Monday, 31 October 2011

Whiskers and feathers

When Sookie came home with us for the first time last July her breeder Tanya gave us a feather wand toy which she said Sookie loved. One by one each of the feathers was pulled out during playtime, until none remained and so it was consigned to the bin. Our local pet stores didn't sell them, so I was chuffed to find them onsale at the Pet Show's Ragdoll Rescue stand.

I brought out the toy as soon as we got home from the show and both Sookie and Darcy leapt about for half an hour as I flicked it through the hallway and around the living room! Bad lighting and lots of action meant the shots aren't too good, but here's a few of the better ones!

Happy Halloween everyone!! =^..^=

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Love Pets Show 2011

Firstly, sorry if I've been a bit quiet the last few days... I've been commuting on the train to London and back for work - long days with only a mobile phone which doesn't let me add comments on most blogs. Rest assured I am still reading - thanks for making the train journeys pass by so easilly!!

Today hubby and I went to the Love Pets Show 2011 which was being held just down the road from us in Peterborough. It was a mixture of exhibitors for all sorts of pets and related products along with shows in the main arena. We had a great time and so I thought I'd share a few photos from the day (not very good photos, but you get the idea!)

The first stand I made a beeline for was Pets As Therapy. This charity has approximately 4,500 dogs and 106 cats owned by registered volunteers, who visit a variety of establishments such as hospitals and hospices, residential and nursing homes, mainstream schools and special needs children to offer comfort, companionship and therapy.

As the majority of the Pets As Therapy animals are dogs, I was interested to learn more about volunteering with cats. I met a lovely lady on the stand with... of course... a ragdoll!

Pets As Therapy

She gave me lots of helpful advice about how to become a registered volunteer and confirmed (as I'd suspected) that ragdolls are a perfect fit for this work due to their loving, friendly and (mostly!) docile nature. This is serious food for thought for me. I think Mr Darcy and Sookie need to complete leash training and get a bit more social interaction first, but I'd love to give it a go in the future. In the meantime you can support the work of the P.A.T. volunteers by making a donation or sponsoring volunteer. If you'd like to know more, please click here.

Next, I was very excited to see that Ragdoll Rescue had a stand. As the name suggests, this group is run by volunteers who all share a love of the Ragdoll breed and provide a rehoming service for Ragdolls in need.

Ragdoll Rescue

I had a good long chat with one of the volunteers who introduced me to his own award winning family of ragdolls. This is a beautiful flame mitted ragdoll (if only I could remember his name I would tell you!!).

Flame Mitted Ragdoll

This is Oscar. Mr Darcy still has some way to grow if this is the male benchmark!!


We also visited Smokey, who you may have heard of... she has entered the Guiness Book of Records as the loudest purring cat and is louder than a Boeing 737 coming into land! Unfortunately I was not allowed to take any photos, but you can see more of Smokey here.

Oh and I met a Sphynx! If you don't know, this is the cat breed which has no hair... or so I thought! I have to admit I'd seen this breed on T.V. and my immediate reaction was - "yuck - it's all wrinkly and skinny and looks a bit creepy... why would anyone want THAT as a pet?" Well how wrong I was... I met Kaiser and his owner at the show and she let me give him a cuddle and you know what? He felt warm and soft and like peach skin and was the cutest, friendliest, most affectionate little cat. My whole perception on this breed has changed.

After I'd suitably cooed my way through the cat section, we enjoyed the rest of the show, including watching the Wrayfield Dog Agility team in action...

Dog Agility Course

A demonstration on how to teach a dog to use the 'seesaw'.

...meeting a Canine Companion and hearing how he helps his disabled owner with all those everyday tasks we take for granted, even emptying and loading the washing machine and picking up the telephone....

Canine Companion and Marc Abraham - yummy vet off the T.V!!

...and to round off we enjoyed a performance from Pippa Langhorne & Buddy. They were semi finalists in Britains Got Talent... Pippa sings opera and is accompanied by the tuneful howls of Buddy the puppy. Miss Admiral this made me think of you with your dulcet tones... a new career beckons??
Pippa:"Ave Maria.." Buster:"Owoooooooo!!!!"

...and of course we bought a couple of new toys for Sookie and Mr Darcy to would have been rude not to!

