The monthly notes from Andover Cats Protection, covering its activities in Whitchurch are below. For full information please visit the website at www.andovercats.org.uk.
Contact 01256 892019
Andover and District Cats Protection is looking for new volunteers. We need someone to do PR and Publicity, someone to take charge of the Lost Cats Register, people to help with fund raising and we are always on the lookout for new, reliable fosterers. Please call us if you think you might be interested in helping.
Dean was found wandering in Harewood Forest. He was painfully thin for such a young cat and the vet thought that he would not survive, but good veterinary care and much effort on the part of his fosterer have nursed him back to health. He is an exceptionally friendly little cat.and it is a great shame that we have not yet managed to find him a home.
Don’t forget to visit the charity shop in London Street Whichurch. We shall be there between the 19th and 31st of August. On Bank Holiday Monday 29th we shall be at Goodworth Clatford Fete.
Now that we are all looking forward to our summer holidays away it is important to ensure that our cats receive optimum care in our absence. A cattery is one option but a responsible person who will visit your house twice a day to feed your pet is a good alternative. We would advise that the cat is confined to the house with a litter tray while you are away. Cats Protection receive numerous calls from people whose cats have gone missing during their absence and it is better to be safe than sorry.
From the afternoon of Friday 19th August for two weeks Cats Protection will be occupying the Charity Shop in London St Whitchurch. Donations of clean, good quality, books, clothing and bric-a-brac will be gratefully received.
Billy has had an unlucky life. He first came into care during the very cold weather last November. His owner had died and Billy, although being fed regularly, was living outside in the snow. He was rehomed with an elderly lady who unfortunately now has had to move home and could not take Billy with her. He is six years old and a delightful, friendly cat. He likes to go out and about so is looking for a rural home.
Homing has been going quite well this year, probably aided by the unusually warm springweather. Our fosterers enjoyed a training day in Winchester; information on hygiene and common cat ailments for the newcomers and advice on how to slim down obese cats and spot diabetics for those who had already done the basic course. The basic training is now mandatory for all our fosterers.
June heralds our biggest event of the year, Open Day on 12th at Herbsland, Stoke Rd, Hurstbourne Tarrant. There will be stalls, afternoon teas, ferrets, music from Dave and the opportunity to meet some of our cats in care.
Toby and Tyrone have been brought up as house cats but would be delighted to find a new home where they can go out and about. They are just over one year old, used to children and dogs, like attention and would be happy to be homed either seperately or together.
It is a sad fact that in the current economic climate people are losing their homes and moving to accommodation where they cannot take their pets. Usually we will receive a phone call and somehow manage to squeeze the homeless cat into our already crowded pens. Occasionally the people just move away and we are notified by a housing association or a neighbour that the animal has been abandoned. The ones that we can take in are the lucky ones. There are many other homeless cats on the streets of Andover. A donation, or the offer of a home to a cat already in our care, could help us to address the problem.
Fundraising events in May include a stall at Hurstbourne Priors May Fair on Monday 2nd and the provision of teas at Bere Mill Open Gardens on the 29th and 30th. This follows the very successful opening at the end of March.
Martha, an ultra friendly little tortie, was abandoned when her owner moved away. She is a delightful little cat who deserves to find a new, permanent home.
Update - Ragnar and Ulrike have gone to a country residence in Four Marks!
As is usual at this time of year we are getting many requests for kittens but few for the many adult cats we have in care. We tend not to take in many kittens in the spring as the people who have been careless enough to allow their cat to breed are able to find homes with friends and relatives. It is in the autumn when the cat has her second litter and they have exhausted all their outlets that Cats Protection is contacted. If you are thinking of adopting a kitten please consider a slightly older cat. Kittens are kittens for a very short time and we have many cats who are with us through no fault of their own and would be pleased to exchange their pen for a new, loving home.
On 2nd April Cats Protection will have their usual stall, with books and tombola, on Andover market.
