Category Archives: HQ Cats

Meet Foster Cats No’s 27 – 34!

family

It’s been a bit hectic on the fostering front over the last few weeks….  First of all there was Olive and her five kittens: Alice, George, Ivor, Jack and Nancy.

Above: Jack, Alice, Ivor and Nancy

Olive:

olive1

Olive had given birth to her kittens in someone’s garden.  Fortunately the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT) were called in and came to the rescue.  I took them on when the kittens were six weeks old, as their previous fosterers had a family emergency and were not longer able to care for them.

Alice and Ivor:

alice-ivor-yawn

All the kittens had been very well socialised by the previous fosterers, and were what’s known in the cat rescue world as ‘Bomb-proof’, i.e. super-friendly, super-confident and suitable for any kind of home.  Olive was nervous initially, but soon grew in confidence once she came to the conclusion that I was OK because: a) I wasn’t going to hurt her and was actually quite nice; and b) I was going to provide her with lots of food.  Actually it was mainly b) – Olive loves her food!

Nancy and George

nancy-george

Olive and her kittens were with me for around a month before they went to the CHAT Lewisham rescue centre for rehoming.  As you can imagine it didn’t take long to find homes for this bunch of cuties, and they were all adopted (in pairs) within a couple of weeks.

Ivor’s magic wand tail!

ivor-tail

After Olive and co. departed I decided to take a break from fostering.  I’ve fostered almost continuously for around five years now and was feeling a bit burnt out.  I planned to stop fostering all together for a few months and then act as an emergency-only fosterer for Cats Protection.  Just in case you’re wondering why I’ve changed charity: I’ve been volunteering in the Cats Pro Greenwich charity shop for nearly four years now (18 Old Dover Rd, SE3 7BT – always good for a bargain if you’re in the area!).  Earlier this year I was asked to join the branch committee, and since then have become a lot more involved in the cats side of things.  I’m now the branch’s Homing Officer, and it doesn’t really sit comfortably with me to be fostering for one charity while rehoming cats for another, so hence the switch from CHAT to Cats Pro.

Anyway, the not fostering thing lasted for less than two weeks after a woman came into the Cats Pro charity shop and told me that she’d found a male kitten wandering up and down a very busy road.  She’d already been caring for the kitten for nearly three weeks – while she’d tried unsuccessfully to locate an owner – but was unable to do so any longer as her dog was becoming jealous and she was worried he may lash out.  I went to scan for a microchip (there wasn’t one), and discovered that the kitten was in fact female, around six months old and hadn’t been spayed.  There was nowhere else for the kitten to go other than back out on the street, so that evening, on my way home from the shop, I called round to collect Susie – as she’d already been named – and took her home with me.

Susie:

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I wasn’t too concerned at having my fostering break interrupted as Susie is an incredibly friendly, affectionate and generally bomb-proof kinda girl, who I knew would be easy to re-home.  I’d made a couple of home visits to prospective adopters earlier the same day, and thought that Susie would be ideal for one of the couples I’d been to see.  I rang them, they were very keen, and we made arrangements for them to come and meet Susie after she’d been spayed, microchipped and had her first vaccinations.  They came round this afternoon, it was love at first sight, they adopted her, and off she went to her new home.  I’ve since had a text to let me know that she settled in straight away.  Hooray!

susie

But I still don’t get to take my fostering break.  On Monday I received a call from our Welfare Officer, who’s a veterinary nurse at a rescue-minded practice which carries out a lot of procedures for our branch.  They’d taken in a young female for a neuter-and-return – she was one of a small group of cats who live in the underground car park of a housing estate and are fed and cared for by one of the residents.  However, when they examined her they discovered an old infected *collar wound under her right leg.  The wound needed surgery, which in turn required external stitches and then a buster collar (aka Cone of Shame) to prevent the cat from worrying at the stitches.  Obviously she couldn’t be returned to the car park in that condition, so now Holly (as I’ve imaginatively named her, given the time of year) is Foster Cat no. 34.

Holly

holly

The good news is that Holly is a charming, people-friendly, affectionate adolescent kitten (she’s around 9 – 10 months old), and I’m pretty sure I’ve already found her a home.  So once the stitches are out hopefully she’ll be off to pastures new, and I’ll restart my fostering break.  Wonder how long it will last this time?!

holly-1

*Collar wounds are inflicted by cat collars with an elastic insert which allows the collar to stretch if it becomes snagged on anything, so that the cat can escape.  The trouble with these collars is that they will also stretch if a cat paws at them, allowing the cat to pass one of its front legs through the collar, which then rapidly cuts into the ‘armpit’ area of the leg causing a nasty and very painful injury.  These elasticated collars are sold as ‘safety’ collars which really pisses me off as they’re not – strays with collar wounds are all too common.  A genuine safety collar will have a break-away buckle, which allows the collar to snap open when snagged, therefore making it impossible for a cat to step through the collar and rip its ‘armpit’ open.

Grumpy Tabby Cat Tote Bag to Raise Funds for Cats in Need!

grumpy tabby tote bag - unexpected item in bagging area

Barney, the grumpy tabby, fell asleep inside a nice, cosy bag and then woke to find himself at a supermarket checkout.  No wonder he looks a bit peeved.

The Tabby Cat Tote Bag – screen printed by my own fair hands – is available for £8.00 from the newly re-opened Cool for Cats UK Etsy shop.

Measurements: bag - 43cm x 35cm; handles – 64cm

All profits from the shop will be donated to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT), a UK charity who carry out invaluable cat rescue and re-homing work in London and the South East and also run two clinics in London which offer affordable neutering and veterinary care to animal owners on low incomes.

CHAT is a charity very close to my heart.  All my cats are CHAT rescues, and in fact three would not be alive today if they hadn’t come into CHAT’s care…

Severely injured Martha had been ‘rescued’ by another charity who were intending to euthanase her – they regarded her as feral and therefore difficult to re-home, and so not worth saving.  Thankfully she was passed over to CHAT, who amputated her injured leg and fought to save her life.  It was touch and go for a few days, but she’s a tough little soldier and pulled through.  I originally took her on as a foster cat before deciding to adopt her, and it was immediately apparent that she wasn’t feral – just very nervous of people, probably due to previous mistreatment.  She’s now a very affectionate lap cat who loves the great outdoors, and is a champion tree-climber – despite the missing leg!

martha1

Alflie and his sister Ethel were members of a feral colony living in underground garages on a South London housing estate.  The cats were under constant threat from dogs and human residents of the estate – several dead cats were found at the scene – and so CHAT trapped and rescued the whole colony.  Alfie and Ethel came to me as feral foster kittens, but I decided to keep them when they were returned after a failed adoption.  It took them a while to get the hang of the whole being-friends-with-humans thing, but these days they’re both very affectionate, and could almost be described as civilised!

alfie - rescued by the celia hammond animal trust

ethel - rescued by the celia hammond animal trust

So, everything you purchase from the Cool for Cats UK shop will help fund a charity who are really committed to cat rescue and animal welfare.  I’ll be adding new products to the shop over the next few weeks – watch this space!

*Please* Help Cats in Need by Voting for Britain’s Cleverest Cat! (Or enter your own video & do what you like with the prize money!)

felix britains's cleverest cat 2014

Do you have a video of your cat doing a REALLY clever thing?  And maybe your friends have grown tired of you making them watch the video of your cat doing the REALLY clever thing and you yearn for a wider audience?  Well, yearn no more: popular cat food brand, Felix, are running a competition in partnership with ITV’s Saturday night behemoth, Britains Got Talent, to discover Britain’s Cleverest Cat 2014.  To enter your cat’s video you need to’ like’ the Cats Like Felix Facebook page, click on the Britain’s Cleverest Cat link at the top of the page and then follow the instructions given.  (Be patient when uploading your video – it may take a while!)

The winner of Britain’s Cleverest Cat 2014 will receive £5,000, and the two runners up will each receive £1,000.  Judging takes place in 3 stages, the first and third of which are decided by public vote (via Facebook) – so you’ll have to start pestering your beleaguered friends again.  Votes for the first stage of the competition must be in by 23:59 on 11th May 2014.

And now, my beleaguered friends, I’m afraid I’m going to pester you, for I have entered a video of a former foster cat of mine doing a REALLY clever thing.  Exceedingly loveable feline genius, Stuart, has an incredible knack for opening cupboard doors and then making off with any edible items he can get his little paws on.  Fortunately I captured the little monkey on camera (it was used as his adoption video), and now I would very much appreciate you taking a moment to vote for Stuart in the Britain’s Cleverest Cat competition.  Remember votes must be in by 23:59 on 11th May 2014!

Here’s Stuart’s video, should you wish to check it out prior to voting (if you’re reading this via email or RSS subscription you’ll probably need to click on the title link of this post in order to view the video):

Any prize money received for Stuart’s entry will be donated to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT), who rescue and rehome over 2,000 cats a year in London and the South East, in addition to providing affordable neutering and veterinary care in their two London clinics.  CHAT are a relatively small charity who aim to channel as much money as possible directly into animal care – the £1,000 runner up prize would really help out, and the £5,000 top prize would make a significant difference to the number of cats they are able to rescue and rehome.

