Friday, May 05, 2017
I am writing to warn other cats. I lived with a family that couldn't afford vet bills. My ears got crusty and they took no notice till the crustiness was very bad.
Then they chucked me out to fend for myself although I was 16 years old. Luckily Cats Protection found me, took me in, fed me, and took me to a vet.
It was bad news - skin cancer. So they had to amputate my ears. Now I am recovered from the operation. The ears feel a bit odd and I can't swivel them so well as I used to. Otherwise I am fine.
Be warned. Cats like me that are white or have white faces, must stay out of the sunlight as much as possible during summer.
I have survived so cancer wasn't a death sentence. Being chucked out on the street nearly was....
Thank you for the warning. Readers, please remember this and get your humans to understand that white ears and faces are at risk of skin cancer. Whatever your colour, even black, if your face is white you are vulnerable. Any signs of scabbiness or crustiness on the ear means a visit to the vet (yes, I loathe vets too) as soon as possible.
Good human servants will keep you in during the full sunlight and buy your special cat sun screen.
But some humans are disgusting! They just threw Pearl out into the street when she got old and needed veterinary care. Warning to other cats - if you have that sort of human as a pet, leave home and find yourself a better one as soon as possible.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
This is the family I have adopted as my pets. I chose a family with a couple of human kittens - just to have some fun with them. I'm that sort of cat: ready to play at any time.
Why am I the thousandth cat? Well, Cats Protection Fareham and Waterloo district branch has rescued 200 unwanted or homeless cats every year since they started up, and I am number 1000.
I had made a bad first choice of humans. When I got flea allergy they just chucked me out and I spent a long time wandering around looking for a suitable home. It wasn't easy. But by the time I found Fareham Cats Protection, they helped me adopt the right people.
So thank you, all the 30 or so people who volunteered, raised money, and helped us Fareham cats find suitable human pets. And if any cats reading this want their humans to make a small donation to celebrate my new home, they can go to the donation page at www.fareham.cats.org.uk
Now I must get back to training those human kittens of mine.... they need my help.
I was a Cats Protection kitten, brought up and hand fed by Lou (now of Sunshine Cat Rescue), before I adopted Celia. So it is great to hear of the good work some humans do. Like you I am black and beautiful, with green eyes and a talent for making humans do what I want.
In a world where cats are so often mistreated or abused, it is great to celebrate a happy ending for a change.
Friday, June 12, 2015
My female human decorates cards with her own unique designs which includes quilling designs and others mostly as a hobby, she does sell some at craft fairs and on line. She decided to quill me and give me EYES. She is quite pleased with her first attempt at a Pet Portrait and might take it up and see how it goes.
I have always said that a pet human should have a hobby. Not a full time one, but something that the pet can find to do after it has finished its duties towards its feline owner or owners. We don't want them to become too dependant on us for all amusement.
It never fails to surprise me how intelligent these pets are. Janice is a bit of a treasure.
Saturday, October 04, 2014
My heart goes out to you. How could she? How could any decent human sink so low as to prefer the company of a dog to a cat? And just go out and buy one, inflicting its smelly presence upon two beautiful felines! This behaviour will upset any cat.
I just hope the poor felines that own her, are managing to turn their training technique upon the dog. Dogs are bred to submit to humans and with some careful management by cats, this tendency to submission can apply to felines too. I just hope that the cats have this cocker under a disciplined training regime from the very start.
Security in old age? It is a real problem for us. It may be time for you to start cultivating some younger humans down the street. Take your time. Stroll down and take a look. Is there anybody in the street who stops and tickles you under the chin? Do they already have a cat? If you cultivate their company while your humans are out, you may find that they start offering you food.
Two-timing your humans? I suppose so. But a cat is entitled to look out for herself. And if your humans discover your other "owner" (ridiculous word), they may realise they have a ready cat sitter. If not I am afraid your future may involve Cats Protection. It's a kind of halfway house for cats looking for a new home and although it's pretty awful, it's better than being homeless.
Friday, September 26, 2014
I'm stuck at the Cats' Protection Taunton and Wellington branch waiting for a new home. As you can see I am a glossy black with gorgeous green eyes.
The humans here are looking after me well. I was in a car accident and they have paid for surgery for my fractured pelvis. But I've been here for three months and I want to get out.
I keep seeing nearby cats get homes - tortoiseshells, tabbies, and even black and whites. Do you think this delay is because I am black? Is it possible that humans are colour prejudiced? And is there anything we black cats can do about it?
Yes, they are colour prejudiced. Black Cats are slower to get homes than many of the other colours. The strange thing is that humans have made laws to stop colour prejudice against black humans. They believe that humans of any colour should be treated equally. But it doesn't apply to us felines, apparently.
So we need to support National Black Cat Day on Thursday October 30th. We need to remind humans that black is beautiful. And we need to campaign for Black Power.
Cats reading this can get their human to upload a photo of a black cat onto Cats' Protection Facebook page here. One of us might become the poster cat for rehoming appeals. And any humans who haven't got a black cat yet can get one here. Or if they live in Oxfordshire here.
Alas, the more I know about humans, the more I seriously wonder if they are right in the head.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Is this love that you feel? I am not sure, Freddy. Sometimes I am not sure I even know what love is since that operation which deprived me of my tomhood. Compassion, in its best sense, yes definitely.
If we can teach our human pets this compassion, then many more may go out and adopt a special needs feline. If every compassionate human gave a home to a rescue cat, the world would be a better place. For them, as well as us.
George, Cats Protection Rescue Cat.
Of all the internet cats, my favourite is Henri, the cat with existentialist gloom. I identify with him so much when my human is being tiresome. Which is frequently.
Friday, October 25, 2013
I am the proud mother of five kittens - two ginger tabbies, one dark tabby and two black ones. I love them very much even though I know they will have to leave me to go to a new home.
My fosterer keeps coming to look at them and says things like: "There'll be no trouble in homing the tabbies, but the black ones will take time to go."
What is she talking about? I don't think she is colour prejudiced because she took me in when I was just a heavily pregnant stray. And she wouldn't have done that if she really hated black cats. I worry about the fate of my dear little black kittens.
Yours with anxiety
Your kittens will find a human to love but it may take more time. Colour prejudice is alive and well in the human-cat world. Not us. We are not racist. But humans are colour prejudiced about cats. They prefer light shades of fur, nice tabby patterns, and these are the cats that are rehomed first. Cats Protection currently have 1,300 black cats needing homes.
Last week Cats Protection held its Black Cat appreciation day here to remind humans that we black cats are just as beautiful and loving as cats in the other colours. Facebook has its Black Cats are Wonderful page here. Elsewhere national black cat days vary in their dates. Nevertheless some enlightened humans are working for us not against us.
It's not too bad in the UK where black cats are considered lucky. But in the USA superstitious humans think they are unlucky. There is a ridiculous human idea that black cats are connected with Halloween and witches. They have persecuted in the past. And even today in the USA some animal shelters just refuse to let people adopt black cats around this time because disgusting humans come in, adopt a cat, and then give it back afterwards. They just wanted the cat as Halloween window dressing.
These humans aren't the worst. The worst capture cats, especially black ones, and throw them on bonfires. Well meaning cat lovers, trying to save them from this fate, sometimes collect the black cats living on the street and hand them into animal shelters which then (if they have too many) euthanase them.
We must stop this prejudice against black cats. We are black and beautiful. We are sensitive and loving. It's humans, not us, who are ignorant and colour prejudiced.
Saturday, September 07, 2013
I live in a small village in the Cotswolds and metal cats troar through the village at high speed almost all the time. It is really frightening and the worst time is during the dusk, just when we cats are coming out to hunt.
As far as I know there is nothing we can do about these lethal moving objects. I have sniffed round them, when they are stationery and can report that they are definitely not alive. They have some kind of automatic "life" which roars and makes them go off at high speed with a human inside.
Well, we know humans are not usually very bright but one of our village humans has come up with a good idea. She has put up a sign on the road, warning the cars to slow down. Here is a photo of it.
I would like to see one of these in every village. If there are no kittens there, then the sign could just read "CATS." What do you think?
I think it is a brilliant idea. I wish we could get more of these. Cats die on the road in their thousands in my country and nobody seems to care. The cars just speed on their way without stopping to see if they can help. These metal things are completely uncaring. Sometimes I think the cats that die outright are luckier than those who crawl away and die in agony in the hedge.
Maybe we could start a campaign for more "Slow Kitten" signs.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
We are two happy go lucky kittens currently in the care of West Oxfordshire Cats Protection. Our brother Arnie has been adopted. So has our sister Annie. We are the two left over kittens, and as you can see we are growing up fast. Why does nobody want us? We are just as funny and loving and playful as Arnie or Annie, yet we've been left on the shelf.
There are other kittens that are looking for homes - Midnight, Leon, Sammikins, Cecil, Cora, Carissa, Nora , Ozzie, Ollie and Oscar. They look just like us. You can see them on the WOCP
Millie and Lottie
Dear Millie and Lottie,
You've been left on the shelf because you are black. A disgraceful form of colour prejudice still exists in the feline world. People choose light coloured cats, tabbies, naughy torties and even black and white cats before they adopt black cats. But August 17th is going to be Black Cat Appreciation Day on Facebook. I would like anybody who is reading this to take a look at this Facebook page.
