CAROLINE SMAILES

Pets, pets, pets

Over the years we seem to have collected children and animals, to the point where I can’t ever remember it just being me and G. 3 children, 2 cats, one dog, 1 fish (although if Littlest asks there are still 2, ok?) and until recently we were bumbling along happily

50400015_0Some of you will have heard me talk of Matilda the cat – a 13 year old cat, who liked to sleep on my desk all day and has kept me company through all of my novel writing. Matilda has lived with us for 11 years now, she came from a Rescue Centre around the time of Eldest’s first birthday. She never played with toys, looked down on them in fact, preferring to watch and absorb and ‘just be there’. Two weeks ago she went out and never returned.

Having a cat leave has left us all unsure what to feel. We’ve tried neighbours, the Cat Rescue Centre and I guess we just have to wait, and wait.

Then, on the day before we last saw Matilda, Puss in Boots (our other cat) came home bleeding. Some of you will remember that he’d had to have his tail removed a couple of years ago, well that stump had opened up. The vet (again) stitched Boots back together and we kept him inside for 10 days (which was practically a military operation in itself!). Boots is slightly wonky, he dribbles a lot and and possibly thinks he’s a dog. He always wanted Matilda to be his best friend forever but she’d look down her nose at him and then hiss a ‘go away you silly boy’. If Boots’ tail stump opens again, it won’t be good news.

Then there’s Oscar the puppy, who is near to being 6 months old. We’ve had some concerns with the silver sparkle harness he was wearing as he pulls when he walks. I was told that his pulling from the harness was putting too much pressure on his shoulders and breast bone (which may affect his joints later in life). So we’ve been using a Paparazzi Puppy Lead and soft, adjustable collar that can be altered to fit as he grows. He’s now less pully, which is one less worry.

Added to this, there was the whole chewing thing that I blogged about. This seems to have been partly sorted by a range of puppy teething toys that he actually chews. (I don’t even think I have any more damage to add to my list!) His latest thing is a knickers fetish. He steals my (clean) underwear from radiators and mainly displays them for all to see. Also, I think he may think he’s a cat but I’m brushing that aside for now, unable to cope with pet identity crises on top of everything else.

And, finally, one of the fish died about 10 months ago, but no one has the courage to tell Littlest. If she asks, we say that one is hiding in the ‘Sponge Bob pineapple’ at the bottom of the tank. I know it’s only a matter of time before she realises…

Seriously, and you wonder why I’m sometimes stressed.

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18 Comments

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I am amazed that you managed to make that post amusing. Gutted for you about M, wishing her home soon. Hope that PiB stays well. Oscar is a little rascal! As for the fish well…couldn’t you buy one the same colour?

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Sometimes cats disappear for a ‘long’ time and then come back, so don’t give up hope x I know it’s hard though.

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    DJ Kirkby – knowing Littlest, she’d be more likely to notice a new fish! I think that Oscar is a cross between Oscar Wilde and Benny Hill – it is most alarming :)

    Helen M Hunt – the longest she’s been away is 4 days. She’s a home lover and only ever went next door (on the neighbour’s car) or in our garden. She’s like a Victorian lady, a creature of absolute routine and habit… it just doesn’t feel right.

    xxx

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Have you thought of doing a leaflet with Matilda’s photo and putting it up on lamp posts, shop windows and through doors. That’s how we got Monty back when he went missing. Also local radio/local paper.

    • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Photos/leaflets is the next step. The local cat rescue group are helping too (as around here if anyone finds a cat they’d phone them). I was trying not to think about it all too much, but now at 2 weeks… x

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear about Matilda. I hope you find something out on her soon. Have you GONE to the animal shelters and looked yourself? Everyone says that is much better than relying on descriptions.

    Front lead harness for the puppy. Check out the “Levels Book” training program. I link to it from my dog’s blog: http://bexandmolly.blogspot.com
    Five minutes a day (split into a couple training sessions) and that program can make a huge difference in a dog’s life and behavior.

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about Matilda, hope you find out her whereabouts or that she comes back home. Is there anywhere she could have got ‘locked in’, sheds, buildings being renovated, etc? Fingers crossed.

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh no poor Matilda, Puss in Boots & little fish now in Sponge Bob Pineapple Heaven. At least puppy has a special snazzy comfy collar.
    Hope there’s plenty of animal & people blissful peace from now on. Xx

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Hello Caroline, I’m really responding to your tweet about having two birthdays this week. Three of my children ware all due on the same date (different years, obviously) and were born on 15 November, 23 November and 6 December so I think of this as the official Birthday Time. It’s especially good because it then blends nicely into Christmas…
    That’s all. Your blog is lovely.
    kim

  • sheepish
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    So sorry to hear about Matilda, it’s always very hard when cats just disappear and don’t come home. Hope you get some news soon. Pets give us so much pleasure but we have to accept the pain aswell.

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    bexDK – lost cats go to a rescue rehousing place near to us. I’ve spoken to all the women who run it and no older cats have been found. I will be sure to check out the front lead harness for Oscar and your other link. Thank you!

    Nicola Ford – I don’t think so, not for 2 weeks. It makes no sense to us as she’s such a ‘home’ cat. I don’t know if someone has taken a liking to her and she’s moved in with them…

    Katina Wright – love the positive-side-looking :)

    kim mcgowan – my middlest was due on eldest’ birthday, but thankfully arrived 3 days later. In the next 7 weeks we have both boys’ birthdays, my birthday, Christmas and G’s birthday… fabulous! Actually, I love this time of year.

    sheepish – I’m finding the ‘pain’ side difficult to deal with as I had little experience of pets as a child.

    xxx

  • claire p
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Cats are such a worry. We had 8 and are now down to 3. I hat eit everythime something happens but I couldn’t not have them. As for the fish, we have toooooooooooo many, want some?

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    So sorry to hear about your missing cat. I hope she turns up safe and sound. Cats do tend to wander. I once read about a court case where a cat moved from its owner’s and lived next door. The original owners sued the neighbours to get the cat back but the judge said cats cannot be owned. Perhaps your cat is elsewhere on a small holiday.

    I had a dog that refused to live at home no matter what we did (he climbed our fence). He spent all day at the place they slaughter cattle. It was a bit embarassing.

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I hope Matilda makes it home asap – I had a cat disappear once, I know how it feels )-:
    Heavily pregnant, I walked rainy roads sticking up posters and accosting total strangers (I don’t think the hormones helped)
    But many do return! On my current street, a CAT MISSING notice was recently replaced by a very grateful CAT FOUND sign. Hope Matilda’s found very soon,
    m xx

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Awww hon!! It is so hard when they just vanish….try and take comfort in the fact that most of them re-appear again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s just a matter of time before she’s back with you!!

    I did giggle when I read what you tell Littleist about the fish!!

    C x

  • Posted November 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh I’m very sad about to hear about Matilda – I felt we had the basis for a deep friendship when we met (and she found my bag very comfortable).

    Hugs xx

  • Posted November 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Another day and still no sign. I had hoped she’d be back for the boys’ birthdays…

    claire p – cats are such a worry and fish… well they terrify me!

    Lauri – I am hoping that she is on a holiday, really we just want to know that she’s safe. Matilda has lived with us (on her terms) for so long now, but maybe she has decided to move on…

    megan – it’s the not knowing how I should feel or how I should talk about it all to the children that adds to it all. I am hoping she’ll come back.

    Carol – keep everything crossed for me :)

    trousers – she loved you! Funny, because she’s such a grump and normally ignores people.

    xxx

  • Posted November 24, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    she’s such a grump and normally ignores people – it’s probably why we got on so well :)

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