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.

Christmas Giveaway! Learn to Speak Cat 2 by Anthony Smith – the Purrfect Stocking Filler for Cat People

the latest mews: learn to speak cat 2 by anthony smith

It’s Christmas Giveaway time, and one lucky Cool for Cats UK reader will win a copy of The Latest Mews: Learn to Speak Cat 2 by Anthony Smith!

the latest mews - learn to speak cat 2 by anthony smith

The Latest Mews is a humorous take on the world from a feline perspective, and would make a great Christmas gift for any cat lover.  Actually, I’d better make that any cat lover over the age of 12, as a couple of the cartoons contain very minor swearage.

the latest mews - learn to speak cat 2, anthony smith

Many of the cartoons are based around visual puns and witty one-liners, so if you’re a fan of comedians like Tim Vine and Milton Jones, you’ll definitely appreciate Anthony Smith’s cat cartoons.

the latest mews - learn to speak cat two by anthony smith

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment at the end of this post and also pop over to the Learn to Speak Cat Facebook page and give that a like.  ENTRIES FOR THIS GIVEAWAY MUST BE IN BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON THURSDAY 18th DECEMBER so that I can post the book to the winner on the 19th, which should mean it to arrives in time for Christmas – providing the postal gods are with us, that is.

Giveaway rules: This giveaway is only open to entries from UK addresses.  Entries must be in before midnight on 18/12/2014.  To enter you must leave a comment at the end of this post and also ‘Like’ the Learn to Speak Cat Facebook page.  The winner will receive one copy of The Latest Mews – Learn to Speak Cat 2 by Anthony Smith, which will be posted by Royal Mail 1st Class on Friday 19th December 2014.

7 Unisex Xmas Stocking Fillers for Cat People

purrtrait cat coaster by simon hart

If you’re looking for a Yuletide treat for a fellow cat person, here’s a selection of seven small gifts or stocking fillers, which should be sufficiently unisex to appeal to that elusive creature, the Cat Man.  And, in keeping with the Christmas tradition of goodwill, three of the products I’ve featured are being sold in aid of charities, so if you buy one of these you’re really giving a double gift – one to the charity and one to the recipient of your pressie.  Which is very nice indeed.

First up these very debonair Purrtrait Cat Coasters by Simon Hart (above).  A series of nine coasters featuring close up portraits of various cat breeds.  £4.00 each.

Everyone loves a cat mug, and any recipient of a Cats Mug by Amy Fenton is bound to be tickled pink.  £9.95 each – all proceeds from the sales of this mug will go to ArtHouse Meath, a project which showcases the talents of adults living with severe epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties.

cats mug by amy fenton for arthouse meath

I have these Unexpected Item cotton totes for sale in the Cool for Cats UK Etsy shop, priced at £9.00 each.  All profits from sales will be donated to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust, a cat rescue and neutering charity which also runs affordable veterinary clinics for pet owners on low incomes.

unexpected item bag by cool for cats uk

This Eco-friendly Mousemat featuring a very content – or possibly even smug – tabby is made from 22 recycled vending cups.  Priced at a very reasonable £4.25 – proceeds go to Animal Aid, a UK charity which fights animal abuse and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle.

eco-friendly tabby cat mousemat from animal aid

The Kitty Coin Bank provides a much cuter alternative to jam jars or the back of the sofa when it comes to finding somewhere to stash your small change – place a coin on the lid and a little kitty pops out, snatches your cash and then meows a thank you before disappearing back into the box.  Priced at £14.99 (requires 2 AA batteries).

kitty coin bank from firebox

A bottle opener will always come in handy, especially during the Festive Season, and these Cat Paw Bottle Openers are a snip at just £2.29 (inc free UK delivery).  Admittedly the pink one doesn’t exactly fulfill this post’s unisex brief, but the rest of them are OK.cat paw bottle openers

And finally, Eleanor and Vincent Salt and Peppers Shakers, priced at £16.50 – part of the lovely Moggie range by Quail.  A bit on the random side as a choice of stocking filler maybe, but nevertheless unisex, useful, and visually appealing to cat lovers!

cat salt and pepper shakers from quail ceramics

Winner of the 3 Fat Cats Cardboard Scratch Furniture Giveaway!

3-fat-cats

Congratulations, Jodie H – you’ve won your pick from 3 Fat Cats‘ fantastic range of cardboard cat scratchers, and now your cat will love you forever!

If you weren’t lucky enough to win but would still like the opportunity to get your hands on a unique cardboard scratcher and earn a place in your cat’s heart for all eternity, check out the 3 Fat Cats online shop.

Cat Charity Christmas Cards 2014

cats protection - cat charity christmas card

Yes, it’s that time of year again; the time of year when you can utter the C word out loud in public without causing offence.  So, in keeping with the seasonal themes of peace and goodwill to all men and cats, why not take the opportunity to send some much-needed cash in the direction of your favourite animal charity by availing yourself of some lovely cat Christmas cards?

Here’s a selection of some of the cards available from various cat and other animal charities – if you don’t like the cards I’ve showcased, bear in mind that the charities featured offer a selection of cards for a range of tastes.

So….  To start with, here are my two favourites (top and below) from the impressively large range of Cats Protection Christmas Cards.  Priced from £2.45 for ten.

cats protection - cat charity christmas card

PDSA  Priced from £3.99 for pack of ten.

pdsa - cat charity christmas card

Yorkshire Cat Rescue  Priced at £5.25 per pack of ten.

yorkshire cat rescue - cat charity christmas card

Catchat  Priced at £3.95 for pack of ten.

cat-chat - cat charity christmas card

Blue Cross Priced from £3.99 for pack of ten.

blue cross - cat charity christmas card

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Priced from £3.60 for pack of ten.

battersea cats and dogs home - cat charity christmas card

 National Animal Welfare Trust Price from £3.50 per pack of ten.  (This card features the Evil Twins of Christmas who are plotting to assassinate Rudolf.)

naitonal animal welfare trust - cat charity christmas card

Wood Green Animal Charity Priced from £3.00 for pack of ten.

wood green - cat charity christmas card

For those with a foot in both camps – sold by the Cat Gallery in aid of the Cinnamon Trust and priced at £4.00 for pack of ten.

cinnamon trust - cat charity christmas card

Hounslow Animal Welfare Society £5.00 for pack of ten.

hounslow animal welfare society - cat charity christmas card

And finally, some kitten-tastic wrapping paper from the Mayhew Animal Home.  6 sheets plus matching tags for £4.00.

mayhew animal home- cat charity christmas wrapping paper

The Fat Kitty Tea Towel – Drying Up Will Never be Dull Again!

fat kitty tea towel by the nosuch disco

This striking tea towel is the latest edition to the Fat Kitty range from The Nosuch Disco.  The 100% cotton, screen printed tea towel features Fat Kitty demanding ‘Less dishes, more fishes.’  And who can blame him?

Regular readers will know that Fat Kitty is based on real life obese puss, Oscar – friend and neighbour of Dave Burgess, the designer behind The Nosuch Disco brand.  I should add that Dave is not responsible for Oscar’s diet, Oscar just likes to hang out round Dave’s place and watch telly and stuff.

oscar-fat-kitty

The Fat Kitty Tea Towel is available from The Nosuch Disco UK Etsy shop for £7.00.

For regular updates on Oscar, the real Fat Kitty, check out The Nosuch Disco Facebook page.