore, ideally, all feral cats that are neutered – which brings them health benefits and helps to control population – should be ear tipped at the same time while they are having their general anaesthetic. This quick procedure involves the tip of the left ear being surgically removed leaving a clear straight line edge. This is an internationally recognised method, recognisable from a distance, of showing that the cat has been neutered, to prevent the cat from being re-caught and having further unnecessary operations.

The experts Maggie Roberts BVM&S MRCVS After qualifying at Edinburgh University in 1986, Maggie went on to work primarily in private practice. Maggie first worked for Cats Protection as Veterinary Officer from 1997-99; her interest in feline medicine brought her back to the charity as Head of Veterinary Services in 2006. She has three cats, Trevor, Frankie and Ronnie. Beth Skillings BVSc MRCVS Beth qualified at the University of Liverpool in 1998 and went on to work in general veterinary practice until 2005 when she joined Cats Protection as Head of Veterinary Services. Beth moved into a new role as Clinical Veterinary Officer in November 2006. Beth has two CP cats, Starsky and Vincent. Lisa Morrow BMLSc DVM MSc(BE) MRCVS Lisa graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, Canada in 2000. Lisa first worked with Cats Protection as an Adoption Centre Vet at Derby Adoption Centre and was CP Head of Veterinary Services from 2003-2005. Lisa recently rejoined CP as Field Veterinary Officer in the northern region of the UK. She has two elderly cats called Ginger and Skinnie Minnie. Karen Hiestand BVSc MRCVS Karen graduated from Massey University in New Zealand in 2001 and spent two years in mixed practise in her home country. Since then, she has interspersed locumming around the UK with volunteer veterinary work. She has one cat called Dexter. Our veterinary surgeons have provided the advice on these pages, but for specific cases and health concerns, it is important that you consult your own vet who will be able to look at your cat’s history and do a clinical examination.

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Points of view S

incere thanks to the thousands who filled in the survey in the winter edition of The Cat either on paper or online. The response was amazing; we are duly collating the answers and will provide the statistics in the summer edition. We’d also like to thank those that sent in donations, this was totally unexpected but very gratefully received and has gone straight to the cats in our care. The overwhelming majority of responses indicate that you are very happy with the magazine in its current format. You have been very gracious with your praise saying that the magazine was an important part of your membership, a great advert for the charity, kept readers in touch with CP and abreast of the charity’s news. One reader, who had joined CP on the strength of the magazine and who had worked in magazines themselves, even went as far as to say we should enter for a national magazine award… mmm, definitely food for thought! However, we do want to take this opportunity, before revealing the official statistics of the responses in the Summer issue, to address some of the concerns, comments and suggestions made within the surveys received.

The cost of the magazine


There were some concerns raised regarding the perceived cost of producing the magazine with some readers suggesting the option to remove themselves from the mailing list in order to save money. We would hate to lose such valued readers and see the raising of these concerns as an ideal opportunity to properly explain our rationale for producing the magazine itself and its costs. The magazine is strongly supported by funds brought in by our advertisers and also by those who pay to subscribe to it, rather than receiving it through CP membership. Each magazine costs just over £1 to print and distribute but with each subscription it brings back in over three times that amount. This money is put back into funding our work with cats. We review the print tender of the magazine annually to ensure we receive value for money while maintaining quality and environmental credentials. Although the magazine looks glossy and expensive it is, in fact, very cost efficient. Added to this, the paper is recycled and the packaging biodegradable so we really are trying to be as economic and environmentally aware while not lowering the standard of the magazine. We know it is an important medium for us to communicate the messages of CP to the public and our CP supporters. It is a vital tool for keeping in touch, keeping supporters involved, rehoming cats and ensuring correct information about cat care and the charity is promoted. Furthermore, our branches find it a very useful way to recruit volunteers and to share details about their rehoming work. Please be assured that the cost of producing the magazine is very carefully weighed up against the benefits it brings to us as an organisation and, indeed, the cats in our care. These costs are reviewed regularly and measures are taken in order to ensure it is as cost effective as possible.

30 The Cat  Spring 2012

Survey response Should you wish to be removed from the mailing list and no longer receive the magazine, please contact Supporter Services team on 0800 917 2287 or email

The frequency of the magazine and availability Many people who responded were keen to see The Cat become a monthly or bi-monthly magazine and, although this is very flattering, sadly at this current time we would be unable to justify the extra print, postage and time costs that this would incur. Also, producing the magazine is only one part of the Editorial and Design teams’ duties and with the current number of staff, we would not be able to produce issues. Some rued the fact that the magazine was not available from newsagents or WH Smith. Again, this comes down primarily to the costs, associated with getting the magazine onto the newsstands. This and the fact that increasing the frequency of the magazine is costly. With more and more cats needing our help, we simply don’t have the funds to make this happen.

The smell of the magazine is green!

Recycling and the posters As previously mentioned, the whole of The Cat magazine is printed on 100 per cent recyclable paper and we are proud to be able to show the logo of the Forest Stewardship Council ( on our Welcome page of each issue. This acknowledges that we comply with the highest social and environmental standards on the market. We were glad to see that many of our readers already give their magazine, once read, to friends and family or put it in the waiting rooms of their vets, doctors and dentists. This is a great way for us to spread the CP message even further and indeed one reader stated that it was because they had read the magazine at her vet’s that she took out a subscription. One volunteer takes old copies of the magazine to potential owners when doing a home visit. Of course, we were just as pleased to hear that many of you keep the magazines as collector’s items and often go back to them to re-read articles of particular interest or which offer useful veterinary advice. The posters seem to be viewed equally as either a wonderful addition or an unnecessary expenditure. We introduced these as we were aware that many people enjoyed having large images of beautiful cats and certainly many of our readers said that they adorned the walls of their

‘More about CP branches, photos of readers’ cats, please!’ We do try to maintain a balance of the magazine representing the charity while also representing the main interest of our readers: cats! This means the content of the magazine has to satisfy many different tastes and interests. Some readers commented that their own branches were rarely mentioned. We are reliant upon the information being sent in to us from the branches and adoption centres, but always welcome everything they submit and we will take this opportunity to remind all our branches and adoption centres that their contributions are always encouraged and welcomed. Branches, your public wants to hear from you! When it comes to photos of readers’ cats then this one is over to you! We love to receive these and would only ask that the photos are clear – not blurry – and of at least 500kb in size if sent digitally so they can print well. These can be submitted via the postal address or email stated in the magazine.

Ask the vets One comment we received was definitely worth a more specific response. They queried the timing of our Ask the vets page, suggesting that those writing in would have to wait months for their letter and its reply to be printed. These are purely for other readers to see and perhaps learn from. When someone gets in touch with us with a medical or behavioural query we immediately forward this to our vets who then promptly and personally respond. We then print a selection of the queries received along with the vets’ responses, in the magazine with the sender’s permission. Please be assured that any vet query is always dealt with promptly! Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in the survey and provide us with comments and suggestions. We are looking at all ideas suggested for article topics or changes and hope to incorporate some of these soon for future editions. And congratulations to Mrs Hall from Manchester who was picked out of the hat for the £20 Marks and Spencer vouchers!

The Cat  Spring 2012


Photo: Campbell

Some readers pointed out that there is a distinct print smell when opening their issue of The Cat magazine. Readers might find that other mainstream consumer magazines do not have this same smell, but this is due to these magazines being produced on web printing presses – a reel-based system – which use different drying methods. This is designed for very large print runs. Our print house uses sheetfed printing presses but with vegetable dyes which are both cost effective and environmentally friendly; however, this combined with our paper from responsibly managed sources and the drying process can retain the ink smell for longer.

bedrooms, studies and even classrooms after donating them to their local schools. After receiving all the comments and after some serious thought, however, we have now decided to make the poster a one-off special perhaps once a year. This will contribute to our current cost-saving measures with regard to the magazine.

The great

indoors A healthy, active cat that never leaves the house? Victoria Regan explains how…


f your image of an indoor cat is of a chubby layabout that couldn’t hunt his own dinner if his life depended on it, think again. Given attention and the right care, an indoor cat can be as lively and energetic as even the most street-savvy tom. Many of us have understandable reservations about keeping a cat in an essentially unnatural environment and would feel guilty about their pet missing out on his freedom – and I admit, as the owner of an indoor cat myself, such scruples do cross my mind from time to time. But while the benefits of keeping a cat to the owner’s general happiness and stress-levels are well known, you won’t have to worry that your indoor cat is getting a raw deal if you meet their needs and put a little work into keeping them entertained. In fact, without anxieties about dangerously busy roads, lost cats and some acquired illnesses taken away, the whole experience of cat ownership can be safer and more enjoyable for both parties. Armed with a little know-how, you’ll be ready to give your indoor cat a happy home and feel good about it too. The first step is to ask yourself how much time you have available to spend interacting with an indoor cat. As they will not have the same outlets for their instinctive needs as outdoor cats, who gain stimulation from nature and the seasons – not to mention wildlife – they will be reliant on you to provide the majority of their entertainment and play. The next part is choosing your cat wisely – animals that have previously enjoyed an outdoor lifestyle may not take well to the change, but others can actively benefit from being indoor-only. Cats with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) cannot socialise with non-FIV cats so have to stay in the house and deaf and blind cats would also be suited to an indooronly environment – so adopting from one of these groups would be ideal. Also, cats that are particularly nervous or have had frightening experiences with a member of the local feline population might be good candidates for the great indoors too.


The Cat  Spring 2012

IN PRACTICE Back to basics Indoor cats tend to have less opportunity for burning off calories, so ask your vet for advice on which food would be best suited to them. Inevitably, weight issues can be a major cause for concern and it is important not to over-feed them – follow the guidelines and use a measuring cup for dry food rather than pouring directly into your cat’s bowl. Getting hold of some cat grass – Cocksfoot – which grows quickly from seeds in a plastic tray – available from pet shops – is a must to help prevent your cat nibbling at your houseplants, although I have found that keeping the growing grass away from my cat until it is long enough for her to eat can be a battle of wills – she seems magnetically drawn to this wide-bladed grass. On the subject of plants, indoor cats can be particularly interested in the potted plants and cut flowers that might be around them in the home, so it’s very important to protect your cat from ingesting potentially toxic foliage – check out the Feline Advisory Bureau for a full list of dangerous plants – Lily pollen is a particular danger as it can cause kidney failure, so stay vigilant and always be conscious of what you are bringing into your cat’s environment.

As for water, my cat infinitely prefers perching on the side of the sink and drinking from a running tap than from her water bowl, with lapping from my bedside water glass a close second, so you might want to consider investing in a cat water fountain to keep them happy and hydrated. It’s also a good idea to have more than one litter tray for your cat – perhaps not double the fun for you, but it might prevent the odd unwanted gift being left on the floor or in the bath. Trays should be kept in separate, secluded locations – a quiet corner of a room that is easily accessible to your cat is ideal. Even though you may think your indoor cat is unlikely to get lost, getting them microchipped and vaccinated is a must as cats can easily sneak out when doors are left open for a moment and, with no knowledge of their local area, would struggle to find their own way home. You will also need to screen open windows and gaps in balconies with fine wire mesh to protect your indoor cat from falling. A scratching post is an essential purchase to avoid damage to your furniture and these can range from a basic structure to more elaborate and taller poles with integral toys and seating platforms, which your cat may either love or ignore completely. The most appealing scratching posts to cats are

Photo: Paulson

The Cat  Spring 2012


IN PRACTICE nice and sturdy so the cat can lean against them with his full body weight without the post wobbling, tall enough for them to have a good stretch and have a vertical thread which feels good as he scratches down the post. If you find your cat does ignore the post, try changing the location. Cats generally like to stretch and scratch when they first wake up, so try putting the scratching post near to where they sleep.

Making it fun Giving your indoor cat a range of places to investigate within your home is a great way of keeping them happy and enabling them to vary their daily routines. As well as allowing them several private hiding areas where they can retreat when they are in a less sociable mood, it’s a good idea to help them access high resting places, which adds to their feeling of security. This might be on top of a wardrobe or cupboard, so have a look around your home and scout out any cat-friendly high points, making them as easy as possible for your cat to reach. A radiator bed has proved a hit with my cat, who also sleeps on a regular cat bed on top of my filing cabinet and on the back of the sofa. Too much sleeping, however, could be a sign of a bored and under-stimulated cat, so play and entertainment should be regular components of your cat’s daily life – although don’t wake your cat up to play as they may not appreciate such an interruption. There is a wealth of pet toys available to buy, but be aware that cats can easily get bored with the same old toys over time and, like the kid at Christmas who spends more time playing with the wrapping paper than the toy inside, makeshift games are often the best of all. If you observe your cat closely you’ll soon realise which items make the most exciting toys for them – my cat adores scrunched up foil and paper balls flicked along the carpet for her to chase and has a particular fondness for any cardboard box that comes into the house, jumping in and out and nestling inside to sleep as the fancy takes her. Rustling paper carrier bags with the handles removed for safety also intrigue her, as do scrunchie-style hair bands, under my supervision of course.

