Hi Everyone

I’d like to offer a very warm welcome to all the new subscribers who crawled through the catflap since the last issue!

I can’t believe it’s been over 3 months since the last Mewsletter and I hope you’re all doing well. In mid September, Lawrence and I managed to get a wonderful holiday for two weeks in Cape Verde which is a group of islands off the west coast of Africa. The beach is a conservation area for turtles and we were privileged to see day old hatchlings (baby turtles). Despite there being a police presence to try and protect these beautiful creatures sadly, illegal poaching still goes on and only a tiny handful out of the thousands born will make it to adult turtles.

I arrived home at 5 in the morning on 4th October to a wonderfully warm welcome from Casey who rushed over to his food bowl and sat there in front of it, expectantly. Sam started crying from the minute he saw me and didn’t stop. I did wonder, briefly, if he had become senile in the two weeks I’d been away, but then I remembered that this is what he does. He reports on every little thing that has occurred from the second I left the house until the moment I arrived back home again. No doubt he was moaning about the cat sitter’s inattention to details (his food bowl not being placed in the correct position, that kind of thing.) He finally stopped ‘bleating’ a few hours after I got home, exhausted in the retelling of all the tales and stories, saved up about Casey’s misdemeanours in the hope, no doubt, of getting Casey into trouble and rehomed, to moaning about Ollie’s little friend, Black Eddy, who pops in daily for a meal and a cuddle!

I had to take him back to the vet to see how much further his kidney disease had progressed and despite Sam not eating renal food (he just won’t eat it) fortunately, he hadn’t lost any weight and seemed to be doing all right at this point. But a worrying new turn of events showed that he now has a tumour above his left eye which is inoperable. It’s a question of keeping him comfortable for as long as he wants to be here. He refuses to eat the food which would help his kidneys to function better and I let him eat anything he wants to. I’d rather have Sam happy for 3 months, than unhappy eating food he didn’t like for 6 months. Every minute counts and I spend as much time with him as I can letting him know (despite his deafness) that he is a wonderful cat and I was totally honoured when he decided to come to live with Garfield, et al all those years ago. He will be 17 on Valentine’s Day and I hope that he makes that milestone.

I am sorry for not being in contact with many of you. I feel very bad about it but I have a very big editing job (for which I’ve been paid) so I have to provide the service, so I haven’t been on my computer for very long each day. I managed to write 5 more chapters of my new project (in which Ollie is the star) while I was on holiday – writing them by hand in a new spiral bound notebook bought especially for the occasion. It took me several days to type them up because I couldn’t decipher my handwriting! When you type everything as I do I realise it’s to the detriment of my handwriting!

I still haven’t finished the editing job so I do ask for your understanding at this time and hopefully by the next issue I might be back on track again.

Many of you are familiar with the work of EMRO which helps to sponsor, adopt and generally look after Egyptian Mau cats in Cairo. The founder, Ishmail Elkholy, sadly died of cancer recently and I am including a quote from his widow, Glauria Lauris, co-founder:

‘In lieu of flowers, those wishing to help us remember Dr. Ismail Elkholy and to celebrate his life are welcome to contribute to either (or both) of two Egyptian initiatives:

1)      EMRO, the Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization (www.emaurescue.org)  was coFounded by Ismail and his wife in 2005 as an Egyptian charity (NGO #6196) to help local, ancient street cats (Maus) through (international) adoption/rehoming and education. Additionally, a veterinary clinic was established at the shelter to provide service to pets at reduced and competitive prices, and to encourage humane treatment of all animals in general. It also provides employment for local professionals. We hope to name a room after Dr. Elkholy at the shelter charity in recognition of his efforts.  For donations to the EMRO initiative, please contact sponsor@emaurescue.org  and mention his name.

2)      Through helping create an ongoing educational scholarship fund for deserving students in Ismail's local home town of Shebin where he originally began, in an effort to help other talented Egyptian students who may otherwise not have the means to go further in their studies. For more details, please contact glauris24@gmail.com.’

