Kleptomaniac cats How to stop a pilfering puss
The dangers at home Common household poisons revealed
Festive felines Christmas card cats celebrated
Soul survivors Can cats reincarnate?
Plus Writing competition 2011,
a cat-friendly cinema & CP goes digital
Are you certain sheâ€™s taken her worming tablet?
Ask your vet for a spot-on solution for cat worming. To find out more information log onto www.profender.co.uk ÂŽ Registered Trade Mark of Bayer AG. Bayer plc, Animal Health Division, Bayer House, Strawberry Hill, Newbury RG14 1JA. Tel: 01635 563000.
Photo: Lee Bishop
…to the Winter 2010 issue of The Cat
Tom Briggs Editor Rasoul Hudda Senior Designer Sam Roberts Creative Artworker
Contacts For editorial submissions to the magazine The Editor, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT Email: email@example.com Web: www.thecat.org.uk 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Wrap up warm and winter well!
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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cats.org.uk/thecatmag
Kleptomaniac cats How to stop
a pilfering puss
The danger at home s
Common hous ehold poisons reve aled
Festive felines Christmas card cats celebrated
Soul survivors Can cats reinc
Published quarterly by Cats Protection. Printed by Gemini Press Ltd.
Please recycle this magazine when you have finished with it
Francesca Watson Editor
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)
Amy Rutter Editorial Assistant
Welcome to the last magazine of 2010… where has the year gone?! Tom Briggs has taken the reins of editorship for this edition and, as ever, it’s packed with interesting and absorbing features and articles. There’s Christmas cheer on our centre pages as Marilyn Crowther discovers the delights of Victorian cards with a festive feline theme. Amy Rutter reports on CP’s advancement in the digital world on pages 18 to 20, while on pages 38 to 39 we meet an amazing CP volunteer who has represented her country in the Special Olympics and Tom Briggs unmasks the felons of the feline world on pages 22 to 24. After bringing these outlaws to task, Vicky Halls then explains how to deal with your pickpocketing puss on pages 28 and 29! On a recent visit to a cattery I discovered far more than first meets the eye and returned with fascinating tales of glamourpusses both from the silver screen and the cat pens. You can discover more on pages 44 to 46. We have an informative article about common household poisons on pages 52 to 53 and don’t miss out on the return of our Writing Competition. There is a tear-out giving details and entry form on page 47. It’s time to be inspired and get your cat poems and prose into us. Speaking of competitions, isn’t our cover cat gorgeous? She’s called Monkeypants and she was an entrant to our 2009 photo competition.
Cats Protec tio
Ryan O’Hara Senior Designer
Writing comp etitio a cat-friendly n 2011, cinema & CP goes digit al
From left to right
The Mew-sual In this issue Suspects
‘Oscar’s actions would have been enough to land him a one-way ticket down under on the first fleet from Plymouth to Botany Bay in 1787’
om BriggstakesalightT heartedlookatthelawashe unmaskssomefelinefelons
ver since the ancient Egyptians made it a crime punishable by death to kill a cat, it seems that our feline friends have regularly featured in news stories of a legal nature. Whether they’re the purr-petrators – sorry – or on the right side of the claw – sorry again, I can’t help it – it would appear that cats love getting tangled up in a bit of legal drama.
Feline felons The most amusing criminal act attributable to our moggies is surprisingly commonplace; pet-ty – argh! – theft. Yep, search the internet and you’ll find that instances of moggies halfinching everything from exciting lingerie to not-so-thrilling garments such as woolly hats are alarmingly usual. But what drives these loveable rogues to a life of making off with people’s possessions? Perhaps there is a secret feline market for second-hand clothes, or maybe our moggies are going against the law to feed a strong catnip habit? Whatever the explanation, it seems that, as far as some cats are concerned, if it’s not nailed down they’ll ‘borrow’ it. Take Southampton resident, Oscar, for example; his actions would have been enough to land him a one-way ticket down under on the first fleet from Plymouth to Botany Bay in 1787, but his penchant for pinching pants has made him an international celebrity! Oscar, who was adopted from Cats Protection’s Southampton Branch by his owners Birgitt and Peter Weismantel made the headlines this summer after a spree which included a huge number of pairs of underwear! “Oscar seems to be very partial to gloves, especially heavy gardening ones, but he also loves socks,”says Birgitt. “On one occasion he brought back a small paint roller, a child’s knee pad, various soft toys and the other day he brought back a Teletubbies glove puppet! “He went through a phase where he brought home a lot of underwear and this was the reason we contacted the police as we felt sure somebody must be missing the items. Since the article appeared in the local press, the supply of underwear has stopped and he is concentrating mostly on gloves and socks now.” The one-cat crime wave has acquired well over 100 items to date and has found fame in such distant publications as the WashingtonPost and the SydneyMorningHerald while he has also appeared in German, Swiss and Indian newspapers, a Spanish website, a German radio station and C’estDit, a French magazine. “We don’t know whether Oscar had a previous police record before he came into the care of Cats Protection, but our local Police Station has recorded his deeds under incident
Celebrity interview The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson talks cats and comedy
38 Going for gold We meet am
The mew-sual suspects
We take a light-hearted look at the law as we unmask some feline felons
number 1218!” Another cat to have made the national news i times is red point Siamese Jaffa from Market H Leicestershire. “Jaffa first brought a child’s toy August 2009 and, by the time I publicised his a local paper in September, he had brought hom varying from deflated balloons, toys of all size materials, socks and possibly the strangest – a food!”reports owner, Myra Cooper. Jaffa’s story was printed in TheSun and the Mercury among other publications and, accord being named and shamed hasn’t dissuaded him predilection for the eclectic: “He has continue things home at infrequent intervals since then slippers, a lady’s swimming costume, gloves an the toys he had brought home previously. All t purloined from the one house which he enters cat flap.”
Sticking with the comical side of the law, most states and cities boast a veritable treasure trov ridiculous laws. Even funnier is the fact that th system is based on precedent, meaning that so laws exist simply because somebody, somewhe committed the ludicrous acts that formed thei managed to offend somebody sufficiently for to be called in. Before we have a look at the feline-themed me to share a couple of examples. In Florida, u women who parachute on a Sunday could be j is forbidden to cross the state line of Minneso on top of your head. But before I make my wa and make good my plans to befriend a delinqu
Feline Felons Oscar...
The expanding digital face of Cats Protection Our resident web 2.0 enthusiast reviews CP’s embrace of social media and digital technology
The Cat Winter 2010
Photo: iStockphoto.com/Steve Goodwin Photography
18 Here’s looking at you, kit
10 Dear CP…
We discover a magical world beyond the cat pens
16 Cats’ tales
Season’s greetings Find out how cats made their way onto Victorian Christmas cards
26 Tried and te sted
44 The cat came back 47 Write here, write now
28 Playing dete ctive
Can cats reincarnate? We investigate…
30 Ask the vets
We announce the much-anticipated return of our writing competition
32 Starting fro m scratch
52 The dangers at home
34 Ali’s cats
We reveal the top ten toxins to avoid in your household
40 Our favourite thin
50 Coffee paw s 54 Paws for tho ugh
55 Cats Protect ion in
61 Diary of eve nts 62 Find your lo cal
66 Kids’ corner 68 Making mem orie
69 Rememberin g ca
70 Book review s
The Cat Winter 2010
News Celebrity Paws 2010
A host of kind-hearted celebrities, including John Barrowman, Maureen Lipman, Alison Steadman and Leigh Francis have all donated their ‘paw prints’ in an effort to raise funds to support Cats Protection’s work. Celebrities have been asked to draw round their hand, decorate and then sign the drawing to create a unique item and become part of our Celebrity Paws auction. Each lot will be carefully framed and ready for the winning bidder to display and start impressing their friends and family. The auction, run in association with eBay, will be held later this year. Last year, Celebrity Paws raised a staggering £2,473.58 for the charity and featured contributions from celebrities including Phil Collins, Alexei Sayle and Sir David Jason. Other big names from past years include Joanna Lumley, Gary Lineker and Rolf Harris. This year promises to be as exciting as ever – make sure you keep an eye on www.cats.org.uk!
Over the last few months, Nottingham Adoption Centre Manager Kev Owen and Deputy Manager Debbie Heathcote have, between them, completed 10 full and half marathons and have another seven events still to complete over the coming months. So far they have raised over £5,500 in sponsorship money for their Save Our Stewie (SOS) Appeal. The first event has even made it into print. Their story has been included in a book for children called Bumble the Brave Kitten by Sam Hay which is reviewed on page 70 of this issue. Kev and Debbie’s last run together will be the Brighton Marathon in April 2011 and the final event of their SOS Appeal will be when Kev completes the Grimsthorpe Ultra 70 Marathon, a non-stop 70 mile foot race. The race will take place in August, just one day after his 50th birthday! With such grit and determination, we have no doubt that they’ll achieve their £10,000 target. You can learn more about Kev and Debbie’s marathon efforts on www.justgiving.com/kevan-stewie
A great Great North Run
On 19 September the 30th Great North Run, a gruelling half marathon, took place between Newcastle and Gateshead. There were 17 runners raising funds for Cats Protection out of 54,000 runners in total. Heidi Martin is Secretary for our West Cumbria Branch and this was her first Great North Run. “I help in any area I can, but seeing as I do a lot of running and enter races I thought, what better way to help? Do something I enjoy and also help a charity. I found four other people running for Cats Protection and had a chat with them along the way!” Thank you to all those who participated; Ben Cook, Charlotte Sygmuta, Alison Matthews, Claire Shaw, Joanne Mercer, David A Holland, Saonie Wilkin, Roberta Kerr, James Hutchinson, Olivia Dangerfield, Lorraine Solway, Jonathan Lillie, William R Hamilton, Anthony Hutchinson, Stuart Taylor, Eleanor Staley and, of course, Heidi Martin. If you want to get involved with fundraising for Cats Protection, please get in touch with our Events Team via email@example.com.
The Cat Winter 2010
Heidi, running for the cats
A perfect pawtrait
In the Autumn 2009 issue of The Cat, we ran a competition for one reader to win a painting of their cat worth £1,500 by artist Richard Whittlestone. The lucky winner, Sylvia Watts, sent us the portrait of her Red Tabby Point Siamese, Oliver. Sylvia says “I could not be more delighted with it, he has captured his likeness perfectly.” To see more of Richard’s work visit www.richardwhittlestone.co.uk
CP gets Kennedy’s vote
Various members of Cats Protection staff and volunteers attended two major shows in Scotland this summer: the Royal Highland Show in June and the Black Isle show in August. Both events were blessed with good weather and large numbers of visitors. The shows were enlivened by the presence of Hamish the CP cat, who was a magnet for young, old and politicians alike! All those manning the stands were kept busy handing out information packs, answering queries and selling Cats Protection branded goods to an enthusiastic crowd and we hope to Charles Kennedy and Hamish return next year to both venues.
Emergency cat call
The emergency services in Gloucester recently received a call from a worried man who was reporting a home invader. He’d dialled 999 when a cat wandered into his house. The responder politely suggested the man to pick the cat up and remove it from his house. The man was also advised that this did not constitute an emergency. Apparently this was just one of 4,000 inappropriate calls received by Gloucestershire Police this year.
Does your cat have the Pet Factor?
The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) is once again launching its national ‘Pet Factor’ competition to find the most talented, bravest or most peculiar pet in Britain. The Pet Factor, now in its second year, was launched to find superstar pets with amazing stories or talents, while highlighting the importance of basic pet care – worming, flea control, exercise and a healthy diet. The winning pet and their owner will enjoy a luxury, three-night lodge stay at Devon’s five-star Bovey Castle. If you think your cat is talented enough to win The Pet Factor 2011, enter at www.pethealthinfo.org.uk by 28 February 2011.
Kirkintilloch Adoption Centre has changed its name to Glasgow Adoption Centre. This is following a big promotional campaign in the area to increase awareness of Cats Protection, the work we do and the cats in our care. We hope that the name change will help to raise the profile of the centre within the local community. We wish the team at the adoption centre every success!
Coronation Street and Cats Protection
oronation Street’s Jack Duckworth made one of his last C public appearances before leaving the soap at Wharfe Valley Branch’s Maxi Bazaar on Saturday 23 October. Bill Tarmey, who has played Jack Duckworth for more than 30 years, made a personal appearance and signed copies of his autobiography. The branch had a painting commissioned for Bill as a gift and thank you – the tortie featured is Bill’s own cat called Ziggy. Funnily enough, the branch was able to secure Bill because, back in 1990, Frisky the Corrie cat was from Wharfe Valley! Graham Hoult, Branch Co-ordinator says “His owners live in our patch and felt we should ‘raise a glass’ to him.” Frisky still managed to raise funds for local charities even in the next world. He was used for the opening credits but sadly died in 2000. His owners recently decided to sell his ashes. They had been predicted to sell for no more than £150 but raised a whopping £844 at an auction in Gloucestershire. The lot, which was sold to a private bidder, also included a cremation certificate and postcards of Frisky. His owner, John Rimington, from Leeds, said before the auction he hoped the ashes would go to an “avid Corrie fan”.
The Cat Winter 2010
New FIV pen opens at Bredhurst
Cats Protection Chief Executive, Peter Hepburn, was joined by cat behaviour counsellor and regular contributor to The Cat, Vicky Halls, as Bredhurst Adoption Centre recently opened a new dedicated pen for FIV-positive cats. The pen was part-funded by a legacy left to the Friends of Bredhurst by CP supporter, Enna Roe, who it is named after. There was also a fundraising campaign to help make the plans for the new facility a reality. The pen will enable Bredhurst to rehome many more cats suffering from FIV and will also help more branches and adoption centres around the country.
Bridgend Open Day makes for a Cheshire grin
Bridgend Adoption Centre held a brilliant Alice in Wonderland-themed open day in September – with the team dressed up as various characters from the recent film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic book. The Lord Mayor of Bridgend, Councillor Colin Teesdale, and his consort attended on the day along with over 450 people. Sue Dobbs, Adoption Centre Manager, says “We raised over £2,000 and found new homes for 45 cats. There was a great atmosphere with everyone enjoying themselves: it was our best ever open day!”
Cats Protection has a blog for kids!
Cats Protection now has its own blog on the website of children’s national newspaper, First News. The site delivers stories in an easy and digestible format aimed specifically at seven to 14-year-old children. We will be submitting a blog to the website for children to read every month, allowing us to connect with a new and wider audience. Take a look at the first blog here: www.firstnews.co.uk/discover/cats-protection-blog-sept-2010-i472
A cat adopted from Cats Protection last year has been crowned Britain’s most adventurous moggy in the Go-Cat BOBO Awards after getting involved in a number of entertaining escapades, winning his owners an African Safari in the process. Thunder had jumped into a recovery vehicle which nearly took him away, was seen paddling in a stream and got one of his owners stuck up a tree in one month alone! “He never sits still! Every day is a new adventure for him and there is nothing that seems to faze him,” says owner Gemma Baker. “His most memorable adventure was when my partner, Mark tried to rescue him from up our neighbour’s tree – only it turned out that when Mark eventually made it to the very top of the tree, Thunder had no problem at all getting down, leaving Mark the only one needing to be rescued!”
The Cat Winter 2010
Tiger, tiger burning bright
Asia House, the leading pan-Asian organisation in the UK, is currently hosting a major new exhibition, The Tiger in Asian Art which is being held from 5 November 2010 until 12 February 2011. This year is the year of the tiger and the current population of wild tigers is approximately 3,200; 2010 has been marked by the world’s most ambitious effort in conservation thus far: to double the number of tigers in the wild. As part of this global drive to save the highly endangered species, Asia House is hosting the event which connects fine and contemporary art spanning the last 3,000 years with an urgent environmental issue. Including loans from the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum as well as several private collections, the exhibition includes rare Asian paintings, sculptures, textiles and photographs, many previously unseen. Visit the exhibition at Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP. Tickets are free. For more information see www.asiahouse.org or phone 020 7307 5454. Military Banner, Brocaded silk satin, Ming dynasty (13681644), China, 16th c., Jacqueline Simcox Ltd
People remember Cats Protection in their will for all sorts of reasons. Joan wants to make sure we’re here to care for Molly after she’s gone. For others, a gift in their will is a very personal and special way to continue supporting a cause they believe in. It’s also a wonderful way to celebrate a lifelong love for cats. Whatever the reasons, gifts in wills are gifts we depend on. Over half the fantastic work we do to help cats is a result of people remembering us in their wills. Without them we simply couldn’t keep our promise to never put a healthy cat to sleep.
Would you like a free copy of our legacy booklet? Order your copy today to find out how you can show your love for cats through your will. Simply complete and return this form to the address below. Name Address
To find out more phone Matt Vincent, our Legacy Officer on:
01825 741 271 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or visit
Email Yes, I’m happy for Cats Protection to contact me via email. (Please tick this box)
Return to: Matt Vincent, Legacy Department, Cats Protection, FREEPOST SEA 7678, Haywards Heath RH17 7TT. No stamp needed Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t forget to tell us your return address and please remember that your letter may be edited for length.
100 per cent perfect!
From: Hayley Wardle, Rugeley, Staffordshire have recently given a home to Salem… an FIVpositive cat. Salem is the biggest character I could possibly wish for; since I brought him home, he has spent 75 per cent of the time lying across my face, lap, chest, knee, arms or any other free part of my body! He just loves cuddles, the other 25 per cent of the time he likes to occupy himself with other activities such as running up and down the stairs seemingly chasing nothing, lying at the top of them and mewing constantly – he knows I give in every time – waiting for me to go to him, just so he can have a tickle. His favourite is to lie on top of the TV during Coronation Street and dangle his tail so I can’t see the screen – he has done this during every single episode. Thank you so much to Cats Protection’s Lichfield Branch – if you ever have any FIV-positive cats of loving temperament looking for homes I’m sure I might be able to squeeze one or two more in, so long as Salem allows it of course!
From: A concerned cat owner t has come to my attention that Dettol has removed the warning ‘Do not use around cats’ from the labels of Dettol Liquid – Antiseptic Disinfectant, its traditional, brown disinfectant. Although the label states ‘Proven safe and effective’, the formulation Dettol Liquid still contains Chloroxylenol, a phenol-like chemical that I am told can be toxic to cats. Although this product is a medicine, it has instructions for use to clean wounds and as a disinfectant to clean surfaces. Its strong pine perfume is also useful to cover unpleasant odours, which is why I used to use it for cleaning my cats’ litter trays. I stopped using Dettol Liquid when my vet pointed out the warning following the loss of one of my cats. I know that the ingredient Chloroxylenol is banned in cleaning products, but it can still be used in Dettol Liquid because it is a licensed medicine which can also be used as a cleaning product. Can you please tell me if this product is toxic to cats and, if it is, can Dettol and other manufacturers of similar products put a clear warning on the label to save others from making a potentially fatal mistake? Editor’s note: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Cats are particularly susceptible to poisoning by phenols which is the active ingredient in not only Dettol but other disinfectants that usually have a strong, distinctive odour. We have been in contact with representatives of Dettol who confirmed that the warning is still present, but only on Dettol Brown which is the product that contains phenol. They recommend that their other products are used with care around animals and should always be washed off with water after the recommended contact time. All animals should also be prevented from walking on wet surfaces which have been washed with cleaning products. However, these products do not contain phenol.
If at first you don’t succeed…
From: Brian Moore, via email would support the comments of Ms Colton in the Autumn 2010 issue. We are about to move from our own property to a rented one to resettle quickly as a result of a job move and, having cats, encountered severe difficulties when we sought a property via agents. One even demanded a large three-figure sum as an additional deposit. Then a lady at one agent kindly suggested an alternative, which was to advertise on gumtree.com. This brought swift results and we are going to a property where the couple who own it have no problem with pets, indeed the front door has a cat flap in it! So, there are landlords out there who are pet friendly, as Ms Colton rightly says, so to any member looking for a property try www.gumtree.com
The Cat Winter 2010
yourletters ✪ STARLETTER
Stars of the silver screen… behind the scenes From: Malcolm Webb, Staines, Middlesex e hear of cats on ships, in railway stations and on farms. There were a few in cinemas too. As a manager with The Rank Organisation, I always had a resident moggy in my theatre. I regularly fed a stray which would appear most nights outside the basement door of the Gaumont on Hill Street, Richmond and when I moved over to the Odeon, Northfields Ealing I looked after another little waif for some weeks until he up and left one day. A tabby, we named ET, because he arrived at the Odeon, Hounslow West during the run of the film. When we had closed, he would scamper around the balcony and foyers, eventually settling down in my office for the night, after his supper. Cats on the premises were frowned upon and it was necessary to keep them hidden away when our area controllers visited. ET got loose once, his face appearing from behind the settee where my boss was sitting. It was a tense moment, but he could not resist him and ET sat on his lap, covering him in cat hair. When I moved to another cinema, ET had to go because the new manager was bringing his own cat. ET eventually emigrated to a lovely home, some distance away in Salt Lake City, Utah! At Marble Arch Odeon, my cat gave birth to five beautiful kittens and for several weeks my private office was their nursery. You can imagine the mess. Some cinema cats were familiar faces to the patrons. I recall how Cleopatra would meet and greet at the Odeon in Lewisham and take great interest in the tasty hot dogs for sale. At four years old I was responsible for Mickey and, 60 odd years later, I can’t imagine my life without cats around the place. My wife Carole and I had five at one time, but are temporarily down to just one. All of our cats have been strays or adopted. We have helped some recover from illness and move on to a better life, which is truly rewarding. When you have time, they bring great joy, and when their time is up it breaks your heart, but the work must always carry on.
Help us stop cruelty to cats From: Robert Townshend, Cropwell Bishop, Nottingham arly on Sunday 11 July, our neighbours brought back Max, with paralysed hindquarters. We took him to the emergency vet, who sedated him and gave him painkillers. At first we thought he had been hit by a car, but the X-ray showed that he had been shot with an air rifle. On the Monday Max was transferred to Dovecotes Veterinary Hospital at Castle Donnington where, during the course of the week, he had a CT scan to determine the damage. The spinal cord appeared to be intact, so we are taking a conservative course to see which functions return. Progress is slow and will be protracted and we cannot be sure what control and mobility will be regained. Family and neighbours who know what a relaxed and friendly cat Max is are appalled that we have in our village such a callous and cruel person. Max is fighting this and we hope that he will get back a good quality of life, but he may well be restricted to ground level. He now has bowel and bladder function – but not proper control – and seems to have some sensation and movement in his tail and hind legs. They are hopeful signs and we would like to thank all who have cared for Max, especially the nurses at Dovecotes Veterinary Hospital in Castle Donnington. Editor’s note: We printed a letter in the Summer issue of The Cat regarding an eight-month-old kitten, Jack, who had also been shot by an air rifle and it’s difficult to believe that acts of cruelty like this are still happening. We hope that by raising awareness of cases like Jack’s and Max’s, we can help prevent similar acts of cruelty in the future.
The Cat Winter 2010
From: Val Shergold, Dorset aving read the lovely article Boss Cat about Paddy and Fingal by Alison Prince in your last issue, it reminds me so much of our two cats, Mouse and Maisie. Mouse is a small 11-year-old, white-and-tabby boy adopted from Cats Protection six years ago who one could describe as having differing moods. Since the loss of his much-loved brother, Barney, over two years ago, he has transferred his affections to me and is always seeking me out for company. Maisie, a sweet tabby girl, now aged four, came to us from Cats Protection shortly after the loss of Barney. From day one her love, or perhaps I should say obsession, is purely for Mouse though this is not reciprocated to the same degree. Like Fingal, Maisie knows who is boss. Mouse has a daily morning routine of going out early when my partner gets up then returning a short time later to come and sit with me on our bed and enjoy half an hour of being stroked and cuddled, when he purrs like a train. Maisie, as always, comes too. She understands this is Mouse’s quality time and most days sits respectfully a little distance away. Occasionally, when she is feeling in a cheeky mood or perhaps a little left out, she will come and literally throw herself down heavily by Mouse’s side and miaowing as if to say “I’m here too”. Depending on Mouse’s mood, this results in either some kindly head washing from him or a hefty thwack round the ear accompanied by some ‘swearing’ which I interpret to mean “buzz off, Maisie”. When Mouse leaves, Maisie follows. I sometimes feel a little sorry for Mouse as he doesn’t get much peace from his adoring pal. As Paddy has his hidden fears, so does Mouse. While he has always been a brave little soul who will stand up to any feline, he has a fear of all humans other than me, even my partner – probably because he is a dog man. Sadly, someone in Mouse’s past badly neglected him, resulting in his being blind in one eye, losing all his teeth and making him completely mistrust most humans.
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 www.petsathome.com to see its full range of products or phone 08701 943 600 for more information.
The Cat Winter 2010
From: Eric Locke, Ilford, Essex n your Autumn issue I read in your letters column a letter about `Magic Circles’ and you asked for any unusual sightings. I am a retired Police Officer. In the early 1960s I had come home off night duty; my wife had gone to work and I had the house to myself. I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea; while doing that I looked out of the window and saw a circle of about 10 cats sitting on our lawn. They were all facing inwards towards the centre of the circle. They were all perfectly still. Our cat was one of them, I recognised another couple of the local cats, but the rest were strangers. I watched them for 10 minutes or so during which time they made no movement at all, then one by one they got up and left the garden. Over the years I have heard vague stories of such circles, but this one I witnessed for myself. I have never seen anything like it before or since. Editor’s note: How very strange! Thank you also to Janet Hamer, Jenny Ingoe and John Moxon for sending in their stories.
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Katherine Parkinson The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson talks to Amy Rutter about cats and comedy QUESTION Can you tell me a little about your cats? ANSWER I have two cats called Karen and Barbra – I’ve only realised recently that, as I’m a fan of Barbra Streisand and Karen Carpenter, that might have influenced it! We’ve got a tradition in our family of giving cats human names... I find it endlessly funny! When my husband came back from the adoption centre, I expected him to bring back these really sweet little cats and, very nobly of him, he went for the least pretty ones he could! They’re often the ones that are snapped up less quickly. They’ve really flourished; they were quite ill when they arrived and I’ve been amazed at how well they’ve done. They’ve become beautiful cats. QUESTION Which was your first career choice: comedy or acting? ANSWER I would say acting but I never really make the distinction – when doing something in front of a studio audience it’s like being a comedian rather than an actor. But there are so many actors who would never call themselves comedians that are bringing down the house every night because they’re playing a funny part truthfully. Stand-ups don’t do what they call ‘straight acting’ but there aren’t many plays – apart from great tragedies – without comedy in them. I don’t think it’s a distinction that actors make, I think it’s a distinction that happens more when you get into the world of comedy. QUESTION Did you grow up with animals? ANSWER My parents have been getting adopted cats over the years; I remember them arriving as a child and being quite horrified at their conditions, but it’s just the bad situation in which they’ve found themselves. It’s great that it can be rectified despite any trauma experienced early on. My most difficult years were when I was a student and I had the stress of exams and stuff. It was the only time in my life I have lived in a house without cats and I think that it really affected my stress levels. QUESTION I think you’re probably best known for playing comedy roles in both The IT Crowd and Doc Martin, do you have any plans to stray away from comedy? ANSWER Yes but I’ll have to see what comes along. Probably the clever choice would be to try and do something with less comedy in a dramatic role. That said, I wouldn’t want to cut my nose off to spite my face, if it’s a funny script then I’d get as excited as I would if I read a really good dramatic script. QUESTION What’s the funniest thing your cats have ever got up to? ANSWER Barbra is just very funny and I find it very entertaining overhearing my husband talking to her when he doesn’t know I’m there – he does the baby talk and holds her like a baby. It’s then that I realise it’s probably time for me
The Cat Winter 2010
to have children! I find it touching when they really seem to communicate – they definitely know us as opposed to other humans. It’s confusing because one minute you think ‘they’re cats, of course they don’t think or understand things’ and then they prove you wrong. QUESTION The IT Crowd is filmed in front of a studio audience – have there been any really embarrassing mistakes made? ANSWER Oh yes, but while your instinct tells you not to make any mistakes, it’s fine because that’s what the studio audience are there for, that’s what they get to see that they wouldn’t at home. It’s not like the theatre where you can’t muck up, everyone would be really embarrassed for you – that would be a career low! In a studio, when you get it right they’re on side and they’ll laugh when you muck it up. QUESTION What makes a cat a good pet? ANSWER It’s great when they’re responsive. I’ve always been a cat person rather than a dog person – there’s no competition. They’re very glamorous, they’re intelligent, sly, funny and elegant – well, I say elegant, my cats aren’t elegant… but I just find them endlessly fascinating. I know dogs are lovely too but if you’ve grown up in a house of cats you couldn’t ever really be without them. QUESTION You’ve been in what seems to be nearly every recent successful comedy show and won best TV comedy actress last year but what is your proudest achievement so far? ANSWER It’s a bit naff to say it, but I was against the odds to get my degree. I didn’t do any work; I just did acting, which in hindsight wasn’t a waste of time. I definitely still feel proud of my degree because I never thought I’d be somebody that would get one! That’s not to say I’m not really enjoying acting, but it’s always a work in progress and it’s difficult to be proud. I think I’ve always felt quite like I can get away with things – in acting, in a sense you always feel like a fraud and like you’re just bluffing your way through. You can’t bluff a degree and I think that’s why it gave me confidence at the end because I thought ‘well actually, I must have learned something!’
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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 email@example.com 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.
iiSleeping siblings From: Glenys Maw, Ecclesfield, Sheffield Tasha and Tilly, the two ginger-and-white cats, and Katie, the tortoiseshell, are litter sisters who are approaching 19 years old. At just a few weeks old they had been abandoned but luckily were found by a friend of mine who brought them to me knowing that I am a member of Cats Protection, to see if I could find homes for them. After only a couple of days caring for them, I knew they had found the only home they were going to have. As the photograph shows this is how they usually sleep: all together on their mat. Sleeping is their favourite pastime but at their age, who can blame them?
iiA perfect Chrissie present From: Mike Spong, Mortimer, Berkshire When we got a phone call from Cats Protection in January for us to visit a cat called Chrissie at a Fosterer’s home, we were not sure what to expect. She had been found in Pangbourne on Christmas Eve with her front right leg caught through her collar, was shaven, had stitches and a plastic collar on. When we walked into the room, she looked up at us with big ‘Puss in Boots’ eyes – if you’ve seen the Shrek films you will know what I mean – and we immediately fell in love with her. The next few weeks were hard for her as parts of the wound would not heal. She ended up spending many weeks at the vets, where they carried out further stitching procedures and made her a special string vest to restrict her movement so the wound could heal – she looked like Rab C Nesbitt! Finally we got a call at the beginning of March that she had been signed off by the vet and we collected her from the Fosterer. She settled in really quickly and has spent the past few months enjoying the great outdoors, climbing up trellis and through hedges. So a big thank you to Reading & District Branch for all their hard work. Chrissie is facing a much happier Christmas this year, she is fit and healthy and loved and adored by her new family.
The Cat Winter 2010
From: Madeleine Butterfield, via email This picture of my daughter and her husband’s cat, Barry, was taken in January this year when he was eight months old and it was obviously his first encounter with snow. From his wide-eyed look, I am not too sure what he made of it, but it didn’t take him long to scamper back inside to the warmth of the kitchen. He is part Maine Coon and, true to his breed, he is very affectionate, lovable and fascinated by water. He loves to walk around the edge of the bath watching or prodding the bubbles.
readers’cats jjWhat Katy did next From: Elizabeth Wilson, York I thought I would write and tell you about our blind tabby now called Katy. We adopted her about two years ago from our local centre, then aged about 10 years. This is Katy’s fourth home and third name, however she is an amazing cat. She soon settled in with our other adopted cats and dogs. She quickly found the cat flap into our secure back garden, the water bowl, the most comfy places to sleep and, most importantly, where in the kitchen she gets fed! Our vet seems to think she has been blind from birth or soon afterwards. We have recently adopted Fern, a young tortie from the same place. She and Katy have a wonderful time chasing one another behind the settee and playing with their toys. Katy knows exactly where in the bungalow she is. A truly amazing cat!
iiThunderbirds are go! From: Andrew Gutman, age 11, via email Recently, my Nan sent you a DVD of my school project about my cats, and you wanted some of the pictures. I’ve sent you some pictures of my seven-year-old twin cats, Scott and Virgil. In case you can’t tell them apart, if you look closely, Scott has two small white marks on his nose, while Virgil has one. Scott tends to be feistier and will occasionally swipe at your arm or leg, while Virgil is more calm and loving, which while nice, can get annoying when you’re trying to work on the PC and he’s pushing against your arm! We always leave a drink out for them, but they often just drink from the tap and when they sleep it’s rarely in the same place or position!
hh You looking at me? From: Jennie Jesson, via email The ‘stars’ of my photograph are: Louis at the front – also known to us as Earl Grey, he is very much the patriarch of the group; he is approximately 10 now and I adopted him in 2001. Behind him is Frank – aka Fearless or Feral Frank; with the help of a local cat charity I trapped and took him in from an inner city factory. This was five years ago and he has adapted very well to a life of luxury – although still a bit worried, thus the title of Fearless; ‘cause he most definitely isn’t, ha ha. Behind Frank is Heidi. I found her at the same factory as Frank, but 12 months beforehand; she had kittens and was living rough. The kittens disappeared and, after waiting some weeks to make sure that they would not be returning, I managed to trap ‘mum’, get her done and bring her home. That was six years ago now. She lived behind our settee for the first three months, hence ‘Heidi’, but now potters about indoors and out as she wishes, but after all this time she still is not 100 per cent trusting of us and, to date, we have never been able to touch her. I do love my cats and they each have their own story to tell.
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 www.catslikefelix.co.uk *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.
The Cat Winter 2010
Here’s looking at you, kit Francesca Watson discovers a magical world beyond the cat pens
long an unassuming road in the town of Tunbridge Wells you would, perhaps, not be overly surprised to see an oast house; after all, Kent is renowned for its hops and beer. But you then see a sign for the Catnap Cattery and realise that maybe there is more to this former hop kiln than meets the eye. Once through the gates, you discover there are penthouse pens where the feline incumbents enjoy the beautiful, quintessentially Kentish vista. It is odd to think that, until this establishment was started in 1998, there was no cattery in the town. Catnap is now a successful enterprise run by owners Barry Littlechild and his son, Wayne. The gap in the market had been detected by Barry’s partner Olga who thought it would be a good business for Wayne and also keep Barry busy since leaving his job with the BBC. Twelve years on, a thriving business takes care of the holidaying cats of the area. “Over 90 per cent of our business is down to regular clients,” Barry explains, “and we’ve actually found that they daren’t recommend us to others because they’re worried we’ll become overbooked! It’s a dual-edged compliment, I suppose, but it’s good to have such a solid client base.” Built to the Feline Advisory Bureau’s specifications, the cattery has 24 pens complete with internal heating and nightlights. On average there are 16 cat guests at any one time and it makes for a year-round, 24-hour-a-day commitment for Barry and Wayne. “Running a cattery is by no means easy work,” says Barry. “There must always be someone on site so things like family holidays are very difficult to arrange. If anyone were thinking of going into the business I’d advise them to think hard about it,” he smiles, adding, “Wayne and I enjoy it though and it’s important to see the cats, who on arrival can be stressed and unhappy, settle in and relax. The repeat business from our regular clients shows we’re doing a good job and the pens are rarely empty. They entrust us with their precious pets and we ensure that they are well looked after.” Olga also plays her part with the cattery. She is the official ‘cat patter’ and, after her long working days in London, the cats are immediately aware of her return home and start calling out to her. They insist on taking priority, demanding their requisite cuddle before she can relax for the evening.
The Cat Winter 2010
Photos: Francesca Watson
feature From cats to the silver screen
The reel thing
Secure in their pens, the guests watch the resident cats wander past, free to come and go as they please. But it’s when tabby Sven meanders over to a door just off reception that you realise there is an extra, and exciting, dimension to the Catnap Cattery – a bijoux cinema, complete with widescreen, original cinema seating, a small balcony and projection room not only with DVD projection equipment but 8, 16 and 35mm projectors. Film buff Barry built The Oast House Cinema so he could share his passion for the silver screen with family, friends and neighbours and, just occasionally, a curious cat. The comfy 16 seats originate from a preview theatre in Wardour Street, London. They’d been put in a skip and Barry was told if he could get a van up before the removal truck came the next day they were his. The screen is quite simply a painted white wall but is adorned with red satin curtains that open automatically when the film programme starts. The impressive sound system turns out to be speakers bought for 50p at a boot sale! The films themselves have changed over the years. “In the past I had to order film reels from America due to the copyright laws here in the UK. The films were at least £300 each and took up a lot of room so naturally I didn’t have that many. The introduction of DVD and especially Blu-ray has really expanded the viewing library. At first, die-hard film aficionados had their doubts but it really is amazing!” Harking back to the nostalgic days of yesteryear, Barry plans a lively programme of shorts prior to the main feature. There is no doubt that it has become an important part of the local community: “On Tuesdays I hold a pensioner film afternoon,” Barry says. “Some aren’t happy to go out of an evening and this suits them perfectly. I think they enjoy seeing the film and the social side of things. I always ensure there are drinks and sandwiches provided and everything is free so it’s very popular!”
Paws in the proceedings The cats have made their impact felt during the film programmes. On one occasion, Olga returned from work mid evening, keen to watch the latest showing. She had hardly settled in to her seat when one holidaying cat decided he could wait no longer for attention. The loud miaowing even penetrated the soundproofed cinema and Olga had to go back outside to pacify the poor moggy! Films have also been known to have a delayed start as one of the regular film club attendees has to be dragged away from the cats, he loves
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Among the stars
Time for the show to begin
them that much. No small talk with fellow film followers before the showing, he’s out by the pens cat chatting. Pauses in play also occur when Sven nips in only to be promptly put back outside as some of the guests are allergic to cats. “When it’s just me watching a film, Sven often joins me and has his favourite seat at the front,” Barry says. “He’s fascinated by the moving images on the screen.” The Oast cinema is the culmination of a lifetime obsessed with the silver screen. At eight years of age Barry was given a film projector and his passion began there. “I was fascinated by how you could bring something back to life through a reel of film,” he says. “A few years later, I enquired at the Tunbridge Wells cinema whether they had a vacancy as a projectionist. They hadn’t so I tried another cinema in the nearby town of Tonbridge. Their response was: ‘Yes, can you start tonight?’ By chance they were in desperate need and I turned up at just the right time.” Barry began work that evening. He took in a note from home giving permission as the film due to be shown was X-rated and he was still just 16!
Barry remained at the cinema for five years before joining the BBC, first at its famous Ealing Studios and then becoming a producer for radio. Ealing produced such films as The Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets and, in 1994, Barry was lucky enough to meet their star, Alec Guinness. “He was such an unassuming man. He came in to record a tribute to Jessica Tandy who had recently died and did it in just five minutes, he was word perfect. He told me that he’d just come from the official opening of the Gielgud Theatre and had sighed saying ‘There was no one there I knew! At my age I suppose they’re all dead’.” Unusually for a BBC man, Barry also moonlighted – admittedly with the BBC’s permission – for Sydney Bernstein, head of Granada. Bernstein employed Barry as his private projectionist at his country home for over 20 years and, in this time, he got to meet such greats as Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplain. A regular guest was Ingrid Bergman who once asked Barry to help her collate her family movies. “Her father had taken them when she was a child but, because she didn’t have a projector, she’d never seen them. There she was, four years old, dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy and I got to see them too!”
Recording history Barry is also a film historian and has been responsible for some notable recent discoveries. Adventure in the Hopfields, a children’s film from the fifties starring then-child-actor Jane Asher, was thought to have been lost, but Barry found a copy and has taken the film around the country screening this treasured find to packed audiences. He has also been putting together previously unseen film footage of the Festival of Britain in 1951, which allows viewers to see aspects of the festival before and after. This film can be accessed on YouTube under ‘Festival of Britain’. The 1956 short film The Red Balloon directed by Albert Lamorisse about a small boy who finds a friend in an escaped red balloon, inspired Barry to investigate its Paris locations. It took him five trips to work out exactly where the filming took place and he made a short documentary. When The Red Balloon was due to be released on Blu-ray, the son of Lamorisse got in touch having heard about Barry’s own film. The extras on the DVD of The Red Balloon now include the current day Paris locations courtesy of Barry’s own investigations. All in all, Barry is a happy and contented man. “I’ve been very lucky in my life, I’ve met so many different and interesting people through my career with the BBC and then with my own cinema, lecture tours and the cattery.” Retirement doesn’t seem to be an option for Barry as there are too many people – and cats – relying on him. So Catnap’s visiting felines will continue to holiday in the shadow of an oast house perhaps seeing the flickering lights of the latest show under the cinema door and wondering if they’re showing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Left: Barry, Wayne and Sven always provide a warm welcome
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The mew-sual suspects
om Briggstakes a lightT hearted look at the law as he unmasks some feline felons
The Catâ€‚ Winter 2010
‘Oscar’s actions would have been enough to land him a one-way ticket down under on the first fleet from Plymouth to Botany Bay in 1787’
ver since the ancient Egyptians made it a crime punishable by death to kill a cat, it seems that our feline friends have regularly featured in news stories of a legal nature. Whether they’re the purr-petrators – sorry – or on the right side of the claw – sorry again, I can’t help it – it would appear that cats love getting tangled up in a bit of legal drama.
Feline felons The most amusing criminal act attributable to our moggies is surprisingly commonplace; pet-ty – argh! – theft. Yep, search the internet and you’ll find that instances of cats half-inching everything from exciting lingerie to not-so-thrilling garments such as woolly hats are alarmingly usual. But what drives these loveable rogues to a life of making off with people’s possessions? Perhaps there is a secret feline market for second-hand clothes, or maybe our pets are going against the law to feed a strong catnip habit? Whatever the explanation it seems that, as far as some cats are concerned, if it’s not nailed down they’ll ‘borrow’ it. Take Southampton resident, Oscar, for example; his actions would have been enough to land him a one-way ticket down under on the first fleet from Plymouth to Botany Bay in 1787, but his penchant for pinching pants has made him an international celebrity! Oscar, who was adopted from Cats Protection’s Southampton Branch by his owners Birgitt and Peter Weismantel made the headlines this summer after a spree which included a huge number of pairs of underwear! “Oscar seems to be very partial to gloves, especially heavy gardening ones, but he also loves socks,” says Birgitt. “On one occasion he brought back a small paint roller, a child’s knee pad, various soft toys and the other day he brought back a Teletubbies glove puppet! “He went through a phase where he brought home a lot of underwear and this was the reason we contacted the police as we felt sure somebody must be missing the items. Since the article appeared in the local press, the supply of underwear has stopped and he is concentrating mostly on gloves and socks now.” The one-cat crime wave has acquired well over 100 items to date and has found fame in such distant publications as the Washington Post and the Sydney Morning Herald while he has also appeared in German, Swiss and Indian newspapers, a Spanish website, a German radio station and C’est Dit, a French magazine. “We don’t know whether Oscar had a previous police record before he came into the care of Cats Protection, but our local Police Station has recorded his deeds under incident
number 1218!” Another cat to have made the national news in recent times is red point Siamese Jaffa from Market Harborough, Leicestershire. “Jaffa first brought a child’s toy home in August 2009 and, by the time I publicised his antics in the local paper in September, he had brought home 21 items ranging from deflated balloons, toys of all sizes, shapes and materials, socks and possibly the strangest – a tin of fish food!” reports owner, Myra Cooper. Jaffa’s story was printed in The Sun and the Leicester Mercury among other publications and, according to Myra, being named and shamed hasn’t dissuaded him from his predilection for the eclectic: “He has continued to bring things home at infrequent intervals since then including slippers, a lady’s swimming costume, gloves and some of the toys he had brought home previously. All the items are purloined from the one house which he enters through their cat flap.”
Ridiculous rules Sticking with the comical side of legal matters, most American states and cities boast a veritable treasure trove of sublimely ridiculous laws. Even funnier is the fact that the US legal system is based on precedent, meaning that some of these laws exist simply because somebody, somewhere once committed the ludicrous acts that formed their basis and managed to offend somebody sufficiently for law enforcers to be called in. Before we have a look at the feline-themed ones, allow me to share a couple of examples. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed while it is forbidden to cross the state line of Minnesota with a duck on top of your head. But before I make my way to Wisconsin and make good my plans to befriend a delinquent duck and cross the
Feline felon Oscar...