As well as 11 black kittens waiting for adoption (and some more on the way), WOCP has two mature black cats looking for homes - Ella and Pepsi. They are black too and the odds are that they will be longer in the cat chalet than the tabbies, or torties, or even greys. It is so unfair.
Black is Beautiful. I am putting some photos of black cats that have been homed by WOCP below my signature. Starting at the bottom, there's Jasmine, a lady of mature years, then little Moth playing inside a cardboard box, Raven looking doubtfully at the camera, and elegant Holly examining a log. At the top is the photo of you two kittens Lottie and Milly sharing a joke. About the stupid prejudice of humans perhaps.
Just take a look below. Black cats are lovely. Though none so quite so handsome as me.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
I'm told you are a cat of knowledge and many friends so I thought I'd speak to you about my humans and their plight. You see they are part of a charity called Lincoln Cat Care that tries to find homes for cats and kittens that do not have human servants. But for some silly human reasons (something to do with money and financial climate I'm told) they have had a huge influx of cats and are really struggling to find homes and look after all us cats and kittens.
My story is a good example. I was what they call a “stray”. I call it free. But cold. And hungry! In my first season I met a big Tom and fell for his charms. Of course he cleared off and come the day when my kittens where due I was scared and didn't really know what to do. I went to the garden of a human who had been giving me and some others some food and had my kittens in the open in his yard on some bricks. That was Sunday 17 April. On the Monday a lovely human came to scoop us all up and take us to her home. She is now our willing servant, totally chained to the power of the meow!
She tells me that she is a new volunteer with Lincoln Cat Care and that I was very lucky as all their foster carers were full up when they heard about me and they would have had to turn me away if she hadn't come forward! Can you imagine that? I would never have found the joy of a good chin rub, and given my size and the fact that I really struggle to care for all four kittens I doubt if all of them would have made to to their two week birthday. A man she knows called Ed Cole is a pro DVD editor and camera man, he offered to put this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pRK0sDEyw> film together to try to raise awareness of the cats just waiting for the right human to take them home, but now we need people to spread the word!If you search on You Tube for Lincoln Cat Care it's the first one.
Do you think any of your friends could get their humans to watch it and tell their friends? Obviously my kittens aren't up for adoption yet. But many other cats are! The website; http://www.lincolncatcare.com; has details of the majority, or you can call them.
Apparently my kittens have to go with me to something called a V E T. I've had my flea and worm treatment but they were to young, now they are old enough to get the V E T to do it, he's also going to check us all in case the human has missed anything. So I'd best be off to make sure the human gets them all in the basket, I don't know if she can count!
Thank you so much George,
Lots of love,
(and, left to right, Gaynor, Oscar, Shackleton and Silent Bob)
Your friend Ed Cole is just what we need at West Oxon Cats Protection, the charity which rescued me off the street in the first place. We are not yet swamped with kittens, but we have far too many older cats needing homes. The human recession is really making life tough for us cats. People are losing their homes and then discovering they can't find rented accomodation which will let them keep their family cat or dog. Other people, without veterinary insurance, are handing in their cats to us. Still others (humans are so cruel) are just dumping their cats on the street. Finally, there are the people who don't have the money to get their cats neutered or spayed and dump cats with kittens on the street. It is sickening.
Please, you cats out there, see if you can influence your humans to give some money to local cat charities. Money is the best thing. Volunteering is the next best thing. That is the single most helpful human gesture towards our species. Many of us cats have been badly let down by our humans: others are just unfortunate. If you look at our West Oxon website you will see elderly Duke, whose equally elderly human became so ill that she could no longer keep him.
My human, Celia, sometimes despairs of humans. But I pass on feline wisdom. "You can't do everything, but you can do something. So what you can do, do it." Let's flood YouTube, Facebook, and all the other networks with cats needing homes and with cat care videos. Get the message, you dumb humans.
Humans can count but with typical arrogance they think we can't. We can - up to about six or seven which is all the numbers any sensible animal (not humans) needs.
PS. Had a great deal of trouble getting my secretary, Celia, to type the words. She just drooled over the kitten photo. Babies leave her cold: but kittens....
Saturday, April 23, 2011
My life story is based on lies, sex and money! I was caught in a war between the breeders. My name is Yogan and I am a pure breed. You might wonder what I’m doing here among rescued cats, but, in way, I’m a rescue too. I was born in a breeder’s house being destined, of course, to a life of sex and lies; I mean I was supposed “to produce” many, many kittens who would be sold for big money. Quite before I was supposed to “meet” my first “wife” I was sold to another breeder. I don’t know what exactly went wrong between the two, but I heard something about lies, money and papers. And, that’s how the war between them started. In between the court appearances, the one who bought me decided to neuter me so, if she can’t breed me ….no one ever would! I got “fixed” in “revenge” and not as a responsible, sensible solution to cat overpopulation!
