Page 1

Northern stars How Cats Protection is making a difference in Northern Ireland

Working wonders Meet the cats of Britain’s railways and breweries

Pedigree or not pedigree? That is the question!

Feline design We visit the clay cats of Moorside

Plus Canny Canadian cougars

rental wrangle rage & family-friendly feline flicks


Are you certain she’s taken her worming tablet?

Ask your vet for a spot-on solution for cat worming. To find out more information log onto ÂŽ Registered Trade Mark of Bayer AG. Bayer plc, Animal Health Division, Bayer House, Strawberry Hill, Newbury RG14 1JA. Tel: 01635 563000.


The Team

Amy Rutter Editorial Assistant Rasoul Hudda Senior Designer Francesca Watson Editor Ryan O’Hara Senior Designer

Contacts For editorial submissions to the magazine The Editor, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath RH17 7TT Email: Web: 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. To book advertising Terry Lock Media Sales, 3 Forest Way, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 1JN Phone: 01372 276 233 Fax: 08707 051 901 Email: 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. 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 Email: Phone: 0800 917 2287 For all other enquiries: Cats Protection, National Cat Centre (NCC), Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath RH17 7TT Phone: 03000 12 12 12 (Calls charged at standard rate) Fax: 08707 708 265 Email: Web:


Northern stars

How Cats Protec tion is makin a difference in Northern Irelang d

ng wonders

Meet the cats of Britain’s railways and breweries

Pedigree or not pedigree? Feline design That is the quest ion!

We visit the clay cats of Moor side

Published quarterly by Cats Protection. Printed by Gemini Press Ltd. Printed on paper sourced from carefully-managed and renewed forests. Please recycle this magazine when you have finished with it

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) and SC037711 (Scotland)


Canny Canad ian cougars rental wrang family-friendly le rage & feline flicks



Tom Briggs Assistant Editor


From left to right

elcome to the latest issue of ‘The Vogue of cat magazines’ – as one of our readers recently called us. Thanks to Oksana for such high praise! In this edition, Tom Briggs was inspired to write about one of his own passions, beer! On pages 22 to 24 he investigates the employment of cats in the brewery world and has plans to continue the theme by reviewing cat-named ales in the Autumn edition. Amy Rutter experienced the delights of the Yorkshire Dales when visiting West Burton in Wensleydale. Here she visited Moorside Design, a family-run business crafting beautiful ceramic, metallic and stone garden cats – read more on pages 36 to 38. I have brought my article about railway cats to a reluctant end on pages 18 to 21. It was a lovely topic to research and I know there are so many more railway cats out there just waiting for acknowledgment. Perhaps a feline rail enthusiast might consider making it all into a book? Rasoul Hudda has taken a brief break from designing and illustrating this edition of The Cat magazine to contribute his own experiences about the wild cats in his native Canada on pages 34 and 35. In early March, the Editorial Team visited our Cats Protection colleagues in Northern Ireland and, although we thoroughly enjoyed our time there meeting this dedicated team of staff and volunteers, we were taken aback by the number of obstacles that they face. You can read more on pages 46 to 48. Maggie Roberts, Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services, has written about the serious topic of the breed issue on pages 52 and 53 while Sarah Baker considers the problems of being a pet owner in rented accommodation on pages 44 and 45 and journalist Susie Cornfield remembers a feline friend who inspired her to write Farewell, My Lovely on page 32. Talking of farewells we say goodbye to Tom Cox on page 29. This will be his last submission for The Cat magazine as he intends to take a break from moggy writing once his new book has been published. Thanks for the wry humour, Tom! We hope you enjoy this diverse issue and, with luck, you may be able to read this out in the warm open air, sipping a pint of ale and consider having your own cat garden statue. Have a great summer! Worki

Cover photo:

Photo: Clare Halden

…to the Summer 2010 issue of The Cat

Contents In this issue

14 Celebrity interview Comedian and actor David Schneider talks cats and cult comedy

46 Northern lights

18 First class felines

After a re cent visit to the six cou we report nties, on how Cat s Protection is making a difference in Northern Ir eland


The Cat  Summer 2010

The conclusion of our two-part feature on the steadfast feline workers of the railways

22 Of cats and casks

We raise a glass to some of the many cats who have safeguarded the amber nectar

Regulars 6

32 Farewell, my lovely

10 News

How one writer dealt with the loss of her much-loved pet

16 Cats’ tales


Roar of the Rockies On one of his frequent trips to his homeland, our designer learned a few things about the cougars of Canada that he just had to tell...

26 Playing dete ctive 28 Tried and te sted

36 The craft of clay

29 Under the p aw

We meet the talent behind the pottery at Moorside Design

The stage is set…

30 Ask the vets

Don’t forget the most important date in the feline calendar is just around the corner – Cats Protection’s Rescue Cat Awards 2010!

40 Our favourite thin



Seeking: pet-friendly landlord

43 Ali’s cats

A look at the obstacles that face pet owners when contemplating rented accommodation

50 Coffee paw s

44 52

54 Paws for tho ugh

Pedigree or not pedigree, that is the question!



55 Cats Protect ion in

Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services considers the breed issue


60 Diary of eve nts 62 Find your lo cal

Cats Protection

66 Kids’ corner 68 Making mem orie


69 Rememberin g ca


70 Book review

The Cat  Summer 2010


Tell us about it 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.


Justice for Jack

From: Nick Trustram Eve, Croasdalenear, Cumbria ur eight-month-old kitten, Jack, was shot in the head with an air rifle in early April this year. Amazingly he has so far survived, although he still has the pellet stuck in the top of his skull. I didn’t believe the vets when they first said that it could be an air gun wound. We don’t live in an area where that would happen. But the X-rays brought up the distinct image of a pellet stuck against Jack’s skull between his ears. We live in a rural area of the Lake District and cannot understand why anyone can be so depraved as to do this. Although the chances of finding the culprit are less than slim, I am determined to make as much noise about this sort of atrocity as possible. So far it has been covered by the local ITV news and a couple of local papers. A local business has put up £400 in reward money to find the perpetrator. At the time of writing Jack continues to improve. He can’t go outside for a while yet and is getting quite restless inside. He races from window to window, looking at anything that moves outside and also tries to chase flies and spiders on the outside of the window. I still can’t believe how lucky he was. Jack and Mother Nature seem to be doing an incredible job. The main worry now is the ‘Sword of Damacles’ that is literally dangling over his head. The poor chap still has the pellet lodged in his head and this could potentially change his condition dramatically at any moment. So despite his marked recovery... it is still ‘day by day’ and today Jack is alive and being a lovable nightmare! You can see more of Jack’s story on:


Alarming discovery!

From: Rebecca Brett, Crediton, Devon here is an article in the Spring edition of The Cat entitled ‘Cat Calling’. It mentions an alarm which signals someone passing the driveway or approaching the front door which is sensitive enough to detect a cat. There is a picture of said alarm, but no information about the device itself. Could you let me know exactly what it is called, the brand and where it might be bought? We would be very interested in obtaining such a device. Editor’s note: We have had many queries about this product. The writer of the letter published informed us that the item is a ‘House and Garden Intruder Alert’ and it can be bought from Coopers of Stortford at £19.99 plus postage – phone 0844 482 4400 or visit



The Cat  Summer 2010


The Nerja nine

Request for catnip



From: Janis Roberts, Oakley, Basingstoke e visited Nerja in Spain this January and were so pleasantly surprised to see that, while feral, most cats appeared to be neutered as they had the edge of their ears cut and were also well fed – a lot of them being quite portly – and content to get on together because of this. I have never seen nine cats so snug and contented together. The cats were outside a hotel and it was obvious they were being fed and watered, as there were plastic containers with water in and empty trays where food had been placed for them in the shrubbery. I think I was lucky because they thought there was ‘safety in numbers’, they were sleepy and I didn’t intrude too much. I was very quiet and didn’t stop. I just had to stroke one of them. Below the hotel was a steep drop, with steps that led to the beach. One day, fishermen were gutting fish at the edge of the sea; I looked over and saw a couple of cats sat a small distance away and the fishermen were throwing the heads and innards to the cats. I made the trek down to watch from the beach and there were about 20 cats living in a cave well above the water line and some of these also had chips out of their ears and they too looked quite healthy. It’s a sight I will never forget and it’s lovely to visit somewhere where, despite cats perhaps not being cared for as much as they are here, not being left to suffer or starve.

Have an Eiffel of this!

From: Tracey Allen, CP High Wycombe & South Bucks Branch e recently included the following item in our branch newsletter Paws for thought and thought that readers of The Cat might be interested to read about it too. Did you know there’s a street in Paris, next to the River Seine, called ‘Rue du Chat Qui Pêche’ – ‘Street of the Fishing Cat’? Apparently the little street – said to be the narrowest in the French capital – was named after a shop sign. It’s in the city’s fifth Arrondissement, the Latin Quarter and is 29 metres long but just 1.8 metres wide. Editor’s note: Are there any other cat-themed street names out there? We’d love to hear from anyone who knows of any!


From: Karen Brandwood, Secretary, CP Calder Valley & District Branch t Calder Valley & District Branch we have a small team of valued volunteers who make catnip mice that we sell through local veterinary surgeries and at our functions. This raises quite a substantial amount each year. Whenever possible, we use recycled materials and off-cuts to make the bodies and a local furniture manufacturer supplies us with filling. In the past we have made pleas through The Cat for any avid gardeners out there who could supply us with dried catnip to use in the mice and we were delighted to receive a good supply from a couple of kind readers who responded to our plea. This supply is now coming to an end and we will need more before too long. Is there anyone out there who could harvest their catnip for us during the year? You can get in touch with us via – any amount would be gratefully received. Thank you.

A hiding hitchhiker

From: Doreen Pinfield, via email hat is it about white cats and cars? The letter ‘Cat-alytic Converter’ in the Spring issue reminded me of something that happened in our family. In October 2006, my daughter’s family adopted a three-legged white cat from Cats Protection in Woking. The cat was a stray and they called her Peggy. She settled into their home with the other two cats – also from Cats Protection – and appeared more than happy, not wanting to venture outside very often. One Saturday they decided that it would do Peggy good to stretch her legs, so took her into the back garden. After a short while it was decided that it was time for Peggy to come in, but she was nowhere to be seen. They called and called and then went to all surrounding houses, even going to the next road where the gardens backed onto theirs. This went on for several hours and, at last, while they were again looking in the front garden, my daughter and grandson heard a cat crying and they realised that it was coming from the neighbour’s car and when she opened the bonnet, there was the cat on a ledge under the windscreen. The neighbour had driven to a health club about five miles away, swum and used the facilities for a couple of hours and then returned home. Peggy must have stayed under there all that time with no-one being aware of her presence. Luckily she was retrieved safely, if a little grubby, but otherwise none the worse for her adventure. We now wonder if her predilection for cars was the reason for the amputation and the fact that she was lost originally.


The Cat  Summer 2010


Black beauty

From: Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, Ratton, Eastbourne he trouble with our Mary is that she is quite beautiful. Black. Sleek. Good tempered. The trouble? Well, she has a follower. And the problem with the feline breed is that they can’t tell you about it. Look into golden, inscrutable, unfathomable eyes. What do they say? If anything at all it’s “Mind your own business”. So it’s no good asking her to explain about that shadowy elusive cat who sits outside the cat flap waiting patiently on the steps for her to burst out after her breakfast. I’ve tried to catch him, for I assume it’s a him, to try to tell him it’s ok to court Mary. Trust is not something strange cats have though. That can’t be because the human race generally mistreats cats, quite the reverse. We love them, spoil them to death... it’s just the way cats are. By nature suspicious and territorial, the wild cat doesn’t really disappear. It lurks beneath the tame facade. Watch a cat hunt. Watch their fury when a strange cat invades their bit of territory. Hell hath no fury! That Mary has a boyfriend I’m flattered. After all, she’s my cat, my spoiled and cosseted friend. Perhaps then I’m just a tiny bit jealous. Those assignations in the garden are a bit of her life that I have no part in. I’ll just watch out for her lover then, maybe, when she’s not looking, enjoying sitting on a nice warm knee, I’ll find a way to chase him off. Well, you say, how mean can I be?


Boldly going where no man has gone before!

From: Cilla Bartlett, CP Reading & District Branch n the Spring edition of The Cat I was really interested in the First class felines article about railway cats. I wanted to send in a further little memory of Tiddles the Paddington Station cat, which might have been of interest. I used to work in the British Rail Western Region offices at Paddington Station in the 1970s and regularly used the ladies loo, meeting Tiddles on each occasion. The ladies attending the toilets were very proud of Tiddles and his popularity and took every opportunity to enhance his fame. Every Christmas, his basket would be beautifully decorated with tinsel and other festive items and other special events were marked as well. I particularly remember the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 when they decorated his basket with lots of little Union Jack flags and similar patriotic items. Tiddles would sit in the middle of it all as happy as Larry while visiting ladies ‘ooohd’ and ‘aahd’ and cooed over him. There was often a charity collection box by his basket for anyone who wanted to contribute and he did really well. He was an enormous cat – I think his actual weight was displayed on a card for all to see – so was a real presence – the cynics among us often wondered whether the charity best served was Tiddles’ tum! He must have been one of the very few males ever to set paw in there!


Our Star Letter wins a fantastic Willow’s Hi Rise Sleeper Cat Bed made from natural banana leaf. It comes complete with cotton cushion and will give your cat a cocoon of cosiness in which to snooze the day away! All other printed letters will win one of these Willow’s Bags of Fun sets of toys which should keep your moggy amused for hours. Our thanks to Pets at Home for kindly donating these prizes; visit to see their full range of products or telephone 08701 943 600 for more information.

A home from home

From: Betty Jones, CP Atherton & Wigan Metro Branch thought you might like to see this picture of a conservatory a local couple had added to their house. We think it’s a great idea for housebound cats!



The Cat  Summer 2010

Pets at Home is the UK’s leading pet care retailer, offering 1000s of dedicated pet products, as well as advice and support on all aspects of pet care from our highly trained store teams. From specialist pet food to toys and training aids, there is everything a pet owner could wish for and more. There are over 250 Pets at Home stores across the UK. To find your nearest store and for further information log onto or call our customer services team on 0800 328 4204 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm).

News New website

We are very pleased to announce that Cats Protection’s new website has gone live. The site has undergone a design and content revamp and this was been based on feedback received from supporters and an independent audit review of the old site. As well as the main site, the Cats for Kids pages have been expanded to include games, downloads and more interactive elements. We’ll be adding more pages and sections over the coming months. The site address remains the same so take a look at

Pets win prizes!

In the Winter 2009 edition of The Cat, we ran a competition giving one lucky reader the chance to win a portrait of their cat by artist, Claire Kiernan. Claire runs Cartoonarts which offers a wide range of art and illustration services including her massively popular and cheeky pet commissions. Bea Bellintani sent in a photograph of her 11-year-old tom Whee and was selected as the winner. Claire says “Whee grabbed my attention straight away, not only because of his gorgeous green eyes but because the way his face was so close to the camera and halfway out the frame. It adds to his cheekiness! A perfect candidate for a Cartoonarts commission!” Bea was very pleased with her prize: “I was really happy and surprised that my cat’s photo was chosen,” she says. “The portrait is so cute, I love it – I’m very impressed how Claire captured perfectly his sweet and laid-back nature, obviously she’s very talented and loves what she does.” To place an order with Claire, get in touch on 0121 308 096, email Top: Whee’s competition entry or visit her Bottom: Whee with his portrait website


The Cat  Summer 2010

Council – would you like to be involved?

The Council of Cats Protection meets at least three times a year and advises the Trustees on a wide range of issues affecting Cats Protection. 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 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 17 July 2010. The deadline for completed applications is 25 June 2010. Further details of the procedure and an application form are available from Janet Revell on 01825 741 211 or email the address above. When completed, this will require the signature of three proposers who can be either your local branch committee members or Trustees.

Kitten Factor

The Felix Kitten Factor is taking place again this year from 10 May until 5 September. Felix is looking for mischievous and fun kittens to enter this year’s photo competition. To enter, simply upload a photograph of your loveable rascal and explain why he or she is the most mischievous in Britain. For every entry £1 will be donated to Cats Protection. To enter or for more information visit


Volunteer of the Year 2010/2011

The Cats Protection Volunteer of the Year Awards have been running for two years now and we thought it was time to give them a facelift! We recognised that, for some of our volunteers, the location and the distance to the awards ceremony itself was too far and that some of the categories were confusing and not relevant to all of our volunteers. To overcome these issues, we will be holding four regional tea partystyle events in the early part of 2011. Each region will vote for its overall winner, who will be invited to the overall Volunteer of the Year presentation at the 2011 AGM. Holding four individual events will also ensure that plenty of time will be given to highlight the achievements of the winners, photographs can be taken at leisure and local press will also be invited. We will be officially launching the revamped awards at this year’s Cats Protection Annual General Meeting on 17 July 2010. We hope that you will join us in helping to make the next Volunteer of the Year awards the best yet!

Microchipping reminder!

Due to some minor unforeseen problems with the building process of our Ferndown Homing Centre, we were not able to be ready for the planned 20 March official launch. However, the building works are now complete and, at the time of writing, the launch was planned for early June. We will be announcing the exact details on our website and Facebook page

Like a cat to water

A Cats Protection cat has overcome the stress of being given up three times by finding his happy ending on board a boat! Bailey arrived in the care of our St Helens Adoption Centre in 2008 when his owner moved out of the area. He found a new home quickly, but was returned 24 hours later because the child in the home was afraid of him. He then found another home but, sadly, almost a year after being there he was again returned as he had apparently never got on with the other cat in the home. It was a case of third time lucky for Bailey though, when a gentleman visited the centre looking for a laid-back cat who he could take sailing on this yacht during the summer. Staff and volunteers thought that Bailey was the perfect candidate and have been proved right – his new owners are delighted with him and, as you can see from the photo, he seems equally happy with his new living arrangements!

What a canny cat!

Photo: Scottish SPCA

We are all aware of just how important microchipping is to ensure missing cats can be reunited with their rightful owners but the reunification process is dependent on an owner’s registered contact details being kept up to date. So if you move house or change your telephone number, don’t forget to inform your pet’s microchip database – details can be found on your cat’s microchip certificate. It is all the more important if you have brought your cat into the UK from overseas. Cats found straying in the UK with a foreign-registered microchip may be considered a potential health risk – in particular with regard to rabies – and placed into quarantine facilities, or even face euthanasia if the owners cannot be traced due to out-of-date contact details. Unfortunately, the authorities do not have a central database to search to ensure that lost cats with foreign-registered microchips found straying in the UK have entered legally – either through quarantine or via the pet passport scheme. So, while microchipping remains the most effective means of permanent identification of pets, remember to update your contact details when you move.

Ferndown opening postponed

Black cats are considered lucky in Britain and this cat is no exception. She was found wandering outside the Scottish SPCA’s centre in Dunfermline. The poor little thing had a cat food can stuck firmly on her head but somehow managed to find her way to the animal rescue centre! Colin Seddon, the Centre’s Manager, said: “Luckily no damage was done and the little cat was very pleased to be freed from the discomfort that comes with having your head stuck inside a tin can. “We think it’s likely that she was scavenging and came across this discarded tin of cat food. She may have got the can stuck on her head and then became disorientated, it’s lucky she wasn’t hit by a car.” The animal charity is now making enquiries to find the cat’s owners while the cat stays at one of their rescue units.

The Cat  Summer 2010


AGM – 17 July 2010

If you missed the AGM notice in the last edition of The Cat, details are now available on our website at You can also contact us at or phone our Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 – calls charged at standard rate. The AGM day takes place at the National Cat Centre and is due to start at 11.30am. The audited Annual report and accounts of Cats Protection will be placed before members and the re-appointment of auditors and the election/re-election of Council members also takes place. There will also be various talks, presentations and tours of the adoption centre starting at 10am.

Fostering success

A recent appeal for Fosterers by our Barnstaple & District Branch was a great success after attracting attention from the local press. The North Devon Journal featured an article highlighting the branch’s desperate situation which Co-ordinator, Lydia Shelton, says helped to generate far more response than any other fostering campaign so far. At the time of writing, Lydia had received seven enquiries, five of which were very positive and will be invited to visit a current fosterer to see what is involved. If you are interested in fostering with Barnstaple, please contact or 01271 860 787.


The Cat  Summer 2010

Kids lend a hand to Ferndown Homing Centre

There have been many events taking place raising funds for the new Ferndown Homing Centre. One took place at Pimperne Primary School in Blandford Forum, Dorset. The children were set the task of drawing around their hand and then decorating it in a unique way. There were 10 winners overall who won passes to Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire. These 10 paw prints will go on display at the new centre. Thank you to everyone who took part, the judges said that it was an extremely tough decision as all the entries were of a very high standard. Here are two of the 10 winners – Alysha and Rosie.

52 miles for Cats Protection!

Eleven Cats Protection supporters aimed to raise a total of £4,000 after taking part in the inaugural Brighton Marathon on Sunday 18 April 2010. In total, 7,426 runners completed the course on a beautiful, cloudless day by the seaside, with the winner; Mongolian Ser-od Ba-otochir, claiming the title in 2:19:05. Thank you to Melanie Brookes, Enias Gramu, Debbie Heathcote, Ben Lambert, John Lambert, Katie Lyons, Kristina Murphy, Kevan Owen, Gillian Rodger, Ashleigh Sturt and Gareth Thurlow who ran on behalf of Cats Protection. Fourteen more runners took to the streets of London the following Sunday, 25 April, determined to raise over £10,000 to help cats across the UK. Congratulations go to Sarah Abouzeid, Teresa Andow, Felicity Aries, Richard Armstrong, Katherine Arnold, Kevin Castle, Julie Draper, Sanjay Mangabhai, Pat Moody, Anna Partin, Thomas Peillon, Mark Powles, Louise Sutton and Emily Walker. It’s never too early to show an interest in running for Cats Protection in next year’s marathons so get in touch with the Events Team via for further details.

Embracing the great outdoors Housing up to two cats separately or together, the Mansion is one of our exterior models specially-designed so your cat can experience the outdoors in safety. Easy to clean Quick to put up Very secure Mansions from £584 Orders & brochures 01780 410313

New Catalogue out now, call 01904 413000 for your copy.

