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

Monday, 31 May 2010

Kirren Island ? Kirrin Island ....ok.

After an early night when I inadvertantly dozed off after a hefty weekend over-indulging , egged on by sister, I woke at some unGodly hour unclear as to why a strange noise was happening in my bedroom . A ringing in my ear. As a heaved myself to a sitting position a book, a cat , and a dog all fell to the floor.
The mobile indicated that it was indeed not terribly late and that the teens had been ringing me from Evolution.
I Blackberry Messaged them ( how impressive am I with this latest of late technology at my fingertips? ) .... did you ring me?
The phone re-rings .
I press the green bar and out blurts a song . I recognise Paulo Nuttini singing squeakily in the far distance and I lie back and watch and listen  as the cat collects her thoughts on the floor and eyes me up as her future bed partner. Am I worth it? the dog has already made her decision and is back in situ. Paolo sings on . He is now joined by a gang of teens. After a minute or three the song ends and the phone connection with it .
Within minutes I am asleep but by two am I am awake and reading Rose Tremain and again at four am and seven .
This morning I note via a Twitter message that Kirren Island is indeed Kirrin Island .
This for your information the following :Enid Blyton - The Famous Five including why not make your own Kirrin Island.
After a night like last night I am tempted.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Escape to Kirren Island

Friday Morning dawns brightly after a dull week and for the first time in nine days my headache is strangely absent .

I load my silly green ( credentially, rather than visually) car with essentials and drive off to Hexham as soon as the teens have left the premises bound for their Physics exam .
Desert Island Discs starts up and I am soon swearing heavily and loudly at the world and the Nazis who sent Stephanie someone , known thereafter as Steve, on KinderTransport to the UK , to be fostered by Auntie and Uncle for the duration . Fortunately Uncle is GoldDust and Auntie introduced her to music  and her parents survive the war . Stephanie is of course not unscathed by any means, suffering depression throughout her life until she is suddently freed from this burden  in her sixties. Despite having an autistic son to care for she is so successful in business that she is able to give away fifty million pounds.

I meet my sister in Hexham and we drive on to The Lakes , stopping at Melmerby for lattes and scones en route.
By lunchtime we are in Ambleside, the sun is shining , and by six pm we are walking at the waterfall at Kirkstone , looking at the obelisks .

We try for minutes at a time to take a photographic record of the two of us .
It is not a success.
My sister has the results and on her return to her neck of the woods ( she is currently staying with me) she will forward on .

The teens ask by phone where we are but don't pay attention to our replies and do not find out the details of our running away to Kirren Island until Saturday afternoon .
A lovely escape. We should do this more often . Everyone deserves to escape sometimes.

Friday, 21 May 2010

New Location

Well here we are at our new location and hopefully you have all been able to find us somehow or other.

Many thanks for the new suggestions for names. I was really tempted by those with Feline in the title , and almost went with Feline Minder Finder which was one of Silliyak's suggestions, mainly as I had been so keen on the Feline word.

Earlier we had gone so far as to buy the host domain for the name CopyCatCare as I loved that .

This one was D's idea.
I've been suffering insomnia, partly just the time of year , change in the weather , but also partly the shock of being accused of stealing someone else's business idea and name and the upset of having to change everything when I've been using the name cat calls for years albeit in a very small way in this area. Coupled with wondering how it could possibly hurt someone who has a much bigger ( and probably far more professional ) business in London .
So when I woke at four am and saw D's list of new names including CopyCatCare-replicating the care you provide your cats at home whilst you are away- it made me laugh and think , well , a certain irony there!

However in the end my sister suggested CatMinders and I kept being drawn to that by its simplicity and by the fact that I could hear myself saying it on the phone whereas the other two were a little more cumbersome .

So CatMinders we are and I shall spend the weekend re designing business cards and trying to get the website up and running though I am not sure whether anyone ever really used it. I think I operate mainly by word of mouth and have about three or four customers all told ! Suits me very well .

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New Blog Name

After much deliberation and suggestions from friends and cat lovers from far and wide , many of which had to be turned down because they are already in use , we will probably use CatMinders as our new name or some version of this .

I will explain the reasons for this on the new blog once we get set up and many thanks to all for your very helpful suggestions.

So , when you can no longer find us at you need to be looking at though we havent yet registered this new name yet . If in the meantime someone else registers this name we will simply chose another version of catminders with a number. As we did with catcalls adding the 13. I trust though that you will find us!

If you can't locate us, don't give up , we will be there, use my email address and contact me that way !

We should be moving by the weekend .
Just giving people who read at the weekends a chance to catch up.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

CatCalls-The Blog

CatCalls-The Blog

It is with regret that I have to inform you that the CatCalls blog as it stands will have to change.

This has come about as a result of contact from a Ms Jane Matthews (aka Lucinda Lace) who unknown to me has also been running a cat minding service by the name of Cat Calls ( same name though a gap between the two names) in London.
Ms Matthews sadly does not feel that our two services can co exist and as she bought the trademark Cat Calls in 2009 I am in the position of having to rename my services. Ms Matthews operates at : readers of the blog in the London area requiring a cat sitting service may wish to avail themselves of her services.

As yet I am undecided as to the name of the new local service here in the North East : Any ideas gratefully received!!

As regular readers know , I operate a very small scale cat sitting service , providing cat sitting for a very small number of regular customers, and the whole operation is more of a hobby than a business enterprise.