Happy weekend everyone!! =^..^=

Monday, 24 October 2011

Darcy's disappearing act

I love it when Winter comes around and the cats start growing their winter manes... they turn into such beautiful little fluff balls! However whilst Sookie's fur is very smooth and silky and hardly needs any grooming, Mr Darcy's is more like fluffy candy floss and gets very matted, very quickly. (Note that for some reason although I'm a grown woman I refer to these as 'matty boos'... I have no logical explanation why!!) Add to that the fact that Darcy *hates* being groomed and it's not so fun!

I bought a grooming tool last year which is like the Furminator... but not the Furminator and was a lot cheaper as a result! It's actually done okay and Darcy would tolerate it for short spells but the other week I cut my finger on it... a small shard of metal had splintered on one of the teeth. I'm only glad that it got me and not Mr D.

So after all this I decided to bite the bullett and buy a proper Furminator, complete with a little button that ejects the fluff - how fancy! As it turns out I found it online and it was half the price that it's sold for in our local pet store. 

The battle between Darcy and the Furminator is due to commence sometime this week... wish us all luck!!!

p.s. I'm sorry if I'm a bit slow or don't manage to leave a comment as I normally would this week, however I'm currently due to work in London 3 days this week which means most of my time will be spent on the train and I can't get comments to work on my mobile- boo!! I'll still be reading all your posts though :)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Happy Tocktober!

So I heard that this month is officially known as Tocktober. I'm not entirely sure what counts as a 'tock picture... but one thing I do know is that Mr Darcy and Sookie LOVE to show off their fluffy butts. They even have a signature pose... the 'over the shoulder'.

Does my bum look big in this (flowerbed)?

Tip - to make your rump appear smaller strategically place it next to a giant bird

Whaddya mean I'm a classic pear shape? Do pears have TAILS?
6kg of quality rump

Yeah yeah okay's 7kgs!
I call Mr Darcy's 'tocks his pantaloons, Sookies are her knickerbockers... so I suppose I would call them her 'bocks!!

Happy Tocktober from Sookie's 'Bocks and Mr Darcy's juicy rump!!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Ask and you shall receive!

I had a request from Mr Puddy for some pictures of our cat tunnel which I had mentioned in Friday's post. Well Mr Puddy: ask and you shall receive!

Ragdolls are bred to be indoor cats, but I saw Darcy's face light up everytime the door opened into the garden and he would enjoy catching whiffies if I left the door ajar. After a little while we started taking him for walks in the garden on a leash. He really enjoyed it but as it was the middle of winter and we are only wimpy humans, it was often too cold for us. Mr Darcy would paw at the door insistently.

Here in the UK the majority of cats are allowed to roam outdoors so cat enclosures are quite expensive to buy and generally only used by breeders. After a lengthy search we found a family company that made chicken coops and asked if they could make one for us... except bigger... say cat sized? Luckilly they were up for the challenge and a few weeks later it was built! 

To begin with we had to pick Darcy up and carry him to the cat house, then wait for him to give us a sign when he was ready to come back in! When summer arrived hubby decided to build a tunnel and connect it to the house via a cat flap. This would mean that whilst we were at work Mr Darcy could choose whether to get some fresh air - great for when it got hot and stuffy indoors. Hubby spent two weekends making the tunnel but we were really pleased with the results... even if it was a little scary when he took an electric saw to our back door to make the entrance!

The tunnel was completed just in time for Sookie's arrival, which was actually really good timing because Sookie was the one to teach Mr Darcy how to use the cat flap.. until that point he had no clue and would sit meowing at it!

These days the cats are in and out of the cat house night and day. We do still let them into the garden in summer too, but always supervised.

A cat flap out of the utility room...
...leads down the back of the house...
...and to the Kitty Cabana!
This is it looking rather neat and tidy when newly put up last year...
Now it looks a bit more scruffy and lived in!! (Plus we added some grass)
An old computer desk has been recycled as Sookie's apartment block!
The kitties chill out and watch the birdies
Darcy why are you in there? We're allowed in the garden today!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Why you shouldn't let your cats watch CSI...

In all fairness to Mr Darcy, it was in fact Sookie who got muddy paw prints all over my bed sheets! 

To explain, first I must tell you that Mr Darcy and Sookie are 'indoor cats' but we built them a cat house in the garden with a tunnel connecting it to a cat flap in our backdoor, so they can go outside for fresh air whenever they choose.

Every morning Sookie jumps on the bed and walks up and down the pillow meowing at my face until I get up. A couple of days ago when she did this I noticed that she was all wet - it had been raining outside. It wasn't until later when I made the bed that I noticed a crime had been committed!

Sometimes it's a good job they're so cute! :)
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