At the time of writing, Christmas is only 4 weeks away. I won’t be sending out Christmas cards this year and I hope that you’ll understand. Please save your money and put it to something needed for yourselves or your kitties. Postage is so astronomically unreasonable that I really can’t justify spending over £100 on sending out cards. I do hope you don’t think I’m a female version of Ebenezer Scrooge or The Grinch!  

ON WITH THE MEWS:

First a request: does any one live near Clara Wersterfer (who lives in New Braunfels, near San Antonio, Texas) who could help her out with trapping a feral mama kitty who keeps showing up at Clara’s house with new baby kitties in tow? A trap would be useful and perhaps someone to help take mama and the babies to a vet for neutering/spaying. Also donations would be much appreciated. If you can help, please contact Clara on cbwest@webtv.net. In these straightened times, it’s good to reach out and help someone else.

Willi Whizkas has his own Facebook page now so please do go over to it and say ‘hi’ and become his friend. Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/willi.whizkas?ref=tn_tnmn

A new survey shows that many people fail to understand the ‘language’ of cats, which has prompted Cats Protection to launch an initiative to educate the nation about cat behaviour.

In particular, the charity’s survey reveals:

  • Two thirds (65%) of us think a cat only purrs when happy, whereas it sometimes can occur when a cat is in pain
  • The majority of people (76%) fail to understand a cat’s upright tail is a greeting
  • One in 20 of those surveyed think that a cat rubs his cheeks on surfaces because he has an ‘itchy’ face rather than actually marking a territory.

The findings highlight how owners can struggle to pick up on signs that their cat is unhappy. To help cat owners enjoy a more meaningful relationship with their pet, the charity has created a free education tool called ‘Understanding Feline Origins’ on its website, which is designed to help owners recognise their cats’ basic needs.

Visit this link for more information and to watch a video explaining different cat behaviours:

Learn on line:

The Home Page Message this month is about Casey and I hope you enjoy it. Click here to read it:

Casey – the drag artist

ARTICLES:

Ed Kostro wrote this piece about America’s abandoned and surrendered animals back in August.  It’s a sad fact that in the depression which has hit the entire world, animals are being left in appalling conditions to fend for themselves. It’s thanks to people like Ed who – without thought for his own safety – go out each evening and rescue cats and dogs that have been left behind in foreclosed properties to starve and die, or those who’ve been left on the motorways (freeways) or those who’ve been driven miles from their home and dumped in a wood with no food or water nearby. What is so disgusting is that these were once the beloved pets of a family. How can these families now just abandon them so cruelly? Ghandi once said that a nation is judged by the way it treats its animals. There’s going to be a lot of explaining to do ‘upstairs’ when the Great Cat makes his judgements!

Kitty Cats, Poopers, and Beasty Boys

John Grafton wrote this piece about his little mackerel tabby cat Max a while ago. Just how do you treat a cat that has ringworm? Written in John’s inimitable humorous style, I just know you’ll enjoy it:

Please take the cat into the shower with you

BOOK REVIEWS:

We have a veritable plethora of books for you this month – all of which would make jolly good presents for a cat lover’s Christmas stocking. The first is Anthony Smith’s Learn to Speak Cat.  Anthony, as you all know, designed the logo for the Mewsletter banner and the Scratching Post banner so we all know his style of illustration.

 Learn to Speak Cat: The Purrfect Guide

 Also by Anthony Smith: Bad Dog, No Biscuit

A Street Cat called Bob took the world by storm, as did the follow up: The world according to Bob. Now there is another book out which will make you use your brain cells just a little bit harder. Called ‘Where in the World is Bob?’ it is very much along the lines of ‘Where’s Wally?’

Where in the World is Bob?

CAT CHAT:

Judith Haire is a supporter of the Chaldon Animal Sanctuary (which is featured in the Charities and Rescue Centres section) and sponsors a cat called Benson. She also has an adopted cat she called Smudge and this next piece is a little snapshot of Judith’s life with both cats.

Smudge and Benson

Rosie Sorenson has written a cute little story about her cat Billy interacting with her husband Steve:

Not now, not ever

CHARITIES AND RESCUE CENTRES:

Carolyn Waterson is a Brit, living in Missouri, who works at the Tri-Lakes Humane Society rescue centre. Here’s what she has to say about the centre and its needs. As always, donations, financial and actual, are always welcome.

