Shocking cat visit

On this morning I set out as usual on my round of cat visits and dog walks,  and I started with a visit to a house just a few streets away. This young couple have two lovely silky black and white cats,  and these cats come and go freely through their cat flap.

The owners had set off for a short holiday in France and I was on cat visit and feeding duty in their absence.

When I arrived I was shocked to find that the garden patio door glass had been smashed and, what seemed like, a million glass fragments were scattered all over the tiled kitchen floor, and onto the furniture and worktops. What a mess. There was no sign of the cats but that is often the case as they enjoy their freedom.

I immediately called Paul to join me and lend assistance and he arrived just a few minutes later. Paul first checked to see if there were any blood stains on the floor as this would indicate that the cats may have injured themselves on the glass fragments. No blood was found. We also did a quick scan of the house to see if there was any damage or signs of burglary. Fortunately all looked OK but doors had been opened suggesting that the intruders had scoured the house.

The intruder camera system in the kitchen had been disabled and also outside the intruder detection lights had been removed from the walls.

So Paul set to brushing up the glass whilst i reported the break to the police. As we had already gathered most details we were able to answer most of the police questions. They took details of the owners plus our own contact details. They said that a crime officer would contact the owners when they returned from their holiday. They also provided me with a crime reference number which is needed when reporting burglaries to the home insurance help line.

I then called the owners in France to relay the bad news. They were also shocked but relieved that we were there and that the cats seemed unharmed, and no obvious valuables were missing. They took note of the crime number as their next immediate action was to phone the insurance help line to arrange for a security team to secure the property by applying emergency repairs to the doors. They also immediately cut short their holiday to return home.

So whilst it was a shocking incident it could have been much worse. The cats were uninjured and seemingly indifferent to the events. Nothing was stolen and the insurance repairs made good all of the damage. For this the owners were very thankful.

A Slippery Garden Visitor

Paul was doing his usual weekly lawn mow, and, unexpectedly, he came  running into the house shouting “Gerri come outside quickly”. I thought “what on earth is going on”. Anyway it turned out that there was a snake on the lawn, about two feet long, and luckily our garden visitor had escaped the lawnmower. However, on closer inspection it appeared to have been bitten as there were bloody fang marks on its body. The cats were milling about and one looked particularly guilty 😉  So we believe that one of our cats had attacked the poor little creature.  Paul managed to grab his camera and take a couple of pictures.

We went onto Google and confirmed that our visitor is a Grass Snake and these reptiles are protected. Grass Snakes feed on amphibians and as we have a garden pond the snake’s presence made more sense. We managed to keep the cats at bay long enough to to enable our snake friend to escape. We kept an eye out for it for a while but alas never to be seen again. 

I hope the little fella managed to survive OK.

A few days later I told the story to our local shop keeper. She was horrified, and she told me a tale of when she was a child in India where a variety of snakes were commonplace. When I say she was horrified I’m not exaggerating as she has a deep fear of snakes.

I “think” I managed to reassure here that our snake was a harmless little soul.

A day to remember

This day turned out to be one out of the ordinary. I’d gone to visit the cats Sasha and Poppy. The routine was a little unusual as first I had to catch the cats and this wasn’t easy as they were very elusive. I had to catch them as Sasha required her daily insulin injection.

Before the hunt started I collected their bags of dried food and fresh litter and as I did so I slipped on a small wet (cat wet?) patch on the wooden floor. Nothing out of the ordinary you’d think but it felt wrong, very wrong. Fortunately Paul was with me and he helped me onto the sofa.

It quickly became clear that my leg was broken.

An ambulance soon arrived and I was trussed up and plugged into the gas and air so was feeling quite relaxed. The ambulance crew were also relaxed and thought all was straighforward and that I’d be home for tea later that day.

So off I went to Wexham Park leaving Paul to catch Sasha to give her the  medication.

But where were the cats? As the paramedics were in and out frequently they had left the front door open. Paul searched high and low but couldn’t find them so concluded that they’d made a bid for freedom. It took him two days to find them. They were spooked by all of the kerfuffle and had hidden inside a drawer under the bed. Paul was very relieved!

I didn’t get home for tea as expected. The fracture turned out to be rather serious and it was four days later that I managed to escape from Wexham Park and another 11 months before I was discharged from care.

I count myself lucky that I had close family to care for me and to take care of all my animals. Some of the other patients on the fracture ward had much worse injuries than mine and no home support to fall back on.

Harry the new arrival

Harry the cat, or to address him by his formal name “Prince Harry”, is a rescue kitten to came to us in September 2015 from the Cat and Kitten Rescue Home in St albans. When we visited Harry at his foster home he was a very confident little 15 week old kitten but that changed when he was moved into our home. Confidence was converted into caution; lots of caution.

At first Harry cowered in the corner of a bedroom. There he stayed for over a week and refused all temptations to emerge.

But he gradually began to gain some confidence and came out to play. It’s easy to forget how small an 15 week kitten is. 

Of course Harry is much bigger now, and much more confident. In fact he is easily the most confident of our three cats. I’ll post some more up-to-date photos of Harry another time.

Sneaky and Jeeves

Sneaky and Jeeves were our two Golden Retrievers.

Sneaky was born on 2nd May 1996 and was given the pedigree name Thornygold Pervinca, of sire Kennelridge Goody Two Shoes and dam Kennelridge Marieka of Thornyegold.  The children decided that she was going to be a rather sneaky little puppy and so the name Sneaky was agreed, even though her sire was Goody Two Shoes.

Sneaky had a fabulously gentle temperament and that was the main reason for choosing her as Robert was only four years old when Sneaky arrived. However it took a few years before Sneaky acknowledged that Robert was higher up the animal pecking order than her.

Sneaky also proved to have excellent discipline and went on to become an Obedience Champion.

Sneaky died on 26th May 2011, aged 15. Her ashes are scattered in the garden, next to the swing seat under out oldest tree.

Four years after Sneaky arrived she was joined by Jeeves. Jeeves was born on 17th April 2000 and was given the pedigree name of Persanner Butler Henderson, sire Ben of Codicote and dam Kizimyjo Linette with Pepsanner. This time we all decided to use the pedigree name to help with the naming choice and so Jeeves The Butler was duly named.

Jeeves was much darker than Sneaky having a coat colour that was popular long ago.

Jeeves was also an Obedience Champion. He was much faster and stronger than Sneaky and we had become much more expert in dog training techniques. (Rather like bringing up children, experience counts.)

Jeeves died on 9th August 2012, aged 12. His ashes are also scattered in the garden, next to the swing seat under out oldest tree.

The canine cradle to grave photos for Sneaky and Jeeves.