Hi there and a very warm welcome to the first Mewsletter of 2014. As usual the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men never run smoothly. I had intended to send out a Mewsletter in January and get another one by Valentine’s Day so that I could at least wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day. But - <pause for dramatic effect> I’ve been having problems with my computer and it keeps stalling and the screen freezes. It’s so FRUSTRATING! However, here at last, better late than never and I’m sorry to the Newbies who obviously expected more from me.
2015 CALENDAR COMPETITION:
I hope you all enjoyed your issue of The Scratching Post which was sent out a couple of weeks ago. Many of you have already responded to the 2015 Calendar Competition but many of you are just submitting photos.
Can you please put in the subject line of your email ‘2015 Calendar Competition’; this tells me what the email is about – you wouldn’t believe how many emails I get each day – some of which are spam. So please help me out by putting ‘2015 Calendar Competition’ in the subject line. Your email/submission could be deleted unseen otherwise.
Secondly, not many of you are putting your cat’s/cats’ name/s or details. So – this is what information Dan and I would like please:
Special anecdote – this can be something humorous, clever, serious – whatever – something to give us a clue as to your cat’s personality.
OK – and finally, but very importantly, ensure your pictures do not have ‘stuff’ in and around the cat. Unless the cat is playing with something specifically, or is lying on the sofa, bed, carpet, chair etc, please try to just have a clear, distinct picture of your cat WITHOUT distractions going on around it. OK? Good – now send me lots more pictures!!! You have until 30th March to submit as many pictures as you like.
The 12 chosen winners will each receive a calendar as their prize and Dan will sell others for a reasonable amount.
My grateful thanks go to everyone who kindly emailed, telephoned, sent condolence cards through the post, or via Jacquie Lawson, left messages on Facebook, or Tweeted, on the loss of my Sam. Sitting here in my office, I often look to the ottoman by the window where he liked to sit, surveying his world, before having a thorough wash and settling down to a snooze.
I’m always amazed at how quiet a house seems when a beloved cat has left; it’s not as if any of my cats were rambunctious chaps although they were all quite chatty and would engage happily in conversations at any hour of the day. But there is a stillness now as if the house has resigned itself to one less feline walking in its shadows.
Casey did seem very down in the dumps and his friend, Black Eddie (who was a friend of Ollie’s in their kittenhood) has now moved from the area, so sadly we won’t be seeing his sweet little face again. Some of you have suggested that I get a new little friend for Casey, and I’m looking into the logistics of this idea.
When I first got Biggles and Garfield, I was almost 30 years younger, with a well-paid job, and in good health. Now, I’m a ‘pensioner’, living on the peanuts that the British government think we pensioners are worthy of living on and I do not have good health. So I’ll see how Casey progresses and if I think being an only cat is not good for him, I will definitely look into taking on an older cat. A kitten, if I got one, could outlive me and that is something that I have to consider! Garfield lived until he was 20 years and 3 months old; if I took a kitten on and it lived for as long as Garfield did, there is a chance it would outlive me! So I need to be sensible about my choice of house mate for Casey.
Also, both Sam and Casey were drifters, so who knows, maybe another homeless cat will find his way to the Lazypaws Last Chance Saloon!
Weatherwise, the UK has had the wettest winter for over 250 years with much of it still under water from the floods before Christmas. We’ve probably had rain every single day for about the last 3 months and there is still no sign of it abating.
The other day, the sky ranged from being the bluest of blue to murderous black; the winds gusted up to 70 miles an hour and rain fell horizontally.
Casey was worn out from checking out for intruders as the cat flap has been almost permanently open all day from the wind blowing it. He kept popping downstairs, his belly very low to the ground (I walk like that all the time!!) to catch an intruder unawares but came back with a surprised look on his face!
It’s good to know I’m in safe paws as he takes our security very seriously, bless him.
I couldn’t wait to show you this clip. I will put it in the Scratching Post next time, but this made me smile so much, I thought you would all love it too:
OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY (OF THE NEW LOOK):
February 14th marked our first anniversary of the new look website. Can it be a year already? Well, for those long-standing subscribers who have been with me for many years, I hope that you’ve found your way around the new look website and have got used to where various sections are. I’m not going to do another poll but I wondered if you’d take 5 minutes to let me know what you think of the new look and what are your favourite sections. For everyone, can you tell me what you think of the website (good, bad or indifferent) and which bits you like best or like least.
This is a link to a download ‘Lessons in Stalking’ by Dena Harris. It’s on my friend Padraig’s website (www.moggies.co.uk) but please do download it – follow the prompts and Padraig’s information>
Ed Kostro who lives in Illinois is out every night trying to round up stray dogs. One, in particular, has eluded him through this entire awful winter. Cookie’s story will break your heart but do read it and see if there is anything you can do to help:
The horrific truth of dogs that are abandoned to fend for themselves is that they freeze to death, starved, and unloved. Ed has written a moving poem about one such dog.
You might be interested in this link to a story written by Ed about another successful rescue of a little chap called Little Valentino (he was rescued on Valentine’s Day) (I like a happy ending!)
I’m happy to tell you that there is a post script to Cookie’s story. Ed told me the wonderful news that she had, finally, been rescued by one of his co-workers.
A Cat called Hope by Oliver Clarke (reviewed by Linda Gavitt)
When Fraser met Billy by Louise Booth
If you have read a good story about cats and think the lovely subscribers to the website would enjoy it, then do write a review giving all the relevant information. If you’re not sure what to write, then drop me a line first and I’ll guide you through it.
Following on from the theme of animals bringing out the best in people (When Fraser met Billy) this next story I found so moving that I couldn’t stop crying (I’m a big wuss, I know – you don’t have to tell me.) Now I know that not everyone who is a subscriber likes dogs and if you’re one of those folk, then please skip this bit. For those who DO like dogs, then do read this next story and tell me what you thought. My thanks to Mike in Canada for sending it to me.
This next story appeared in the Angel Animals newsletter and gives hope to everyone who has loved and lost their beloved cat.
Fudge gives her blessing by Sarah Browne is a story about loss and gain. Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to publish it on my website.
DIPPI DUCK’S DEMON:
Dippi’s stories are almost at an end as she sadly died suddenly last April. Next month will see the final four chapters. She was a very sweet little character and I know that Willi Whizkas misses her very much.
Dumpty Roo has entertained us with her diary musings for quite some time now and feels that she needs a rest. All that dictating to her staff has quite left her worn out. So here are the final 4 chapters of her Musings; but have no fear, she will be back in the future and Casey and I would like to thank her for her unstinting devotion to her public (and her personal blackbirds) and for the sterling work she has selflessly carried out for The Daily Mews.
At 23, nearly 24, Jimmy lived a hard life before finding a sweeter life with his current humans, Jack and Anne. He doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind and this month’s ‘Mewsings’ is no different.
Jimmy’s human, Jack, has copies of his Cats’ Purr CD available at a reasonable price if you’d like one. I can vouch for their authenticity because when I went into hospital to have chemotherapy, I took one in with me as I knew I’d miss my 6 cats. Not only that, it is very relaxing and therapeutic and it really does calm your mind. If you’re interested, email me – CATS’ PURR CD in the subject line and I’ll pass your messages on to Jack.
Our new feline correspondent, Squirt, proved to be very popular last month so the little rascal has written two ‘episodes’ for the Daily Mews’ subscribers’ delight. I hope you enjoy them. Do write and let me know your views.
Squirt’s book: Reservoir Cats: True Stories and Cat’s Eye Views from Squirt (written by his Staff member, Penel Ashworth) is well worth a read. It’s on Amazon Kindle for the princely sum of 77p or $1.27 in www.Amazon.com’s Kindle store. It is very funny and you’ll be so glad you read it!
You can read the review I wrote here:
Squirt has also offered to be a resident Agony Uncle so if any feline has a problem that they’d like Uncle Squirt to try and sort out for them, please write to me – email@example.com and I will pass your problem on to Squirt. Your problems will be published in the PUSSY PROBLEM PAGE section of the website.
NAPPING ON A SUNBEAM
Mischa was a very special cat as you’ll read in Helen Gale’s moving tribute to her:
Here’s my tribute to Sam who lost his battle with cancer on 3rd January 2013.
When he’s not entering the Book Quiz Jared Kline is a very good writer and poet. This month he treats us to a vignette about his cat Sandy and the excellent work he does looking after the chickens.
Linda Gavitt (who wrote the review of A Cat called Hope) wrote this sweet little poem last year. As she sat in the garden with her three kitties, she felt inspired to write when she saw a little bee taking pollen from a cat nip plant.
If you would like to see your poems published on the website, send them to me at the usual address.
Well, that seems to be it for this month. Thank you for your patience with my ‘gremlins’; hopefully it won’t be too long before I can acquire a new computer system.
Take care, keep warm and safe
Love Pauline – Editor in Chief
Casey – Chief Security Advisor and Go To Feline for all things website-y