The blog which started when I was ill with pneumonia and unable to do anything very much apart from write and read other blogs and the daily newspaper( where I first discovered blogs and the art of blogging) will continue therefore with a different name and once that is decided I will explain how to navigate to the new blog!
I know that the blog now attracts a very small number of regular followers ,some as far afield as San Jose and Chicago, most of whom probably have very little connection to my cat minding activities and hope that you will find the new blog interesting and that a new lease of life will prove a bonus for all.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


And then , I am in Boots , spending £4 no less. I am tired , yawning in the queue having had four and a half hour's sleep , been swimming , had lunch in the garden with friends , and now Nat and I are building up to a moment in Comet when we must steel ourselves to the task of chosing new cordless landlines to replace our horrors that reduce all callers' voices ( and ours ) to a whisper . I hate phones much prefer texting but needs must . We are planning a Starbucks coffee and cake first and then we shall glance at the phones and decide which are the least horrid and at the same time the cheapest . Perhaps not the cheapest . The least plasticy looking , the heaviest feeling and most substantial will suit me but to my mind they are all ghastly . What I want , but am not permitted, is an old fashioned Ring Ring job , none of this three for the price of one cordless thing complete with answer phone . I hanker after the sort we used to have , back in the day when Dr Finlay's Casebook was on the telly and Janet McPherson answered the phone. Black and dusty with a coiled string attached. I live in the past . I do have a memory, but it has given up on yesterday and last week .

So I am at the checkout in Boots and I feed my Boots Advantage Card into the cardreader on autopilot and then my credit card as I have no cash . I had not planned on spending only four quid but my other proposed purchases were not in stock .
The middle aged woman serving me smiles as I yawn and then looks embarrased and slightly upset as she reads the message that shows on the slip that appears from the cardreader. She shows it to her younger colleague on the next checkout . They both glance at me giving me the once over and then smile reassuringly at me , noting my tired expression and the teen daughter. We are considering aloud what we will have in Starbucks . I am stifling another yawn .
" Sorry about this , but there is a security check request" says the elder assistant . I'll have to get a phone from the back . I'm so sorry. " Off she trundles and returns , applying her spectacles and appearing unfamiliar with the workings of the telephone . She has to punch in the long number from the credit card and stumbles twice with this . Nat would have snatched it from her had she been me. " Here mother , give it here ! " Eventually she gets through to a Voice and has to walk away from us as the noise on the shop floor is too great . Or maybe she has been trained to leave our presence so that she can describe us . " Smart teen and mother a bit the worse for wear . Smart enough clothes but looks like she could do with a good night's sleep . A bit red eyed. Oh definitely a shady character . Yes , four quid. I know ... Crooks . "
Finally , and full of apologies she returns and hands the phone over to me where I am asked a couple of security questions and then the purchase goes through , but I am requested to call a number before making any further purchases on my card .
Hey up I think . Clearly the assistant is mortified and can't decide whether I have overspent on my limit or it's nothing or what ? I feel sorry for her as she aoplogises over and again .

I return to the car and make the call .
It transpires that my credit card details have been stolen and she asks me about various transactions I havent made but that have gone through on my card. ARGH !!

I am so impressed though that Visa have picked this up so fast . I don.t know how this is done . I say how clever I think they are and ask how they do it . It seems that this is because the thief bought a £15 o2 top up which I have not previously done which has alerted Visa. Clever stuff. Something to be said for Big Brother?


There's something wonderfully inspiring about Insomnia.
Or, let me rephrase that , there can be something quite wonderful about it . I'm sure that after a couple of nights or so it begins to pall .
Saturday night I fell asleep a little earlier than usual and then woke after a wierd dream/nightmare featuring both of my long dead Grandmothers. It wasn't so much the content of the dream that was disturbing . Indeed one of the Grandmas slipped me a packet of Orkney fudge all sellophane wrapped and it was chocolate raisin flavoured too ( can I say more?) . The other Grandma was seated at a Garden Table with me and some other people , outside. Although diminuitive in stature in real life and by the end rather shaky on her pins , in the dream she stood up to a height of around six feet and stalked off into a house and we all watched her go , watching the back of her dress for signs of wear and tear . I remember thinking, she is almost a hundred years old and her dress is impeccable, a zig zag pattern reminding me of my migraines . Black and green.
No , what was disturbing was the anxiety overcoming me after I woke. I put the light on and the dog gave me a hard stare and sighed heavily . Half past three. I picked up and finished my book Sarah Dunant .. something about Snow storms in a Hot Climate . Then took myself off downstairs to make a milky coffee and find a piece of Christmas shortbread . The guinea pigs squeaked in a minor way cognisant of the fact that four am is not six am and nowhere near ready for Breakfast ( mystery) . The cats dozed on .
Back in the bedroom my blackberry located friends online still awake. Bliss!!! Soothing conversations via text. Anything is possible now . Technology amazes and delights.
I pick up a book of short stories. Constitiutional by Helen Simpson. I read on until eight am and then sleep for twenty minutes and then fall asleep for twenty minutes. My Uncle Ronnie , also dead these past few years appears and takes both my hands in his and tells me something about a cousin of my Dad's , Elsie which makes no sense.
I have met three dead relatives this night during this time of my life when crisis is happening .
A blog post will clarify this as soon aspossible.

Thank you for continuing to follow me.

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday