Monday, 19 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

I love Christmas. Ours is always quiet, just me & TOH & the cats. I do all the decorating, of course. He wouldn't notice if I hadn't. Bah Humbug!
Last year was different. My lovely Candy, the only one of my cats I had had since she was a kitten, became suddenly very unwell with totally unexpected and very rapid kidney failure. To this day I am perplexed by it. The vet who examined her when she was losing her strength casually brushed it off, and gave her a steriod injection. How could her kidneys cope with that? Two horrible days later she was back, this time to mercifully end her suffering.
Still I put the Christmas decoration up, hoping to cheer myself up a bit even with the prospect of redundancies in the year to come. Then, on Boxing day, my old boy Max started fitting, which would inevitably end with a sudden collapse on any hard object near him. I stayed up all night with him. An emergency bank holiday vets visit resulted in tiny miracle pills that worked.....until New Years Eve. Max's previous owner worked out that he must be 24 or 25 years of age. I had him put to sleep in my arms on New Years Day. The Christmas decorations had, by that time, been angrily bundled up and all but thrown into the back of the shed.

So this year, when I rescued the tangled mess, memories flooded back. The anxiety of re-applying for our very reduced new posts in the library service resulted in keeping a full-time job. Relief!
The cats are here. No new ones turned up this year. They seem to arrive in two-yearly intervals. So a Christmas message to all the strays and ferals in the surrounding fields and farms, if one of you would like to migrate this way a warm home awaits, whatever your age or sex.
Just one problem this year was Rolly's diagnosis of thyroid deficiency. He's now on two pills a day, but his levels have dropped to an ideal reading. (10.4 out of a range from 10 to 600, 10 being perfect). He had to have a major dental treatment, costing £250, but now I now his mouth is free from pain when he has his pills pushed down the hatch! I get prescriptions for the expensive pills written by my vet & buy them online for a third of the price. Still expensive, though! But at the end of the day, he has put all his weight back on and is a happy chappy again. He stared in wonder as I put the tree up, and I was reminded that he did exactly the same thing last year, but I was too distracted to give him any attention.
I now have a cat that dabs the baubles.....Kitty. (Very gently, though) and a cat that completely ignores the whole event, too busy planning night time hunting ....Whiskers.
And Rolly.......tree gazing.

Christmas is resumed!
Hope you have a good one!


Sunday, 4 December 2011


One day a little black cat turned up in my garden. She was very small, but had a round tummy. Whiskers immediately spotted her through the window and raced outside, scaring her into the cover of the woods. I followed Whiskers, thinking he would launch into a territorial attack, which he would have done had the little cat been another boy. As it happened, Whiskers has quite bemused by the little creature, and started playing with her. I watched, wondering where she had come from.
When he got bored, Whiskers walked over to me, turned and looked at her with disinterest. Then he went inside for food. The little black cat mieowed pitifully, over and over again. She wanted Whiskers to come back. It was getting dark, and she showed no inclination to return from where she had come from.
Just before night time fell, I picked her up and brought her into the house for a feed. She showed no fear of me or being inside. Unlike my two boys, she was not acting like a feral. She ate and slept in a specially made up bed.
Kitty in her bed on the first night

Next morning she was gone. Out the cat flap in the night. I went to work and spent the day wondering about her. When I returned home that day, a neighbour was peering under a large hedge that borders the road.
"What are you looking at?" I asked.
"There's been a black cat here for 12 days now, and it won't stop crying," he replied. "We've tried to get it to come out, but it just hides." I knelt down, and could just make out two, shiny, black eyes peering back at me several feet under the wide hedge.
"Kitty" I said. She came up to me straight away, and I picked her up. She snuggled deep into my arms.
"Is she yours?" asked the neighbour.
"No, I've got four cats," I replied.
"Looks like you've got five now," he said, stroking her head. "She must have been dumped, it's happened before but last time the cat died."
Our small cluster of homes are in the middle of no-where. One straight road runs by them. If any animal was dumped, unseen on this unlit road, it would probably make it's way to our houses. There's nothing else for miles.
And so Kitty became cat number five. I have never had a cat that was accepted by the others so easily, probably because she was female and so young. The older cats watched her playing and occasionally even joined in a little. She bonded them together.

Cleaning Whisker's ears....the only cat that dares!

 Her first day exploring carpets and chairs!

She was so friendly, I had to contact all the cats homes in case she had been reported missing. She wasn't. Her friendliness and trusting nature is incredible after whet she must have gone through. A visit to the vets found she was pregnant, but too young to give birth, so the kittens had to be removed. The vet smiled as he examined her, for she just loves having her tummy tickled and flops over to display it on every occasion.
 Kitty, when she was still pregnant while I waited to see if anyone had lost her.

She follows me round the house, and sleeps in the shed when I'm working there. I have never heard her hiss or felt her scratch. She has the most gentle nature of any cat I have known.
Strangely, since that first night when I gave her food and a bed, she has never used the cat flap. We have to prop it open during the day, and as soon as we close it late at night, that's it, as far as she is concerned the door is shut.

 Waiting for a tummy-tickle

She remains very small. I don't know if the unborn kittens at such an early age stunted her growth at all. She loved food, and eats until her belly bulges, then flops over for a tickle.