In a way I’m happy I got the snip since I wouldn’t like to know my kittens being abandoned on the streets by some irresponsible humans. But I was (still am) appalled by the breeder’s motivation! That’s just another example of human greediness and irresponsibility. Soon I was up for sale again! But this time I was “rescued” by my “mommy” Jackie. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more; she is well behaved, well trained in attending to my wellbeing and absolutely lovely. She lives for me! She loves me immensely! I’m writing to you George because I want you to make my story known – may be we all can learn something from it. What do you think?
You have had such a lucky escape. Most stud cats are kept in a cat chalet and never come out. If the breeder is ethical, they may have a spayed female cat for company. If the breeder really loves cats, then they will usually only be kept at stud for a year or two before being neutered and homed as a pet. But, in bad hands, the loneliness of the long-captived stud cat is awful. They cannot be kept in the house because they are so smelly. Some of them develop behaviour disorders like pacing walking up and down their small cages like suffering zoo animals.
The plight of the un-neutered tom on the street or in the countryside is different. He does have all the pleasures of freedom and the fun of mating. But with that goes a high chance of disease. Un-neutered toms do more fighting than neutered cats and fatal diseases such as FIV are spread by bites. They also roam far more and are more likely to be run over, lose their homes (if they had one) and end up battered and starving on the street. Many of the male stray cats that we at West Oxon Cats Protection pick up are in this condition. (If you go to the website, you will find Arthur there who needs a home). If their original owners had only had them neutered they would be safe and well at home.
Add to this that there are too many homeless cats, and you will see how important it is for cats to be neutered and spayed if they are going to lead the domestic life. Every single human that breeds kittens is adding to the overpopulation. Frankly, I think it is horrible. And I also think that irresponsibly breeding any animals from a very limited gene pool (mating within relatives for instance) results in some hideous disorders. Don't believe me? look at hereditary disorders in pedigree cats at www.fabcats.org.
You have now escaped the immense boredom of the stud cat's life and come home to live with your pet human. Congratulations. Please try to purrsuade all humans to adopt unwanted cats from animal shelters rather than from breeders. If they want a pedigree cat, they can adopt a rescue from the rescue arm of the relevant pedigree cat club. Or settle for a lovely moggie.
PS. I only wish we could have a neutering and spaying campaign to stop human overpopulation. This intellectually limited species is difficult to influence.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I'm very worried. Brian Blessed, the famous actor, foghorn and national treasure, who I had down as being a real champion for animals, seems to have gone bonkers.
He's touring the UK asking people to sign a petition asking the government NOT to ban Invisible Electric Fences. These horrible fences give an animal wearing a "special" collar, a painful and frightening electric shock on their neck if they go too near a boundary where the electric underground "fence" is laid.
I can see such a device being useful in training our thick skinned, rather slow apes not to go too far from home and be late feeding us, but for the sake of COD no such nasty method would ever work on cats. No ape has ever put a collar on me and this makes me ruddy sure they never will.
George, how can we get our friend Brian Blessed well again and back to being our friend?
Yours in shock
Here is the link.
I am shocked and horrified too. Animal-loving Brian Blessed has been misled. Readers can tell him so on his Facebook page but be nice about it, as he has done a great great deal for animal welfare. He may have been misled by the fact that a cat welfare charity campaigned in the favour of this cruel fencing system. Giving electric shocks to dogs and cats is cruel and unnecessary. These electric shock fences (they called the shock "mild correction") leave cats exposed to even more danger. If a fierce dog comes into the territory, the cat cannot run away. If it is does run, it is shocked as it passes the invisible barrier. For some cats this will bring on complete breakdown.
The charity, Feline-Friends, www.feline-friends.org.uk, has even placed an advertisement in a cat magazine in favour of this cruel fencing. Electric shock fencing is opposed by the RSPCA, Cats Protection, Dogs' Trust, and many other welfare charities. What on earth is this charity doing? There's a huge amount of space on their website devoted to this kind of fencing. Why? They've even got a petition in favour....
You can find out more about this charity by looking at the government's Charity Commission where you will discover it only started up in 2009, is based in Chesterfield, and is a newcomer to the charity scene. The accounts can be downloaded from this site and the trustees are named. There is a link from the charity's website to an organisation Dogfence. This link can only help Dogfence sales. If you believe that campaigning in favour of these fences runs contrary to cat welfare, you can email the Charity Commission to point this out.
Electric shock collars and fencing are widely used in the USA and Dogfence seems to be some kind of UK offshoot of this company. Similar products are still legal in England but I look forward to the day when they are made illegal. They are no substitute for proper fencing.
Whicky, thank you for bringing this to my attention. We cats need to act together.
PS. Apologies if a fencing ad appears under Google ads. It's an automatic thingie. I can't stop it. Ignore it. Do not click on it.
