And Richard makes three

Richard with Maurice and James

Richard with Maurice and James

Say hello to Richard Williams – the newest member of Team Monty!

Richard will be helping The Staff during busy times and naturally he has my seal of approval.

The Staff – Graham and Elaine – worked with him in one of their previous nine lives and he always used to cheer them up with his wicked sense of humour.

Kind, caring and 100% reliable he was an obvious choice when they were looking for someone to join our team. Of course he had to pass The Monty test first. So I sniffed him out and decided he’s up to my standards.

Richard is cat uncle to James, Maurice, and Phoebe, and Ella, and moves into their home to look after them when his sister and her family are away. He also looks after friends’ cats too. Unfortunately, he has a D.O.G. She’s called Doris and I’ve decided to tolerate this foible because of his more positive traits.

Richard & Phoebe. She doesn't like humans.

Richard and  Phoebe

In his spare time Richard treads the boards at the CornerHOUSE theatre in Surbiton. The Staff told me that means he’s a ‘thespian’. Whatever that is I don’t much care because he seems purrrrfectly nice to me.

He has a Level 3 certificate in British Sign Language and is currently studying for an MA in Drama Therapy at Roehampton University, which I think makes him an all-round good egg!

 

Meet Piers and his cat tattoo

 

IMG_7133This is Piers. He works in the Pickled Pantry café in Surbiton where The Staff seem to spend most of their time (and my profits) when they’re not tending to my clients.

Piers, who is from California, has a rather fabulous feline tattoo on one of his legs. But it’s much more than a great drawing – a lot of thought went into it and it has lots of meaning for him.
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First off the tattoo is a copy of an illustration from a 1993 album by the Deftones called ‘(Like) Linus’. The Deftones are Piers’s favourite band and listening to their music inspired him to take up the bass guitar.

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The kitten is yawning which reminds Piers that every day is a new day – a philosophy I definitely subscribe to!

Next up the drawing reminds him of his brother who he was reunited with after many years apart. Isn’t that lovely? My brother lives two doors away and I can see him anytime I like. It must have been so sad for them both not to be in touch, but wonderful when they met again for the first time.

And finally, Piers has a cat back in California, called Muse after the band.

The Staff would like to say a huge thank you to Piers for always giving them a warm welcome, for his permanently beaming smile, and for always remembering how they like their coffee!

 

 

 

Electrically powered Fuss and Feeding!

 Graham and Monty for Emu

Although we only service an area within a mile of where we live, getting between my clients can be a bit challenging for The Staff at times.

Graham sometimes cycles but he’s no Bradley Wiggins and he’s always moaning about the steepness of some of Surbiton’s hills.  So he was delighted when Tim Hunnable of Emu Bikes asked if he’d like to try out one of their whizzy electric bikes for a week.

If you heard an electric whirring noise accompanied by loud “yippppeeeeees” in Surbiton recently, you might well have witnessed Graham zipping up those hills!

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Read about how he got on…

The naming of humans – by cats

Scout

Scout

“The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn’t just one of your holiday games’. So wrote the famous poet T.S Elliott in my favourite book – ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’. 

And so it is. But did you know we cats have special names for our human friends too?

It’s a great honour when a cat bestows a name on a human and it doesn’t happen over night: we have to give it lots of thought so we get just the right one. It can take many weeks and months of deep contemplation while sitting quietly (those times when you think we’re just being lazy!)

So The Staff were delighted when one of our long-term clients, and great feline friend, Scout, came up with names for each of them.

He decided on Graham’s a few months back and named him ‘Mia Mia Mow’ in cat-speak. Elaine has only just been bestowed with hers and is feeling very proud to be called Purrow Prow!

Not going to tell you what I call them though…

 

The adventures of a Surbiton mouse

After two years and 2000 plus visits, The Staff are used to finding dead offerings at clients’ houses but a recent experience still has them chuckling. I wish they’d get over it – it’s beginning to get annoying – but I thought I’d share it with you nonetheless.

The story begins with two lovely regular clients – Smokey and Cookie. Cookie is very shy and is usually hiding under the bed. Smokey, on the other hand, is very friendly… to humans. To the local mouse population she’s The Terminator in a furry coat.

Smokey The Terminator

Smokey The Terminator

 

Shy-girl Cookie

Shy-girl Cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the first day she was lying with her head under the sofa and no amount of coaxing would bring her out. Sure enough, on the second morning, The Staff found a little mouse corpse.

That evening, Smokey and Cookie’s usual servant, Clare, messaged to let The Staff know that her brother-in-law, Clayton, and his son, Thomas, would be arriving that night to stay for a couple of days.

Next morning, the visitors were still in bed when The Staff arrived. And there on the kitchen floor was another dispatched mouse. They cooed over it sadly for a few minutes, because they’re soppy like that, before disposing of it.

In the evening, Clayton and Thomas arrived back as The Staff were preparing supper for Cookie and Smokey, and they told them about the dead mouse. Dad and son looked at each other and Clayton said, “You’ll never guess what happened to us today!”

They’d set off to go into London again for the day, starting with a 20 minute walk to the station, followed by a 30 minute train journey (there is a point to all this detail – honest!). They walked around Covent Garden and Leicester Square, then ended up in a restaurant in Piccadilly.

Clayton took off his coat and was about to sit down, when the waitress, her eyes wide in horror, said, “Um, excuse me sir, but do you know there’s a mouse sitting on your shoulder?” Sure enough, as he glanced to his left, he found himself staring into the eyes of a small rodent.

By now everyone in the restaurant was looking at him. “I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I couldn’t bat it off my shoulder in the restaurant because it would have been running around causing mayhem. So I took it outside and let it go in the street!”

What an adventure for the little fellow! (the mouse, not Clayton). Not only does he escape Smokey’s usually fatal clutches, he goes on a train journey and a sightseeing trip to London. I wonder if he’ll find his way home to Surbiton?

 

 

 

 

 

A new home for Narla

Kingston upon Thames-20150309-02120I have some rather lovely news about one of my clients, Narla.

Some of you might remember that earlier in the year I used Facebook and Twitter to ask if anyone could help to find her a forever home.

Narla was up for adoption through the Houslow Animal Welfare Society (HAWS)  and was being fostered by a lovely lady called Melanie in Surbiton. Melanie had booked The Staff to fuss and feed Narla several times and we were determined to help find her a permanent home.

I tasked The Staff with talking about her at every opportunity but it seemed that no-one wanted to take on a 10 year puss – no matter how loving and gentle she might be.

Then along came Robin! He’d tried to contact me months ago but dopey Elaine hadn’t found his message (seriously, I sometimes wonder why I just don’t do everything myself). Robin contacted HAWS anyway to find out more.

At the time he had an elderly cat, Topaz who had lost her twin sister and thought Narla would be company for her. However he and the charity decided it wasn’t fair on either Topes or Narla.

Then two things happened. Sadly Topaz passed away and Elaine finally found Robin’s message and got in touch with him. (I made her apologise profusely).

Although he felt he could never go through the pain of losing another cat, he was please to hear Narla was still available for adoption. He got in touch with HAWS again and went round to meet her. She stole his heart there and then.

“I sat beside her, stroking her and she purred her heart out. How could I resist?” He signed the adoption papers and arranged to pick her up the following week when he could take a few days off work to keep her company as she settled into her new home.

“We’re a perfect match,” he laughs. “Getting on a bit, tubby and a little bit lazy – e-Harmony would love it!

“I live in a town house which has three floors, so Narla spent the first few days exploring, making herself at home and finding her paws. She’s already found a few places that she now owns. I think she’s gorgeous!”Huge thanks to Robin for giving Narla a permanent home and to Melanie for looking after her so well for the last 18 months.I hope you’ll be really happy together Robin!

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Aaah. I love a happy ending. Mmm… think I’ve got something in my eye…

 

 

International Cat Care’s calendar – the purrrrrfect Christmas gift!

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This time of year does seem to be particularly stressful for you humans for some reason. And present buying so let me make it a little easier. How about the stunning International Cat Care calendar?

Featuring 12 beautiful feline portraits it’s the purrrrfect gift for all the cat lovers in your life.

The calendar costs just £9.50 plus packing and postage, and all proceeds will help to fund International Cat Care’s (iCatCare) wonderful feline welfare work world-wide.

And here are 12 good reasons to buy it and support the charity…

1) International Cat Care is a charity whose mission is “to engage, educate and empower people throughout the world to improve the health and welfare of cats by sharing advice, training and passion”.

2) Their website is full of the most comprehensive, up-to-date, thoroughly researched information and advice.

3) The charity champions humane, non-surgical population control for street cats. They want a world where no more kittens are born to die on the streets.

4) The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) is the charity’s veterinary wing – set up to help make sure vets have a better understanding of their feline patients’ needs.

5) International Cat Care’s Cat Friendly Vet Practice accreditation scheme aims to make visiting the vet a happier experience for cats.

6) They are working with insurance company Agria, and the Veterinary Poisons Information Service, on a new campaign – Keeping Cats Safe.

7) They run training events, conferences and webinars for vets, vet nurses, other cat professionals and owners, and international welfare experts.

8) iCatCare produces useful videos on things like giving a pill to trapping a feral – you can find them on YouTube.

9) They produce informative guides on looking after your cat and keeping them safe – keep an eye on the website for a new guide on caring for your kitten.

10) They do lots of valuable research including looking at how cats react to new babies. They’ve used the research to develop a guide for introducing your cat to the new arrival.

11) iCatCare’s team includes Dr Andy Sparkes, one of the country’s leading feline vets and Dr Sarah Ellis, the cat behaviourist from the BBC Cat Watch series.

12) International Cat Care works for all cats – owned and unowned. Their vision is for a world where cats are treated with understanding and compassion.

So there you go. Your cat loving family or friends get a beautiful calendar and you help this wonderful charity – what’s not to like?

Surbiton cat thief

The Staff have just had a very disturbing call from one of our Fuss and Feed clients.

She’s seen someone trying to coax her cat into a basket on three occasions now – in broad daylight. This morning she was able to go out and confront him. He ran off. He’s black and around 5’ 8” and has a cat basket with him.

Our clients live in Berrylands, Surbiton so if you are in the area, and have feline friends, please, please be extra vigilant. Please tell any of your friends who share their homes with cats too.

Our called the police who told her someone in Croydon is killing cats in the most horrific ways – they’re not sure if there’s a connection. Here’s the link to the story on SW Londoner.co.uk

The Staff and I would be very grateful if you could spread the word and look out for this guy if you live in Surbiton.

 

Happy anniversary Cafrey!

Cafrey Cafrey is one of our lovely clients. He’s a beautiful elderly ginger gentleman with the loudest ever purrrr. He’s been with his regular staff, Adam and Lucy, for exactly one year now.

Adam and Lucy have a very successful blog called LDN Life, which they set up in 2013 to blog about life in London as they see it – particularly about food in the capital!  They have a team of London loving bloggers who write news, reviews and interviews for LDN Life.

The blog was Highly Commended at the UK Blog Awards for Food and Drink and has been shortlisted for the 2015 awards – so best of luck, I have all four paws crossed.

Adam very kindly gave my Fuss and Feed service a mention in his latest post which is all about Cafrey – huge thank you from me and The Staff.

 

 

Help us find Narla a forever home

Kingston upon Thames-20150309-02121

One of my clients is a beautiful tortoise shell called Narla who is nine years old. I haven’t met her – I don’t do the fuss and feeding myself of course – that’s what The Staff are for.

Anyway, The Staff have been looking after Narla recently and come back from each visit wearing their sad faces. Narla is being fostered at the moment and desperately needs a loving, very permanent home from which she won’t be uprooted.

The Staff are sad because it would appear that no one wants Narla. And I feel sad just writing it because I know how that feels. Felix and I spent long months with the RSPCA in Hillingdon because apparently, black and white cats aren’t popular! We were lucky in the end and I want Narla to be lucky as well because from what The Staff tell me, she really deserves to be.

She was very shy when they first started to visit her but she quickly got to trust and like them. Now she rubs up against their legs and purrs loudly as they prepare her meals. Then she enjoys cuddles with them as they sit with her in the bedroom where she likes to spend her time. And she loves being picked up and cuddled. She doesn’t go out very much so she is pretty stress-free.

She is being fostered by a lovely lady through a charity called the Hounslow Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) and here is her entry from their website:

“Narla is a real character - she’s not a lap cat, but she is affectionate and does like to be near her foster-mum.  She loves being picked up for cuddles, and will be quite vocal in requesting some TLC, rewarding you with the loudest purr when she gets attention!  However, she is generally very well-behaved and easy to look after.  Narla moved out to surburbia in June with her foster-mum and sister Orca, who has since been adopted; she is enjoying having a lovely big garden to sunbathe in but would really like to settle into a forever home now.  She does seem to be missing her sister, so would like some human (or possibly feline) company for at least some of the day, and would probably be okay with sensible older children. day, and would probably be okay with sensible older children.”

Here’s the link to the adoption page on the HAWS website – you’ll need to scroll down to find Narla

I’m desperately sad for Narla. It’s horrible to feel unwanted. Her foster human does a great job but Narla really needs somewhere she can call home.

I’m thinking that it might be because she’s older but that’s a good thing. She is nicely house trained, doesn’t wander off, doesn’t scratch furniture, and is a fabulous calm companion.

Please get in touch with HAWS by filling in their online adoption application  or email The Staff – elaine@mrmontysfussandfeed.co.uk or graham@mrmontysfussandfeed.co.uk

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