Short Tail's
Basic Rules for Cats
Fur Ball
How To Have A Restful Holiday
Why Cats?
Why Cats Are Better Than Men
Finally, what's in a name?

Although I have been showing non-pedigree cats off and on for the last ten years, I have seen the not so pleasant side of "cat life" as a supporter and worker of the Cats Protection League - now known as 'Cat Protection'.
A handsome chap who took a pride in his appearance and with the most stunning emerald green eyes I have ever seen.
As we see our much loved and pampered pets snoozing in front of a fire on a cold winter night, a rhythmic purr sending feline thanks in our direction for a full tummy, let me tell you about "Tom".

He was a stray cat living in my garden. A long haired entire male, mainly white with black ears, black tail and a few black patches on his body. A handsome chap who took a pride in his appearance and with the most stunning emerald green eyes I have ever seen. Unfortunately Tom did not trust people and my attempts at friendship were met with a barrage of hissing and spitting. His hunger overcame his wariness and he consented to eat the food I put out for him morning and night, as long as I had gone in the house and closed the door.
There was never any doubt about his sex as he left me many pungent reminders of his manhood around the garden.
Between feeding times he patrolled the local gardens, sometimes returning with battle scars to show his fighting prowess.
In sunny weather he lounged in the sun and in cold weather he sheltered in the cosy box a neighbour had provided.
After six years we were still polite strangers. I kept trying to socialise with him, but he must at one time have been hurt or mistreated by someone. His appetite did not decrease however and I am sure he could smell a roasting chicken at 800 yards!

Eventually I realised Tom was not in the condition he had been when we first met. His coat became dirty and matted and he couldn't be bothered to do his grooming routine.
Those piercing emerald green eyes gazed up at me and I knew he was telling me he wanted to come in from the cold.
One cold December day I opened the door to put his food out, but to my surprise he walked into the kitchen and sat on the doormat. Those piercing emerald green eyes gazed up at me and I knew he was telling me he wanted to come in from the cold. There was still fear and suspicion on his face, but without uttering a sound he told me he needed help.
Two days before Christmas he was taken into the care of South Shields Cat Protection Group to see if he could adapt to a life indoors.
I think the next three weeks must have been the happiest of his life. He had the company of other cats, a heated bed for his elderly bones and the best of food. Tom enjoyed a lifestyle our pets take for granted and with the T.L.C. he received perhaps some of his hostility of the human race was removed from his mind.

I think the next three weeks must have been the happiest of his life.

I would like to say the story had a happy ending but sadly it was not to be. Three weeks after he, was taken into care Tom was taken to the vet to be de-matted and neutered. On examination a massive malignant growth was found in his throat which would soon have killed him. To save his further suffering he was put to sleep and those beautiful emerald green eyes closed for the last time.
Cat Protection assisted Tom out of this world with dignity and compassion and perhaps that is all he asked for. There are hundreds of cats like Tom and maybe only when one of them enters our life do we actually take the time to think of them.
Cat Charities face an uphill struggle in providing the care, feeding and veterinary treatment for the cats and kittens who are unloved, unwanted, ill treated or injured. They welcome new helpers - even if it is only for a few hours a week shaking a tin or selling a few raffle tickets.

Please help if you can.

Jenny Hudson ©


How well do you know the various breeds of cat?

The following cryptic clues should help you to identify 15 breeds - some better known than others!

  • Where a Viking looks for wood
  • Vlad or Ivan with a crew cut
  • Commercial transport from Istanbul
  • Our man in cigar land
  • King of a Scottish Border Town
  • A little girl's bedtime friend
  • Find the chap with the unknown factor
  • An old Ethiopian
  • Breakfast at the jewellers
  • Give the bill to Mura
  • Highland sheep pen
  • The Indian fails to score here
  • Gain a spur
  • A flowerpot man finds a lady
  • Stoney faced feline
Chairs and Rugs:
If you have to throw up, get into a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, deep pile is good.
a) Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on your hind legs and hammer with your forepaws. Once the door is it is not necessary to use it. b) After you have ordered an outside door opened, stand halfway in and halfway out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, high winds and the insect season.
a) Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most! Sit on that lap. If you can arrange to have Friskies Fish 'n' Go on your breath, so much the better.
b) For the sitting on laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select a fabric colour which contrasts well with your fur. For example, white furred cats go to black wool clothing.
c) When walking among dishes on the dinner table be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea is to convey "But you allow me on the table when company is not here".
d) Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything, just sit and stare.
If one of your humans is sewing or writing and another is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called helping, otherwise known as hampering. The following are the rules for hampering:
a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and picked up and consoled.
b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between the eyes and the book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
c) For knitting projects, curl quietly into the lap of the knitter and pretend to doze. Occasionally reach out and slap the knitting needles sharply. This can cause dropped stitches or spill the wool. The knitter may try to distract you with a scrap ball of wool, ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work.
This is important. Get enough sleep in the daytime so that you are fresh for playing catch mouse or king-of-the-castle on your human's bed between 2:00 and 4:00am.
Begin people training early, you will then have a smooth running household.
Humans need to know the basic rules. They can be taught if you start early.
Day 1
Have a migraine and miss CAT SHOW
Day 2
Wake up to no electricity - cats have sprayed sockets and circuit breaker has tripped out.
3 hours to dry out and get power back.
Day 3
Change my bedclothes, change them again 2 hours later when cat sick over bed.
Day 4
Linen bin tipped over and all my tights shredded.
Day 5
Get up at 5:00am to separate Grenfell and Lorenzo who are waking the neighbourhood with loud verbal disagreement in cat run.
Day 6
Max asks to sit on my knee (Max is a brain damaged Chinchilla and can't jump up). Lift him up onto my lap, sniff, then wash his rear end and have another bath and change my clothes - "Does he do this deliberately?" I ask myself.
Day 7
Locked in - eventually find my keys in litter tray at noon - glare at dog who hides behind settee.
Day 8
Impi not happy at being ignored whilst I'm on the 'phone and sprays me.
Day 9
'Phone rings whilst I'm washing kitchen floor. When I'm finished I can't find my transistor radio - it turns up half-way across the kitchen in the bucket of water - how do they do that?
Day 10
Baldrick sits on top perch of 6 foot scratching post and does wonderful projectile vomit over Charlie, my blind cat.
Day 11
All quiet on the western front - felt myself getting nervous!
Day 12
Penny falls in love with tin of cat foot, rubs against it and knocks it off the bench onto my foot - limp for rest of day.
Day 13
Wake up abruptly at 2:00am, find dining chair tipped up, 3 books on floor and my bedside lamp on its side - minor feline riot in progress.
Day 14
Further power cut - this time it lasts for 7 hours.
Day 15
Go to bed only to find various parts of a large moth regurgitated on pillow.
Day 16
Take Uxbridge to vets for his booster - see German locum who asks where he got his name from. I explain - war hero. Follow with hasty explanation about Waterloo, not last war and make things worse.
Day 17
Back to work - thank goodness!
Veronica Matthews
My mother loves all animals, but my father thinks cats and dogs are unhygienic, so when I was a child, I had a tortoise and guinea pig. I eventually left home and bought myself a flat and of course decided to get a pet. My first choice then would have been a puppy, but I was out at work all day and my parents didn't then live near enough for my mother to come in every day to feed and exercise it. Next I thought about a kitten, but my flat was on the first floor and shared a communal entrance - how would it go out? Anyway I wasn't sure I could cope with the worry of what might happen to an outdoor-going cat. I had almost decided it would have to be a caged bird when Terri, my downstairs neighbour said she was getting a kitten and would let it in and out through her window. Terri had borrowed a cat book and asked me if I'd like to look at it and, fatally, I said yes!
The book was American and its author had very decided views - not only did she say that cats could be kept indoors, but she strongly recommended that you did so. That was it - I would get a kitten, a moggy. When, however, I turned to the section of acquiring a kitten, the author was adamant - get a pedigree or risk a pet which would have an early death from any one of a variety of nasty infections.
What kind of pedigree kitten? The only place I knew of to get one was through the pets column of the local evening paper and all I'd seen were ads for Persians, Siamese and Burmese. Out came the book again and I looked at Persians - wasn't going to have one of those bad-tempered looking things, thank you; Siamese - a bit too noisy for a flat, Burmese - perfect.
By this time it was five o'clock on a Friday evening, so I opened the paper and saw the advert "Burmese kittens for sale" - but that's another story!
This year has seen some changes in my feline household with the death of my blind cat, Charlie; My lovely 2 year old, Ginger, as well a several others, all of which were upsetting if not unexpected.
Additions include Polly a tortie and white who had been left locked in an empty house with her kittens when her owners moved, Annie and Hannah, two victims of a car and Pip, a kitten found sheltering under a car with her brother when she was only 6 weeks old.
I also now have Dottie and Isadora, who are Oriental Spotted Tabbies.
As Isadore was born with one foot missing, these two have become known as "Dot and carry one!".
Fur Ball

For the computer buffs amongst you, a warning!

A friend who has five Siamese cats recently bought a computer and soon afterwards the mouse stopped working.
When the engineer called to repair it, he took it to pieces and then announced "I don't know how to tell you this, but your mouse has a furball"
Sure enough it had - as it had tracked back and forth it had picked up cat hairs!
Finally, What's in a name

Here are a few of my cats' names, please write in to the magazine and tell us your cats' names and why you chose them.

Violet and Stella
Name for two helpers with a local cat rescue
The Duke of Wellington's nickname
Bald and Scruffy!
A chocolate point Siamese
Wellington's second in command, who lost a leg at Waterloo
Ngaio & Troy
Ngaio Marsh and one of her characters
Oriental black after a regiment of Zulu warriors
One-eyed Devon Rex after Joyce Grenfell
The Duke of Wellington's wife
Veronica ©
Why Cats Are Better Than Men.

Cats clean themselves every day.

A cat matures as it grows older.

Cats rarely miss their litter tray

Cats don't hog the covers.

Cats are inexpensive.

Back hair on cats is cute.

Cats listen without interruptions.

Cats only use one dish.

Cats don't leave whiskers in the sink.

It is legal to neuter a cat.

Cats comfort you when you are sick.

Cats rarely fart.

Cats don't leave the toilet seat up.

When a cat sleeps all day it's natural, not annoying.

Cats won't crush you when they sit on your lap.

Cats are usually up to date on their shots.

Cats keep your ears warm at night.

Unlike a man, a cat can fend for itself.

If a cat doesn't come home for a few days, you don't have to worry about AIDS.

A cat is loyal.

Cats always greet you when you get home.

Cats are more intelligible in the morning.

A cat's idea of a good game is a string on a stick,and that only lasts about 30 minutes.

Cats don't come with in-laws.

Each of a cat's nine lives is worthwhile.

Cats can entertain themselves without magazines (unless they are ripping the pages.)

Cats only scratch themselves because of fleas.

Cats can see in the dark; men just usually fumble around until they find something that feels nice.

Cats actually think with their heads.

"Meow" is never a lie.

Men are sometimes pigs, but cats are always cats.

They'll both stand outside your door and whine, but the cat will stop when it gets in.

It's more amusing to watch a cat try and deal with a piece of tape stuck on it's paw than to watch a man do anything.

Cats don't go bald with age and try to comb it over.

To buy a fancy dinner for a cat only costs 59 pence.

A cats friend is less likely to be annoying.

Cats can't show love without meaning it.

Cats are always cute.

The only thing a cat expects you to "put out" is food, water, and a clean litter tray.

Cats won't invite friends over for beer and a game when you are gone.

Cats know what kindness is.

Cats don't belch complete sentences.

If the Longhaired Section Manager has his hair cut, does he become a Shorthaired Section Manager ?