Friday, 2 December 2011

Abandoned Cats - Comment by Sarah!

This comment was left on the blog-post I made about Abandoned cats.  I think the information is really useful, so I've turned it into an actual post!  Thanks to Sarah for writing it and giving me permission to include her comment here! ;-)

Good for you! We got asked by the local shelter to take on 6 feral kitties whose feral mum had done a runner, so they could be socialised enough to be homeable [I used to work there so I'm muggins] - we ended up keeping 3. Kittens aren't going out like they used to, not in this economic climate. And they are expensive to neuter and have vaccinated [specially round here where feline leucaemia is endemic and an expensive extra vaccination]. The RSPCA DO offer a free neutering service though, and sometimes so does the Cat Protection League, or at least some help with it. It's always worth while asking! We prefer to save up and stick with our own vet but we have a large enough house that over winter it's no hardship for those waiting to be done [and I like girls to be about 7-9 months anyway so they're a bit bigger].
Can I mention that ebay gives the opportunity to donate an extra pound or two to cat shelters when you buy through them. It's called Cat Chat

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Abandoned Cats and What to Do

I promised I was going to write this yesterday, but I failed to realise that all the librarians had gone on strike too, and so couldn't get at a computer!  (Power to the people, anyway!)

In a way I'm grateful for the delay, as it's given me time to think.  Initially, I was going to write the standard, 'cats are often abandoned and this is bad' thing - but that's been done to death!  Instead I thought I'd write a small piece on how to care for said cats if and when you find some...

We've lived in our flat for about four years now, and in that time we've had eight cats dumped on us.  (Two litters, four kittens each... sounds less dramatic that way - but hey!)  The first litter were split in half.  We took two in, and our neighbour took in the other two.  The two we had were pretty sick initially (and the two we didn't take in eventually got dumped again later on anyway.  So we also ended up with those two cats).  The frist two kittens were eight weeks old, had severe worms, fleas, weren't completely weaned for some reason, and were under-nourished.

The first step (obviously) is to obtain a litter tray, some litter, and some cat food.  Irrespective of whether or not you intend to keep the kittens long-term, I'd recommend getting these things at the very least!  I'd also suggest you buy some Lactol - this is basically follow-on milk for cats.  It contains a good mixture of nutrients and settles a kitten's stomach really well!  You can buy this stuff from most supermarkets and petshops.

I would recommend calling the RSPCA and Cat Protection League as soon as possible - if merely to inform them of the fact that you've found some kittens or a cat.  A cat might well be microchipped - so I'd take the cat straight to your local vet so they can scan for any ID!  Here is my only caveat - Don't be surprised if the RSCPA, vets and cat rescue people tell you that they cannot take the cats/kittens off your hands.  They're usually over-run with strays and abandoned cat, and sometimes simply don't have the resources to take any more in.  You might well have to care and re-home the little critters yourself!

So, take them to your local vets.  If they are micro-chipped, then the vets will usually take them off your hands and set about reuniting them with their owners.  HowEver, if not, you'll probably have to take them home again.

The first two kittens we had needed treated for their fleas and worms, and we also had their first round of vaccinations done.  In addition to the standard medical stuff, the vet can also begin to spread the word that you have kittens that need re-homing, and if needs be, they might well know of an independant re-homing centre or foster care network that can take the kittens off your hands.

If you can get them moved on, great!  If not, you might have some little furry guests for a while!  Don't panic!  Kittens are pretty easy to look after once they're healthy.  They need food, the litter cleaning out, and some supervision (the second litter of kittens we had used to climb the curtains on occasion!).  But other than that, they're pretty low maintanance.  They're also fun and desperately cute!  I coped with eight cats and I'm severely allergic to them, so it can be done!  Just don't let the kittens outside until they're fully vaccinated!

When trying to rehome your kittens, ask everyone!  Put notices up at your local vets, let your friends, family and colleagues know and ask them to spread the word.  I would recommend that you don't give the kittens away for free.  A willingness to invest money in a pet from the very beginning shows the prospective owner's dedication to caring for their pet.  We asked for £30 per kitten.  You don't have to ask that much, but we were also caring for the mother cat, and were putting the money toward having her spayed.

I suppose that leads to the last piece of advice.  Always make sure the prospective owners you find for your stray cats are willing to have them neutered and vaccinated.  Otherwise you just end up with more homeless kittens!

So that's it!  Hope it helps!  Just remember, if you do find any stray cats/kittens contact the RSPCA and your local vets as soon as possible, they offer better advice than me at the end of the day!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

First Ever Post... About Craft Central!

So I'm currently sat in my neighbour and friend's flat setting up a blog instead of doing all the other things I'm actually meant to be doing.  I do this sort of thing a lot!  I've decided that my first blog post should be about my aforementioned friend, as she lives in Craft Central - the spiritual home of all crafts!

My friend set up back in August (we think... probably), and since then she has established a network of Crafters over various social networking sites, and has encouraged even the most idle and flighty of souls ( to do something creative!  (If you want to cheap laugh, some of my attempts at arts and crafts are up on the site...  Go on, you know you want to!)

The All Craft Blog is pretty self-explanatory, but I intend to give you small idea of what Craft Central is like!

At some point in the distant past, my neighbour used to have a living room.  Now it's a workshop with a sofa and TV in it!  There's a sewing machine on the dining table, jars full of buttons, beads, and various charms dotted around, there's bags full of felt and sections of various fabrics everywhere... there's a guillotine (like the ones you used to get in school!), homemade bunting, embroidery hoops, threads, and ribbons!  I'm out of breath and I still haven't covered everything!

At the moment, my neighbour is working on a Recycle and Re-use Christmas.  She's currently making little felt Christmas trees, complete with beads for decoration and little felt stars on top, and is also making festive bunting adorned with something called a Blanket Stitch!

Basically, I thought I'd dedicate this first post to my Craft Central for two reasons.  Firstly, my neighbour let me set up this blog on her computer, as I don't have one (we don't back in the Dark Ages), and secondly, because I truly love the enthusiasm and passion she has for Craft Central!  Whilst it's true she has spent some money on all the various materials she uses, it's the energy and time she puts into making stuff that really astonishes me.  I mean, who wouldn't want to receive a hand-made gift for Christmas?  Especially a personalised gift that's been made by a friend?

Not only that, but she showcases the work of others for free!  In the words of my neighbour, 'It's all good!'

So, this has been my first ever blog post!  If you like the sound of The All Craft Blog, then please go and pay the site a visit!  (I'm not certain whether or not the link to the site will work from here, but you can copy and paste it into a search engine!  I won't even charge you for doing it, I'm that nice!)

Apologies for any typos or grammatical errors... but my editorial team is comprised of a cat and a stuffed toy named Jupiter.  True story.