Lines open Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5.00pm or shop online at AJM The Cat Ad A 93x136mm_AW 23/3/10


Page 1

The long-lasting no smell litter.

cat ad 25-01.indd 1

25/01/2010 10:51

Absorbs odour totally Easy to dispose 100% biodegradable Economical - lasts 3 times longer It’s 100% natural organic fibre Light to carry Easy to scoop Soft on paws


NOW IN 10 & 30 Ltr SIZES

Disc Spec ounts & to all ial Term s Resc bona fid ue G e roup s

Suppliers of cat chalets & runs to Cats Protection Block of Burton Chalets

Lindsey Chalet

Kitten Playpen


Bransby, near Sturton-by-Stow, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN1 2PH

Tel: 08700 272 672 Fax: 01427 787 062 email:


Finance Available


David Schneider

Comedian and actor David Schneider talks to Tom Briggs about cats and cult comedy QUESTION Can you tell us a little about your cats? ANSWER I didn’t have any pets when I was a kid apart from a goldfish who lived for a disturbingly long time, clearly a goldfish that felt it was a turtle! Ruby, a tortoiseshell cat, came along eight years ago after a friend’s cat had kittens. My other cat, George, came along a couple of years later and we got him from Cats Protection in fact. He’s a shaggy longhaired black cat. Ruby is very intelligent, very adventurous and not particularly affectionate except with one of my daughters and George is very affectionate, but very stupid! QUESTION You’ve starred in some cult comedies including Alan Partridge and The Friday Night Armistice as well as in films such as Mission: Impossible, 28 Days Later and David Baddiel’s recent comedy The Infidel and have written numerous sketches, plays and academic papers but what has been your proudest achievement to date and why? ANSWER Wow… I think the ensemble comedy, being part of that movement that included The Day Today. You’ve got to feel very proud of that, I think. We just did one series but it still holds up, it’s influenced a lot of people and turned a lot of people on to a different sort of comedy. It would be hard to choose between that and the Partridge oeuvre because the Partridge oeuvre also was the first to bring a realism to comedy performance that then went on to things like The Office. But The Day Today is a strong contender for proudest thing. QUESTION What are the funniest things that any of your cats have ever got up to? ANSWER Well I suppose George’s foolishness always brings us entertainment. He’s six now but he still doesn’t quite understand doors – they have to be totally open for him to realise; he only understands opening, he doesn’t understand doors! Half open? No, he’s still not going to go through, he only recognises the openness so there are still many hours of entertainment watching him try to work out how to get through when it’s wide open!

Photo: Lee Wallis

QUESTION What are you working on at the moment? ANSWER I’ve got two sitcoms and a film that I’m waiting to hear on. It’s a difficult moment where it could all happen – I could be writing two sitcoms and I’m off for some meetings in LA in June – or nothing could happen which is part of the business I’m in. It’s very exciting because it could go either way but at the moment it looks quite positive. QUESTION Who is your favourite fellow comedian and why? ANSWER Chris Morris is someone I completely admire. Him and Armando Iannucci. Chris understands ‘funny’ but he’s fearless and attracted to dangerous areas to find ‘funny’ there. I think “oh, you can go first, mate!” but still, I admire that. I’ve been very, very lucky working with such good people.


The Cat  Summer 2010

QUESTION How do you fit owning cats into your busy schedule? ANSWER I’ve got a family so, between us, we work it. Ruby is independent but as she’s getting a bit older you go “Oh my God! Ruby sat on my lap!” If there was a local paper just in our house, that would be front page! Because I write from home, I’m around the cats quite a bit and that’s really nice and that’s one of the reasons my girlfriend got the cats. QUESTION What made you decide to go for a career in comedy? ANSWER Ego. It’s something I’m good at and I enjoyed making people laugh really so in a way ego is the answer. And then as I’ve got older and it has become my job, it’s become a brilliant way of saying things, I mean I’m quite into the election at the moment and people will listen to you more if you’re funny than if you’re not. QUESTION What makes cats the best pets? ANSWER With a certain sort of house cat like George, you could probably live under the stairs with them, you know you wouldn’t have to take them for walks or anything. Don’t get me wrong, I really like dogs, but the advantage of cats is that they’re very affectionate and low maintenance.


Over Facebook users can’t be wrong!



The official Cats Protection page on Facebook recently attracted its 22,000th fan. If you already use Facebook, why not join to help us spread news of the charity to an even wider audience? Visit and click on the ‘Become a Fan’ link.

Photo: Christensen

- 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

Cats’ tales 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 photo of at least 500kb in size. If you would like your photos returned, please enclose a selfaddressed envelope. Your letters may be edited for clarity and length.

iiGimme’ a Ty five! From: Kieran Saunders, Nottingham We adopted Ty last November after his owners abandoned him. We got a rescue cat as we thought it was better to rehome one that needed a loving place and a family. He is such a funny character with a curious nature, he loves gazing at birds and playing with his favourite toys, shoelaces. He gives you high fives when he sees you… okay, so it’s stretching but they look like high fives! He is very affectionate and loving and is always there to greet us with a miaow and paw! I even woke up once to find a steak I was defrosting by the side of my bed… he must have thought I looked hungry.

iiRaider of the national park From: Glenn Jones, Brokenhurst, Hampshire We got Indiana Jones, Jonesy for short, from a cat adoption centre in Lymington and a lovely lady called Jannette. As soon as we saw him we fell in love with him. We live in a cottage in the New Forest and he loves it. He wakes me at 5.15am every morning; he’s better than an alarm clock. His favourite pastime is going for walks with me. He pesters me when I am sat in my chair by nibbling my knee until I get up and take him. He takes me to places I’ve never seen. He jumps streams, climbs trees, runs in the open grass areas and has introduced me to his forest friends; the donkeys and ponies. A recent meeting with a pheasant, however, has taught him a valuable lesson. He’d given chase, but the pheasant turned on him and sprayed him! Jonesy now keeps a safe distance and just watches. You could be forgiven for thinking of him as a wild outdoors cat, but he’s really just a big softie who wants to show you what he can do, he is adorable. My partner Oksana and I just love his little ginger socks!

hh Medieval mod moggy From: Richard Callender, Blanefield, Glasgow This picture was taken on our 2009 family holiday in Brittany, on a busy side street in the pretty medieval centre of Quimper. The cat, contently stretched out on the padded street of the old scooter, was completely indifferent to all the interest he was attracting from tourists and remained obligingly unperturbed during the taking of the photograph. He certainly seemed quite at home!


The Cat  Summer 2010

readers’cats jjPrecious gems From: Rachael Jackson, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire In October 2009, my husband and I adopted two kittens who we have named Ruby and Sapphire. They are both eight months old and were feral sisters. Their mum took them to the patio window of a rescue centre volunteer and she looked after them until we came along and adopted them. Considering they come from a feral background, they have both settled in to our family with no problems at all. They both have very different characters; Sapphire is more outgoing where Ruby is a little more reserved and you have to earn her attention. They both love to play with their toys but Ruby likes to bring them to us and then miaow for our attention until we tell her what a good girl she is! Ruby has very distinct markings, she has a perfect strip down her nose, one side ginger, one side black! The neighbours have nicknamed her “Two Face”.

iiPriceless inheritance From: Pamela Wallis, Old Hatfield, Hertfordshire This photo is of my cat Misty in her favourite spot reading her magazine! I inherited Misty a year ago and since then she has completely taken over my home. She is about eight years old but acts like a kitten. Misty has only one eye and we don’t know what happened to the other one as she was found like it as a stray seven years ago. It certainly does not seem to bother her, as she plays all day and follows me around like a puppy. She adores my grandchildren and cries when they go home. I hadn’t planned on having another cat after my last one died several years ago but Misty has made a huge difference to my life and I adore her.

hh Kids and kits From: Beryl Bowles, via email I work as a volunteer for Cats Protection’s Yeovil & District Branch and would like to share my story with fellow readers. My daughter and her husband adopted two of the kittens I fostered four years ago and absolutely adore them. My daughter Vicki was very concerned that her baby born in August 2009 would affect her relationship with her cats and she didn’t want them to feel left out. I reassured her that as long as she still cuddled them and talked to them as before all would be well. My granddaughter Kirsten is now five months old and the cats love having my daughter home all day with them. Penfold, pictured, is very protective of Kirsten and she now sits beside her when there are visitors instead of hiding behind the settee. She loves to curl up beside my daughter when she is feeding Kirsten and makes chirruping noises. Scooter enjoys sniffing her feet and rubbing his head in them. It is a delight to see and proves that, if handled correctly, babies and cats do mix. We often have cats handed into us because of the birth of a baby as the owners are frightened of what will happen. If my letter makes just one reader realise they don’t have to give up their cat it will be brilliant and my daughter Vicki would be thrilled.

Don’t forget, Cats’ Tales is sponsored by Felix so, if your cat gets onto this page, you’ll receive a month’s supply of delicious Felix pouches from the As Good As It Looks range*. Your furry friend will find it irresistible at every mealtime. Felix As Good As It Looks is available in eight flavours, you will find them at your local supermarket or pet store. For more information log onto *please note that pouches can only be delivered to a UK address. Winners’ details will be passed onto the external suppliers for products to be posted direct.

Sponsored by

The Cat  Summer 2010


First class felines

Francesca Watson concludes her two-part feature on the steadfast feline workers of the railways


Photo: Prandina

he Stainmore Railway Company (SRC) at Kirkby Stephen East serves lines to Penrith in Cumbria and Darlington in Cleveland. The original line was shut for passenger traffic in 1962 and, in 1969, was taken over by a bobbin factory and concreted over. The process of converting it back into a working railway has been going on since 1996. Visitors to the railway are not all train enthusiasts, however; some come just to visit the resident felines. Rabbit, a white-and-tabby cat was already established in the area when the building began to be restored in 1998 and is perhaps their best-known cat. Sue Jones, secretary to the SRC, remembers Rabbit well: “She was an extraordinary cat who enriched the lives of all volunteers and visitors at Kirkby Stephen East. She ruled the volunteers’ mess room and would complain bitterly if the fire went out.” Rabbit became a local celebrity and appeared in the Northern Echo and had her own page on the BBC Radio Cumbria website. Perhaps her ultimate claim to fame was being immortalised as ‘Miss Rebecca Rabbit’ in Alan Cliff’s children’s book Jack the Station Cat and the Midnight Mice. Sue continues: “Rabbit loved exploring and was an active member of working parties, supervising track and restoration work on the site. Her favourite place after a day of running trains was to sleep on the engines soaking up their warmth. We had to include a ‘check for cats’ in the engine instruction prior to starting up!” Rabbit became increasingly frail and, one day in November 2008, she just disappeared. Despite an extensive search, she could not be found. Her place as Chief Station Cat is currently held by Quaker, an excellent mouser. This black-and-white cat was found on the Darlington platform, hence her name – she has the same colours as the ‘Quakers’ – Darlington Football Club. There was a brief challenge from a ginger tom called Marmalade but apparently Quaker managed to see him off. Marmalade now resides happily in the pub next to the station.


The Cat  Summer 2010

feature Intercity kitties At Inverness there were two black station cats called Diesel and Gasket who found shelter on Platform 6 where they charmed the commuters so much that soon beds and food were provided for them by well-wishers. Their fans came from across the world. The Stirnimann family from Switzerland frequently gave toys and other gifts would arrive from as far as Finland and Japan. Derek Shipley, a local resident, remembers: “The cats knew train departure and arrival times, when to be on show and when to make themselves scarce. When the railway franchise changed, however, the new Area Manager of First Scotrail stations decreed that ‘those cats must go’. This caused a minor revolution by station staff who were very proud of their pets and the pleasure they gave to passing children and adults alike.” Derek continues: “The cats’ fate was decided when Diesel accompanied the new Area Manager on his first detailed tour of the station; she delighted him and he opened doors for her as they walked round. Consequently the continued residence of the cats was assured.” Sadly, Gasket died in 2007 and in April 2009 an obituary appeared in the Aberdeen Press and Journal announcing the demise of the last Inverness station cat, Diesel. The two cats are now buried together in their favourite sunning spot. The Stirnimanns have left a plant and a garden gnome on the platform in their memory. While researching the story behind Diesel and Gasket, Derek found out about another rail cat, this time a white-and-black puss who found a home with Inverness Maintenance Depot. By chance this cat was also called Gasket. Mike Fraser, an In-Service Engineer at the depot, provided Derek with the tale: “The depot had a cat which appeared in the mid-80s in the store where she duly gave birth to several kittens soon after. We named the cat Gasket because she had the kittens next to the bin where the exhaust gaskets for diesel engines in locos were kept in stock,” Mike explains. Photo: Jamie Martin

The story of Arthur, the Whitby station cat is recalled in Inside the North York Moors by Harry Mead. “One day in the 1960s,” writes the author, “a stray black and white cat, lame in a back leg, hobbled in. Befriended by station workers it adopted the station as its home, where it lived for more than 10 years. “The staff christened the newcomer Arthur. Arthur’s disability didn’t appear to impair his hunting prowess. He repaid the kindness Arthur’s memorial stone of rail staff and travellers by keeping Whitby station virtually mouse-free. And when he died in 1975, the staff, who had enjoyed his company as well as valuing his hard work, buried him by his favourite haunt – the buffers at the end of the unused Platform 3.” A piece of sandstone was selected to mark Arthur’s grave and, at the suggestion of a passenger, the words Morte D’Arthur – title of Tennyson’s epic poem on the death of the legendary King Arthur – were carved on the stone. In the 1980s the platform was levelled to make way for the new Co-op supermarket, however thankfully the headstone was rescued and was later erected between the store and the station. ”A perfect ending?” writes Harry Mead, “Not quite. For the stone is awkwardly sited a few yards beyond the end of the platform, making it hard to see. Casual visitors can’t reach the platform end anyway as it is now part of the Whistle Stop Tearoom. And even to those who see it, the stone’s inscription means nothing unless they already know the story.” The world’s oldest working railway is the Middleton Light Railway near Leeds and, until March 2009, the resident feline was Smokebox, a friendly black cat who was a great favourite with visitors. One evening Smokebox and her food dish disappeared and then, to add insult to injury two weeks later, someone stole her cat kennel! Many think the two disappearances are linked. Anyone with information on the missing feline should contact the Railway. Colin McGilvray worked at Scotstounhill station on the North Clyde line in Glasgow. One day a cat turned up and although ultimately he only stayed for a month or so, he immediately made his presence felt. He took to napping on top of a cupboard and would make his exit through the ticket slot in the booking office window. Colin recalls, “One day we had a relief clerk on and we forgot to tell him about the cat. Just as the clerk was reaching to give a passenger their ticket through the slot the cat jumped down scaring the living daylights out of him who let out a yell and knocked over his tea. By this time the cat was sitting outside the counter looking in rather smugly at the now rather angry clerk!” Colin was often called out to the platform by very concerned passengers who’d seen the cat sitting on one of the rails. They’d demand that Colin jump down and rescue the poor puss from the approaching express but he always moved like lightning just in time and there was never any real danger. The cat went as he had come, one morning he just wasn’t there, but Colin will always remember that particular cat’s brief stay.

Photo: Harry Mead

Arthur’s seat

Diesel takes a nap

The Cat  Summer 2010


“Gasket stayed at the depot and she was a very good mouser and kept the pigeon colony down so much we did not have contractors to carry out a cull as often during her reign. She would frequently sit on the roof of the supervisor’s office within the main depot building where she could survey her domain,” he remembers fondly. Sadly after a few years Gasket disappeared and Mike and his colleagues were unable to establish what happened to her despite extensive enquiries. Cats have been adopting north Cornwall’s Launceston Steam as their new home for many years. The railway was the realisation of a life-long dream of Nigel Bowman, who first bought a rail engine to restore back in 1968. When finished he realised he needed somewhere to run it. By the mid 1970s, land in Launceston had been purchased and, after a lot of hard work, the railway opened in 1983. Shortly afterwards its first resident felines arrived. Kay, Nigel’s wife, takes up the tale: “One of our current cats, Thomas, was actually our second arrival. He’s over 18 years old now and a thin old cat. When he was younger he ruled the roost with Blackman, a big, black cat. Thomas would torment Blackman, going for his tail and nose again and again, but Blackman would just put up with it until pushed too far, he’d simply sit on Thomas and flatten him. Half an hour later, Thomas would be at it again,” Kay smiles. “Cats knew the timetable and we’d find them on the footplate of the engine and sometimes even in the firebox. Thankfully they were always found before it was lit up. We’ve had several cats over the years, all with their own characteristics and they are so popular with our visitors. Railways are perfect for cats as there are plenty of corners for them to sleep in and they feel safe and secure.”

Come in, number 4! The East Lancashire Railway line is over 12 miles long and runs between Heywood and Rawtenstall. First opened in 1846, it eventually closed to rail traffic in 1980. The site was bought in 1991 with the assistance of local councils and the East Lancashire Preservation Society has since worked tirelessly to bring the line back to its former glory. There has been a long line of cats who have worked alongside the volunteers in the engine sheds and the current incumbents are Dougie, BoBo, Spare, No 4 and Titch. Andy Hardman, one of the diesel group volunteers is a long-time work colleague of these felines. “Dougie is a totally feral cat who lives in the yard and we have built him a cat house. He’s a bit of a grumpy boy!” Andy says. “BoBo is from the Rochdale Cats Protection branch and is our mess-room cat. Then there is Titch, Dougie’s mate, also wild, but he always comes when I shout. He’s a funny little chap, always talking to you.” Titch was hit by a car last year and, for a while, lost the use of his back legs, but thankfully he’s much improved and now has a slight limp. A fourth cat arrived soon after, a small black-and-white male. Andy and his colleagues couldn’t agree on a name so he was called No 4 until a proper one could be decided upon. No 4 remains No 4 to this day. Three black kittens came next. One became inseparable from No 4 and took to sleeping right on top of him. “When the decision was made to downsize on the cat population it was decided that she would stay and become our spare cat, just in case any one of the others ran off,” Andy laughs. ”Once again the name has stuck – Spare!” Her two sisters, Millie and Mandy, are still neighbours and are now looked after by Ian Riley, who is one of the UK’s leading restorers of steam engines and has a large engineering base at the railway. Photo: Andy Hardman

Spare’s forty winks on top of No 4

20 The Cat  Summer 2010

Photo: Louise Mudd Photo: Stanmore Railway Company Ltd

Back on the Whitby line is the picturesque station of Grosmont. It is part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which runs from Pickering to Whitby. The station nestles at the bottom of a dramatic valley tapering down from the sometimes desolate moors. It has been the home to many cats, living at both the station and, more recently, in the loco sheds. There are two current residents who are looked after very well indeed with fitter Charlie Dore feeding them weekdays in winter and Margaret Beesley, the Shop Supervisor, taking over at weekends and during the summer. Dinky arrived as a tiny kitten, hence her name. She’d been part of a litter that had been born under one of the caravans where the volunteers stay. The mother had moved the rest of the litter but Dinky was left behind. Margaret remembers: “She was taken to the engine sheds but because she was so wild heavy welding gloves were necessary. On her first medical visit we warned the vet that she was feral but he seemed to think all would be well. He ended up in hospital torn to shreds!” she laughs. “But she’s calmed down a lot over the years and is tame enough to enjoy a stroke.” Another cat was found sleeping on one of the steam engines which was kept on a siding. The engine was an Eric Tracey and so this new white-and-tabby cat was called Erica. On one occasion, her bed was moved from the frames of a steam engine and put into a diesel engine. Erica refused to use it and the bed was duly moved back. There is a small cross just outside the sheds commemorating Brian Moony. This was a cat who endeared himself to the rail workers over the years; so much in fact that when his ashes were buried a service was led by a vicar and the event covered in the Whitby Gazette. It was Shed Foreman Paul Middleton who insisted on calling him Brian, no one is entirely sure why! Other Grosmont cats included Eliot, named after the poet and then there was also Divvy who came from the Whitby Coop car park site but had to be rehomed to Grosmont quickly as a health and safety visit was due. Bart was a brief rail cat but because of his constant craving for human attention – and always seeming to end up in the local pub! – the station’s Booking Office Clerk, Tammy Naylor, decided to take him home with her. In West Sussex, reader June Bassett remembers two cats in particular. “There was a wonderful ginger cat who once ruled over Pulborough station. He was greatly loved by all the station staff and passengers used to enjoy seeing him cross the main railway line in a stately manner, using the steps that that staff used to get down from the platform and up again on the far side,” she recollects. “When he died the railwaymen buried him in a little garden by the signal box on the upside and put up a little headstone to him. After the ginger went there was a nice black-and-white cat who lived in the ticket office and used to curl up in the old fashioned wired filing trays.’ There are so many more railway cats out there, past and present, who also deserve a mention: Pudding of Bridgnorth, a three-legged puss at Preston, the Todmorden tom, Fluff at Long Sutton, the cat of Glenfinnan, Centro at Leamington Spa, Bam-Bam and Pebbles at the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Railway… but not enough space! So, on your next journey leave the car at home, let the train take the strain and introduce yourself to your local first class feline!

Photo: Louise Mudd

The moor the merrier

Top: The beautiful Grosmont Station Middle: Erica’s official! Bottom: Rabbit walks the tracks at Kirkby Stephen East

The Cat  Summer 2010


Of cats and casks After being sent to organise a write-up in a brewery, Tom Briggs raises a glass to some of the many cats who have safeguarded the amber nectar

Photo: Tom Briggs


The Cat  Summer 2010


Anchored in history

Paws on tours At Elgoods Brewery in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, despite the logo including a dog there are still – and always have been – two cats on patrol, Spot and new recruit, Scruffy. According to Head Brewer, Alan Pateman, Scruffy has adapted admirably to her new role after the sad passing of her predecessor, Blackie. “She has settled into her new life, or career, as rodent control operative very well,” he reports. “She was rather overawed by her new surroundings as a Photo: Courtesy of Miles Jenner

In January 1937, Southwark-based Anchor Brewery reserved a page in its company publication, The Anchor Magazine, to extol the virtues of its feline residents. Anchor was very well established, having brewed beer on the south bank of the Thames since 1616, but it seems that the arrival of the cats was welcomed and they were soon playing a major part in its day-to-day life. The article stated: “Their variety is extensive and their powers of multiplication abnormal. A Brewery Registrar of Births and Deaths of Cats would find his a real full-time occupation!” before going on to list some of the offspring of a former incumbent, ‘Big Tom’, who

seems to have been the brewery’s first cat. The cats were clearly very well thought of as the remarks about them, although very matter of fact in tone, show a great deal of affection. For example, we are told that Boadicea is “Inordinately proud of her descent,” and that she “possesses impeccable table manners.” In more recent years, Harveys Brewery in Lewes, East Sussex was home to a clutch Anchor celebrates its cats of moggies including Sarah. “It was, until the end of the last century, not unusual to see a cat wandering around at Harveys,” reports Head Brewer and Joint Managing Director, Miles Jenner. “The doors to our malt room and hop store still have the cat holes which allowed their easy passage in the course of their duties. The brewery cat was ‘on the books’ and cat food was a legitimate business expense. “On many an evening, when I was working late, I would hear a plaintive howl outside my office and, on opening the door, would behold a dead mouse laid out on my doormat with a very proud cat sitting behind it. On congratulating her on her achievement, the cat would turn and wander off, satisfied that she had demonstrated that she was earning her keep. It was left for me to dispose of her precious gift before leaving!”

Photo: Courtesy of Dr Kenneth Thomas, Heineken UK Ltd


s often seems to be the case in this magazine, the subject we’re about to investigate has a strong link to the ancient Egyptians. At roughly the same time the citizens of the Nile Delta were beginning to build up the affinity with cats that we enjoy today, they were also developing an equally long-lasting relationship – beer! While there were other early tipples in various parts of the ancient world that may well have pre-dated those of Egypt, it seems to be have been the north Africans who created the brewing process before passing it on to the Greeks who, in turn, passed it on to the Romans who, not to be outdone by their community-spirited predecessors, imparted it to the Anglo Saxons. But where do the cats come in, I hear you ask? Well, apart from the likes of Bast the cat-headed goddess being revered by tanked-up worshippers, moggies would have unwittingly played an important role in the amber nectar’s development by guarding the stores where its basic ingredients were kept. Thousands of years later, a similar relationship between cats and beer survives in Britain’s breweries. While the primitive stores have long since been replaced with modern structures and Bast’s aforementioned worshippers substituted by equally merry followers of football on pubs’ giant screens, the arrangement in modern times – although not as commonplace today as it was 20 or so years ago – seems to be the same; the cats have continued to earn their keep by keeping breweries vermin-free.

Miles Jenner with Harveys cat, Sarah

The Cat  Summer 2010


Photo: M Pateman Photo: Liz Hughes

and crinkled bits of plastic. Most mornings we arrive to find old sweatshirts, T-shirts and the like strewn about the office!” Of course, cats’ relationship with beer has extended to pubs all around the country too. In the last issue of The Cat we featured a news item about the Nags Head in Walthamstow which ran a feline-themed beer festival last year. The four-day event was inspired by local cats and their propensity to follow their owners to the pub – so much so that one beer brewed especially for the festival was named after one of the fourlegged regulars! A wide range of other ales named after cats – such as Black Cat, Pussy Galore and Cat in the Box – were also on offer leaving cat-loving drinkers spoilt for choice. The casks were guarded by Billie who, along with three other local moggies, is now immortalised on the pub’s sign. Another pub cat to have made the headlines is Bruce who found his home thanks to Cats Protection’s Teignbridge & Totnes Branch. The two-year-old moggy was well known in the village of Shaldon and was often spotted in the neighbourhood. When he suffered minor injuries after a road accident it became clear that he had no owner, so kindhearted regulars at The Clifford Arms held a collection to cover his vet fees. After some convalescence and the care of branch volunteers, it was decided that Bruce would be given a permanent home somewhere where all his friends could visit him regularly – The Clifford Arms! Bruce is now happily settled in with landlords Mike and Linda Balster and, with his roaming days behind him, has a happy future to enjoy. Cats and real ale, although exceptionally different from one another – and it goes without saying that they shouldn’t be mixed! – are two quintessentially British passions and it is comforting to observe that the humble moggies of this world have done their bit to safeguard the future of one of the planet’s most popular beverages – cheers, cats!

Photo: Courtesy of Ben Hudson

young kitten, but our Brewhouse Supervisor, Keith Armstrong, and his colleagues made sure that she was happy in the first few weeks. “Since then she has become a firm favourite with all the staff and our many visitors. Initially she had to learn that Spot was in charge, and had a great time pouncing on her tail until Spot corrected Top: Doing good at Elgoods: new her!” arrival Scruffy It seems that Bottom: Bertie shows off Whittingtons’ the dynamic duo feline-inspired ales manage to find time for their adoring public too as Alan adds: “Both cats will make an appearance during guided tours and expect the visitors to take more notice of them than the brewery tour guides!” Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent, Gloucestershire, is home to Whittingtons Brewery which, in turn, is home to a cat named Bertie. The brewery is named after the famous Dick Whittington who, legend has it, was born in nearby Pauntley so, of course, there is a strong feline theme to everything at the brewery – including the ales. “Bertie originally came here as a kitten and is now about 17,” explains employee, Liz Hughes. “He lives in a flat over the retail shop and has his own entrance by climbing a 100-year-old wisteria to an open window. He helps guide the daily tours and can take great delight in attacking the mere human guide en route! “We have a small hotel here and Bertie is a past master at scenting out the soft touches of those guests who will let him into their rooms and possibly give him a ‘little something’, or even stay the night. He has a large fan club and some even come to stay bearing gifts for him when they arrive. He sometimes offers them a ‘gift’ in return. Luckily the guests who receive these are quite philosophical about this.”

Monster moggy Brewery cats are not just a British phenomenon, however. Visitors to New York’s Brooklyn Brewery have become so infatuated with the resident feline, Monster, that he has his own Facebook page and appears on numerous tourists’ Flickr – a photo-sharing website, for anyone who hasn’t heard of this – pages among their other holiday snaps of the Big Apple. Ten-year-old Monster, who is named after one of the brewery’s most popular tipples, Brooklyn Monster Ale, is as popular with staff as he is with visitors and makes his presence felt by putting visiting dogs in their place and stealing employees’ office chairs! Staff member Ben Hudson, adds: “During the night, once all employees have left the building, Monster roams about looking for errant clothing


The Cat  Summer 2010

What’s that sitting on the malt, is it a Monster? Is it a Monster?!

I couldn’t have completed this article without the help of Dr Kenneth Thomas at Heineken UK Ltd, Flossie and Roger at the Nags Head, Walthamstow and all those mentioned throughout – thanks everybody! Tom Briggs

Many children regard their cat as their best friend and it is through this friendship that important lessons are learned; trust, empathy, care and love. Recent studies have shown that owning a cat can do wonders for a child’s self esteem, social skills and sense of responsibility to others. Cats are great for playing and cuddles too! For details of cats in your area needing loving homes, please phone 03000 12 12 12 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm) or visit Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

At any one time, we have 7,000 cats and kittens in our care. Sadly, for every cat we help there are many more that we cannot. Please help us create another happy ending by giving a good home to one of our cats.

A day in the life of a cat behaviour counsellor

Do pets grieve for the loss of another cat? Vicky Halls investigates...


Photo: CP Library/Bude

ome years ago now I conducted an owner survey into the behaviour of elderly cats and one section related to the reaction seen in cats after the death of a feline friend. According to their owners, nearly two thirds of the cats surveyed that had outlived another had shown some visible reaction to the loss. There is absolutely no reason to presume that cats will not grieve and it isn’t necessarily just reserved for old age. The loss of a companion has a profound impact on a household – grieving humans, changes of routine and the absence of a familiar part of the social unit. Under these circumstances it is probably more surprising that a significant number of owners report no response whatsoever from the surviving cat. This may be unpalatable for grieving owners but it is perfectly normal for those cats cohabiting without forming any particular bond.

The stages of grief The flexibility of the cat’s social structure makes it difficult to generalise about the grieving process, but in the various reports received as part of the elderly cat survey and in my experience since, there appear to be three stages. The first is relatively short-term and manifests itself in excessive vocalising, pacing and searching. This appears to be an active phase as the cat attempts to find the missing individual. One owner who took part in the survey wrote of a 12-year-old Siamese: “From that day on Kula began to grieve for Kiki. She cried day and night for her. There wasn’t a cupboard drawer or wardrobe she didn’t look in or pull things out of to see if she could find her.” Another letter concerning the same behaviour seen in an 18-yearold Birman stated: “Solomon was very disorientated and confused and obviously very insecure. He looked for Cy around the house and called a lot. This lasted two to three weeks.”

Depression sets in The second stage is a more passive one where depression sets in and the cat becomes withdrawn and inactive. Some more sensitive breeds like the Siamese and Burmese often lose their appetite and appear quite unwell for several weeks during this part of the process, often needing veterinary intervention to stimulate a return to normal eating habits. This stage tends in most cases to decrease with time until the cat emerges into the third and final stage of acceptance. This often heralds a period of transition as it is commonly reported that permanent character changes become evident at this time. Some cats will become more friendly and attentive towards their owners. Others will appear to blossom on the demise of their companions, a response that many owners find uncomfortable. This can, however, be a relatively common outcome as passive aggression or tension between incompatible cats within a household often goes unnoticed by owners and can only be appreciated in retrospect once the more assertive one is no longer there. Cats will shut down and withdraw from social contact as a coping strategy when faced with constant intimidation and competition. If the antagonist is removed, the survivor is more likely to

26 The Cat  Summer 2010


Photo: CP Library/Trevor Towler

Tips to help your cat through the grieving process

approach owners for interaction. They can be seen adopting many of the rituals and habits of the deceased, perceived by some owners as a psychic manifestation of the spirit of the departed, but in reality this reflects their ability to claim premium sites and rights of access that had previously been denied.

Will a new kitten help? Those cats that express grief in this way can take anything from days to months to adjust to the change. Owners are keen to comfort the apparently inconsolable and a new kitten is seen as a solution. These introductions can be a disaster but some cats are easily distracted, as one owner reported: “When Biz died, it took her sister about five days to realise it and then she started to howl day and night. Since the kittens have been with us the howling has stopped.” This 18-year-old domestic shorthair clearly found that Biz was an easy act to follow. There are some cats, in my experience, that are sociable with others to a degree that borders on dependency and the ability and need to direct that focus onto another animal is greater than any sense of loyalty to the departed. Without another feline companion as a replacement, these cats are prone to attaching themselves firmly to their owners and suffering a form of separation anxiety in their absence. This should never be encouraged but, sadly, they are the cats that need the most reassurance and some do not respond to the arrival of a newcomer, craving instead the company of the familiar. Time and patience heal with sufficient comforting from the owner to ease the transition with an equal degree of encouragement to build some self reliance. If multiple cats remain after a death, there can be quite an evident upheaval as the balance of power between them shifts depending on the role played by the deceased. This is another complex part of the grieving process and it is probably best to leave them to achieve stability again without human intervention.

• Losing a pet can be very distressing but the way it impacts on your emotional state and behaviour will affect those felines left behind, so try to be as normal as possible in your cat’s presence • Maintain the general routines of the household as much as possible, this will provide your cat with some sense of continuity at a confusing time • Don’t be too hasty in removing the deceased cat’s favourite bedding and other items. The gradually fading scent will confirm that individual is no longer around • If your cat goes off his food, appears withdrawn or lethargic, do not automatically assume this is purely an emotional response that will pass with time. The stress that the loss of a companion may cause, irrespective of the perceived quality of the relationship, can tamper with the immune system and make the cat more susceptible to disease so if the problem persists get him checked out by your vet • Take care that your desire to provide comfort is appreciated. If you focus attention on the remaining cat it may have stressful consequences if that level of attention is unusual or undesired. It is best at this time to make yourself available but allow the cat to initiate social contact • It may be comforting for some cats to see the body of the deceased. If there is no specific risk of disease transmission – and the death occurred under circumstances that make it practical – then there is certainly no harm in doing so but some cats can respond negatively to any foreign or challenging smells on the body • If you do consider acquiring another cat as a companion, do bear in mind that this will not necessarily be a positive thing for your cat. Waiting for a reasonable period, such as three months, to see how the remaining cat settles will be a better indicator of whether or not he really needs a new feline friend. All introductions should be gradual and advice sought to ensure it is done sensitively • Don’t think the impact of the deceased cat has only been felt in the household. If he was active in the territory outside then the lack of scent messages out there will soon become apparent and other cats may start to encroach into previously defended space. This may have serious repercussions for the remaining cat if he had historically relied on his companion to deal with territorial matters

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

The Cat  Summer 2010




& tested…

Want to keep the kids entertained over the summer? We enlisted the help of a few youngsters to review four DVDs featuring cool cats...

family DVDs Coraline (PG)

The Aristocats (U)

Moving to a big old house, Coraline feels ignored by her parents. Through a hidden door she finds a colourful parallel world with a seemingly ‘kind’ and loving ‘Other Mother’ and eccentric neighbours who put on shows to entertain her. A darker side of the ‘Other Mother’ is revealed when the price of staying in this enchanting world is to have black buttons sown over Coraline’s eyes. With a little help from a talking cat and the landlady’s grandson, Coraline tries to get home and back to her parents and a normal life. Reviewed by Ylena, aged 11. Ylena’s verdict: I like how there were lots of twists that made it hard to predict, but the amount of characters made it confusing at times. I would recommend it but only if you like films that are a bit dark and sinister!

Classy cat Duchess and her three kittens live a life of luxury with their wealthy retired opera star owner in Paris. When the house butler discovers that everything in his employer’s will is being left to the cats, he kidnaps them. With the help of wily stray, Thomas O’Malley, they try to find their way back home. Reviewed by Jemima, aged 5 and Florence, aged 3. Jemima’s verdict: I really liked this film and thought it was very funny. I especially liked Thomas O’Malley and the song he sang when he meets Duchess and her kittens for the first time. I think other children will really like it too. Florence’s verdict: I liked Marie and the other kittens best, especially when she says ‘how romantic’ when Thomas O’Malley sings to her mother. Jemima and I danced around to the songs at the end.

Shrek 2 (U)

Garfield 2 – A tale of two kitties (U)

In the sequel to the well-loved children’s animation, Shrek, Princess Fiona and her new hubby travel to Far Far Away to celebrate their marriage and meet her parents. Unhappy that his daughter has married an ogre, the king hires a fierce ogreslaying kitty to kill Shrek. Puss in Boots’ life is spared by Shrek and so to make amends he stays with him throughout the course of the film on a mission to obtain the Fairy Godmother’s ‘Happy Ever After’ potion to cement Shrek and Fiona’s love. Reviewed by Tommy, aged 10. Tommy’s verdict: I think Puss in Boots is funny when he puts on his cute-eyed look to trick Shrek. Donkey makes me laugh too. It’s a really good film!

Actually this isn’t an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities but of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. Garfield is on a trip to London with his long-suffering pal, Odie the dog. Garfield switches places with an aristocrat called Prince and finds himself treated like royalty. Baddie Lord Dargis, played by Billy Connolly, is next in line to inherit the estate and wants to make it into a resort so tries to get rid of Garfield. High jinx and chaos ensues but all ends well with the two cats taking their proper places and the evil ones defeated. Reviewed by Heather, aged 7 and Melissa, aged 5.


The Cat  Summer 2010

Heather and Melissa’s verdict: We love this film, we’ve watched it lots of times and we laugh every time. We especially like the bit where Garfield makes lasagne. It’s excellent!


A rude awakening Tom Cox ponders his cats’ early-morning routine


he door to the main bedroom of my house is a heavy one, fitted a little too close to the carpet beneath it. Even for a human, it takes a bit of a shove to open and for most felines it’s a lost cause, but for my cat Shipley, at the crack of dawn, it is no obstacle. Since I don’t have a camera set up in the adjacent room, I have no actual evidence of how he goes about getting it open, but I like to picture a scenario involving a miniature stepladder and a 10-inch battering ram fashioned from a long-out-of-date courgette. As a result of this, my night time ritual is an elaborate one. First, I will place a wicker basket against one side of the door to prevent scratching – or rather more scratching than there already has been of the carpet – then I will close the door and rest a giant cushion against it on the bedroom side. I imagine that non cat owners would describe this as bizarre. To me, however, it’s as normal as cleaning my teeth. Shipley has always enjoyed waking me up early in the morning, traditionally in tandem with his brother Ralph, who likes nothing better than to stand outside the bedroom window and miaow his own name – “Reeoooaaawlph!”. But I’ve noticed that, since I’ve been living alone, he’s been getting more demanding. Where before, upon breaking into the bedroom, he might simply trample on my head

Tom Cox is the author of Under The Paw: Confessions Of A Cat Man. Its sequel, Talk To The Tail, is published by Simon And Schuster on 24 June.

The Cat  Summer 2010 29

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

and miaow something that translates to “Please can you wipe the rain off my back?” his tactics are now more extreme. Usually, he’ll pinch a piece of my arm skin very carefully but viciously between his front teeth until I move, or begin to chew the novel at the side of my bed. He has also begun to swear at me. “But how can you tell for sure that cat is swearing?” you might ask. And I can’t actually answer that; I just know. There’s something about the cadence of Shipley’s miaow that suggests profanity, where it used to just suggest a rampant sense of entitlement. I like to believe that this is just a symptom of his grumpy middle age: the same thing happening to him at nine that happens to a lot of human men at 40. But I suspect otherwise. It wasn’t that my ex, Dee, was a particularly stern disciplinarian, but I’m sure the fact that there was one person living in the house who wouldn’t feed him the second he demanded food, who slept through his pleas for attention, made a difference. Now, Shipley gets what he wants when he wants. It doesn’t matter that sometimes he doesn’t seem to know what he wants; I will still try to give it to him. It’s the same, but to a lesser extent, with Ralph, who only has to shout “Reeaooowlph” for me to drop what I’m doing and run towards him, fearful that he might have sustained a leg injury, only to find that he is fine and just indolently seeking non-specific attention, just like the previous 367 times he shouted “Reeaooowlph”. If I need more evidence of my failure as a disciplinarian, I only have to look to my older two cats, Janet and The Bear. Both of their characters were moulded before they met me and they have far more subtle, more polite ways of getting their own way. I don’t see myself as my cats’ parents, but I still find it hard not to view Shipley and Ralph’s behaviour as a parental failure on my part. These are very much my cats. I would try to discipline them, but I feel it would be too late. Also, I don’t think there is any known way of stopping a wilful feline from biting your ankles. I have brought this upon myself. I’ve made my bed and I must lie in it. Or, as is often the case, not lie in it at all, but sit on top of it, sleepless, while a crazed animal deposits mud all over the duvet and informs me of my defects, in no uncertain terms.

Ask the vets…

Every issue, CP’s team of veterinary experts will be tackling your feline-related questions…

One of my cats – both are 10 years old – is overweight; she is an indoor cat, as both of them are. They have the same food and she doesn’t eat any more than the other. She is much heavier and is also quite bald on her undercarriage. Do you have any advice? Joyce Smith, via email Weight gain occurs when cats take in more calories than they are using. However, there are some conditions and certain medications that can predispose to weight gain, either by increasing the appetite or decreasing the metabolic rate. Therefore, I would recommend that you take your cat to the vet for a health check to ensure there is no underlying reason for one cat to be heavier than the other. If your cat is given a clean bill of health, then it is likely to be individual differences between the two cats, their metabolic rate and their daily activity levels. It is highly recommended that the next step is to help your overweight cat to gradually lose some weight. Obesity can predispose to other disorders, such as diabetes, a condition seen increasingly commonly in cats. However, it is very dangerous for cats to lose weight too quickly and it may take up to a year for an obese cat to reach his ideal bodyweight. Your vet or vet nurse will be able to inform you of your cat’s target weight and can draw up a weight loss programme that combines a suitable feeding and exercise plan. Regular weigh-ins will ensure that weight loss is steady and a veterinary diet may be prescribed to help your cat lose fat while maintaining muscle. If a special diet is prescribed, you will need to separate your cats when feeding them, which will also help you ensure that both are sticking to their correct portions. Cats are generally happier eating away from others. Make sure you aren’t unintentionally increasing calorie intake by giving treats. Use play, grooming or one-toone attention as a reward instead. Cats are adapted to a hunting lifestyle and, in the wild, would be using a lot of energy to catch just one meal. Exercise is important and especially for indoor cats who have fewer opportunities for exercise. Try to play very short games several times a day; one to two minutes per session is fine. Cats don’t have big attention spans and, when hunting, would naturally expel short bursts of energy. Interactive toys that squeak, have feathers or move are good for catching their attention; try to mimic their prey. As well as helping with weight loss, exercise is also a great stress reliever. The baldness on your cat’s undercarriage should be checked at the vets as a skin condition may be the cause. However, some cats ‘over-groom’ and this can cause hair loss, often on the abdomen and the inside of the thighs. Grooming is relaxing for cats and can make them feel good.

30 The Cat  Summer 2010

If a cat is feeling stressed, he may continue to groom beyond the point of coat care, to help him feel happier. This can then become a habit. Urinary tract disorders, which may be commonly seen in sedentary or stressed cats, can also cause some to cats over-groom their abdominal area. To help alleviate any potential stress, try to provide some high vantage points for the cats to sit on, such as empty shelves or stools. Being elevated means one cat can avoid the other if he wishes and cats tend to feel more comfortable if they are higher up. It is also worth providing plenty of safe hiding places such as upturned cardboard boxes and igloo beds, preferably in several different places. This will allow both cats to have time out from people and the other cat in the household. The cats shouldn’t be disturbed while using their hiding area. Indoor cats appreciate having the option to eat, drink or toilet in more than one area. Splitting the resources in this way gives them the chance to choose to be with, or away from, the other cat. This should also help you ensure that each cat is sticking to its own portion of food. MR I have an 18-year-old cat who is getting a bit deaf and for about the last two years he goes round the house miaowing very loudly. Now just recently his sister has started. Is there any reason for this? I do remember this being asked on the vets page in The Cat a few years ago, but can’t remember what the answer was. Julie Coker, Darlington Many cats, just like humans, gradually lose their hearing as they age. You may find that elderly cats appear not to hear you as you enter the room and sometimes get a fright if you touch them when they’ve not seen you coming. Loud vocalisation can also be a sign that a cat’s hearing is failing – similar to some hard of hearing people that tend to talk louder. A cat of 18 is a very elderly puss and, as such, it’s a little like taking care of an aged family member, with all the associated quirks and foibles. Many elderly cats will also tend to vocalise more in general, whether louder or not and this can be due to a variety of factors. Senility in older animals is a recognised syndrome, however there is no way to definitively diagnose this. Cats may display signs of senility by increased vocalisation – often with no apparent reason. Also if their eyesight is failing due to old age, this can sometimes make them more anxious and increase vocalisation this way. In some rare cases, however, liver disease can cause problems in the function of the brain and this can also cause increased miaowing. We would recommend that you speak with your veterinary surgeon for advice on your particular cat’s circumstances. KH


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:

My neighbour’s cat has just been diagnosed with FIP. Is this a fatal disease and is it infectious? What should I do to protect my own cat? Our gardens back onto each other and I know that our cats’ paths do cross. Brian Golding, Bude, Cornwall FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) is a fatal disease, caused by a virus known as feline coronavirus. Feline coronavirus is commonly found in the feline population – up to 40 per cent of all cats will be infected at some time in their lives. Fortunately, in most cats, the virus rarely causes more than mild diarrhoea, which is soon shaken off, but in a small percentage, the virus mutates and causes the severe disease of FIP in that cat. It is not known why the virus mutates in some cats, but it is thought that stress may be a trigger and some may be genetically more susceptible, as may younger cats and those over 12 years of age. Sadly, FIP is very difficult to diagnose and is often only confirmed on post mortem so please check that it is FIP your neighbour’s cat has been diagnosed with and not just exposure to feline coronavirus, as the two different presentations can be confused. Most cats exposed to feline coronavirus develop antibodies which persist for many months. Therefore a positive antibody test result simply means that a cat has been exposed to feline coronavirus, not that he is necessarily going to develop – nor has developed – the severe disease of FIP. In fact, most cats that are exposed to the virus and, therefore, have antibodies recover uneventfully, although having cleared the virus, they are not then immune should they come into contact with it again. Feline coronavirus is shed in the faeces of infected cats – which can appear healthy – so it is possible that your own cat may have come into contact with feline coronavirus if he shares a toileting site with an infected cat which has shed the virus in his faeces. If your cat uses a litter tray, good hygiene – removing faeces as soon as possible – with ample provision of litter trays dispersed around the house for multi-cat households – away from food bowls – may help to prevent re-infection and the circling of virus amongst a group of cats. Reducing stress in cats that have been exposed to feline coronavirus may help to reduce the risk of FIP development. Avoid change, avoid overcrowding and avoid lots of concurrent events happening together such as worming, vaccination, neutering and boarding. For more information on this disease, download CP’s leaflet, Feline Coronavirus and Feline Infectious Peritonitis at and The Cat Group policy statement on FIP at If you are concerned about the health of your own cat, we recommend that you seek the advice of your own vet. BS

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.

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.

The Cat  Summer 2010



Farewell, my lovely We have different ways of dealing with the loss of a pet. For writer and publisher, Susie Cornfield, there was only one way through when she lost her beloved cat, Brains – to interview people about their experience of animal loss and create a book to help others in their grief. There was also only one title appropriate – Farewell, My Lovely


y parents grew up in doggy households and believed cats to be creatures that were out to get you. So I was brought up with Bob, a rescue Alsatian cross. He allowed me to dress him in my baby clothes, sat by my bed when I was ill, swam with me and, once, saw off a potential kidnapper. I adored him. I think I assumed at some point I’d have a dog but work dictated against having a pet and it wasn’t until years later, when I was laid up for a considerable time, a friend suggested I get a cat. “Great company,” he said, “easier than a dog” and... my parents went ballistic. I’d get fleas, tomcats running riot in the house, flesh torn from my body... mind you, they were a bit like that when I bought a piano. So... One evening, two nice ladies from Cats Protection called to give me and the house a gentle but rigorous going over. Sometime later the door to a pet transporter was opened and a tall, skinny, black-with-white young cat strode purposefully across the room and jumped onto my lap. And straight into my heart. Brains and I were together for some 16 years and scarcely a day goes by when I don’t think of her. She was determined, attractive and bright which, for some reason, reminded me of Katharine Hepburn. But what was it that made Miss H different? Easy. So, Brains it was. Brains was with me through the good times and the imperfect. She’d follow me wherever I went – so I’d drive round the corner. Of course, she could outwit me, by knowingly settling on the car’s roof and not budging or jumping in beside me. She’d wait outside for me, even in driving rain and if I were late, she’d let all the neighbours know. When I was laid up again, she stayed on the bed. When I was sick she was beside me in the bathroom, putting a comforting paw on my hand. She seemed to understand my distress at times of loss or bereavement. She had X-ray eyes for spiders behind cupboards; she knew where any mouse was hiding. She detested music played badly or off-key, and seemed almost to roll up her fur to watch any workman at work – hence, an almost long-distance


The Cat  Summer 2010

trip with BT to Norwich. We conversed freely, even on the phone, even when I was abroad. I sang to her and danced with her in my arms. I’d wake in the night to hear her purring at the top of my head. She sat on my desk while I wrote. Even my parents came to love her. I knew it’d be bad when she died. I didn’t realise quite how bad. I paced the floor in an agony of grief. Somehow it cut unusually differently from losing a human being. I couldn’t talk about it because I didn’t want to hear people say, “Oh, it’s only a cat, get another”. Instead, people began telling me their stories of how much their animals had meant to them. Men, women and children. I was grateful to them for sharing their tales and tears. And one day it struck me what a tribute it’d be to Brains to collect these stories together and publish them. And that this book might help others through their grief. I interviewed people I knew, people who worked with animals and several celebrities who didn’t wear their pet like a designer handbag. And I began to realise that this book wasn’t only about loss, it was also about the joy, fun, companionship and love an animal brings into your life. When the paperback book was published, I wished that Brains were around to see it. Now I wonder what she’d think of this new, much-extended hardback, with stories from around the world and a foreword by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. And to think all this is due to a little cat I might never have known had it not been for a friend’s nudging and for those two nice ladies from Cats Protection. We have three copies of Susie’s book to give away. Send your entries in the usual way, either postal or email, marked ‘Farewell My Lovely’.


F arewell, My Lovely (Garret Books, £9.99; isbn: 9780955 227943) by Susie Cornfield is a collection of tributes to muchloved, departed pets comprising stories, poems and prose, and b/w illustrations. The foreword is by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

We’re going

shopping w credit card! Get online… for our great ne

Now you can help cats when you hit the shops, thanks to the new 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 more information and full details please visit:

0% p.a.

on balance transfers (3% handling fee) for 12 months and on card purchases for 3 months from the date your account is opened*

15.9% APR

typical rate (variable)

* If you do not pay your balance in full we will use your payments to lower rate balances

before higher rate balances. If promotional rate balances are the same we will repay them in the following order: first, the one with the earliest expiry date; if the expiry dates are the same then the one which started first; if the expiry dates, and start dates are the same then the one with the lowest standard rate. The Cats Protection Credit Card is issued by MBNA Europe Bank Limited, Registered office: Stansfield House, Chester Business Park, Chester CH4 9QQ. Registered in England number 2783251. Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over. You cannot transfer balances from another MBNA account. We will monitor or record some phone calls. MBNA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Roar of the On one of his frequent trips to his homeland, Rasoul Hudda learned a few things about the cougars of Canada that he just had to tell...


ith devilishly hot summers and perilously cold winters, Canada is home to some remarkable wildlife. Animals who call this place home have had to adapt for such turbulent seasons and, in turn, predators have had to keep one step ahead. For this reason sightings of hunters are rare, especially for one of the most dangerous – the cougar. On a recent trip to Banff National Park – a popular tourist destination in the Rockies – I was disturbed to hear that, within the 2,564 square miles of natural beauty, there are as few as only around seven cougars due to an ironic twist of fate. Roughly a hundred years ago, the bigwigs in Banff were trying to increase tourism and feared that those who do visit may wander too far into the wilderness and become lunch. So it was thought that reducing the population of cougars and wolves would reduce the casualties. Now, of course, many tourists flock to the very same park with the hope of seeing the animals that were once killed to keep them safe.

Lucky sightings Sightings do happen for those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time with no need for exaggeration when retelling encounters. Staying in Banff, some fortunate staff of Minnewanka Lake Cruise decided to spend their day off by sailing the lake on which they work. Drifting by a spot rich in berries and notorious for picnicking bears, they saw a herd of Big Horn sheep. Two males in the group wanted to best each other the only way Big Horn sheep do – by clashing horns. The sighting was enough to get cameras snapping, but what the staff initially didn’t see was even more exciting. Crouching in the nearby bushes was a cougar watching the fighting sheep like its smaller brethren watches a bird. At just the opportune moment, the cougar leapt from shrubbery onto one of the sheep whose attention was previously on the other he was fighting. The rest of the herd scattered leaving the cougar to enjoy his meal. With such a low number of these large cats, occurrences like that don’t happen as often as they might and, subsequently, the population of grazing animals such as elk are almost double what they should be. Such a dominant grazer makes life difficult for smaller residents of Banff like the beaver. As a result of the aforementioned culling in the early 1900s, there just aren’t enough predators to regulate the number of elk – hindsight is a wonderful thing.


The Cat  Summer 2010

Speaking of which, I sincerely wish I asked my dad to stop the car when I saw something in the distance while driving through Kananaskis country – near Calgary – back in 2002. I could have sworn it was large and feline in shape, but it will only ever be a distant memory. I like to think I saw a cougar, even if it were a blur on the horizon but, to be honest, it could have been anything. The story of the Big Horn sheep attack is much more interesting to recount.

Respected and feared At the same time, these glamorous animals should be feared as well as admired since they do pose a threat to even those who stay in heavily populated areas. In 2007, students at Ucluelet Elementary School on Vancouver Island found themselves staying unusually late after a cougar was spotted on the outskirts of the school. Eager to top up its tan, the animal was harmlessly sunning himself on rocks but could have very easily injured one of the children if they weren’t hurried inside. Despite a full search by officials, the cat had disappeared by the afternoon. Sadly not all encounters end happily for the wild cat. Earlier this year, an 11-year-old boy in Boston Bar, British Columbia, narrowly missed an attack from a cougar that was stalking his golden retriever. The boy was collecting firewood in his garden when the cat emerged from the bushes and went for the dog. Luckily, the dog escaped any serious injuries but the cougar was not so fortunate and had to be terminated by a Royal Canadian Mounted policeman whose attempts to scare it away failed. These kinds of incidents can be mistaken as an attack on a human but, as proven by those officials of Banff National Park, we’re more of a danger to their survival than the other way round. I don’t know what makes the cougar such an attractive beast, but it is one of my favourites. Maybe it’s their rarity or the fact they’re so striking in appearance. Or it could be that, despite their size and stature, deep down the cougar is very much like the cats to which this magazine is dedicated. Often misunderstood and more instinctive than malicious, the cougar is not out to cause problems but finds itself caught up in them. It has not lost my admiration and I still hope that, one day, I’ll have my very own cougar story to tell – albeit a safe one.




The Cat  Summer 2010


36 The Cat  Summer 2010

The craft of clay Amy Rutter meets the talent behind the pottery at Moorside Design


here isn’t a more beautiful and inspiring setting than the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. So it’s no wonder that, back in 1982, Shirley and Barrie Nichols along with daughter Sarah decided to up sticks and set up shop in West Burton in Wensleydale. Collectively, they are Moorside Design and make beautiful ceramic, metallic and stone garden cats. With a background in sculpture, it seemed the natural option for both Shirley and Sarah; Shirley studied fine art for six years at Leeds and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London and Sarah was just finishing five years at Edinburgh College of Art studying sculpture. Initially, Shirley was the only one who had any experience with ceramics. “The first thing we made was a little figure of a female torso,” she recalls. The idea for cats came along after sharing a friend’s stall at the Harrogate Home and Gift Fair. “This bloke came along and he said ‘They’re very good but do you think you can make a living selling naked figures? Why don’t you make cats? Nobody makes a good cat.’ So we went round and looked at all the stalls and realised that he was right.” To this day, they have no idea who he was but he gave them the idea – and so they began to make small cats.

Moulding into a piece of art Moorside Design makes a range of cats, using hand building clay, ceramic slip casting and resin. Sarah shows me a hand-built clay cat – which is surprisingly heavy – while she explains the clay used. “It has to be hollow; if it was solid it would probably explode in the kiln because you get air pockets in the clay.” She adds: “It’s also a special kind of clay that we use which is quite coarse and has an open texture so it breathes.” The ceramic slip cast cats are made in plaster-ofParis – made from gypsum rock – moulds and hand painted. Metallic oxides, like copper and iron, are used to decorate them. “All of the glazes that we use were made by my father,” Sarah explains. “We make them from raw materials. He spent weeks and weeks experimenting, trying to get a nice glaze. You’ve got to find the right glaze to fit the clay and then

The Cat  Summer 2010


A work in progress Sarah’s latest commission


The Cat  Summer 2010

Moorside Design is based in West Burton, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4JW. You can see the range of cats available by visiting and contact Shirley, Barrie and Sarah on 01969 663 273 or They will also consider commissions and can decide if a project is feasible upon receipt of photographs.

Where to stay When visiting the Yorkshire Dales, I stayed at a lovely B&B with spectacular views over Wensleydale. Heather Cottage B&B is a gorgeous, grand Edwardian home where you will be treated like a member of the family! Greeted by homemade cookies in my room, I had the best night’s sleep in a long time and the fantastic full English breakfast hit the spot in the morning. If you visit Moorside Design I’d fully recommend staying here. Heather Cottage Guest House, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 3AH 01969 663 229

Photos: Amy Rutter

you’ve got to experiment with the different colouring decorations and it can be quite trying sometimes!” Not only is the process time consuming in order to achieve the standard sought by Moorside Design, but it can be difficult to learn when to stop adjusting the pieces. “The ones that are in production, I look at and think ‘I could have changed that’ or ‘that’s not very good’ so it has to get to a point where I’m happy with it or else I think ‘I’ve got to live with that for the next however many years’”, says Sarah. “There are one or two cats I’ve done that I’m not that keen on but I suppose each one you do is slightly better than the last one.” Luckily, Shirley and Sarah agree on how the cats should look, so Shirley can be frank about areas that don’t work as well as others. Sarah admits “It’s easier if you’ve got someone else looking at it as well because if you’re working on it all the time you get to the point where you don’t see it and you need a fresh eye”. They find that this cooperative method produces a better final product. Shirley and Barrie have two cats that live on site with them, Alfie and Sophie, both from Cats Protection’s Teesside Branch. Sarah admits they can prove to be a great help to her if she ever gets stuck when working on a design, but she mainly works by memory. “It’s all in my head,” she says. “I find it very difficult to use only pictures because with a picture you only get a one-dimensional aspect whereas you’re actually doing three dimensions.”

Despite deciding at the beginning that they were not going to accept commissions, latterly Moorside Design have, often working from many photographs to get the mould just right. They have just finished a commission for a tabby cat based on but three illustrations and some verbal description. Sarah is currently working on two large commissions, one of which is nearing finishing and that has so far taken three solid weeks. Shirley says: “Other companies who produce cats will make them with fairly rough surfaces and their forms aren’t very defined. For us to get to that point of definition it does take some time. It’s got to be satisfactory or it’s just no good.” Sarah estimates that there is around another week to go on the first of the two large cats, as the surface needs evening. “They’re actually hollow, they’re made by coiling,” she says. “If you ever did pottery at school where you made coil pots, it’s the same principle where you apply clay and build it up as you go and shape it. We thought that that was probably the strongest way of doing it.” The better of the two will be made into resin and the other will be glazed and put into the Moorside Design garden alongside other designs ready to be purchased by customers. Shirley sums up the factor that makes Moorside Design cats so different: the attention to detail. “I think what we realised was that it was a niche in the market,” she says. “So we decided that we were going to make real, dignified cats; I think that was the policy from the beginning.” And they have certainly achieved their objective.

If you would like to advertise in The Cat please contact: Terry Lock Media Sales Ltd T 01372 276 233 F 08707 051 901 E W Terry Lock Media Sales Ltd 3 Forest Way, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 1JN

Summer sudoku answers

Spring 2010 Crossword answers Across: 1 Once, 3 Immortal, 9 Trident, 10 Throw, 11 Taboo, 12 Ostler, 14 Inconspicuous, 17 Arabic, 19 Seize, 22 E-mail, 23 Unaided, 24 Teenager, 25 Wand. Down: 1 Outstrip, 2 Climb, 4 Motion picture, 5 Octet, 6 Torpedo, 7 Lawn, 8 Renown, 13 Ascended, 15 Carnage, 16 Casual, 18 Balsa, 20 India, 21 Lent.

Follow Cats Protection on

Reg. Charity 1100649

The Cat Rescue Resource

WWW.CATCHAT.ORG finds homes for over 5,000 cats every year

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

Jack The Station Cat



Jack was a black-and-white cat who inspired author Alan Cliff – an active supporter of Cats Protection – to write about the feline’s adventures in a series of children’s books. Alan has been a railway enthusiast all his life and was prompted to introduce Jack as the station cat into The Chronicle of Lock’s Siding. Jack has proved so popular that he even has a pen named after him at Cats Protection’s Colwyn & District Branch! We are lucky enough to have nine books to give away so readers can enjoy reading about Jack’s railway exploits. Mark your entry ‘Jack the Station Cat’. You can find out more about Alan and his stories at

Save our friends! Following the success of last issue’s competition, Save Our Friends is offering an exclusive £3 discount to all readers of The Cat. Take advantage of this great offer on these super adorable, ethical cuddly toys and you will be helping the plight of endangered species around the world. For every toy sold, a contribution is made to one of several wildlife charities, including the Born Free Foundation, Marine Conservation Society and World Land Trust. We particularly love the cheetah, African lion and tiger cub, but with 20 cuddly toys to choose from, we’re spoilt for choice. Simply quote the code ‘CATREADEROFFER’ when checking out to claim this exclusive discount, and show how much you care about our endangered animals. The Save Our Friends luxury cuddly toys are priced from £25.95 – excluding VAT and P&P – from The offer runs until 27 August 2010.


The comfort factor

Put the kettle on!


If you’re looking for a present for a trendy cat lover, look no further. This designer hand silkscreened cushion hits the mark. Filled with duck feathers, the print features a large, black cat with red buttoned eyes on one side and smaller cats on the other. Available for £35 each from – or you can phone 0191 645 4004 – there’s also a matching pendulum wall clock. Their products are stylish, retro and quirky!

Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon? Well now you can enjoy it even more with your own personalised ceramic mug. Sold by The Gift Experience, this mug is worth £9.99. For a chance to win a personalised mug with your own picture of your cat printed on it, please email your image – as high a resolution as possible for a better quality – plus your name and address to with ‘Personalised mug’ in the subject header. You will also be able to have up to 50 characters of text printed on the side of the mug so please make it clear what you would like it to say. The Gift Experience is also offering readers of The Cat 10 per cent off orders over £20 – just go to and type in discount code ‘catsprotection’ when asked at the checkout.

With a spring-loaded pom-pom and a super-fast ball track, this toy is great for allowing your cat to play while alone. Manufactured from tough, durable materials that can be easily cleaned, the new Playground from Ancol is bound to prove a real hit with your kitty! Available from all independent retailers at £4.99. For more information, visit or phone 01922 402 428.

40 The Cat  Summer 2010


Food for thought

Mega magnets

Recent revelations about cat food ingredients on many internet blogs and magazine articles have caused much concern among some cat owners who have turned to home-prepared diets for their cats. However, finding the necessary supplementary ingredients to fulfil the nutritional requirements can sometimes be daunting. Why not take out the guesswork and save time and money by feeding a carefully prepared natural diet from Natures Menu? The cat food from the Natures Menu kitchen is a natural choice and it feels it’s the best complete ready to serve food available. Cats love real meat and Natures Menu cat food is crammed full of it! Unlike most standard cat foods, Natures Menu uses 70 per cent real meat or fish so that your cats will enjoy the real meaty taste day after day. Take the Natures Menu challenge and hear your cats purr with delight! Keeping a pet healthy and well cared for has become a very expensive part of the household budget. This means that many animals will not get the care they really need because many family budgets just don’t stretch far enough. Natures Menu is an affordable natural diet range, it contains real meat and fish with no nasty bits. We have 10 cases of multipacks to give away to readers. Mark your entry ‘Natures Menu’. Natures Menu is available nationwide from all good pet shops or online at To find your local stockist, simply visit

Made from stainless steel, these magnets can be used on the fridge or on magnetic memo boards to keep together all your important notes and reminders. They are pocket sized, measuring in at 2.4cm high and 2.8cm wide with six in a pack. Retailer Spotty Boxes offers gifts tailored to hobbies and interests including children’s gardening, children’s cooking and their very popular insect lifecycle sets. You can order products from or 01962 889 460. Readers of The Cat are being offered the chance to win one of six magnet boxes here – just send in your postcard or email marked ‘Magnets’.


For a chance to win one of our fantastic giveaways, send your name and address on a postcard or sealed envelope to: The Cat magazine, 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 16 July 2010.

Charm wine lovers! If you’re entertaining guests at a dinner party or gettogether, these pretty wine charms are ideal to impress friends while making sure your drinks don’t get mixed up! Each charm is decorated with a different cat charm, two silver plated beads and two crystal clear 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals. Each ring is approx 1in in diameter so they will also fit around thicker stemmed glasses and can be used time and time again. The ‘I Love My Cat’ wine glass charms are available from at £6.75 for a pack of six. We have three packs to give away to lucky readers, so send your entries in marked ‘Wine glass charms’.



cat’ s miaow WIN

Keeping an eye on your pet’s health MedicAnimal specialises in pet health products and also sponsors a number of animal charities – including Cats Protection – and donates five per cent of all profits to these charities. It has very kindly donated a selection of products worth over £30 for one lucky reader. The winner will receive a bottle of Feliway Transport spray which reduces signs of transport stress; Plaque Off for healthy teeth and gums; cheesy mice cat toys with catnip; a grooming Mikki rubber glove and Petscreen SPF23 sun lotion – perfect to protect your cat from the summer sun. For a chance of winning, mark your entry ‘MedicAnimal’. You can find out more about MedicAnimal at or by phoning 0203 058 0500.

The Cat  Summer 2010


Rescue Cat Awards

The stage is set… T

he event, which will be held on 4 August, celebrates all that’s great about rescue cats and is designed to encourage more people to adopt a cat. This year’s Rescue Cat Awards – sponsored by Purina PetCare – will be held at the New London Theatre in London’s West End. The venue is particularly fitting as it was the home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s well-loved musical Cats for a record-breaking 21 years. Actor and cat lover, Brian Blessed, appeared in the original production of Cats as Old Deuteronomy and helped to launch this year’s Rescue Cat Awards. He said: “As a proud owner of rescue cats down the years, I know what adorable creatures they are and how they constantly amaze their owners. “I hope that Cats Protection’s Rescue Cat Awards 2010 will attract many entries to remind us of the love, companionship and sheer wonder that rescue cats bring to our lives. I’m also thrilled to hear that this year’s ceremony will be taking place at the New London Theatre where Cats was first performed.”

The categories

Rescue Cat Awards 2010

Finalists will be chosen from one of four categories – Hero Cat, Ultimate Survivor, Best Friends and Most Incredible Story – while a fifth cat from the entries received will be crowned 2010’s Rescue Cat of the Year. A special Lifetime Achievement award will also be presented by sponsor Purina PetCare to an older cat chosen from all entries who has shown remarkable support or friendship to its owner over the years. The winner of this year’s Rescue Cat Awards will inherit the title from previous winner Speedy, a tabby from Suffolk. Speedy won the award for the constant companionship she provides to her owner, Christine Payne, who suffers with a range of conditions including progressive spinal ataxia, epilepsy and severe learning difficulties. Entries for the Rescue Cat Awards are now closed, but you’ll be able to find out all the winners in the next issue of The Cat. If you can’t wait that long, visit after 4 August to find out all the news from the ceremony, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for all the latest updates on this year’s Rescue Cat Awards.

Rescue Cat Awards 2010

Sponsored by

white out


The Cat  Summer 2010

Photo: “Beaj”

Don’t forget the most important date in the feline calendar is just around the corner – Cats Protection’s Rescue Cat Awards 2010!


Boss cat Paddy and Fingal vie for the attention of Alison Prince


position to argue, since he arrived here as an undersized and half-starved kitten who immediately assumed that the big tabby cat who knocked him flat in a friendly kind of way must be his mum. He spent quite a lot of time looking for a source of milk in this new mother-figure, with no success whatever, resulting in some scabby patches on Paddy’s tum and he certainly isn’t going to overstep the mark now. If he gets really cheeky, Paddy is capable of placing a large paw firmly on Fingal’s head and that shuts him up completely. Not that it lasts long. Fingal is endlessly inventive. He is a cat of ideas, some of which are disastrous. His sudden fascination with the cord on the Venetian blind beside my desk has resulted in a long, vertical tear that lets a shaft of sun-dazzle come through exactly at computer-screen level. I keep intending to mend it with strips of transparent tape as Ikea don’t do those blinds anymore, but never get round to it. Meanwhile, Fingal has taken an enormous liking to being carried downstairs. Most mornings, he appears when I’m getting dressed and reaches his front paws as high as he can in a ‘pick me up’ appeal. Once lifted, he settles happily, seeming to like looking at the world from higher up. He gazes at the ceiling and looks at the pictures on the staircase wall as we pass them, then inspects the light switch with interest. I do hope he doesn’t get ideas about how to switch lights on and off – that would be a step too far. As it is, we get to the kitchen and he’s happy to be dumped on the floor. Joyriding comes a poor second compared with the more urgent interest in the provision of food. Paddy is deeply averse to being picked up at all. His early months were spent in a household where he was badly pulled about and actually injured by the resident children and it was a long time before he stopped running away when anyone came to the house. As to being lifted up – it remains an absolute taboo. Elder statesman though he may be, he has his hidden fears. Which is why he likes a younger companion who is happy to admire him and be bullied. A bit like certain humans – but we won’t go into that.

Illustration: Alison Prince

addy and Fingal don’t quarrel. They have play-fights that can lead to a squawk if Fingal starts to think he’s a kung fu champion, but most of the time, they are on mutual face-washing terms and you can’t get much friendlier than that. But there is a subtle question of underlying status, particularly when it comes to deciding ‘Who Shall Sit On The Lap’. It’s tempting to regard this rivalry as a sign of true ‘lurve’ for the resident human, but I don’t honestly think cats work that way. Let’s face it, a human lap is a warm, soft place – especially when its owner doesn’t have any silly ideas about slimming. And it is extremely secure. You can’t get much safer than being curled up in the presence of the ‘Owner of All Things’, can you? It’s the ace place. Fingal is usually first on the scene, simply because he does everything faster. He scoffs down his food while Paddy is still lingering over a dish, wondering whether he wouldn’t rather have chicken than salmon. Meanwhile Fingal arrives on my lap without even stopping to wash his whiskers. You’d think he holds all the cards – he’s younger, stronger and possessed of limitless chutzpah. But it doesn’t work that way. Paddy is the elder statesman. He plods majestically in, sits at my feet and just looks. Fingal, who by now is pretending to be fast asleep, tries not to look back, but he knows he has to. And when he does, he encounters a calm stare that unnerves him. After a few tense seconds of silent eye-warfare, he caves in. Sometimes he actually sighs. He jumps off and Paddy jumps on. Unlike humans, cats seem to have an innate respect for seniority. They’re not by nature group animals, but when finding themselves with others, they seem to accept that the oldest will rule the roost, especially if the senior personage is female. The scrawniest old queen is always ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’. With a pair of males – or ex-males – like Paddy and Fingal, it still appears to be the older one who’s the boss, if he can bother to assert himself, though readers may leap to point out cases where this is entirely untrue. Whether or not my nutty theory is right, the boss status doesn’t seem to cause hard feelings between my cats. Fingal is in no

The Cat  Summer 2010


Seeking: pet-friendly landlord

Sarah Baker looks at the obstacles that face pet owners when contemplating rented accommodation

44 The Cat  Summer 2010

Photo: CP Library/Richard Stroud


ngland is allegedly a nation of cat lovers with over half the population owning over seven million domestic felines between them. We love cats so much that they have become part of the family, but at the same time there are many issues which arise that can threaten the homes of our beloved felines. Despite all our love for them, a vast number of people living or moving into rented accommodation may be forced to rehome their cats. With nearly half of the rental market being pet owners, the struggle to find a home where pets are allowed is more pressing than ever. The most sought-after properties are, of course, the garden flats and houses which allow pets the freedom of outdoors but these will also be snapped up by families wanting space for children or people who just want a piece of outside to call their own. But what if your cat is indoors only? Whereas some may think that this will make the house hunt easier, it may provide more of a hindrance. Landlords are concerned enough about outdoor cats spending some time indoors, an indoor cat can potentially be a landlord’s biggest nightmare. Indeed some indoors cats may be badly behaved, but one naughty cat should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of all others.

feature Desperate times, desperate measures The realistic options for people who want to rent with cats are hard to come to terms with. Often you will find the perfect property but be caught by the ‘no pets’ clause or a landlord who is open to suggestion but closed to the reality. There really isn’t much space to manoeuvre either, as all good cat owners who love their pets obviously won’t want to give them up without a fight and can be condemned to living in accommodation which is lower standard. Yes, stained carpets, clawed furniture and scratched wallpaper may occur with your cat, but it’s hard not to be given the benefit of the doubt especially when you have paid a deposit towards the property and you’ve seen the damage that some children can do to walls and carpets. Surely if owners are willing to take full responsibility for their cat’s actions then there shouldn’t be a problem? Unfortunately desperation and the recent economic downturn have seen more animals than ever given up for rehoming. But what happens to the cats of people who can’t wait for a space? In 2009, there was an increase in abandoned and unwanted pets of over 50 per cent in England and Wales. A percentage of this figure reflects those who cannot keep their pets in their accommodation and take the decision to leave them to fend for themselves. The RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre in London took in 34 cats due to ‘changes in housing circumstances’ between 1 January 2009 and 24 March this year. This is just one example and if every such centre nationwide is taking in anywhere near this number annually due to letting conditions, it definitely suggests a big problem for those of us who may want to move with our pets. Carol McKay, Education and Information Manager at Cats Protection, is concerned about this trend: “We understand only too well the distress people suffer when they have to move from their own homes into rented accommodation and are forced to part from their pets. “Although the charity recognises that some landlords allow pets because they appreciate the benefits they bring to our lives, sadly there are many out there that do not and we regularly receive requests to take in cats because owners have little choice. “However, while we can and do help in this way, we know that working closely with local authorities, private landlords, care homes and sheltered accommodation providers is vital in preventing more cats coming into our care. Therefore, work is currently underway to increase the charity’s influence in this area, which will result in fewer cats finding themselves homeless and in need of our help.”

A losing battle? There are those who want to help by fostering cats but again hit the same brick wall of having pets in the property. In my own experience of wanting to foster, trying to persuade a landlord that not every cat will shred all material he comes in contact with was a losing battle. Despite the clause in my contract stating that we could get written permission for pets if we asked, my landlord barely entertained the idea. Initially I was told to ask the other people who live in our building who thought having a cat would be a brilliant idea and said they would write to the landlord giving their agreement. When I spoke to the landlord again he had changed his mind, saying

that other landlords had warned him that cats would scratch wallpaper, carpets and furniture and mess everywhere. What surprised me was that he then said that he had a cat once that was fine apart from occasionally scratching the sofa and that he thought cats were far better than dogs! Sometimes there are battles which simply cannot be won, no matter how much reasoning and compromise is suggested. On the other hand, a large number of people feel that the only way to get the property they want is to never mention the subject to the landlord and ensure that the pet is not around if the landlord visits. One woman, Amanda, took in a stray and hid her from her landlord “…until one day she got out of the bathroom window and jumped in through the living room window. I expected the worst but he loved her, he knows her name, pets her and thinks she’s the best thing since sliced bread.” When asked if this has ever caused any problems, Amanda has been lucky. “For a landlord who will do no decorating, maintenance or safety inspections, he has not batted an eyelid about me having an unauthorised pet. He did once try to blame a scratched armchair on the cat before I pointed out it did not meet fire regulations.” It doesn’t always work out so well, owners discovered to be keeping cats in breach of their tenancy agreement can face eviction as Caroline found out. “It’s a nightmare when you get evicted for breaking the tenancy agreement... couch surfing when you have pets is not practical.”

Finding the middle ground It’s not all doom and gloom and there are people trying to raise awareness of the difficulties of renting with pets such as Dogs Trust which has started a website aptly named ‘Lets with Pets.’ This site offers information about renting with animals to home seekers and landlords alike, giving realistic compromises and suggestions of how the situation can be managed. It suggests such measures as paying a higher deposit and guaranteeing to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy; things any good pet owner should do which might make the relationship with landlords easier. At the same time, tenants need to be prepared to look around for suitable properties – there are some out there. It may mean looking earlier and further afield, but that’s a small sacrifice if you’re really keen to keep your cat happy. There are also a few online letting services which are attempting to ease the strain on cat and dog owners by offering pet-friendly rental properties where the landlord has approved them being there. These services are still limited by the lack of landlords and perhaps also a lack of knowledge of their existence but hopefully, given time, they will be able to add to their books and provide a comprehensive nationwide service. Letting with pets is hard work. In order to make it work you have to be really committed to your pets and while this may sadly mean that your commitment means finding them a new home so you can move, I hope that things will change enough in the near future so that cats will be as welcome as humans. Meanwhile, we need to do all we can to raise awareness of ways to make letting with our cats work. Let’s hope that in the near future moving with our cats will not so often lead to separation. All names in this article have been changed

The Cat  Summer 2010


Northern lights After a recent visit to the six counties, Francesca Watson reports on how Cats Protection is making a difference in Northern Ireland


hen the Editorial Team arrived in Northern Ireland, we were excited to see how Cats Protection’s work was progressing in another part of the UK. We were keen to see the newly refurbished Belfast Adoption Centre, meet the volunteers and staff across the region and visit the location for the next planned adoption centre in Lisburn. We left Northern Ireland a little less naïve about the fundamental problems of animal welfare facing the six counties but overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and dedication shown by everyone we met. Northern Ireland has emerged from a turbulent past, but times have changed and the new culture is one of peace, tourism, development and great optimism for the future. Unfortunately, animal welfare does not seem to be progressing so well. It is shocking to hear that dog fighting is very much alive and thriving in this corner of the UK, despite it being illegal. Not only are the dogs themselves put through horrendous events but other animals are used to bait the dogs; to enhance their fighting ability. In Northern Ireland the animal charities know only too well the results of dog fighting. The Belfast Adoption Centre and Armagh Branch have taken in many victims of wanton cruelty and neglect.


Photos: Tom Briggs unless otherwise stated

For Bel Livingstone, Manager of the Belfast Adoption Centre, instances of this kind are everyday occurrences. “More and more cases are being reported and a rising number involve cats, both domestic and feral. One of my own cats was ‘bait’ for a group of lads taking hunting dogs down a field. She was lucky to get away alive.” On a political level, the law has to change to ensure greater protection of animals within Northern Ireland. At present they are protected by the 1972 Animal Welfare Act.

46 The Cat  Summer 2010

In England, Wales and Scotland this was adapted and improved in 2006. The current Northern Ireland Assembly and the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in particular are working on updating the Act. Assisting them is the Northern Ireland Companion Animal Welfare Committee (NICAWC) an initiative of Dogs Trust, The Blue Cross and Cats Protection along with other key NI animal charities. Cats Protection’s representative on this committee – and a vocal representative of all companion animals in Northern Ireland – is Janice Watt, Campaigns Manager. “Progress with updating the Act is slow,” Janice sighs. “It needs to define exactly what a responsible owner is, what neglect is, what cruelty is and, very importantly, who will be responsible for initiating a prosecution and then taking it forward. “At present the only enforcement is the police – not the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) or DARD – and there is just one police officer responsible for animal cruelty in the whole of Northern Ireland. We must have a measure that allows us to act before an animal suffers. Although we are working from the 1972 Act, in actuality it bears little difference to the original 1911 Act, which incidentally is the Act that the Republic of Ireland still works by. Thankfully we are gathering momentum due to the weight of those involved in NICAWC and hope to have more positive news soon.” It is clear that the staff and volunteers at CP face uphill struggles with such blatant disregard for animal welfare. Thankfully, until adequate laws and their enforcement apply, Cats Protection continues to transmit the message loud and clear, working hard to improve implementation and education of cat welfare, neutering, microchipping, rehoming and the feral issue.


A devoted team For many years the adoption centre in Dundonald, south of Belfast, was the only Cats Protection body in Northern Ireland. In 2008 it was joined by the Armagh Branch and, more recently, a Belfast fundraising volunteer group. There is also a second adoption centre planned in Lisburn. With recognition that the area needed prioritisation, staffing includes a dedicated Regional Fundraiser, Campaigns Manager, Regional Development Manager, a Fundraiser in the Armagh group and a newly-appointed Education & Information Officer. There is no doubt that this small but determined team takes the welfare of cats very seriously indeed. Julie Meredith, Regional Development Manager, is working hard to encourage the establishment of more branches. The Belfast Adoption Centre has to cope with hundreds of calls each day and the sharing out of the feline workload would be very welcome.

Neutering initiatives Janice Watt – who is also the former manager of the Belfast Adoption Centre – took up the challenge of becoming the first Campaigns Manager in Northern Ireland in 2008. She has been with Cats Protection for 10 years and is now in charge of the ambitious Assisted Neutering Scheme which has seen a considerable increase in the number of cats neutered since its inception. There is now 100 per cent participation from the local veterinary practices and some have even employed their own member of

staff specifically for the purpose. At the NI BSVA congress, the Cats Protection Neutering Practice of the Year Award is given to the practice which has neutered the greatest number of cats. Competition between them to win is huge. At present Janice has 25 trap, neuter and return volunteers across the six counties and, with over 50 volunteers in the wings awaiting funding, she hopes to make greater inroads in addressing the problem of feral colonies. If the problem is not dealt with properly and concisely, the knock-on effect is a greater drain on the adoption centre’s time and resources – at present 25 per cent of its call log is regarding feral cats. Janice explains, “It’s imperative that we blitz the feral colonies. If we let any go, the cats we’ve missed will make up the population that we’ve just got rid of in the last 10 years. We’re also making slow but steady progress in converting the veterinary practices to our policy of early neutering at four months. They have seen for themselves that it is a tidier operation, with a better recuperation time and easier on the cat.” Karen Kerr is the Regional Fundraiser for Northern Ireland and is enjoying bringing in new fundraising initiatives such as the recent ‘70s and ‘80s disco night and participation in the Belfast Marathon. She has recently secured a partnership with Jollyes Pet Stores. “This is a well-established company with stores throughout Northern Ireland,” explains Karen, “with a strong base of customers who value the importance of community links.” Jim Warke, Retail Director of Jollyes, is also looking forward to this encouraging enterprise. “I am delighted that

Field of dreams: Gayle McCabrey, Belfast Fundraising group; Karen Kerr, Regional Fundraiser and Gillian McMullen, Armagh Branch at the Lisburn Adoption Centre location

The Cat  Summer 2010


We met some of the residents: Athena is a lovely white cat who has lost both her ears to cancer but is currently on the mend. She has the sweetest purr you could imagine. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a pigeon loft! Then there are Nugget and Wolf – Nugget now ghost-pens the centre’s newsletter Nuggie’s notes. A long-haired ginger and white cat, Nugget suffers from epilepsy; but when he is due to have a fit his brother Wolf lies on top of him keeping him safe and bringing the staff’s attention to Nugget’s imminent seizure. There is a strong team at the centre and their energy and enthusiasm are infectious. Anything and everything is possible and their passion and affection for the centre’s residents is obvious. They rise to the challenges facing them – a high number of ferals, increasing numbers of cats needing to be rehomed, microchipping, neutering and educating the public about animal welfare. Bel and her team are often out giving talks to schools, youth groups, Scouts, Brownies and young offenders spreading the word. Another step towards the future is the new adoption centre planned in Lisburn. A plot of land has been bought and architects are currently drawing up the plans. If it’s anything like the Belfast centre then it’s going to be an amazing place. It will provide residents in the southern part of the country with greater access to CP facilities. Despite the troubles that face feline welfare in Northern Ireland, Cats Protection’s presence is a shining beacon of hope. There is no doubt that, with the right funding, support and backing, the welfare of the cat population in Northern Ireland will be dramatically improved.

Photo: Karen Kerr

Jollyes and Cats Protection in Northern Ireland are working together in 2010. A joint partnership with the leading feline welfare charity and Jollyes would have many benefits to both our customers and cat lovers throughout NI. “We continue to support responsible pet ownership and this partnership will help highlight the importance of neutering cats and hopefully raise awareness of cats needing to be rehomed.” Karen has great powers of persuasion: “I’ve even managed to convince Jim and several of the store managers to take part in our Firewalk in October. I don’t think they ever imagined they’d be walking over fire for Cats Protection when we first agreed the sponsorship. Of course if any of the Jollyes’ customers want to join in we’d be happy to see them!”

The Belle of Belfast City Should you ever find yourself in the Dundonald area, a visit to the adoption centre is a must. For such a relatively small space of land, the facilities have been well designed for optimum use. It is a tardis-like development which houses numerous cats of all descriptions and backgrounds. There is a large feral compound at the back where the wilder cats wander. It felt like being in a Gulliver’s Lilliput version of Longleat’s lion enclosure!

48 The Cat  Summer 2010

Left: The Jollyes team at Bangor Top: Noeleen and Athena Bottom: The Editorial Team

It’s paws



ue to its huge success last year, this June we will be launching Paws Outdoors 2010. So, in the month of Wimbledon, garden shows and school sports days, we want to encourage people to take time out to ‘paws’ and relax in the great outdoors, by holding small events such as garden parties, which can be sponsored or have small entry fees. Here’s a quick and easy guide to holding a Paws Outdoors event to help us raise funds for Cats Protection!

Date, time and venue Plan a date and time for when you would like to hold your event. If you can’t find a garden big enough, why not ask your local pub? Remember, you don’t have to host your event outdoors, however if it is outside, have a contingency plan just in case it rains… use a gazebo!

Supplies Do you know someone who could provide you with cakes? Maybe you could speak to your local supermarket and find out if it could help.

Advertise Advertise the event in the local paper, on local websites, local radio and put posters up in local shops etc. The more people you involve, the more money you will raise. Invite everyone you know… friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.

How about… Also having a cake or plant stall and a raffle at the event? And don’t forget to say thank you to everyone who has helped! Should you need press release or poster templates, invitations or thank you cards for your event, get in touch with us on 01825 741 980 or

time again!

The Top Cat Café at the National Cat Centre is renowned for its delicious home-made cakes and we’ve convinced the kitchen staff to give us the recipe of their top-selling caramel cake. They’ve also given us the secrets to their fantastic fruit punch, guaranteed to bring a bit of summer to your Paws Outdoors event.

Fruit punch • 500 ml orange juice • 500 ml cranberry juice • 1 litre lemonade • Orange and apple slices for decoration Combine all the liquids together in a large glass jug. Add the apple and orange slices with fresh mint sprigs if available. Pour into long glasses, fill halfway with ice and enjoy!

Crunchie™ caramel cake • 250g self-raising flour • 250g caster sugar • 250g unsalted butter • 4 large free range eggs • 1 tin Carnation Dulce de Leche (Caramel) • 100g icing sugar • 50g unsalted butter for topping • 1 small fun-size Crunchie™ bar for decoration Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Gradually add the eggs and a quarter of the Dulce de Leche. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Divide the mixture equally between two 9in greased tins and cook at 180˚C for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. To make the filling and the topping use 50g of unsalted butter, 100g icing sugar and a quarter of the remaining Dulce de Leche. Mix until smooth, cream the two halves together and spread the remaining mixture on the top. Sprinkle with crushed Crunchie™ bar and devour!

Photo: Clare Halden

Give your feet a rest and exercise your mind

Ten-minute crossword

Amusing Heather It’s impussible!

Across 1 Licit (6) 4 Burrowing animal (6) 8 Attempted (5) 9 Gruesome (7) 10 Clothing (7) 11 Force out (5) 12 Devoted (9) 17 Term of respect in India (5) 19 Generous (7) 21 Easily perceived or understood (7) 22 Bring up (5) 23 Overindulgence (6) 24 Instructed (6)

Down 1 Deadly (6) 2 Lashed (7) 3 Below (5) 5 Very old (7) 6 Holy Writ (5) 7 Pact (6) 9 Small particles (9) 13 Doubtful (7) 14 Beloved (7) 15 Onto dry land (6) 16 Customer (6) 18 Mayhem (5) 20 Asian country (5)

To win one of these three etched wine glasses, complete our crossword correctly, rearrange the shaded letters and find the late cat-loving rock star 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 16 July 2010. The prizes are kindly sponsored by The Cat Gallery. Visit or phone 01904 413 000 to request a catalogue. Last issue’s winners: Jean Hillyer from Littlestone, Kent; Joyce Guy from Lambley, Notts; Alison Braycotton from Walsall, West Midlands. Answers to Spring Crossword on page 39.

50 The Cat  Summer 2010

We all know that cats have a sense of humour – and not always in a good way. Nothing gives cats greater pleasure than making humans look foolish and the following are but a small sample of the humiliating incidents routinely suffered by normally competent people at the paws of Fluffy and her friends. Any sort of statement, particularly one delivered in an authoritative manner, will be a challenge to a cat. “She’ll never get through that gap,” will see Fluffy starving herself for days so that she can scrabble and squeeze her way through the upstairs window which would present a problem to a particularly thin stick insect. Another good one is the confident assertion that the new lockable cat flap will keep out the smelly old tom cat who, for months, has rampaged through the house consuming vast quantities of food and spraying over anything. Quite frankly, if old Whiffo hears you say this, you might just as well leave the door wide open and exchange the pussyflap for a sign that says, “Whiffo Lives Here”. A frequently observed feline phenomenon is the ability cats have to produce puddings on demand – puddings that are unrelated in size to the amount of food consumed and to the fact that they have just filled the dirt tray before embarking on a trip to the vet. As a steaming pudding of incredible size spreads relentlessly across the pristine white table, you may find it helpful to congratulate Fluffy on the firmness of the motion. Any display of embarrassment will inevitably spur her on to greater efforts. Whatever you do, don’t try to outwit Fluffy by saying things like, “I really hope Fluffy bites the baby next time we have a family get-together!” because this will be the one time that Fluffy will experience a deep and dog-like desire to please. Heather Cook

Purr ‘n’ Fur

They decided to make the journey of 500 miles over the mountains to Macedonia, where there was an Albanian refugee camp. They hastily gathered the few precious possessions they could carry – and Mishka, whom Olsa would not hear of leaving behind, despite Bashkim’s protests. The cat went into a small canvas bag with a zip, leaving just enough room for her head to poke out. The journey was long and arduous, taking 15 days all together. After a day or two, it became clear that Mishka was not going to run off so they were able to let her walk alongside them until she became tired. The refugee camp was crowded and unsanitary; Mishka spent most of her time in her canvas bag, venturing out only when she had to and it was safe to do so. But there were immigration agents there from different countries that had agreed to take Albanian refugees; after a week at the camp, Bashkim and Olsa had decided they would like to get to Canada. They were accepted; a flight was to leave the following day – but a cat would certainly not be allowed and they had to find a way to get her through the various checks. The first hurdle came on the bus to the airport, when she was almost discovered by the driver – who would have thrown them off the bus – but, with the help of a young boy, disaster was averted. Of course, before boarding the plane, bags had to go through an X-ray machine; and a rather surprised security operative saw the body of a cat among the couple’s personal possessions inside. Fortunately he must have been a cat lover and when he heard they were from Pristina he handed them the bag and wished them luck. Exhausted, Mishka slept for most of the 13-hour flight and hardly moved, safe in her canvas sanctuary. The plane landed at Greenwood, Nova Scotia, where hundreds of personnel and volunteers were waiting to welcome the people from the flight and to attend to their diverse needs.

