A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts


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A very bare garden

A few years ago we cleared the jungle that was lurking outside our back door and turned it into a vegetable garden. We’ve grown tomatoes, beans, courgettes and lots of other lovely veggies.

Last year, Stephen had to do most of the work himself as my legs and back were getting worse and I was so tired from the full-time rota at work. We decided that this year we’d drop the gardening as it was too much for us to cope with, and we’d use the space for an extended cat enclosure instead.

Stephen has been very hard at work outside over the last couple of months and has cleared away the old enclosure, a shed, and lots of junk that had piled up.

garden04 garden05That small shed has now gone too, as have some more of the slabs. Just in time too as they’re coming to install the new enclosure in a few days.

I can’t wait to see the cats when they can just stroll out the door and play outside. We’ll be landscaping inside the enclosure with hard and soft areas, plus some non-toxic plants for them to hide under to bird-watch. I’m planning a solar-powered water feature for Rosie and some tunnels for Frodo. Sammie will love all the climbing areas.

More photos to come soon.


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Kitty Angels

Before we’d even booked our last holiday, we’d talked about how the cats would be cared for while we were away. We looked at several options but quickly decided against a cattery. The cats are used to having the run of the house and I knew they’d hate being confined to a small space. Plus Sammie would be really stressed by strangers and noises.

That left a cat sitting service and after doing a lot of research, we contacted Kitty Angels. They arranged to visit us and spent some time with us telling us about the service and asking us lots of questions about the cats and their habits. Tony filled in a questionnaire with all the details of how we wanted the cats fed and cared for. We were very impressed and went ahead and booked with them.

They’ve got brilliant reviews on Facebook, which was just as reassuring as the various documents that Tony had brought to show us, such as insurance and DBS checks.

We had another visit a couple of weeks before we went on holiday, this time from Andrea who would be the main visitor. We showed her where everything was and she made sure she had all the information about the cats that she needed. She also met the cats and made friends with Frodo straight away.

What I loved about the service is that they set up a WhatsApp group so that I could receive twice-daily updates and ask any questions. With every update I got a chatty account of the visit telling me what games they’d been playing and including lots of photos and the odd video. Because of the time difference, the first update was there by the time that I woke up so it was lovely to be able to see how the cats were doing first thing in the morning.

Andrea and the other Angels took some great photos. These are just a few of them.

They played with the laser pointer, the flying frenzy and a piece of string. They got down on the floor and played with mice. They fussed them and cuddled them and talked to them. Even timid little Sammie had a fuss and some playtime.

They cleaned up any mess, even getting the vacuum out and took any waste away with them so there was no smell. They let us know that the cats were eating well and using their litter trays. On bonfire night they put my iPod dock on a timer so there was some music to block out the fireworks.

I’ve already booked them for next year. I came home to happy, healthy, well-fed cats and you can’t ask better than that.

 


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Snipped ‘n’ chipped

Rosie went to the vets recently to get spayed. While she was there they chipped her too, as it’s easier to do it while they’re under the anaesthetic. She shook off the effects of being put under really quickly and after an evening spent sprawled across my lap, she perked right up.

rosie130916-01_bOnce she started moving around, she decided that she really, really didn’t like the collar so used all four feet and just pushed it off. We hate the things and the way the cats react to them so looked for an alternative, rather than keep putting it back on her.

After doing a bit of research on Google, I sent Stephen to Asda to pick up a babygro. He had no clue where they were in the shop, or indeed what one looked like, so he asked for help. He then had a bizarre conversation which went something like this:

Stephen: Can you point me in the right direction for a babygro please?

Asda assistant: Sure, they’re over here. Is it for a boy or a girl?

Stephen: Ah, neither actually.

Asda assistant: ???

Stephen: It’s for my cat.

Asda assistant: *pause* So, is it a girl or a boy cat?

Yeah. Full marks to the Asda girl for not being thrown by that one. She also asked the cat’s name and recommended one that had flowers on, as they looked a bit like roses. Love it!

rosie140916-01_bI cut the babygro thing as recommended on the internet. I’m thinking it was too large for her though as it lasted five minutes before she took it off. I then tried a smaller one from boots but that didn’t even last five minutes.

We gave up at this point and as she didn’t seem to be licking at the wound, we didn’t bother with any more babygros or collars.

Unfortunately she must have either licked it or maybe damaged it by leaping around as when we took her back to see the vet for the stitch removal, it was quite scabby and the stitch had to be left in. The vet was keen for the collar to go back on, but knowing how much Rosie would hate that, we shelled out for the special bodysuit. In hindsight, we should have got that to start with.

rosie220916-02_bThis was much better. It only affected her ability to run and jump a little and she couldn’t get it off. I rolled it up to her front legs a few times, to give her a good brush, and it was easy to redo up afterwards. It also did the job of protecting the wound as when we took her back to the vet, it was all healed and a couple of days after that stitch came out, the bodysuit came off too.

I gave her another really good brush, which she enjoyed, (she really loves being groomed) and she spent the rest of the day giving herself a thorough wash.

We think the vet may have inserted some springs while they were operating as she seems even more bouncy than before. She ‘s full of energy and apart from a bare bit where she was shaved, is completely back to normal.


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Happy Birthday Sammie

Sammie is two years old today and as is tradition, is being spoilt rotten.

We had a small tower in the bedroom, but it was a cheap and cheerful thing from Lidl and just wore out. The cats got a lot of use from it though so it wasn’t by any means a waste of money.

We’ve replaced it with this, and called it Sammie’s present due to the timing.

Barrel170816-08_bIt sits nicely in the cats’ corner upstairs. It’s a Diogenes scratching barrel XL and it came from Zooplus. There was a different one that looked good but the reviews were better for this one as the two lower dens are connected for more fun. It seems very sturdy and so far, Sammie seems to be enjoying it.

Barrel170816-03_b

She’s got a bag of Dreamies that came with one of those balls that they have to play with to get the treats out. That was a present from Pets at Home. I love that they give your pets a gift for their birthdays. Sammie loves her Dreamies so she’ll really appreciate that.

She’ll get a special birthday dinner later of a Sheba dome and I gave her a tin of tuna with shrimp for her breakfast. She really enjoyed that.

She’s such a sleek, agile cat now that it’s hard to picture her as a kitten. She was so tiny and fragile compared to how she is now, although she still looks tiny compared to Frodo.

Here’s a wee gallery of some of her pics over the past two years.

 


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Best friends

Rosie has settled in really well now and gets on brilliantly with Frodo. She trots round the house after him and cries for him if we separate them. He’s just as taken with Rosie and plays with her, and naps with her.

Stephen got a quick snap of them on the cat tree together.

Cats130716-01_bThey often snuggle up on the sofa, next to me.

Cats160716-01_bA couple of days ago, Frodo was asleep on the sofa and Rosie jumped up and snuggled into his back.

Cats190716-05_bA noise outside disturbed him but Rosie was still happy to cuddle.

Cats190716-01_bStephen spotted them sunbathing together on the windowsill a couple of days ago.

Cats260716-02_bI love this photo though. Frodo was on the back of the sofa when Rosie jumped up and started washing him.

Cats260716-01_bShe’s ok with Sammie now and Sammie rarely hisses at her any more, just when Rosie takes her by surprise or tries to nick one of her Dreamies. The two girls have been playing chase and even sit on the bed at the same time now so life is peaceful again.

Well, as peaceful as it gets with a naughty tortie, that is 😉