Garfield sunbathing with sunglassesThe UK is having amazing weather at the moment.  And – quite unusual for us Brits – we’re going to have continued sunshine for – get this – at least a whole week!!!  Already, there are a few foolhardy souls who have stripped to vests and shorts (don’t they realise we could have Artic blizzards next week!) walking around like they’re in Spain, oblivious to the heat of the sun.  We Brits are not used to our weather.  The country came to a complete halt when we went had the bad snow and blizzards in February and March, although, weirdly, there were still some foolhardy souls who were wearing shorts and tee shirts. Shops ran out of food because the distributors couldn’t get access as the roads were blocked, and people panic bought what was on the shelves; hundreds of schools all over the UK closed for several days and many people couldn’t get into work because public transport wasn’t running.  A new phrase entered our vocabulary – ‘we’re having a snow day’ became the comment du jour.

And now, we have the opposite.  We have sun.  We’re not used to the sun, either.  Within an hour or two of its arrival this morning, there will be those who’ll be burnt to a crisp, disclaiming that our sun isn’t like the sun on holiday, that it isn’t as hot, so it won’t burn us.  But our sun IS the same as the one on holiday and actually, it IS getting hotter, so it WILL burn us unless we are adequately prepared with the sun lotion – Factor 30 +. 

Since I had leukaemia (back in 2006) and I had chemotherapy, I’ve had to increase my sun factor to 50+ and lie in the shade.  It seems silly to spend hundreds of pounds going to a foreign country for a holiday (and a tan) and I must lie in the shade for 2 weeks.   C’est la vie as the French so aptly put it.

What has this to do with cats, I hear you ask.  Plenty, I reply.  Cats can get frost bite in extreme bad weather conditions.  The tips of their ears, their noses and their paw pads all suffer if they’re left out all day – and these are the very same extremities that can get burnt by the sun.  If you have a white cat, or ones with light-coloured coats, please apply an appropriate sun block to their ear tips and their noses.  Yes, they will try to lick it off, but try to distract them somehow.  Then, at least, if they spend a lot of time outside enjoying the wildlife and the scenery they will be protected.  If you are around during the day, then try to reapply it several times a day as you would on yourself or a child.  

Be safe in the sun – and enjoy it while it lasts.

P.S.  I wrote this last week and we’ve had rain for the past few days!!!

Picture is of Garfield wearing my sunglasses.



A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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