Tuesday, 21 May 2013

May 21st 1963

It's my birthday today. I am 50. I met my sister and niece at a lovely carvery, and my niece presented me with a huge badge saying 50 years young! Of course, I have to pin it on myself and parade around the pub getting looks and comments, all from females I might add, along the lines of "Oh dear, that's not good" and "That's the worst one, you know" etc etc.
I've not really ever posted a photo of myself on here, so I'm going to do it now while I'm still thinking it's nothing compared to spending several hours in public wearing this badge!


I've got two weeks off work to recover from the shock. I spent the first week up in the Midlands visiting my parents. When I returned, the apple blossom was in full bloom as well as lots and lots of lovely, frothy cow parsley. Seems to be a bumper year for it!


Den had quite a stressful week looking after Smudge. He was still house bound and suffering from a poorly tummy(Smudge, not Den).  My other strays have turned up out of the blue, but we know Smudge has been surviving over the road in the old holiday centre, so there's a chance he might return. He has been seen all over this area, so he is familiar with his surroundings.
Biting the bullet, we let him out on Sunday afternoon. I stayed with him as he walked up and down the side of the house, jumping at the slightest sound. He did come to me when he was called, but only after a few seconds looking completely lost and looking at me like he had never seen me before in his life. Finally, he went off and I decided not to follow. He didn't come back for half an hour, but when he did he came up to me when I called his name.
On Monday we allowed him free access via the open door and cat flap when it got too cold to leave the door open. He settled down outside, but didn't seem to want to come in at all. I intended to get him in before in got dark, but I need not have worried as he came in himself and went to bed.
Today we have been out for most of the day. When we got home he was inside, so things are looking good so far.

Whiskers seems to be more territorial outside. I put a cardigan down on the bench for Smudge, but the minute he had jumped down it was taken over by Whiskers, who never normally sits about outside at all.

Kitty still acts aloof, creeping up behind him to sniff his tail, then grumbling at him if he turns round and ignores her, which he does.

Here she is spying on him through the plants.

As for Rolly, he just gets on with his routine. He's the least trouble of all the cats. He sleeps in the same bed, eats the same food and doesn't bother about anything.

Some more blossom and plants. I love this time of year, but a little bit of sunshine would have made the day!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Smudge update

He's been here one week today. He's eaten a lot, and slept in peace and safety for a lot longer. He hasn't the strength or inclination for conflict with the other cats, so he has quickly been accepted. (although Kitty still has a small problem with him).
He hides under the bed when there's a loud noise outside, and we've only carried him out in our arms so far. I don't want him to run off, not knowing where he is, at the first sound of a plane or a strimmer.
The last two days he has looked out of the window, just for a few minutes.
On the whole, he's fitting in nicely. Thanks for the comments on the last post. I think 4 comments is a record for me!

Not having any tummy makes his legs look really long, but I think his spine feels slightly less boney. He's been to the vets (excellent in the car ) and she assured me he wasn't terribly underweight for a stray. He was wormed, flea'd and given an injection to calm his tummy down, which wasn't used to so much food but it's settled down now.

Friday, 3 May 2013


My landlady has been seeing a thin tabby cat several times since last autumn. It comes from the derelict and abandoned holiday centre over the road. (A result of over-confident developers who thought they wouldn't need any planning permission to knock it down & re-build)
I've been over there a few times, after she's told me she's just seen it crossing the busy road, but it's a needle in a hay stack situation. There are dozens of chalets, all damaged with doors ripped off and broken windows. It's quite creepy, especially as five years ago it was still a popular family holiday centre.
There's an owners bungalow which is still in good order, although a squatter was evicted a month or so ago. The last proper tenants left nearly a year ago. They might have left the cat.

Funny how things work out. My strays and ferals have turned up in two-year intervals. It's two years in June since Kitty turned up. We are due another, we said last weekend.

On Wednesday I drove home down a side road, and as I approached the junction with the main road the car in front of me had stopped. I soon saw why. The driver was patiently waiting for a thin tabby cat to decide whether he wanted to cross the road or not, and I got my first look of the poor creature I was beginning to think was a figment of my landlady's imagination. He looked like he had barely enough strength to stand.
Unfortunately the next car coming along the main road was not so kind, and appeared to drive right over him. I urged the car in front to get out of my way so I could quickly turn into my drive and run into the house to grab some biscuits.
The poor cat was hiding on a wall, looking like he intended to jump down into the jungle that used to be a lawn should I get too close. I left some biscuits on the wall, and ran back to get a cat basket and some rather rich smelling wet food.

When I returned he was eating the biscuits, meowing loudly. I moved to touch him and he pushed his bony head in my hand. I picked him up, but messed up putting him in the basket and he ran off through some padlocked gates.

I thought I had missed my chance, but he could not resist the meat and he was soon back. On my hands and knees (still in my work clothes) I caught him, and home he came.

On closer inspection he looks quite young, and is totally emaciated. He has no strength to do anything but eat and sleep. Den named him Smudge. I said I would think about it, but then I did the weekly shop last night, armed with the shopping list he always writes for me. Cat food section ( for our fussy eaters) said Rolly Food, Whiskers Food, Kitty Food and Smudge Food. He wrote the list a couple of hours after the cat arrived.
So his name is Smudge, and we are going through the acceptance problems so common with cats.
Rolly did not even stop eating his food when he first saw him, and has ignored him ever since. I am typing this on the bed and they are both sleeping on it.
Kitty has a fear of strange cats, and that will take some time. Whiskers has to be restrained and watched at every second. He is the top cat and doesn't want his place threatened, but he had some time with me quietly this afternoon.
Hagar, my neighbours absolute lunatic kitten cat, was stunned into keeping still. His eyes bulged out his head like he had never seen such an animal before.
In the meantime Smudge is staying in the bedroom at night, on his own bed. He has slept soundly through both nights he has been here. When he if fit enough and less stressed I will take him to the vets for a check up. He has been neutered, and is comfortable with all the noises of the home, like the TV etc.
So my guess is the last tenants of the bungalow left him to fend for himself, and although there are baby rabbits by the dozen over there, he's obviously failed to provide for himself.

Welcome home, cat number Four.
Just after his first feed

His head and tail are normal size. The rest is skin & bone, there's nothing where his tummy should be.