Been Away A While

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#1
012.jpg 002.jpg But I'm back online now :D

Past couple of years have been a bit of a pain with job losses, debts building up, husband being diagnosed with diabetes and, last month, my wonderful mother-in-law passing away. But ~ finally ~ things are on the up, back in a job, debts all paid off and, best of all, I have internet access once more!

Neil and I are still in our wee flat in Alnwick, Northumberland and still fostering the old & terminally ill cats. Our last one, Hattie, passed away on June 5th and had been with us since October 2014. She had been left behind when her guardians (never comfortable with the phrase owners when it comes to cats) moved house in 2011 and so the next door neighbour made her a bed in her shed and fed her (son was allergic so no indoor access allowed) for the next two years until she too moved house. She got in touch with the charity and they took Hattie and she went to a fosterer called Patty. She had her for 18 months before a broken hip curtailed her fostering and that's when our beautiful old lady came to us :) She was around 16 years old, had hyperthyroidism, a rapid heart beat (200 instead of 120/140!!!), terrible teeth and a huge lump on her right side which seemed to be a benign tumour. Unfortunately her heart rate meant the vets couldn't risk an anaesthetic otherwise it would have been a case of removing the lump and taking out her rotten teeth. Patty hadn't been giving her her correct medication either so her thyroid levels were through the roof! :mad: Oh, and she was riddled with fleas as well. I soon sorted these out and regular blood tests and getting her medicine sorted out soon had her levels from 67 down to 26. She had a spoilt rotten retirement with a heated bed, the best food, her own slice of toast in the morning (she loved to lick the butter off!) and was a joy to live with. Sadly, mid-May, I took her to the vet as it seemed like her tumour was getting bigger and the vet took measurements and it was...so we knew we were on borrowed time then. She was fine in herself and not in pain but on Wednesday 4th June a couple of the 'blood blisters' on the surface of the tumour began to weep slightly and the next morning I didn't like the look of another two that were growing rapidly so we took her to the vet and he agreed that it was just a matter of days before they burst, possibly got infected and caused Hattie unnecessary pain so rather than risk that I said enough was enough and our darling girl slipped away in my arms moments later. I cried buckets (as I always do) and vowed no more....just stick with my two youngsters Chilli (3yo) and Lily who is almost 2 but then earlier this week we were chatting to Linda who runs a small cat rescue in Amble and she had just been given 6 tiny kittens from a druggie's home where there were too many dogs and un-neutered cats. No sign of the mother cat and the kittens, which were all crammed into a small dog crate, looked like they hadn't eaten for a day or so. Approximately six weeks old they had diarrhoea and fleas - the latter has been eradicated and the runny bottoms are MUCH better on a very bland diet. I somehow got talked into taking two as fosters until they are big enough to be put up for rehoming.....but I'm already, after just 48hrs, getting rather attached to them. We have them in a 4ft dog crate in the living room for their own safety when we are not there to supervise them charging around the living room floor and, more importantly, to keep the litter tray close by until they have firmed up (about 75% there) but oh, what sweethearts they are! So friendly and happy to cuddle up to you and purr their wee hearts out....they certainly make me smile every time I look at them. We've christened the ginger boy Nigel and the tortie & white girl Suzi. My two 'grown up' cats look like giants next to them....I'd forgotten just how small kittens are!!! :eek:

Off to catch up on everyone's news now....I've been away FAR too long!
 

Linda

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a BIG HELLO!! and welcome back its just lovely to hear from you and all your news. SO glad things have improved for you its hard going through all those wondering if you'll ever come through the other side.

I adore the cats!! Well wouldn't I!..The kittens so very very cute!! and a ginger one to boot! The adults so beautiful....you would never know any of them had come from the backgrounds you describe..they look so good! How could you not be tempted ...

You do so well with your care for these felines and wish there were more people like you.

There's loads of posts and photos and you are free to start up any older posts again by just adding a new post to it...am sure we should be happy to chat about anything! and everything! :)

I am still doing y Cats Protection work and am now retired, and thoroughly enjoying it! No time for everything as so much to do! Have our Arran Show in early August and just hoping its sunny so no midges of that...

Now have 18 cats of our own.... we lost three this last year, Theo last September, Mister in March and Tomas in June.... three favourites (although I adore them all these were three very special ones)

Our summer has been awful!! only a few hot and summery days with very many wet or dull and misty days...but we might pick up for an Indian october...so fingers crossed... :) :)

Looking forward to chatting with you again Gilly!! So glad things are ok now.
 

Cheryl

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Oct 14, 2012
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#3
Hi Gilly glad to hear that things are getting better for you,diabetes is a bit of a pain,my middle son became diabetic when he was eighteen and it seemed a lot to take on at the time but things slowly steadied out and he manages it much better now.Hope Neil's getting to grips with it too.So sad to lose a pet,I've just lost my little rabbit,he was elderly and we decided it wasn't right to let him suffer when he could barely stand.The kittens sound lovely,my Maisie's ginger and I can remember how cute she was as a tiny kitten.Penny recently saved a cat from being put to sleep,his injuries were horrific but Animates a pet charity insisted he was treated and raised about £3,000 from an appeal on face book,he's recovered now and gone to a new home.
 

Bolton Wanderer

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Oct 21, 2012
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#4
Great to see you back,I too have been away for a couple of months,my wifes M/S has been bad,but now only working part time so life is a little better !!!
 

Penny

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Oct 13, 2012
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#5
Welcome back Gilly. There's a thread on here about Oliver, the cat I rescued. He had a broken jaw and deep seated infection but he's made a miraculous recovery and is now in his new home :)
 

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#6
Yes, I read the thread about Oliver and have to admit to crying when I saw the pics of him with his horrific injuries :( Poor wee man didn't deserve that. Cried again ~ happy tears ~ when I read about him now being in a loving happy home :eek:

The Ninja Kittens are growing by the day and much more lively and agile on their feet. It's amazing the difference in even just one week! Nigel has been solid for two days now but we had a little setback with Suzi as she stole some of the Big Cats' Food on Monday night and ended up with diarrhoea again. She's fit, lively and well in herself and eating for England - just got a runny bum so whenever she goes to the litter tray I'm hovering nearby ready to pick her up and wipe any poop off her fur....she has a habit of stepping backwards into it when she's trying to bury it. I've become pretty handy with wet wipes and tissues now haha ;) They've got a check up at our vet surgery today at 9am - one of their free kitten checks they do - and I may get an idea of the age of these two as well as advice on worming, flea treatments and when to get their vaccinations done. Looking at them both and comparing them with photos of the development of kittens I think they may have actually been between 4.5 and 5 weeks when Linda got them and so only around 6.5 - 7 weeks of age now. Nigel's eyes are just starting to change colour from blue to green which is fascinating because I've never seen that in cats before (never had ones this young) - I got a photo of him yesterday which shows this....it's like a greenish circle in the centre of his blue eyes. They're also a lot more steady on their feet and more agile with washing themselves. They are also playing really strongly with each other too, compared to last week, and Neil has christened them The Ninja Kittens....he couldn't believe the way Suzi had Nigel pinned down yesterday ;) They've also put on weight since I weighed them on Saturday

Nigel

Sat 25th July 0.45kg 1.04lb
Wed 29th July 0.56kg 1.25lb

Suzi

Sat 25th July 0.42kg 1.01lb
Wed 29th July 0.52kg 1.14lb


007.jpg 009.jpg
 

Linda

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Oh My Oh My!!!! so cute beyond cute!! :) :)

I love Nigel's description of them as Ninja kittens...and yes Suzie will be the 'bossy' one..for now! I bet you are having so much fun watching them..there's nothing like kittens to keep you entertained!!

We look forward to their progress..... very much!!

Saw a post about Ollie the other day with pics and he looked like he was settling in very well which is great after all he's been through. I like to follow up 'my cats' when I have homed them and hear how they are doing...its lovely when i get photos of them some months or a year later and I hardly recognise them then!
 

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#11
They've come on in leaps and bounds (quite literally!) ;) They have also been adopted by THE loveliest lady and went to their new home last night, Thursday 5th. I'm missing them like crazy as even in just a fortnight I've become incredibly attached. We had a phone call from Linda who runs the charity three nights ago and she said she may have a possible home for them - a lady who's 18yo cat had passed away three months ago now felt ready for another feline to rule her life. She'd had her previous boy since he was a kitten too so I knew my two would have a good life as well with neutering & vaccinations all done. We actually met her yesterday in Linda's charity shop when we were dropping a few books and stuff off and liked her from the word go! We arranged to bring the kittens to her last night as I thought a quick clean break was better for me AND Chilli :( I've been rather tearful since Linda's phone call as I didn't want to part with them and worried that they may go to someone who couldn't possibly love them like I did or bother with vaccinations and neutering. But the SENSIBLE side of me knew I couldn't keep them as we are both in low paid jobs and couldn't afford to feed, worm & deflea and insure FOUR cats and ~ the most important aspect ~ our two girls Lily & Chilli were pretty stressed out by the presence of the kittens in their house :( Chilli especially was barely coming home and would usually creep in around 2am, bolt down her food then scarper back out the cat flap!!! Yet before, when it was just her and Lily, she was relaxed and would spend hours every day snoozing on the sofa in the living room or on the sunny windowsill and she and Lily would play together (chasing each other in hobnailed boots up and down the stairs!) and were both such happy affectionate cats.

The kittens' new home is GORGEOUS!!!!! Big long garden which backs onto a golf course next to the dunes and beach, is on three floors as the attic has been turned into a room and the rooms are so light and airy with BIG windowsills to sunbathe on and, in the winter, wood burner stoves in both the living room and dining room.....Neil and I actually felt quite envious when we saw the house!!! Lucky LUCKY kittens....we wanted to move in too! :D

As soon as we got home last night I completely hoovered and dusted the living room to remove any kitten scent remaining and already this morning Chilli has been in twice and casually sauntered around the room and seen that those Big Scary Kittens are gone! She's gone back outside but as it's a very warm sunny day here I don't blame her....sure she'll be back in this afternoon or evening if/when the forecast rain arrives. I think, given a few days, I'll have both my girls back to the happy relaxed cats they were. I've put both their favourite blankets onto the south-facing living room windowsill so that should entice them in too....once Lily, who's less sensitive, susses things out she'll soon encourage Chilli to join her.

Funny how some cats just WILL NOT accept others, no matter how young or small they are. Yet one of my previous fosters, Thomas, back in 2011/2012 was THE most laid back boy you could ever meet and whenever we brought home a new foster (tortie Misty, Lily with the broken leg and semi-feral Nina who had epilepsy) he would accept them straight away and, in the case of Nina, seemed to know she was terrified and would lie beside her and really help her relax. I cried for days when he passed in March 2012 - he collapsed and had a heart attack and died with me beside him as I was frantically on the phone to the vet. Even now I can feel myself filling up - he really WAS a wonderful cat. For now though I think concentrating on our two girls is THE most important thing and making sure they are 100% happy.....I've felt SO unbearably guilty this past few weeks seeing how stressed Chilli, especially, was but no more.....I think we'll have to stop the fostering for now. Until we win the lottery that is....and then Queen Chilli can have her own private wing of a mansion so she doesn't have to come into contact with other cats!
 

