Hi there and a very warm welcome to the first issue of The Scratching Post of 2014.

Well, the weather has been atrocious all around the world and many people had no electricity over Christmas because of the floods here in the UK. Although the past couple of days have been calmer here in Kent where I live, we’re not out of the woods yet – more is yet to come so we’ve been told.

Some of you may not know that my beloved Sam had to be put to sleep on Friday 3rd of January. The tumour above his left eye was causing him a lot of problems but, having seen the vet in December who made another appointment for 3 month’s time, we were optimistic that Sam would celebrate his 17th birthday on Valentine’s Day.

But sadly, it was not to be. On the morning of the 3rd January, I noticed a lot of blood on a pillow that Sam was sitting near and when I looked at him, he had blood pouring out of his nose, with clots – it was not nice to see him like that. But Sam, ever the gentlecat that he was, purred right to the end and my heart was torn into shreds yet again. Losing him less than six months after losing Ollie – well, it’s hard to deal with and I closed right down to try and heal myself.

Poor little Casey is wondering what the hell is going on. He came into a house with two other cats and now there’s just him. He looked down in the mouth for several days and wandered from room to room kicking his heels, sighing, and went off his food.

One of Ollie’s best friends from kittenhood, Black Eddie, has been coming round every day since Ollie died and he spent the entire Christmas period here without going home at all. I wrote a note to his human and she popped in to see me as I was concerned about Eddie’s health. His human is moving away from the area soon so Casey will lose another friend. He and Eddie get on well together. It’s apparent that Eddie’s human loves him very much or I would have offered to take him on if she wanted me to – but I know she would miss him too much and Eddie would probably keep going back to his old house. The new people who will eventually live there may not like cats so it’s best if he moves too although I’ll miss him as he’s been around for all of Ollie’s 11 years.  

Eddie has been gone for a couple of days and although he didn’t take up a lot of room (he was a small cat) and didn’t make a terrific amount of noise, the house seems very quiet without his comforting presence. As I’m typing this, a big change has happened. Casey has ventured upstairs into my office and is stretched out across my desk asleep. Hopefully, he feels more comfortable and settled now and this will be our new ‘normal’. I always had a cat or two lying on my desk while I worked; Ollie used to lie with either his head on the CAPS LOCK so that everything I wrote was in capital letters – but I didn’t have the heart to move him! Or he’d have a back leg stretched out across the keys so that as fast as I typed a row of characters made their way into my work courtesy of Ollie’s back leg!

And so we face changes yet again. We don’t like them do we? We like things to run as smoothly as we’re used to the status quo so when something happens to shake us up, we’re not happy about it, and sometimes we can’t or don’t always deal with it in a good way. We’re ok – as humans – because we can talk it over with friends, family or loved ones – but imagine how an animal feels when all its housemates or littermates disappear? They don’t know how to deal with it and although Casey hasn’t behaved inappropriately, I wouldn’t blame him if he did. So remember that your pets cannot tell you how upset or frightened they are at the changes going on around them. And we know that cats don’t like change.

I looked at the calendar today (23rd January) to see what great events had happened or were about to happen and noticed that yesterday (22nd) was the 7th anniversary of having my brother’s stem cells. The initial search on the international bone marrow register yielded the harrowing and very scary news that there weren’t any matches for me so if he hadn’t been a tissue match, I wouldn’t be here now. Sobering thought.

NEW COMPETITION:

Now – this is a biggie.  This is a HUGE competition so listen up.

Dan Weiss makes beautiful calendars showing clocks but he’s agreed to make a cat calendar for 2015. This is where you come in. We need you to send pictures of your cats to me; try to ensure that it is just a picture of your cat(s) with no distractions in the foreground or background or around the sides. In other words try to make sure that there is no washing on the line or clothes’ airer in the background or rubbish strewn nearby the cat. The best pictures will be included in the calendar for next year. Send them to me– p.dewberry@ntlworld.com and Dan and I will choose 12 of the best.

Now, here’s another good bit: Those whose pictures of their cats have been selected for the calendar will each receive a calendar as their prize. And Dan will sell further copies of the 2015 calendar for a reasonable sum. If this competition goes well and gets a good response, we may repeat it for 2016.