A medical check-up was required and, during this, the canvas bag began to move about and wriggle – and out popped Mishka’s head! She was impatient, hungry and needed a litter tray; the secret could be kept no longer. An immigration officer was called, who didn’t quite know how to deal with this unprecedented situation; meanwhile word spread that someone had brought a cat from Kosovo and people gathered round to stroke and pet her. Eventually it was agreed that ‘refugee #247’ could stay, subject to health checks and immunisation. A collection was made to pay for her vet’s fees – and so Mishka became the first, and only, cat to receive a Canadian immigration card! She became quite celebrated as ‘the cat from Kosovo’. Extract taken from by Patrick Roberts, log on to read more of Patrick’s feline fables, folios and fun!

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

Mishka lived in the city of Pristina, Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia, with architect Bashkim and his wife, Olsa. In the closing years of the 20th Century, war came to the Balkans. Life became ever more difficult for Bashkim and Olsa, who were ethnic Albanians. One night came the knock on the door from the Serbian police, telling them they had one hour to leave before being thrown out of their home. Ethnic cleansing was underway.

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 39.

A.P Tentpeg 2010

It’s Open Day at the adoption centre and, as usual, Norm’s putting on quite a performance...

BEHOLD! The daring acrobat on the highwire!

GASP! As the wind shakes the wire beneath his feet!

SCREAM! As our brave hero slips! And falls!

LAUGH! Because life is a balancing cat...

The Cat  Summer 2010


Pedigree or not pedigree, that is the question! Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services Maggie Roberts considers the breed issue


any of us, especially those who work with cats, have pets that we have acquired along the way or who have chosen us. Two of mine were found as kittens dumped in a litter bin. If you are choosing a cat, how do you select a happy feline friend that is right for you? There are many questions to answer: cat or kitten? What about temperament – laid back or attention lover? Longhaired or shorthaired? Are there other pets or children in the house? How much space and time do you have? Is there a garden? It is vital to choose a cat that is right for your lifestyle. The first question is usually what type of cat do you want? Do you go for a so-called ‘pure bred’ or ‘pedigree’ cat or a moggy? Although all cats have the basic needs and behaviour inherent to being a cat, each individual is different, dependent on his genetic makeup and experiences of life. While many pedigree cats are healthy, there is a misconception that, somehow, they are better or stronger than cross breds but paying a high price for a cat is no guarantee of good health; here are some of the issues to consider before acquiring a cat of a specific breed.


The need for a breed

The Sphynx


The Cat  Summer 2010

Domestic cats have evolved from their origins as solitary hunters on the African Savannah, to living in the domestic environment through the process of natural selection by choosing their own mates and survival of the fittest. There is a wealth of colours, markings and coat lengths in the feline gene pool but compared with the wide range seen in dogs, the overall shape and size of the domestic cat remains fairly consistent. Different breeds have arisen relatively recently, through specific human selection. Matings are controlled by people trying to produce certain physical attributes or characters rather than selection for survival. Only 10 per cent of cats in the UK are pedigree, but as humans have a craving for ‘something different’, there has been an increase in the number of recognised breeds, often with very limited gene pools and with this comes an increase in the number of breed-related problems, which is of great concern.


Photo: on White

Arising problems

The options available If selecting a pedigree cat, we strongly recommend that you take time to look at the specific requirements of the breed that you are interested in to ensure you will both enjoy a lasting and happy relationship. The Governing Council of

The Cat  Summer 2010


Photo: Dreamstime/Katerinache

The long-term effects of selective breeding can be difficult to predict and, while concentrating on a particular physical characteristic, other problems can arise. The use of limited gene pools tends to exaggerate this effect and can lead to anomalies that are not visible externally such as The Persian polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in Persians and related breeds, leading to renal failure and the heart disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Maine Coons. There are some tests and schemes available to detect some of these problems and this has certainly helped to reduce the level of PKD in Persians by the deliberate avoidance of breeding with affected animals. There are now even breeds which are hybrids of wild and domestic cats such as Savannahs – a cross between a serval cat and a domestic cat – which look stunning but are large and may have some wild behavioural characteristics that mean they are not ideal pets and they may be difficult or dangerous to look after. Some ‘pure-bred’ cats may require modified care such as those with compressed tear ducts or breathing problems. Others may have differing behavioural requirements; some breeds may be more lively and demanding and require a lot of stimulation such as Bengals. Others, usually the longhaired breeds, may be quieter, but then extra time and patience is needed to groom them, as they may be unable to care for their own coats.

the Cat Fancy (GCCF) is the feline equivalent of the Kennel Club and provides information about the care recommended for a particular breed. Well over 100 cat clubs are currently affiliated to the GCCF and these are a useful source of information: The GCCF encourages responsible pedigree breeding and gives guidance on best practice to breeders and will not recognise The Scottish Fold new breeds that are based on defects such as Munchkins. In addition, The Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) has compiled a list of inherited disorders which can be found on its website: It is important to select a reputable breeder who breeds a small number of litters each year, has the kittens health checked, wormed and vaccinated and who makes use of any appropriate tests and control schemes available for specific defects in that breed. Non-pedigree cats have fewer breed-related problems but, as with any living creature, there are no guarantees of good health and choosing from a reliable source is sensible. It is possible they may still suffer from inherited defects and inbreeding especially if from a multi-cat household. Taking a cat from a neighbour or answering an advert in the local paper often means that the cats have not had a health check or vaccination. Many reputable pet shops no longer sell cats and it is difficult to provide the right environment for developing kittens in a shop. Also the background of the kittens may not be known in detail, so caution should be taken if using this source. Getting a cat from a reputable rehoming organisation like Cats Protection has many advantages. There is a wide variety of cats to choose from and help is on hand from our staff and volunteers to match the right cat to the right home. All the cats are health checked by a vet, vaccinated, treated for parasites, neutered if old enough and can be returned if there are problems in the future. Care should be taken to avoid rescue centres where the cats are kept in overcrowded conditions, especially if they are all mixed together as it is very stressful for the cats and infectious disease is more likely to be present. Wherever you get your cat, being a responsible owner has the greatest effect on the welfare of your pet. You cannot protect your cat against everything but by registering with a vet, taking out pet insurance, having him neutered, microchipped, The Munchkin vaccinated, treated for parasites and learning about his behavioural needs you are giving him the best chance of a happy, healthy life.

Photo: Vorobyev

Some breeds are bred for specific physical characteristics that are based on defects such as the Manx cat where it is deliberately bred to have a short or absent tail. As this is a form of spinal defect, it can be accompanied by spina bifida, constipation, incontinence and other neurological disorders. Munchkins have been developed to look ‘cute’ with their short legs but this is a form of dwarfism, increasing their chance of developing osteoarthritis and severely limiting their ability to hunt or climb. Sphynx cats have no hair which puts them at risk of chilling or sunburn and skin disease. Scottish Folds have folded ears that give them an endearing round face but it is caused by a defect in the cartilage that also affects the joints resulting in debilitating arthritis. There are breeds being created to be more and more extreme anatomically, such as extremely flat-faced ‘ultra Persians’ and exotic shorthairs which suffer from respiratory problems and constant overflow of tears due to compressed tear ducts. The elongated Siamese cats that are currently seen at shows are very far removed from the rounded cats that were first given to the British Ambassador by the King of Siam in the late 19th century.


The sacred white cat Geoffrey Webb’s story explains why you should give feral cats a chance…



The Cat  Summer 2010

side dish of biscuits and, while he was eating at the back door, I very quietly came up behind him, he was almost too quick, but we had him, into a cage and off to the vet. “He’s feral,” we said, “can’t be tamed but…” “Can’t be tamed? Rubbish. Win this cat’s confidence and you’ll never meet such a loyal friend. I’ll shave him, it’s the only way when they get into this mess. His ear may be affecting his walk, may be carcinogenic.” He looked like a pink hairless piglet when we collected him. “Cleaned his ear, amazing the dirt we got out. Some drops for his ear,” said the vet. We were patient, very patient. At length he started coming into the house to eat and stopped looking over his shoulder. Slowly over the weeks he became more confident. He began to follow us about. His fur grew back and he was becoming a handsome, happy cat. He put on weight. Then a major breakthrough: he jumped up and sat on my lap, looking with big yellow hypnotic eyes as if to ask permission. We had gained each other’s friendship and trust. In the Buddhist religion, the white cat is the last incarnation before the spirit goes to heaven, Nirvana. He now never leaves our side. Doing odd jobs, he sits watching us, supervising. If we go into a room he always greets us with a chirrup of welcome. He insists on sitting on somebody’s lap looking at them with those large, yellow eyes. Have we got a sacred white cat? Perhaps, he is certainly not a normal cat. We named him Snowball, Omo Snowball. As a neighbour said “If it snows you will never find him.” Snowball, once a frightened little homeless cat, has now with a great deal of patience and a lot of TLC, become a handsome, loyal, loving companion. A member of our family.

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

ing Jang Jong, our Ginger Bagpuss, usually answers to the name of Henry. Henry, like all our cats in the past, had come to visit us and stayed. “You have tuna on the menu?” he asked. “Of course.” “A respectable, quality cat food.” We agreed. “A warm comfortable house?” “Oh yes.” He stayed, that was some years ago. Recently another cat appeared, watching us from a gap in the fence. Henry was aware but, being a gentleman, paid little attention. We put some biscuits down in a small dish. The fence cat looked from left to right, with no hesitation made a dash for it, scoffed the lot and was gone. “He’s white” said my wife. “That I don’t believe,” was the reply. “He’s been held by his tail and dipped in a barrel of tar.” He was obviously starving, held his head at a funny angle and his fur was a tangle of tar and grease. We began to feed him. It became a routine; he would wait at the door, eat and run. He slept in some nearby allotments under a rusty wheelbarrow. “You’ll never tame one of those,” we were told. “A feral farmyard cat.” That was a challenge. One day, after weeks of perseverance, we had a breakthrough: he let us touch the top of his head. “Too busy eating to notice,” said my wife. It was a start. What we could not understand was that people saw he was in distress but did nothing. Why could they not spare a couple of spoonfuls of food for a starving moggy? We persevered and, at last, we had him purring. I could have cried. He was now coming into the kitchen to feed, but not staying. Then one day we fed him and left the doors open. He walked in through the back door, through the house and out the front door. We watched open-mouthed. “You be careful,” our neighbour warned us. “He’s feral, wild.” I should have taken more notice. He bit me and it hurt. The following day I went to the doctor. “You’re in time,” she said. Then, with a wry smile added, “Another day and we would have had to take your arm off.” Penicillin tablets. I still get a twinge some six months later. Eventually, with a little stealth, we caught the cat. Thick gardening gloves, an extra large bowl of tuna with a

Cats Protection in focus Contents Page 56

Spotlight… take a closer look at the work of Cats Protection branches around the UK

Page 58

Messageboard… cats needing homes, branches needing volunteers and thank yous to those who’ve helped

Page 60

Diary of events… coffee mornings, homing shows, photo competitions, car boot sales, fairs, bazaars and even the odd motorbike rally! Find out what’s going on in your area Page 62

Contacts… find a Cats Protection branch, adoption centre or charity shop near you

Can you help? Our branches are always in need of donations, whether it be in the form of funds or bric-a-brac for them to sell on. Many need volunteers to help with a range of different tasks and, of course, loving new homes for the cats in their care. If you think you could help, you can find your nearest branch by visiting by phoning 03000 12 12 12 or by turning to the contacts section of this issue. Cats Protection is the UK’s largest feline welfare charity with over 250 volunteer-run branches and 28 adoption centres across the country, plus the Sussex-based National Cat Centre. We rehome unwanted and abandoned cats, promote neutering and raise awareness of feline welfare issues throughout the UK. In this section, you can find out more about our work near you.

The Cat  Summer 2010


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

Please help Tommy rock on By Turriff & District Branch Tommy came into our care as a stray with a nasty leg injury. We had to take him to see an orthopaedic consultant to receive remedial surgery which resulted in a bill of £1,700. Needless to say, as a group run solely by volunteers, this bill will cripple us so we are appealing for donations for Tommy. He is making a good recovery and will hopefully be left with only a very minor limp. If you can help, cheques should be made payable to Turriff & District Cats Protection and sent to 14 Rosehall Cottages, Turriff AB53 4HD.

Love is in the air By Maidenhead, Slough & District The kitten season came early when we took in a heavily pregnant female cat and her three male companions. Safely in foster care the young mum, given the appropriate name of ‘Sweetheart’, delivered three healthy kittens on Valentine’s Day! Mother and babies are doing well and will be looking for homes soon when the kittens are weaned, while the males were ready for their new homes at the time of writing. We were then called to take in a young tortoiseshell cat. She is also pregnant and won’t be up for homing until she has reared her kittens. If you are able to make a donation to help cats like these, please send a cheque made payable to Cats Protection Maidenhead, Slough & District to CP Treasurer, CP, c/o 44 Switchback Road, Maidenhead SL6 7PZ. Or donate via the website

The Buzby babe By Three Rivers & Watford Buzby was found abandoned, a little underweight and his coat was a bit matted but he seemed healthy and was extremely affectionate for an unneutered tom! Just when we were starting to search for new owners, he became unable to stand or keep his balance. We rushed him to the vets who felt he had possibly had a stroke but he needed an MRI scan to confirm this. It proved to be very expensive, but we felt as he was not old and had such a wonderful temperament, we had to give him the best chance. The scan ruled out any neurological damage and instead showed several inflamed spinal vertebrae. He is now on anti-inflammatories and has improved considerably; he can now walk and is getting stronger by the day. He is still in foster care and we hope he will soon be well enough to be rehomed. Any donations towards Buzby’s costs would be much appreciated. Donations can be sent to Three Rivers & Watford Cats Protection, c/o Geraldine Foster, 39 Hare Crescent, Watford WD25 7EE.

56 The Cat  Summer 2010

Golden oldies By Wharfe Valley In just one week, we had three separate calls about elderly cats in trouble. Ozzie was unneutered and had a dreadful sore on his head. His new feeder wanted him back. Happily, he passed his blood tests, was neutered and moved in. Olga then appeared drooling and painfully thin. All bar one tooth was broken or infected and although she was starving, she was in too much pain to eat. An emergency major dental was performed and she was moved into the care of a Fosterer. Then Nelson arrived after collapsing. After a night on a drip, he was much brighter. Blood tests revealed he had a thyroid problem. He also had as bad a mouth as Olga’s and his coat was matted. A week later his thyroid was removed, most of his fur was shaved and those nasty teeth have now gone. These three oldies have cost us quite a lot of money, but once we knew they weren’t terminally ill we had to give them the chance to enjoy what could be another few years. If anyone would like to help towards our vet bills we would be very grateful. Send to Wharfe Valley Cats Protection, FREEPOST RRJY-ZSTL- JJBX, Guiseley, Leeds LS20 8AZ.

Just William By Brighton & Hove City William was found shivering violently in a doorway. His fur was filthy, matted and greasy and it emerged that his family had moved out two years previously, leaving him to fend for himself. He was unneutered and had severe mouth and ear infections. William is currently undergoing treatment; he also has flu and is anaemic. He is still quite nervous but is starting to gain confidence. If you can help with the treatment of William and others like him, even a small donation would be gratefully received. Please make cheques payable to Brighton Cats Protection and send donations to Brighton & Hove Cats Protection, PO Box 137, Hove BN3 8YQ.

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

Nine lives? Try nine years!

Baggy bags a bed

By Belfast Adoption Centre

By Horsham & District

With a tear in our eyes, we recently said cheerio and good luck to Donna; finally after nine years she had found the perfect home. Donna arrived after heartless youths poured paint and petrol on her and tried to set her on fire. Luckily, she managed to climb a telegraph pole and a passer-by contacted us and took her to the vet. Her physical injuries were superficial but this could not be said of her mind; every stroke and gesture was met with defensive behaviour and every year that passed made it harder to find her a home. As she retreated into herself, Donna put on weight and had to be put on a diet. She gradually lost a good amount and the constant affections of staff finally started to work and she would offer a nuzzle from time to time. In her time with us, Donna had witnessed many new cats come and go. Finally, in February, she got a loving home that was perfect for her! There was an instant attraction between Donna and her new owner. She has now made herself comfy and fits in like she has always lived there.

Nugget’s golden moment By Tendring & District In September 2009, we had a call from a lady who had taken in a stray cat. She had tried to integrate him with her existing one, but the two were not getting on. We collected him and did the routine microchip scan. To our delight, a number appeared on the scanner which was then used to find the owner’s details. The owners’ address was over 20 miles away and, when contacted, they were stunned to receive our call. Nugget had disappeared from their garden 12 months previously and they had given up all hope of seeing him again. All his bedding, carrier, and food bowls had been given away because they were too upset to have another cat. When asked if they would like their cat back, they replied “We’re on our way” and half an hour later they were all reunited. In all, it had taken just two hours. That was the shortest stay in one of our pens but a wonderful result for Nugget.

Take away kitten By Guildford & Godalming A friend of our Homing Officer was eating out recently when a tail-less tabby-and-white kitten walked into the restaurant. Her husband went outside to see if anyone appeared to be searching for a cat – no luck, so they took it home for the night. In the morning she phoned our lost and found number and also enquired at the local vet whether anyone had reported losing a kitten. Someone had and the receptionist knew who owned the distinctive pedigree Manx. The owners, who had endured a miserable night, were glad to get their kitten back safe and sound. How lucky that this cat lover chose to go out to that particular restaurant, on that particular night!

Buster was found wandering and was picked up after being chased by a dog. Within a few weeks he had a new home. However his new owner, who had recently suffered a broken arm, found him too boisterous and he came back. We were concerned about him going into a pen as he had so much energy that it seemed unfair to put him into a confined space. Luckily, a woman contacted us mentioning that she and her partner might be interested; she had seen Buster on our website and thought he would be an ideal companion for their dog. With his past rowdy behaviour in mind, we offered them a trial run for as long as they wished. We left it for two weeks before finally calling to see how things were going and were delighted when we found that they wished to keep him after only two days! Now named Baggy, he has a lovely new home with a new friend in the countryside.

A Kerry lucky cat! By North Birmingham Kerry was only nine months old when she was dumped in a cat carrier in an isolated car park in atrocious weather and was lucky to be spotted by a passer-by. The cage had a sign saying “I’m homeless – will someone please look after me?” so the lady took her in for the night, cleaned her up and then contacted us. Thankfully, Kerry was none the worse for her ordeal but the story could have been very different. After she had been neutered, we put her up for adoption and she was quickly rehomed by a lovely family who have since reported that she is great company for everyone.

A picture perfect ending By Eltham, Sidcup & District It’s not often that we home three cats in one go, but that’s what happened when Iain Gomes and his family visited our branch. He was taken with a pair of two-year-old ginger boys, Dexter and Chester, who were abandoned in a house with two other cats. His wife, however, was smitten with chunky black-and-white former stray Barney, aged two. They couldn’t decide – so ended up taking all three! And, as this smashing photo shows, the human and feline residents of their home in Eltham, south-east London, are very happy together. Iain, who runs his own firm,, captured this touching moment between his son and Barney. Iain told us: “All three cats have very much taken over the house now and consider it theirs, which is lovely to see.”

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Summer 2010


Messageboard from your local Cats Protection...

Outer Aberdeen & District

Toffee & Lulu

West Oxfordshire



This pair of outdoor cats have returned to us due to their owners moving house. Toffee will allow a small amount of attention/ combing, however Lulu keeps her distance. An outdoor home where mice are a nuisance would suit them perfectly.

Rayleigh, Castle Point & District

Female, 9 years

Female, 3 years JJ – or Jasmine Junior to use her full name – is a little, affectionate black girl who has had a tough time recently. She has had several litters of kittens and has also had stomach surgery. She has now fully recovered and is looking for a quiet home where she will be loved and spoilt.


Male, adult

Male and female, 5 years


Warrington Adoption Centre

Pushkin is an indoor-only cat with special talents; he will sit when asked, do a high five and jump on command – when he feels like it! He must be the only cat in the household as he is FIV positive. He is rather timid, worried by noises, but extremely loving when you gain his confidence.

☎☎ 01993 831 350

Warrington Adoption Centre


Female, 10 years

☎☎ 01224 782 207

☎☎ 01268 685 561

Rosie is very friendly, affectionate and loves to be stroked. She is looking for a quiet home with a patient owner who will give her time to settle. If you have the time to spend with Rosie she will reward you with lots of affection and become a loving companion. She would prefer to live in a mature household without dogs.

☎☎ 01925 411 160

Dereham Adoption Centre

Isle of Wight Adoption Centre



Female, adult


Female, 6 years

Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell

Mr Chips

Male, 3 years Mr Chips – shorthair, tabby – is an ex-street cat who urgently needs a loving home so that he can learn to trust people again. He needs to be the only pet in a home with no young children. More details are available on our website about Mr Chips where a picture can also be seen.

☎☎ 08453 714 212

St Neots & District


Male, 6 years

Wish is looking for a loving home in the country, as she is frightened of traffic. She is a sweet cat who enjoys a fuss and is good with children.

☎☎ 01362 687 919


The Cat  Summer 2010

Vienna is very friendly and loves attention. Unfortunately she has renal failure and requires a special diet and daily medication. Her new owner ideally should have experience giving tablets as her medication will be long term. Renal failure cannot be cured and the treatment only relieves the symptoms, so Vienna may need regular vet visits and future treatment if she deteriorates. However she could lead a long life and deserves a second chance.