PPS. From a paper reviewing the use of shock collars in dogs:
"With the use of increasingly complex equipment there comes an increased potential
for malfunction. Whilst a solid fence guarantees containment and the exclusion of
people, a boundary system using a shock collar may fail to function due to damage to
the boundary wire, worn out batteries, improper fitting of the collar, problems with
the receiver collar or transmitter or extraneous radio signals (Polsky, 1994). Some
bark activated electronic collars have been affected by ambient noise, resulting in
eventual habituation (Wells 2001)....
There have also been reports of physical lesions on the neck caused by high intensities
of shock (Seksel, 1999), especially in wet weather, although these have been
contended by proponents of the collars. However, when used in boundary systems the
close fitting collars are frequently worn for long periods, leading to the possibility of
skin irritation or contact necrosis (Polsky, 1994)"
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Hi, I’m Bentley and I’m a Christmas gift! It is true that I’m last year’s Christmas gift…but I’ve survived the high of holidays without being returned to the shelter! Actually, our human adopted three of us on the same day and we are still together.
One weird thing is that we were named after cars! I’m Bentley ….right as in the beautiful, elegant car!
My brother is Marti…as in Aston Martin! Ah! And my sister is …..not named after a car! (I wonder why?)
Being named after an elegant, luxurious car is not that bad as all I have to do all day is to “show off” and enjoy a pampered life. But, what if we were called Lamborghini or Ferrari? Were we supposed to “race” through the house? Are these people crazy? Can’t they enjoy Christmas? Why don’t they consult with us when it comes to names? I, personally, prefer to be a RR Phantom. Why can’t I?
George, I would like to learn more about cats and Christmas! It seems it’s a very important holiday for us, cats! What is a white Christmas? There are any other colors? And why do we have to wear that red stupid hat?
Bentley (a RR Phantom at heart)
I adopted Celia just before Christmas too. I just had time to do so before the local Cats Protection closed down for the holiday. They won't let people adopt over the actual Christmas period - to stop people doing it on impulse and to prevent kittens being confused by too much going on during the day itself. (Incidentally, they have lots of kittens needing homes this year - take a look at the website. There are some lovely photos).
Celia wasn't the ideal Christmas gift for myself but in the long run I was satisfied by my choice. I felt sorry for her as she paraded up and down outside the chalet with imploring eyes. There are younger more beautiful humans I could have adopted, but I have always felt that we cats should give the oldies a chance. You can teach an old human new tricks, even if feline tradition says otherwise. And they are touchingly grateful when a superior species takes notice of them.You don't get that gratitude from the younger ones.
The Naming of Cats is controversial, as a human poet T. S. Elliot says. (Copyright charges are too much for me to quote this but you will find it elsewhere on less scrupulous websites). Human names for us are often quite undignified, ranging from Sooty (as if we didn't keep clean), or Blackie, to Whitey or Snowy (as if we'd let that stuff stay on our fur). It doesn't surprise me that your humans named you after cars. It's the pathetic sort of thing that this inferior species would do. I look forward to the day when all cars are named after cats - Snow Leopard, Felis, Catus, Silvestris, Tiger, Bengal, Persian, Lion, and so forth. But when did humans get their priorities right? Cats before cars is an idea that seems beyond their grasp.
That hat.... I have never forgiven Celia for ambushing me with it. She waited till I was asleep, put it on, stepped back and did the photo. Luckily it is not a very good one. You can see from my expression what I think of that hat. I would like to make a public declaration to all humans. Do not dress up cats. We hate it. It is demeaning and Christmas is no excuse.
I don't much care for Christmas, myself. I make an exception for the turkey. A little plate of turkey meat, carefully taken off the dangerous bones, is an acceptable gift. Take note, humans.
Happy Christmas to all felines.
PS. I will report next on Christmas day on the behaviour of my humans and the current status of the white Christmas (so far snow is six inches deep). If comments are slow getting on, it is because internet connection has been lost due to snow.... unbelievable in 2010 but that's BT!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Help me find a new home. Nobody wants me because I am old. I've been in my cat chalet for months and months waiting for that special person but nobody even gives me a second look. OK so I am a bit thin but I have wonderful golden ginger, white and black colouring. I am friendly and kind too even though I don't want to live with young children or dogs. It's better here than it was on the streets. They just dumped me, probably because I was ill with a thyroid disorder and they couldn't afford the vet bills. Being thrown away at the age of 10 and trying to struggle to survive without shelter or food is rough. Believe me, George, that was the lowest point in my life. Now I've got food and shelter with West Oxon Cats Protection but it is only half a life. Can you put in a word for the elderly?
Some human beings are the lowest animals in nature. Real low life. Chucking out an elderly cat because she is ill has to be an example of really vile behaviour. Luckily you have survived and, though it's not enough, you have shelter and food and the kindess of your foster mother Dorothy.