The Cat Winter 2010
border to said state, let’s have a look at what various arms of the US legal system have to say about cats. In Sterling, Colorado it is unlawful to allow your cat to run loose without a tail light. No, we couldn’t work that one out either. In Miami it is illegal to imitate an animal while in Zion, Illinois you are not permitted to give a lit cigarette to a domestic pet – unlit cigarettes, it would seem, are fair game. In French Lick Springs, Indiana all black cats must wear bells when the date is Friday 13 and in Indianapolis, you are not allowed to throw anything at your neighbour – including snowballs – but you can still get away with throwing rocks at cats. If you’re planning on moving to the States, you best avoid Indianapolis then and also add Oklahoma to the no-go list; according to some online lists of ridiculous laws, owning more than one cat is prohibited there. It seems that cats get a raw deal with some of these regulations and there have been other stories to have made the headlines over the years in which moggies have been wronged to an even greater degree – particularly in the middle ages. Rutterkin, for example, was accused of being accessory to murder in 1618 alongside his owner Joan Flower and her daughters Philippa and Margaret. It was alleged that these three ‘witches’ had caused the death of the Earl of Rutland’s son by stealing his gloves, boiling them up and then pricking them before rubbing Rutterkin with them. The three women signed confessions after what we’ll refer to as ‘persuasion’ by the authorities, before Joan died in custody while Margaret and Phillipa were burned at the stake. Little is known about what happened to Rutterkin, but as reports of his execution are not forthcoming, it’s probably safe to assume that he escaped this insanity.
Court out It’s not just criminal law that cats seem to have got involved in, however. There have also been a number of civil cases that have seen our feline friends embroiled in courtroom drama. One of the more bizarre examples of this occurred in Augusta, Georgia in 1981 when proceedings were taken against a couple and their cat, Blackie, who was said to be able to speak English. The surprising element of this case was not that Blackie could apparently talk – this almost seems to have been taken as a given – but that the city of Augusta argued that tax should have been paid on the earnings his owners amassed by having him entertain people in the streets. Even the judge who ultimately ruled that his owners should pay a
The Cat Winter 2010
performance license-related tax – despite their protestations that the legislation didn’t specifically refer to talking cats – admitted to having paid to speak to Blackie on one occasion. “I felt my dollar was well spent,” he said; Blackie apparently said “I love you.” ‘My cat ate it’ is a frequent and rather unimaginative excuse proffered to beleaguered teachers by homework-dodging teenagers, but for one man in Germany last year it formed the basis for a case in which his cat – or the contents of its litter tray, to be precise – was the subject of an administrative court hearing after allegedly gobbling up a €500 note. Peter Neumann told the Frankfurt court that his cat had wolfed down the high-denomination note and that the Bundesbank had declined to replace it. Under German law, a damaged banknote can be replaced if there is positive proof that it once existed and also proof that the rest of it had been destroyed. Neumann only had a few surviving fragments which the bank contested could have been from different notes. The court therefore insisted that the scraps that – to put it gently – had made their way through the cat be presented as evidence but Neumann was apparently unable to oblige and had to accept that he was unlikely to succeed. “It’s not that I don’t want to go looking through pet excrement to get what’s rightfully mine,” he explained, “it’s just that the evidence really isn’t around any longer.” Oh well, Peter, it happens.
It’s a fur cop All of the above are bad press for moggies, so how about some examples where cats have helped to dish out justice? A Tom and his team – on a mission probably blissfully-oblivious cat was the subject of a landmark case in Canada in 1994 in which he helped to convict a murderer. Douglas Beamish, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police believed, had killed his estranged wife Shirley Duguay. Unfortunately, the jacket found near the crime scene that they hoped would provide some DNA evidence only had the blood of the victim on it. However, upon closer examination, 27 white cat hairs were found on the coat’s lining. The Mounties remembered that Beamish lived nearby with his parents and their cat, Snowball, and obtained a blood sample from the pet. To cut a long story short, the determination of officers to locate an expert capable of matching the DNA of blood to hair eventually resulted in the accused being sent to prison. The case set a precedent for the use of cat hair to locate suspected criminals and the US Department of Justice awarded a substantial grant to the National Feline Genetic Database which has developed the means to help police forces around the world to identify and bring to justice other criminals. Well done, Snowball! Honourable mentions must also go to Aggie, a blind cat from Pennsylvania, USA, who incredibly thwarted a burglary in 1992 by jumping on and clawing an intruder’s face. Similarly, Dorset cat, Tom, made the finals of this year’s Cats Protection Rescue Cat Awards after alerting his owner Mary London to the presence of an intruder in her home. With all this evidence taken into consideration and the jury out on whether our feline friends are the defendants or plaintiffs, it seems that their apparently boundless curiosity extends to the legal world – watch out for the long arm of the paw!
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& tested… Gadgets for cat lovers
Everybody loves a nifty little gadget, so what better for the discerning cat lover than some feline-themed gizmos? Four of our geeks got to work putting them through their paces…
Ricoh CX3 camera
Digital photo album keyring
The 10 megapixel Ricoh CX3 features a new ‘pets mode’ which turns off the flash and operation sounds to avoid startling your pet, making it easier to capture his antics. This mode also includes pet face recognition which can automatically focus for better quality pictures. With a large LCD monitor, anti-blur function and scene auto mode which adjusts to the optimum shooting settings for the location, this is a must for technology lovers! The Ricoh CX3 is available from various high street retailers at an RRP of £299.99. Clare’s verdict: This stylish, sturdy compact has an impressive range of settings, including the ‘pets mode’ which I tested on my cat, Muffin. She did not blink an eye as the flash did not fire and the mechanism is virtually silent. Using this mode in artificial light could cause blur if your pet moves, but luckily Muffin is a poser as you can see!
A digital photo album keyring is the perfect way to keep your moggies at your side when you’re not at home. This stores up to 99 images and has a 1½-inch screen with 128 x128 pixel resolution. As well as being compatible with both PCs and Macs, it comes with a USB cable to transfer images and charge – no batteries are required. Put together a slide show of your cats and show them off to your friends, family and work colleagues! The digital photo album keyring is available from www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk for £19.99. Kevin’s verdict: This device is great. I can carry many pictures of my feline friend wherever I go; his antics liven up the worst of queues – I can now laugh in line at the Post Office. It’s even got room for one or two of my human family too!
Rechargeable cat torch
Talking cat alarm clock
This handy rechargeable torch says what it does in the name – as it doesn’t require batteries it’s great for keeping hold of for emergencies. To recharge, you simply slide a button and squeeze a manual charging lever, so it is also a perfect first torch for a child. The body is comfortable to hold and the tail is a wrist strap with cat’s eyes for the LED lights. Buy the rechargeable cat torch from www.thepresentfinder.co.uk for £7.50. Ellie’s verdict: I like this torch very much as I don’t have to ask my Mum or Dad to put new batteries in when I accidentally leave it on. It was brilliant on a campfire night as it is very bright – just like real cat eyes and strong because it didn’t break when I dropped it.
This cat-shaped alarm clock has several useful features including a speech function, thermometer and LED light. The speech function is especially useful for anyone with a visual impairment – you can set the clock to announce every hour from 7am-9pm. The talking cat alarm clock is available from thumbsUp! at www.thumbsupuk.com for approximately £13. Petra’s verdict: This cute, cat-shaped clock is ideal for keeping the kids entertained. With a tap of the tail it says time and temperature while flashing crazily, plus there’s changeable catchy tunes for the alarm setting. If you’re collecting stocking fillers, look no further.
26 The Cat Winter 2010
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A day in the life of a cat behaviour counsellor
Can kitty kleptomaniacs go straight? Vicky Halls investigates…
hree gardening gloves, a seed packet and a gentleman’s toupee.” Not the sort of thing you expect to find under the bed when you are spring cleaning but, apparently, it does happen. Sarah was revealing this unexpected find when I visited her to discuss her Siamese cat, Bertrand. He was a lively and inquisitive three year old who lived with her in a small, first-floor flat in London. He had outdoor access through a cat flap in the back door during the day when Sarah was at work and everything seemed fine until one day when she found him playing with something odd. When she managed to wrestle it from him she found a rather battered and chewed Barbie doll. She dismissed the incident at the time as a bizarre one off, but became increasingly alarmed when, after a particularly vigorous session with the vacuum cleaner, she found the aforementioned stash of assorted gardening paraphernalia – and a wig – under her bed. It was only when Bertrand came into the kitchen one day from the garden with a small makeup brush in his mouth that the penny began to drop.
Secret stash It appeared that Bertrand was ‘stealing’ random objects and returning them to his ‘den’ – the flat – to hoard them in his secret place. The drive to stash was the key as he never returned to retrieve any of the items that he was storing. I explained to Sarah that this is a relatively common problem and the culprits are often referred to as burglars, magpies or even kleptomaniacs in the popular press when specific extreme cases come to light. The items brought back to the home vary enormously but soft toys, socks and underwear are common. Other objects including jewellery, leather items, pens, rubber bands, leaves, twigs and worms, acquired
from adjoining gardens and houses, are often hoarded in special places or left beside food bowls. Some cats will call out as they come into the house with their booty; others may be far more secretive. The motivation is generally considered to be an example of predatory behaviour, albeit misdirected, that reflects the individual’s idiosyncratic preferences. It is easy to forget sometimes that our beloved, cuddly cats are actually highly evolved predators. Their feral cousins, with a very different lifestyle, give us a better insight into the natural behaviour of the species. They hunt to survive, working at it for up to half of a 24-hour period, eating the spoils of their labour little and often. Cats will eat prey as small as insects or as large as young rabbits, depending on what’s available and what they can catch, the feral always choosing the option that produces the maximum calories for the minimum effort. An opportunistic approach to feeding is an essential strategy when hunting for survival as the next meal is never certain. Cats hunt using two basic strategies. The first, referred to as ‘mobile’ or ‘stalk, run, pounce’ requires the cat to actively search and detect prey visually. The second strategy, referred to as ‘stationary, sit, wait’ or ‘ambush’ involves waiting motionless adjacent to a burrow –or place where prey has previously been sighted – ready to pounce when it appears. The cat will often ‘play’ with the prey, once caught and toss it from paw to paw to ensure it is stunned, afterwards killing it instantly with a bite to the back of the neck. The cat then consumes it immediately, caches it in a safe spot to eat later or carries it back to its den, particularly if it is female with young to feed. If you now imagine a Barbie doll being mistaken for a young rabbit you are beginning to understand Bertrand’s motivation.
Predatory behaviour 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 www.vickyhalls.net
The Cat Winter 2010
The success of predatory behaviour in adulthood in the feral cat is influenced by skills acquired by observing the mother and having access to plenty of prey at a young age. Most ferals grow to become competent predators, albeit with particular preferences for the type of prey they kill. In the case of the average domestic cat, even without such significant early experiences, he too will instinctively hunt with varying success. My own hand-reared cat, Annie, with no maternal tutor, became a prolific
healthcheck Tips for kitty kleptomaniacs • Carry out a little detective work: speak to neighbours and establish the area that constitutes your cat’s territory. This will enable you to target leaflets regarding ‘found’ items • If your cat wears a collar, ensure it has a safe, quick-release buckle – put a bell on it or anything noisy that will signal to your neighbours that he’s nearby and on the lookout • Have regular short but frequent play sessions at home to maintain his interest • Feed cat biscuits in puzzle feeders at home to introduce some challenge to the acquisition of his meals. Feeding devices can now be purchased that are suitable for wet food too! • Place random small objects in your own garden at some distance from the home, ideally near his regular routes and pathways, to encourage him to satisfy his habit in a controlled way • Seek veterinary advice and a referral to a pet behaviour counsellor if your cat is consuming the inedible objects that he finds • If his behaviour is particularly evident at a specific time of day, for example dusk, then it may be useful to confine him during this period and provide extra stimulation and entertainment indoors
The Cat Winter 2010 29
Photos: Gloves – 123rf.com/Chris Haye; Cat – 123rf.com/Anton Hlushchenko
hunter of small rodents. Bink, on the other hand, acquired as a young semi-feral kitten, has never caught anything in all her 16 years despite her best efforts. Bertrand lies somewhere in between the two; he hunts successfully yet has a preference for an eclectic mix of objects with no nutritional value! Once we had established that Bertrand was hunting and caching his inedible treasures, it was time to decide whether or not this was actually a behaviour that needed to stop. We both fully accepted that it had potential to cause conflict with the neighbours, but was it a problem otherwise? The Siamese is particularly prone to developing a habit referred to as ‘wool eating’. This is a form of pica – the consumption of nonnutritious material – that usually involves the cat chewing and swallowing wool and often extending the habit to other substances over time. Sufferers can be highly motivated to consume these materials and, if deprived of them at home, can look elsewhere to satisfy their cravings. Fortunately, there had never been any evidence that Bertrand was affected in this way so we were able to rule that out. We discussed at some length the need to enrich his home environment but it was quite apparent that the act of searching for objects in his territory was part of the motivation and providing similar items at home did not have the same attraction. Sarah did, however, introduce some measures in and around the home that proved successful – see tips to the right. She was also keen to return the items to their respective owners so she posted a leaflet to everyone nearby explaining Bertrand’s unusual inclination and encouraging her neighbours to come forward to collect their lost property. As far as I am aware, only Barbie and the makeup brush – which turned out to be a ‘high tech’ dust remover for electronic equipment – were ever claimed.
Ask the vets…
Every issue, CP’s team of veterinary experts will be tackling your feline-related questions… We have a four-year-old male neutered tom cat who likes to keep himself to himself and wants affection when he wants it. We have also got a four-month-old queen kitten. They eat each other’s food but sleep in separate rooms at present. Molly is always chasing and play fighting Ralph. To be fair, he has been patient but now he is starting to hiss and bite back. Any suggestions? We have had Molly for about a month. We let her outside and watch her; do you think it would be alright for her to go out unattended or should we wait until she is neutered? Sarah Windsor, via email Kittens at four months of age are incredibly playful and tend to stalk and pounce on anything that moves as they practice and develop their hunting repertoire. Unfortunately this can sometimes mean that an existing cat in the household becomes the main focus of play. Some older cats are very tolerant of kittens, but even the hardiest cat can become a little grumpy at being continuously launched at, usually resulting in a warning hiss or swipe. This is why, when considering the addition of a new kitten to a household with existing cats, it is often recommended to get two kittens from the same litter so that they can keep each other occupied. The secret to a smooth introduction of a new cat is to take it slowly and use scent transfer – cloths and blankets – ideally before the cats meet each other. It is also important to provide each cat with separate resources eg food, water, latrine and resting places as it can be stressful for an existing cat to start sharing resources with a newcomer. In order to give your older cat a break from the overzealous play, we would recommend introducing a range of toys to your kitten and increasing the amount of time you spend playing with her each day. Fishing rod toys or anything light and furry that mimics small prey are popular with cats. Additionally, if you see your kitten attempting to ambush your older cat, you should redirect her activity onto a toy, such as a piece of string, which you can pull past her to lead her away. By increasing the amount of time you play with your kitten, you will reduce unwanted chase and pounce behaviour on your older cat. With regards to letting her outside, we would recommend waiting until she is neutered before letting her out to avoid any unwanted pregnancies. MR A couple of years ago I adopted Poppy from the local Cats Protection adoption centre. We don’t know how old she is but she has a bad hip and can’t run or jump – when anyone is watching. She struggles to even climb up the step through the kitchen door. I worry whether the problems in her hip might cause her any pain. Stephen Taylor, St. Ives, Cornwall
30 The Cat Winter 2010
As we are not in the position to examine Poppy or have access to her full medical records, we would encourage you to take her to the vets so that she can be assessed and the vet can give specific guidance and recommendations for her care. It is quite common for cats to develop arthritis; this can be due to normal wear and tear over the years, trauma and even as a result of some other feline diseases. This condition often goes undiagnosed as cats are very good at hiding signs of pain, which can include lameness, a reduction in running and jumping, a change in demeanour and also a reduction in self-grooming. If your vet feels that Poppy is in pain due to arthritis there are some options that may be available to help, such as feline anti-inflammatory drugs, weight management and dietary supplements. The vet may also suggest some lifestyle changes such as soft padded bedding, which is easily accessible and warm, ramps for her to easily access areas such as the kitchen door step or other favoured areas. Extra grooming may be necessary with a soft brush if she is having difficulty reaching all areas. If you would like to read more about this condition we would recommend looking at Cats Protection’s Arthritis leaflet which can be found by following the following link: www.cats.org.uk/catcare/leaflets/VET15-Arthritis.pdf. KH We’ve just introduced a new kitten to our family and, apart from the odd bit of hissing and flouncing about, our older cat is coping very well and I hope they will eventually get on. The question is this: will it harm the older one if she eats kitten food for a few weeks? They are both CP cats and both eat the same brand food. I don’t really want little Teazle to be eating adult cat food, but they keep eating each other’s. I tried switching bowls, but they are not easily tricked! Any advice would be much appreciated. Emma McCrea, via Facebook This good question highlights two issues commonly faced by owners when new cats or kittens are introduced to a household with an existing resident cat. One relates to the actual integration of an additional cat, whether young or old and the second is when the two cats require different foods. We’ll consider the integration issue first. Cats in the wild are solitary and generally choose not to live in social groups like dogs. A new kitten and existing cat will need some time to become used to each other. If forced together too quickly, it may lead to lifelong conflict and stress which is difficult to resolve; indeed first impressions are all important. Although a kitten or cat may have lived with another cat or other kittens in the past, this does not mean that he will tolerate a new cat immediately – each relationship
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: email@example.com
is specific to the individuals and ensuring a gradual introductory period is critical. Newly introduced cats should be given a separate room for the first few days or weeks, while both cats can get used to the smell of the other, without experiencing any threat to their own space and important resources, such as food, sleep and hiding areas and toileting sites. Scent swapping by rubbing a cloth around the cheeks of one cat and rubbing this around the room of the other and vice versa can be helpful, repeating for several days until there is no fearful or aggressive reaction shown, while giving praise and treats for positive behaviour. Once both cats are settled, which can take some cats weeks, introductions are best made at feeding time as cats form social bonds best around this time. However, position the cats as far away as possible from each other and choose somewhere where either cat can escape to another room, get behind furniture or jump up high if he wants to. After feeding they should be separated again. Once both cats are relaxed while feeding, start including short periods of time where the cats are not distracted by playing or fussing. Supervised time spent together can be extended. The aim is for the cats to associate each other with pleasant happenings, not shouting or chasing. As Teazle and your adult cat have already met, you may have implemented this approach already. If not, you may need to go back a step or two initially, in order to try and ensure that the path to a long and happy cat friendship is a smooth and happy one for all concerned. Sadly, some cats living together in a home may never see each other as living in the same social group, rather as a potential threat and without careful resource placement, this can cause chronic stress, which may lead to behaviour signs such as over-grooming, or disease consequences, such as lower urinary tract disease. Clues about whether the two ultimately see themselves as being part of the same social group are if they rub against each other, groom each other and lie sleeping touching each other, not just near each other. If so, they may be happy to share their resources, such as sleeping areas, litter trays and access in and out of the house. However, if they don’t, they are best each provided with their own resources that can be easily accessed without having to pass the other. The second issue is the provision of food for the two cats. As you’re aware, adult cats and kittens do have different nutritional requirements, with kittens requiring a nutrient balance that supports growth. Among some other differences, diets formulated for kittens contain higher protein levels. While still an important nutrient for adult cats, any protein consumed in excess of requirements is stored as fat so its consumption may lead to obesity. This can be associated with various health issues such as poor skin and coat, arthritis and diabetes. Therefore, adult cats with the exception of pregnant and nursing queens, ideally shouldn’t have access to excessive quantities of kitten food – although in the short term, it is unlikely to cause much harm to otherwise healthy cats of normal bodyweight. However, there can be issues with kittens eating adult cat food as an imbalance of nutrients while developing can be detrimental to their growth and both short and long-term health. It is therefore advisable, at least while Teazle is under a year old, to feed the cats in separate rooms, to ensure each takes in the nutrition it requires. 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 Winter 2010
The cat inspector calls Aspiring cat owner Anthony McGowan prepares himself for a Cats Protection home visit…
The Cat Winter 2010
Robinson conveyor belts, Piranasian Gothic structures, a great cantilevered bridge made from wrought iron… A firm shake of the head. An indoor cat it had to be. That narrowed down the possibilities. Occasionally, Cat Lady said, a blind cat would come into their care in need of a home. But neither Cat Lady nor I thought that blind cat and rampaging kids were a good combo. Sometimes an adult cat would come in that had simply never been outside, like the little boy in The Secret Garden. For such cats the outside world would hold too many terrors. I was rather drawn to the idea of an agoraphobic cat. We could sit around discussing our neuroses. He’d tell me all about his terror of the big sky and I’d confide in him about my irrational fear of umbrellas. But my children really wanted a kitten, a pet that would grow with them. That left us with one serious option: a kitten with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Cats with FIV aren’t allowed to socialise with other non-FIV positive cats, which means the indoor life is the only option, short of dressing them up in one of those little spacesuits the Russians used for their cosmonaut dogs back in the 1960s. The Cat Lady told me that there’s no reason why a FIV positive cat couldn’t live a full and rewarding life. It would be a perfect match: we’d have our indoor cat and could rest smugly in the knowledge that we were doing a good thing. We shook hands and the Cat Lady shimmied away to catch her bus to the next inspection. And we were a little closer to our cat. Anthony McGowan is an award winning author of novels and children’s stories. His book, Einstein’s Underpants, was recently shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. www.anthonymcgowan.com
Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
was nervous. Not quite first-date or job-interview nervous, but definitely more nervous than I was about eating yogurt with mould on it, or getting the night bus back from Trafalgar Square. I was waiting, you see, for the Cat Lady. By ‘Cat Lady’ I don’t mean to conjure up the image of Batman’s leatherclad sparring partner, nor the luscious and deadly Simone Simon, star of Val Lewton’s cult classic Cat People, but rather the visitor from Cats Protection who was coming round to make sure that ours was a suitable home for one of their felines. Cats Protection are, quite rightly, very particular about their adoptees and prospective owners have to pass through a rigorous vetting procedure. Ah, a more frivolous writer would have worked-in some kind of pun there to do with vets, quite possibly involving a spaying mix-up, but my intent here is deeply serious. As I sat biting my nails, I imagined a white-coated, rather severe woman wielding a clipboard and possibly some sort of sci-fi type gadget, like Mr Spock’s tricorder, which would scientifically detect anti-cat matter. The bell rang. I neatened my tie, brushed the dandruff from the shoulders of my dinner jacket and, hurriedly, put on some trousers. There was no white coat or clipboard, just a very nice lady with a big smile. I made some tea and we had a little cat-chat. She told me all about her own cats and I was delighted to find that she displayed precisely the correct amount of cat obsession. Her cats were, of course, the most beautiful, talented and comical in the world, able to juggle, tap dance and recite Shakespeare and they would never harm a bird or mouse, except in self defence. As we chatted, Cat Lady slipped in some reasonably probing questions about my cat experiences and I felt a bit of tactful CSI-style psychological profiling was going on. And then the Cat Lady put down her cup and saucer – yes, I’d got the good china out – and went for a poke around our flat. My nerves began to jangle again. I’m sure you’re all familiar with that moment of panic that shudders through you at Customs, when, even though there’s nothing untoward in your suitcase, you can’t help feeling oddly guilty. It was a bit like that. I became convinced that Cat Lady would find something grisly and incriminating, some sign that I was the Hannibal Lecter of the cat world. Mercifully, Cat Lady discovered nothing sinister. We were not, however, in the clear. “You realise, of course, that your flat is only suitable for an indoor cat?” “An indoor…?” “A cat that never goes out.” “And they have such cats?” “They do.” “But …” “There’s no outdoor access here.” “Couldn’t I carry it down, you know, for a play?” “A cat is not a Chihuahua.” Difficult to argue with that. “Couldn’t I build some sort of ladder or…?” I was lost for moment, inventing various devices for transporting pusskins from our bedroom down to the communal gardens, 20 metres below. Heath-
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Cat and mouse mats Paddy shows Alison Prince the power of the word…
The Cat Winter 2010
Illustration: Alison Prince
y cats are usually very good about the computer. They know it’s what I do most of the day and, although they obviously think it’s very peculiar, they don’t interfere. This is sensible of them, because they get lifted off with a firm “No” if they invade the sacred territory. If I go on much after 5pm, they come to remind me that I should be feeding them, but otherwise, they’ve settled for the neutral territory of the in-tray, where one of them is usually sleeping on the correspondence. That was a bit disastrous, as they are apt to come in from being out in the rain and the letters got muddy and crumpled, so there are just some old papers in it now. The correspondence gets shoved between the binoculars and a wooden music cabinet. Of late, though, Paddy has taken to venturing a little further. I use a clumping old desktop computer that sits on a big slab of wood so that it’s somewhere around the right eye level and there’s a corner behind it containing nothing much except a sprawl of cables leading to printers and the telephone socket. Not attractive to cats, you’d think. But Paddy decided to explore. Despite mild protests from me, he nipped neatly between the monitor screen and the machine that does colour printing and faxing and all that stuff and sat in the corner behind the computer, washing his face. I didn’t really mind – he wasn’t in the way and there didn’t seem to be anything he could damage. Getting him out of there would be tricky anyway. You know how cats manage to stick their paws out in all directions and wriggle wildly and I didn’t fancy Paddy’s huge feet flailing around. So I left him where he was. After a few days, he started to shift closer. I think he’d realised that the patch of desk above the ‘tower’ that lives underneath was faintly warm, maybe because it runs a fan or something. Yes, I know, all you laptop owners will be rolling your eyes and asking why I don’t get modern, but I love my big screen, it’s like being at the cinema. Laptops are so small, they make me feel faintly hysterical.
Anyway, a few days later I found Paddy sprawled over the Russian tin mat with yellow flowers on it, on which my coffee mug lives. Sacrilege! But it was easier to move the mug than the cat, so I shifted my coffee to the other side and Paddy went on sprawling. This, of course, was a mistake. I know that now, but at the time, it was just one of those ‘Me and My Cats’ situations. We get on so well, we don’t disturb each other. But then Paddy rolled over in his sleep so that quite a lot of him was resting on the mouse mat. I could see I was going to get involved in a cat and mouse game that was a lot less funny than Tom and Jerry, so a bit of cat-shoving set in. Paddy opened a reproachful eye then went to sleep again. Fingal came to see what was going on and got shouted at for even thinking he might join his mate, so he settled for the pile of used-on-one-side sheets of paper that sits beside two large cacti in pots – it’s that kind of desk. Paddy went on sprawling and gently snoring. It all seemed fairly inoffensive, so I went off to look at the greenhouse for 10 minutes. The Japanese idea of getting up from the workstation every hour or so for a stretch and some exercises has always seemed a good one to me, but I’d rather go and see how the cucumbers are going on than do the neck rotating thing. It produces a peculiar crunching noise, as if my brain has turned into a coffee grinder. When I came back, Paddy had removed himself to the sofa. But across the screen, in the middle of my half-finished book on the last wives of Henry Vlll, was written a long, faintly insulting word. It read, “ppppoooooooooooooooooooooo0000000”. On his way off my desk, he’d plonked his thumping great paw on the three keys that are p, o and the figure zero. The next literary effort came about three days later. He’d taken a bigger stride this time, and hit the left-hand side of the keyboard, leaving a message signed “freddddddd”. After that there was “saxzzzz”. Rather a comedown, really. But that seems to be the end of Paddy’s writing efforts. He abandoned the computer patch when he found a cardboard box on the table downstairs after I’d unpacked some books. Whew. Long may it last. There’s only one author around here and it’s not Paddy.
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:
on balance transfers (3% handling fee) for 12 months and on card purchases for 3 months from the date your account is opened*
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.
Season’s greetings Marilyn Crowther explains how cats made their way onto Victorian Christmas cards ver the many years of Queen Victoria’s reign, something remarkable happened to cats; they became YUPPIES – or perhaps that should be YUMMIES; young, upwardly mobile moggies. Their move up the social ladder and onto our Christmas cards is a revealing story of how they became popular during and after the Victorian era.
Cats move up
All photos: Clare Halden
The aspirations of an ever-expanding middle class – particularly in London – required no less than the ownership of a house with a horse and carriage in the stable. There, snuggled warm among the straw, was a cat – often nursing kittens – whose job it was to keep down the vermin. The cat, male or female, that fulfilled this important duty would have been fed regularly by the servants working in the house. Many a fluffy kitten made the move upwards from the stable to the nursery, carried in the arms of a young master or mistress to become a favourite household pet.
The big Christmas card craze Christmas cards began to appear in the 1860s; they were small, flat visiting card size, with simple two-colour printing. But soon the fast steam-driven presses arrived, able to produce superb full colour to sell to an admiring public. Robins were old favourites; they appeared on cards everywhere, prompting a writer in Punch magazine to remark “I hate those robin redbreasts; I wish someone would invent a new form of felicitation.”
Cats make their grand entrance The answer to this request came in 1871 when the first cat show was held at the Crystal Palace in London. Such was the publicity and success of this venture that cats were immediately brought to the attention of the public as if for the first time both as creatures of beauty and homeloving pets. Now, at last, cats appeared on cards where they participated in every kind of Christmas activity; often designed specifically to appeal to children. Fluffy Persians were most frequently featured and the breed soon became extremely fashionable, not as a necessary mouser, but as an eye-catching status symbol.
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Christmas cats become ‘designer led’ Christmas cards were such a novelty that the leading magazines such as Punch and the upmarket ladies’ journal The Queen gave annual reviews in the run up to Christmas to appraise the design merits of cards on offer from leading publishing companies. Doyens of the art world were invited to give their professional opinion and the best design won a cash prize. Artist Horatio Henry Couldery, who had studied at the Royal Academy and painted cats and kittens for the ‘fashionable interiors’ market, was awarded a £50 prize in 1881 for his submission featuring two cute kittens sitting in a wide-brimmed hat. Possibly the most prolific cat card artist of the period was the much-admired Helena Maguire, whose work is highly collectable today. Helena designed for some of the leading publishers pre-World War One, such as Raphael Tuck where her inventive skill captured cats performing every kind of Christmas ritual. When the picture postcard became popular at the turn of the century, no time was lost in adapting it as the bearer of Christmas greetings and Raphael Tuck issued many featuring Maguire’s cats including their ‘Christmas Post Card’ series.
Wain’s world The most famous and undoubtedly the most recognisable cats are those of Louis Wain who is still appreciated by devoted fans even today. Some of Wain’s images of cats in humorous situations also appeared on Raphael Tuck’s ‘Christmas Post Card’ series. His kittens are often entertainingly mischievous, sometimes a touch subversive, which gave them an irresistible appeal to children and often parents too. Leapfrog in the schoolroom is a lot more fun than boring lessons! The Victorian and Edwardian Christmas card is a faithful portrayal of family festivities. Dressing the tree, stirring the pudding – licking the spoon afterwards – bearing it triumphantly to the table. There were parlour games such as blind man’s bluff and charades using clothes from the dressing up box as well as more healthy outdoor pursuits like tobogganing or a makeshift coconut shy. These delightful little cards – so caringly and affectionately preserved for us by our forbears – allow us the opportunity to see almost every activity enjoyed in a traditional Victorian-style family Christmas.
1. Kittens gather round to admire their decorated tree as Mamma makes some finishing touches. An endearing image by Helena Maguire. 2. Cute kittens on a flat embossed card of 1892. 3. An 1894 Christmas card by Henry Couldery who was Royal Academy trained. 4, 5, 6. A selection of cards featuring kittens engaged in festive activities by Helena Maguire. 7. Anarchy in the classroom. Note the map of ‘Catland’ on the wall; Wain’s own invention and parody on Edwardian society entirely populated by cats!
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Going for gold Francesca Watson meets a medal winning volunteer
t’s not every day you get to meet a Special Olympics athlete, but I had the honour recently when visiting Cats Protection’s Arbroath & District Branch. Sarah Anderson is just 22 and has found the time not only to volunteer for CP but to represent Great Britain in the Special Olympics as well. Sarah has written a book about her life so far to show that you can do anything that you want to regardless of any disability. She charts her experiences from being born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and taking on the challenges ahead of her. Proud to be Me had its official launch at Carnoustie Library in September and is as engaging and uplifting as meeting Sarah in person. She is energetic and determined and has experienced far more in her young life than many of us. When Sarah was born, her parents were given the stark warning that, because she was so premature and small, she may not survive and if she did she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Thankfully, after a couple of early operations, the prognosis greatly improved and Sarah has gone on from strength to strength. At primary school she was bullied because of her disabilities. “I got called ‘freak’ or ‘disabled freak’. A few people even said I shouldn’t have even been born,” Sarah says, but she refused to let this ignorant taunting get her down. She moved on to high school and, when attending the Support for Learning Department, things improved; more friends were made and her
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Photo: iStockphoto.com/Steve Goodwin Photography
feature Sarah with one of her CP clients
Sarah loves cats and she spends every Saturday afternoon helping out at the adoption centre, looking after its residents. Her own cat, Jet, came from the Arbroath & District Branch. Sarah says, “I get a sense of pride knowing that I and the other volunteers are helping homeless and unwanted cats find new homes.” She is donating half the profits made from the sale of her book to the branch. Speaking to her colleagues at the branch, it is clear that Sarah is a much-valued and respected member of the team and Cats Protection as a whole. Despite the sometimes difficult challenges she’s faced, she has proved determined and dedicated in all that she takes on. She is a Special Olympics athlete, an author and a giving member of her local community – and she’s only 22 years old! ”I’m happy the way my life has turned out – all the good opportunities I have had and the places I have been to, and the friends I have made,” Sarah says. “I’m proud of what I have achieved and I’m looking forward to the rest of my life. The main reason I have written my book is to show people it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re disabled or not, you can do anything in life you want to. So just enjoy life and just be yourself.” The Special Olympics motto is ‘let me win but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.’ There is no doubt that Sarah upholds this motto both inside and outside the Olympic arena and is a source of inspiration to those who meet her. Here’s to a golden future!
If you would like a copy of Proud to be Me by Sarah Anderson, please get in contact with Arbroath & District Branch on 01241 434 605 or via www.arbroath.cats.org.uk. The book costs £5 plus postage and packing. You can learn more about Special Olympics Great Britain by visiting its website www.sogb.org.uk
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Photo: Francesca Watson
confidence grew. It was here, aged 17, that she was invited to take part in Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) – the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for the learning disabled. Special Olympics athletes have the opportunity to take part, train and compete in a variety of 23 sports and enables each participant to develop skills, believe in themselves and be active members of their communities. SOGB has nearly 8,000 athletes in 135 groups in England, Scotland and Wales run by a dedicated army of over 2,600 volunteers that act in a wide variety of roles from sport coaches to fundraisers. SOGB invited Sarah to try out for table tennis and tenpin bowling and was selected for the latter for the National Games in Glasgow in 2005 representing Tayside. Funds had to be raised to pay for the training so bag packing, race nights, bingo nights, tombolas and sponsored walks ensued. Sarah took part in team, doubles and single games and she came away with a gold in the singles. The Tayside team came away with 231 medals in all. A few months after the Glasgow games, Sarah was nominated for Angus Sports Personality of the Year for People with Disabilities by her coach Kim Dalgarno. The awards recognise the achievements of different people over that year. Sarah and her family enjoyed the awards ceremony despite the outcome. “Unfortunately I didn’t win,” Sarah smiles, “but I didn’t mind at all. I just couldn’t believe I had been nominated.” Sarah was then picked to represent Great Britain in the European Youth Games which took place in Rome in 2006. There was greater success here when Sarah won another individual gold, a doubles gold and a team bronze. Once more Sarah was nominated for Angus Sports Personality of the Year for People with Disabilities and this time she won! Next was the Special Olympic World Summer Games in Shanghai in 2007. Sarah was the only one picked from Angus and joined her other three team mates who came from London, Bradford and Wales. The Special Olympics were founded by Eunice Shriver Kennedy, sister of John F Kennedy and, in 2007, her famous son-in-law, Arnold Schwarzenegger opened the games. Other celebrities present were Jackie Chan and Colin Farrell. At these games there were 7,200 athletes from 167 countries with 40,000 volunteers and over 3,000 officials. Although this time the ten-pin bowling team did not come away with any medals, plenty of ribbons were won. As Sarah says “I am happy whether I get a medal or a ribbon, I’m just happy to be chosen to go.” Great Britain returned with 224 medals in total. Since then Sarah was again nominated for Sports Personality of the Year, attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Holyrood Palace in 2008 and took part in the National Games in Leicester in 2009. Despite not being selected for the 2011 World Games in Athens, Sarah is sanguine and magnanimous: “If someone asked me if I was disappointed not to be picked, I’d say not at all, as it’s good to give other people a turn.” She is hoping to be a part of the next National Games in a few years’ time. Outside of her sporting commitments Sarah has dedicated a great part of her life to volunteering for various organisations. It is fair to say that one of her favourite places is with Cats Protection’s Arbroath & District Branch.
There are so many great things out there for cats and their owners. Here are just a few of our favourites…
Stop unwanted visitors with SureFlap!
No more odour!
This cat flap identifies your cats using their unique microchips, unlocking only for your pets and preventing strays and other neighbourhood cats from entering your home. It works with your cats’ existing microchips, has simple one-button programming and is quick and easy to install. SureFlap cat flaps are available OFFER from vets, independent pet shops and online retailers. For further information or to order a cat flap, visit www.sureflap. co.uk. The price of SureFlap is £81.99 including VAT and delivery. If ordering please quote code number ‘CP10’ which will entitle you to £5 off the retail price with Cats Protection receiving 20 per cent of the sale.
The newly launched Bionaire Cat Toilet was designed by a company that specialises in air purification. This product keeps odours away by combining a toilet with an active air filtration system. The litter is contained and covered which gives your cat a little privacy, plus it’s simple to clean and comes with an antibacterial mat which prevents the growth of odour-causing bacteria. The RRP is £89.95; to find your nearest stockist visit www.bionaireuk.co.uk. Editor’s note: Make sure you change the soiled litter regularly and don’t use the filter as a substitute for changing the litter.
Sing me a lullaby Boo Boo Designs stocks quality gifts for babies and children including traditional and contemporary gifts for all ages. This wooden music box has a cat and two mice which spin round to the tune Brahms Lullaby when the box is wound. Caution must be given to children under the age of three as the characters are detachable from the box. This music box is available for £18 from www.booboodesigns.co.uk or by phoning 01480 812 284. Boo Boo Designs has given us one music box to give away to one lucky reader who writes in – just enter in the usual way marking your submission ‘Boo Boo Designs’.
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Shop in style Sugar and Spice Kitchen Store sells all sorts of lovely catrelated products including kitchenware, umbrellas and shopping trolleys. They are available to purchase from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Sugar-and-Spice-Kitchen-Store or by phoning 01932 24 0197 and they also have a Facebook page called ‘Sugar and Spice Kitchen Store’. If you buy anything from the store before the end of February 2011 and quote ‘Cats Protection’ on the checkout page, five per cent of the sale will be donated to Cats Protection! The shopping trolley pictured comes in red, brown or black and there are also two other feline design trolleys; all are £23.99 plus P&P. We have been given a shopping trolley in the black ‘cats in love’ design which is available for readers of The Cat to win. Mark your entry with the words ‘Sugar and Spice Kitchen Store’.
Gor, that’s generous! West Midlands-based Gor Pets is a familyowned business which produces high-quality, value-for-money pet beds and toys for dogs and cats. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Gor Pets is offering two lucky readers the chance to win an Elan cat bed in pink hearts, RRP £20.68; mark your entries ‘Gor Pets’. To find out more about Gor Pets’ products or to find your nearest stockist, visit www.gorpets.co.uk or speak to Harvey Gora on 0121 580 4984.
What happens beyond the fence? For all of you Simon’s Cat lovers out there, it’s back for another instalment! Beyond the fence features illustrations of the loveable kitty getting up to all sorts of mischief beyond the garden fence. The first book hit the Sunday Times bestseller list in 2009, was released in 25 countries and has sold over half a million copies to date. There’s also a new film which you can watch at www.simonscat.com
Give your mog a Cheshire Cat grin Do you struggle to get the kids to brush their teeth? Every pet owner knows it’s 10 times harder to make sure your pet’s teeth are clean and healthy. Pet food company Hill’s Pet Nutrition has come up with a solution: Science Plan VetEssentials. This food has clinically proven health benefits and helps to remove plaque, cleaning teeth and freshening breath. For further information about VetEssentials, visit www.hillspet.co.uk/vetessentials We have been given 15 bags of 1.5kg feline VetEssentials to give away to readers of The Cat. Mark your entries ‘Hill’s Pet Nutrition’ and don’t forget to specify whether you’d like to win kitten, adult or mature cat food.
Splendour in the grass
Treat your cat to this easy-to-grow cat grass! Cat grass is a food supplement that provides vitamins and minerals plus aids digestion. It can also assist in removing hairballs by binding with the hairs in a cat’s stomach. This product is available for £12.95 from www.giftideas.co.uk – along with lots of other unique gifts for loved ones. We are lucky enough to have been given three giveaways! This gift box includes cat grass seeds, starter growing pots, compost discs and a booklet of growing tips. Mark your entries ‘Cat grass’ for a chance to win.
cat’ s miaow
A chocoholic’s dream
Madame Oiseau is an artisan chocolatière based in Canterbury, Kent. All the chocolates are handmade at the back of the little shop with the finest ingredients being sourced from all over the world. The Cute Chocolate Cat is lovingly handmade: the coloured details are made of white chocolate and a cocoa butter-based colour. Available in milk, white or dark chocolate, they come gift wrapped in a clear bag with a pretty ribbon. The perfect gift for cat and chocolate lovers alike! The chocolate is available at www.madame-oiseau.com at £5.50 each plus postage and packing or from Madame Oiseau Fine Chocolates, 8 The Borough, Canterbury; phone 01227 452 222. Madame Oiseau has given us six Cute Chocolate Cats to giveaway – to get your hands on one, enter in the usual way marking your entries ‘Madame Oiseau’.
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 email@example.com. 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 14 January 2011.
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The expanding digital face of Cats Protection Web 2.0 enthusiast Amy Rutter reviews Cats Protection’s embrace of social media and digital technology
t’s a digital world and we live among an ‘MTV generation’ – people want information and, by Jove, they want it fast! For this reason, over the past three years Cats Protection has been increasing its online and digital presence to present information in new ways and communicate with a wider audience. So, what have we been busy doing? One of our main online outlets is our very own little corner of the internet: our website www.cats.org.uk. It was revamped and replaced with a more user-friendly site this year and features what we do, information and advice, news, fundraising events, a shop and even a kids’ section with interactive games. It’s had an amazing response, really positive reviews and was recently nominated for an award by Third Sector magazine, the UK’s leading not-forprofit publication. We’ve also got our teeth stuck into social networking. Facebook has been our most successful social networking site so far and we have over 35,000 fans following our page, growing at a rate of around 60 fans a day. This is a massive success and an essential tool in spreading the word of CP. Run by myself and Tom Briggs, both members of the Communications Team, we use Facebook to share news, events and information with our supporters and network with fellow cat lovers.
Twittering on Twitter was secondary to Facebook for us but, since starting an account in early 2009, it has also become an invaluable social networking tool. With over 5,000 people now following our page, Twitter offers us a fantastic way of reaching a massively wide audience due to its ‘viral’ nature where news spreads incredibly quickly. We engage with supporters and, in turn, they help us to share information with potentially hundreds or thousands of people. Used in
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conjunction with photo applications like Twitpic and Flickr, these social networking sites are incredibly successful. I spoke to Rob Hall, Volunteer Co-ordinator for Cats Protection’s Stourbridge & District Branch, who has been using Facebook and Twitter for his branch since October 2009; their Facebook page has over 130 fans and their Twitter page has in excess of 200 followers, with both experiencing growth of 10 fans per month. Rob says “Facebook is useful as it raises our profile with people who are already browsing round the site and who may already be linked to other cat pages. It allows other people to post on the page – we have had adopters post photos of their cats on there and we have received offers of volunteer help.” We homed a cat via our Facebook page after a volunteer shared it and one of her friends spotted it. We have also had people turn up to our free neutering campaign having seen it on our page. “Twitter is useful for posting shorter, more immediate ‘snappy’ items and for ‘retweeting’ [reposting] other items of interest. It has also been useful to communicate with other branches and to comment on their stories. I have picked up some ideas from their tweets.” Jeanette Greaves, a volunteer for Preston Branch, concentrates her efforts on Twitter and has been using it for 18 months. She says “I try to post something every day and cover all aspects of branch life like cats, volunteering and fundraising. I use Twitter to draw attention to issues covered in more depth on our website. Twitter is also great for thanking people, even those who don’t use it, as it shows that we appreciate our volunteers and supporters, and also shows potential volunteers the scope of our work. “It’s a very useful way of keeping up with what other branches and animal welfare groups are up to. We’ve also had offers of
help after tweeting. It’s great for tapping into an IT savvy group of animal lovers. Our success is growing all the time and with more people looking at the site and more supporters retweeting appeals, social media is becoming a very useful tool.” More and more Cats Protection branches and adoption centres are joining Facebook and Twitter – why not try searching for your local one? Just go to www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com.