Tri-Lakes Humane Society

FELINE FITNESS:

Did you know that there are roughly 4.8 million households in the UK which have more than 2 cats? This next article appeared in the September 2013 issue of Your Cat magazine, written by Nicole Paley from the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers Association).

Feeding in a multi-cat household

To follow on from John Grafton’s amusing story about his cat in the shower, here’s some information on Ringworm that you should find interesting. There are some website links at the end of the piece for you to look up further information and treatment.

Ringworm in cats

MEWSERS MEWSINGS:

Dumpty continues with her Diaries, still focused on the event of last Christmas and being annoyed with her maid for indulging in too much of the human catnip!

The saga continues – part 31

The saga continues – part 32

The saga continues – part 33

The saga continues – part 34

I owe Jimmy – our wonderfully acerbic feline correspondent – a huge apology. I asked him a couple of weeks or so ago if he could write something for me and as it was a few days before Halloween, bless him, he came up with the goods within hours of my email. That is why his latest piece, Lord of the Claws, has a Halloween bias (amongst other things! You know what Jimmy is like). Jimmy is 23 years of age and despite losing an eye last year, he still finds time to write his column for the Daily Mews readers. He is to be applauded. Thank you, Jimmy. You’re a star!

Lord of the Claws – Part 1

Dippi Duck, who lived with Dumpty and Willi Whizkas, continues with her own diaries of living at Tom Cat Towers:

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

NAPPING ON A SUNBEAM:

It breaks my heart when I hear from people and they don’t know where to turn or who they can talk to about the loss of their beloved cat or dog. Animals are such wonderful companions; they ask for so little but they give us so much, so it was with a heavy heart that I opened an email from Darlene Khan in the US a few days after I got back from my holiday. Read Darlene’s moving tribute to her beautiful cat, Junior, here:

Junior         

Paul Ferguson wrote to me over a year ago to tell me that his cat Dizzy had passed on to Rainbow Bridge but it wasn’t until recently that he felt able to write a tribute to him.

Dizzy    

In early September Clara Wersterfer wrote to tell me that her beautiful little ginger boy, Sparky, had rejoined his two sisters at Rainbow Bridge. Here’s Clara’s obituary to him:

Sparky

Stephanie Sorrell (who wrote the extraordinarily good ‘The Therapist’s Cat) sent me this next poem after Ollie died. She wrote it originally when her cat Massimo passed on. It is a truly beautiful and evocative piece of writing:

Massimo revisited

There is no time limit on grieving and if you would like to write a tribute to a cat who passed away a few months or a few years ago, please write to me at the usual address: p.dewberry@ntlworld.com

SPECIAL OFFER:

Penel Ashworth wrote to let me know about her new book: Reservoir Cats: True Stories and Cat’s Eye Views from Squirt is available on Kindle.  She says: ‘I was wondering if there is anyway I could let readers know about a two day Kindle free book promotion?  My book "Reservoir Cats: True Stories and Cat's Eye Views from Squirt" will be on free promotion in the Kindle store on December 1st and 2nd 2013.  It's a humour book based around the real life experiences of my animals, one cat in particular.  I might add that this cat (Squirt) has a great imagination and a talent for exaggeration! I think it's a book your readers will enjoy so would like to offer them the chance to grab it for free - 2 days only!

The book's ASIN number on Amazon is B00FPLEMTO, or search the title in store.  Please feel free to have a look and read customer reviews on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.’

I read the reviews and they are all positive and Squirt sounds a real little character, full of fun and mischief and I hope we hear from Penel again in the near future.

Well, that about sums it up for this time. All that remains for me to do is to wish those who celebrate across the Pond a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day. I will be sending out a Scratching Post with links and the winners to the Caption Competition and Book Quiz in a couple of weeks and I hope to get another update done and Mewsletter out just in time for Christmas.

Till then, keep safe.

Love Pauline: Editor in Chief and Main Food Bowl Attendant
Sam: Chief Bleater of Misdeeds carried out by Persons or Cats Unknown but  generally nodding in Casey’s direction
Casey: Chief Food Bowl Emptier and Requirer of Frequent Top Ups

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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