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#12
Well....Lily and Chilli have settled back into a happy relaxed routine faster than I thought! :eek: Chilli especially is a completely different cat and last night was on the bed next to me - purring and kneading the duvet. Not quite so good was her bringing me a 'present' in the form of a live vole at 1.30am!!! As soon as I saw it was alive I quickly picked up a plastic tub and popped the vole into it and put the lid on. And then, telling Chilli what a clever girl she was but, really, Mummy had a fridge full of food so I didn't need any contributions from her, I gave her some food and sneaked the vole back outside whilst she was otherwise diverted :rolleyes: The vole seemed as fit as anything, no sign of bites or damage, so hopefully it'll be ok...and avoid any future meetings with my two young ladies! :eek:

We are surrounded by overgrown gardens and churchyards so I tend to receive a few voles and shrews from time to time but ~ thankfully ~ no birds.
 

Linda

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aha!!! Gilly, well thats just what happens to me doing Cats Protection..i felt noone could love them as much as I or care for them as I do so we ended up going from 5 when we arrived here to 21... we have since had a few more and a few have left us for Rainbow Bridge...so I know exactly what you mean and are feeling...how fabulous that they have been lucky enough to get such a fabulous home!! cats heaven eh!

What a relief that yours have settled back down quickly and hopefully realise now that all is normal again! Cats are funny, Yet I think of them being very much like us in many ways. they seem to have similar 'feelings' as us in their ways and characteristics. I do wish we could explain to them that sometimes these things are temporary and could they at least be polite to new visitors! but no we either get ...lets batter the hell out of them in the hope they go or sulk sulk ...noone loves me anymore paw to head oh!! woe is me!! I shall have no other course but to leave home...and hope they miss me so much they get rid of them! :) Yet other times they care for a new one in a way that leaves you standing there jaw dropping to floor as they mooch around them and start grooming them. No wonder we say contrary as a cat!

Sounds like you have made friends with the new 'carers' who may well let you know how they are getting along.... I always ask for photos etc later to see how those I have cared for are getting on.... :) saw a couple in the vets yesterday and caught up with them and the two I rehomed to them...its really lovely to do so...
 

Cheryl

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Oct 14, 2012
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#14
Sounds lovely where you live Gilly,overgrown gardens and churchyards sounds very sleepy and rural,lucky you
 

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#15
We are on the outskirts of Alnwick Cheryl and roughly 500yds or so from Alnwick Castle. It's pretty busy during the day with visitors but once it gets to 5pm they all disappear and in the summer evenings when I would walk up to the allotment (5 minutes away) it was absolutely sublime with the air cooling after the heat of the day, a peaceful calmness descending and just the sound of screaming Swifts as they raced overhead - definitely my favourite part of the day. I'd often see Pipistrelle Bats hunting midges overhead too :)

Linda - I had to smile at your description of the various ways cats react to others....it's spot on!!! Chilli is definitely a sulker yet this past two days she's virtually been my shadow and sleeping on the bed next to me then following me to sleep on the sofa whilst I potter away on the computer or write letters at my desk. And talkative - she never stops!!! It's lovely to have my girl..both my girls... back the way they were :) The lady who's adopted Nigel and Suzi has told us to pop in to see them as they grow so I think I will in a few weeks' time.
 

Linda

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Yes Gilly... :) and she is telling you thanks Mum ..and all about how she didnt really like them being here and thought you didnt care anymore and she wasnt very happy but tried to help but found it very difficult...yap yap yap!! :)... and I looooooooooooovve you so much Mummy! head leans over to you, paw out..Mummy pay attention I am talking to you!
Yes its very reassuring when they do that and behave normally again..we had a kitten here last night who was utterly adorable ! of course..and two cats showed their utter contempt and jealousy...but today! oh! mummy I love you ...head butts! head butts!

I was up early to get down tot eh ferry terminal to hand over a kitten to a girl who lives on mainland but who I had visited and found she as potty about cats!!
 