Viva la video
Phones for mew We’re even communicating with supporters via their mobile phones! Last year, we had an amazing success as 6,000 people downloaded our miaowing and purring ringtone – which is also the ‘on hold’ tone when you phone the National Cat Centre! This is still available to download now and you can listen to a sample on our website. We plan to develop mobile phone communication further and have plans to launch iPhone – and Facebook – applications. Who knows what the future holds for digital communication? Perhaps you’ll be able to download a hologram of a cat to your front room, or we’ll have an online live chat system with our Helpline staff! Whatever happens, digital media has been so successful in Cats Protection’s communication approach to date – from recruiting volunteers, raising awareness of cat care, sharing news of fundraising events or neutering campaigns plus directly rehoming cats – it’s allowed us to connect with thousands more people. So get involved, get online and come say hello to us! As the expression goes, strangers are friends you’ve yet to meet… Visit our sites at: www.cats.org.uk www.facebook.com/catsprotection www.twitter.com/catsprotection www.youtube.com/catsprotectionuk
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Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
Cats Protection’s web 2.0 presence doesn’t stop there though. More and more recently, we have been exploiting YouTube, which is a website that allows users to upload videos. To give you an idea of YouTube’s potential, the age range of its users spans from 18-55; there are over 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and people are watching two billion videos every day. These are amazing statistics and show that this website is too good not to be a part of! Last year we put together a short viral video to promote neutering. The video portrays men in cat costumes playing football with a non-existent ball – with the message being ‘you don’t need balls to have fun’. The video has received a staggering 6,600 plus views on YouTube. In fact, it received hundreds of views within its first few days online and, rather surprisingly, was among the leading videos featuring sport watched in Poland for a month! We’ve realised that using videos to get our message across is such an important part of communicating with our supporters: we are currently working on a viral video to promote The Cat magazine, which we intend to post up on YouTube too. As well as making low-budget – well, no-budget – short advertising campaigns, we have videos about caring for cats and of the Rescue Cat Awards on YouTube. We are encouraging branches to adopt this tool too and use it to promote the cats in their care which are ready for a home. We have recently started writing a monthly blog for the website of children’s national newspaper, First News. We will be writing the blog for children aged 7-14 years old, allowing us to connect with a new and wider external audience. We can use this opportunity to deliver information, start polls and ask questions. Children are the Cats Protection volunteers and fundraisers of the future! Sponsorship of a Cat Cabin now has an interactive element too. Each month, two members
of the Communications Team go to one of our adoption centres to film a short video featuring one of the cats in need of a home. This is sent straight to the email inboxes of people who have signed up for online Cat Cabin sponsorship and seems to be remarkably successful! Who wouldn’t love a mini film of cute kitties to greet them when they access their email first thing in the morning? Another way of connecting with supporters by delivering information straight into their inboxes is via our newly revamped e-newsletter. We’ve designed the new e-newsletter to be a little more user friendly and we’ve called it @CatsProtection to tie in with our Twitter account. We’ve decided that this won’t be a scheduled e-newsletter as such – we don’t want to bug you with unnecessary emails unless we really have something to tell you! To take a look, sign up at www.cats.org.uk
The cat came back
Can cats reincarnate? Complementary Therapist Janet Morgan shares her own experiences as she investigates…
o our much-loved cats return to us lifetime after lifetime? Is there enough evidence to support this? Reincarnation is a subject that holds endless fascination. Have I been here before? Who was I? Great philosophers, writers and poets such as Pythagoras, Plato, Rider Haggard, Sir Thomas More, Coleridge, Emerson, Shelley, Milton and Yeats have all written extensively on this subject, making it one that is hard to categorise as ‘make-believe’. While the vast majority of those living in the East readily accept the concept of ‘life after life’, just 22 per cent of western Europeans believe in reincarnation. The word derives from Latin, meaning ‘entering the flesh again’. The Greeks wrote of ‘metempsychosis’, meaning ‘transmigration of the soul’, ie the passage from one life to another. Jainism and Taoism also support this belief. The cycle of death and rebirth – governed by ‘karma’ – is often referred to as ‘Samsara’. What is karma? It is the law of cause and effect in which the consequences of our unresolved actions return to us. Many believe Matthew 5 verse 18 refers to this concept. In Galatians, St Paul said “a man reaps what he sows”.
Interlife As a Complementary Therapist practising past life therapy, as well as ‘clearing’ spirits who haven’t moved on, I have frequently come across animals in my work. A pipe-smoking ghost in a children’s bedroom refused to go without his cat. When I pointed out that the cat had also died, they trotted off quite happily together into the next dimension. On another occasion, I opened a doorway of light for a man who refused to leave his widow, two Dalmatians and three cats rushed through to greet him. The dimension between lifetimes is known as the interlife. Here, we rest between incarnations and, if necessary, plan our next. It would seem that cats, dogs and horses – all those souls beloved by their owners – exist happily on these levels. I have also come across ‘ghost’ cats in every house I have ever lived in – and there have been several – whom I have invited to pass on to a happier place. When I researched the idea of animal reincarnation, I found that millions of people of the Hindu religion believe in the progression of the soul, whereby we begin as a sea creature, then become a plant, a reptile, a bird, an animal
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and, eventually, a human. That’s a long journey over centuries of time! I was fascinated to learn that some religious people in India wear masks, to ensure that they don’t breathe in insects, in case they are the reincarnated souls of another human being. Buddhists also accept the concept of rebirth. However, in their belief system, one can move within a stream of consciousness into the ‘soul group’ of animals, as well as becoming a human soul. It seems that they can inhabit more than one realm of existence at the same time, depending upon the experiences they need in their particular life cycle. Americans write openly online about their cats reincarnating. Reading their web diaries, I have learned that, on occasions, they have found their past life cats coming to find them, not the other way round, often enduring considerable difficulties in the search for their owners. Also, very often, the cat’s appearance has changed completely – but there is always ‘something’ there, the soul essence, which the owners recognise. I found this heartening, because it’s the same in human reincarnation – a person may ‘return’ as male or female, their physical body may have vastly altered – but once again, there is that ‘recognition’ and the feeling that we have met that person before. This is beautifully expressed in the Rodgers and Hart song from the 1930s: ‘Sometimes you think you’ve lived before All that you live today Things you do come back to you As though they knew the way.’
A feeling of familiarity It seems that cats, with their remarkable intuition and determination, know the way back to their owners, even from beyond earthly dimensions. The British are more cautious about the subject, yet people do talk about their cats coming back to them. One lady, whose tortoiseshell had a strangely marked front paw, ‘knew’ her cat had lived with her four times. A man was certain that he and his Burmese had been together in past lives. There are many stories like these. Ask people! I have long been convinced that my own cats have returned. Three times, to be exact. The feeling of familiarity is inescapable, as I have observed startling similarities, both in their appearance and behavioural patterns. They are siblings. They began their time with us as Billy and Tamsin and we waited a year after the loss of 17-year-old Tamsin, before William and Polly entered our lives. We always seem to discover our cats by bumping down a pot-holed lane to a remote farmhouse. Two miniatures of our previous cats climbed out of a cardboard box holding a litter of five kittens and chose us. Tragically, William’s life was cut short and he was deeply missed. Polly had a reckless streak; rushing across the lane into speeding cars, she twice ended up with a dislocated hip and also once broke her jaw, but her carelessness caught up with her and, sadly, we buried her on the hillside she’d loved so much. Once again, a year passed before we found ourselves in another lane on our way to yet another farmhouse. Henry and Daisy, our current cats, had arrived. Henry is large, lazy, bossy and adorable. He has an enormous appetite and likes to lie on his back on my lap and clutch onto
my clothing for reassurance. He’s jealous of his sister. He’s short-sighted and hides when he’s scared. He has beautiful tabby markings, lots of white fur, a smudge on his nose, huge green eyes and a very long tail. This is also a description of his predecessors. The same applies to Daisy. She is completely tabby, small and clever and a sharp-eyed mouser. She picks at her food and has a passion for chewing string. Since Tamsin was ‘put to sleep’ on my lap, firstly Polly and then Daisy refused to use mine. They’d stand any amount of fuss as long as it was anywhere but my lap. After Polly’s second road accident, she developed a bump on her lower back and the fur stuck up. When Daisy arrived, I felt for it immediately and there it was. Eight years later, I am still convinced our cats have returned, based on empirical evidence, although I appreciate that other people may not be so sure.
Souls and energies This brings me to the question: can cats reincarnate? In order for reincarnation to occur, there has to be a soul, so the immediate question is do animals have souls? Many of the clergy and academics say no and that the privilege is only for humans. Pet owners tend to disagree. I feel, however, there is a further aspect to be considered. Quantum physics tells us that our planet and universe are composed of energy and that everything is part of an enormous pattern or web which is intra- and inter-connected. Nothing is separate; each is a part of the ‘whole’. Everything has an energy field that is electromagnetic in nature and has a vibratory frequency which varies according to the density of physical matter. This applies to humans, animals, birds, fish, rocks, minerals, mountains and valleys – all that exists on Earth. The higher the frequency of the energy fields, the more evolved the soul essence. It would be very difficult – if not impossible – to separate or ban any group from the ‘afterlife’, as everything is an intricate part of this huge cosmic energy field in which we exist. We are told that that physical death is a movement from the lower vibratory dimensions of life to a higher one, in which there are many planes of existence, also that the cycle of reincarnation is a natural evolutionary process. Life, death, rebirth occur all the time, in all things. The faster the vibration of the energies, the greater the intelligence and few can dispute that cats have this in abundance. There are countless stories of the psychic bond between them and their owners. They can sense when someone they love is in danger, troubled, or ill – even from a distance. As a cat’s ability to telepathically communicate transcends physical laws of space and time, so it follows that their energies can transcend physical death. I sometimes wonder if our own cats are on the Hindu path of soul progression and aiming for human reincarnation? Or if, maybe, they have a human soul counterpart elsewhere on the planet? I can’t answer that. Right now, I’m just so grateful – and honoured – that they have chosen to return to us. Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
Janet Morgan is a qualified Complementary Therapist and Course Tutor and has written articles on healing and meditation. Details of her children’s book can be found on www.tobyscrystal.co.uk
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At Cats Protection one of our main aims is to make information about cat welfare and care available to all, especially young people. From literature and learning resources to informative talks and tours of adoption centres, we want to play our part in encouraging children to be thinking and considerate human beings. Recent studies have also shown that caring for a cat can do wonders for a childâ€™s self esteem, social skills and sense of responsibility to others. We provide education packs for teachers and work with youth organisations, such as the Brownies and the Beavers. If youâ€™d like more details of the resources available then please contact us: T: 01825 741 924 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.cats.org.uk/learn
Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)
Write here, write now D
o you believe that the pen is mightier than the sword? If so, then don’t take up fencing anytime soon and take a look at this instead – if you’re something of a wordsmith, this should be write up your street! Following in the footsteps of our successful writing competitions of 2008 and 2009, we are now inviting entries to our 2011 contest. Whether you prefer poetry or prose, you will be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize and seeing your work in print.
Categories There are two categories: Short Story – 1,000 words maximum Whether these tales are true or tall; mirthful or melancholic we are looking for natty narratives and punchy plots that will entertain cat lovers. Poetry – 500 words maximum Sonnet, limerick, haiku or rhyme – if you have an overwhelming urge to write an ode, we want to read your sparkling stanzas… forget dazzling doggerel we want creative catterel! Competition prizes, rules and an entry form can be found on the other side of this page or online at www.cats.org.uk/thecatmag
Illustration: dreamstime.com/Makarova Olga
There will be a first prize and runner up prize for each of the two categories.
Winners • A laptop computer worth over £350* • An Oxford Dictionary of English *model shown here is for illustration purposes only
Runners up • An Oxford Dictionary of English • An Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins
Photo: istockphoto.com/Onur Kocamaz
Thank you to Oxford University Press for the dictionary prizes www.oup.com
Our special guest Judge Celia Haddon is a well-known and respected authority on all things cat related. Her books to date include One Hundred Secret Thoughts Cats Have About Humans and The Joy of Cats and she is also Pet Agony Aunt for The Daily Telegraph. She has two cats called William and George.
Rules and essential information
Entries can be submitted via email to email@example.com or by post to Writing Competition 2011, The Cat magazine, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT • By entering this competition, you are accepting these terms and conditions • Your entry must be your own work and previously unpublished • Short story entries must not be more than 1,000 words • Poems must not be more than 500 words • Entries must be typed and not handwritten • Posted entries will only be acknowledged if a stamped, self-addressed postcard is included with the entry – all online entries will be acknowledged by email • Posted entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form • There is no limit to the number of entries per person • Entries cannot be returned so please keep a copy for your records • Copyright remains with the author but we reserve the right to publish entries in future Cats Protection publications, both in print and online • There is no charge for entering this competition, but there is a suggested donation of £5 per entry to cover administration. These donations can be accepted via our online entry form at www.cats.org.uk/thecatmag or by cheque made payable to ‘Cats Protection’ – please do not send cash • The closing date is 25 February 2011 and the winners will be notified of their success by 1 April 2011. Winning entries will be announced in the Summer 2011 edition of The Cat which is published in May 2011. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into Closing date: 25 February 2011
Entry form PLEASE USE BLOCK CAPITALS ON THE FORM
I confirm that this is my own work and I agree to co-operate to the best of my ability with any publicity undertaken by the charity for this competition.
I hereby permit Cats Protection to reproduce in any material form (including photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means and whether or not transiently or incidentally to some other use) any story entered into this competition by me without the need to obtain my permission to do so as the copyright owner, in order to further the work of Cats Protection.
Postcode: Telephone: Email: If you wish to receive further communications from Cats Protection by email, please tick this box.
Supporter/membership no. (if known):
Cats Protection is committed to ensuring that it complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the principles set out in the Act. Further offers from other carefully selected companies may be made to you. If you would prefer not to receive such communications, please tick this box.
Total entry donation:
If you do not wish to receive communications (by phone, post or fax) from Cats Protection, please tick this box.
Number of entries submitted: Short stories:
48 Cat Winter 2010 CODE –The WRCOMP11
greetings Wishing all of our readers a very happy festive season.
Give your feet a rest and exercise your mind
Amusing Heather The tooth furry
Across 1 Link (10) 7 Exonerate (7) 8 Unwanted email (4) 10 Cain’s brother (4) 11 Member of the family (8) 13 Cake-burning king (6) 15 Large wasp (6) 17 Mixed (8) 18 Pal (4) 21 River of Egypt (4) 22 Copy (7) 23 Comprehend (10)
Down 1 Hereditary class in India (5) 2 Invalid, not binding (4) 3 Made level (6) 4 One who makes a will (8) 5 Formal speech (7) 6 Boat with two hulls (9) 9 Autumn month (9) 12 Bring back (8) 14 Mode (7) 16 Dangers (6) 19 Listened to (5) 20 Capital of Peru (4)
To win one of these three etched wine glasses, complete our crossword correctly, rearrange the shaded letters and find the titles of two Shakespeare plays 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with Crossword in the subject header. Winners will be drawn on 14 January 2011. The prizes are kindly sponsored by The Cat Gallery. Visit www.thecatgallery.co.uk or phone 01904 413 000 to request a catalogue. Last issue’s winners: Peter Farmer from Sutton-On-Sea, Lincolnshire; Peggy Hardcastle from Keighley, West Yorkshire; Oonagh Lahr from Muswell Hill, London. Answers to Summer Crossword on page 27.
50 The Cat Winter 2010
If you live anywhere near us and keep hearing the whirring of tiny wings in the night, do not be alarmed. This is likely to be the poor old Tooth Furry who has been working overtime these past few weeks. Miss Elizabeth started the fashion, returning from the vet minus eight teeth and sporting a lopsided grin. Not that this stopped our white-and-tabby heroine launching herself at the biscuits, after bestowing a contemptuous glance on the bowl of mashed kittydins I had so lovingly prepared. It took Lizzie a while to get her face back into shape, but she’s pretty well mastered it now, except when she feels a hooked-up lip might add a certain dignity to the occasion. Isabelle, being a sensitive soul, took exception to the vet’s remarks about her molars and felt the need to crunch into a couple of fingers to quite literally make her point. There is nothing heroic about Isabelle who, at 12 years of age, is still Mummy’s little girl and will milk every situation for all its worth. Having a tooth removed doesn’t generally affect one’s ability to walk, but Isabelle can be relied upon to limp for weeks to come. Today has been a particularly tense day because ginger Benjamin has been at the vet’s having a bit of a scale and polish. This wouldn’t normally have us reaching for the Valium, but Benjamin has fits and we have to keep it handy – for him, not for ourselves! Any extra stress can trigger a fit, so we are delighted to have him home, safe and sound and with a dazzling smile. I don’t think much of the presents the Tooth Furry leaves though. So far, we’ve had a furball, a clump of moss and a few tail feathers. I think she must have given the money straight to the vet. Heather Cook
Purr ‘n’ Fur Alvah Simon is an explorer and adventurer who has undertaken various odysseys, accompanied by his wife, Diana White. But there was one adventure he had a burning ambition to accomplish, which was to spend a winter on a boat embedded in the ice in the Arctic. They set off sailing northwards from Maine in June 1994. Stopping in Halifax, Nova Scotia for supplies, they came across two kittens in the local market. One was a wild little minx of a creature who hissed and scratched. They felt this one would be a fellow survivor and so took her on as companion, bed warmer and possible polar-bear detector, naming her Halifax. Halifax’s first actions on board were to tear up their charts and pee in their bunks. But gradually she settled down. As a bear detector she wasn’t much use, though — the first time a polar bear approached the boat she slept through the whole episode! On 6 October, Diana’s birthday, they received a radio message from her father, saying that he had terminal cancer. They agreed that Diana must get home to be with him: but Alvah decided to continue with his plan. He would have only Halifax for company and he promoted her to First Mate. Halifax loved to accompany him for treks out on the ice, clambering on his shoulder or into his parka for a while when she became tired or her paws got too cold. But one day she stopped following him and sat whining in the snow – at 45 degrees below zero. He went on, until he realised that if he left her much longer she would certainly freeze to death. In his haste to pick her up and warm her in his coat he heard a crack – her frozen right ear had snapped in half. Alvah was full of remorse, cursing himself for being so stupid and subjecting his companion to the ordeal. One day in March, two Inuit arrived on a snowmobile, bringing fresh meat – and a letter from Diana saying she would be returning. She arrived in mid March. Diana brought a huge can of diesel – and 35lb of cat food! As the ice gradually melted, the boat was finally released from the grip of the ice that had held it captive – but this meant that to relieve herself she had to be taken to the beach in the dinghy. She got used to miaowing when she wanted to go; but if no one came she would jump on passing ice floes and go drifting off. Her humans would go looking for her
and when they arrived she would jump imperiously into the dinghy, as though she had just ordered a taxi! Finally, in August 1995, they decided it was time to leave. On 20 October they anchored at the same dock in Maine from which they had set out nearly 17 months earlier. We’re very sad to report that Halifax passed away during June 2009. Alvah Simon, her ‘Captain’, has written a moving tribute to her: “Our beloved friend, crewmember, and fellow adventurer, Halifax of The North, is dead. I have been writing for many years, but that last sentence was the hardest I have ever written, and our boat and our lives will ring hollow for a long time to come.” Extract taken from www.purr-n-fur.org.uk by Patrick Roberts, log on to read more of Patrick’s feline fables, folios and fun! Patrick Roberts
Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
Halifax of the North
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 27.
Norm’s enjoying his daily cat cuddling session at the Adoption Centre...perhaps a bit too much.
A.P Tentpeg 2010
Was it something I said?
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The dangers at home Dr Justine Lee, Associate Director of Veterinary Services at Pet Poison Helpline and Toxcall Veterinary Helpline, reveals the top ten toxins to avoid in your household
hanks to the curious nature of cats, it’s often harder than it looks to petproof your home adequately. Even the most experienced cat owner can still have common household poisons lying around. Make sure to educate yourself on the common poisons that we see in cats here at Toxcall Veterinary Helpline, an animal poison control helpline available for veterinary surgeons in the United Kingdom. Among the most frequently encountered feline poisons managed by Toxcall Veterinary Helpline are: • Lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis spp.) • Canine flea and tick medications – intended for dogs • Salicylates • Liquid potpourri • Glow sticks/glow jewellery • Tinsel, string or ribbon – linear foreign material • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) • Paracetamol • Ibuprofen • Antifreeze/ethylene glycol By being aware of these top 10 toxins, cat owners can better pet-proof their homes to avoid accidental poisoning to their feline friends. Some of these toxins are further reviewed in this article.
The common lily plant – from the Lilium spp. and Hemerocallis spp. – is often found in gardens, floral arrangements or as fresh cuttings. These beautiful, fragrant flowers are know as the common Easter lily, tiger lily, Japanese show lily, stargazer lily, rubrum lily and day lily. All parts of the plant, including the pollen, are toxic to cats and result in severe, acute kidney failure. Cats have been poisoned by brushing up against the pollen of the plant and grooming it off. As few as one or two leaves or petals can result in
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severe, potentially irreversible kidney failure. Unfortunately, cats aren’t aware that this species of plant is poisonous and are not ‘smart’ enough to stay away from it. When ingested, cats don’t show any clinical signs immediately. Often, vomiting, inappetance and lethargy are seen within the first few hours to days and then progresses to kidney failure in one to three days – including signs like severe halitosis; not drinking or drinking too much water, not urinating or urinating too much. In general, the sooner you realise your cat has ingested any part of a lily, the better the prognosis when you seek treatment immediately. Treatment includes emptying the stomach and binding up the poison – with activated charcoal – and treating with intravenous fluids for several days to prevent kidney failure. Blood tests should be performed daily, while hospitalised, to evaluate kidney function. The easiest way of preventing this deadly poisoning is by making sure that poisonous plants are not available in the household. As florists often use lilies in bouquets, it is imperative that freshly cut flowers or bouquets never be brought in a house without accurate plant identification first.
Flea and tick medication Topical flea and tick medications commonly contain insecticides called pyrethrins or pyrethroids – eg permethrin, cypermethrin, cyphenothrin etc. While these chemicals are derived from the chrysanthemum flower and are very safe for use in dogs, cats are extremely sensitive to these products. Accidental poisoning often occurs when pet owners apply ‘small dog’ topical flea and tick products to ‘large cats’. Cats can also be exposed if they live with dogs that have had recent topical flea and tick medication placed; if the cat grooms the product off the dog, it can result in severe drooling, tremors and even life-threatening seizures. When in doubt, always read the flea and tick label
feature well before applying a product to your cat. If the product is intended for a dog, it should never be used on a cat without veterinary recommendations. If accidental application has occurred, the topical product should be bathed off with washing-up liquid immediately and your cat should be taken to your veterinary surgeon for further treatment.
Tinsel, string or ribbon Cats like to play with ribbon, string and tinsel, particularly around Christmas. Unfortunately, while tinsel may look benign enough to you, it’s a fun, shiny, sparkly chew toy to many cats. Tinsel ingestion doesn’t actually pose a poisoning risk, but it can cause severe damage to the intestinal tract if swallowed, resulting in a ‘linear foreign body’ that requires emergency surgery to correct. In any cat household, tinsel should never be used in order to help minimise this risk.
Filling your house with the smell of liquid potpourri warming on a candle burner may seem relaxing, but it is quite toxic to cats. They appear to be extra sensitive to these chemicals as dogs aren’t typically affected. Due to their curious nature, cats will often examine and lick the melting potpourri which contains chemicals – cationic detergents and essential oils – that can cause severe burns – corrosive injury – to the mouth, oesophagus and intestinal tract. Cats typically acutely and profusely drool when even a few licks are ingested. As this poisoning can cause severe respiratory signs – including difficulty breathing or increased breathing – and neurologic signs – like tremors or seizures – immediate veterinary care should be sought. Treatment includes flushing out the mouth well, pain medication, anti-ulcer medication, blood work and possible X-rays.
Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which is a sweet, sticky liquid that is extremely toxic to cats. Just one teaspoon can be fatal. When antifreeze is metabolised by the body, it causes abnormal calcium crystals to form in the kidneys, resulting in severe kidney failure one to two days later. While there is an antidote – fomepizole or ethanol – it is only effective when used within the first three hours of exposure in cats; after this time has elapsed, it is no longer effective. Once cats develop kidney failure from antifreeze, the prognosis is grave. For this reason, cats should be kept away from garages or areas where antifreeze is stored. Ideally, they should be kept indoors to prevent any malicious poisoning. Cat owners should be aware of these common poisons readily available throughout the household. Immediate treatment at a veterinary surgeon is imperative with a majority of these poisons, as the sooner treatment is initiated, the better the prognosis. Your veterinary surgeon can always call Toxcall Veterinary Helpline for specialised help with a poisoning case. With any type of poisoning, delayed treatment or the development of clinical signs results in a poorer prognosis. For that reason, the best way to protect your cat is to pet-proof your house, avoid exposure to any of these common toxins and to seek veterinary advice immediately once something has been ingested!
Glow sticks/jewellery During certain holidays, glow sticks and glow jewellery may be more readily available. These contain dibutyl phthalate – often nicknamed ‘DBP’ – inside, which is the clear to yellow, oily liquid that has a very bitter taste. One bite from your cat can result in DBP leaking from the glow stick and result in profuse drooling, gagging and retching. DBP can also cause irritation to the skin and eyes, resulting in a burning or stinging sensation, making your cat paw at their face, skin, or mouth. As cats are fastidious groomers, they end up ingesting more and more as they clean the DBP from their faces and fur. Thankfully, the chemical itself isn’t particularly ‘toxic’, but can result in dramatic signs. Most of these cases can be managed at home. First, remove the product and clean up any remaining DBP liquid. Next, dilute the taste out of your cat’s mouth by offering him some canned tuna water – not oil – or chicken broth. Lastly, if your cat will tolerate it, a bath is in order, or at least a thorough wipe down, to remove any remaining DBP. You can even move your cat into a dark room to look for any glowing liquid left on him – once you see it,
This article was provided courtesy of Toxcall, a 24/7 animal poison control service available in the UK for veterinary surgeons. Dr Justine Lee is the Associate Director of Veterinary Services at Pet Poison Helpline and Toxcall Veterinary Helpline and is also the author of It’s a Cat’s World… You Just Live In It.
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Human medications including salicylates – aspirin, oil of wintergreen etc – NSAIDS, paracetamol, and ibuprofen should never be given to cats without direct consent from a veterinary surgeon. Cats have an altered liver metabolism and can be easily poisoned by common drugs. Salicylates and NSAIDs – eg ibuprofen – can result in severe stomach ulcers and kidney failure when ingested by cats. One paracetamol tablet can kill a cat and results in severe anaemia – low red blood cell count – a swollen face and potential liver failure. Treatment includes aggressive intravenous fluids, an antidote called N-acetylcysteine to help the liver metabolise the drugs – for paracetamol poisoning – stomach protectants, antiulcer medication and follow-up blood tests. When in doubt, pet owners should always keep these out of reach of cats by storing them in an elevated medicine cabinet out of reach.
make sure to remove it with a damp cloth to prevent further ingestion. Keep in mind that a trip to the veterinary surgeon may be necessary if your cat shows any signs of redness to the eyes, squinting, or rubbing, as he may have some ocular irritation. Also, if large amounts of plastic are swallowed, it can result in a foreign body or cause stomach irritation and vomiting.
Norman conquers all Cathryn Sharpe recalls the adoption of her loving cat, Norman
n September 2005, my husband Lee and I adopted a cat from Cats Protection. He was a moggy named Norman by the staff at the centre. His coat was mainly white with a few ginger patches and he had a distinctive ginger-andwhite-striped tail. He had a perfectly pink nose and pink paw pads, his eyes were yellowy-green and he had a very cheeky look about him. He was a stray and had been brought to the centre after being found wandering the streets. He had been with Cats Protection for five long months and had been repeatedly overlooked for adoption but when Lee and I met him, it was love at first sight. As soon as he arrived home, the first thing Norman did was to start eating and he did so as if it were his last meal! The three other cats we had at the time were very curious to see the new addition to the family and very warily approached him to check him out. There was hissing and growling from the others, but Norman just purred, smiled and carried on eating. Over the first few days of living with him, we found Norman to be extremely laidback, easy-going and very, very friendly. He never growled or hissed at the other cats, just purred and wanted to play. However, he was very nervous around loud noises, particularly the rustling of dustbin liners, which had him cowering in terror. Lee and I put it down to the possible ill treatment he may have suffered before we adopted him and ensured he was always safely out the way if we ever needed to make any loud or sudden noises. Norman did not like going outside either. One day, about four weeks after adopting him, Lee carried him outside to encourage him but he panicked and struggled, eventually jumping from Lee’s arms and running back into the safety
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of the house. Again, we wondered if his past had affected him and we didn’t try taking him outside again. However, almost six months to the day we first adopted him, Norman did decide to wander outside by himself! It was wonderful to watch, because it was as if he’d turned a corner in his life: the stable, loving home we provided for him had given him confidence and he knew he was safe. We were so happy that Norman had finally found a place he could relax and be himself and that he was happy living with us. Over the years, Norman has brought us such joy and happiness. He is nearly always purring and you only have to make eye contact with him to set him off! He is the first cat to welcome visitors to the house and the first in line at dinnertime. He loves coming to bed, where he snuggles up in my arms and falls asleep. He adores being brushed and never refuses fuss and a cuddle. He also loves his photograph being taken and is quite the poser! Three years ago, we adopted a kitten called Tiptoes and Norman made it his mission to look after the little thing, almost like a proud Grandad. He would wash him and play with him and didn’t mind Tiptoes ambushing him and biting his tail. Norman turned 20 years old this September, which I believe is 94 human years. He is a little stiff on his feet these days and sleeps a lot of the time, spending hours sunbathing and warming his tummy. He is still the gentle, loving and happy cat he always has been and still purrs almost non-stop. Tragically, my husband Lee died of thyroid cancer in January 2009 but to still have the absolute pleasure of Norman’s company, the first cat we adopted together, is a precious and lovely thing.
Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
Cats Protection in focus Contents Page 56
Spotlight… take a closer look at the work of Cats Protection branches around the UK
Messageboard… cats needing homes, branches needing volunteers and thank yous to those who’ve helped
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 www.cats.org.uk 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, 28 adoption centres and one homing centre around the country, as well as 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.
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Spotlight A selection of tales from our branches and adoption centres...
Give Patrick a leg up
By Peebles & Biggar Patrick had been hit by a car when he was handed in to a local vet. His left front leg was severely damaged and there were doubts as to whether it could be saved. He was not microchipped so, when no owner came forward, we took over his care. He had a long and complicated operation, which resulted in his leg having a plate put in. After four weeks’ cage rest he was taken back to the vet where it was found that he required another operation for a different condition. After plenty more rest, his next X-ray showed a marked improvement and he was well enough to go outside into a garden pen. He has now been rehomed and is a lovely, well adjusted cat, leaving behind happy memories, a sad Fosterer – at parting with him – and a large vet bill of around £550! If anyone feels that they would like to contribute to his fees, please make cheques payable to Peebles & Biggar Cats Protection and send donations c/o Karen Valentine, Treasurer, 15A/B Rosetta Road, Peebles, EH45 8JU.
Fairground attractions By Stourbridge & District
Help us give this Cloud a silver lining By Stockport Cloud came to us as a 12-week-old kitten. He had been found in a garden and, because he was so unresponsive and frightened, he became one of our resident cats. We spotted an injury to the back of his neck and managed to get him into a shed. Once caught, we realised Cloud’s neck injuries were extensive. After several weeks of treatment, the injury had spread aggressively and it was decided to refer him to a veterinary hospital near Liverpool. A number of tests were carried out and revealed some kind of allergy but, at the time of writing, we are awaiting further results. Any help towards Cloud’s costs would be much appreciated. Cheques should be made payable to Stockport Cats Protection and sent to Ms J Goodman, 3 Hexworth Walk, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 3DF.
Snowdrop and Tealeaf – aka Hinge and Bracket – are two distinguished 12 year olds who have lived together their whole lives and are now looking for a new home. They have led an interesting life as they lived with their owner in a Portakabin as he worked on a fairground. Unfortunately, when he died they were left without a home. One of the other fairground workers continued to feed them until we were able to take them in. These ‘ladies of a certain age’ both have slight heart conditions; these have been checked out by our vet and Snowdrop is on medication and will need to continue to take this on an ongoing basis. The branch will consider making a contribution to continuing veterinary costs if it will help these two lovely ladies find a new home together. Donations to help with Snowdrop’s medication can be made payable to Stourbridge & District Cats Protection c/o The Treasurer, PO Box 3836, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 2WP. To offer Snowdrop and Tealeaf a home, please email email@example.com or phone 08448 848 514.
On page 56 of our Autumn 2010 edition, an item entitled ‘Help’ mistakenly asked supporters to send cheques made out to the name of the Branch Co-ordinator. Please note that donation cheques should always be made out to Cats Protection followed by the name of the branch and should not be made out in the name of an individual person. We apologise for this error.
56 The Cat Winter 2010
Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness
Not yet over the Hildy By Montrose & Brechin Hildy came to our branch after her owner sadly died. She was very shy, hiding away and eating very little. After plenty of attention and patience from volunteers, however, Hildy started to eat more and was eventually brave enough to come out and sit on her Fosterer’s lap. Just as we were beginning to worry about when she would find a home because of her shyness and age – she was 11 – we heard of someone who was looking for a house cat and, as she had never shown any inclination to go outside, we thought Hildy would be suitable. The Fosterer took her to her new home and explained that she would immediately hide and it would a while for her to come out easily. The basket was opened and Hildy proceeded to openly search round the sitting room and the kitchen, frequently coming to the Fosterer and new owner. She went into hiding later, but appeared during the night to sleep on her new owner’s bed and things progressed successfully from there. From the first moment, Hildy definitely decided she had come home!
Wonders from ‘down under’ By Reading & District We are delighted to report two very different, though equally happy endings for George, a tabby-and-white kitten and Dolly, a black-andwhite girl aged nine. Ten-week-old George was found underneath a car with a horrendous crush fracture to the top of his leg which initially appeared beyond George repair. However, following some ‘miracle’ surgery, his leg was mended and he is Dolly now leaping around almost like new. While he was at the vet, some lovely people visiting their sick dog fell in love with him and adopted him. Dolly came into our care having spent her entire life living – eating, sleeping, using a tray – under a bed, her owners passing her over as having “no quality of life”! She was lovingly fostered in a home environment for about 18 months, during which time she became a different cat, growing in confidence every day. Her new family fell for her after seeing her “quizzical” little face on the branch website and she is now happily settled and loved to bits.
New home is like stardust to Alvin By Bristol & District We were contacted by a vet asking if we could take on an injured cat called Alvin. It had been the third time that he had been hit by a car and he was only two years old. He had a broken pelvis, a disjointed hip and had also lost his tail. He lived with his brother who was quite safe, but Alvin didn’t seem to have any perception of danger. His owner decided she would give him up as she couldn’t afford further vet bills and she was worried he might not be so lucky a fourth time! After treatment, six weeks’ cage rest and £1,400 later, he was signed off from the vet and ready to go to a traffic-free new home. This was a challenge in itself, but we found him a great one in the middle of a row of terraced housing where he couldn’t get out to any roads. His new owners fell in love with him as soon as they met him and he settled in straight away, enjoying his new home and a good lap to sit on.
Sweet sixteen By Outer Aberdeen & District When we went to collect three feral kittens from a croft where the tenant had died, we didn’t expect to be dealing with 13 others! Mentioning that they all came to feed in the garage, someone suggested that we just shut the door and round them up; this wasn’t that simple, however, as most of the walls were missing! After a couple of cold weekends, all the cats but one had been neutered, the four-year-old mum. A few more weeks and a fish supper later though and she had finally been caught. The kittens have been homed, most of the younger cats rehomed and the eldest, most feral ones returned.
Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 • www.cats.org.uk
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Messageboard from your local Cats Protection...
Worthing & District
Male, 14 years
Maidenhead, Slough & District
Stoke & Newcastle
Stewartry & District
Female, 8 years
Female, 8 years
Rudi came into our care in a poor condition. He has hyperthyroidism and his liver count was low. He was put onto tablets and his condition is much improved and he takes his tablets well in his food. He is gentle and affectionate and likes to be stroked. Medical costs can be met by our Golden Oldie Scheme.
☎☎ 01903 200 332
Bristol & District
Albert and Betty Male and female, 10 years approx
Posh is very friendly and perfectly happy around other cats. We need a very special owner for her as she is allergic to annual vaccinations. This means she will be vulnerable to infection and will therefore have to live as an indoor cat or with access only to a very safe enclosed garden. It will also be impossible to put her in a cattery, so holidays would require a caring ‘cat sitter’. She is a lovely cat and there must be an owner out there who can provide the safe home she deserves.
☎☎ 01628 620 909
Roxy had been kept in a small flat with an elderly man who over-fed her. She is miserable in a pen and would love a new home as an only cat – due to her need to be on a controlled diet.
☎☎ 01782 515 167
Isle of Wight Adoption Centre
Bellatrix Black & Luna Lovegood Female, 7 months
Dottie is on a special diet due to kidney failure and the prognosis is years rather than weeks or months. The branch is prepared to pay food and vets’ bills. She has never been outside and is not keen on being in a pen, so is occasionally unpredictable, although usually a very affectionate cat. We would like an experienced cat person to look after her as she has had a very unhappy time until now.
☎☎ 01557 339 233
Female, 10 years
Albert and Betty had been abandoned and were both in a dreadful state. Betty has a thyroid problem which is now under control, Albert has come on leaps and bounds and is comfortable but will not get better as the vets think he has bowel cancer. We will pay any costs relating to their conditions. It would be nice to home them together but we will split them if the right homes come along.
☎☎ 0117 966 5428
The Cat Winter 2010
Valiant Vera was found wandering the streets, just when she most needed care and love. She loves being brushed and will make a lovely gentle pet in an indoor-only home without dogs or other cats.
☎☎ 01993 831 350
Bellatrix Black and Luna Lovegood are beautiful black kittens needing an indoor home due to having FIV. They are extremely playful and would need space to run around. Both are affectionate and would suit a family that can keep them indoors!
☎☎ 01983 562 609
Black kittens seem to be the order of the day here as we are overrun with them! To offer a new home to a black kitten – or any others that might be around – please get in touch with us.
☎☎ 01404 45241
Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness
Warrington Adoption Centre
Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell
Dereham Adoption Centre
Male, 2 years
Male, 11 years
Female, 10 years
Boots was brought to us as a stray. He enjoys being stroked, however he does not like being picked up or restrained. He likes company and could be in an adultonly home with plenty of outdoor space. He is also very adventurous and would love the freedom of a stables or farm, he would make a great mouser.
Edward likes attention on his own terms, although he can be very loving. He is talkative and likes to drink from a tap or cat fountain. He should be the only cat in the household and we presume he does not like dogs. He has been used to older children in the past.
Hixxi came to us because her owners were moving and could not take her with them. She would like a quiet home with a safe garden but without any young children or other pets. At night, Hixxi loves nothing more than curling up on your lap so she can get all your attention.
Bob is a friendly lad who doesn’t seem to mind other cats or dogs and is fine with children. He loves to have his tummy tickled. Can you give this lovely cat the warm comfortable home he deserves?
Outer Aberdeen & District
Swansea & District
Stourbridge & District
☎☎ 01925 411 160
Barnsley & District
☎☎ 08453 714 212
☎☎ 01362 687 919
Yasmin and Chloe Female, 3 years
Male, 15 months
Arbroath & District
Male, 5 years
☎☎ 01241 434 605
Tealeaf and Snowdrop
Female, 12 years
Male, 4 years
Rory is the most friendly lovable cat imaginable and is looking for an indoor-only home as he is FIV positive. He is also diabetic and is on insulin injections twice a day. This is only necessary until his diabetes is stabilised though.
☎☎ 01226 712 157
Simba has been with us for several months now. He is a friendly youngster and full of energy, however he does want plenty of attention and can be very vocal about telling you so!
☎☎ 01224 782 207
ath & District Branch urgently needs more Fosterers to B care for cats awaiting permanent homes. If you have a spare room or could place a pen in your garden, we would be very pleased to hear from you. If you are able to help, please phone 01225 873 196. reston Branch is looking for Fosterers in the PR1-PR7 or P PR25/ PR26 postcode areas, preferably those who have time to look after the cats, space for a cat pen and a willingness to make a huge difference to a succession of cats throughout the year. You can check out the cats currently enjoying the hospitality of our Fosterers on the adoption page of our website, www.prestoncpl.com. Please phone us on 01772 748 788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yasmin and Chloe’s owners emigrated leaving the sisters with a friend. Unfortunately the friend had asthma and they had to live in her conservatory until we could take them in. They rely on each other so would like to be homed together.
☎☎ 01792 208 808
These sisters are looking for a home together. Please see page 56 for further details.
☎☎ 08448 848 514
redhurst Adoption Centre is looking for some volunteers B to carry out home visits in the south-east London area as there must be thousands of potential adopters there; if you feel you could help with this please phone 01634 232 471. rmagh Branch urgently needs new volunteers to help A with home visiting, updating the website, raising the branch profile, transporting cats to and from the vets and fundraising. There is always something to do for a willing pair of hands! Please contact Julie on email@example.com or 07896 680 265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 • www.cats.org.uk
The Cat Winter 2010 59
Messageboard cont... eading & District Branch is looking for a Fundraising Co-ordinator R to be responsible for all aspects of branch fundraising, though we would also consider splitting the role into areas where individuals could take on the organisation of specific types of events. We would also welcome further Shop Volunteers and Fosterers. If you feel able to spare some time and any of these roles sound appealing, please phone 0118 940 3005 or email email@example.com. uildford & Godalming Branch needs more Home Visitors for the G Guildford area. Own transport essential. Please contact the branch to find out more on 01483 422 529. lasgow Branch is looking for additional Fosterers. If you have a G spare room or are interested in having a pen in your garden, please get in touch. We also have a range of other volunteer roles available. For further details please phone 08453 712 722. orthampton Branch needs a Helpline Co-ordinator and a N Fundraiser. The branch is really stretched at the moment and if we could fill these posts it would help loads. If you can help, please phone 0844 700 3251. eignbridge & Totnes Branch is still in urgent need of Fundraisers – T we need help with events and also volunteers to distribute collection boxes in their home locality. If you’d like to know more or have any fundraising ideas of your own, please phone Barbara on 08453 712 727. ristol & District Branch is currently looking for a Fundraising Officer B to join our friendly team of Fundraisers, Home Checkers and volunteers to help in our charity shop in Bedminster. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact us on 0117 966 5428. oniton Branch is looking for a Fundraiser to organise events in and H around Honiton. While our shop in the High Street does a fantastic job, we feel the word could be spread and the fundraising improved by additional events such as coffee mornings or jumble sales or parachute jumps or… well, you tell us! To get involved and make a real difference contact us on www.honiton.cats.org.uk or 01404 45241. tockport Branch is looking for Fosterers. Cat food, litter and vets S fees can be provided by the branch. If you are interested, would like to know more about fostering with us or would like chat to other branch members, please call Jacky Goodman on 07900 415 674, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit one of our events. eading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Branch needs Fosterers. R We like to start you off indoors to see if this is for you and then progress to having outdoor pen or pens, to enable us to help rehome the cats that we have in our care, you need to become a member of the branch which is £6 per year, so if you love cats and can foster them until we can get them rehomed, we would love to hear from you on 08453 714 212. tourbridge & District Branch is looking for volunteers who S can spare a morning or afternoon to help out at our charity shop in Stourbridge – sorting and pricing, using the till and chatting to customers. If you can help, please phone Beryl on 01384 422 208. We’re also looking for people with time and ideas to help out with fundraising. Have you got time to help out at an event or stall? Have you got a hidden talent that we could capitalise on? Please ring Gaynor on 01384 872 151 or email email@example.com if you can help.
60 The Cat Winter 2010
To all those who donated to Three Rivers & Watford Branch following our appeal for help with Buzby’s veterinary costs – The Cat, Summer 2010. We are extremely grateful for the generous amount we received and we are pleased to report that Buzby continues to make good progress! To all the local veterinary surgeries which offer free neutering with a voucher for Preston Branch. Without their help, our neutering work would be much more difficult. To everyone who donated funds to the new Welwyn/Hatfield District Branch – The Cat, Autumn 2010. We greatly value all contributions, every penny of which is spent directly on the cats and kittens in our care. Thank you for caring enough to think of us here in Hertfordshire. To North Weald Veterinary Surgery which invited Harlow, Epping Forest & District Branch along to the village dog show it was sponsoring and also to the organisers who ensured that the animal charities present between them got a large share of the takings. It is a reminder that many dog owners also have cats or are cat lovers and are happy to dig deep into their pockets for feline as well as canine good causes. To everyone who attended the new Deeside Branch’s first coffee morning on 2 October at the Banchory Guide Lodge. We raised over £500 for the cats in our area and it was very well attended; we look forward to the next one. To the whole Homing Team at Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Branch, namely Anne Young and Alison Stratford on the Welfare side and the Home Visitors, Fostering Co-ordinator Evelyn Overton and all the Fosterers. In August, we homed 55 kittens and this was an exhausting time for the whole team, but we all kept going and it went so smoothly; a big thank you for all your hard work, it was greatly appreciated. Love Debbie, Homing Officer. To all of the volunteers – old hands and new starters – who have supported Stourbridge & District Branch through the many changes since the start of the year. We couldn’t have done it without you – your dedication is much appreciated. Also to Amanda Jones who is leaving us as a Fosterer after several years – thank you for all that you’ve done. To the staff of Gibson and Jones Veterinary Practice who recently completed a sponsored climb of Snowdon for Swansea & District Branch. They raised at least £890 and the money is still coming in.
Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness
Diary of events Find out what’s going on near you...
ENGLAND BERKSHIRE Reading & District Stalls 11 December: Jumble Sale, All Saints Parish Hall, Downshire Square, Reading, RG1 6NH.
Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell Fairs 3 December: Christmas fair, Twyford. Monthly Meetings 29 November: Our Lady of Peace (OLOP) Church Hall, Wokingham Road, Earley (Earley Cross Roads), RG6 7DA; 8pm. Stalls 5 December: Christmas Extravaganza, Woodley town centre.
BRISTOL Bristol Collections 4 September: Morrisons, Fishponds; 10am-4pm. 25 September: Sainsbury’s, Brislington; 10am-4pm. Fairs 4 December: Christmas Fayre, Thornbury Methodist Church; 10am-2pm. We will be selling Christmas goods, 2011 calendars and diaries. There will be refreshments, face painting and various other stalls. Stalls 6 November: Christmas event at the Cats Protection Charity Shop, 272 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol; 10am-3pm. 18 November: Christmas launch night, Yate Shopping Centre.
DEVON East Devon Stalls 2 December: Mince Pie Coffee Morning/Bazaar, All Saints Church Hall, Sidmouth; 10am-12noon.
ESSEX Rayleigh, Castle Point & District Fairs 4 December: Cat Homing Show, British Legion Hall, Castle Lane, Hadleigh; 10.30am-1pm. 11 December: Christmas Fair, Richmond Hall, High Rd, Benfleet; 10.30am-1pm. 8 January: Cat Homing Show, Rayleigh Methodist Church Hall, Eastwood Rd, Rayleigh; 10.30am-1pm.
GREATER LONDON Ealing & West London Fairs 5 March: Ealing Animal Welfare Bazaar, Hanwell Methodist Church, Church Rd, Hanwell, London, W7 1DJ; 10.30am-4pm. Many participating societies; free admission. Phone 020 8567 6739 www. animalwelfarebazaar.info
GREATER MANCHESTER Stockport Fairs 11 December: Bramhall/ Davenport, Trinity Methodist Church, Trinity Gardens, Bramhall Lane; 10am-12.30pm. 12 February: Woodley, Civic Hall, Hyde Road; 10am12.30pm. Any offers of help phone 0161 439 1274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone, email or visit www.stockport.cats.org.uk for details of 2011 events.
HERTFORDSHIRE Berkhamstead & Hemel Hempstead Fairs 27 November: Christmas Fair, Queens Square, Adeyfield, Hemel Hempstead. An early chance to buy some Christmas goodies at our CP stall. Refreshments available. 28 November: Christmas Fair, Berkhamsted Sports Centre, Lagley Meadow, Douglas Gdns, Berkhamsted, HP4 3QQ; 12-3pm. A new
event with a Christmas theme being organised by Sportspace. Another chance to get some Christmas goodies at the CP stall.
Stalls 5 December: Festival of Light, Berkhamsted; 3-6pm. Switch on of town’s Christmas lights; to include trade and charity stalls, rides and entertainment. Organised by Berkhamsted Town Council and Community Action Dacorum.
Fairs 27 November: Christmas Fayre, Broomhill Primary, West End. Further details can be found on our web page or by calling the branch.
ISLE OF WIGHT
Isle of Wight Adoption Centre
Wrexham & District Branch Open days 2 December: Adoption Centre Christmas open evening; 5pm-8pm. Buy charity Christmas cards, calendars, diaries and gifts for cat lovers. Tombola, raffle and refreshments. Last chance to bid on our hand-painted framed canvas – see our website ‘Feature Page’. You are welcome to ‘pop a little treat’ in our cats’ Christmas stockings. Entrance free.
Fairs 26 November: Christmas Fayre; 4pm.
SURREY Sutton & Cheam Fairs 4 December: Christmas Fair, St. Helier Methodist Church Hall; 10am-11.30am. 30p admission.
Warwickshire Stourbridge & District
Stalls 26-28 November: Pets at Home, Wrexham. Plenty of Christmas gift ideas for cat lovers.
Fairs 27 November: Christmas Fayre, Oakfield Community Centre, Brettell Lane, Brierley Hill; 2-4pm.
MID-GLAMORGAN Bridgend Adoption Centre Open days 11 December: Christmas Open Day; 10.30am-3.30pm.
Deadlines All branches are encouraged to send in their success stories and diary dates for every issue. The deadlines for the next three issues are: • 10 December – Spring 2011 • 18 March – Summer 2011 • 17 June – Autumn 2011 Please send your entries to: CP in Focus, Editorial Team, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email email@example.com. CP volunteers and staff can now submit their stories online via CatNav. Log on at http://catnav.cats.org.uk
Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 • www.cats.org.uk
The Cat Winter 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 88www.bredhurstkent.cats.org.uk Friends of Bredhurst Kent Adoption Centre Chelmsford & District *Willow * Grove, Deadmans Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford CM2 8LZ ☎☎ 01245 478 389 Eastbourne *63 * Marshfoot Lane, Hailsham, * East Sussex BN27 2RB ☎☎ 01323 440 101 88www.eastbourne.cats.org.uk Friends of Eastbourne Adoption Centre Ferndown Homing Centre *51 * Cobham Road, Ferndown Industrial Estate, Wimborne, * Dorset BH21 7QZ ☎☎ 03000 120 175 88www.ferndown.cats.org.uk Haslemere *Chase * Lodge Studio, Hammer Lane, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 1QD ☎☎ 01428 604 297 Friends of Haslemere Adoption Centre National Cat Adoption Centre *Chelwood * Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT ☎☎ 08707 708 650 88www.ncac.cats.org.uk 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 88www.bascats.org.uk Bexley & Dartford ☎☎ 01322 611 911 88www.bexleycatsprotection.co.uk Brighton & Hove City ☎☎ 01273 279 138 88www.brightoncatsprotection.org.uk Bromley ☎☎ 0208 402 8860 88www.bromleycatsprotection.org.uk Camberley & District ☎☎ 08453 712 745 88www.camberley.cats.org.uk Canterbury & District ☎☎ 01227 266 838 88www.canterbury.cats.org.uk Chelmsford & District ☎☎ 01245 478 389 88www.chelmsfordcatsprotection.co.uk
62 The Cat Winter 2010
Chichester, Bognor Regis & District ☎☎ 08453 712 760 88www.chichester.cats.org.uk Chiltern ☎☎ 01296 680 397 88www.chiltern.cats.org.uk
Medway & Gravesham ☎☎ 08453 712 757 Mid Sussex ☎☎ 01444 414 884 88www.midsussex.cats.org.uk Milton Keynes & District ☎☎ 01296 738 558 88www.mkcats.org.uk
Crawley, Reigate & District ☎☎ 08453 712 734 88www.catsprotection.co.uk
North Hertfordshire ☎☎ 01438 228 877 88www.northherts.cats.org.uk
Croydon ☎☎ 0208 763 0072 88www.croydoncpcats.org.uk
Caterham, Redhill & East Surrey ☎☎ 08453 712 739 88www.eastsurrey.cats.org.uk
Rayleigh, Castle Point & District ☎☎ 01268 750 831 88www.catsrayleigh.org.uk
Ealing & West London ☎☎ 0208 752 0793
Romford & District ☎☎ 01708 451 341 88www.romford.cats.org.uk
Eastbourne & District ☎☎ 01323 440 101 88www.eastbourne.cats.org.uk
Ealing & West London *3a * Albert Terrace, Pittshanger Lane, Ealing W5 1RL Caterham, Redhill & 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
St Albans & District ☎☎ 08453 712 064 88www.stalbans.cats.org.uk
Greenwich *18 * Old Dover Street, Blackheath,* London SE3 7BT ☎☎ 0208 858 2220
Epsom, Ewell & District ☎☎ 01737 640 882 88www.epsom.cats.org.uk
Southend & District ☎☎ 01702 710 630 88www.catsprotectionsouthend.pwp. blueyonder.co.uk
Hastings & District *43 * London Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN37 6AJ ☎☎ 01424 203 778
Folkestone & Hythe ☎☎ 01303 237 744 88www.folkestonehythe.cats.org.uk
Sutton & Cheam ☎☎ 0208 330 0176 88www.sutton.cats.org.uk
Great Amwell & District ☎☎ 01992 467 826 88www.greatamwell.cats.org.uk
Swale ☎☎ 08453 712 755 88www.swale.cats.org.uk
Lea Valley *145 * Chase Side, Enfield,* Middlesex EN2 0PN ☎☎ 0208 367 4813
Greenwich ☎☎ 0208 8538 666 88www.catsgn.org.uk
Tendring & District ☎☎ 08453 712 742 88www.tendringcats.org.uk
Guildford & Godalming ☎☎ 01483 422 529 88www.guildford.cats.org.uk
Tenterden & District ☎☎ 01797 366 379 88www.tenterdencats.org.uk
Harlow, Epping Forest & District ☎☎ 01992 579 539 88www.harlow.cats.org.uk
Three Rivers & Watford ☎☎ 01923 283 338 88www.threerivers.cats.org.uk
Hastings & District ☎☎ 01424 754 328
Thurrock & District ☎☎ 08453 712 752
Hemel Hempstead & Berkhamsted ☎☎ 08453 711 851 88www.dacorum.cats.org.uk
Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District ☎☎ 01892 516 377 88www.uckfield.cats.org.uk
Eltham, Sidcup & District ☎☎ 01689 815 475 88www.elthamsidcup.cats.org.uk
Hendon, Finchley & Mill Hill ☎☎ 0208 952 1350 88www.hendon.cats.org.uk High Wycombe & South Bucks ☎☎ 01494 448 849 88www.buckscats.org.uk Hillingdon ☎☎ 01895 443 637 88www.hillingdon.cats.org.uk Hornchurch & District ☎☎ 01708 755 211 88www.hornchurch.cats.org.uk Lea Valley ☎☎ 08453 712 740 88www.leavalley.cats.org.uk Lewes, Seaford & District ☎☎ 01273 813 111 88www.lewes.cats.org.uk Maidstone ☎☎ 08453 712 758 88www.maidstone.cats.org.uk
Woking & District ☎☎ 01483 721 700 88www.woking.cats.org.uk Worthing & District ☎☎ 01903 200 332 88www.worthingcatsprotection.org.uk Chichester, Bognor Regis & District *7a * Crane Street, Chichester, * West Sussex P019 1LH ☎☎ 01243 774 737 Colne Valley **75 High Street, Halstead, * Essex CO9 2JD ☎☎ 01787 274 667 Croydon *13 * High Street, Purley, * Surrey CR8 2AF ☎☎ 0208 763 9898
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 531 428 Worthing & District *35 * Rowlands Road, Worthing,* West Sussex BN11 3JJ ☎☎ 01903 200 332
South & South West Exeter Axhayes *Little * Hill Cottage, Clyst Honiton, Exeter, Devon EX5 2HS ☎☎ 01395 232 377 Isle of Wight *122 * Marlborough Road, Ryde,* Isle of Wight PO33 1AW ☎☎ 01983 562 609 Newbury & District *Heatherpine, * Curridge Road, Curridge, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 9DH ☎☎ 01635 200 111 Truro *Point * Road, Carnon Downs, * Truro, Cornwall TR3 6JN ☎☎ 01872 870 575
Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness
Andover & District ☎☎ 01256 892 019 88www.andovercats.org.uk
Mere & Gillingham ☎☎ 01747 840 621 88www.mere-gillingham-cp.co.uk
Wootton Bassett & District ☎☎ 07928 674 433 88www.wootton.cats.org.uk
Barnstaple & District ☎☎ 01271 860 787 88www.barnstaple.cats.org.uk
Midsomer Norton & Radstock ☎☎ 01761 436 486 88www.midsomer.cats.org.uk
Yeovil & District ☎☎ 01935 412 755 88www.yeovilcatsprotection.info
Basingstoke & District ☎☎ 01256 352 281 88www.basingstoke-cats.org.uk
Minehead ☎☎ 08453 712 761
Bournemouth & District *333-335 * Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 9QR ☎☎ 01202 530 757
Bath & District ☎☎ 01179 861 467 88www.bath.cats.org.uk Blandford & Sturminster Newton ☎☎ 01258 858 644 88www.blandfordcats.org.uk Bournemouth & District ☎☎ 08453 712 762 88www.bournemouthcats.org.uk Bridgwater ☎☎ 01278 684 662 Bristol & District ☎☎ 01179 665 428 88www.bristol.cats.org.uk
Newbury & District ☎☎ 01635 200 111 88www.newbury.cats.org.uk Okehampton & District ☎☎ 08453 712 751 88www.okehampton.cats.org.uk Oxford & District ☎☎ 01235 221 147 Plymouth ☎☎ 08453 712 753 88www.plymouth.cats.org.uk Portsmouth ☎☎ 08453 712 743 88www.portsmouth.cats.org.uk
Bristol & District *272 * North Street, Bedminster,* Bristol BS3 1JA ☎☎ 0117 963 9028 Cheltenham *20 * St James Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 2SH ☎☎ 01242 234 494 East Devon *72 * High Street, Sidmouth,* Devon EX10 8EQ ☎☎ 01395 513 394
Nottingham *The * Gate House, New Farm Lane, Nuthall, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG16 1DY ☎☎ 0115 938 6557 Ashfield & Amber Valley ☎☎ 01246 825 165 88www.freenetpages.co.uk/HP/ ashfieldcats/ Bedford & Biggleswade ☎☎ 08442 496 911 Burton on Trent ☎☎ 01283 511 454 Cannock & Burntwood ☎☎ 01543 279 641 88www.cannock.cats.org.uk Coventry ☎☎ 02476 251 491 88www.coventrycats.org.uk Evesham & District ☎☎ 01386 833 343 Halesowen & District ☎☎ 08453 712 062 88www.halesowen.cats.org.uk
Reading & District ☎☎ 01189 403 005 88www.readinganddistrictcats.org
Forest of Dean *The * Forest Cat, 28a Newerne Street, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 5RF ☎☎ 01594 841 848
Cheltenham ☎☎ 08453 712 730 88www.catsprotection.net
Reading (East), Wokingham & Bracknell ☎☎ 08453 714 212 88www.readingeast.cats.org.uk
Gloucester *15 * Broad Street, Newent, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL18 7AQ ☎☎ 01531 821 247
Cherwell ☎☎ 07716 596 212 firstname.lastname@example.org
St Austell & District ☎☎ 01726 817 837 88www.staustell.cats.org.uk
Honiton *137 * High Street, Honiton EX14 1LW ☎☎ 01404 423 12
Lichfield ☎☎ 08453 712 741 88www.lichfield.cats.org.uk
Cirencester, Tetbury & District ☎☎ 01285 641 289 88http://cirencats.tripod.com/
Salisbury & District ☎☎ 08453 712 068 88www.salisburycats.co.uk
Mere & Gillingham *Pothecarys, * High Street, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AA ☎☎ 01747 860 349
Ludlow & District ☎☎ 01584 874 171 88www.ludlow.cats.org.uk
Callington & District ☎☎ 01579 382 794 88www.callington.cats.org.uk
East Devon ☎☎ 01404 811 089 88www.eastdevoncats.com Exeter ☎☎ 01392 276 291 88www.exeter.cats.org.uk Falmouth, Helston & District ☎☎ 08453 712 729 88www.falmouth.cats.org.uk Farnham & Wey Valley ☎☎ 01252 334 644 88www.weyvalley.cats.org.uk Forest of Dean ☎☎ 01594 841 511 88www.cats-forestofdeam.co.uk Frome & District ☎☎ 07733 390 345 88www.frome.cats.org.uk Glastonbury & Wells ☎☎ 01749 850 660 88www.stray-cat.co.uk Gloucester ☎☎ 07891 112 654 88www. gloucester.cats.org.uk
Southampton ☎☎ 08453 712 718 88www.southampton.cats.org.uk Stroud ☎☎ 01453 828 326 88www.stroud.cats.org.uk Swindon ☎☎ 01793 644 536 88www.swindon.cats.org.uk Taunton & Wellington ☎☎ 01823 461 527 88www.taunton.cats.org.uk Teignbridge & Totnes ☎☎ 08453 712 723 88www.teignbridge.cats.org.uk Tewkesbury & District ☎☎ 01684 297 227 88www.tewkesbury.cats.org.uk Torpoint & Rame Peninsular ☎☎ 01752 829 104 Torquay & District ☎☎ 01803 557 014 88www.torquay.cats.org.uk
Gosport Town ☎☎ 02392 582 601
Truro & District ☎☎ 01209 861 134 ☎☎ 01872 275 402 (feral enquiries) 88www.trurodistrict.cats.org.uk
Holsworthy, Bideford & District ☎☎ 08453 712 717 88www.holsworthycats.org
West Dorset ☎☎ 01305 262 737 88www.westdorset.cats.org.uk
Honiton ☎☎ 01404 452 41 88www.honiton.cats.org.uk
Weston-Super-Mare & District ☎☎ 08453 712 066
Launceston & District ☎☎ 01566 773 814 88www.launcestoncatsprotection.org
West Oxfordshire ☎☎ 01993 831 350 Winchester & District ☎☎ 01962 883 536 or 01962 884 468
Reading & District *11 * The Triangle, Tilehurst, Reading RG30 4RN ☎☎ 0118 945 3733 Taunton & Wellington *48 * Bridge Street, Taunton,* Somerset TA1 1UD ☎☎ 01823 322 244 Truro & District *23 * Pydar Street, Truro,* Cornwall TR1 2AY ☎☎ 01872 276 351 88www.trurodistrict.cats.org.uk
Central Birmingham *Packhorse * Lane, Hollywood, Birmingham, West Midlands B47 5DH ☎☎ 01564 822 020 88www.birmingham.cats.org.uk Friends of Birmingham Adoption Centre Evesham *c/o * Dogs Trust Kennels, * 89 Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, Evesham, Worcester WR11 6RT ☎☎ 01386 833 343 88www.eveshamcpl.org Hereford *Cobhall * Villa, Allensmore, HR2 9BP ☎☎ 01432 277 543 Mansfield *Mansfield * Road, * Warsop, Mansfield, * Nottinghamshire NG20 0EF ☎☎ 01623 845 846
Maidenhead, Slough & District ☎☎ 01628 620 909 88www.maidenhead.cats.org.uk
Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 • www.cats.org.uk
Kettering & Corby ☎☎ 01536 514 014 88www.kettering.cats.org.uk Leicester & District ☎☎ 01162 881 318
Luton, Dunstable & District ☎☎ 08453 712 746 88www.luton.cats.org.uk Mansfield & District ☎☎ 01623 845 846 Mid Warwickshire ☎☎ 01926 334 849 88www.midwarwick.cats.org.uk Northampton ☎☎ 08447 003 251 88www.catspro-northants.org.uk North Birmingham ☎☎ 0121 377 6302 88www.northbirmingham.cats.org.uk Nottingham ☎☎ 01159 386 557 88www.cp-nottingham.org Ross-on-Wye & District ☎☎ 08453 712 763 88www.rossonwye.cats.org.uk Rugby ☎☎ 01788 570 010 88www.rugby.cats.org.uk South Birmingham ☎☎ 08453 711 854 88www.southbham.cats.org.uk
KEY: Adoption Centre Homing Centre Branch Charity shop
The Cat Winter 2010 63
Stafford & District ☎☎ 01785 214 861 88www.stafford.cats.org.uk Stoke & Newcastle ☎☎ 01782 515 167 88www.stoke.cats.org.uk Stourbridge & District ☎☎ 08448 848 520 88www.stourbridgecats.org.uk Telford & District ☎☎ 01952 820 030 88www.telford.cats.org.uk Walsall Borough ☎☎ 01922 682 005 88www. walsall.cats.org.uk Wellingborough & Rushden ☎☎ 08453 714 209 88www.wellrushcats.co.uk Wolverhampton ☎☎ 01902 651 173 88www.wolverhampton.cats.org.uk Worcester & District ☎☎ 01386 751 925 88www.worcestercats.org.uk 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
Stamford & District ☎☎ 01778 590 008
Dereham *Hoe * Road Farm, Hoe Road, Longham, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 2RP ☎☎ 01362 687 919
Waveney ☎☎ 08453 714 202 88www.waveney.cats.org.uk
Friend of Dereham Adoption Centre Downham Market *Wards * Chase, Stowbridge, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE34 3NN ☎☎ 01366 382 311
Doncaster ☎☎ 01302 840 777 88www.doncaster.cats.org.uk Durham City & District ☎☎ 01913 860 902
Lincoln *381 * High Street, Lincoln LN5 7SF
Boston & District ☎☎ 01406 424 966 88www.boston.cats.org.uk
St Neots & District *10 * Cross Keys Mall, Market Square, St Neots PE19 2AR
Breckland ☎☎ 01842 810 018 88www.cats.org.uk/branch/breckland
Waveney *Beccles * Bazaar, 2 Blyburgate,* Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9TA ☎☎ 01502 713 167
Harrogate & District ☎☎ 01423 889 598
Lancaster & Morecambe ☎☎ 01524 850 112 88www.lancaster.cats.org.uk
Bury St Edmunds ☎☎ 01284 850 887 88www.cplbury.org.uk Cambridge ☎☎ 01223 441 880 88www.cambridge.cats.org.uk Chatteris, St Ives & District ☎☎ 01480 465 226 88www.chatteris.cats.org.uk Dereham & District ☎☎ 01362 687 919 88www.derehamcats.org.uk Ely & District ☎☎ 01353 699 430 88www.ely.cats.org.uk Framlingham & Saxmundham ☎☎ 01728 723 499 88www.framandsax.cats.org.uk Grimsby & District ☎☎ 01472 399 810 88www.grimsby.cats.org.uk Haverhill & Stour Valley ☎☎ 01440 730 096 88www.stourvalley.cats.org.uk Horncastle & District ☎☎ 01526 388 535 88www.horncastle.cats.org.uk Ipswich ☎☎ 08453 712 069 88www.ipswich.cats.org.uk North Walsham & District ☎☎ 01692 535 858 88www.northwalsham.cats.org.uk Norwich & District ☎☎ 08454 941 900 88www.norwich.cats.org.uk
Stourbridge & District *27 * Lower High Street, * Stourbridge DY8 1TA ☎☎ 01384 422 208
Peterborough & District ☎☎ 08453 712 750 88www.peterboroughcats.co.uk St Neots & District ☎☎ 01480 476 696 88www.stneots.cats.org.uk Scunthorpe & District ☎☎ 01724 488 958
Wolverhampton *54 * Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton WV4 4LP
Skegness, Spilsby & Alford ☎☎ 01754 830 621 88www.skegnesscats.org.uk
Worcester & District *53 * St Johns, Worcester WR2 5AG ☎☎ 01905 426 748
Sleaford & District ☎☎ 01529 488 749 88www.sleaford.cats.org.uk Spalding & District ☎☎ 01775 725 661 88www.spalding.cats.org.uk
64 The Cat Winter 2010
Ipswich *184 * Bramford Lane, Ipswich IP1 4DP ☎☎ 01473 742 226
Dewsbury, Wakefield & District ☎☎ 01924 261 524 88www.dewsbury.cats.org.uk
Friends of Downham Market Adoption Centre
Stafford & Disctrict *Market * Stall 48, St John’s Indoor Market, Stafford
Telford & District *75 * High Street, Broseley,* Telford TF12 5EX ☎☎ 01952 884 388
Cambridge *172 * Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3LP ☎☎ 01223 566 997
Derby & District ☎☎ 01332 206 956 88www.derbydistrict.cats.org.uk
Derby *White * Cottage, Long Lane, Dalbury Lees, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 5BJ ☎☎ 01332 824 950 88www.derby.cats.org.uk Friends of Derby Adoption Centre St Helens *100 * Chester Lane, St Helens,* Merseyside WA9 4DD ☎☎ 01744 817 718 Warrington *Animal * Village, Slutchers Lane, * Bank Quay, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1NA ☎☎ 01925 411 160 York *582 * Huntington Road, Huntington,* York, North Yorkshire YO32 9QA ☎☎ 01904 760 356 Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas ☎☎ 01942 888 693 88www.athertonwigan.cats.org.uk Barnsley ☎☎ 01226 762 658 88www.barnsley.cats.org.uk Beverley & Pocklington ☎☎ 01482 861 866 88www.bpcp.org.uk Blackburn & District ☎☎ 01254 580 642 88www.blackburn.cats.org.uk Burnley & Pendle ☎☎ 01282 859 847 88www.burnley.cats.org.uk Burscough & Liverpool Bay ☎☎ 0151 526 5999 88www.liverpoolbursc.cats.org.uk Calder Valley & District ☎☎ 01706 810 489 88www.caldercats.org.uk Carlisle & District ☎☎ 01228 540 330 88www.carlisle.cats.org.uk Chesterfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 754 88www.chesterfieldcats.co.uk Crewe & District ☎☎ 01270 588 710 88www.crewe.cats.org.uk Culcheth & Glazebury ☎☎ 01925 764 604
Gateshead & District ☎☎ 0191 420 3180 88www.cats.org.uk/branch/gateshead Halifax, Queensbury & Brighouse ☎☎ 01484 711 728
Hull & District ☎☎ 01482 790 284
Macclesfield ☎☎ 01625 667 966 88www.macclesfieldcats.org.uk Newcastle upon Tyne ☎☎ 0191 296 3512 88www.cats-protection-newcastle.co.uk North Sheffield ☎☎ 01142 456 371 Northumberland East ☎☎ 07749 713 142 (6–9pm) Preston ☎☎ 01772 748 788 88www.prestoncpl.com Rochdale ☎☎ 01457 875 483 88www.rochdale.cats.org.uk Sheffield Hallam ☎☎ 01142 493 330 88www.catsprotectionshop.com South Wirral ☎☎ 0151 355 9813 88www.southwirral.cats.org.uk Stockport ☎☎ 0161 439 1274 88www.stockport.cats.org.uk Teesside ☎☎ 01642 589 090 88www.teesside.cats.org.uk Trafford ☎☎ 0161 610 2189 or 0161 969 0331 88www.trafford.cats.org.uk Wear Valley & Darlington ☎☎ 07966 653 388 West Cumbria ☎☎ 01946 590 079 88www.westcumbria.cats.org.uk Wharfe Valley ☎☎ 08451 947 292 88www.wharfevalley.cats.org.uk York ☎☎ 01904 760 356 88www.yorkcats.org.uk Barnsley *95 * High Street, Wombwell,* Barnsley S73 8HS Burscough & Liverpool Bay *Cats * Whiskers, 1 School Lane, Burscough, Lancashire L40 4AE ☎☎ 01704 893 393
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
Isle of Lewis ☎☎ 01851 612 448
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
Lanarkshire ☎☎ 08453 714 213 88www.lanarkshirecats.co.uk
Glasgow *Cardyke * Farm, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow G66 5LD ☎☎ 0141 779 3341
Montrose & Brechin ☎☎ 08453 712 738
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 88www.wrexham.cats.org.uk Aberystwyth & District ☎☎ 01970 822 120 Cardiff ☎☎ 02920 369 138 88www.cardiff.cats.org.uk Colwyn & District ☎☎ 01492 660 221 88www.colwyn.cats.org.uk Gwent ☎☎ 08453 712 747 88www.gwentsouthcp.org.uk Newtown & District ☎☎ 01686 670 277 88www.newtown.cats.org.uk Rhondda Valleys ☎☎ 01443 437 709 Swansea & District ☎☎ 08452 179 648 88www.swanseacats.co.uk Wrexham & District ☎☎ 01978 313 574 88www.wrexham.cats.org.uk Colwyn & District *28 * Sea View Road,* Colwyn Bay LL29 8DG ☎☎ 01492 535 655 Swansea & District *85 * Brynymor Road, Swansea SA1 4JE ☎☎ 01792 208 808 Wrexham & District *60 * Chester Street,* Wrexham LL13 8BA ☎☎ 01978 310 555
Scotland Arbroath & District *15 * Kinaldie Holdings,* Arbroath DD11 5SH ☎☎ 01241 434 605 88www.arbroath.cats.org.uk
Friends of Glasgow Adoption Centre Shetland *Gott, * Shetland ZE2 9SH ☎☎ 01595 840 517 Alness & District ☎☎ 08453 714 204 88www.alness.cats.org.uk Ardnamurchan ☎☎ 01967 431 203 88www.ardnamurchan.cats.org.uk Caithness ☎☎ 08453 714 217 88www.caithnesscatsprotection.org.uk Central Aberdeen ☎☎ 01224 749 568 88www.catsprotection.org.uk Central Dumfries ☎☎ 01387 710 083 88www.centraldumfries.cats.org.uk Clackmannanshire & Stirling ☎☎ 01259 720 555 88www.clackscats.org.uk Cumnock & Doon Valley ☎☎ 08453 714 219 Deeside ☎☎ 07837 342 660
Kilmarnock & District ☎☎ 08453 712 715
Moray ☎☎ 07837 342 646 88www.buckie.cats.org.uk Nairn ☎☎ 08453 712 714 88www.nairn.cats.org.uk North Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 218 88www.northayrshire.cats.org.uk North Skye ☎☎ 07817 943 072 Orkney Islands ☎☎ 01856 771 642 88www.orkneycats.co.uk Outer Aberdeen & District ☎☎ 01224 705 252 88www.cats-outer-aberdeen.org.uk Peebles & Biggar ☎☎ 0707 4357 228
Stewartry & District ☎☎ 01557 339 233 88www.stewartry.cats.org.uk
East Lothian & Berwickshire Branch ☎☎ 08453 714 215 88www.berwickshire.cats.org.uk
Stonehaven ☎☎ 01569 739 396 88www.stonehaven.cats.org.uk
Ellon & District ☎☎ 01358 721 204 88www.ellon.cats.org.uk
Stranraer & District ☎☎ 08453 712 759
Fraserburgh ☎☎ 07876 513 593 Glasgow ☎☎ 08453 712 722 88www.glasgow.cats.org.uk Huntly & Keith ☎☎ 01466 760 311 Inverness ☎☎ 07815 910 861 88www.inverness.cats.org.uk Inverurie & Alford ☎☎ 01467 625 695 88www.cats-inverurie.co.uk Isle of Arran ☎☎ 01770 820 611
Turriff & District *21 * Low Street, Banff AB45 1AU West Fife *6* Arberlour Street, Rosyth,* Fife KY11 2RD ☎☎ 01383 417 548
Northern Ireland Belfast *270 * Belfast Road, Dundonald,* Newtownards, Northern Ireland, * BT16 1UE ☎☎ 02890 480 202 Friends of Northern Ireland Adoption Centre Armagh ☎☎ 07709 483 550
Shetland ☎☎ 01595 840 588 88www.cats.shetland.co.uk
East Neuk of Fife ☎☎ 08453 714 210 88www.eastfife.cats.org.uk
Fort William & District ☎☎ 01397 772 071
South Ayrshire *100 * Main Street, Prestwick, KA9 1PA
Renfrewshire ☎☎ 0141 876 4133 88www.renfrewshire.cats.org.uk
South Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 216 88www.southayrshire.cats.org.uk
Forfar & District ☎☎ 08453 712 063 88www.forfar.cats.org.uk
Outer Aberdeen & District *187 * George Street,* Aberdeen AB25 1HZ ☎☎ 01224 658 565
Perth ☎☎ 08458 622 206 88www.perthcats.co.uk
Dundee & District ☎☎ 01382 450 035
Eskdale & District ☎☎ 01387 376 738 88www.eskdale.cats.org.uk
Dundee & District *102 * Foundry Lane, Dundee DD4 6AY ☎☎ 01382 450 035 *5* Reform Street, Monifieth, * Dundee DD5 4BA ☎☎ 01382 534 316
Strathspey ☎☎ 08453 712 725 88www.strathspey.cats.org.uk Tain & District ☎☎ 08453 712 737 88www.tain.cats.org.uk Turriff & District ☎☎ 07050 241 846 Uist ☎☎ 07050 121 586 West Lothian ☎☎ 08453 712 719 88www.cats-westlothian.org.uk Central Aberdeen *96 * King St, Aberdeen AB24 5BA ☎☎ 01224 634 894 *187 * George Street, Aberdeen * AB25 1HZ ☎☎ 01224 658 565 Clackmannanshire & Stirling *Ochivale * Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 761 893
Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 • www.cats.org.uk
KEY: Adoption Centre Homing Centre Branch Charity shop
The Cat Winter 2010 65
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 email@example.com. Don’t forget to tell us your name, age and address.
Find these 11 Christmas-related words. Answers can go in any direction and even backwards! Cracker, Tinsel, Holly, Yule, Presents, Reindeer, Turkey, Tree, Stocking, Robin, Snow The remaining letters spell out a secret message from left to right across the grid. Can you work it out?
Is that really Santa in the scene below?! And is he leaving a present or taking one away? Don’t worry, SuperCat won’t let Christmas be ruined!
Congratulations to Ben who wins a grey cuddly toy cat. As soft as velvet, this handmade cuddly toy has been kindly donated by www.thegiftexperience.co.uk * Well done to our runners up Emma, Kieran and Hannah who each win a copy of How to Draw 101 Pets by Top That! Publishing – for more great activity books, visit www.topthatpublishing.com
*Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts
Emma, 9, Axminster, Devon
Hannah, 12, Arbroath, Angus
WINNER! Ben, 5, Beeston, Nottingham
Kieran, 7, Invergordon, Scotland
Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
Saying goodbye to a beautiful presence Malcolm Horton puts to paper the life and loss of Nahla
y partner Eve had been working away as a nurse with a family when she fell in love with their cat, a large Maine Coon. She then heard of someone who was looking for a new home for their cat – Nahla. She was the runt of the litter, so was small. We were told she was two years old and had never been outside. When she arrived, she would often hide away but then gradually, as she became more settled, showed herself a lot more and became very playful. As I work at home as an artist, I probably played with her the most; even though she would not get on your lap, she would settle down close to you and purr and purr. She was so calming. One warm, summer day we were sitting in our small courtyard garden with the back door open. Nahla came and sat just inside the door at first and then ventured out – from then on she was happy to be out in the garden doing what cats do on nice days! In June 2006, I had to go to Australia to spend time with my parents as my father was ill. I was away for six months. I had a call from Eve saying that Nahla was lost, it happened while Eve was saying goodbye to some friends and the back gate was open. She didn’t notice that Nahla had ventured out of the yard and it wasn’t until later at feeding time that she was nowhere to be found.
68 The Cat Winter 2010
It was two and half months later that Nahla was found but she was in a bad way. She was very thin and her fur had to be shaved off in places to remove over 100 fox ticks. The vet said she had been found just in time. When I returned from Australia, I found it very upsetting. She did look a poor thing but it was good to see her and she soon recovered from her ordeal. Considering she had never been out and about she had survived amazingly well! Soon, though, I noticed her tail was stiffened up and she became very thin again even though she was eating well. She was often being sick. The vet said that she had got arthritis badly and was losing the power in her back legs. She had probably picked up something from the food she was eating while lost and developed a serious illness. The vet didn’t think that she was strong enough to have lots of tests and thought Nahla may have been older than we were originally told. We carried on giving her lots of love and care as she didn’t seem to be in any pain, but she could no longer jump up and had to be picked up to be put on the bed at night. She would settle down and purred as usual but, towards the end, she became increasingly weaker and was finding it hard to move around. The hard decision was made to put her to rest. It has been very upsetting not seeing her around and feeling her beautiful presence. It is amazing how much I have missed her being around and that it has taken me so long to try and write something as it has been so upsetting to do. Even now I still have a tear or two. She was a survivor and a very special being. She is greatly missed but is now at peace.
Illustration: Rasoul Hudda
Remembering cats through helping others This section offers readers the chance to pay tribute to a beloved cat by helping others. Donations go towards pens for our branches, which help house cats and kittens while they wait for new homes. Please send your donations to: Remembering Cats, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Cats Protection’. Tributes will be printed in the next available issue. Please note that this is an increasingly popular page and we cannot guarantee that your dedication will appear in a particular issue. Please print your tribute clearly to avoid errors (no more than 20 words). Thanks to readers of The Cat, 312 pens have now been bought.
EENS 21.10.93 aged 19½. W Sweet Weens, the best little girl cat. Love you always. Also ROSIE and DINAH. 08.61. Teresa.
In loving memory of our graceful lady IZZY. Always generous with kisses. Never forgotten, Natalie, Andrew and furry friend Jess.
OMINO – PTS 24.07.10 D aged 19. A much loved pet and companion. Miss you lots. Love Mum xx
My dear cats GOLDIE, K ITTY, FLOPPY, TABBY and SANDY. Remembered every day. Love Elsie.
P EPSI – our beautiful black
J ONAH, our ginger ball
P IGGY – PTS 24.07.10. Age
Donation in memory of ROOCUS MOGWAI
of sunshine taken too soon, aged only seven on 28.07.10. We love and miss you already, boy.
20. A gentle little girl sadly missed by her adopted Mum and Dad. Now at peace in her own garden.
to show our thanks for all they gave us. Jackie, Doroth, Zero.
Beloved OLYMPUSS (LIMPY) run over 19.05.04; also beautiful SHEBA , twin daughters G INGY and GIPSY. All sorely missed, always love. Mamma.
G ENTA – Sensitive, gentle, intelligent, courageous and so loving. Our perfect kitty, we miss you enormously. Still heartbroken at your loss. Love, Mummy, Daddy and Riddy.
E RIC 01.11.03. I often feel you are still with me, Big Tab and I hope you never leave. Love always, The Bid.
PAVAROTTI LAWRENCE BULL SIR (26.05.10) and DUO SHORT TAIL (20.05.10)
In loving memory of
B ORIS, PTS 01.08.07, PICKLES, PTS 08.09.00 and TIBBY, PTS 03.06.91. All aged over 18. Cats leave paw prints on your heart. In memory of MITZI, our beautiful tabby girl, PTS 12.08.03 aged 18½. Loved and missed so much. C & L.
R EGGIE ROBERTS the cat. Perfect companion, laid to rest 25 June. Our wonderful feline friend. Sleep soundly. From Martin & Linda Roberts. Mum & Dad. BENNY. Smart guy PTS 07.12.09 aged 17. Sadly missed, always in our thoughts. Sleep tight, tangerine man. Mum, Dad, Laura and Ollie. BRUCE (BABA) 8.4.952.7.10. At peace now, back soon. Both boys. RIP.
princess PTS on 27.06.10 after 13 years of love, badly missed, love Mom, Dad & Mimie.
For Spain’s feral and increasing number of abandoned cats. SY LVESTER died at 10 weeks on 02.07.10. Now at Rainbow Bridge. Never forget you. Mummy.
Z OE PTS 21.07.10. To our big white and black beautiful girl, thank you for 12 wonderful years, now at Rainbow Bridge with sister MOLLY chasing butterflies. Missing our girls every day, love Wendy & Mum xx In loving memory of
G IZMO – 13.01.06 and T EDDY – 04.12.06. Loved and sadly missed. Always in our thoughts and hearts. Love Mummy, Daddy, Perry, Leo.
SCOMBIE – Brave, wise and gentle kitty. Wonderful enduring memories. Forever in our thoughts and hearts. Love, Mummy and Daddy. Known to God, remembered every day. ROLEY, J AMIE, BOBBY, SOOTY, TOBY, FLUFFY, MR BLOBBY, SALLY, MARBLE, DENNIS, DILL . Love from Doreen. PHOEBE – RTA 17.07.10 aged one. You left us too soon. We love, miss and remember you forever. Frank and Sue xx LUCY – 25.10.02. Treasured memories of a very dearly loved little girl. In our loving thoughts every day. Sleep softly, darling. Love, Norman & Barbara.
Remembering CRISTAL . My beloved friend, sister of the late FLORENCE. Miss you both for your perfect companionship, my beautiful girls. Loved always, Betty. SANDY – a most dear, gentle cat who disappeared one September day – remembered always – Gwen In loving memory of MOWIE, 1977-12.01.00. A loving friend, asleep in his favourite garden. Till we meet again. Peter.
O SCAR and SAKI – still miss you guys. Hope you are having fun together at the Rainbow Bridge. Love always Mummy and Daddy In loving memory of POPPY died suddenly aged 4. 21.07.10 – my beautiful girl. Pops I will miss you forever. Mummy x
The Cat Winter 2010 69
Book reviews Looking for a great book about cats? Check out our reviews before
Dewey: The true story of a world famous library cat WIN
by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter small town library cat who Adapted for younger readers from the bestseller Dewey: The kitten dumped in a library a of story the tells tale touched the world, this heart-warming back to health and nursed was Dewey staff, of r return box in winter. Found by a membe – plus a middle fame to rise his of story the and tales became the library pet! With lovely . children for read g inspirin section of photos – this is a wonder fully readers who write in. Enter We have been given three copies of the book to give away to ‘Dewey ’. in the usual ways – see page 41 for details – marking your entries Amy Rutter
published by Simon & Dewey: The true story of a world famous library cat (£5.99) is 1900) 7316 020 ; Schuster UK (www.simonandschuster.co.uk
The Secret Life of Your Cat by Vicky Halls in-depth book looking at Vicky Halls, a regular contributor to The Cat, has written this domestic, understanding the to feral the reasons behind your cat’s behaviour. From the care, Vicky provides a cat of and tackling problem behaviour and the dos and don’ts into how your cat lives insight ng comprehensive guide to cat owners. She gives an intrigui better. actions his life and how to understand his motivations and Francesca Watson ing The Secret Life of Your Cat (£14.99) is published by Octopus Publish 5488) 7632 020 k; ing.co.u (www.octopus-publish
Bumble the Brave Kitten by Sam Hay cowering in a hedgerow at This title tells the amazing stories of Bumble – a kitten found by Cats Protection. The only 10 weeks old – and nine other cats helped to a happy ending se for the essential work tales are told in a fun and friendly way and act as a fine showca well as these success stories, carried out by CP volunteers and staff around the country. As meaning that this one there is a cat care advice section and a puzzles and games chapter choice as a stocking filler – should prove popular with younger readers and will be a good especially as Cats Protection receives 50p for each copy sold! Tom Briggs
write in. Enter in the usual We have five copies of this book to give away to readers who ’. ‘Bumble ways – see page 41 for details – marking your entries n’s Books Bumble the Brave Kitten (£6.99) is published by Macmillan Childre (www.panmacmillan.com; 01624 677 237)
Cats and Donkey s by Doreen Tovey, Casper The Commuting Cat Angel Pets by Margrit Coates, Angel Cats by Amy White, Raining Frère, Marley and the kittens by John Grogan, Choosing to be by Susan Finden, Pellinore – The Story of a Cotswold Cat by Auriel n by Dewey’s Nine Lives by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, Cat Childre by Kat Tansey, Paw Tracks at Owl Cottage by Denis O’Connor, Romp. Julia by Like Ben David Kavanagh, Who Moved My Mouse? by Dena Harris, A Friend
70 The Cat Winter 2010
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