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Heartache of Missing Cat


Bobby, my gorgeous tomcat is missing. It’s been nearly two weeks now, and all hope of him returning is dwindling more rapidly by the day. It’s a horrid feeling, and something I hoped I would never have to experience again after losing Keats three years ago under the same circumstances.

It’s the absence of news that is the most difficult to deal with. If I had found his dead body by the road, at least I would have some closure. Instead, I have to live each day with a permanent ache in my heart, not knowing if he is alive, injured, or dead. Anyone who has experienced this will know exactly how I feel. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

It’s very frustrating. Earlier in the year Bobby came home terrified and with puncture wounds around his head and neck. After some contemplation, I decided he had been attacked by a fox. Could this have happened again, but this time with a different outcome? It’s a very real possibility, especially since, I now suspect Keats was predated by one.

It’s a horrid feeling, and whilst part of me wants to move on and accept he is no longer part of my life, a greater part keeps hoping and wishing for his return. I have even considered getting another cat, or possibly two little kittens, which would undoubtedly ease the burden, but I’m not sure it’s something I want to do. I don’t feel strong enough to risk another heartbreak in the future, nor am I sure I want to put their lives at risk. If Bobby doesn’t return, I will be labeling my land a Fox danger zone.  Not good news for my little cats.

Still, life goes on. We are told what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I don’t feel stronger for the hurt I have suffered in the past, and I don’t feel as though losing Bobby will make me stronger in the future. I feel like one of life’s punch bags.

Signing off . . .












In Memory Of Keats

Blake and Keats

As a self-confessed softie, I found losing my grey tabby cat a very traumatic experience, but despite what I went through, even knowing the outcome, I would go through it again. Life is about the enjoying new experiences, whether they are good or bad. I think we should cherish both equally, since one accentuates the other.

I’d had Keats, affectionately known as Keaty Pie, since he was just 7 weeks old. He disappeared a month after his second birthday, on the day it had been announced the world was to end. It was a curious choice on his part.

I acquired him and his brother, Blake, from a rescue centre having suffered the loss of two other cats. Two weeks before, I’d lost Tingle, the love of my life, having brought him back from hell. (His moving story is told in my novel ‘Shackled’) His replacement was Tennyson. Within 5 days of his arrival, he was hit by a car and killed. Despite being inconsolable (as I said I’m a softie) and announcing I didn’t want any more cats, ever, my husband, Doug, knew better. One day, he handed me two delightful and precious bundles of joy.

And so Keats and Blake arrived. They were so tiny that they fed from the same dish; they slept together with their legs entwined, and they played and chased, rolling around and squeaking until they fell into a sleepy heap.

They were beautiful. I appreciated their presence in my life every single day, and watched with amusement their new adventures. They would race around the garden, one chasing the other; they would climb to the top of a tree and cling to a slender branch wondering how on earth they got there; they would observe the chickens, not understanding those strange-looking feathered creatures or their purpose.

They were a pair, and did everything together. Gradually, though, over those two years, Keats became more and more aloof. He needed less attention from his brother and from us. He was growing up, and to our regret, he had become a brilliant hunter. It was May 2011. The swallows had just arrived, having just survived a difficult journey from South Africa, and were perched in the barn on low beams. Exhausted and hungry, they were easy prey.

Keats brought one into the kitchen, still alive but barely. Doug was furious with him, and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and shook him in a rage. You might say Keats was just being a cat. That’s what Keats thought too. He disappeared days later, never to be seen again.

I was devastated and searched the streets and roads for weeks and months. He was never found. I like to think he is living with a nice family somewhere, although I also fear he could have been killed by a fox since I have reason to believe my big ginger moggy recently survived an attack. It’s something I will never have the answer to, and perhaps in this instance, it is the preferred option.

Losing a pet is a fact of life, and despite the hurt he unwittingly caused, I would still go through it again. Without the negative periods in our life, we’ll never learn how to appreciate the positives. And those two years were a positive, amongst the best in my life. I tell myself I shouldn’t be too greedy.

God Bless Keats.

Bobby’s secret life


This morning, Bobby did not arrive at the door, trilling for his breakfast in his usual happy fashion. I found him in the conservatory huddled in a ball with blood dripping from his ear. He was very traumatised.

He is a big ginger moggy of about 8kg, and normally a very easy-going cat with a wonderful nature. He loves attention, and whilst he is confident and can be a bit ‘playful’ he is never intentionally aggressive with us or the other cats.

When I picked him up and he growled and hissed. I stroked his back and strands of fur lifted from his body. He was very stressed. For a while, he was on my lap, but then I had work to do. I placed him on a buffet by the fire, and after growling and hissing some more, he settled into a sleep. Four hours on, he still hasn’t moved.

The only injury he appears to have is a punctured ear, which has stop bleeding. I hope he is all right. I’ll see what happens over the next few hours.

It makes me wonder what happened. The wound to his ear is from a bite, which makes me think it wasn’t another cat, especially since I live remotely and do not know of any other cats living locally. Was it a badger, a fox, or an American mink? From his behaviour, I believe he has been cornered, possibly for a while and until dawn broke. It has taken a lot out of him.

I’m sure he will be okay. He just needs time to sleep and recover.

His world is very unfamiliar to us. Sometimes I think it would be interesting to witness his adventures, so I could see what animal life reside on my small patch of Lincolnshire; at other times I think I am better off not knowing. Watching his victim take his last breath is not something I could enjoy.

Signing off . . .

Cat Litter Tray Trials


I think from my last cat blog, and my nighttime antics, it was obvious I love cats. At times, though, they do test my devotion to the limit. My latest adventure has been with one of my other little boys, Blake, a four year old black tabby.

Blake loves to drink water. He has been checked out by a vet and doesn’t have kidney problems, diabetes, urinary infections, or anything else. He has a lack of the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the body’s retention of water. It is a manageable condition so long as he always has access to water and a litter tray. He does – problem solved.

About a week or so ago, he decided he doesn’t like to use his tray. He will go anywhere he pleases, behind the sofa, in the corner of the kitchen and on electrical devises being charged. Since he has very dilute urine due to his excessive drinking habits, it’s not always easy to find. I have spent many an hour crawling on my hands and knees, pressing my nose to the carpet and feeling it for wet spots with my fingertips. Does he think this is funny? I tell you, it is not!

One night, my husband had had enough. Since we had successfully house trained our puppy in about 4 weeks using the crate method, we decided to do the same with Blake. He had been outside for a couple of hours by the time bedtime arrived, and was placed inside a cat carrier containing a wodge of newspaper, which is, believe it or not, his preferred sleeping material. The instant the door closed, he sprayed at the back of the cage.

Expletive! Expletive! Expletive!

Hubby decided to teach him a lesson and moved the stack of sprayed paper to the rear so he would have to cope with the smell. This, we thought, would act as a reminder not to do it again. So then, having put some fresh paper inside at the base, we returned him to his bed.

To say he was displeased was an understatement. Using his teeth and claws, he shredded the paper in seconds. Even when his task was complete, he carried on, shaking the bits from side to side in his jaw. He just wouldn’t stop. Maybe seeing our dog at the other side, watching with a bemused look on his face, didn’t help, so we turned the cage around to face the wall so they could not see each other.

Finally, with all his adrenaline depleted, he settled. By the morning, he had forgiven us . . . and he hadn’t wet his bed.

The following night, I assumed hubby was going to do the same. Blake, though, had other ideas and pulled at his heartstrings. Apparently, the little cat was curled up on his sweatshirt and purring, so he left him alone. And guess what? Yes, another puddle on the floor. Grrr!

So what now? I could leave Blake outside for longer – although he has an amazing way of holding it when he wants – or I could keep a constant eye on him. Since I wasn’t able to do either, I decided to return my attention to the tray. I remembered, when he was a kitten he didn’t like standing in the litter. He got over it eventually, but it did make me wonder if his dislike had returned. So, I covered the litter in a sheet of newspaper. It worked. Blake has started to use his tray again!

And guess what . . . he’s now decided he prefers going outside. And they say cats have a sense of superiority . . .

Until next time . . .

My feline friend . . . or foe?


Don’t get me wrong, I love cats. What’s not to like?

Imagine this: You’ve had a stressful day and do not want contact with anyone. You switch the television on and flop onto the sofa. The cat places itself on your lap and rubs its face into your hand. It kneads and purrs, kneads and purrs. It looks up at you. Its expression is filled with love. It’s waited all day for this, for you. You are its world.

They are undoubtedly wonderful creatures, but . . .

Why do I find myself being awoken in the middle of the night by Mr Demanding! The first thing I feel is a gentle claw at my nostrils, my lips, or my eyelids, prising them open. I grumble and shake him away, and bury my head under the covers. But he is so persistent! He seems to know the exact spot of my eyes, despite the sheet, and tries again to get my attention, this time with more gusto. What he doesn’t realise, is that he has it. I just don’t want to play with him, nor do I want to get up and feed him!

Mr Demanding is not to be deterred. He extends his claws, and believe me when I say they are long, strong and sharp, and drags them through my hair and across my scalp.

I stifle a scream so as not to awaken hubby, who, I hasten to add never gets this treatment, and fling back the covers, bolt upright and glare at the cat sat on the bedside cabinet.

He looks at me as though butter wouldn’t melt. His expression is so adoring, and he purrs. I tell you, he purrs! ‘I love you mamma,’ he says, ‘I love you!’

Like the fool I am, I leap out of bed, but I am not going to give him what he wants, I am craftier than that, I am going to put him outside, into the cold, the British winter type of cold, with the wind and rain and the freezing temperatures.

The sight of me heading downstairs turns Mr Demanding’s expression to one of ecstasy. Despite being four years old, he looks like a kitten again, full of joyous expectation and innocence. I snigger at the sight. I know what’s coming.

I head into the kitchen, pretending to go for his food. He doesn’t follow me! He looks at me, gleeful and superior and scampers into another room. I chase after him, my frustrations rising, my patience wearing thin. I want my bed. It’s all right for him, he sleeps all day, undisturbed!

He trots away and looks over his shoulder. ‘Can’t catch me!’

I move faster. So does he, around the furniture and through the rooms, and all the time maintaining his kittenish expressions. I dive onto him. He gets away. I stumble, catching myself as I fall. Unrepeatable words leave my mouth.

I’ve had enough. Muttering under my breath, I go back to bed and bury myself under the covers, properly this time so he can’t get to me. All is quiet. I smile. Mr Demanding has had his bit of fun. I fall asleep, and remain in deep welcome sleep until . . .

He’s back! That butter-wouldn’t-melt cat is back! This time I move swifter, grab him by his neck, and stomp downstairs and throw him outside.

Peace at last. I gaze at hubby, sleeping like a baby. Why does he never get the treatment! Why is it always me!

Tonight Mr Demanding is not staying inside. But there again, maybe he’ll purr and knead, maybe he’ll look at me through those big round eyes, maybe he’ll tell me how much he loves me.

I’m such a sucker!