Hi there and a very warm welcome to all the new subscribers who have joined us since the last Mewsletter went out.
Here in the UK we’ve been drowning under more rain than you can shake a stick at, which is ironic when parts of the country (like Kent, where I live) have a hose pipe ban in place because there is an ‘official’ drought and we have to be mindful of our water usage. Apparently April was the wettest April for 100 years but because we’ve had two dry winters in succession, the reservoirs haven’t been replenished and if we have another dry winter, then we’ll have to have stand pipes in the streets and water rationing. Something to look forward to then!
The Mexican Orange bush that I referred to in the last Mewsletter is now awash with flowers and really is one of the most highly scented plants I’ve ever come across. So each time Lawrence comes over to my house, I make him go in the garden to smell my bush and we both stand there inhaling the intoxicating scent.
Many of you have written to ask how the Daily Mews website fared in the About.Com poll. We came third which is amazing considering the Daily Mews was the only non-American website in the short list of 5 websites being voted for, so Sam, Ollie and I are bowing low at this very moment in deference to the winners. And many thanks again to everyone who took the time and the trouble to vote for us. We are very grateful to you, and I’m especially grateful to Arlene Sphikas who alerted me to the fact that we had been nominated in the first place; I had no idea and if Arlene hadn’t told me she was voting for me I would never have known. So thank you, Arlene.
So here we are (Sam sounds the trumpet and Ollie bangs the drum) in our TENTH anniversary month. Woooooooooo Hoooooooooo! Did I ever think I’d still be writing a Mewsletter after 10 years? Well, probably not. And did I ever think I’d still have a website of any description after 10 years? Well, probably not. Life gets in the way as you all know with the time out for when leukaemia came a-calling and chemotherapy, stem cell transplant and other niggles held things up. And of course The New Man entered my life when I least expected it – so during these 10 years quite a lot has happened.
I’ve said Good bye to some wonderful human friends, and adieu to my beloved feline companions: Biggles, Garfield, Billy, Timmy, Joey, Ellie, Ricky, Charlie, and Max, the passing stray who spent his last two weeks living with us. But I’ve said hello to Sam and Ollie and hundreds of lovely new subscribers, many of whom have become really good friends.
As a matter of interest – do you know when you first subscribed to the Mewsletter? It would be nice to find out if anyone has been here since the beginning, but if you haven’t, don’t worry – just tell me when you think you began your subscription and we’ll work it out from there.
My grateful thanks to all of you who’ve remained with me through thick and thin – let’s hope we’re all still around for the 20th anniversary in May 2022!!!
ON WITH THE MEWS:
I’ve had an urgent plea for help from EMRO which is the Egyptian Mau Rescue Organisation. Please click on the link below to see what you can do:
Are our pets living longer? A survey which was carried out in Sweden has shown that cats there are living longer and now international pet insurer Agria is keen to see if it’s the same for cats in the UK.
Click on the link below to fill a simple questionnaire which doesn’t take a lot of time. If you enter you’ll have a chance to win £100 of Pets at Home vouchers and a £100 donation to the feline charity of your choice! The closing date for entries is June 30 2012.
If you prefer to complete the survey on paper, write to:
Ben Ashcroft, c/o Cat Survey, Agria Pet Insurance Limited, 2b Alton House Office Park, Gatehouse Way, Aylesbury, HP19 8XU and he’ll post you a copy of the survey. My apologies to all subscribers who do not live in the UK but it’s a UK only survey.
The Swedish study, which took place in 2006, showed that over 90% of cats in the country were more than ten years old. It concluded that the two key factors for increased longevity were a willingness to keep pet cats longer, together with increasing levels of veterinary care. Urinary problems, trauma, neoplasia, infection and cardiovascular problems were the five most common causes of death.
I Googled ‘How old is the oldest cat?’ and ‘Oldest cat’ and this link came first both times:
As this article appeared in the newspaper last year, there’s a possibility that Lucy isn’t here any more but I have no way of finding out; if anyone does, please let me know.
Some dates for your diary of events coming up which you might like to go and see are:
May 12 – 13: The London Pet Show at Earls Court Two, is a dynamic family event, packed full of lots of different pets, amazing live animal action displays and fun and informative talks and demonstrations. Visit www.londonpetshow.co.uk or tel: 020 8995 5006.
May 13: The 43rd Ypres Cats Festival, Kattenstoat, in Belgium. A parade of cats in all shapes and sizes, most of them enormous, built of papier-mâché. There will be large numbers of participants dressed in medieval costume, some on horseback, in this traditional pageant. Visit www.toerisme-ieper.be for further details.
30 June: Fancy breaking a world record? Bridgend Adoption Centre (Wales) has high hopes for 2012. Staff and volunteers are going to attempt to break the world record for the largest gathering of people dresses as cats. The current record stands at 800 people and they’re determined to smash that record!
The event takes place on Saturday 30th June from 12.30pm in Adare Street in Bridgend’s town centre. Registration will be at 2pm with the attempt at 2.30pm which will last a minimum of 10 minutes.
If you’re interested, you can dress as any type of cat, domestic, breed or big cat. The costume must be full bodied and recognizable as the chosen animal.
June 30 – July 1: The first ever British Pet Expo, created for everyone with a passion for pets and animals at Westpoint Arena near Exeter, Devon. There will be a variety of attractions to keep the whole family entertained.
August 23 – September 14: The Society of Feline Artists Annual Exhibition at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery from 10am to 7.30pm Monday to Saturday. On show will be around 300 paintings of cats in oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel and etchings, making it the largest exhibition of cat art in the country. Visit www.felineartists.org
Tour de Feline: if you happen to find yourself in the Netherlands any time soon, De Poezenboot is well worth a visit. It’s literally a floating cat shelter on a houseboat in the Amsterdam canal, which has become a landmark and is world famous. The boat has had a complete overhaul so that it meets all the legal requirements for a modern animal sanctuary. For more information, visit www.poezenboot.nl
National Cat Awards 2012:
It’s red carpet time for those magnificent mogs in your life as Cats Protection proudly announce the National Cat Awards 2012. Widely known as the ‘Feline Oscars’, the awards are designed to celebrate real-life stories of friendship, bravery and heroism in the cat world. Previously known as the Rescue Cat Awards, the competition has undergone a significant change and is now open to all living cats in the UK, rather than just former strays and rescue cats.
Nominations and entries can be submitted from Monday 19th March and owners have until Thursday 31st May to enter one of these four categories:
· Hero Cat – Cats that save the day!
· Best Friends – Where best feline friends have radically improved the quality of human life
· Most Incredible Story – Belief-defying, true stories from the cat world
· Outstanding Rescue Cat – Fabulous felines adopted from animal welfare organizations
A new Celebrity Cat category has also been added to recognize superstar cats in the public eye. Cats Protection will be asking for suggestions on its Facebook page, which will be followed by an online poll on the site to determine the winner.
Keep an eye out for entry details on Cats Protection website: www.cats.org.uk
It’s a great sadness to me that people are still being so horribly cruel to animals. I get sent lots of graphic pictures of scenes that turn my stomach and I am incensed that a lot of these terrible crimes go unpunished. The UK seems to have seen an increase in pellet gun injuries in cats; hardly a week goes by without there being a report in the newspapers. The report below actually happened in June of last year and little Hope, the beautiful white cat, was shot 30 times by pellets. I don’t know if the person who did it was ever caught but if I was Prime Minister for a day – I’d round up all these low-lifes and castrate the lot of them, then I’d stand them naked against a wall and blast the lot of them and see how they liked a taste of what they’ve been dishing out.
Something else which I view as cruelty although I suspect that other people might think it’s ‘cute’ is the craze in China for dyeing their dogs to look like wild animals. Here’s a link to a story (one of several) that came out in June/July of last year. I was sent an email today and was totally disgusted. What’s wrong with people today? Why do they have a need to try and change their dogs (or pets) and make them something they’re not? What is going wrong with our world that people are resorting to dyeing their dogs for goodness sake? Is there no one sane left on the planet???? Give me your thoughts/views – you know the address.
AMAZING CATS (CAT CHAT)
A number of you enjoyed reading Patrick Roberts stories about Tomba and Halifax and I’ve found another of his stories which I think you’ll find mind-boggling. Towser of Glenturret was a long-haired tortoiseshell cat who still holds the record in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best mouser in the world. Here’s her extraordinary story:
In the same spirit of ‘Ruling for a Day’ I asked (in a light-hearted way) in last month’s Mewsletter what your cat would do to make the world a better place.
AshAvAri Ashanti of Atlantis who is a 5 year old black smoke Persian wrote to me airing her views:
Samuda who is a Cowboy Cat from LA wrote with his views:
Having read their thoughts on what they would like to see if they could rule the world for just one day, perhaps your own cats would now feel encouraged to write something too. I can add them next time.
Samuda seems to have been bitten by the writing bug because he has also written about his life as a Cowboy Cat. You can read it here:
Claire continues her blog on feral cats in Ireland with her story of Dolly – and her elusive attempts to trap her before she had her kittens. Dolly had other ideas and disappeared for a few days before returning minus the Mummy Belly! Here’s the link:
This month’s book review is an astonishing book by James Bowen: A Street Cat Named Bob. I read this book in two days flat; I just couldn’t stop reading it and when I finished it, I wanted to read it all over again. If you go on to ‘You Tube’ and type in ‘Bobcat and I’ scroll down the first few links and you’ll see a link to ‘Bob The Big Issue Cat and James Bowen’. Click on that link. You can also click on ‘Bob The Big Issue Cat’ on ‘You Tube’ and a whole raft of other links will be available.
It’s a fabulous book and 50p from the sale of each book will go to the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
James kindly agreed to an interview with me which you can read all about it here:
Paul Easton wrote a review of his friend, Ingrid Hooper’s book: Cats have Staff: Saffi and Misa’s Diaries which you can download on Kindle and other downloadable means. You can read his excellent review here:
Last month’s book titles were:
The Cat Lover’s Coffee Table Book by Nanette Newman and Graham Tarrant
Loving Our Cats by Jack Canfield and Victor Hansen
Kaspar, Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo.
Well done, to Mike Smith who was first with all three correct entries. A small prize will be on its way to you shortly.
Who wrote the following:
Learn to Speak Cat
A Friend like Ben
Cats Sleep Anywhere
Send your answers to email@example.com by 21st May; 3 correct answers and you’re in with a chance of a modest prize.
Last month’s caption competition was won by Helen Bilowus and a prize will be sent to her when she sends me her address.
My thanks to Lou Hopkins in New Zealand for this lovely picture of her cat Blacky with his ‘wheels’. Please send your entries – up to 5 are allowed – to the usual address (as per Book Quiz) by 21st May. The best entry will win a prize.
You may remember Dumpty’s Diaries, written by a magnificent Himalayan Lynx, while she was on the Purina One Challenge. Well, last month saw the last episode of the diaries and Dumpty – being the Diva she is – wished to continue her Mewsings. So here is the introduction of the next phase of her life with Part One to follow on:
and Part 1:
Did you know that our wonderful feline reporter, Jimmy, is almost 22 years of age? What a fantastic age that is and he had a rough start in life before he landed on all 4 paws with his current Dish Fillers: Jack and Anne Stewart. I love Jimmy’s zest for life even though, by his own admission, he’s slowing down a bit and is talking about his next incarnation. The world will be a darker place without our lovely straight-talking, no-holds-barred Jimmy. Let’s hope he’s around for a long, long time yet.
As acerbic as ever, (he’s the feline equivalent of Jeremy Clarkson or the cartoon character Maxine) here’s his latest piece:
Stormy has been very busy looking after both her Food Bowl Attendants while they cope with ill health; she has written a brief, but determined note to all her fans.
NAPPING ON A SUNBEAM:
How hard is it to let someone go when they’ve been part of your life for 14 or so years; when they were rehomed three times (and returned back to the centre) before they came to your home; when they’ve mothered all the rescues that have made it to your home; when they’ve loved you unconditionally – read on as Rose shares her story of Macy who left her earthly body yesterday (5th May).
PAWS FOR THOUGHT:
I have added quite a few new quotes to this section so if you’d like to have a read through, check it out here:
I’m always on the look out for new cat quotes so do please send them to me at the usual address.
There is a new poster at the top of the left hand margin which I think is great – called ‘Dinner Party’ by Jo Parry, click on the link to www.Allposters.co.uk and buy it!
Well, I think that’s about it for now. The next update will be towards the middle or end of June as Lawrence and I are going to Turkey for a couple of weeks. When I get back I hope to just dot the ‘i’s’ and cross the ‘t’s’ to my book and then I’ll send the manuscript out to some friends who have agreed to read it for me and they’ll make any suggestions they deem necessary. I’ve already had a few people chasing me up for Ollie’s Diaries to be made into book format and I shall get on that probably while my friends are reading the manuscript. For those who don’t know, this book is about my journey of living with leukaemia and is called ‘For Such a Time as This’.
The Mewsletter Archives has been renamed and are now up to date so if you’re a new subscriber and want to see what other issues were about, or if you’re a long term subscriber and just want to reread other Mewsletters, just go to the home page and scroll down the navigation bar or click on this link for quickness:
I hope you enjoy this Mewsletter and I look forward to hearing your feedback: good, bad or indifferent. Please continue to send your cat related stories/links etc as you always do but please hold back on other forwards for the time being. Thank you.
Until next time . . .
Pauline, Sam and Ollie xxxxx