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#18
Yes Gilly... and she is telling you thanks Mum ..and all about how she didnt really like them being here and thought you didnt care anymore and she wasnt very happy but tried to help but found it very difficult...yap yap yap!!... and I looooooooooooovve you so much Mummy! head leans over to you, paw out..Mummy pay attention I am talking to you!
Yes its very reassuring when they do that and behave normally again..we had a kitten here last night who was utterly adorable ! of course..and two cats showed their utter contempt and jealousy...but today! oh! mummy I love you ...head butts! head butts!
Hahaha that is EXACTLY what she's like ;) In the past couple of days both Chilli and Lily have started getting back to their playful kittenish games of stalking and pouncing on each other....swiping at each other when one is on a chair and the other sitting on the floor below and ~ Lily's particular favourite ~ hiding behind curtains and jumping out onto Chilli as she passes by :D Lily then usually scarpers out the living room and thunders down the stairs and out the cat flap - closely followed by Chilli! It's been a bit showery these past few days so both girls have gone inbto hibernation mode and spent a lot of time snoozing away on the sofa. Chilli in particular has a favourite red cushion which she likes to stretch out on and if it's moved (as it was earlier on today) she's not slow to let me know by walking across the desk as I try to type!

There's a new girl just started in our shop who has two dogs and never had cats and I overheard her saying to the boss the other day that dog's are the only ones with personality!!! I just thought to myself that she has absolutely no idea just how huge a personality a cat has...especially if you actually take the time to get to know them properly on their terms (rather than just regarding them as a pet) :D

Chilli fast asleep on her favourite cushion this morning...in a very bizarre position!

 

Gilly

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Feb 3, 2013
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Alnwick, Northumberland
#19
I seem to remember seeing a tv programme about Alnwick Castle Gilly, did they build a new ornamental waterfall there or something a few years ago?
Yes, that will be the Cascade which is pretty impressive from what I've heard. The Gardens themselves have been open since 2001 and Neil was a night security guard there for a couple of years and often used to send me texts or call me to tell me that, for example, a Roe Deer had just walked past his booth or he was watching a Fox. He was often followed by Tawny Owls too when out on his patrols :D There was a resident stray cat there called Digger and Neil used to take food in for her as well as get her regularly wormed & de-flead with those spot-ons that you put on the back of the cat's neck. Despite being quite a small stocky cat Digger was a voracious hunter and Neil was amazed one night when she caught a HARE which was virtually the same size as her!!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alnwick_Garden

Yes Gilly....and she is telling you thanks Mum ..and all about how she didnt really like them being here and thought you didnt care anymore and she wasnt very happy but tried to help but found it very difficult...yap yap yap!! :)... and I looooooooooooovve you so much Mummy! head leans over to you, paw out..Mummy pay attention I am talking to you!
Yes its very reassuring when they do that and behave normally again..we had a kitten here last night who was utterly adorable ! of course..and two cats showed their utter contempt and jealousy...but today! oh! mummy I love you ...head butts! head butts!
Yes, I think that sums it up pretty much Linda! I've learnt my lesson and won't be tempted to bring any more furries home whilst Queen Chilli Bean is in residence - I just cannot bear to see her so unhappy and stressed out :( She's obviously one of those more sensitive cats who don't accept others very well in their homes. She's great with Lily and both have been playing together a lot this past couple of days as it's been very wet outdoors. Chilli has also taken over one of the red cushions on the sofa as her favourite bed and if it is moved from the left hand side she's very quick to let me know and I have to place it back in the correct place ASAP! The photo below shows her fast asleep in a very weird position yesterday, Monday, morning.....she's SUCH a character :D
 

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Linda

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#20
beautiful cat!! chilled out now and very much 'this is mine again sigh!'

personality!!! no personality or only dogs have a personality!...if only as you say Gilly.... dogs for me are so dependant whereas a cat has such a huge character and personality because they dont need us! (well most of the time) its much harder to get dog people to like cats than it is to get cat people to like dogs... well thats what I have found.... and no dog no cat people are much easier to be won over by a cat!! I like those ...cats seem to know where they are and how to do it too! But then cats ..if given half a chance do win people over..

mine too are staying in more now as the weather begins to change although we have a couple of stalwarts who are out in all weathers!