Hi there and a very warm welcome to all the new subscribers who hurled themselves through the catflap throughout September and early October. I think this was, in part, due to Petwarmers publishing a story I originally had accepted by Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers’ Soul – and when it was finally rejected in August, I submitted it to Petwarmers.
I hadn’t heard anything from them so didn’t realise that it had been published until I started getting emails from people I didn’t know telling me how much they liked it! I was chuffed to bits, I can tell you. As I know not everyone subscribes to Petwarmers, I’ve included ‘A Tiny Tornado Called Charlie’ in this Mewsletter for you to read – if you’ve already read it, then please, just skip that bit.
It is actually an extract taken from Flu and Feline Frolics which you can read on the website on this link:
The story is in 4 parts and Charlie’s ‘piece de resistance’ is in part 3.
A lot of you have been asking me how the remodelling of the website is progressing and I’m happy to tell you that despite working all hours under the sun (although it’s been mostly rain these past few weeks!) there is still more of the website to be copied over to the new look site than what I have actually managed to achieve already. I had no idea of the amount of ‘stuff’ I had on the website!
It’s a good opportunity to declutter and whittle out the bits and pieces which aren’t so great or past their best. I do suggest to all of you that you have a wander around the current website to have a look at different sections, and articles, rather than just reading the articles to the links that are usually in the Mewsletter. That was one of the things that surprised me in the survey; many of you don’t browse the website and when I think of the amount of content that is there, I wondered why? Is it the way it’s presented? Is the site not very good to navigate? You tell me – I’m listening.
The new site will be completely different in every way – apart from being all about cats of course. And I’m hoping to get a gallery so that you can upload photos of your own cats and maybe people can vote each month for the winner. I’m very fortunate that my Technical Wizard who is revamping and redesigning the website is able to do all these little gizmos for me – although I’m in bits trying to work out the new editing package.
So – watch this space and hopefully before Christmas you’ll have a new look Daily Mews website that will be bigger and better than the current one.
October is Black Cat Month and so many black or black and white cats are left behind in rescue centres and charities because of the stigma attached to them. Why? Here in the UK a black cat is considered lucky – and I’m blessed because I have Sam who chose to live with me 14 years ago. I must admit to having a torrid affair with ginger cats; other than Sam, and little Ellie who was mainly white with black blobs on – all my cats have been ginger boys.
And it’s strange but red-haired people are considered ‘feisty’, ‘quick-tempered’, ‘angry’ – all negative words. But ginger cats – or strawberry blondes as some people call them – have got the most placid of temperaments. Those of you with ginger cats – do you agree to that? Let me know.
And an early treat for Halloween is a story by my wonderful friend, and animal advocate and ambassador, Jim Willis:
Back to Black Cat Month – how about taking a visit to a rescue centre and bringing home a black or black and white cat? Make a black cat’s life happier by giving it a loving home with you and your family. All the visitors through the Daily Mews Cat Flap throughout the years have been black cats looking for food and a tummy tickle.
I didn’t do a book quiz last time but that will be resumed when the New Look Daily Mews is up and running. I did run the caption competition and the cute picture was of Bunky in her owner’s washing machine – empty of course – but it didn’t rustle your creative juices with only a few subscribers entering. Jean – Bunky’s ‘mum’ – has chosen the winning caption and you can see it here on this link:
For this month’s caption competition, click on this link:
Entries please to email@example.com before 30 October.
Gloria Lauris (CEO of EMRO) has written to me with news of a venture that she is currently involved in and she wondered if any Daily Mews subscribers/readers would be interested. Here is the ‘blurb’:
‘ASEA, the new biotech product is having an information Summit in Munich, Germany on Oct 20, 2012. It is a revolutionary new health product that is sweeping the globe. Although it is of interest currently mainly to people, there have been accounts that the product can have profound effect for animals too, especially for external wound recovery. For more information about ASEA, please see:
http://www.deltahealth.teamasea.com/ or email Gloria Lauris at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the Summit, product or opportunity. For those considering a business opportunity with this product, please consider giving a portion of proceeds from ASEA product purchased towards your favourite animal charity! If you are going to be in Germany or the area around October 20 and might be able to attend, please contact Gloria for more information on this exciting event!’
Sad news: Jamaka Petzak in the US wrote to let me know that her beloved cat, Sheriff Samuda sadly passed away on 30th August. He was 18 years and 3 months old. I don’t know if you remember, but Sheriff Samuda wrote a piece which I put in the Cat Chat section a few months ago:
We all send out love and condolences to Jamaka and Samuda’s remaining ‘siblings’.
Ed Kostro in the US sent me a link to a poem he wrote about a cat called Ni Hao (which means ‘hello’).
Ni Hao spent 3 weeks in a cargo boat at sea with no food or water. You can read the full report here on this link:
Ham in the US sent me this link to a man who built his cat Rufus the most amazing tower of cardboard boxes:
He also sent me this link about a woman who teaches her cats to swim:
Jenain Texas sent me these links:
Marilyn in the US sent me this link of some adorable rare sand kittens that were born in Israel in August:
My thanks to every one who sent in links.
Some of you – despite the gentle plea in the last Mewsletter – are still sending me non-cat related emails. Please, please, please – it’s always lovely to hear from you – I don’t mind ‘chatty’ emails but I’m working as hard as I can to get the website up and running before Christmas and Lawrence is now scheduled to have surgery at the end of November which might put me back a bit as I’ll be taking care of him. I respectfully request ONLY cat-related emails – or those wanting to know how things are going: nothing else will be opened and read. Harsh words I know but I have to put my paw down with a firm voice!!!!
