Hi everyone and a very warm September greeting to all the new subscribers.

Here in the UK we’ve had a blistering Olympics and more recently, found ourselves glued to the Paralympics which have humbled me and reduced me to tears. Not because I feel sorry for the athletes taking part but because I feel guilty about whinging when my back plays up or the sciatica problem rears its ugly head and I have trouble walking. What the hell do I have to complain about!

The weather here has turned a bit cooler and rather than put the heating on, I’m wrapped in cardigans or sweaters to delay winter for as long as possible. It’s been the wettest summer for about 112 years but we did have some lovely weather – here and there – and although I can’t always manage my garden (back and sciatica problems) it did look lovely when in full bloom and the Mexican orange bush was absolutely intoxicating. Ollie and Sam found shady and scented spots to sleep hours away.

A number of you wrote in commiseration regarding Sam’s veterinary bill and one extremely kind person sent some money to help Sam – which was incredibly kind and totally unexpected. I burst into tears (I’ve been in tears a lot just recently!!!) at the kindness of strangers – wasn’t that a Tennessee Williams quote? Thank you Special Person – you know who you are!!!  That whole scenario made me look at the insurance details again to see exactly what Sam and Ollie were insured for; apparently very few insurance companies will insure for dental problems. How stupid is that! All cats get dental problems at some point in their lives and it’s usually quite expensive to have treated. So – as a cautionary tale – review your insurance details and if your cats are under the age of 8 you can change your insurer. But read the small print carefully first.

Also I didn’t mention it last time but loads of you remembered my birthday and I not only had dozens of emails – or e-greetings – but hundreds of messages on Facebook and cards through the post. So thank you – all of you – for remembering me. Ollie was 10 on 1st August and I wasn’t (ha ha – not giving it away!!) on 18th August.     

Well, this is a brief Mewsletter just to explain what is going to be happening over the next couple of months and I hope you’ll understand why I’m doing what I’m about to do.

When I sent out the questionnaire a few months ago, most of the comments received were very positive and constructive. A few were otherwise and very upsetting. However, I had decided – prior to sending out the questionnaire – that to keep the Daily Mews website current and hopefully from stagnating, that I would revise the material and content and revamp the overall look of it.

To that end I’ve employed a website designer who is currently working with me to completely overhaul the Daily Mews as it stands at the moment. The website is 10 years old and as I’m sure you can imagine, it has hundreds of articles and other items of interest on it and the biggest hurdle for me, is to transfer it all over to a new look Daily Mews and to get to grips with a new editing package.

So here’s the good news and the bad news:

The bad news is that I’m going to be off line for about the next 2 – 3 months (or as long as it takes) to review everything that is currently on the website, whittle out stuff which is past its sell by date and delete it, and then – paws crossed – transfer all relevant items and articles into the new format.

The good news is that when I come back – hopefully within the next 2 – 3 months (or sooner) the website will be a sleek professional looking website offering a service for cat lovers everywhere. Some of the present categories may well be deleted, while others may be included or integrated – where possible – into other more general categories. At the moment there are about 28 – 30 categories on the navigation bar down the left hand side of the Home Page. I hope these will be reduced greatly to make navigation a lot easier for visitors to the site.

If you want to make any comments about what I’m going to do, please feel free to offer any advice, help, suggestions, etc. I am always open to feedback – as I have said in previous Mewsletters – good, bad or indifferent.

Many of you wrote in your comments in the questionnaire that you like – some of you even went as far as to say you ‘love’ the Daily Mews – the format as it is; that you don’t want it changed; and that you’ve ‘grown up’ with the Daily Mews as your best friend. I was very overcome and overwhelmed with these comments, I can tell you. Many of you have been with me through thick and thin and for that I am very grateful. 

But it is time to move with the times and to let go of some of the things that have held us back.  It's often hard to let go of things we feel comfortable with - it's a bit like a safety harness or a comfort blanket - but sometimes, we have to be brave and run with the wolves.

So I hope you’ll stick with me over the next few months of change and that you’ll be patient with me while I learn a new editing package. There may be some mistakes along the way but with your help, I’m sure, we’ll make it eventually – and the Daily Mews will be as good as it always was – if not better.

I won’t be adding any new features to the website in its current format although I have put a new caption competition on and as always, you can send me up to 5 entries at the usual address by 30th September.

Caption Competition:

http://www.thedailymews.com/KittyBits/caption_competition_30.htm

Last month’s caption competition – of Stella asleep in her cat tower – brought a deluge of entries which, Natalie, who is Stella’s ‘Mum’, had a difficult time sorting out a winning caption. Mike Smith from Idaho provided the winning caption and a prize will be on its way to him shortly.

For those who like to see all the captions, here’s the link:

http://www.thedailymews.com/KittyBits/caption_competiton_29.htm

Jared Klinein Belgium was first off the blocks with all correct answers to the Book Quiz – and a prize will be on its way to Jared soon, too. Here are the answers to the Book Quiz from the last Mewsletter:

Your Pets’ Past Lives and How They can Help You – Madeleine Walker

Cat Speak – recognising and understanding behaviour – Brigitte Ruth Widmann

Sparkle Puss, the Cornish Chocolate Apothecary – Stella Rose Benson

Well done, to both of you.

Back in 2009 I ran a short story writing competition and a poetry competition. Carole Hershey’s poem, For Rua, won but at the time I didn’t have any photos of Rua to add to the poem. Recently I contacted Carole and she kindly sent me some photos which I’ve now added to the poem. You can see how beautiful Rua was here:

http://www.thedailymews.com/poems/For_Rua.htm

Although I won’t be working on the website, I will still be available by email for any help and advice or counselling if you would like to write to me. I’m always very happy to hear from you with your news but I respectfully ask that you refrain from sending me any forwards – unless they are relevant to cats. I do try to include links in Mewsletters and I will continue to do that but as I’m sure you’ll appreciate I receive upwards of 150 – 250 emails A DAY and most of these are forwards; some are to do with cats; some are ‘nice’ inspirational ones, while others are humorous or uplifting. BUT: it takes me hours to wade through and one of the things the doctor has advised is that I don’t spend hours and hours just sitting at my computer.

So – relevant cat related links/emails are fine – everything else – not fine.

Thank you.

Keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing, how your cats are doing and you can still send me stories/articles for inclusion when the new format Daily Mews is up and running.

In the meantime, thank you for your kindness and patience. The website in its current incarnation will be available on line until I make the change over so why don’t you go and spend some time there and work through the various sections, and articles. Let me know what you’ve enjoyed and what you didn’t think much of. And celebrate the wonderful colours of autumn (Fall). Hopefully, we’ll ‘speak’ soon!

With love, always,

Pauline – editor, purrsonal lap provider and food bowl attendant

Sam – hearing impaired editor and all round Nice Cat

Ollie – encourager and motivator when I try to do my exercises on the Wii Fit!!! 

 

In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson

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