During this year we have realised that the cats we have in, being of a feral background were going nowhere so we had to have a rethink as to where we would go from this point.
Sadly both Dave and myself lost our Dad’s during 2015 however with some of the money that my Dad left me we were able to use this to the advantage of the charity.
I set about designing a cat pen which would sit on the back of the house and would somehow join in with the cat pen that was at the end of the garden. This pen was no longer being used as it was not physically possible to put the ferals in to a cat basket and transport them down to the cat pen, so I had to come up with another plan. Having spoken to the lovely people at Beyond Timber I said to them I will tell you what I want and you can tell me what you can do and so on 3 May 2016 work commenced!
Once the lads started work it wasn’t long before things started to take shape. I had cleared most the garden myself to allow the decking to go down as the concrete floor underneath was far too uneven for a pen to go on to. The next stage was to build the cat walk which would join the new pen to the existing pen at the bottom of the garden. In the picture above you can see Mr Poppy from next door checking on the workmanship! Once the pen started to go up it all happened very quickly. The ferals were initially hesitant however Gino led the way and they followed. Once the cat flaps were installed either end of the cat walk, it could be opened up and the other pen accessed. First on the runway was of course Gino with the others soon following him through to see what was at the other end.
After a few weeks the basics were was done. Dave set about putting shelves up and across so that they had another level and could do a spot of bird watching. Finally the furniture went in ready for the summer!
So that was the outside done – now for the cat room inside! Once again despite not being a keen DIY person Dave did us proud cutting out the holes in the boxes to make steps up the wall. The existing shelves were re-carpeted and new scratching posts from Kalven were purchased and kindly installed by them as well!
The cats we have in now are: Gino, who is the only domestic, Layla, Lukey & Leah, Orla, Peaches, Pecan, Pistachio and Mr Peanut who are all ferals.
I have now retired which means the cats are getting used to me being around most of the time. This in turn means they are starting to come closer and have even been known to sit on the settee whilst I am on the computer! Pistachio who was the worst of all of them continued to hiss and spit on a regular basis, however with time and patience she will now come and sit next to me while I have my lunch and if she is a good girl and sits nicely, she knows she will be rewarded. However, Lukey has also realised her little trick and he too will come in and sit nicely! So now I have to have twice as many treats on me! They have loved the pen during the summer – as have we when we could get a seat – and it keeps the birds safe at the same time as I am sure this lot would decimate the bird population given half a chance – so they can look, but not touch! Mr Peanut is the voice for the tabbies and he will remind me when he feels I may have forgotten what time it is and that they all need feeding! Peaches will now let me stroke her and I am working on Mr Peanut. Layla likes to rub around my legs when I am making their tea and Leah will sit on the stairs waiting for a passing stroke as I walk by. Lukey still keeps his distance but will come and sit in the living room with me or on the settee. Orla tends to keep herself to herself as does Pecan. They all however camp outside the bathroom – must just be a cat thing! So these little ones will stay with us now. This is their home and we love them dearly, each and every one having their own little character
Fundraising: Huge thank you to Kelvyn and Ann who continue to fundraise for us throughout the year at Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre and to Crystal Peaks for letting us have the space in the first place. Thank you to those of you who give on a regular basis and to those of you that have given in the past and continue to support us. We started off in December 2004 so this year will be our 13th year – thanks to you all!
Finally – sadly we lost our wonderful cat Raffles in May, just short of his 17th Birthday. A very special cat that no matter how many cats/kittens we brought in to the house he always just accepted them. He was the very first kitten that I hand reared with his brother. Sadly I lost his brother after a few days but Raffles survived. One in a million that will always have a very special place in our hearts. Missy our own little feral used to come up to us but since Raffles has died she has kept her distance. She clearly misses him as much as we do xx
Love Wizz xx