Here’s how to vote for young Stuart – it’s a bit of a faff, so please bear with me!  First of all make sure you’re logged into your Facebook account, and then follow these steps:

Step 1CLICK ON THIS LINK,which will take you to the Britain’s Cleverest Cat Facebook page.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View the Gallery’ button.

Step 3: Enter ‘Stuart’ into the gallery search box.

Step 4: If more than one entry appears (currently my Stuart is the only Stuart!), make sure it’s the Stuart who mentions the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.

Step 5: Vote for Stuart.

Step 6: Give yourself a pat on the back for doing a good deed and feel slightly smug for the rest of the day.

If you made it through to Step 6 thank you very, very much for your time – you are now officially a Very Nice Person!

I Got Interviewed About Cat Stuff!

oz-mr-curious-logo

Lucy, who writes the blog for the splendid online cat and dog boutique, Oz & Mr Curious, has very kindly published an interview she did with me recently.  So, if you’d like to experience me wittering on about all things cat, head on over to the Oz & Mr Curious Blog.

Lucy asked for a pic of me with one of the HQ Cats, but, seeing as my lot are all so uncooperative, I could only supply a photo of me with a foster kitten.  This is the pic I use for my cat-sitting website, and I was aiming for the Trustworthy, Caring and Responsible look.  But it ended up more Bored Woman Strangles Kitten.  For the record, I would just like to state that I am not trying to strangle that kitten: she lived to see another day and was adopted, along with one of her sisters, by a very nice family in Hither Green.

Season’s Greetings from Ethel, the Ginger Cat-mas Tree!

ethel-xmas

Ethel and myself would like to wish all you lovely Cool for Cats UK readers, and your feline friends, a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2014.  (If you’re wondering why Ethel looks so cheesed-off, it’s because the bag of cat treats used to entice her into the box had suddenly moved outside the box!)

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads/subscribes to Cool for Cats UK – it’s very gratifying to know that I’m not alone in the quest for well-designed cat products!

I’m very busy cat-sitting at this time of year, so will be taking a short break from blogging.  Normal service resumes on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime I’ll keep the Cool for Cats UK Facebook page updated with cat pics!

Happy Cat-mas and a purr-filled New Year!

Kathy x

Caturday Cat Pics #21 – Foster Family Update

edward and peter - foster kittens

Doris, and her sons Peter and Edward (above) have been with me for 10 weeks now.  As you can see, Peter (tabby) and Edward (black) are much bigger than last time I posted photos of them, and the whole family has settled down enough to come out of the pen they were housed in previously and be given the run of the room.

Doris (below) – aka Owl Face – is a really attentive mother who absolutely adores her two boys.  She’s only just stopped allowing them to feed from her.  And they’re 5½ months old… with big sharp teeth!  Doris’ chosen method of weaning her over-grown babies?  Vigorous bunny kicks to the head every time they tried to suckle – problem solved in less than 48 hours!

doris - aka owl face - foster cat

I’ve found out a little more about the family’s background since their last Caturday Cat Pics appearance.  Apparently Doris was given to someone as a present, who didn’t actually want a kitten, so decided the best thing to do under the circumstances would be to banish Doris to the garden, where she was fed but never interacted with.  I’m assuming that Peter and Edward were born outside in the garden, and consequently Doris and sons are semi-feral.  How they ended up dumped in a car park of a block of flats is a complete mystery.

edward - foster kitten

They may have had a semi-feral start in life, but I haven’t given up hope that they can find a home together as domestic cats.  They’ve all come an awful long way since their arrival here, and are now pretty confident around me.  No one actually likes being stroked yet, but no one runs under the furniture when I enter the room either, and the boys are happy to settle down on my lap for a snooze.   The whole family really enjoy playing games with me, and they all love being hand-fed cat biscuits.  In fact Biscuit Time usually turns into a rugby scrum – with me at the bottom of the pile!

peter - foster kitten

This week we reached a major milestone, and finally broke through the purr barrier.  Hooray!!  My money was on young Peter to be the first one to crack, but mum Doris beat him to it.  She’s purred twice in as many days – once when being hand fed biscuits, and again while playing The Stick Game.

doris & peter - foster mum & kitten

So, here’s hoping that the boys will follow mum’s lead, and next time round I’ll be able to report on a full set of purrs!

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