☎☎ 01925 411 160

Mittens is a petite friendly girl and needs a quiet home where she will be the only pet. She enjoys playing and loves to give cuddles. She has been waiting four months for her new chance.

☎☎ 01983 562 609

Jimmy has been with us for several months now and came into our care as he could not get along with the other cats in the household. He loves people, is really friendly and just wants to get settled again. Please get in touch if you can offer him the home he deserves.

☎☎ 01480 476 696

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

 tonehaven Branch is looking for Fosterers to look after S cats temporarily in our care in either specially-designed pens in their back gardens or as an indoor Fosterer. We really need more caring people to join our team. If you can help, please phone us on 01569 739 396 extension 6.  allington & District Branch is recruiting for the following C roles: Secretary, Fundraising Officer, Recruitment Officer, Fosterers and Fundraisers. We are presently very short of volunteers and are in need of people like yourselves to come forward and offer a few hours of your time once a month. If you think you can help out with any of these roles, please phone 01579 382 794.  t Albans & District Branch is currently looking for a S Fundraising Officer, Fundraisers and Fosterers. The branch would also welcome donations of unwanted or nearly new gifts for the tombola and can collect if people call its helpline. If you can help, please phone 08453 712 064.  tockport Branch is looking for volunteers to help run stalls S at fundraising fairs. Cake bakers are also required to donate cakes, biscuits, buns etc for the cake stall at each fair. We also need volunteers to help at our annual Family Fun Day, which is being held on 7 August. If you are interested, please phone Jacky Goodman on 07900 415 674 or email  eading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Branch always R has volunteer roles available, if you have free time and wish to help the branch, please get in contact by phone on 08453 714 212 or by visiting  eignbridge & Totnes Branch is looking for enthusiastic T volunteers to help with feral trapping and transporting cats to vets in the South Hams and Teignbridge areas. As the summer approaches, we also desperately need help at outdoor fundraising events. For more information on volunteering in general, please phone Barbara on 08453 712 727.  reat Amwell & District Branch is looking for volunteers G in a range of areas, including Welfare Workers, Fundraisers, Fosterers and a Fosterer Co-ordinator. There is bound to be something to suit your interest! For further details please phone 01992 467 826 or visit  uildford & Godalming Branch is seeking additional G Fosterers. If you have a spare room or are interested in having a pen in your garden, we would be delighted to hear from you. Phone 01483 422 529 or email  uildford & Godalming Branch is also looking for a G Co-ordinator. You must be an excellent communicator, capable of leading and delegating and be able to build a rapport with volunteers and members of the public. To find out more contact us on 01483 422 529 or email  olverhampton Branch is looking for Fosterers to care W for cats from their own homes – bills and food are paid for by the branch. If you would like to volunteer in one of these rewarding roles, please phone 01902 651 173 or email  asingstoke & District Branch is looking for new volunteers. B If you can help, please phone 01256 352 281.

To everyone who contributed to Inverurie & Alford for Toots – The Cat, Winter 2009. He has recovered well from the operation on his jaw and is looking better than ever. To everyone who sent donations to Stockport Branch following the previous article about Mr Hyde – The Cat, Spring 2010. Many of the donations were anonymous and we would like to pass on our thanks in The Cat magazine. To the anonymous person who regularly makes donations to Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Branch through the Charities Aid Foundation – we really appreciate their support. To Melanie Brookes, Enias Gramu, Debbie Heathcote, Ben Lambert, John Lambert, Katie Lyons, Kristina Murphy, Kevan Owen, Gillian Rodger, Ashleigh Sturt, Gareth Thurlow, Sarah Abouzeid, Teresa Andow, Felicity Aries, Richard Armstrong, Katherine Arnold, Kevin Castle, Julie Draper, Sanjay Mangabhai, Pat Moody, Anna Partin, Thomas Peillon, Mark Powles, Louise Sutton and Emily Walker who represented Cats Protection in the Brighton and London Marathons this spring from the Events Team at the National Cat Centre. Congratulations on your achievements and thank you for choosing CP! To all the Staff and Volunteers in Belfast and Armagh for making the Editorial Team so welcome on their recent visit. To Clive DigbyBrown from all of the Fundraising & Communications Department at the National Cat Centre. Clive recently retired after 15 years as our esteemed Shows & Exhibitions Manager and will be greatly missed by everyone in the team. Good luck, Clive!

Deadlines All branches are encouraged to send in stories and diary dates for every issue. The deadlines for the next three issues are: • 18 June – Autumn 2010 • 17 September – Winter 2010 • 17 December – Spring 2011 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

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Summer 2010 59

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

ENGLAND BERKSHIRE Reading & District Collections 15 May: Church Street, Caversham, Reading; 9am-4pm. 21 August: Sainsbury’s, Bath Road, Calcot, Reading, RG31 4SA; 8am-7pm. Fairs 26 June: Extra special branch 25th anniversary event, Reading Lions Fun Day, Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, Tilehurst, Reading, RG30 2ND. Stalls and information. This will be our main 25th anniversary event, so we aim to make it a very special occasion. Stalls 5 June: Friends of Royal Berkshire Hospital, Summer Fête, Victoria Recreation Ground, Armour Road, Tilehurst, Reading, RG31 6HT; 12noon-4pm.

Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Collections 12 June: Collection at Asda in Lower Earley; all day. Fairs 3 July: Crowthorne Carnival; all day. 17 July: Summer Fair, Carnation Hall, Chavey Down; 1-4pm. 29-30 August: Swallowfield Show; all day. Monthly Meetings 28 June: Our Lady of Peace (OLOP) Church Hall, Wokingham Road, Earley (Earley Cross Roads), RG6 7DA; 8pm. 26 July: As above. Stalls 17 June: Woodley Pagoda, Woodley Shopping Centre, RG5 3JJ; all day from 8am. Sale of second-hand goods in a covered Pagoda-style area.

60 The Cat  Summer 2010

CHESHIRE Stockport Fairs 3 July: Hazel Grove, United Reformed Hall, Commercial Road; 10am-12.30pm.

14 August: Cats Tea Party, Homefield, Longdogs Lane, Ottery St. Mary; 2.30-4.30pm. 30 August: Stall at charity event, sea front, Budleigh Salterton; 10am-5pm.

Stalls 12 June: Didsbury Festival, Didsbury Park, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury; 11am-4pm. We will be selling new Cats Protection goods, bric-abrac, books, toys, plants and pet care goods. We will also be running a lucky dip game for children. To help, contact 0161 439 1274 or 7 August: Annual Family Fun Day, Torkington Park, Hazel Grove; 11am4pm. Includes a variety of attractions including a dog show, birds of prey, children’s rides and games. We will have a wide range of stalls eg face painting, toys, plants, new Cats Protection goods, books. Refreshments available including a good selection of home-baked cakes, buns and biscuits. Please note that these events are to be confirmed at the time of writing and the programme is subject to change. To help, contact 0161 439 1274 or

Teignbridge & Totnes



Falmouth, Helston & District

Basingstoke & District

Collections 5 June: Store collection at Asda, Penryn; 9.30am-2pm.

Stalls 2 June: Basingstoke Voluntary Services Charity Fair, The Malls, Basingstoke; 10am-4pm. 6 June: Tadley Treacle Fair, Saunders Fields, Tadley; 11am-5pm. 24 July: Winklebury Carnival, Winklebury Playing Fields; 10am-4pm.

DEVON East Devon Stalls 19 June: Coffee Morning/ Bazaar, The Public Hall, Budleigh Salterton; 10am-12noon. 24 July: Summer Bazaar/ Coffee Morning, Town Hall, Seaton; 10am-12noon. 5 August: Honiton Show; all day. Jointly with Honiton Branch.

Stalls 13 June: Animals in Distress ‘Dog Races day’, Ipplepen; 11am onwards.

EAST SUSSEX Friends of Eastbourne Adoption Centre Fairs 10 July: Summer Fayre, Eastbourne Adoption Centre, Marshfoot Lane, Hailsham; 12noon-3pm.

ESSEX Rayleigh, Castle Point & District Fairs 3 July: Bazaar, Methodist Hall, Waarden Road, Canvey Island; 10.30am-12.15pm. 14 August: Bazaar, British Legion Hall, Castle Lane, Hadleigh; 10.30am-12.15pm. Open Days 12 June: Homing Show, British Legion Hall, Castle Lane, Hadleigh; 10.30am-1pm.

HERTFORDSHIRE Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Stalls 5 June: Plant stall and jumble sale, Potton End Village Hall, The Green, Berkhamsted; 11:30am.

10 July (date tbc): Leverstock Green Annual Village Fête. Please contact 08453 711 851 for further details. 24-25 July: Potton End Steam Fair. Cats Protection are hoping to share the stand with Luton Branch, please see Hemel Hempstead & Berkhamsted Branch local website or phone 08453 711 851 for further details.

Great Amwell & District Stalls 2 June: Hoddesdon market. 6 June: Hertford Fun Day, Castle Grounds; 12noon5pm. 19 June: Stansted Abbotts River Festival; 1-5pm. 3 July: Ware Carnival, Priory Gardens; 12noon-5pm. 3 July: Wormley School Fête; 12.30-4.30pm. 4 July: Bengeo School Fête; 12noon-3pm. 11 July: Hertford Heath Fête; 1-5pm. 17 July: Broxbourne Junior School Fête; 12noon-3pm. For further details of any event please phone 01992 467 826 or visit www.

ISLE OF WIGHT Isle of Wight Fairs 17 July: Summer Fayre, Isle of Wight Adoption Centre; 12noon-3pm.

LINCOLNSHIRE Skegness, Spilsby & Alford Collections 7 August: Raffle, Richmond Holiday Centre, Skegness; 7pm. Stalls 13 June: Friskney Show, Friskney Village Hall & Field; 10am-5pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale. 20 June: McMillan Gala, Tower Gardens, Skegness; 10am-4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale.

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

27 June: Lindsey Blind Society Gala, Tower Gardens, Skegness; 10am-4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale. 4 July: Wrangle Show, Wrangle; 10am-4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale. 11 July: Spilsby Show, Boston Road, Spilsby; 10am4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale. 1 August: Crime Prevention Gala, Tower Gardens, Skegness; 10am-4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale. 11 August: Carnival Gala Day, Pier Field, Skegness; 10am-4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale. 13 August: Carnival Pet Show, Tower Gardens, Skegness; 10am-4pm. Tombola, games and goods for sale.

NORFOLK Friends of Dereham Adoption Centre Open Days 14 August: Summer Fun Day, Hoe Rd, Longham; 11am-3pm.

SOUTH YORKSHIRE Doncaster Fairs 30 August: Summer Fayre, New Hall, Bawtry; 12-3pm. Garden Parties 26 June: Threeways, Low Lane, Braithwaite, Doncaster DN7 5SS; 1-4pm.

There will be dancing to two live groups, and an auction with some very desirable items to bid for. CP Chief Executive, Peter Hepburn will be guest of honour and everybody is welcome to attend. More details can be obtained by phoning the branch on 01728 723 499 or by emailing info@

SURREY Guildford & Godalming Collections 19 June: Godalming town centre; 9am-4pm. Collection and sales table. Stalls 12 June: Milford village fête.

Sutton & Cheam Stalls 24 July: Bric-a-brac, books & clothes sale, St Helier Methodist Church Hall, Green Lane; 10-11.30am. 30p admission. 21 August: Bric-a-brac, books & clothes sale, St Helier Methodist Church, Green Lane; 10-11.30am. 30p admission.

WEST MIDLANDS North Birmingham Open Days 5 June: Homing Day, Friends Meeting House, Kenelm Rd, B73 6HD; 10.30am-12.30pm. 25 July: Garden Open Day & Fête, 46 Vesey Road, Wylde Green, B73 5PB; 11am-4pm.

Stalls 10 July: Old School Gala, Barnby Dun, Doncaster.



Stalls 5 June: Smallfield Market, Smallfield; 9am-12noon. 13 June: Homing Show & Sale, Colman-Redland Centre, Reigate; 11am-3pm. 19 June: Smallfield Market, Smallfield; 9am-12noon. 3 July: Smallfield Market, Smallfield; 9am-12noon. 11 July: Homing Show & Sale, Horticultural Hall, Crawley; 11am-3pm. 17 July: Smallfield Market, Smallfield; 9am-12noon. 17 July: Antiques & Collectors’ Fair, Banstead; 9am-4pm. Goods are always needed for Antiques & Collectors’ fairs: gold and silver items (or plated),

Framlingham & Saxmundham Parties 13 November: 21st Birthday Celebration, Ufford Park Hotel, Melton, near Woodbridge. The branch reaches its 21st birthday this year and plans to celebrate this milestone in style. Under the title of ‘Top Cat and Tails’, the branch is staging a dinner, dance and auction in the prestigious surroundings of the Ufford Park Hotel. Tickets are £30 each. Guests will be offered a welcome drink and a three-course meal (with menu choices).

Crawley, Reigate & District

jewellery, ornaments, paperweights, jewellery boxes etc. 20-21 July: Antiques & Collectors’ Fair, Ardingly. See press for details. 24 July: Dog Show, Ardingly. See press for details.

Worthing & District Fairs 10 July: Summer Fête, Ferring Village Hall; 10am-12noon. 22 August: Summer Fête and Cat Homing Show, Clapham Village Hall; 1pm-4pm. Sponsored Events 18 July: Sponsored walk, Sea Lane Cafe to Splash Point and back; from 2.30pm.

WALES MID-GLAMORGAN Bridgend Adoption Centre Fairs 26 June: Paws Outdoors Event; 12noon-3pm. BBQ & cream teams.

SCOTLAND ABERDEENSHIRE Stonehaven Stalls 19 June: ‘Planestones’ under the arches at Stonehaven Market Square; 10am-1pm. Selling Bric-abrac and CP goodies. 7 August: ‘Planestones’ under the arches at Stonehaven Market Square; 10am-1pm. Selling Bric-abrac and CP goodies.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Summer 2010



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

Crawley, Reigate & District ☎☎ 08453 712 734

Mid Sussex ☎☎ 01444 414 884

Croydon ☎☎ 0208 763 0072

Milton Keynes & District ☎☎ 01296 738 558

Ealing & West London ☎☎ 0208 752 0793

North Hertfordshire ☎☎ 01438 228 877

Friends of Bredhurst Kent Adoption Centre

East Surrey ☎☎ 08453 712 739

Chelmsford & District *Willow * Grove, Deadmans Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford CM2 8LZ ☎☎ 01245 478 389

Eastbourne ☎☎ 01323 440 101

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 National Cat Adoption Centre *Chelwood * Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT ☎☎ 08707 708 650 Friends of the National Cat Adoption Centre North London *135 * Junction Road, Archway,* Greater London N19 5PX ☎☎ 0207 272 6048 Basildon, Brentwood & District ☎☎ 01268 285 778 Bexley, Dartford & Darenth Valley ☎☎ 01322 611 911 Brighton & Hove City ☎☎ 01273 279 138 Bromley ☎☎ 0208 402 8860 Camberley & District ☎☎ 08453 712 745 Canterbury & District ☎☎ 01227 266 838 Chelmsford & District ☎☎ 01245 478 389 Chichester, Bognor Regis & District ☎☎ 08453 712 760 Chiltern ☎☎ 01296 680 397 Colne Valley ☎☎ 08009 889 417

62 The Cat  Summer 2010

Paddington ☎☎ 020 7249 0489 Rayleigh, Castle Point & District ☎☎ 01268 750 831

Eltham, Sidcup & District ☎☎ 01689 815 475 Epsom, Ewell & District ☎☎ 01737 640 882 Folkestone & Hythe ☎☎ 01303 237 744

Sutton & Cheam ☎☎ 0208 330 0176

Greenwich ☎☎ 0208 8538 666

Swale ☎☎ 01795 664 194

Guildford & Godalming ☎☎ 01483 422 529

Tendring & District ☎☎ 08453 712 742

Harlow, Epping Forest & District ☎☎ 01992 579 539

Tenterden & District ☎☎ 01797 366 379

Hastings & District ☎☎ 01424 754 328 Hemel Hempstead & Berkhamsted ☎☎ 08453 711 851

High Wycombe & South Bucks ☎☎ 01494 448 849 Hillingdon ☎☎ 01895 443 637 Hornchurch & District ☎☎ 01708 755 211 Horsham & District ☎☎ 08453 712 749 Lea Valley ☎☎ 08453 712 740 Lewes, Seaford & District ☎☎ 01273 812 568 Maidstone ☎☎ 08453 712 758 Medway & Gravesham ☎☎ 08453 712 757

St Albans & District ☎☎ 08453 712 064 Southend & District ☎☎ 01702 710 630 88www.catsprotectionsouthend.pwp.

Great Amwell & District ☎☎ 01992 467 826

Hendon, Finchley & Mill Hill ☎☎ 0208 952 1350

Romford & District ☎☎ 01708 451 341

Three Rivers & Watford ☎☎ 01923 283 338 Thurrock & District ☎☎ 08453 712 752 Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District ☎☎ 01892 516 377 Woking & District ☎☎ 01483 721 700 Worthing & District ☎☎ 01903 200 332 Chichester *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 Ealing & West London *3a * Albert Terrace, Pittshanger Lane, Ealing W5 1RL ☎☎ 0208 752 0793

East Surrey *20 * Chipstead Valley Road, * Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 2RA ☎☎ 0208 660 7475 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 Maidstone *37 * Union Street, Maidstone,* Kent ME14 1DY ☎☎ 01622 688 665 Medway & Gravesham *34 * Canterbury Street, Gillingham,* Kent ME7 5TX ☎☎ 01634 571 270 *142 * Franklin Road, Gillingham, Medway ME7 4DG ☎☎ 01634 578 436 Tenterden & District *94a * High Street, Tenterden, * Kent TN30 6JB ☎☎ 01580 765 277 Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District *119 * Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2QY ☎☎ 01892 516 377 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 Friends of Isle of Wight Adoption Centre Newbury & District *Heatherpine, * Curridge Road, Curridge, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 9DH ☎☎ 01635 200 111

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

Truro *Point * Road, Carnon Downs, * Truro, Cornwall TR3 6JN ☎☎ 01872 870 575 Andover & District ☎☎ 01256 892 019 Barnstaple & District ☎☎ 01271 860 787 Basingstoke & District ☎☎ 01256 352 281 Bath & District ☎☎ 01179 861 467 Blandford & Sturminster Newton ☎☎ 01258 858 644 Bournemouth & District ☎☎ 01202 579 468 Bridgwater ☎☎ 01278 684 662 Bristol & District ☎☎ 01179 665 428 Callington & District ☎☎ 01579 382 794 Cheltenham ☎☎ 08453 712 730 Cherwell ☎☎ 07716 596 212 Cirencester, Tetbury & District ☎☎ 01285 641 289 88 East Devon ☎☎ 01404 811 089 Exeter ☎☎ 01392 276 291 Falmouth, Helston & District ☎☎ 08453 712 729 Farnham & Wey Valley ☎☎ 01252 334 644 Forest of Dean ☎☎ 01594 841 511 Frome & District ☎☎ 07733 390 345 Glastonbury & Wells ☎☎ 01749 850 660

Launceston & District ☎☎ 01566 773 814 Maidenhead, Slough & District ☎☎ 01628 620 909 Mere & Gillingham ☎☎ 01747 840 621 Midsomer Norton & Radstock ☎☎ 01761 436 486 Minehead ☎☎ 08453 712 761 Newbury & District ☎☎ 01635 200 111 Okehampton & District ☎☎ 08453 712 751 Oxford & District ☎☎ 01235 221 147 Plymouth ☎☎ 08453 712 753 Portsmouth ☎☎ 08453 712 743 Reading & District ☎☎ 01189 403 005 Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell ☎☎ 08453 714 212 St Austell & District ☎☎ 01726 817 837 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

Gloucester ☎☎ 07891 112 654 88www.