When you go for a walk, keep an eye out for natural items such as feathers, stones or shells to offer your cat as new objects to investigate and play with. A park or garden is also a good source of materials to make toys for your indoor cat, such as a fishing rod-style stick with feathers attached, or you could use scraps of material attached by lengths of string to an old coat hanger for your cat to bat at. Any form of movement which mimics prey tends to be popular, which might explain why an unsuspecting owner’s feet moving under bedclothes are often pounced upon or swiped at by cats in hunting mode. However cute this seems, especially in kittens, it’s unwise to encourage this form of play as adult cats can deliver painful scratches. You could also try making a puzzle feeder for your cat to challenge them to put more effort into obtaining their food or treats, much as they would in the wild. Construct your own from a small, sealed cardboard box or tube with paw-sized holes cut out. Or, if you fancy giving your indoor cat a taste of the outdoors from the comfort of the sofa, there are numerous ‘cat-sitter’ DVDs available which feature prey animals in their natural environment, at an adjusted colour balance especially designed for cats. So although the life of an indoor cat is always going to be different from that of a free-roaming hunter, a house can be an ideal environment for meeting a cat’s need for comfort, security and care, and with regular games, human interactions and comfortable perches for watching the outside world, there should be no room for boredom. By keeping a cat’seye view of objects that would make great toys, of potential hiding and clambering spots, and of ways to keep them safe and healthy, you can rest assured that you have done your very best, leaving your cat to relax and enjoy the good life, safe and sound indoors.


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Photo: Albertini

Making your own entertainment

Make him the promise of a lifetime At Cats Protection, we have been saving injured, starving and abandoned cats and kittens since 1927. Thanks to our promise never to put a healthy cat to sleep, we have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of cats, giving them all a second chance at life. You can help us keep our special promise and care for even more cats by leaving us a gift in your will. If cats are close to your heart, make sure your kindness continues to change their lives for many years to come. Ask us for your free information booklet today.

01825 741 271

(Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm) or email Find out more with our free information booklet Order your free copy of our booklet today. Simply complete and return this form to: Matt Vincent, Legacy Department, Cats Protection, FREEPOST SEA 7678, Haywards Heath, RH17 7BR. No stamp needed.




Postcode: Tel:

It really helps Cats Protection if we can keep you informed about our exciting work, campaigns, activities and fundraising. If you would prefer us to not contact you by post or telephone, please phone 08707 706827, email: or write to us at the Freepost address: Cats Protection, FREEPOST SEA 7678, Haywards Heath, RH17 7BR. Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)


Tails of the iddle Ages Medievalist Amanda Holton examines the cat’s role in literature from the Middle Ages


he great medieval Italian poet Petrarch, famous for his poems about Laura, had a house in Arquà, a town in the province of Padua. This house is now a museum and, if you visit it, you will find an entirely bald, mummified cat behind glass in the library. This cat is said to have been Petrarch’s adored pet and it is accompanied by a Latin inscription, ‘Maximus ignis Ego, Laura secundus erat’, which means ‘I am the greatest fire, Laura was next’. Given that Petrarch was famous for his love of Laura, the inscription makes a large claim for the cat! Unfortunately, it seems likely that Petrarch’s fondness for his cat, and the mummy itself, may all be an elaborate fake. He never actually mentioned cats in his work and the idea that he had a cat at all is never suggested until 1635, over 250 years after he died. But people still go and look at the cat – as I did a couple of years ago – and lap it up as part of the poetic legend.

Canterbury tails It is certainly true that people kept domestic cats in the Middle Ages and they were clearly valued as part of the household. In the Summoner’s Tale, one of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a greedy friar who visits a household with a cat identifies himself as a selfish, grasping character by his contemptuous treatment of the resident feline: ‘fro the bench he droof awey the cat ... and sette hym softe adoun’ (1775-7). He drives the cat off the bench so he can spread out and settle down comfortably himself. In the Manciple’s Tale, another one of the Canterbury Tales, the essential wildness of the domestic cat is recognised: despite the ‘milk’ and ‘tendre flessch’ he is given to eat and despite the ‘couche of silk’ he sleeps on, if he sees a mouse scuttle past the wall, he abandons all his luxuries because he cannot resist the desire ‘to ete a mous’. Interestingly, this is not seen as the cat harmlessly and irresistibly following his nature; this cat is seen as an example of a creature dominated by his appetites rather than good judgement.

36 The Cat  Spring 2012

Cats also play an important part in other medieval stories and fables. The Scottish poet Robert Henryson tells the story of the country mouse and the town mouse, a story which came originally from Aesop. The town mouse goes to stay with her sister, but is disgusted by the coarse food – peas and nuts – and takes her sister back to her own town house. There is rich and delicious food here – roast beef and mutton, white bread, cheese, game, fish – but there is also danger, in the form of ‘Hunter Gib, our jolly cat’. There is a vivid description of Gilbert the cat hunting and playing with the terrified country mouse, which, in Seamus Heaney’s translation, runs: From foot to foot he chased her to and fro, Whiles up, whiles down, as quick as any kid, Whiles letting her go free beneath the straw, Whiles playing blind man’s duff with her, shut-eyed. The teased and tormented mouse finally escapes by scuttling up between a wall and the back of a tapestry and hanging from the tapestry with her claws until Gilbert has gone. In the fable, the cat is seen as the symbol for the risks which come with prosperity and greed. The moral of the story is spelt out: O self-indulgent man, glutton for food, Worshipper of your own pampered belly, Be on your guard! Beware and take good heed: Cat prowls and you’re the mouse in that cat’s eye. Your feast and fashion are no guarantee Of peace of mind, sweet thought in quiet sessions. For happiness on earth, therefore, I say, Content yourself with just a few possessions.

For whom the bell tolls One of the most important cat episodes in medieval literature is found in the Prologue of William Langland’s long poem Piers Plowman – I will use J F Goodridge’s translation here. This episode, known as the ‘belling of the cat’, is a version of a fable common across Europe in the Middle Ages.


‘It is certainly true that people kept domestic cats in the Middle Ages and they were clearly valued as part of the household’ It describes how a group of rats and mice have constant problems with a cat threatening them and making their lives miserable. He would ‘pounce on them and paw them, toss them about and play with them’. They don’t know what to do to stop the cat. They feel they can’t complain to him in case he deliberately ups his harassment: ‘he’ll scratch and claw us and trap us between his paws till our lives are not worth living!’ Eventually one rat comes up with the scheme of attaching a bell to the cat’s collar. Then, the rat reasons, ‘we shall be able to hear what he’s up to – whether he’s stirring abroad or having a rest or running out to play; and if he’s in a pleasant, frisky mood, we can peep out of our holes and just put in an appearance, but if he’s in a bad temper, we can

take care and keep out of his way’. The rats are all in favour of this scheme and they go so far as to buy a bell. But when it comes to it, no one is brave enough to attach it to the cat. One of the mice then pipes up and advises against the bell. He argues that even if they actually killed the cat, another one like him would come along and they would be no better off. At least the cat is fully grown and powerful enough to keep the rats in their place. If a kitten were in charge, the situation would be much worse. According to this mouse’s argument, the smaller creatures actually benefit from having the cat tyrannising them because he maintains social order. The fable refers to the contemporary political situation: the kitten represents King Richard II, who came to

The Cat  Spring 2012


FEATURE the throne as a child and the cat is his uncle, John of Gaunt, who wielded considerable political power. The rats are the higher nobility and the mice the lower. But the fable is not just about these specific circumstances; it also has wider resonance, raising general questions about the structure of society, the role of a leader and the rights of the people. To our modern eyes, it seems obvious that the rats and mice would be right to restrain the cat in the interests of individual liberty and freedom from tyranny. But for Langland and many of his contemporaries, curbing the powers of a leader, no matter how destructive he was, was seen as incompatible with having a stable and orderly state. From this point of view, it is important that social classes are clearly defined and immobile in a fixed hierarchy.

Further feline fables But interestingly, the ‘belling the cat’ fable is used elsewhere in medieval England with exactly the opposite implications, ones which seem more intuitive to a modern reader. In the later 1370s,


The Cat  Spring 2012

Parliament was taking steps to limit the power of the increasingly senile king, Edward III and, in 1376, a bishop called Thomas Brinton preached a sermon which encouraged the Commons to take action against the king. He used the ‘belling the cat’ fable to stress the importance of taking active steps to curb the power of the king in the interests of the security and protection of the people. It is sometimes thought that cats – particularly black ones – were simply reviled in the Middle Ages, feared and detested because they were associated with the devil, evil spirits and witchcraft. But in fact they played a much more interesting and various role in medieval life and literature. Not only did they do the useful practical job of killing vermin, they were also used symbolically to explore political and moral questions. They were represented both as hunters, aggressive and dangerously playful, and also as beloved companion animals and we have seen the full range in this article: Langland’s alarming picture of the despotic rampages of the tyrant cat contrasts sharply with the compliant mummified body of Petrarch’s legendary cherished pet!

Illustration: Sam Roberts

At Cats Protection one of our main aims is to make information about cat welfare and care available to all, especially young people. From literature and learning resources to informative talks and tours of adoption centres, we want to play our part in encouraging children to be thinking and considerate human beings. Recent studies have also shown that caring for a cat can do wonders for a child’s self esteem, social skills and sense of responsibility to others. We provide education packs for teachers and work with youth organisations, such as the Brownies and the Beavers. If you’d like more details of the resources available then please contact us: T: 01825 741 924 E: W:

Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)


The honeymoon is over John Walker’s new wife, Laura, is still getting used to Dexter’s role in her life…


just got married. Yes, thank you very much. A wonderful lady called Laura, with whom I moved in – in a fit of oldfashioned pique – on our wedding day. Which is to say, while she knew Dexter well, she’d never had the endless pleasure of living with him – which, of course, meant we hadn’t tackled the tricky issue of who is first in my heart. Laura, for instance, isn’t aware of some of the more important rules Dexter has in place for his ease of living and comfort. For example, she doesn’t understand that all doors must be open at all times, no matter how cold it may be, how much heat is being let out into the kitchen and how much of a draught is blowing through. Laura, for some reason, seems to think her comfort is of more importance than the cat’s... the weirdo. Then there’s her strange obsession with carpets. Apparently they’re not meant to be clawed at until in ribbons, which is news to Dexter and me. Table legs, she claims, aren’t supposed to have grooves carefully carved into them and cushions aren’t for ripping open to see what’s inside. These are all peculiar foibles that are proving especially difficult to wean her from, but we persist in earnest. Most strange has been the attempted introduction of a rule that prevents Dexter from standing on the dining table while we eat. “But how is he supposed to get at our food?” I exclaim in sad confusion. Laura can’t even think of a good answer at these points and just stares at me. She knows she’s beaten. But still she continues to enforce this arbitrary and ridiculous statute. If you’re not already shocked by the cruel Humanocracy my wife is attempting to bring down upon our household, then hear this. After Dexter has generously and lovingly given me a big wet kiss on the lips, up go her arms and away goes her willingness to show me similar affection. “He licks his bottom with that mouth!” she screams, offensively. “But he licks his mouth clean afterward!” I brilliantly and astutely point out, once again stumping her into her stupefied silence of just staring. Never has she stopped to consider whether Dexter has similar thoughts.

40 The Cat  Spring 2012

What else? Well, she doesn’t consider it reasonable to be woken up at 5am because something is in the way of his climbing a wardrobe. And apparently it’s wrong to share a spoon with him! And then she wonders why Dexter only chooses my chest to awkwardly try to lie on when I’m sat in a chair. Why it’s to me he runs for a cuddle when he’s been scared by the mean, horrible bully cat that lives in the street out front of our house. A cat that wears three bells around his neck – a friend suggested perhaps these were trophies. She doesn’t understand why it’s my face he shoves his bum into when I won’t wake up and feed him – although she seems oddly fine with that one. I think their bond will develop over time, as Laura eventually learns her place in this family and begins to recognise that Dexter’s rules are the more logical. Closed doors slow you down when you’re hurtling through the house, back and forth, as fast as you can for no reason at all. Carpets keep your claws sharp when you want to get a good grip for biting. Access to the table during mealtimes saves having to steal it from the bin later and kisses are just superbrilliant. And in case anyone still has a scrap of sympathy for my wife, this is the woman who, even at the suggestion of dressing Dex up in top hat and tails, refused to allow him to attend our wedding. And she wonders why there might be some resentment. From both of us. Most shockingly of all, when I told Laura I was writing this column, she began acting as though I were sharing ‘her’ private life. “This is DEXTER’S private life!” I calmly explained, having previously sought Dexter’s generous permission to let her read it. We all have to adapt when changing our living conditions and the arrival of Laura into our lives has obviously caused us a great deal of upheaval. With time she will come to respect that, I truly believe... with time.

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

Talking Cat

An audio version of this magazine is available free to all subscribers. Contact Supporter Services on 0800 917 2287 or email to request your copy.

You can help cats every time you hit the shops, thanks to the Cats Protection Credit Card from MBNA. You’ll receive a competitive rate on purchases and you can even manage your account online. Even better, once your card has been approved and used, Cats Protection will receive a contribution of £20 from the issuer, MBNA Europe Bank Limited, and the cats in our care will continue to benefit as 0.25% is contributed from every retail purchase thereafter at no extra cost to you. For full details please visit:

0% for up to 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days of account opening (3% handling fee)* and 0% on card purchases for the first 3 months*

Representative example 16.9% p.a. variable on card purchases. This is equivalent to 16.9% APR representative† variable based on a credit limit of £1200 * From the date you account is opened. Promotional rates will no longer apply from the beginning of any statement period during which you have breached your terms and conditions, for example if you haven’t paid on time or have gone over your credit limit. You cannot transfer balances between MBNA accounts. † We treat each customer’s application individually. We review the information you supply and verify your credit and repayment history so the APR we offer you may be higher or lower than the APR shown in the representative example. At least 51% of customers will receive this representative APR. We are unable to tell you the interest rate you would receive personally as we do not provide quotation searches. If you proceed a full application search will be registered at the Credit Reference Agencies. The Cats Protection credit card is issued by MBNA Europe Bank Limited, a Bank of America company. Registered Office: Stansfield House, Chester Business Park, Chester CH4 9QQ. Registered in England number 2783251. MBNA’s consumer credit activities are licensed by the Office of Fair Trading and MBNA’s general insurance activities are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over. We will monitor or record some phone calls.


Mitzi bewitches The latest Ali cat weaves her magic around Alison Prince…


ingal’s new young companion is, of course, chaos. Anyone who lives with a human teenager will know what I mean. Mitzi doesn’t have posters on the wall and piles of dirty socks and a mobile clamped to the ear, but when she’s around, things get constantly shifted from the places where they belong. Pens are swiped to the floor, papers scattered. The maps that used to live neatly on their shelf are strewn in wild disarray across the carpet. And the plants – dear Heaven, the plants! Mitzi started off with the idea that they were toilets, but when dissuaded from that, decided they must be playground apparatus. I have some very large plants. Most of them are cuttings brought home from odd places – a sponge bag is ideal for this purpose – and have grown with alacrity. Some of the more ambitious ones are what the interior decoration magazines call architectural, which means they are up to the ceiling. Mitzi climbs among them, scattering leaves and bits of twig and sways there insanely, watched by a puzzled Fingal. Sometimes she falls out, landing in a fresh clutter of green debris. I try to tell myself she’s just pruning. A large vine that used to be a quite bushy affair has been reduced to a raggy skeleton, but it is bravely putting out new shoots. No point in complaining – it has needed a trim for quite a while. Mitzi goes lolloping down the stairs, trailing the latest bit of greenery, looking like something that’s escaped from a maypole. I wondered if a proper cat toy might distract her from these green-pawed amusements and at that point a friend sent me just such a toy. It was a kind of feline doll, upholstered in pink chenille filled with catnip and adorned with yellow tail feathers. Mitzi adored it. She rubbed her chin all over it and quite soon appeared to be totally stoned – then Fingal came in and she fled for safety – they’re okay together now, but at that time she was scared of him. He grabbed the toy, discovered that it was filled with something that smelt lovely and decided to unpack it. In two minutes flat, he had disembowelled the catnip canary and was spitting out nylon wool and catnip flakes.

Illustration: Alison Prince

The next shot at Mitzi-amusement was a pack of five soft, yellow-and-white-striped catnip balls bought from our Post Office, which does everything from dog biscuits to pig nuts as well as things like stamps. She batted them about a bit and promptly lost the lot. We both hunted, in my case on hands and knees, peering under the sofa and behind the tangle of wires under the computer shelf. Not a sign. How can a small cat lose five stripy playthings in ten minutes flat? Three pounds fifty down the drain, I thought. Huh. And got on with something else. Two days later, five stripy balls had reappeared, waiting to be played with. Fingal regarded them as beyond contempt, so they’ve escaped destruction. Mitzi carries them about in her mouth when in playing mode, but like all young things, she goes abruptly from rushing around to being curled up, fast asleep. She is utterly different from wise, sensible Paddy, but perhaps that is a good thing. The sheer beauty of her enchants me – the fine pale grey stripes, the near-white paws, the eyes as light green as a celery stalk and rimmed like an Indian film star with dark mascara. I love the way she dreams, too. Deeply asleep, she often gives little, high mews that she never utters when awake, and I wonder what pictures are going through her mind. Less romantically, she is full of curiosity about everything, like Kipling’s Rikki-TikkiTavi, which means Run and Find Out. That was a mongoose, of course – my grandmother had one in India – but Mitzi is the same. She’s fascinated by the water that gushes around when the loo is flushed and stands on her hind legs to stare in. This morning, she went a bit further, and jumped on the seat – yes, you’ve guessed. She slipped and her hind end fell in. She was out in a splashy flash, scattering water across the bathroom floor and shaking her paws indignantly while I laughed. Fingal stared in astonishment. He’s not what you could call fatherly, or even avuncular, but he’s starting to think the newcomer is a form of entertainment. As to me – I’m totally besotted. Mitzi is just lovely.

The Cat  Spring 2012


J ulie Seymour, winner of Cats Protection’s 2011 Fabulous Fundraiser Award gives us an insight to her money making motivation

Julie receives her award from Deputy Chairman Tim Gruffydd-Jones

44 The Cat  Spring 2012



have been a Cats Protection volunteer for about six years now, initially becoming involved with my local branch – Mid-Warwickshire – for two reasons. Firstly, I had hit the milestone age of 40 and volunteering was somewhere on my lengthy list of 40 new things to try before I hit 41. Although maybe I should have said before I hit the Big 50 as I never did find time to try the other 39! Secondly, in the same year, a scraggy stray moggy had been hanging around my garden for a few weeks on and off when he was unfortunately hit by a car. He needed some very expensive vet treatment, having suffered a broken pelvis. Feeling a little responsible as it was one of my own very-much-loved cats that had chased him straight under the car’s wheels, I made contact with Cats Protection to see if they could help. They explained that the rescue pens were currently full and there was a waiting list of cats needing their help, so I agreed to bring the unfortunate home to mend and Cats Protection kindly helped me with the bill. Six weeks later I officially adopted Junior, my first rescue cat and, of course, I was hooked! It then struck me that it would be a good idea to try and give something back to the charity by helping out where I could. And as any charity volunteer will tell you, a willing pair of hands are worth their weight in gold, so I offered my willing hands and started helping out with branch events at the weekends. Before I knew it, six months had passed by at high speed and I was now officially the Branch Fundraiser and Events Organiser! I currently work full time but alongside the branch fundraising. I also manage to foster cats and kittens while they wait to find their new forever homes and am involved in many other areas of the branch’s work when I can fit it in, but as that well known saying goes “…ask a busy person…”

Born bossy In my few short years as a volunteer, I have held newborn kittens; reunited lost cats with their owners; given lots of TLC to a poorly cat recovering from life-saving surgery; been there at the end for those too poorly to save; stood on street corners in the wind and rain with charity collecting tin to hand and my best smile on show; attended outdoor events come rain or shine; dressed up in a cat costume to bring BigPaw, the branch mascot cat, to life, and so much more but I would not have missed a single one of these experiences. As a volunteer, knowing that what you are doing, no matter how little or how much, makes such a tremendous difference to the lives of cats and people in the local area spurs you on each day and, of course, it’s great fun too! I have always been an organised person, plus I am the first to admit “I was born bossy!” so the fundraising side of things suits me totally and, although it is hard work and it probably takes up

all of my spare time and more, I won’t be stopping just yet. From booking an event right through to sweeping the floor at close of play, I am involved every step of the way. I have great support from the fundraising volunteers within the branch, plus my ‘non-volunteer’ husband and, between us, we put on monthly Rehoming Days throughout the year, as well as a Spring Fayre, Summer Bazaar and a Christmas Fayre. We also do our best to attend as many as possible of the local events such as village fêtes, town carnivals and other shows. Our approach is very much about raising funds to help care for the cats and kittens that we rescue, but we also use the opportunities that arise to raise awareness of the branch and the work that we do and recruit new volunteers too.

BigPaw mans the stall

Five or zero, win a prize! My favourite fundraising activity of all has to be the Tombola Table. It’s a great way to raise money as the prizes are all donated and people love gambling away a pound or two – and sometimes a lot more! – in the hope that they will one of the fabulous prizes on offer. I always try to theme the prizes on the day to match the event, for example easter eggs at the Spring Fayre, cat-related items at the rehoming days and cat shows, dog toys at the Dogs Trust Open Day and even a blueand-yellow-themed table for the CP stand at the Supreme Cat Show in November! Our tombola table is becoming quite well known in the area and is always well supported, we have even been known to raise £1,000 from one event, so all in all that’s just perfect! As a branch we are very active and always keen to hear from anyone that wants to join us as a volunteer or a supporter. Please get in touch by phoning us on 01926 334 849 or emailing us at Visit our website for more details. You can also join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The Cat  Spring 2012


Give your feet a rest and exercise your mind

Ten-minute crossword

Amusing Heather Heather Cook gives new meaning to being an old hippy

Across 1 Dramatist (10) 7 Be compatible and friendly (3,2,3) 8 Mature (4) 9 Ballet dancer’s skirt (4) 10 Rectified (7) 12 Eternally (11) 14 Horse-soldiers (7) 16 Fail to include (4) 19 Without feeling (4) 20 Evaluate (8) 21 One not given to travel (4-2-4)

Down 1 Sharp or tapered end (5) 2 Airman (7) 3 Timber (4) 4 Notorious (8) 5 Long-legged long-necked wading bird (5) 6 Rapid (6) 11 Shortest month (8) 12 Pestilence (6) 13 Lower back pain (7) 15 Head of a community of monks (5) 17 Savour (5) 18 Catch sight of (4)

To win one of these beautiful Rosina Wachtmeister tealights, complete our crossword correctly, rearrange the shaded letters and find the ill prepared monarch who ruled England one thousand years ago in 1012 then send it – or a photocopy – along with your name and address to Crossword Competition, The Cat, NCC, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT. Alternatively email the answer with your name and address to us at with Crossword in the subject header. Winners will be drawn on 13 April 2012. The prizes are kindly sponsored by The Cat Gallery. Visit or phone 01904 413 000 to request a catalogue. Last issue’s winners: Ms M Hughes, Miss S Zentner and Mr J Hales are the winners of the last Crossword. The answer was Ebenezer Scrooge. Answers to Winter Crossword on page 67.

46 The Cat  Spring 2012

As cat owners know only too well, cats always sense when you’re not well. They don’t necessarily care, but they know. I recently had to have a hip replacement operation and was discharged home to the bosom of my furry family after a mere two days of languishing in hospital. The physiotherapists had stressed the need to remove loose mats and small items of furniture to avoid accidents, so I thought it would be churlish to mention the cats and numerous cat beds that would make crossing the room pretty hazardous for an Olympic athlete, never mind a wobbly old woman on crutches. Anyway, I was confident that the cats would be mindful of my plight or failing this, would at least be terrified of the crutches. I can only imagine that the drugs they gave me had some hallucinatory properties. In the event, the cats gave me the most cursory of glances but were fascinated by the crutches – a fascination which manifested itself in a variety of ways, all of them lethal. Stumpy Malone, our tiny black kitten cat who was born without hind paws, soon perfected the art of the sudden dash between the crutches from the rear, whereas dear ginger Benjamin Wobble would collapse in front of me as if felled by a sniper’s bullet. Portia Patch decided that she absolutely must wash her nether regions while sitting in the doorway and Miss Isabelle liked nothing better than to curl up on my specially raised chair, exhibiting extreme irritation when I showed signs of collapsing on top of her. Although she is black and white, Isabelle always managed to curl up so the white bits were concealed and I would only be aware of her presence on the black seat as I reached the point of no return. The training so thoughtfully provided by the cats paid dividends, however. By the time I started my physiotherapy sessions I’d survived so many near disasters that balancing on wobble boards and marching on trampolines was hardly a challenge!

COFFEE PAWS Purr ‘n’ Fur Towser of Glenturret times, and each was described as a ‘real character’. Staff at the distillery were looking forward to having a new resident after several catless months, but following the ‘interviews’ they found it very difficult to make a choice from among so many worthy candidates! In the end they found it impossible to choose between Dylan, a ginger tomcat from Forfar, and Brooke, a black-and-white female from Glasgow – so it was decided to take them both on. And there was a happy ending for the seven other cats not selected by Glenturret – all found good new homes, either with distillery staff or as a result of the publicity that took place at the time of the search. For more extraordinary feline tales go to Patrick Roberts

Sudoku Fill in the empty cells so that the digits 1 through to 9 appear: • only once in each row • only once in each column • only once in each 3x3 box (shown by the thicker lines)

Answers appear on page 67.

The Cat  Spring 2012


Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

The Glenturret Distillery, near Crieff in Perthshire, Scotland, is the oldest working Scotch-whisky distillery in the country and the home of the world-renowned Famous Grouse whisky. Barley stored in a distillery ready for whisky making is a big attraction for mice, and so for many years Glenturret has kept a cat on the premises. From 1963 the position of resident mouser was held for almost 24 years by Towser, a longhaired tortoiseshell female, who had a remarkable mousecatching career – so remarkable, in fact, that she holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s best mouser – catching 28,899 mice. She died in 1987 and her life and exploits are fondly commemorated by a bronze statue at the Famous Grouse Experience visitor centre on the Glenturret site. Her pawprints used to decorate the label on a bottle of Fairlie’s Light Highland Liqueur, another of the distillery’s products, although it has since been discontinued. I enquired how this very exact figure of mice caught had been arrived at – surely no one had been keeping count for 24 years? It seems the adjudicators for the record claim went to Crieff to observe the cat’s prowess for a period of some days and the total was extrapolated by a statistical technique from their observations. Even if the number might not be totally accurate, it’s a pretty impressive performance and works out at an average of some three mice every day! Following Towser’s death, a new cat, called Amber, was appointed. Unfortunately she didn’t seem to have her predecessor’s skills and as far as is known she never caught a single mouse! She remained as the resident feline, however, until she too died of old age in late 2004. The quest for a new cat began in Spring 2005 and was reported in the national press. Scottish branches of Cats Protection were invited to help with the search. The requirement was for a cat that would be outgoing enough to welcome visitors from all over the world and would enjoy being the centre of attention. Mousing ability would be considered an advantage, but distilleries these days are much more mouse-free than in earlier times, so that was not regarded as essential. A cat psychologist was even consulted, as it was felt it would not be easy to find the right animal... but eventually nine finalists were chosen. They were all cats that for one reason or another had fallen on hard

How can we help?

03000 12 12 12

It’s cold and you find a cat that is looking thin and bedraggled – what do you do? Approach the cat cautiously and carefully. He may be frightened or even sick and injured. As such he may lash out. Remember that your own safety and that of the cat are of great importance. If you do have concerns about his health and cannot approach him, this is the time to call the RSPCA on its emergency number 0300 1234 999. If the cat is friendly, speak calmly and reassuringly, perhaps entice him to you with a bit of food. Once you’ve got him, it is

48 The Cat  Spring 2012

time to check whether he already has an owner. If possible, take the cat to your nearest veterinary surgery. They should be able to scan for a microchip for free and will try to make contact with the registered owners. If there is no microchip, you can give our National Helpline a call on 03000 12 12 12 for details of your local Cats Protection branch which will keep a lost and found register. The Helpline will also be able to send you some paper collars and some missing cat posters. On the paper collar put a note saying ‘Please call this number if this is your cat…’. If the cat seems friendly, fitting a paper collar shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If the cat is nervous, please do not risk being bitten or scratched. If someone calls, it will hopefully end the mystery for you

HELPLINE Illustration: Sam Roberts

and also make the owner aware of how far their cat has gone astray. If possible, take a picture of the cat and put it on the poster with details of where and when the cat was found. The posters could be put up places such as your local vets, shops and wherever you can get permission to display them. If you are unable to take the cat home with you, you may want to provide it with a temporary shelter. You could use a sturdy cardboard box and put a blanket or some straw inside. A piece of waterproof sheeting secured over the top will help keep the rain out. Make sure it’s properly and safely weighted down to stop it being blown away by the wind. If possible, do try and provide the cat with food and clean water. Cow’s milk is not advisable as many cats are lactose intolerant. Ask around the local neighbourhood to see if anyone recognises the cat while keeping an eye out for any ‘missing cat’ posters. Have a word with the postman and milkman to see if they know of any missing pets on their rounds. It is also worth checking the local newspaper to see if anyone has placed a ‘lost ad’ that could describe the cat. You may wish to take out an ad of your own in the ‘found’ section. It is also worth contacting the following organisations with information about the found cat: • RSPCA 0300 1234 555 • • • Local radio stations • Schools We all hope for a happy ending when it comes to missing or lost cats. In 2010 alone, Cats Protection helped reunite 3,132 cats with their owners and

increased the chances of those who become lost in the future by microchipping a further 43,729. Unfortunately, there are many cases where the cat has been abandoned and no owner will come forward. If this happens please phone your local Cats Protection branch or adoption centre where our volunteers and staff will do their best to try and find a loving home for the cat.

To contact Helpline, please phone 03000 12 12 12 or email

The Cat  Spring 2012 49


bound! O

n Saturday 21 July 2012 we will be holding our Annual General Meeting at the Quad arts centre in the Cathedral Quarter of Derby. Quad opened in 2008 and is an architectural focal point of the city. The building’s acute angles may be modern, but the design incorporates elements of the city’s past within its texture.

overview and highlights of the charity’s year as well as a range of informative presentations. The AGM is always a great opportunity to meet fellow volunteers from around the UK to share stories, experiences and tips. During the break in proceedings, why not visit one of the complex’s galleries or take a short stroll to the city’s cathedral and market place?

The grit stone was extracted from two local quarries and the design of the cladding makes reference to the city’s heritage; the silk industry and the ceramic industry of Crown Derby. It has quickly established itself as an important, creative part of the local community and is well worth a visit in its own right.

After the AGM there will be organised visits to our recently refurbished Derby Adoption Centre. The Quad arts centre is about 15-20 minute walk from Derby railway station. Shuttle services will be provided at the beginning and end of the day.

The audited Annual Report and Accounts of Cats Protection will be placed before the members. Voting members will also have the opportunity to vote in our Council elections and on the reappointment of auditors. You can vote if you are a member, aged over 18 and have been a member for at least a year since becoming 18. The day will provide an

50 The Cat  Spring 2012

To book your place at this celebration of cats and Cats Protection, please complete and return the form opposite, phone 03000 12 12 12 or email Due to the expected popularity of this event, tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis so please book soon to avoid disappointment.


Council – would you like to be involved? The Council of Cats Protection meets at least three times a year usually at the National Cat Centre in Sussex and advises the Trustees on a wide range of issues affecting the charity.

Please reserve my place at the AGM on Saturday 21 July 2012. Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Title: First name: Surname:

If you are interested in applying to be a candidate for election to any vacancies arising on Council at this year’s AGM, please write to Janet Revell at National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email


Postcode: Membership number (if applicable):

Please provide a brief CV with your contact details. We will then send you an application form. Potential candidates for Council need to have been a member of Cats Protection for at least three years prior to the AGM on the 21 July 2012. The deadline for completed applications is the 8 June 2012. Further details of the procedure and an application form are available from Janet Revell on 01825 741 211 or email When completed, this will require the signature of three proposers who can be either your local branch committee members or Trustees.

Transport required from Derby train station:



Special dietary requirements:

Please return this form to: Emma Osborne, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT by 8 June 2012. Alternatively, email your details and requirements to or phone our Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 (calls charged at standard rate).

The Cat  Spring 2012


Diary of events Find out what’s going on near you...




Coffee morning

Reading & District Stalls 31 March: Jumble sale, All Saints Parish Hall, Downshire Square, Reading RG1 6NH; 1-3pm 26 May: Jumble sale, All Saints Parish Hall, Downshire Square, Reading RG1 6NH; 1-3pm 4 June: Book stall, Purley Village Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Goosecroft, Beech Road, Purley. The branch also regularly holds a Book Stall at Reading Farmers’ Markets – first or third Saturday of the month – and at Purley Farmers’ Markets each second Saturday. Further confirmatory details appear shortly before each of these events on the branch website

Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Monthly meetings All at Our Lady of Peace (OLOP) Church Hall, Wokingham Road, Earley (Earley Cross Roads), RG6 7DA 27 February: 8pm 26 March: 8pm 30 April: 8pm

Spring Fair 10 March: Carnation Hall, Chavey Down Road, Winkfield Row, Bracknell, RG42 7PA; 1-4pm

Quiz night 17 March: St Paul’s Church, Wokingham, RG41 1EH; 7.30-11pm

Collection 20-21 April: Tesco, Warfield

Sponsored walk 28 April: Dinton Pastures Country Park, Hurst, RG10 0TH; 4pm


The Cat  Spring 2012

Bag packing

East Devon 24 March: ‘Coffee and Cat Chat’ at All Saints Church Hall, Sidmouth; 10am-12noon

Friends of Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre Easter Fun Day 6 April: Including Easter Egg hunt, bouncy castle, craft tent, colouring competition, cakes and BBQ. All monies raised from this event goes directly towards helping the cats in our care; 11am-3pm

24 March: bag packing day at Morrison’s Totnes; 10am-4pm 21 April: bag packing day at Sainsbury’s, Dawlish; 10am-4pm

Spring Fayre 31 March: Methodist Church Hall, Bovey Tracey; 10am-12noon

ESSEX Rayleigh, Castle Point & District Homing shows

GREATER MANCHESTER Stockport Fairs 10 March: Hazel Grove, United Reformed Hall, Commercial Road; 10am12.30pm 14 April: Bramhall, Trinity Methodist Church, Trinity Gardens, Bramhall Lane; 10am-12.30pm 12 May: Woodley, Civic Hall, Hyde Road;10am-12.30pm

Please phone 0161 439 1274 (evening and weekends), email us at or take a look at the Events section of our website, for further details of our 2012 events.

28 April: Tesco Superstore, Rydon Lane, Exeter; 9am-late 13-14 June: Tesco, Honiton.

10 March: Methodist Hall, Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, SS6 7ED 14 April: WRVS Hall, Richmond Avenue, Benfleet SS7 5HE 12 May: Methodist Hall, Chapel Lane, Hadleigh 9 June: Methodist Hall, Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, SS6 7ED

Open day


Spring fayre

27 May: Come and see all of our many cats and kittens up for adoption while supporting the Adoption Centre. Many stalls, activities, prizes and fun for all the family; 12noon-4pm

17 March: Bazaar, WRVS Hall, John Burrows Playing Fields, Hadleigh; 10.30am-1pm 5 May: Plant Sale, Richmond Hall, Benfleet; 10.30am-2pm 17 June: Castle Point Show, Canvey Island – see local press for details

21 April: All Saint’s Church, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire; 10am-2pm Free admission.

May Day Coffee morning 5 May: Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre, Little Hill Cottage, Clyst Honiton, Exeter,Devon, EX5 2HS

Store collection

Teignbridge & Totnes AGM 25 February: AGM and get together at Methodist Church Hall, Bovey Tracey. Guest speaker and afternoon tea; 2-4pm

Coffee mornings 17 March: ‘Coffee & Cats’ morning at our homing centre Cool 4 Cats, adjacent to Devon Wildlife Hospital, Ogwell, near Newton Abbot; 10am-12noon. This will be a regular feature every third Saturday of the month during 2012 5 May: Coffee morning and stalls at Chudleigh Town Hall; 9.30am-12noon 12 May: Coffee morning and stalls at The Community Club, Moretonhampstead; 10am-12noon

Chelmsford & District Spring Fayres 14 April: The Shire Hall, Chelmsford. We will be selling a wide selection of goods, refreshments will be on sale. Admission by donation or a tin of cat food. Please come along and support us. 10am-12noon 19 May: Pat & Robin’s Spring Fayre, All Saints Church Hall, Springfield Green. There will be a wide selection of goods on sale including refreshments. Admission by donation. 12noon-3pm.

Jumble sale 10 March: Jumble sale and auction, Danbury Village Hall, Danbury; 2pm Clothes, bric-a-brac, books, toys etc will be on sale, there will also be an Auction, tea and coffee is available. Please come along and support us. Admission 30p

HERTFORDSHIRE Three Rivers & Watford

LEICESTERSHIRE Leicester & District Spring Bazaar 28 April: Billesdon Baptist Chapel, Brook Lane, Billesdon, LE7 9AB; 10.30am-12.30pm

SURREY Crawley, Reigate & District Homing shows and fundraising sales 1 April: Horticultural Society Hall, Ifield Ave, Crawley, RH11 7AJ; 11am-3pm 29 April: Barnfield Care Home, Horley, RH6 7LA; 11am-3pm 13 May: Broadbridge Heath Village Hall, Wickhurst Lane, Broadbridge Heath, Horsham, RH12 3LY; 11am-3pm

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness



North Birmingham

Mid Sussex

Homing days


14 April and 2 June: Friends’ Meeting House, Kenelm Road (behind ‘The Cup’ pub), Sutton Coldfield, B73 6HD; 10.30am-12.30pm. Meet some of the lovely cats and kittens looking for their forever home, and maybe make a new feline friend! Free entrance and parking, plus tea, coffee and homemade cakes and preserves for sale and a chance to talk to volunteers about other ways to get involved.

14 April: Burgess Hill street collection; 9am-4pm 19 May: Lindfield street collection; 9am-1pm 2 June: Cuckfield street collection; 9am-1pm

Fairs 6 May: stall at Haywards Heath Spring Festival, Muster Green, Haywards Heath; 11am-5pm 2 June: Stall at Lindfield Village Day, Lindfield Common; 11am-5pm

Cats Protection presence at national shows 8-11 March: Crufts, NEC 12-15 April: BSAVA World Congress, NIA, Birmingham 12-13 May: London Pet Show, Earls Court 2-3 June: Hertfordshire County Show 7-9 June: South of England Show 7-9 June: Royal Cornwall Show 17 June: Cosford Air Show, West Midlands

Spotlight A selection of tales from our branches and adoption centres...

Hitting the Inka trail By Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre Inka was with us for seven months. She came into us along with six other cats when her owner was just going to move away and leave them all behind, with nothing but a ham joint to keep them going for a few days. We went out to the property and picked them all up, squeezing them into the adoption centre. She was shy with people so, for this reason, was overlooked for many months with not even one person enquiring about her. She absolutely loved other cats though. Recently a lovely member of our Friends of Axhayes Group, Bea, noticed her plight and, as she had a cat opening at her house, she adopted her. Just a couple of days later she was already making great progress and has become inseparable from Bea’s other Axhayes cat, Mickey. We wish them all the happiness, they deserve it.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Spring 2012


Tackling TNR By North Ayrshire We were called to a local farm where things had really got out of hand with breeding females and litters of kittens. We agreed to help with trapping, neutering and returning the adults and to take the kittens away for vet care and rehoming. After a two-hour round up, our volunteer was starting to run out of cat boxes and traps, and drove away exhausted and in shock with 16 kittens and seven adults. Most of the kittens turned out to have flu, so we had to get our vet out to treat the worst ones and to give preventative care to the rest. Most of the kittens were too old to be tamed as pets, so after more than a month of attention and vet care – including neutering – we started to home them as mousers. Some of the rest will make nice pets for people that can give them a chance to earn their trust over time. It’s been such a long haul for the branch, from the expenses of day-to-day feeding and litter for such a large group, to the time involved in caring for them, not to mention trying to get time to socialise them. At least we know that this group has a bright future now, rather than what was facing them before we were able to step in.

Maurice’s magic moment By Canterbury & District A cat resembling an apricot Persian turned up in an old lady’s garden in Whitstable; she’s a kind soul who feeds ferals and strays seem to be drawn to her. This lady is in her 80s. She fed the cat and gave him an old drawer with blankets in to sleep in and even put an old table over the top to protect him from the rain! But when the weather got colder and she didn’t want him staying in the garden, she called a CP volunteer, Paula, who lives on her road. Luckily Paula had a microchip reader on her and, even more luckily, the cat, who turned out to be just a rather pretty domestic longhair rather than a Persian, had a microchip. His details located his owners as living just a couple of streets away. Needless to say they were thrilled at having Maurice back. Now Maurice is a special cat because he has spent most of his life travelling with his owners around the USA. He was shipped over from Las Vegas last year and settled in Whitstable but had been missing for six months. Without the microchip – and up-to-date details – he may never have been reunited with his owners. The owners were so delighted to have Maurice back, they picked him up within a couple of hours of getting the call, then turned up later with flowers for the old lady and Paula and a cheque for £100 for Cats Protection!


The Cat  Spring 2012

Deadlines All branches are encouraged to send in their success stories and diary dates for every issue. The deadlines for the next three issues are: • 16 March – Summer 2012 • 15 June – Autumn 2012 • 14 September – Winter 2012 Please send your entries to: CP in Focus, Editorial Team, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email CP volunteers and staff can now submit their stories online via CatNav. Log on at Please ensure that Cats Protection in focus stories and diary events are sent as seperate documents.

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

Help give JJ a leg up By Crawley, Reigate & District JJ came into care with two other adult cats, Rufus and Rosie and Rosie’s four kittens. Although we were told the cats had never been outside, JJ had a semihealed broken leg. The vet operated and found it broken in seven places. He pinned the leg and put in a plate. Here started JJ’s recovery. He needed pen rest to begin with, then supervised time out of the pen to ensure that he didn’t over do it. His stitches were taken out and the scar began healing but, at the time of writing, he was walking with a pronounced limp. As he gets used to using his leg again and it gains strength, this should lessen, but he may always have some sort of a limp, only time will tell. JJ’s operation along with a number of other bills for major problems have hit our funds hard. In one month alone, we have had a multi-household of ill cats, an eye removal, a cat with a broken pelvis and a late surge of kittens. You can help us raise much-needed funds by visiting our donate page at or by clicking on the ‘donate bucket’ at Alternatively, phone the branch on 08453 712 734.

Can you help with Katie’s cure? By Stockport Katie came into our care due to a welfare issue. She was having terrible trouble trying to eat, yowling in pain and pawing violently at her mouth. She was also underweight and dirty because she could not clean herself. On examination, her mouth was red raw and ulcerated and she was positive for the Corona and the Calici Virus. Lots of nursing grooming and hand feeding followed along with antibiotics, costly Interferon and daily pain relieving injections. She was so brave despite being in immense pain, but nothing seemed to help her and her future looked very bleak. As a last resort she was given steroids; the improvement was miraculous. She was soon well enough to go into a permanent foster home where she is thriving and will continue with her ongoing treatment. We are appealing for help towards Katie’s ongoing vet cost, can you help us raise these much-needed funds? Cheques should be made payable to Stockport Cats Protection and can be sent c/o Ms J Goodman, 3 Hexworth Walk, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 3DF.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Spring 2012


Messageboard from your local Cats Protection...

West Oxfordshire


Female, 5 years approx Suki is a very friendly cat who loves attention however she is not a lap cat and does not like being closely cuddled. She would make the perfect companion for an older person or couple or may fit into a family home with older children. She has had a tough time and really deserves to find a loving new home.

☎☎ 01993 831 350

North Ayrshire

Bedford, Biggleswade & District



Male, adult Jerry loves the company of people and is beginning to feel lonely in a pen by himself. His ideal home would be with no other pets or young children, but he would be fine with older children. He is still a young boy who has been through a lot in his short life and is so deserving of a good home.

☎☎ 08453 714 218

Bournemouth & District

Tigger and Daisy

Male, 10 years approx Barney led a very sheltered life before arriving in our care. He needs a very quiet, indoor home without other pets or children, where he can feel safe and secure. His new owners would need to be very patient and allow him time to settle. His ideal home would be with someone who has plenty of time to spend with him.

☎☎ 08442 496 911

Stewartry & District


56 The Cat  Spring 2012

Brother and sister, 7 years Daisy (pictured) and Tigger are both tabby and white and are seven years old. They have been indoor cats up until now, but will enjoy a chance to go outside as well, particularly as they are a little overweight and a little more exercise will help them trim down. They are both friendly, gentle cats once they get to know you and will make fantastic companions.

☎☎ 08453 712 762

Female, 1 year Suki has come back into our care as her owners had to move to rented accommodation and were not allowed pets. She is the most good-natured cat, with no bad habits – she loves sitting with you and being petted, but still very playful. A perfect girl!

☎☎ 01557 339 233

Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Male, 11months Mickey – white – was hissing and spitting when he first came into our care. He was so scared, so it’s great to see how he has progressed. He is now much calmer and has lots more confidence and loves all the fussing and TLC. He would be best homed with Snowy as they are close and it would be a shame to split them up.


☎☎ 01224 705 252



Outer Aberdeen & District

Female, 10 years approx Cuddles is a tortie/tabby who likes her own space and will need to be the only pet in her new home. A quiet, adult-only home would suit her needs.

Stewartry & District

Male, 9 months Benny was quite timid, but has now come out of his shell and is very affectionate and playful, with a lovely soft, shiny coat. He would make someone a lovely companion, though probably not with young children. He has been vaccinated, neutered and microchipped.

☎☎ 08453 714 212

☎☎ 01557 339 233

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

 est Cumbria Branch is urgently looking for Fosterers W to join a small and friendly branch team. If you have room in your garden for one or two pens or a spare room, please phone Frances or Len on 01946 590 079 or email  est Cumbria Branch also needs helpers to help with W fundraising events: car boot sales, supermarket bag packing days, prize bingos, fetes, fairs, to collect bric-a-brac from family and friends and if you have craft skills like sewing, knitting, painting to make things to sell or donate as prizes at events. For more information, please contact Mat on 01946 614 30 or email  uton, Dunstable & District Branch is looking for new L Indoor Cat Fosterers. If you have a spare room available and would like to join this small friendly team, please get in touch on 08453 712 746, you will receive lots of support and all expenses for food and litter etc are paid for by the branch. Fostering for CP is one of the most rewarding roles within the charity.  uton, Dunstable & District Branch is also looking for L Fundraising Volunteers to help set up and run our events for 2012. If you love meeting people and talking about cats while raising money for the cats in our care then fundraising will definitely suit you so please give us a phone on 08453 712 746.  orth Shropshire Branch is a new branch having set up N only last year. We are looking to recruit a range of volunteers to enable our branch to grow, especially Fosterers, Home Visitors and Fundraisers across our postcode areas of TF9, SY13 and SY4. Please contact Joint Co-ordinator, Rachel, on 08452 602 389.  orth Birmingham Branch is urgently looking for Indoor N Fosterers to offer temporary homes to cats and kittens. We have a long waiting list of cats needing care, so an extra foster home could make the world of difference! You should to be able to offer daily care, a lot of love and some space of their own – away from other pets – until they go to their forever homes. You’ll be given training and support and have your expenses reimbursed. We also need Helpline Operators, Home Visitors, Event Co-ordinators, Can-Shakers, publicity support and more! Please contact Please contact our Volunteer Recruitment Officer Nicole Evans on 0845 260 1503 or email  ournemouth & District Branch is seeking a Lost and B Found Officer to help us reunite as many lost cats as possible with their owners. The role involves advising members of the public reporting missing cats and possible strays, maintaining the branch’s lost and found records, and liaising with vets and other animal welfare agencies over reports. Please contact Rob or Sam on 01202 924 958 or email  ournemouth & District Branch is also seeking Fosterers to B look after cats while they are in our care, helping the branch assist more cats to find new homes in the future. The branch covers all the expenses involved with fostering. Fosterers should have a room which they can set aside as foster space, their own transport and reasonable flexibility to transport cats to vets as required. Please contact Rob or Sam on 01202 924 958 or email

 eignbridge & Totnes Branch always welcomes new T volunteers, so if you would like to help our branch why not come along and meet us at one of our events? We are currently in urgent need of Transport Volunteers in the South Hams area and Feral Cat Trappers. We are looking to double the number of our collection boxes in the TQ7-14 and EX6 and 7 postcode areas in 2012. If you know of any locations where we could possibly place a box, please phone Barbara on 0845 3712 727.  eading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell is looking for R Indoor Fosterers. Please can you help us make use of a spare room in your home, to help us with our waifs ‘n’ strays? We supply everything else for you. Part-time, full-time, emergency cover… it’s now urgent that we find additional Fosterers. Home Visitors are also still needed in Reading RG1 and RG2, RG4 areas please, Lower Earley, Shinfield, Wokingham, Twyford, Hurst. We also need a person who can help to answer the duty telephone line during the day, from their home, on a week day. Full training will be given. 08453 714 212 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri).  tockport Branch is looking for Volunteers to help with S deliveries. We need drivers to transport items such as cat food and cat litter to people who have provided foster homes for cats in our care. If you are interested, would like to know more about the post or chat to other members of the group, please phone Jacky Goodman on 0161 439 1274, email or visit one of our events.  tewartry & District Branch is hoping that more volunteers S can be found to help us out. We cover a large rural area with a few towns in south-west Scotland and we are a small committee who could do with some help. We mainly need a Welfare Officer to look after all aspects of care for our cats and to make sure our Fosterers have all the resources they need, Fosterers for both adult cats and kittens, Home Visitors and someone to organise publicity. However, we all do a bit of everything, so if you like multi-tasking this is for you!  If you would like to help, please phone us on 01557 339 233 or email More details are on our website

To everyone who donated funds to Southend & District Branch for Bertie – The Cat, Autumn 2011. Sadly his condition deteriorated and we were unable to save him, but he did have a lot of love and care in his last few months. To all the people that donated to North Ayrshire Branch towards the care of Smudge and siblings – The Cat, Winter 2011. Their support is sincerely appreciated. All of the cats have been homed and are thriving, including their lovely mum, Star. To each and every one of you that shopped in the Waitrose Wokingham store and placed your green tokens in the tube representing Reading (East), Wokingham and Bracknell Branch. We were chosen as one of the three nominated charities to receive a share of £1,000 from the Waitrose Community Matters initiative and received a total of £304 which is excellent.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Spring 2012



Find your nearest Cats Protection branch, adoption centre or charity shop...

