I’ve had such a wonderful year at Happy Paws, meeting and looking after so many lovely new pets. In fact, I’ve been so busy that I decided Happy Paws could really do with an extra pair of hands. Trusting someone with your dogs, cats and other pets is something of paramount importance to me, so it really needed to be a person I knew would be caring, professional, reliable and above all an animal lover like me.
I am, therefore, delighted to announce that my wife, Julie Smith, is joining Happy Paws. Julie is a lifelong animal lover and pet owner like myself and she is very excited about the prospect of taking care of your dogs, cats and small animals at Happy Paws. As well as being the owner of two cats, Starsky and Hutch, and our young Labrador Retriever, Murphy, Julie has owned a variety of small animals including chinchillas, rabbits and hamsters.
Julie will initially be joining Happy Paws on a part-time basis mainly cat sitting, small animal visits and helping with dog and puppy visits. Eventually, her role will become full time once our son starts school full-time next year.
Welcome to Happy Paws Julie. I know you’ll be a fantastic addition to the team.
We’ve had a wonderfully rewarding week at Happy Paws.
Our old friend Milo was in need of some extra tlc while his owners were away from home this week. Poor old Milo had been feeling pretty bad. He was lethargic and refusing his food. It turned out that he was suffering from a severe liver infection. I had the pleasure of twice daily visits this week to administer a mind boggling five different medications, most of which the poor lad had to endure on both visits. He was real trooper though and soldiered, purring throughout and ended the week back to his old self. His appetite was so good that supplies ran out and a search party was needed to replenish stocks!
Evie the ShihTzu was a troubled girl when I first met her at the start of the year. Fearful, aggressive and confused, it was difficult to see how we could help her turn herself around. She’s now a changed dog, enjoying her life at her loving new home and starting to overcome her fear of other dogs and the great outdoors. This week was a real milestone for Evie as although she has been joining in group walks for some time, this was her first time of really being part of the gang. Rather than distancing herself from group, she took an active part, showing pack behaviour throughout her walk on Friday with Buck and Jimmy. It’s times like this that make this job so rewarding. Well done, Evie.
We enjoyed many great walks this week, notably a grand total of seven hours with Myah the Great Dane and Marley the Husky, including an early Friday ramble sidestepping the debris of the previous night’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Marley was not impressed!
The week was rounded off with a present for us from new pal, Harry. Harry has a giving nature although his choice of gifts aren’t always welcome. Sunday morning’s blackbird and scattered feathers weren’t my first choice as a thank you for our week’s visit but that’s life at Happy Paws!
One of our cats at Happy Paws, Starsky, has been getting a lot of publicity of late. Mainly due to a nasty scrape with a neighbourhood cat of dubious morals. Lurking in the shadows, his brother Hutch has kept a low profile. That’s the way he likes it. Lulling everyone into a false sense of security.
Starsky and Hutch Cat Napping
Hutch was the only black kitten in a large litter of black and whites. He stood alone. The black sheep of the family. We couldn’t resist him, or Starsky whose incredible climbing skills, acrobatics and persuasive meowing would have caught anyone’s attention.
We took them in. Starsky has grown into a lovable, friendly, cutesy, chocolate box and calendar cover cat. Hutch hasn’t. Hutch has an alternate moniker. The dark destroyer. He may be small. He may look as sweet as apple pie but please don’t be misled. He lures you in. Rolls on your lap. Purrs like a top of the range sports car. Then you’ve had it. The teeth sink in. The claws lock on. Suffice to say the first aid kit in our house is frequently replenished.
To celebrate Cats Protection National Black Cat Day 2015, Hutch returned from a brief jaunt to wail on the doorstep. An unusual sound warning us that something wasn’t quite right. As I opened the door he looked up at me. His eyes said see I love you really. I’ve brought you a present. A freshly killed field mouse.
Starsky’s had a rough old time this last couple of weeks. A naughty neighbourhood cat decided to chase him. Starsky, not being a streetwise moggy, fled. The result was a bite on the bum for our boy that soon developed into a large egg-shaped abscess right on the base of a floppy tail. Ouch, there was no cat sitting for Starsky for a while!
