Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Saturday, 27 February 2010

My plans to accompany Pearl the senior Birman pictured above to a medical appointment are thwarted by my own medical infallibilities for weeks until I finally make her an appointment for Thursday evening which I manage to keep . Result! The surgery is deserted and whilst I fiddle about in the street with parking tickets and the like , Nat and Pearl are ushered in , catching me on the hop and somewhat off guard.
So it seems then that our advice is that a bowk a day is good for cats and we should have no concerns about our skinny somewhat dishevelled looking Puss as she is spilled out onto the consulting table . Furballs all over the bed ? No problem, better out than in seeming to be the order of the day . Gloria too skinny ? Not a bit of it says our vet and declares our lady if anything " rather chunky " .
Whatever he has done ... nothing .. apart from relieving us of £20 consultation fee , fair enough I suppose , Pearl seems to have a new lease of life and is strutting round the place like a princess , enjoying the company of Alina aged four who is staying the night , helping her with her colouring -in, snuggling up to the greyhound , who will certainly be kept away from the vet as she would without a shadow of a doubt be declared obese!
Such is life .
Just as well Kitty is in rude health at all times . For one thing she would not countenance climbing into the carrier box and secondly she would not escape without a tummy tuck or a gastric band.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Ypres etc

Nat is off on a four day foray to historic monuments, namely the war graves . I confess I am suffering a variety of Envies. First there is War Grave Envy , and second there is Puppy Envy as sister Laura is getting a shiny new puppy who is to be called Tiny Ted and who is the offspring ( sort of ) of her little Gromit dog , who was introduced for the purpose to her son Harvey's friend Matthew's Border Terrier bitch and hey presto , we have puppies . And the puppies , in the pictures I have seen , look just like cute little puglets . Black puglets , in Tiny Ted's case .

Back to the war graves. Steeped in war grave history myself from an early age when we studied the First World War in History at O level , and the poetry thereof in English Literature and many heart breaking accounts in novel form .
And then I also have my friend Caroline's odd tale of how her mother appeared at her elder sister's bedside after she had given birth at the age of eighteen to her first baby ( a somewhat hushed up affair at our Grammar School I should add , Caroline being eleven and her sister much older but unwed at the time , or possibly wed but in the nick of time , I forget ) and in Caroline's words , " ranting on about the War Graves and refusing to look at the new baby " . It transpired the new Grandma had indeed taken out a packet of snaps of the fields of white crosses and insisted on showing these to the newly delivered young mother , who was probably suffering her own private trauma though her battlefield that of the delivery suite of yesteryear with attendant attitudes and very little in the way of soft lighting and birthing pools or even a supportive partner it would seem, poor soul . Caroline recalled her own horror and said though she tried to distract her mother , and ask her to come and look at the baby , there was to be no distracting , such was the level of fixation on these images of war .

So there we have it .

I am likely to see the puppy soon , but when I proposed on several occasions that I might accompany the History Trip as a parent helper , as I would have dearly loved to have witnessed the spectacle myself , the idea was well and truly squashed by my daughter , who was horrified at the idea of mother cramping her style and possibly also aware of the potential for emotional leakage on such an occasion as this had been considered by ourselves in contemplation of such an excursion .

Ah well , I shall have to arrange such a trip for myself , perhaps with a friend .
D has already made the pilgrimage and regaled me with tales of the effects of all of those crosses , all of those names on the monuments .

If anyone wishes to accompany me , let me know .

Sunday, 7 February 2010

This was the weekend that was ..or wasn't

The weekend before Christmas , just as it started snowing in earnest , as I composed a mental list in the early hours , D became ill and we were unable to take up residence in a holiday retreat in Ambleside in the Lake District as we spent the day in the Emergency Department at the hospital instead , with me still composing mental lists , it being hard to switch off what you're doing , whilst eating surreptitious kitkats as advised by the porter whilst D was having CT scan after scan , and D was doing , well what he was doing .

So this weekend , dates all changed , we packed ourselves and two teens plus big not so skinny greyhound into the teeny silly little green ( "green" though really black ) car plus four small bags ( one each ) plus boots plus coats plus a miniscule bit of food and hardly daring to breathe ,off we sailed into the dusk of last Friday afternoon . Cats fed and watered and pigsters all done and dusted and munching on hay and squeaking to the neighbour who was popping in to tide them over till the arrival of sister at 7 30 am Saturday ( weekend break at the seaside for her ) .

We arrived at seven , guided up a steep hill by the satnav and wondering if the car and its clutch would manage its load up a 1 in 4 gradient with extremely sharp hairpin bends .... but all was well . Spectacles needed to manipulate and mange the key code box and pick our way across the Kirkstone slate slab steps in the dark though our hostess had put on as many lights as possible and our house was well lit and looked like a fairy tale house
twinkling over three storeys and set in stunning grounds above the mist hanging above Ambleside town. We ran around , chased by an excited greyhound eager to practise her cornering skills on the stairs , shouting to each other about the different rooms and places to explore . After dumping
bags and placing a fish and chip order D and I charged off down to the village with Alice to collect food and provisions . Low Carb? Who me? I ordered a chicken and mushroom pie and chips and back up the hill we raced . Nat BBPinned me ( this is so technical for me , I now have a Blackberry ,) saying "Are you far off? I have eaten Paige ...."

Never have carbs eaten round a table with mushy peas on a Friday night tasted quite so good . There is in fact nothing quite so good as sitting round a holiday table at the start of a holiday weekend .. when you have scoped out the beds and the duvets are of excellent quality and there is space galore and a spa day beckons and you are in your favourite place in all the world .

Saturday was Spa Day for me N and P down at Oxleys , part of what used to be and might still be the Satutation Inn , but we were far too excited to notice .

The highlight - skipping across the freezing slates to the Canadian hot tub , then boiling away to our heart's content with not a care in the world , then racing back into a menthol shower. The most fun .. eating a healthy lunch and knowing we had breakfasted on bacon and eggs ...

The treatments were excellent , back massage and facials our choices though P had a hand massage .

I dozed off in the relaxation area pondering the massage therapist's words that I should consider booking a massage at home in a local salon given the knotty state of my back and neck . ( Indeed , I have no objection , though it is fifteen years since I did such a thing . Fifteen years the age of my child . Thus was it ever ) Day Spas Lake District, Day Spa Cumbria, Health Spas Lake District, Spa Day Pa
The weather was stunning . D sunned himself on the patio with dog after their walks.. 2 in all . They ate steak pies and rested lengthily, at least I imagine dog did . D does not rest much . Later we ordered from Zefferellis and then drank Pinot Grigio , and watched a French film while the dog slept for England exhausted in front of the fire . The house was colder than ours so dog had to be covered by a towel as her ears were chilling in a slight draught . Couldn't have that .

Today we "did" Kirkstone Gallery and I contemplated living in Ambleside for ever . It would be good to live above the mist though , as we were , just a short walk down the hill to civilisation and
coffee and scones .

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday