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The latest newsletter from your award winning charity that has kept you informed about the cats in Waltham Forest for over fifteen years.
Newsletter Number 44 Autumn / Winter 2018
The nights have started to draw in as we head towards winter once again. I checked back on the last newsletter and I complained about the winter last year that seemed to go on and on. It only improved once we reached April. Having said that, what a wonderful summer we all enjoyed, the warmest on record, I think I’m right in saying. Let’s hope and pray that this year will be a little more clement.
One of Cat and Kitten Care’s keenest supporters, Gail Courtney, has been friends on facebook with a couple from Luton in Bedfordshire called Joan and Rob How. Since our move to Ware, Gail, put them in touch with us and they have brought round a great deal of various makes of cat food, on more than one occasion, which our cats have loved. They are a really nice couple who have been along to one of our table top sales to lend a hand for the day selling the goods. That gave them a chance to meet up with Gail for the first time.
Thanks Joan and Rob for all your contributions and indeed thanks to Gail for putting them in touch with us.
Our new family of Hens
On the 9th of June we picked up four rescue chickens that were due to go for slaughter that very day. What a sad sight, it broke my heart to see what mans greed and intensive farming can do. We are all at fault for wanting cheap meat and eggs when if we were prepared to pay that little bit extra for a free range chicken and eggs maybe there wouldn’t be so much suffering.
All the hens rescued that day needed to have their claws clipped and pecking injuries treated. Many of them had little or no feathers especially on the wings, chest and backside. However there were many kind people gathered at the collection point to give these chickens a good home.
We named our four hens Maud, Mabel Doris and Nanny B. Nanny B was named after my Mum because when she laughed she sounded just like a chicken. (I could not resist it). We bought them home in two large cat baskets and settled them into their new home. They just stood there not knowing what to do. They had never seen grass, smelt fresh air or had any freedom in their lives or seen any sights or sounds that we all just take for granted. These birds are eighteen months old.
They had never pecked or scratched around on the ground only at each other. They had spent their entire lives in a small cage that held 40 – 90 chickens and they were there to do one thing and one thing only. Lay eggs. And when they were considered past their best, they were sent to slaughter to make pet food, meat pies etc.
For three weeks we had four very happy birds learning the pleasures of scratching about in the dust and dirt, enjoying grass cuttings, kale, strawberries, tomatoes as well as a constant supply of chicken pellets and water, coming to the fence to see you whenever you called their names. We eventually saw their new feathers start to come through and in return we got fresh eggs delivered each day. This, we found out, was from three of them. Maud never laid because she was egg bound. I took her to see our chicken friendly vet because not all vets have the knowledge needed to treat poorly chickens.
Sadly there was nothing they could do for her as the shell had pierced her gut and she was extremely unwell. It was a learning curve for us and we now know the signs to look for. Our four chickens became three as Maud had to be put to sleep but for those three weeks she was happy and free, with the sunshine on her back, something she would never had experienced had she not been rescued by the British Hen Welfare Trust.
We have since adopted a further four, Pam, Daisy Ruby and Rosy who were all in an equally shocking state but are all now looking much better and enjoying life to the full. We average 5-6 eggs per day from them.
Life in Ware
What a summer, hot weather, parched garden but a fantastic variety of fledgling birds in the garden such as blue tits, sparrows, goldfinches, greenfinches, robins, chaffinches, woodpeckers and what seemed like hundreds of starlings. The downside of living on a farm complex is rats looking for food whilst they wait for the wheat to be harvested and the farmer shooting a family of foxes at the end of the lane where we live, a necessary evil I know, when most of the people living here keep chickens. According to a neighbour 14 chickens were killed in one afternoon last year by foxes.
On the plus side we have been entertained, on many occasions, by the red kite in the skies around this area. They are indeed a magnificent site. When we walk the dogs around the many different footpaths we often see skylarks flying up from the fields of wheat Pheasants often join in with the dawn chorus in the summer months at silly o’clock and what we’ve especially noticed is how friendly other dog walkers, joggers and horse riders are always wishing us a jolly good morning and generally passing the time of day.
John and Norma, our pied wagtails, also had a young family and used to bring them to our garden to feed but sadly one day John disappeared. We think he may have been dinner for the sparrow hawk or maybe he ran off with Edwina. Who knows?
We also had two families of sparrows one in a nest box, the other made their home in the eves above the kitchen roof. They had two families each this summer and we had the pleasure of watching them fledge. It was like having our very own edition of spring watch playing out before our eyes.
We had a wild rabbit sitting on the drive one morning and have now put a dish of water out there for it. Charlie also spotted a monk jack deer one morning when he went for the paper.
Our two resident hedgehogs are having a whale of a time searching for slugs, snails and worms not forgetting the beetles of which there are hundreds. We also give them a couple of plates of cat food which are placed at either end of the garden. Mrs T loves to visit her old friends the cats and rabbits, you see her every evening running along just as it’s getting dark. Every morning I have the job of sweeping up the stones where she has tried to dig underneath the enclosure to see her old pals.
The cats didn’t enjoy the hot summer one bit. We have tried our best to keep them as cool as possible. On the not so hot days they do enjoy sunbathing before eating and dropping off to sleep. Mm In the next life I think I’ll come back as a cat.
We had a cat toy donated to us earlier on this year. It runs on batteries and when you push the button a tail wizzes round giving the cats hours of fun chasing and jumping on it, sometimes trying to kill it. It’s costing a fortune in batteries but worth every penny.
One of our regular readers and helpers, June Brewster, sent me a rather lovely piece which was for a cross stitch picture and involved a Siamese cat asleep on top of a pile of books. Now I tried my best to copy and paste the advert into the newsletter but my pc skills let me down and I failed miserably. However, I am happy to print out the narrative and I hope you will all be able to picture it. The words said “ Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair. Top of piano, window ledge, in the middle, on the edge. Open drawer, empty shoe, anybody’s lap will do. Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks. Anywhere! Cats don’t care. Cat’s sleep anywhere.
Thanks for sharing that with us June and please accept my apologies for failing to adequately copy the piece.
Dora (The Explorer)
A couple of days before our last table top sale I had a call from a lady called Olivia. She and her dog had found a cat laying in some bushes in Walthamstow. It was a very hot and sunny day and the cat looked in very poor health. Olivia took the cat to Neil and it turned out to be an elderly cat that was very dehydrated. She was put on a drip and spent the next week in the veterinary hospital. She had some blood tests done and was found to be suffering from thyroid problems and was put on medication as this is a common problem with elderly cats She is thought to be around 16 years old. Olivia named the cat Dora.
Dora was now well enough to leave hospital but had nowhere to go because Olivia was in the middle of moving and renovating her new home. She phoned to ask if I knew of anywhere that would foster her until she was in a position to take her.
Dora has now been living in Ware for just over two months and has settled in so well to her country retreat that I offered to take her on as a permanent guest.
Olivia gave it some thought and decided that it may well be the best option for Dora, given her age, and the fact that she has settled in so well and to uproot her once again may well unsettle her.
Olivia has very kindly offered to contribute towards Dora’s care which is a great help to cat and kitten care as I still have 36 cats including Dora to take care of and Mary still has 20. Most of that 56 are now getting on in years and as a consequence, the vet bills continue to rise.
One morning a blind bunny was hopping down the
bunny trail and tripped over a large snake and fell, kerplop right on his twitchy little nose.
‘Oh please excuse me,’ said the bunny. ‘I didn’t
mean to trip over you, but I’m blind and can’t see.’
‘That’s perfectly all right,’ replied the snake.
‘To be sure, it was my fault. I didn’t mean to trip you, but I’m blind too, and I didn’t see you coming. By the way, what kind of animal are you?’
‘Well, I really don’t know,’ said the bunny.. ‘I’m
blind, and I’ve never seen myself. Maybe you could examine me and find out.’
So the snake felt the bunny all over, and he
said, ‘Well, you’re soft, and cuddly, and you have long silky ears, and a little fluffy tail and a dear twitchy little nose. You must be a bunny rabbit!’
The bunny said, ‘I can’t thank you enough. But by
the way, what kind of animal are you?’
The snake replied that he didn’t know either, and
the bunny agreed to examine him, and when the bunny was finished, the snake asked, ‘Well, what kind of an animal am I?’
The bunny had felt the snake all over, and he
replied, ‘You’re cold, you’re slippery, and you have no balls…You must be a POLITICIAN’
R.I.P. dear Peggy
It is with great sadness that I write this piece on behalf of Mary. Earlier today (17th October) Mary told me the sad news of Peggy, her three legged cat. Sadly Peggy had to be put to sleep at the grand old age of eighteen years.
I remember when Mary took Peggy in as a kitten. She was born with a deformed back leg, probably due to inbreeding. When Peggy was old enough to be neutered the difficult decision was taken to amputate her leg as it was a hindrance to her.
From that day she never looked back. She still managed to climb trees and got up to all sorts of mischief. She was a beautiful black and white cate who loved a lap and lots of kisses and cuddles. She spent many a happy year with Mary and Alan and was extremely fond of their German shepherd dog Jess, who was rescued from a terrible life, and in later years their new dog Daisy.
I was also very fond of her. She was a friendly and loving cat. Rest in peace Peggy. You will be missed far more than you know.
With reference to the earlier story about the hens we have taken on a cockerel which we have called Kevin. He is a very handsome bantam cockerel with rather large hairy feet. We have had to trim his flight feathers because he took delight in flying to the top of our pagoda and shouting at the top of his voice to anyone who would listen. We would never get away with that in E17 but on a farm in Ware he mixes in very well.
Things to look forward to / Dates for your Diary
27th October 2018 Table Top Sale
24th November 2018 Quiz night
1st December 2018 Christmas Table Top Sale
23rd February 2019 Table Top Sale
16th March 2019 Quiz Night
13th April 2019 Table Top Sale
1st June 2019 Table Top Sale
27th July 2019 Table Top Sale
There are three fund raising events to report back on since the previous newsletter went out. The quiz held on May 19th, after being cancelled in March due to the poor weather made a whopping £735 profit. Thanks to all those who attended. Don’t forget the next one is on November 24th. The table top sale in June made £673 whilst the sale held in mid-August made £671. Our thanks go out as usual to all those who helped and, of course, to those who came along and spent their hard earned cash.