Now for some light relief. Here’s my story about Charlie. I do hope you enjoy it. If you’ve already seen it, please skip past it to the next part of the Mewsletter.
A Tiny Tornado Called Charlie
Less than a week after 10 week old kitten, Charlie, came to live with me, I went down with the flu. With brothers Garfield and Biggles either side of me on the sofa, I slept.
Charlie, however, had other ideas. His mission, as he saw it, was to entertain. He went into the kitchen where he emptied the bottom shelf of the vegetable rack of its contents. Potatoes of all sizes were sent skittering across the floor as he played football with them, the bigger ones less inclined to move far while the smaller ones careered off under the Welsh dresser in the dining room next door. He adopted a slightly rounded potato that he named ‘Spud’ and Spud became his life long companion for the next few weeks until I felt his outward appearance could become a health hazard to a young inspiring kitten.
Spud went everywhere with Charlie and he enjoyed the status that being the soul mate of a kitten brought with it. His fellow friends having been returned to the bottom shelf of the vegetable rack looked on with envy as Charlie carried Spud gently in his mouth from room to room. By far his favourite time with Charlie was when they nestled up to each other in front of the television in the front room, Charlie having taken a keen interest in the snooker semi finals.
First Charlie would have a thorough sit down wash while Spud waited patiently and then, being satisfied that he was as clean as a kitten could be under the circumstances, Charlie turned his attention to Spud, giving him a thorough wash and brush up. Spud relished these moments and the pair of them – equally groomed to within an inch of their lives – would then sit side by side watching television. Often Charlie would roll Spud between his front paws as if he was cuddling him and they’d fall asleep together while the latest snooker hopeful potted balls furiously to gain the victorious score of 147.
After a week of lying on the sofa sniffling and coughing my way through umpteen packets of throat soothers and realms of tissues Biggles and Garfield were relieved to see that – in their opinion – I was on the mend. Charlie, who was still inexperienced at medical science, left the nursing duties to them, but he busied himself with climbing up the wall paper on the chimney breast. As he clambered up to the ceiling and then crawled crablike across the chimney breast and down the other side I looked at Biggles and Garfield, who at 7 years of age, looked on with horror at this young whippersnapper’s audacity. They had never done anything remotely like this and they wondered how Charlie could get away with such naughty pranks. He could because he was so darned cute and because I hadn’t got the energy to even blow out a candle, let alone remonstrate with an exuberant kitten.
Charlie’s piece de resistance came one afternoon. I was feeling slightly better and was watching a film with Biggles and Garfield on the sofa. Sitting with my legs bent, I was drinking a cappuccino, with the saucer balanced on my knees. Leaving Spud alone on the carpet Charlie decided climb up the curtains. My feeble admonishing ‘Charlie, get down from there’ was ignored as he continued to climb right to the top where the curtain pole rested a few inches from the ceiling. Somehow he angled himself in the space between the curtain pole and the ceiling and he walked along gathering dust as he went. He peered down at us and I noticed a smudge of dust under his nose making him look like a feline Errol Flynn. He wiggled back down to the top of the curtain and taking one front paw off he waved.
The next thing happened so quickly, that it was over and done within seconds. Charlie abseiled down the curtains and landed in the saucer balanced on my knees. That sent it tobogganing off down the front of my legs where he veered off to the left when he reached my feet. He landed on the carpet, still in the saucer, with a huge smile on his face. ‘Wow! That was awesome’ the look on his face said, but Biggles and Garfield pursed their lips and muttered things under their breath. They had never done anything like that although it certainly DID look like fun, there was no denying that!
Charlie’s exuberance as a kitten reminded me that sometimes we are too serious and we forget the small pleasures in life which bring us fun, joy and laughter. For Charlie, this was the best time ever and he grew up into the most beautiful natured cat, mentoring three little abused kittens I took in a couple of years later.
Do let me know if you like it.
Imagine a Feline Miss Jean Brodie if you will … Charlie grew up to mentor Billy, Timmy and Joey when they arrived at the hallowed portals of the Daily Mews Mansion:
http://www.thedailymews.com/articles/ritesofpassage1.htm It’s in two parts so click on ‘next chapter’ at the end of the page.
Although I’m not putting any new content on the website in its existing state, I want to bring to your attention an article about fireworks and the effect they have on your pets. With ‘Guy Fawkes’ night on 5th November and Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights from 13th November for 5 days, the UK will be a veritable exploding nightmare of constant fireworks throughout November. The amount of stress this puts on all animals is huge and you can do your bit to lessen their distress.
On doing some research about Diwali, I came across this comment from The Times of India which sums up the modern meaning of Diwali:
Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the festival of lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple - and some not so simple - joys of life.
Times of India editorial
Although I’m not of the same faith, I think this is rather a nice slant on how we could embrace our lives, especially in these financially difficult times.
Well, that just about covers it for this Mewsletter. I hope you enjoy the read – and that you’re not getting withdrawal symptoms from the actual article links I usually put in the Mewsletter. You can always head over to www.thedailymews.com and have a mooch around the different sections.
Take care, and have a great autumn (Fall). I’ll write when I can.
Love to you all
Pauline, Sam and Ollie xxxxx