Saturday, 24 February 2018

Foray into fostering

Losing Oscar last year was awful for us and little Lily seems to have taken in badly. She had bonded with Oscar, well he was such a gentle soul and the two of them were frequently cuddled up together, whether Oscar wanted to or not. MP and I discussed getting another cat however as we have started to plan for our retirement we (he) decided this wasn't an option. 

I wanted to get Lily a friend so the compromise was to try fostering. This way we got another cat, Lily got a pal and we were helping out one of the local rescues to feed and house an cat till it found its furrever home. 

Rose tinted spectacles - possibly/probably.

I contacted Rossendale Responsible Animal Rescue (RRAR) where we got Lily from and as we had been home checked put us on the list to foster. The first couple we couldn't take - health issues and a male but finally we got asked to take an 8 year old female who's owner was moving abroad and advertising her on free cycle!! So on the 8th January 2018, Mavis came to stay.

For a few weeks Mavis had the run of the bedroom with a conservatory to sit and watch the birds, chickens and sheep outside and seemed to be settling in. It was time to start the introductions to my 3 so we fixed the dog gate into the door frame and started to open the door a little so she could see the hallway and the other cats tripping around. So far so good.

Sadly this was not to last. Mavis is a sprightly 8 year old and from her ears has obviously been a scrapper but I was not expecting her to leap a 4 foot dog gate in one move and attack poor Lily. 

So now if I want to let Mavis out of the bedroom for a wander I have to shut my cats upstairs (our house is upside down) and lock the cat flap which isn't ideal and stops my cats going out. If Mavis hears the cat flap go she runs into the conservatory growling and has launched herself at the glass doors when Lily has entered the porch (the other side of hallway).

Sufficed to say, Mavis really needs a home where she is the only cat.

Mavis has also been free to wander and isn't used to being shut up never mind in one room for 22 hours a day. So not surprisingly she is going stir crazy: digging up the carpet near the door and keeping me awake half the night.

Shame of it all, is that she is a real sweetie, is genuinely pleased to see you and purrs like a trooper.

Having told the Head of cats at RRAR two weeks ago that it wasn't working and that Mavis need to be the only cat in a house where she had free run even if she couldn't go out. Nothing has been forthcoming. I am having to text every couple of days and don't always get a response and am now being told they are trying to find her something.

I do appreciate it isn't easy, Mavis has specific needs however when you volunteer to foster it is a good will gesture and you expect support if it doesn't work out or if the environment isn't conducive to the cats wellbeing, not to be fobbed off and left to fend. At the end of the day it isn't my cat.

So, Mavis is still with me, shut in one room 22 hours a day, Lily is terrified of coming in the house and I am sleep deprived.

If Mavis had integrated with my cats it would have been a different story but an older cat set in her ways, it was not to be. I can see why people chose kittens when they have existing cats and the older ones get overlooked.

Should the rescue been more honest about Mavis and her needs rather than just trying to place her? 

When a foster placement is failing for whatever reason there should be support and a timely resolution for the individuals and the animals. I get that she is safe where she is but it is cruel for a cat, especially one used to freedom, to be shut up and not fair to impact on the existing cats in the house in a negative way.

Fostering is a really good thing. With so many abandoned animals rescues rely on people to foster as cattery charges are an expensive option. Fosterers pay for all food, litter etc and rescues only pay any veterinary bills so it allows them to care for more homeless animals, which is great. It can be a positive and rewarding thing to do.

So, would I foster again, sadly not.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Date night

It's not often Mr W and I get a night out. With work, the fur babies and life but when we do we rather enjoy  a trip to the theatre. So yesterday we dropped Sam at his Grandpas, drove to Radcliffe and got the Metrolink into Manchester to see The Wipers Times at the Opera House.

Wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a huge fan of Ian Hislop, I find him a little opinionated (but then I suppose as editor of Private Eye thats his job) but this was a gem. A witty and satirical take on a neglected historical event with life in the trenches and the war almost taking a supporting role. The way the British find humour in even the darkest of events (and as a nurse I can testify to this) is one of our finer qualities and even in the midst of World War 1 this was evident.