Three visits to Westway Vets, a vet collar, plenty of medication and daily cleansing later means he’s almost back to his old self again. His tail is a bit lop-sided and we don’t know if it will ever be the same again as there may be nerve damage. He’s on a strict curfew for now but being the great escapologist that he is, he’s broken through the cordon already. The cliché ‘once bitten twice shy’ clearly does not apply here. He does have a rather more confrontational brother in Hutch to look after him. They were both rescue kittens from PARRT in Northumberland five years ago and they’ve grown up together with plenty of brotherly love.
Starsky the cat sitting comfortably at last!
It also happens to be Starsky’s Mam’s birthday today so he’s celebrating by trying to break into the edibles and drinkables among her presents. He may have been poorly but I’m not too sure he’ll have any luck there. Julie is guarding them like Gollum and the ring (no physical resemblance implied obviously!).
I think I might sneak him a treat or two. I think he deserves it.
Cat sitting is a labour of love for us at Happy Paws. We really love the cute furry little critters. We’ve got two of our own, Starsky and Hutch and they reign supreme like the Kings of an ancient empire at Happy Paws HQ.
When we come home from a day of dog walking and cat sitting we like nothing better than to put our feet up and kick back to some great music. For our entertainment and, hopefully, yours too we’ve put together top 10 purrfect cat songs that will warm you up on the chilly autumnal nights ahead. It’s an eclectic mix and we’re sure to have missed some of your favourites so let us know what you think in the comments box below!
Stray Cat Strut – The Stray Cats.
A double whammy with a cat band and song. The real bonus is that it is a stonker of a tune from Brian Setzer and the boys too. If anyone out there still has the free tattoo that came with their first album we’re ready and waiting to rock it like Slim Jim. Darrin will even roll his sleeve up to show it off on those crisp early morning walks.
Cat People (Putting Out Fire) – David Bowie
The Thin White Duke is a pretty slick cat himself and he’s cooler than a cucumber on this track that he re-recorded for his monster album, Let’s Dance. It featured again on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds.
The Lovecats – The Cure
This magical number was The Cure’s first top ten hit and was wedged in the middle of a rollercoaster ride of memorably catchy singles in the early to mid-eighties. The more sensitive among you will be pleased to know that no cats were eaten by Bob Smith in the making of this video.
Wild Cats of Kilkenny – The Pogues
Which Pogues cat song to choose? A furry tail of New York? A Manx you don’t meet every day? A purr of brown eyes? We opted for this instrumental which is sure to get your feet moving. It’s a real ‘Pogue Mahone’ classic.
An Cat Dubh – U2
The black cat in Gaelic. Long before Bono tried to save the world single-handed, when The Edge still had hair, Adam Clayton only dreamed of super models and the drummer just drummed, U2 knocked out a rather fine debut album in Boy. That’s where you’ll find this one and rather good it is too.
Everybody Wants to Be a Cat – The Aristocats
A Disney classic movie produced this wonderfully frolicsome cat tune. The movie was the last Disney project to be approved by Walt and we definitely approve of this number.
Can Your Pussy Do The Dog? – The Cramps
This one could grace not only a cat sitting top 10 but a dog walking one too! Risqué, raucous, fabulous. The Cramps at the finest and their first UK chart single. I’m sure Lux is still rockin’ somewhere.
Pads, Paws and Claws – Elvis Costello
This was one of several songs Elvis Costello composed with Paul McCartney and is well worthy of a place on this list. Enjoy.
We The Cats Shall Hep Ya – Cab Calloway
A bit of a wild card this one but fun nonetheless. Cab was the original scat man and he definitely has the energy to keep us going on those long days of cat sitting and dog walking. Our cats are hep to this one.
Cool For Cats – Squeeze
We saved the best for last. Darrin bought this on 12” pink vinyl with his pocket money back in 1979. He can’t remember what it cost but whatever it was it was money well spent. An absolute cat classic for sure. Squeeze are currently churning out a raft of catchy ditties for the Danny Baker BBC sitcom Cradle to Grave which is well worth checking out to!
We hope a few of these tunes put a smile on your face. Let us know what you think of these top ten cat sitting songs!