Torquay & District ☎☎ 01803 557 014

Gosport Town ☎☎ 02392 582 601

Truro & District ☎☎ 01209 861 134 ☎☎ 01872 275 402 (feral enquiries)

Holsworthy, Bideford & District ☎☎ 08453 712 717 Honiton ☎☎ 01404 452 41

West Dorset ☎☎ 01305 262 737

West Oxfordshire ☎☎ 01993 831 350 Winchester & District ☎☎ 01962 883 536 or 01962 884 468 Wootton Bassett & District ☎☎ 07928 674 433 Yeovil & District ☎☎ 01935 412 755 Bristol & District *272 * North Street, Bedminster,* Bristol BS3 1JA ☎☎ 0117 963 9028 Bournemouth & District *333-335 * Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 9QR ☎☎ 01202 530 757 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 *The * Forest Cat, 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 *Pothecarys, * High Street, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AA 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 Evesham *c/o * Dogs Trust Kennels, * 89 Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, Evesham, Worcester WR11 6RT ☎☎ 01386 833 343 Hereford *Cobhall * Villa, Allensmore, HR2 9BP ☎☎ 01432 277 543 Mansfield *Mansfield * Road, * Warsop, Mansfield, * Nottinghamshire NG20 0EF ☎☎ 01623 845 846

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

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

Nottingham *The * Gate House, New Farm Lane, Nuthall, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG16 1DY ☎☎ 0115 938 6557 Ashfield & Amber Valley ☎☎ 01246 825 165 ashfieldcats/ Bedford & Biggleswade ☎☎ 08442 496 911 Burton on Trent ☎☎ 01283 511 454 Cannock & Burntwood ☎☎ 01543 279 641 Coventry ☎☎ 02476 251 491 Evesham & District ☎☎ 01386 833 343 Halesowen & District ☎☎ 08453 712 062 Kettering & Corby ☎☎ 01536 514 014 Leicester & District ☎☎ 01162 881 318 Lichfield ☎☎ 08453 712 741 Ludlow & District ☎☎ 01584 874 171 Luton, Dunstable & District ☎☎ 08453 712 746 Mansfield & District ☎☎ 01623 845 846 Mid Warwickshire ☎☎ 01926 334 849 Northampton ☎☎ 08447 003 251 North Birmingham ☎☎ 0121 377 6302 Nottingham ☎☎ 01159 386 557 Ross-on-Wye & District ☎☎ 08453 712 763 Rugby ☎☎ 01788 570 010 South Birmingham ☎☎ 0121 444 4433 Stafford & District ☎☎ 01785 214 861

KEY: Adoption Centre Branch Charity shop

The Cat  Summer 2010 63

Stoke & Newcastle ☎☎ 01782 515167 Stourbridge & District ☎☎ 08448 848 520 Telford & District ☎☎ 01952 201 167 Walsall Borough ☎☎ 01922 682 005 88www. Wellingborough & Rushden ☎☎ 08453 714 209 Wolverhampton ☎☎ 01902 651 173 Worcester & District ☎☎ 01386 751 925 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 *5-7 * Abbey Court, Abbey End,* Kenilworth, Mid-Warwickshire * CV8 1QH ☎☎ 01926 850 054 South Birmingham *294 * Vicarage Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7NH ☎☎ 0121 4412 480

Friend of Dereham Adoption Centre Downham Market *Wards * Chase, Stowbridge, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE34 3NN ☎☎ 01366 382 311 Friends of Downham Market Adoption Centre

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

Boston & District ☎☎ 01406 424 966

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

Breckland ☎☎ 01842 810 018

St Neots & District *10 * Cross Keys Mall, Market Square, St Neots PE19 2AR

Bury St Edmunds ☎☎ 01284 850 887

Waveney *Beccles * Bazaar, 2 Blyburgate,* Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9TA ☎☎ 01502 713 167

Cambridge ☎☎ 01223 441 880

Dereham *Hoe * Road Farm, Hoe Road, Longham, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 2RP ☎☎ 01362 687 919

64 The Cat  Summer 2010

St Helens *100 * Chester Lane, St Helens,* Merseyside WA9 4DD ☎☎ 01744 817 718

Framlingham & Saxmundham ☎☎ 01728 723 499

Derby & District ☎☎ 01332 206 956 Dewsbury, Wakefield & District ☎☎ 01924 261 524 Doncaster ☎☎ 01302 840 777 Durham City & District ☎☎ 01913 860 902 East Northumberland ☎☎ 07749 713 142 (6–9pm) 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

Warrington *Animal * Village, Slutchers Lane, * Bank Quay, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1NA ☎☎ 01925 411 160

Newcastle upon Tyne ☎☎ 0191 296 3512

Horncastle & District ☎☎ 01526 388 535

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

Pickering & District ☎☎ 01653 693 958

Ipswich ☎☎ 08453 712 069

Adel & District ☎☎ 01132 610 694

Louth & Mablethorpe ☎☎ 01507 601 492

Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas ☎☎ 01942 888 693

Sheffield Hallam ☎☎ 01142 493 330

Barnsley ☎☎ 01226 762 658

South Wirral ☎☎ 0151 355 9813

Haverhill & Stour Valley ☎☎ 01440 730 096

North Walsham & District ☎☎ 01692 535 858 Norwich & District ☎☎ 08454 941 900

St Neots & District ☎☎ 01480 476 696


Friends of Derby Adoption Centre

Ely & District ☎☎ 01353 699 430

Stourbridge & District *27 * Lower High Street, * Stourbridge DY8 1TA ☎☎ 01384 422 208

Worcester & District *53 * St Johns, Worcester WR2 5AG ☎☎ 01905 426 748

Derby *White * Cottage, Long Lane, Dalbury Lees, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 5BJ ☎☎ 01332 824 950

Dereham & District ☎☎ 01362 687 919

Peterborough & District ☎☎ 08453 712 750

Wolverhampton *54 * Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton WV4 4LP


Chatteris, St Ives & District ☎☎ 01480 465 226

Stafford & Disctrict *Market * Stall 48, St John’s Indoor Market, Stafford

Telford & District *Madeley * Centre Mall, Russell Square, Madeley, Telford TF7 5BB *75 * High Street, Broseley,* Telford TF12 5EX ☎☎ 01952 884 388

Framlingham & Saxmundham *26 * Bridge Street, Framlingham, Suffolk IP13 9AH ☎☎ 01728 723 499

Beverley & Pocklington ☎☎ 01482 861 866 Blackburn & District ☎☎ 01254 580 642

Scunthorpe & District ☎☎ 01724 783 555 Skegness, Spilsby & Alford ☎☎ 01754 830 621

North Sheffield ☎☎ 01142 456 371

Preston ☎☎ 0772 748 788 Rochdale

Stockport ☎☎ 0161 439 1274 Teesside ☎☎ 01642 589 090

Bolton & Radcliffe ☎☎ 0161 724 5118

Trafford ☎☎ 0161 610 2189 or 0161 969 0331

Burnley & Pendle ☎☎ 01282 859 847

Wear Valley & Darlington ☎☎ 07966 653 388

Burscough & Liverpool Bay ☎☎ 0151 526 5999

Sleaford & District ☎☎ 01529 488 749

West Cumbria ☎☎ 01946 590 079

Calder Valley & District ☎☎ 01706 810 489

Spalding & District ☎☎ 01775 725 661

Wharfe Valley ☎☎ 08451 947 292

Carlisle & District ☎☎ 01228 540 330

Stamford & District ☎☎ 01778 590 008

York ☎☎ 01904 760 356

Chesterfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 754

Barnsley *95 * High Street, Wombwell,* Barnsley S73 8HS

Crewe & District ☎☎ 01270 588 710

Burscough & Liverpool Bay *Cats * Whiskers, 1 School Lane, Burscough, Lancashire L40 4AE ☎☎ 01704 893 393

Waveney ☎☎ 08453 714 202 Cambridge *172 * Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3LP ☎☎ 01223 566 997

Culcheth & Glazebury ☎☎ 01925 764 604

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness

Chesterfield & District *2* Cavendish Street, * Chesterfield S40 1UY ☎☎ 01246 279 163

Clackmannanshire & Stirling *Ochivale * Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 720 555

Derby & District *31 * The Wardwick, Derby DE1 1HA ☎☎ 01332 360 808 *Institute * Buildings, North End, Wirksworth, Derbyshire DE4 4FG

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

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 ☎☎ 01642 607 435 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 Newtown & District ☎☎ 01686 670 277 Rhondda Valleys ☎☎ 01443 437 709 Swansea & District ☎☎ 08452 179 648 Wrexham & District ☎☎ 01978 313 574 Colwyn & District *28 * Sea View Road,* Colwyn Bay LL29 8DG ☎☎ 01492 535 655 Wrexham & District *60 * Chester Street,* Wrexham LL13 8BA ☎☎ 01978 310 555

Kirkintilloch *Cardyke * Farm, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow G66 5LD ☎☎ 0141 779 3341 Friends of Kirkintilloch Adoption Centre Shetland *Gott, * Shetland ZE2 9SH ☎☎ 01595 840 517

Montrose & Brechin ☎☎ 08453 712 738 Moray ☎☎ 07837 342 646 Nairn ☎☎ 08453 712 714 North Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 218

☎☎ 01382 450 035 *5* Reform Street, Monifieth, * Dundee DD5 4BA ☎☎ 01382 534 316 Glasgow *440 * Dumbarton Road, Partick,* Glasgow G11 6SE ☎☎ 01413 346 907 Outer Aberdeen & District *187 * George Street,* Aberdeen AB25 1HZ ☎☎ 01224 658 565 South Ayrshire *100 * Main Street, Prestwick, KA9 1PA

North Skye ☎☎ 07817 943 072

Turriff & District *21 * Low Street, Banff AB45 1AU

Alness & District ☎☎ 08453 714 204

Orkney Islands ☎☎ 01856 771 642

Ardnamurchan ☎☎ 01967 431 203

Outer Aberdeen & District ☎☎ 01224 705 252

West Fife *6* Arberlour Street, Rosyth,* Fife KY11 2RD ☎☎ 01383 417 548

Caithness ☎☎ 08453 714 217

Peebles & Biggar ☎☎ 0707 4357 228

Central Aberdeen ☎☎ 01224 749 568 Central Dumfries ☎☎ 01387 710 083 Clackmannanshire & Stirling ☎☎ 01259 720 555

Perth ☎☎ 08458 622 206 Renfrewshire ☎☎ 0141 876 4133 Shetland ☎☎ 01595 840 588

Cumnock & Doon Valley ☎☎ 08453 714 219

South Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 216

Dundee & District ☎☎ 01382 450 035

South Skye ☎☎ 07787 054 485 (mobile)

East Neuk of Fife ☎☎ 08453 714 210

Stewartry & District ☎☎ 01557 339 233

East Lothian & Berwickshire Branch ☎☎ 08453 714 215

Stonehaven ☎☎ 01569 739 396

Ellon & District ☎☎ 01358 721 204

Strathspey ☎☎ 08453 712 725

Forfar ☎☎ 08453 712 063

Tain & District ☎☎ 08453 712 737

Fort William & District ☎☎ 01397 772 071

Turriff & District ☎☎ 07050 241 846

Fraserburgh ☎☎ 07876 513 593

Uist ☎☎ 07050 121 586

Glasgow ☎☎ 08453 712 722

West Lothian ☎☎ 08453 712 719

Huntly & Keith ☎☎ 01466 760 311

Central Aberdeen *96 * King St, Aberdeen AB24 5BA ☎☎ 01224 634 894

Inverness ☎☎ 07815 910 861


Inverurie & Alford ☎☎ 01467 625 695 Isle of Arran ☎☎ 01770 820 611 Isle of Lewis ☎☎ 01851 612 448 Kilmarnock & District ☎☎ 08453 712 715

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

Stranraer & District ☎☎ 08453 712 759

Eskdale & District ☎☎ 01387 376 738

Swansea & District *85 * Brynymor Road, Swansea SA1 4JE ☎☎ 01792 208 808

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

Lanarkshire ☎☎ 08453 714 213

Central Dumfries *19-21 * Friars Vennel,* Dumfries DG1 2RQ ☎☎ 01387 710 844 Clackmannanshire & Stirling *Ochivale * Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 761 893 Dundee & District *102 * Foundry Lane, Dundee DD4 6AY

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

KEY: Adoption Centre Branch Charity shop

The Cat  Summer 2010 65

’ s d i K ner Cor Photos

Welcome to Kids’ Corner! We love to hear from our younger readers so please send in your cat-themed letters, jokes and drawings – every picture printed wins a prize; in this issue our favourite wins a grey and white cuddly toy cat. Write to us at: The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or via email to Don’t forget to tell us your name, age and address. Last time, we asked you to colour in the picture of SuperCat on the wall of the gallery. How did you do?

True or false 1. Cats sweat through their ears Music 2. An adult male cat is called a tom 3. Cats have more bones than humans New Media Answers at bottom of page

This time, head on over to the brand new kids’ section on the Cats Protection website at called Cats for Kids. There you can play free online games like SuperCat Swaps, download your very own SuperCat screensaver or even grab yourself the wallpaper you see here!


Klor 69cm 72 Strength 84 Speed Intelligence 100 20 Nobility 100 Malice



Ellie, 4, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Holiday pics



Begin Answers: 1. False – cats sweat through their paws; 2. True; 3. True

66 The Cat  Summer 2010

69cm 100 100 ce 78 100 10

Strength Speed Intelligen Nobility Malice Backgroun


SuperCat Klor is a is driven SuperCat’s arch enemy,her by o and ficauses regularly ght crim his duty to be a master of robotics andaim e with the of defeat ultimate mayhem and fear withithis mechanical – his arc ing the cause of h enemy much of monstrosities. Most ofKlo r. When he’s not the villains of Safaria Sup erC at he goe answer to Klor in onehis s by alter ego , Hugh. way or another.


Romilly, 5, Hatfield, Hertfordshire


SuperCat Height

Congratulations to Katie who wins a grey and white cuddly toy cat. As soft as velvet, this handmade cuddly toy has been kindly donated by * Well done to our runners up Ellie, Romilly, Georgia and Maria who each win a copy of I Love Cats Art ROM by Top That! Publishing – for more great activity books, visit


*Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts

Georgia, 11, Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Katie, 8, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Maria, 10, Toombridge, Northern Ireland

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

The Cat  Summer 2010



Freddie – king of fun Pam Lowe fondly remembers her beloved, fun-loving Freddie


68 The Cat  Summer 2010

to wait.... Tanya proved to be negative, but Kasha had a very high count, although not the disease itself. As the FCoV virus is spread via the faeces of an infected cat, we scrubbed the house from top to bottom, tried to keep the two cats using separate litter trays, anything to try and prevent the disease from spreading from Kasha to Tanya. Our hopes of being able to introduce another kitten into the house as a playmate for Kasha is still in the balance, as her count is still high and with Tanya’s age, she becomes more at risk. Freddie’s death has left a hole in our lives and a silence in our home which reminds us of our loss every day. Kasha is slowly playing again, but she misses her partner in crime. Freddie was so young, so beautiful, so full of excitement, of life, fun and love – it is hard to live without him – even sadder still that he never got the chance to live a long, happy, funfilled and healthy life – a life he deserved to have, not to have taken away by such a cruel, ruthless disease. Freddie may be gone – but he will never be forgotten. For more information about FIP please see our Ask the vets section on p30-31 or visit our website to download a PDF veterinary guide on the disease.

Illustration: Rasoul Hudda

reddie chose us. Of that there is no doubt. He came over to say “hello”, nosed through the bags we had brought with us and finally curled up on John’s lap, perfectly at home, perfectly happy. It had not been our intention to get two cats, but suddenly the decision was made – Freddie and Kasha were coming home with us. Their arrival a week later lit up the house. Full of energy, always wanting to play and explore, Freddie quickly settled himself in. Our other cat, Tanya, a large Turkish Van hid herself away, but Freddie was determined to live life to the full and was only slightly intimidated by her. Nothing was safe from him! Curtains were there to be climbed, the sofa was his private fort to hide behind, sit on, or just use as a lookout post. The stairs were his very own indoor assault course to be used and enjoyed at all times, although they were most fun when he was playing tag with Kasha. Freddie was into everything. He was always playing, but was also a loving cat who loved a cuddle, on his own terms of course. Tanya tolerated them both as only a matriarch can, but Kasha loved him. He taught her how to play, to fetch and drop toys, their favourite one being the plastic cover from a new plug. Overnight it seems looking back, Freddie changed. One moment he was our happy fun-loving Freddie and the next he was a very poorly boy, who had no energy to play, instead he was fighting for his life. Freddie’s illness began innocently enough with a slight upset stomach and loss of appetite – nothing to worry about – except that he was so young. All too quickly after this episode, his health deteriorated. Within days, Freddie went from a bright bubbly kitten to having no quality of life – to the dreadful day when the vet told us that our beautiful boy had dry Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and the prognosis was not good. Within days our Freddie, now blind, incontinent and suffering badly was put to sleep. Heartbroken and with tears flowing down my cheeks, I held him in my arms as he drifted to his final eternal sleep. But the bad news didn’t stop with Freddie’s death. For now the virus was in the house and both of our other cats were in danger of contracting FIP too. After losing Freddie, it was terrifying to think that both Kasha and Tanya’s lives were now in danger too. We had no choice, both Tanya and Kasha were taken to the vets for blood tests for the FCoV virus and then we had

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 print your tribute clearly to avoid errors (no more than 20 words). Thanks to readers of The Cat, 312 pens have now been bought.

 ATIE: our beautiful baby K Burmese PTS 17.01.10 aged 18¼. We miss you so much – wait for us at Rainbow Bridge with TOODLES and the others. Ti amo. Mummy and Daddy. SAKI and OSCAR – there will always be two cat shaped holes in our lives. We miss you and thank you for so many special years together. Love Mummy  and Daddy. PERN PTS 23.01.09. In loving memory of our beautiful girl we miss every day. Will always live in our hearts, Mum and Dad. TOPSY – PTS May 2005 aged 17 – the dearest little cat we have ever known. Remembered always – Gwen and Hilary.

M  URDOCH – put to sleep aged 16 years on 03.07.00. Still much missed after  10 years.

D  YLAN, passed away suddenly 02.11.09 age six, you trusted only me and I miss you terribly my lovely boy, Kim xx

S  QUEAKIE PTS 31.05.09, age 21. Always so gentle and loving, we will never forget you, sadly missed. Rest in peace, love always, Sandra and Mum xx

 PIKE 20.01.92 and S W  ILLIE 24.10.95. My best friends – remembered always – Gwen.

To all my loves – HONEY, TANYA , LILY, OSSIE and TOM. Always loved. Your mother.

M  IM PTS 04.04.08. My beloved, joyful tortie girl – I’ll never get over losing you, the pain doesn’t lessen. So loved. Your mother.

JUBILEE SAM PTS 22.02.10 aged 15, to ensure no suffering. A beloved companion for nearly eight years. Ad lucem.

WILDER, May 1992 – 07.03.09. Our sweet baby girl. Gone but never forgotten. Love Mummy  and Daddy.

NIPPER our dear little much loved irreplaceable girl laid to rest 15.02.10. In our hearts forever. Love always Mum, Dad. X

Known to God, remembered every day. ROLEY, J AMIE, BOBBY, SOOTY, TOBY, FLUFFY, MR BLOBBY, SALLY, MARBLE and DENNIS. Love from Doreen.

MAIZIE 03.12.94-01.02.10. Missing you ‘Grumpy Guts’. You were a huge part of our lives and we will miss you. Love Mom, Dad, Jack, Becky & Grace.

KITTY 1956, TIMMY 1966, TIGER 1976, SMOKEY 1981. My best friends. Never forgotten. Miss you. Love you forever. Mummy xxx BABY SWEEBIE – 16.06.95-20.02.10 our pretty tortie. You brought us so much happiness. Always love you. Mammy, Granny and Wobble. In loving memory: OGGIE TEAPOT, SQUEAK, BUBBLE, POLLY, “  BRIGADIER” BLUE. Like stars you shine on  me. PPG.

M  ILLIE – special little hustle bustle Persian girl PTS 25.01.10. Wish we could have had longer. Love Tina and your friends. CHLOE. My little princess of all the world. PTS 24.01.10 19½ years. We kept your space free on the bed. Love Mum, Bubka, Tabby, Hannah and Oscar. WILLOW. Our dearest faithful companion. Loyal, independent, loving. Always brave. Deeply missed. Wonderful memories. 22.10.92-05.04.09. With love, Mummy, Daddy and Riddy.

 INGER, EMMA , G PURDIE, BLACKIE, P  ERKY, SCRUFFY. You are our family and we love you more than ever. God bless, little ones. Mommy and Daddy and Isabella. MONTY – 20.10.03. Miss you every day my darling boy. Wait for me on Rainbow Bridge. Sweet dreams. Love you. Lots.  Mum xx Remembering the cats of “Minack” – MONTY, L ANA, OLIVER, A  MBROSE, CHERRY, M  ERLIN and PENNY. Missed by Jean and Derek.


C  ASSIE 16.02.10. Mummy and Daddy miss your loud purrs and cuddles. We miss our little “Bear in a cave”. SUSIE (PUD) 1990-2008. Loved and missed so much. Thank you for sending Maud, another black and white girl. Teresa. In loving memory of BEN, passed away aged 16, at rest in his favourite garden. From Peter and Tiggy.

The Cat  Summer 2010 69

Book reviews Looking for a great book about cats? Check out our reviews before


you buy...

Roobarb & Custard set

Created by Grange Calveley e in book form was greeted The announcement that Roobarb & Custard are now availabl nications Team. Happy Commu ion with cheers of joy and total approval by the Cats Protect ttable theme unforge that memories of this classic children’s TV cartoon returned with b, a green Roobar books. new tune bouncing around in my head while I read these three gang. garden their with res dog and Custard a pink, grinning cat, embark on new adventu ur behavio raucous ’s Custard Children will love these funny tales, laugh at Roobarb and s delight the ate appreci will ion and enjoy the busy, bright cartoons. A whole new generat was Custard When – titles g of this dynamic duo. We have two copies of the followin there was a pottery party grounded, When Roobarb found the hieroglyphics and When in the subject header to Custard – available to six lucky readers. Email us with Roobarb & July. 16 by or write in to the usual address Francesca Watson Roobarb & Custard (£5.95) is published by Mogzilla ( Tel: 0845 838 5526)

Gracie, the Lighthouse Cat By Ruth Brown survivors of a shipwreck in Mirroring the story of heroine Grace Darling who rescued the following a mother cat the 19th Century, Gracie, the Lighthouse Cat is a tale of courage battling to save her kitten from the stormy sea. of the story in this Wonderfully painted images by Ruth Brown accompany the stages is a delightful read This life. to e narrativ the picture book which help bring the kitties and for both adults and young children alike. Amy Rutter

Press, a division of the Gracie, the Lighthouse Cat (£10.99) is published by Andersen 7840 8701) Random House Group Ltd ( Tel: 020

Curious Cats By Mitsuaki Iwago latest publication from This beautifully presented book of feline photographs is the his life photographing spent has prominent wildlife photographer, Mitsuaki Iwago. He his greatest passion is that admits some of the world’s most exotic animals, yet he freely es by displaying creatur ful wonder cats and, in this book, he celebrates his love of these day-to- day lives the s explore He some of his funniest, cutest and most striking cat photos. ly get up to general and nap served of our furry friends as they fight, play, take a well-de nced felines experie more to rivalry no good! From cute kittens engaged in playful sibling on the smile a put to teed guaran investigating the word around them, these pictures are for must definite A rapher. photog face of any dedicated cat fan, or indeed any budding the coffee table. Catherine Jarvis Curious Cats (hardback £10.99) is published by Chronicle Books ( Tel: 020 8804 0400)

Books received

Healer by Peter Gethers, Heart to Heart by Pea Horsley, The Animal Angel Cats by Allen & Linda Anderson, For the love of Norton Tucker, Linda by Lions White the of by Elizabeth Whiter, Wet Cats by Hodder & Stoughton, Mystery Appelt. Kathi by eath The Undern

70 The Cat  Summer 2010

Leading Specialist Manufacturer of your favourite

Fostering Branch Rescue Pens Unit 5 Coates Est Nailsea Bristol UK


Pampuss the ultimate in woodbase litters and the most saleable on the market. Pampuss - produced by an advanced pelleting process using only softwood timber for a performance product. Absorbency - up to 3 times that of ordinary litters! Hygienic - in both appearance and smell, excellent odour control and easy tray cleaning. Low dust means paws and fur stay clean. Bio-degradable - Made from re-cycled materials

EASY TO DISPOSE - Can be used as Avaialble in 5, 15 and 30 litres

Mulch, Compost or can be incinerated

Telephone: 020 8501 1033 Email: Lindee Lu

184x135_advert(new).indd 1

11/1/10 15:03:11

Gentle on your cat’s digestion, beneficial for health! Tasty and healthy - made from the highest quality natural ingredients. Not only do we use a single source of meat protein and easily digestible rice to help reduce the risk of food intolerance but we also add cranberry extracts to help maintain your cat’s urinary health.

Maintains glossy coat - keeps your cat looking fabulous on the outside we use special omega-3 oils to help keep their coat looking glossy and healthy.

Peace of mind - we give you a full list of ingredients so you know exactly what you are feeding your cat.


James Wellbeloved - cat food you can trust Available from all good pet shops and veterinary surgeries or call 0845 603 9095

The Cat Summer 2010  

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

The Cat Summer 2010  

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