England South East Bredhurst Kent *Matts * Hill Road, Hartlip, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 7XA ☎☎ 01634 232 471 Friends of Bredhurst Kent Adoption Centre Chelmsford & District *Willow * Grove, Deadmans Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford, CM2 8LZ ☎☎ 01245 478 389 Eastbourne *63 * Marshfoot Lane, Hailsham,* East Sussex, BN27 2RB ☎☎ 01323 440 101 Friends of Eastbourne Adoption Centre Haslemere *Chase * Lodge Studio, Hammer Lane, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 1QD ☎☎ 01428 604 297 Friends of Haslemere Adoption Centre

Croydon ☎☎ 0208 763 0072

Milton Keynes & District ☎☎ 01296 738 558

Caterham, Redhill & East Surrey ☎☎ 08453 712 739

North Hertfordshire ☎☎ 01438 228 877

Ealing & West London ☎☎ 0208 752 0793


Eastbourne & District ☎☎ 01323 440 101

Rayleigh, Castle Point & District ☎☎ 01268 750 831

Eltham, Sidcup & District ☎☎ 07772 679 854

Romford & District ☎☎ 01708 451 341

Epsom, Ewell & District ☎☎ 01737 640 882

St Albans & District ☎☎ 08453 712 064

Folkestone & Hythe ☎☎ 01303 237 744

Southend & District ☎☎ 01702 710 630 88www.catsprotectionsouthend*

Great Amwell & District ☎☎ 08453 712 736

Sutton & Cheam ☎☎ 0208 330 0176

Greenwich ☎☎ 0208 8538 666

Swale ☎☎ 08453 712 755

Guildford & Godalming ☎☎ 01483 422 529

Tendring & District ☎☎ 08453 712 742

National Cat Adoption Centre *Chelwood * Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT ☎☎ 08707 708 650

Harlow, Epping Forest & District ☎☎ 01992 579 539

Friends of the National Cat Adoption Centre

Hemel Hempstead & Berkhamsted ☎☎ 08453 711 851

North London *135 * Junction Road, Archway,* Greater London, N19 5PX ☎☎ 0207 272 6048

Hastings & District ☎☎ 01424 754 328

Hendon, Finchley & Mill Hill ☎☎ 0208 952 1350

Basildon, Brentwood & District ☎☎ 01268 285 778

High Wycombe & South Bucks ☎☎ 01494 448 849

Bexley & Dartford ☎☎ 01322 611 911

Hillingdon ☎☎ 01895 443 637

Bromley ☎☎ 0208 402 8860

Hornchurch & District ☎☎ 01708 755 211

Camberley & District ☎☎ 08453 712 745

Horsham & District ☎☎ 08453 712 749

Canterbury & District ☎☎ 01227 266 838

Lea Valley ☎☎ 08453 134 746

Chelmsford & District ☎☎ 01245 478 389

Lewes, Seaford & District ☎☎ 01273 813 111

Chichester, Bognor Regis & District ☎☎ 08453 712 760

Maidenhead, Slough & District ☎☎ 01628 620 909

Chiltern ☎☎ 08452 602 396

Maidstone ☎☎ 08453 712 758

Crawley, Reigate & District ☎☎ 08453 712 734

Mid Sussex ☎☎ 01444 414 884


The Cat  Spring 2012

Tenterden & District ☎☎ 01797 366 379 Three Rivers & Watford ☎☎ 01923 283 338 Thurrock & District ☎☎ 08453 712 752 Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District ☎☎ 01892 516 377 Welwyn Hatfield & District ☎☎ 08453 711 855 Woking & District ☎☎ 01483 721 700 Worthing & District ☎☎ 01903 200 332 Chichester, Bognor Regis & District *7a * Crane Street, Chichester,* West Sussex, P019 1LH ☎☎ 01243 774 737 Colne Valley **75 High Street, Halstead,* Essex, CO9 2JD ☎☎ 01787 274 667 Croydon *13 * High Street, Purley,* Surrey, CR8 2AF ☎☎ 0208 763 9898 Caterham, Redhill & East Surrey *20 * Chipstead Valley Road,* Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RA ☎☎ 0208 660 7475

Ealing & West London *3a * Albert Terrace, Pittshanger Lane, Ealing, W5 1RL ☎☎ 0208 998 3940 Eastbourne & District *14 * Seaside Road, Eastbourne,* East Sussex, BN21 3PA ☎☎ 01323 733 888 Eltham, Sidcup & District *14 * Tudor Parade, Well Hall Road,* Eltham, London, SE9 6SX ☎☎ 0208 859 6009 Folkestone & Hythe *139a * High Street, Hythe, Kent,* CT21 5JL ☎☎ 01303 238 661 Greenwich *18 * Old Dover Street, Blackheath,* London, SE3 7BT ☎☎ 0208 858 2220 Hastings & District *43 * London Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37 6AJ ☎☎ 01424 203 778 Lea Valley *145 * Chase Side, Enfield,* Middlesex, EN2 0PN ☎☎ 0208 367 4813 Medway & Gravesham *34 * Canterbury Street, Gillingham,* Kent, ME7 5TX ☎☎ 01634 571 270 *142 * Franklin Road, Gillingham, Medway, ME7 4DG ☎☎ 01634 578 436 Sutton & Cheam *156 * The Broadway, Cheam, * Sutton, Surrey, SM3 8AY ☎☎ 0208 642 1575 Tenterden & District *Lakehurst * House, Unit 1, * 94c High Street, Tenterden,* Kent, TN30 6JB ☎☎ 01580 765 277 Worthing & District *35 * Rowlands Road, Worthing,* West Sussex, BN11 3JJ ☎☎ 01903 200 332

South & South West Exeter Axhayes *Little * Hill Cottage, Clyst Honiton, Exeter, Devon, EX5 2HS ☎☎ 01395 232 377 Isle of Wight *122 * Marlborough Road, Ryde,* Isle of Wight, PO33 1AW ☎☎ 01983 562 609 Newbury & District *Heatherpine, * Curridge Road, Curridge, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9DH ☎☎ 01635 200 111 Cornwall *Point * Road, Carnon Downs,* Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6JN ☎☎ 01872 870 575

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

Ferndown Homing Centre *51 * Cobham Road, Ferndown Industrial Estate, Wimborne,* Dorset, BH21 7QZ ☎☎ 03000 120 175

Holsworthy, Bideford & District ☎☎ 08453 712 717

Weymouth & District ☎☎ 01305 262 737

Honiton ☎☎ 01404 452 41

Weston-Super-Mare & District ☎☎ 08453 712 066

Evesham *c/o * Dogs Trust Kennels,* 89 Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, Evesham, Worcester, WR11 6RT ☎☎ 01386 833 343

Andover & District ☎☎ 01256 892 019

Launceston & District ☎☎ 01566 773 814

West Oxfordshire ☎☎ 01993 831 350

Hereford *Cobhall * Villa, Allensmore, HR2 9BP ☎☎ 01432 277 543

Barnstaple & District ☎☎ 01271 860 787

Mere & Gillingham ☎☎ 01747 840 621

Winchester & District ☎☎ 01962 883 536 or 01962 884 468

Friends of Cats Protection Hereford ☎☎ 07787 434 756

Basingstoke & District ☎☎ 01256 352 281

Midsomer Norton & Radstock ☎☎ 01761 436 486

Wootton Bassett & District ☎☎ 07928 674 433

Bath & District ☎☎ 01225 835 606

Minehead ☎☎ 08453 712 761

Yeovil & District ☎☎ 01935 412 755

Blandford & Sturminster Newton ☎☎ 01258 858 644 Bournemouth & District ☎☎ 08453 712 762 Bridgwater ☎☎ 01278 684 662 Bristol & District ☎☎ 01179 665 428 Callington & District ☎☎ 01579 382 794 Cheltenham ☎☎ 08453 712 730

Newbury & District ☎☎ 01635 200 111 Okehampton & District ☎☎ 08453 712 751 Oxford & District ☎☎ 01235 221 147 Plymouth & South Hams ☎☎ 08453 712 753 Portsmouth ☎☎ 08453 712 743 Reading & District ☎☎ 08452 602 395

Cherwell ☎☎ 07716 596 212

Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell ☎☎ 08453 714 212

Cirencester, Tetbury & District ☎☎ 01285 657 894 88

St Austell & District ☎☎ 01726 817 837

East Devon ☎☎ 01404 811 089 Exeter ☎☎ 01392 276 291 Falmouth, Helston & District ☎☎ 08453 712 729 Fareham & Waterlooville Districts ☎☎ 08452 601 504 Farnham & Wey Valley ☎☎ 01252 334 644 Forest of Dean ☎☎ 01594 841 511 Frome & District ☎☎ 07733 390 345 Glastonbury & Wells ☎☎ 01749 850 660 Gloucester ☎☎ 07891 112 654 88www. Gosport Town ☎☎ 02392 582 601

Salisbury & District ☎☎ 08453 712 068 Southampton ☎☎ 08453 712 718 Stroud ☎☎ 01453 828 326 Swindon ☎☎ 01793 644 536 Taunton & Wellington ☎☎ 01823 461 527 Teignbridge & Totnes ☎☎ 08453 712 723 Tewkesbury & District ☎☎ 01684 297 227 Torpoint & Rame Peninsular ☎☎ 01752 829 104 Torquay & District ☎☎ 01803 557 014 Truro & District ☎☎ 01209 861 134

Bournemouth & District *333-335 * Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 9QR ☎☎ 01202 530 757 Bristol & District *272 * North Street, Bedminster,* Bristol, BS3 1JA ☎☎ 0117 963 9028 Cheltenham *20 * St James Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 2SH ☎☎ 01242 234 494 East Devon *72 * High Street, Sidmouth,* Devon, EX10 8EQ ☎☎ 01395 513 394 Forest of Dean *28a * Newerne Street, Lydney, Gloucestershire, GL15 5RF ☎☎ 01594 841 848 Gloucester *15 * Broad Street, Newent, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL18 7AQ ☎☎ 01531 821 247 Honiton *137 * High Street, Honiton, EX14 1LW ☎☎ 01404 423 12 Mere & Gillingham *High * Street, Gillingham, Dorset, * SP8 4AA ☎☎ 01747 833 669 Reading & District *11 * The Triangle, Tilehurst, Reading, RG30 4RN ☎☎ 0118 945 3733 Taunton & Wellington *48 * Bridge Street, Taunton,* Somerset, TA1 1UD ☎☎ 01823 322 244 Truro & District *23 * Pydar Street, Truro,* Cornwall, TR1 2AY ☎☎ 01872 276 351

Central Birmingham *Packhorse * Lane, Hollywood, Birmingham, West Midlands, B47 5DH ☎☎ 01564 822 020 Friends of Birmingham Adoption Centre

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

Mansfield *Mansfield * Road,* Warsop, Mansfield,* Nottinghamshire, NG20 0EF ☎☎ 01623 845 846 Nottingham *The * Gate House, New Farm Lane, Nuthall, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG16 1DY ☎☎ 0115 938 6557 Ashfield & Amber Valley ☎☎ 01246 825 165 Bedford & Biggleswade ☎☎ 08442 496 911 Burton on Trent ☎☎ 01283 511 454 Cannock & Burntwood ☎☎ 01543 279 641 Corby & District ☎☎ 08453 714 209 Coventry ☎☎ 02476 251 491 Evesham & District ☎☎ 01386 833 343 Halesowen & District ☎☎ 08453 712 062 Leicester & District ☎☎ 01162 881 318 Lichfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 741 Ludlow & District ☎☎ 08454 815 599 Luton, Dunstable & District ☎☎ 08453 712 746 Mansfield & District ☎☎ 01623 845 846 Mid Warwickshire ☎☎ 01926 334 849 Northampton ☎☎ 08447 003 251