The play is on a Uk tour at the moment so if you get the chance go along, you won't be disappointed. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Staying cool

I don't normally do reviews or promotions, this blog has been for like and crafting however like a lot of women, I have hit a "certain age" where a flushes and sweats appear out of nowhere,  hair grows in places it didn't before and goes from places it should be and full nights sleep is a thing of the past.  I can cope with the warm spells and the hair (isn't that what beauty parlours were invented for?) but the sleep or lack of, not a good thing for me or those around me.

I started first with a fan in the bedroom which helped a little, moved to a 2.5 Tog duvet (all year round) then decided to invest in a cool pillow. This was great however I recently had to replace it and despite my reservations, about the efficiency of gel,  upgraded to the Silentnight Geltex pillow. What an absolute treat, no more wet face or hair and incredibly comfortable to boot. A worthy investment.

However, the rest of me was still getting too hot and the foot in, foot out of the duvet method of temperature control not working. So I started to research new mattresses (very expensive) and this led me to mattress toppers (a lot more reasonable).

After more research, both on the products and the prices, I decided on the Silentnight AirMax mattress topper (best value at Matalan UK) and a week in I am sold. The topper is machine washable, soft, a lovely material on the top with mesh venting up the sides, top and bottom and really does keep you cooler. Don't get me wrong, it is still hot where I am lying (gas mark 5) but I am not sweating the other parts of the bed are oh so cool. 

At this price I can afford to change it as and when and is much better value than a whole new mattress. 

So if you find yourself like me, pumping out some serious heat, then seriously give it a try.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Sad sad day

If it should be
If it should be that I grow frail and weak 
And pain should keep me from my sleep, 
Then will you do what must be done, 
For this - the last battle - can't be won. 
You will be sad I understand, 
But don't let grief then stay your hand, 
For on this day, more than the rest, 
Your love and friendship must stand the test. 
We have had so many happy years, 
You wouldn't want me to suffer so. 
When the time comes, please, let me go. 
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend, 
Only, stay with me till the end 
And hold me firm and speak to me 
Until my eyes no longer see. 
I know in time you will agree 
It is a kindness you do to me. 
Although my tail its last has waved, 
From pain and suffering I have been saved. 
Don't grieve that it must be you 
Who has to decide this thing to do; 
We've been so close - we two - these years, 
Don't let your heart hold any tears. 

- Unknown 


Oscar Wan-Sai-Cheong
1999 - 2017
RIP little man x

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Missing in action

I hadn't realised it had been such a long time since I put type to blog and new resolution to get back on track and converse with the world a little bit more.

My life has changed direction since I last wrote. I have a new job that I love, I don't or haven't done any scrapbooking or crafting for quite some time, I bake more than ever, I am back up to 4 cats although this may not last long and I hit a birthday landmark.

So you may well see some of my newer interests on here and I hope some of my older ones but before then a catch up of the missing time.

January - finally gave up smoking and started vaping

April - End of an era. The final season of The Mentalist and a happy ending for Jane and Lisbon.

May - A trip to Krakow and Aushwitz 

August - Upcycling and Indoor skydiving 

September - A week away in Anglesey with Mr W, Dad and Sam

November - Scrapbooking retreat with KathB, Babs and Jackie

December - Arrival of Lily (cat No4)


January - Lily is exploring, destroying the house room by room but also bonding with her big brothers

April - My lovely God-daughter Jenna Cope became Mrs Jenna Allen.

To be continued

Friday, 5 September 2014

wow it's hot

It's Spring here in Mauritius, the cherry blossom is stunning, it's windy (the south coast especially so) and it seems to rain overnight. The temperature is supposed to be in the low 20's but during the day once the wind drops, the skies turn bright blue and it's been hitting 26.

For me that's a bit hot for doing too much, I find it really tiring however for Wednesday 3rd we had booked a James Bond underwater scooter experience up on the North West coast at Mon Choisy. Sadly when we got all the way there the visability was too poor due to the winds so we weren't able to do it. That really scuppered our plans so with nothing arranged we drove along the coast to Grand Baie.