Alas, there are too many cats like you. Click on any of the Cats Protection branches and shelters, and it's clear that kittens are adopted first, then handsome younger cats, and then, right at the end of the queue, old cats. Old cats don't want very much - somewhere quiet to live with warm fires and good food. Sometimes the charity concerned will even pay their vet bills. So they are not an expensive pet.
In return they give unchanging love and loyalty. Elderly cats will purr on the bed, stretch out under the radiators, take a sleepy but intelligent interest in the TV, and generally be company in the house. They are ideal pets for people who don't have a garden because they don't want to spend hours outside chasing mice.
So, Vera, hang on in there. You may be old but you sure are elegant with those lovely markings. At least in the UK we have no-kill animal shelters so you are safe where you are. My secretary, Celia, feels a special sympathy for you as she is caring for an elderly husband, currently very ill in hospital. She is hoping to readopt him when he comes out.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Can you help me find a forever home? I am now in the care of Celia, as her temporary foster cat but I badly need a forever home with a very special person because I have special needs.
For one thing I am FIV positive. I came from the home of a cat hoarder and picked up the virus there, where there were so many cats that there were often fights. I nearly lost my life when I was rescued, because the rescue organisation had a policy of euthanasing FIV cats.
Luckily I was passed on to Cats Protection (www.westoxoncats.org.uk) who home FIV cats as indoor only cats. I found a loving home but with an elderly human who could no longer cope with the way I dig so deep into the litter that the bits have a trajectory of three feet! (Well, cats like me enjoy a good deep dig).
Somewhere along the way I got fat. Not just fat, actually. Obese is the term used by the vet. I am so fat I can't reach my backside or the lower half of my tummy to groom. There was a deeply shaming moment on Christmas day when Jess, Celia's nephew held me, while she clipped away the soiled area of my bottom and cut out a lot of knots. Such an indignity, really upsetting experience, but I feel better for it.
PS I am helping Celia type this. At my size I can block the computer screen really effectively!
Thank goodness there are rescue organisations like Cats Protection that give FIV cats a second chance. Humans don't put down humans that are HIV positive, so why should they put down FIV cats just because they have the virus. FIV cats can't spread it to humans and many have good quality of life for a long time. They deserve some happiness too.
I can see that you are visibly on the portly side. I take the view that we cats can be fat if we choose, but (how can I put it delicately?) it looks as if you are too well found, too much embonpoint, and just too much of you all together. Not being able to groom yourself is a deeply upsetting condition. No cat should be expected to live like that. We need to groom. It is part of who we are.
Has Celia done her duty and put you on an obesity diet? Is she being firm and not becoming a fatty enabler like some owners? And is she refusing your requests for more?
My recommendation to you, Pusskin, is to take more exercise. Don't just sit on that cat gymnasium device. Start jumping up and down on it. Hunt for bits of food all over the house - Celia will try to help with this - don't just eat out of a bowl. Chase flies. Chase bits of string. Make her play games with you as much as possible. Keep running up and down the stairs. Get fit not fat. Oh yes, and when you go to her to ask for more food, let yourself be diverted with a game not a cat biscuit.
Finally, there are people out there who will take on a cat with special needs. Be patient. Somebody will want you for your innate charm, your gentleness with humans. They will look with the eyes of love and not see that fat outer cat. instead they will see past the outside into the essential beautiful inner cat.
PS. A very helpful comment by Puss Puss below. Thank you, Puss Puss
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I'm one lucky cat who got "to live" not one but two of the late Maestro Frederico Fellini's movies. Well, my life started with my mom being an alley cat. She was rescued by a good woman, Adriana, who took her in her house. My mom was pregnant and had three kittens. Adriana (who already had three cats of her own) kept us until we were eight weeks old. She found each of us new homes. I know she liked me the best.
Anyway, I ended up with a family that kicked me out when I was no longer a kitten (about one year old). I survived for almost a year (and a bloody cold winter) on the streets. Somehow Adriana found out about this and asked the family that adopted me to bring me back to her. Here I was once again in Adriana's house! And once again she was looking to find a good home for me. Right on my 2nd birthday I was adopted by Rita-Mae and Francesco. They were my "angels' - what a wonderful birthday gift!
Oh! I forgot to tell you that my name was Freddy! When Francesco first saw me he said 'We'll take the cat but his name will be Frederico." Destiny! What better birthday gift .?
And so began my "Dolce Vita". I spend most of my time in "dolce far niente"!
First thing in the morning I bite Rita'Mae's toes so she''ll "wake up and serve me breakfast. Later, I read the newspapers with Francesco. Then ... I watch the birds, cars, and all the crazy things you can see outside. Sometimes... I play with Tutu - the house rabbit.
George, isn't this amazing? Quite a journey from "La Strada" to "La Dolce Vita", from "Freddy to Frederico". Do you think I might have a karmic link with Maestro Fellini?
Dear Frederico (formerly Freddy),
Your journey from suffering to happiness, from pain to pleasure, from human cruelty to human love, is awesome. That journey is wonderful for all of us rescued cats. At Christmas I think of Lou (www.westoxoncats.co.uk) who took me in as an orphaned kitten, bottle fed me, and gave me a happy home. I also remember all those poor cats on the street (at this time of year in dire straits because of the cold) who need human angels like Adriana.
I looked up the karmic link idea on the web and it says it is metaphysical attraction between different souls, according to their karma. So it is often a kind of link of love that attracts people. I think I have a karmic link to Lou. I hope I don't have a link to the cruel person who thrust my mother out into the cold when she was pregnant. It must be great to have a karmic link to Maestro Fellini, maker of great films. Pity that he is on the other side. We could do with a really really good film about cats - not one where the cat is the baddy.
Dolce far niente is my motto too, with one exception which is hunting. But when the weather is heavy rain and wind, as it often is in the UK, my day goes something like this - woke up, eat food out of bowl, nap, eat food out of bowl, nap, investigate flies on the window, nap, eat food out of bowl, nap.... Of course, if it is a dry cold day I am out there hunting, checking my territory for any change, sniffing at the rabbit poo, seeing if any mice are around. After hunting, I nap and nap well.
Christmas -- I hope there is not going to be any silliness about putting a Christmas hat on me, like some years. I don't appreciate this human stupidity!
PS. My housekeeper/butler/cook is back. Keeps talking about statistics. That woman has no sense at all.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
It's 2009 and here I am sitting in the Cats Protection main rescue centre - The National Cat Centre, in Kent. For me it's a gloomy outlook. I've lost my home and I don't know when I am going to find a new one. I feel disorientated and stressed out. What will the New Year bring? How am I going to cope?
Don't despair. At least you are in the warm and you are getting two meals a day and, best of all, if you are patient you WILL find a new home. Here in the UK we have lots of no-kill shelters that do not put down healthy cats. In the US, where the animal rescue movement is a little behind us, many many cats are just euthanised for lack of a home.
It's much worse for those cats trying to survive on the streets. Or those ones sheltering under the hedges, shivering, who have lost their way in the countryside. Or the cats in towns, who are sheltering in basements, some of them injured from road traffic accidents. Without food. Without warmth. Without human help.
You are a tabby tortoishell and you look beautiful so you will be picked quite early. It's worse for the black cats and the black and white ones that don't look so good. They will have to stay longer. I heard a horrible story about an animal shelter in Ohio where people hand in black cats are Halloween, because they think they will be safer there than on the streets (where they might be used for black magic sacrifices and torture). But 9 out of 10 of these black cats are just euthanised.
Where was I? Well luckily the animal movement bother in the UK and in the USA is working hard on trying to improve the way they find homes. Most of all, they need more animal adopters. The quicker there is a turn-round from unwanted pet to new home, the more animals can be helped. But of course, if they just hand out animals any how, the adoptions may fail. It's quite a dilemma getting it right.
So what do I wish for in 2009? I wish for more people willing to adopt the less attractive cats. Please adopt the ugly ones, the black or black and white moggies, the old, the disabled and the frankly bad tempered. They need help most. Every cat that is given a home from a rescue centre, leaves a pen for a new one. So by adopting a cat, a human is helping two, not one, cats.
Also money helps. With the financial heltdown, all rescues need cash. Cats Protection lost several million pound in the Icelandic Banks disaster. If you can help visit www.cats.org.uk or take a look at my kittenhood home at www.westoxoncats.co.uk If you are very, very lucky, your human could adopt a sleek, shining, and intelligent black cat like me.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Monday, November 12, 2007
"He makes his wishes known," said Lou Tyack of West Oxfordshire Cats Protection. "He's a real little corker, this one." She handed the small black kitten to me who squeaked in protest. He was not frightened, merely indignant. His fur positively bristled with outrage as he realised he was being transferred to an unknown female.
George's early life had been spent with Lou Tyack in a cat chalet at the bottom of her Oxfordshire garden. Four kittens had been rescued as a wild litter and handed over to Lou - two black ones and two black and white. I had heard of them while lying on my back with my legs in table top position during a pilates class. As we drew in our muscles and indented our stomachs to get the second leg up to table top, one of my classmates turned her head in my direction and whispered: "Do you know that Lou has some kittens."
Kittens in October are rare, particularly kittens born in the wild. It's normally too late in the year for kittens to survive the winter and most female cats don't come on heat so late. Nature knows the effort of pregnancy may well be wasted. The only winter kittens are those produced by unscrupulous pedigree breeders or equally unscrupulous low life people who think they can make a few extra pence by selling kittens as Christmas presents. These wild kittens, the tiny black male and his three sisters, would probably have died that autumn. How did they arrive so late into a cold world so unfriendly to wild kittens? Perhaps their mother was as fearless and irrepressible as her son was to be, and just fancied a handsome passing tom that autumn despite it not being the right season for cats living wild.
Her four little kittens, if by some miracle they had survived in the wild, would have grown up feral. Their mother was just one of the many unknown cats who live a hidden life in the wild sheltering in damp hedges, or dusty derelict buildings or creeping into factories at night for the warmth left over from day time work. Some of them, the best survivors, are wild from birth, others are pets that have got lost, still others are pets that are thrown out by owners who no longer want them. Their lifespan is often less than two years, as they scrounge for food among the dustbins or try to keep themselves alive by hunting rabbits and rats in the wet fields. For an entire tom cat, it is a life of roaming in search of sex, caterwauling around the roof tops, or dodging the gamekeepers and their guns. For the un-neutered females it is a desperate and short life bearing litters of kittens. Near starving mothers do their best to rear their offspring but few of them survive.
The tiny black kitten and his sisters were alive thanks to Cats Protection and Lou's bottle feeding. But it was unusual to find unwanted kittens in a rescue centre that time of year and I had thought I would have to wait until Spring. I couldn't adopt an adult cat. A kitten was what I had to have, as in 2006 I was spending part of the week in London and part of it in Oxfordshire. A young kitten could be acclimatised to the car and would grow up relaxed about having two different territories. An older cat would have hated each journey. So, though there were cats more desperately needing homes, I had to have a kitten. and a young one at that.
A black kitten was my choice, because black is the least popular colour. Tabbies, gingers, tortoiseshells, blues and whites are quickly chosen out of the rescue pens regardless of their temperaments. Black and whites are not much desired but are taken eventually. In rescue centres where the public are allowed to walk by looking at the cats, they often fail to give black cats even a second glance. Friendly black cats will walk hopefully towards the passing human only to be ignored. Taking a black kitten was the least I could do, to help Cats Protection and the rescue movement in general. I also wanted a black cat because my last cat, Fat Mog, had been strong minded and black. Mog had been put to sleep with kidney disease about two or three months earlier.
A young kitten, as young as eight weeks, would grow up thinking car journeys were a normal part of life. "I can't give him to you yet," Lou had said a week earlier. "He's eight weeks old and he's eating solid food but he still likes his bottle. I don't want to wean him too early if he wants to continue on the bottle." Obviously the small black kitten, rather me or Lou, had taken charge of the the timing of his adoption.
I named him George because I knew he was valiant and irrepressible, and I hoped he would grow up to be loving and gorgeous.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Celia has been coming home smelling of kittens lately. I took careful sniff the other day and thought she had been handling about four of them. This is bad. Very bad. And her hands smelled not just of kittens but high quality kitten food. (I'd like some of it myself but I normally get adult food, which is not so rich.)
What on earth has she been up to? Fondling alien kittens is not what she is there for. Is she going to bring one home, I wonder. If so I definitely don't want it. I don't want any other cats of any kind at all ever. This is my territory and intruders are not welcome. William agrees with me - for once. He says it would be a second betrayal (what can he mean?) if she brings home a kitten. He hated it last time she did. Only then I realise that he is talking of my arrival in the household in the winter of 2006. Can't he see that this is completely different.
Further daily investigative smelling suggests that the number of kittens is falling, which is encouraging. Today she came home smelling of just one single kitten - Riley. I could tell (scent reveals so much) that he was small, ticked tabby, and quite frightened. Apparently she has been trying to help socialise four feral kittens by sitting in their pen and hand feeding them or playing with them with lengths of string. Riley (he's in the picture) is actually the nicest, but because he isn't as chubby and appealing to look at as the other three he has still not found a home.
I heard her telling Ronnie that after about eight visits, Riley was able to eat from her hand while sitting in her lap. Today she came back and she had been able to pick him up. He had purred loudly and rolled over to have his tummy tickled. She says she almost cried - she was so moved. He'll probaby always be a nervous cat with strangers (unlike me) but he will be wonderful for the human he loves. She promised Ronnie, who is presenting a united front with me and William, that she is not going to bring him home. No more cats are wanted here. Me and William are not dogs. We are not social animals. We don't want a pack of kittens, nor even a single extra one.
Pity the kittens couldn't have been like me. I was socialised by Cats Protection then handled by 24 different people in my first month with Celia - the postman, the man who delivers parcels, the passing farm manager, visitors, Tracy, Paul, Steffi, and many others. As a result I like humans a lot. William who is nervous and standoffish, says that I am like the school tart - I am anybody's. He is jealous, of course.