KEY: Adoption Centre Homing Centre Branch Charity shop

The Cat  Spring 2012 59

North Birmingham ☎☎ 08452 601 503 North Shropshire ☎☎ 08452 602 389 ☎☎ 07792 165 437 Nottingham ☎☎ 01159 386 557 Ross-on-Wye & District ☎☎ 08453 712 763 Rugby ☎☎ 01788 570 010 South Birmingham ☎☎ 08453 711 854 Stafford & District ☎☎ 08452 601 509 Stoke & Newcastle ☎☎ 01782 515 167 Stourbridge & District ☎☎ 08448 848 520 Telford & District ☎☎ 08542 601 502 Walsall Borough ☎☎ 01922 682 005 Wellingborough & Rushden ☎☎ 08453 714 209 Wolverhampton ☎☎ 01902 651 173 Worcester & District ☎☎ 01905 425 704 Bedford & Biggleswade *12 * The Springfield Centre, Kempton,* Bedfordshire, MK42 7PR ☎☎ 01234 840 827 Coventry *34 * Far Gosford Street,* Coventry, CV1 5DW ☎☎ 02476 222 105 Halesowen & District *9* High Street, Blackheath, Rowley Regis, West Midlands, B65 0DT ☎☎ 0121 559 3135 Hereford *13 * Commercial Road,* Hereford, HR1 2BB ☎☎ 01432 278 016 Ludlow & District *5* Old Street, Ludlow,* Shropshire, SY8 1NW ☎☎ 01584 878 606 Mid Warwickshire *27 * Regent Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5EJ ☎☎ 01926 338 250 Pershore *Royal * Aracde, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1AG ☎☎ 01386 550 440 Stafford & District *Market * Stall 48, St John’s Indoor Market, Stafford

60 The Cat  Spring 2012

Peterborough & District ☎☎ 08453 712 750

Bolton & Radcliffe ☎☎ 07760 780 759

St Neots & District ☎☎ 01480 476 696

Boston & District ☎☎ 01406 424 966

Scunthorpe & District ☎☎ 01652 651 001

Burnley & Pendle ☎☎ 01282 693 400

Skegness, Spilsby & Alford ☎☎ 01754 830 621

Burscough & Liverpool Bay ☎☎ 0151 526 5999

Sleaford & District ☎☎ 01529 488 749

Calder Valley & District ☎☎ 01706 810 489

Spalding & District ☎☎ 01775 725 661

Carlisle & District ☎☎ 01228 540 330

Stamford & District ☎☎ 01778 571 343

Chesterfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 754

Waveney ☎☎ 08453 714 202

Crewe & District ☎☎ 01270 588 710

Friends of Downham Market Adoption Centre

Cambridge *172 * Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3LP ☎☎ 01223 566 997

Culcheth & Glazebury ☎☎ 01925 764 604

Boston & District ☎☎ 01406 424 966

Ipswich *184 * Bramford Lane, Ipswich, IP1 4DP ☎☎ 01473 742 226

Breckland ☎☎ 01842 810 018

Lincoln *381 * High Street, Lincoln, LN5 7SF

Stourbridge & District *27 * Lower High Street,* Stourbridge, DY8 1TA ☎☎ 01384 422 208 Telford & District *75 * High Street, Broseley,* Telford, TF12 5EX ☎☎ 01952 884 388 Wolverhampton *54 * Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton, WV4 4LP Worcester & District *53 * St Johns, Worcester, WR2 5AG ☎☎ 01905 426 748

East Dereham *Hoe * Road Farm, Hoe Road, Longham, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 2RP ☎☎ 01362 687 919 Friend of Dereham Adoption Centre Downham Market *Wards * Chase, Stowbridge, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE34 3NN ☎☎ 01366 382 311

Bury St Edmunds ☎☎ 01284 850 887 Cambridge ☎☎ 01223 441 880 Chatteris, St Ives & District ☎☎ 01480 465 226 Dereham & District ☎☎ 01362 687 919 Ely & District ☎☎ 01353 699 430 Framlingham & Saxmundham ☎☎ 01728 723 499 Grimsby & District ☎☎ 01472 399 810 Haverhill & Stour Valley ☎☎ 08453 719 599 Horncastle & District ☎☎ 01526 388 535 Ipswich ☎☎ 08453 712 069 Milton Keynes ☎☎ 01296 738558 North Walsham & District ☎☎ 01692 535 858 Norwich & District ☎☎ 08454 941 900

St Neots & District *10 * Cross Keys Mall, Market Square, * St Neots, PE19 2AR ☎☎ 01480 476 696 Waveney *2* Blyburgate, Beccles,* Suffolk, NR34 9TA ☎☎ 01502 713 167

North Derby *White * Cottage, Long Lane, Dalbury Lees, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 5BJ ☎☎ 01332 824 950 Friends of Derby Adoption Centre St Helens *100 * Chester Lane, St Helens,* Merseyside, WA9 4DD ☎☎ 01744 817 718 Warrington *Animal * Village, Slutchers Lane,* Bank Quay, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1NA ☎☎ 01925 411 160

Derby & District ☎☎ 01332 206 956 Dewsbury, Wakefield & District ☎☎ 01924 261 524 Doncaster ☎☎ 01302 840 777 Durham City & District ☎☎ 01388 720 689 Gateshead & District ☎☎ 0191 420 3180 Halifax, Queensbury & Brighouse ☎☎ 01484 711 728 Harrogate & District ☎☎ 01423 889 598 Hull & District ☎☎ 01482 790 284 Lancaster & Morecambe ☎☎ 01524 850 112 Macclesfield ☎☎ 01625 667 966 Newcastle upon Tyne ☎☎ 0191 296 3512

York *582 * Huntington Road, Huntington,* York, North Yorkshire, YO32 9QA ☎☎ 01904 760 356

North Sheffield ☎☎ 01142 456 371

Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas ☎☎ 01942 888 693

Preston ☎☎ 08451 770 708

Barnsley ☎☎ 01226 762 658

Rochdale ☎☎ 01706 522 440

Beverley & Pocklington ☎☎ 01482 861 866

Sheffield Hallam ☎☎ 01142 493 330

Blackburn & District ☎☎ 01254 260 107

South Wirral ☎☎ 0151 355 9813

Northumberland East ☎☎ 07749 713 142 (6–9pm)

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

Stockport ☎☎ 0161 439 1274

Newtown & District ☎☎ 01686 670 277

Teesside ☎☎ 01642 589 090

Swansea & District ☎☎ 08452 179 648

Trafford ☎☎ 0161 610 2189 or 0161 969 0331

Wrexham & District ☎☎ 01978 313 574

Wear Valley & Darlington ☎☎ 07792 699 918

Colwyn & District *28 * Sea View Road,* Colwyn Bay, LL29 8DG ☎☎ 01492 535 655

West Cumbria ☎☎ 01946 590 079 Wharfe Valley ☎☎ 08451 947 292 York ☎☎ 01904 760 356 Barnsley *95 * High Street, Wombwell,* Barnsley, S73 8HS Burscough & Liverpool Bay *1* School Lane, Burscough, Lancashire, L40 4AE ☎☎ 01704 893 393 Chesterfield & District *2* Cavendish Street,* Chesterfield, S40 1UY ☎☎ 01246 279 163 Derby & District *31 * The Wardwick, Derby, DE1 1HA ☎☎ 01332 360 080 *Institute * Buildings, North End, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4FG Leeds *Suite * 26, Bramley Shopping Centre, Leeds, LS13 2ET Newcastle upon Tyne *162-166 * High Street East, Wallsend,* Tyne & Wear, NE28 7RP ☎☎ 0191 2627 377 Teesside *7–8 * Ramsgate, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, TS18 1BS ☎☎ 07432 379 292 York *13 * Walmgate, York, YO1 9TX ☎☎ 01904 620 361

Wales Bridgend *Green * Acres, Pant Hirwaun,* Bryncethin, Bridgend,* Mid Glamorgan, CF32 9UJ ☎☎ 01656 724 396 Wrexham *Alma * House, Madeira Hill, Wrexham, Clwyd, LL13 7HD ☎☎ 01978 313 574 Aberystwyth & District ☎☎ 01970 822 120 Cardiff ☎☎ 02920 369 138 Colwyn & District ☎☎ 01492 660 221 Gwent ☎☎ 08453 712 747

Dunbar & District ☎☎ 07581 162 260 Ellon & District ☎☎ 01358 721 204 Eskdale & District ☎☎ 01387 376 738 Fort William & District ☎☎ 01397 772 071 Fraserburgh ☎☎ 07876 513 593

Swansea & District *85 * Brynymor Road, Swansea, SA1 4JE

Giffnock ☎☎ 01416 385 110

Wrexham & District *60 * Chester Street,* Wrexham, LL13 8BA ☎☎ 01978 310 555

Glasgow ☎☎ 08453 712 722

Scotland Arbroath & Carnoustie *15 * Kinaldie Holdings,* Arbroath, DD11 5SH ☎☎ 01241 434 605

Huntly & Keith ☎☎ 01466 760 311 Inverclyde ☎☎ 01475 529 462 Inverness ☎☎ 07815 910 861

Clackmannanshire & Stirling *The * Marion Hunter Cat Adoption Centre, Ochivale Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 720 555

Inverurie & Alford ☎☎ 01467 625 695

Dundee & District *102 * Foundry Lane, Dundee, DD4 6AY ☎☎ 01382 450 035

Isles of Lewis & Harris ☎☎ 01851 612 448

Glasgow *Cardyke * Farm, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow, G66 5LD ☎☎ 0141 779 3341 Friends of Glasgow Adoption Centre Shetland *Gott, * Shetland, ZE2 9SH ☎☎ 01595 840 517 Alness & District ☎☎ 08453 714 204 Ardnamurchan & Mull ☎☎ 01967 431 203 Barra & Uist ☎☎ 07050 121 586 Caithness ☎☎ 08453 714 217 Central Aberdeen ☎☎ 01224 749 568 Central Dumfries ☎☎ 01387 710 083 Clackmannanshire & Stirling ☎☎ 01259 720 555 Cumnock & Doon Valley ☎☎ 08453 714 219 Deeside ☎☎ 07837 342 660 Dundee & District ☎☎ 01382 450 035 East Neuk of Fife ☎☎ 08453 714 210

Isle of Arran ☎☎ 01770 820 611

Isle of Skye ☎☎ 07817 943 072 Lanarkshire ☎☎ 08453 714 213 Montrose & Brechin ☎☎ 08453 712 738 Moray ☎☎ 07837 342 646 Nairn ☎☎ 08453 712 714 North Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 218 Orkney Islands ☎☎ 01856 771 642 Outer Aberdeen & District ☎☎ 01224 705 252 Peebles & Biggar ☎☎ 0707 4357 228 Perth ☎☎ 08458 622 206

Stewartry & District ☎☎ 01557 339 233 Stonehaven ☎☎ 01569 739 396 Stranraer & District ☎☎ 01776 840 619 Strathspey ☎☎ 08453 712 725 Tain & District ☎☎ 08453 712 737 Tomintoul & Glenlivet TNR ☎☎ 01807 590 573 Turriff & District ☎☎ 07050 241 846 West Fife ☎☎ 01383 419 975 West Lothian ☎☎ 08453 712 719 Central Aberdeen *96 * King St, Aberdeen, AB24 5BA ☎☎ 01224 634 894 *187 * George Street, Aberdeen,* AB25 1HZ ☎☎ 01224 658 565 Clackmannanshire & Stirling *The * Marion Hunter Cat Adoption Centre, Ochivale Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 720 555 Dundee & District *102 * Foundry Lane, Dundee, DD4 6AY ☎☎ 01382 450 035 *5* Reform Street, Monifieth,* Dundee, DD5 4BA ☎☎ 01382 534 316 Outer Aberdeen & District *187 * George Street,* Aberdeen AB25 1HZ ☎☎ 01224 658 565 West Fife *6* Arberlour Street, Rosyth,* Fife, KY11 2RD ☎☎ 01383 417 548

Northern Ireland Belfast *270 * Belfast Road, Dundonald,* Newtownards, Northern Ireland,* BT16 1UE ☎☎ 02890 480 202 Friends of Northern Ireland Adoption Centre Armagh ☎☎ 07709 483 550

Peterhead & District ☎☎ 07791 834 226 Renfrewshire ☎☎ 0141 876 4133 Shetland ☎☎ 01595 840 588 South Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 216

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

KEY: Adoption Centre Homing Centre Branch Charity shop

The Cat  Spring 2012


se n d lease p o s ize. s e a d er s a pr r in r w e g d n printe wards r you om ou ery picture d Gate, Hay name, r f r a your to he lwoo s – ev e love nd drawing entre, Che et to tell us otos of W ! r e C g n l Cat nd ph okes a e n es s' Cor n't for to Kid ed letters, j ine, N ationa .org.u k. Do drawings a ind the sc e m o h Welc h em bmit agaz orial@cats ur be lso su r cat-t Cat m it een o in you us at: The ia email ed t you can a ave you s kids to lso, h T or v s-fore r th a Write H17 7T . Rememb s website. A k/cat R , h t s t H ea dres ats for kid t n d ad age a ts to the C them out a k ca your logs? Chec b o e vid

When is a cat not a cat?