The top bit of the island is picture postcard beautiful and full of top class hotels. This is the bit everyone I know who's been to Mauritius has stayed and based on this I can see why they think it's paradise. If you don't leave the hotel or this bit of the island you get a blinkered view but then again it's a hard earned holiday so who wants reality?

We didn't stay long in Grand Baie. It appeared to be a nice waterfront full of little boutique type shops, not MPs thing.

We drove further round the coast then decided to set off back to the house (driving aimlessly is not my thing). As we passed the signs for Rose Hill, where MPs family live he decided to pull off and eventually pulled in. A phone call to find out the plans for the service became a visit with his auntie Yolande and uncle Henry. Another uncle, Raymond was there and took us to his house nearby to meet his wife Madeline and see all the family memorabilia he has collected including a photographic family tree, furniture from the family shop in Port Louis to the family kitchen table. It was fascinating to see as MP isn't interested in his family or background.

The visit was cut short as I was still wearing my swimming costume under my clothes from earlier and it was digging in and really uncomfortable. However we did at least leave with a rough idea of the plans for Henri's service Friday.

Home via Blue Bay to feed the dog, a lovely dinner made by the cook of the villa owners, some emails to local animal rescues to find out how I can get Puppy back to the UK and a good sleep.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

not such a jolly holiday blog

When MP's Dad died he requested that his ashes be scattered at his favourite place in his birthplace Mauritius so he left some money for the 3 boys to travel to Mauritius to do this. MPs youngest brother took out the ashes earlier in the year (another free trip) and plans made for us all to fly to Mauritius in September where a service would take place and Henri's ashes laid to rest.

So I write this from Mauritius.

MP and I arrived late afternoon on Saturday 30th August after a hard 16 hours of travelling. After collecting the hire car it was a short drive to the villa we had rented. We were met by the owner and the maid who had kindly prepared a meal for us, so after dinner and a shower it was off to bed with the mosquito net wrapped tightly around the bed.

Huge cactus tree in the garden

The house we have rented

Sunday 31st we went to find the local supermarket to stock up on provisions. I love exploring supermarkets in other countries, the unknown products, the familiar brands and fascinating vegetables. After stocking up we went to the villa for a lazy day. I needed to put my feet up as my ankles and calves were so swollen from the flights. In the evening we walked to the only local eatery where I had some oyster type thing which was very nice.

Monday 1st September we drove to the recommended Maheborg (My Burr) market. Busy, hot, smelly like most markets. Into KFC for a cool down and free wifi then a drive  along the coast road south of the island. Almost home we took a detour to Blue Bay to check out the 
snorkeling potential but got distracted by the most gorgeous friendly stray pup who wanted nothing but a cuddle. So awful to see all the dogs there sheltering in the shade, terrified of the people walking past. God knows what they are subjected to!

Now if like me your mental model of Mauritius is white sands and turquoise seas you wouldn't be far wrong but what the brochures don't show you is the utter poverty here, the inhabitable tin shacks that people live in, the stray emaciated dogs, the high unemployment or the drug problems.

You may say this can be seen in most countries and you'd be right but you kinda expect it in Thailand, which is improving. Mauritius is basically a third world country telling the world it isn't. So really not what I was expecting and a real shock. Consequently I am struggling with it. 

I find it upsetting to see the poverty, the people and dogs with no chance or life and the hypocrossy of those with housemaids/cooks. What makes them better than others?

The capital Port Louis was our destination Tuesday 2nd. Just an hour from our base in the south at Pointe D'Ensy via the M1 (evidence of the British occupation) Port Louis is a modern developed harbour front for the docking cruise ships and tourists (doubt locals could afford to eat or shop here) with a mix of colonial and modern buildings behind forming the centre.

We headed to the market as all tourists do but didn't stay long as it was hot and the constant hassle from stall holders became a bit annoying. A walk round China town, a call in to the Mauritian institute and museum to see the (badly) stuffed bird collection and the dodo, coffee on the waterfront and we had seen all we wanted so set off back to the villa. A quick stop at another supermarket to buy some dog food for the pup and a stop at Blue Bay to feed her.

I'm tired now and it's taking ages to type this on a tablet never mind add in photos, so enough for tonight and days 4 and 5 tomorrow. Till then x