So, get your pictures sorted out: make sure the picture isn’t fuzzy – I don’t want to see a blurry blob purporting to be ‘Fluffy’ snoozing on a cushion. If Fluffy is snoozing on a cushion, then it needs to be clear and distinct! Make sure there’s no ‘debris’ in the picture – or distractions – try to just make sure the picture is of your cat(s). It’s quite permissible to include several cats in one picture as long as it is clear and distinct of all of them.

We’d like a bit of background information on your cat(s) so can you include the following:

Name; nickname if the cat has one; breed; any little anecdote you would like to include with the bio.

Deadline: 30th March 2014 – you can submit as many pictures as you want to but only 12 will be chosen for the calendar.   Send your pictures to the usual address: p.dewberry@ntlworld.com with ‘Calendar 2015 Competition’ in the subject line. 

OK – ON WITH THE LINKS AND STUFF

BOOK QUIZ:

Sadly the book quiz doesn’t seem to be a very popular item and due to lack of interest I won’t be continuing with it. My thanks go to Jared Kline in Belgium for his continuing support of this quiz. I might just as well send him a prize each month and not bother with the quiz!

CAPTION COMPETITION:

Only two people entered the caption competition last time so I’m going to send them both a prize as I couldn’t call it. You can see their captions here.

Caption Competition 39

Thanks to Suzanne and Andrew for taking part.

This month’s picture is of Keesa, Carolyn Waterson’s cat – hopefully we’ll get a better response or the caption competitions will stop as well.

Caption Competition 40  

LINKS:

My friend Lee sent me this link about cats that seem to love the vacuum cleaner!

http://www.flixxy.com/cats-who-love-vacuum-cleaners.htm?utm_source=nl

Janet Golder sent this funny link about puppies and kittens and mirrors:

Click here: Puppies And Kittens vs. Mirrors - Safeshare.TV

Britta in Canada sent this link of adorable little creatures having baths:

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/8-adorable-videos-of-baby-animals-taking-baths

She also sent this one of a kitten bugging a sleeping dog:

http://www.vancouversun.com/videos/recommended/video.html?embedCode=M0bTduaTrY-9JLQobU7w24dmG-80xQRJ

Mike in Canada sent me these links:

A paralysed cat and a puppy are inseparable:

http://on.aol.ca/video/dog-and-paralyzed-cat-are-inseparable-and-irresistible-518090591?icid=maing-grid7%7Ccanada%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D432159

and

The little pup who believed

Sandra Jimerson, US, sent me this lovely link about cats that won’t let dogs pass them – either in the hallway or on the stairway:

You Shall Not Pass

One of my friends on Twitter has a brilliant website: www.creaturekindness.com which has details of lots of animal welfare issues. If you’re interested in helping the animals on our planet live happier and healthier lives, then do check it out.

Ham, who is Stormy’s Food Bowl Attendant, sent me this wonderful montage of cats in cuddle situations with dogs. Entitled Every Dog should own a Cat, I looked it up and found this which is on a blog:

Every Dog should have a Cat

He also sent this amazing story of a dog waiting for a cat and then they go for a walk together:

Friendship: a thoughtful story

And how’s this for an incredible friendship between a fox and a dog?

Tinni and Sniffer

How would you like your shopping experience if you had a cat like Brutus to help you make your food choices?

Morrison’s cat Brutus

Opie the dog rescues a 2-day old kitten and now they’re friends for life:

Dog saves kitten

You all know how much I love orang-utans, well, here’s a sweet little video about a little orphan girl, Rickina, in the Orang-utan rescue centre:

Orangutan baby Rickina

For more on their work, visit their website: http://redapes.org/adopt

And that’s about it for now. Hope you enjoy the links. If you’ve got something you’d like me to share in a future issue of the Scratching Post, just send it to the usual address. Thank you to Britta, Ham, Mike, Sandra, Lee and Janet for sending me the links which are included in this Post.

I hope and pray that wherever you are the sun is shining, the cat is asleep on your bed, or better yet – on your lap – and that the promise of Spring, which is just around the corner, will bring you comfort and cheer.

Take care, love

Pauline – editor-in-chief

Casey – who has found sudden promotion to assistant sub-editor has given him a headache and he needs to lie down in a darkened room for a while – well, most of the day actually.

xx

 


 

 

 

 

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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