The word 'Meerkat' comes from the Dutch for marsh cat, but they aren't cats and they don't live near marshes! Meerkats are members of the Mongoose family who live in the southern part of Africa. Simples! Did you know that giant pandas are called 'Da xiong mao' by the Chinese? This means 'giant bear cat' and is because they don't have round pupils like other bears but their pupils have vertical slits like a cat. Their smaller cousins, the Red Panda, may look like ginger raccoons but they have the nickname bear cat'. Polecats are nocturnal weasels and native to the UK and can usually be found living near riverbanks, woodland and farmland.

62 The Cat  Spring 2012

Why the big paws?

These lovely kittens are being looked after by our Gosport Town Branch. Most cats have 18 toes each but these two have very big paws! Ned has an extra eight toes, while his brother Fred has 10 making a total of 54 between them. They are known as polydactyl cats which is from the Greek – poly = many, + daktulos = fingers. When the vet examined the kittens he noticed the extra toes on Fred's back paws and said he'd never seen such a thing in 40 years of practice. Although their paws may look a little unusual the extra toes do not affect their health in any way and Ned and Fred are wonderfully confident kittens looking forward to going to their new home.

, 4, Glasgow e c li A ie h p o S

Carys, 6, Kinross,


, 7, H aywa rds H eath

Jacob, 8, Kinross,

Congratulations to Sophie-Alice who wins a Bashful Black and White Cat by Jellycat. Well done to our runners up Carys, Jacob and Keira who each win a Furball Kitty also by Jellycat.

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

The Cat  Spring 2012 63


Poste restante puss R

amone’s human was Pippa, who lived in central Paris in a rather chic neighbourhood, working as a bilingual secretary. Pippa was blonde, buxom, bold and British, so she rather stood out among the très chic local French community and everyone in the locale knew her. Ramone was equally well known, as Pippa would often carry him around in a battered old drawstring rucksack, neck left just open enough to let him pop his head out at will. Many a Parisian commuter, casting an admiring sideways glance at Pippa, would be disconcerted – or utterly charmed – to suddenly find himself in Ramone’s unblinking furry gaze as he thrust his head up to investigate the gentle psychic pressure. Pippa lived in a first floor apartment and when she left for work in the morning she’d leave a window open for Ramone. Now while not totally impossible, a three to four metre drop down onto concrete paving slabs is a bit of a stretch for a middle aged cat. But it was no obstacle to the ever-resourceful Ramone. He’d sit at the windowsill surveying his domain until a delivery truck pulled up outside to make deliveries to the local shops. The simple two-metre horizontal leap clear across the width of the pavement onto the roof of the truck was no problem for Ramone and, from there, it was a dignified hop down onto the roof of the driver’s cabin where he would work his way down to street level in a few easy hops. Once on the street, Ramone began his rounds. He roamed his fiefdom, collecting as his due an affectionate stroking here, a morsel of fish offered there, deigned to lap from a bowl of milk left out for him, strop against an ankle held still to be rubbed against, greetings exchanged all around his territory. In warm, sunny weather there were favoured spots to be visited for some quality snoozing time and in inclement weather he’d shelter indoors among those humans he chose to honour with his company. In pleasant weather when he was ready to go home to wait for Pippa’s return at the end of the day he’d sit ‘at attention’ on the pavement just outside the door to her apartment

building, tail curled neatly around his front paws. When next the door was opened by a human either entering or leaving he’d hop inside, scurry up the stairs and curl up outside her apartment door to await her arrival. In wet weather though Ramone would stay in whatever shelter he’d found and wait for Pippa to come and get him. On the rainy day in question, Ramone was snuggled up under the counter keeping company with the staff at the local post office rather than waiting in the rain outside Pippa’s apartment building. When Pippa arrived home there was no Ramone to greet her, but when she checked her answering machine there was a message from the counter staff at the post office saying that they had Ramone waiting for her. Pippa headed right out to the post office and queued up with the other people waiting to be served. The thing to know about French Post Offices is that the hatch where they hand over any parcels they’re holding for you is a little different than here in the UK. Here the hatch is likely to be either a simple hinged door or a sliding panel. In France the method involves an elegant stainless steel cylinder mounted vertically. Arched openings are cut in both sides. Inside the fixed outer cylinder is another stainless steel cylinder on a rotating base with a single opening on one side. The counter staff spin the inner cylinder around until the opening is on their side, place the parcel inside and then spin the cylinder round so the parcel can be lifted out the other side. The cylinder is simply turned by hand. When Pippa reached the front of the queue the staff knew who she was and why she was there. “Ahh, mademoiselle Pippa, ici votre jolie chat.“ The lady behind the counter bent down and picked up Ramone, placing him in the cylinder. Ramone being well accustomed to this simply sat upright calmly while the world turned slowly around him. As he came into view Pippa gathered him up into her arms. From a few places back in the queue, a strangled voice was heard to gasp in an American accent, “Oh my God, they post ‘cats’ here!”

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

David Sattar celebrates the memory of a fabulous French feline.

Remembering cats through helping others This section offers readers the chance to pay tribute to a beloved cat by helping others. Donations go towards pens for our branches, which help house cats and kittens while they wait for new homes. Please send your donations to: Remembering Cats, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Cats Protection’. Tributes will be printed in the next available issue. Please note that this is an increasingly popular page and we cannot guarantee that your dedication will appear in a particular issue. Please print your tribute clearly to avoid errors (no more than 20 words). Thanks to readers of The Cat, 312 pens have now been bought.

 MUDGE 21.11.04 age 16 S years. Our handsome black and white boy, always in our thoughts and hearts. Sleeping in his garden with his mum ANGEL 12.12.95. Sheila & Ivan xx. TAMMY PTS 01.03.2011. Affectionate companion to Mum and loved by all the family. You had an eventful but happy life. Claire xx.

T  ABSY, SOOTY, D SNOWY,  FLUFFY, BEAUTY, BUC, M  ARMITE, JONAH, M  ONTY and FLORA. All dearly loved and missed. Never forgotten.

N  EFERTITI. Our beautiful little girl PTS 21.10.11. 14 years of happiness. We love and miss you so much. Will reunite at Rainbow Bridge. Mum, Dad, Niall & Cleo. Davies Wood, JESS, our darling ‘Little One’, PTS 11.10.11. Much loved and missed, and remembered always. John and Elsie. In loving memory of precious DAISY 22.12.08 and HARRY 08.10.00. Greatly loved and missed. ADLAI GRACE a little angel in a fur coat. Safe with your siblings over the bridge. Adlai Grace: August 2011 to 12 October 2011.

 UGSY 06.01.94 age 20 B years. TOPAZ 08.10.11 age 18½ years. Your name and manner will be forever scratched into our hearts. Love Mum, Dad, John, Murphy, Milo, Willow xxxxx½. In loving memory of S  HEBE who passed away from us in January 2011. Always be in my heart. Gone and never forgotten. Your loving mum, Carol. WHITESOX a.k.a POPPLES. Our beautiful black and white boy PTS 29.10.11 aged 17. Loving and loyal. So precious to us. Mummy and Master. In loving memory of TIGGY, 1992 – 03.03.11. A loving friend asleep in his favourite garden. Till we meet again. Peter, Freddie, Minie.

P  USS – PTS 26.11.11 aged 19. Best friend and companion. Missed and loved so much. Never forgotten. Forever in my heart. OSCAR and SAKI – years ticking by but you’ll always hold a special place in our hearts. Love and miss you both. Mummy and Daddy. Rest in peace, NOLA. Thank you for all your love and companionship. Always in my heart. Joan.

In loving memory of CHL OË – 02.03.05. Our  beautiful girl. In our thoughts and hearts always and forever. Love Mummy, Daddy, son Leo.

J ACK – died 24.10.95. My lovely black boy. Thank you for 10 wonderful years. You will be remembered always. Gwen.

In loving memory of T  IMMY – 30.03.91 and TOPSY – 27.03.96. Together again. In our thoughts and hearts always and forever. Love Mummy and Daddy.

P  ERRY – 21.02.11. Brave,

In loving memory of

MR ARTHUR 19.03.96 and DAME EDITH 14.05.09. The very first cats to share my life. I didn’t realise how much I would love you. Love always Mum. Beautiful SMOKEY. So sorry. Miss you so much. No more pain now, brave lad. Always love you. Mum and Dad. CHARLIE, everyone loved you. Died 07.12.11. Thank you for 16 happy years. In our hearts forever. Carole and George.

gentle, loyal – my precious friend, missed so much. Always in our hearts. Love Mummy, Daddy, Leo, JoJo.

S  TEFAN-IAN 25.10.11. Eat well at the heavenly banquet. Tuck in dear Stef to the well deserved feast. Love Mark. In loving memory of BOBBY, went missing 02.04.07. Greatly missed by Peter and Minie. Till we meet again.

S  ALLY – went to Jesus 16.03.93 and CHLOE – 17.07.06. Loved and remembered every day. Mummy.

FLAP 27.02.93 – 08.03.11. Always in my heart. Missed and remembered every day. At rest in her favourite garden. God bless xxx.

Loving memories of my cats. Five of PTS. Gone feline heaven, Missy, Suzie, dear friends Charlie, Mitzi, Torts, Mokevimimifrom 1994 – 2011. Never forgotten. Graham.

TOPSY – PTS 12.2005 aged 17. The dearest little cat we have ever known. Remembered always. Gwen and Hilary.

In loving memory of SNOWY went missing 07.03.09. Greatly missed by Peter and Minie. Till we meet again.

The Cat  Spring 2012 65

B k reviews Looking for a great book about cats? Check out our reviews before you buy...

I like cats by Anushka Ravishankar and various artists This is one of the most beautiful books a cat lover will ever see. It is printed in a Fairtrade workshop in Chennai, India and each page is screen-printed by hand. The images are by some of the country’s best known tribal and folk artists. You can almost feel the brushstrokes of each entertaining cat image. This is a true work of art and also comes with a pull-out illustrated sheet which readers can then frame. We love our review copy, but we’re reluctantly going to offer it up as a prize so you can love it too! Send in your entries by 13 April 2012 marked ‘I like cats’. Francesca Watson I like cats (£17.99) is published by taraBooks (; ISBN 9789380340081)


Talina in the Tower by Michelle Lovric There’s something weird happening in Venice. People are going missing. Not just adults – babies and teenagers are disappearing too. The only clue to the kidnappers: scratches at the door, two short scratches for a child, three long ones for an adult. When Talina’s parents are taken, she must go and live with her foul guardian and all three of his just as foul cat-eating dogs. While baking in the kitchen using magic, she gets in a bit of a muddle and turns herself into a cat! To make matters worse, her guardian then throws her and her feline friend Drusilla out of the tower and into the canal! She must find help but also be careful not to be caught by the things that have been mysteriously taking people in the dead of night. What will she do? Talina in the Tower was a real page turner. I thought it was very exciting and would definitely recommend it to children eight to 13 years old. Ylena Green Talina in the Tower (£9.99) is published by Orion Children’s Books ( Tel 0207 240 3444 ISBN 9781444003383)

Feed me! By Simon Tofield This is what every Simon’s Cat fan needs – a compendium of cartoons taken from his first two highly successful books in a handy carry size so you’ll never be without this favourite cat again. In colour for the first time, these cartoons are all about food and Simon’s Cat’s insatiable appetite. We definitely share that appetite for Simon Tofield’s creative and entertaining work – more please! Francesca Watson Feed me! is published by Canongate ( Tel 0131 557 5111 ISBN 9780857862778)

Books received 

 Serendipity’s Secret by Samantha Babington  A cat and mouse tail by Linda Drywood.

66 The Cat  Spring 2012

All at Sea with Truffles by Sheila Collins

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This pen £369

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Coping with the loss of a pet? Pet Bereavement Support Service 0800 096 6606

WWW.CATCHAT.ORG finds homes for over 5,000 cats every year Registered charity no: 224392 (England and Wales), SC040154 (Scotland). SCAS registered charity no: 1070938.

This issues sudoku answers

ANSWERS Winter 2011 crossword answers Across: 1 Blizzard, 6 Own, 9 Equip, 10 Answers, 11 Haddock, 13 Money, 14 Dorset, 15 Camera, 19 Jeans, 21 Awkward, 22 Draught, 23 Topic, 24 Son, 25 Two-faced. Down: 2 Launder, 3 Zip, 4 Alaska, 5 Disembark, 6 Ocean, 7 Nasty, 8 Method, 12 Oversight, 16 Example, 17 Abduct, 18 Tattoo, 19 Judas, 20 Again, 23 Tea.

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Give your cat the best chance at a healthy life with James Wellbeloved Made with natural ingredients and all the nutrients your cat needs throughout life, including cranberry extracts. Complete food, which means you don't need to supplement your cat's diet with anything else. Uses a single source of meat protein and excludes many ingredients known to cause tummy upsets. Ideal for cats with food intolerances and coat issues.

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The Cat Spring 2012  

The official magazine of Cats Protection, the UK's leading feline welfare charity.

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