Ragnar (left) and Ulrike (right) were found together in a box. They are about 9 months old. Ulrike has now recovered from her trauma and is an affectionate little cat, very purry, licky and loving. Ragnar, the ginger boy, is still very nervous though he is beginning to come round. He really enjoys his chin being tickled now and does a huge purr and rolls over onto his side. He enjoys his food and is playful - he is keen to chase string and toys in the pen. They need to find a quiet, understanding home where they can be together.
Voluntary fostering for Cats Protection is a serious commitment and not something to be undertaken lightly. The cats are normally housed in a pen in the garden, though alternatively, a room in the house may be set aside. Apart from day to day care, responsiblities include visits to the vet for routine vaccination and micro-chipping and home visits to talk to prospective new owners. It is not a job for the faint hearted and at all times the fosterer must remember that the cat is not theirs – it is only being cared for until a new home can be found. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who feels they have the right qualities and would like to find out more. Please call 01256 892019.
On the morning of Saturday, March 5th Cats Protection will be holding a sale at the Methodist Church in Bridge St Andover and on Sunday, 27th will be providing teas for the Open Garden at Bere Mill, Whitchurch.
George is a two year old ginger cat who has been with us for some time now. He is very friendly and enjoys the attention of any visitors. However, like many stray cats, he may have experienced abuse in the past and needs an understanding new home where he will be allowed to settle in at his own pace.
Cats Protection were pleased, over the Christmas period, to receive news and photos of cats previously homed. They spend a lot of time and trouble trying to match the right cat to the right home and they are gratified to hear that they have succeeded. In 2010 they rehomed 210 cats, the same number as the previous year, and 2011 has started well. If you think you would like to adopt a cat you can see photos of those available on their website and they will be happy to visit and discuss it with you.
Cats Protection will be manning the charity shop in London Street from Friday 11 to Friday 25 February. Saleable goods will be gratefully received. Please call the number above if you would like them to collect.
Cat of the month is Fizz, a 7-year-old female who was taken in during November. She lost her home when her owner was obliged to move house and was unable to take her. Fizz would love to find a new situation and would make an ideal companion for a retired person.
Care of our cats during the cold weather has not been easy. Although the pens are well insulated and supplied with heated beds some are in quite exposed areas and the water bowls have constantly frozen over. The cats themselves do not seem too perturbed and are developing lovely, thick, glossy winter coats. One seventeen year old feral who lives in the coordinator’s garden has become a little senile and refuses to use her pen. She lives under the porch in a cardboard box containing two hooded, padded beds, one inside the other, with an elecrically heated pad in between and seems to be surviving well.
We are having a rest from fund raising until mid-February when we move into the charity shop in Whitchurch for two weeks but saleable goods will be gratefully received at any time.
Adam, Benito and Claude are three Bengal kittens who came to us from a breeder. She was unable to home them, not surprisingly, because they were in a shocking condition with ‘flu symptoms and bad tummies. This photo was taken when they first arrived. The vet thought that they were permanently damaged and would not survive but with loving care they have rallied and are now playing boisterously. They will be ready to go to homes in the New Year.
The last month has been a particularly difficult one with more cats needing to come in than spaces allows. However, Cats Protection never refuse kittens and several have been found abandoned recently and need homes.
Tammy, last month’s cat, has gone to a new home in Romsey. This month’s kittens, although not feral, are difficult to pick up and certainly not cuddly. They are seeking working positions as mousers in stable yards or similar establishments where they can have a warm bed, be fed and looked after daily but not have too much expected of them. They are now nearly six months old and have been neutered.
Just a quick reminder to keep your cat in at night over the firework period. Unfortunately bonfire night is no longer restricted to November 5th and seems to take place on most nights for at least a week. Animals are terrified by fireworks and there is always a large increase in reports of missing cats at this time.
Should your cat go missing, at any time, please fell free to call us with the details. We will display them on our web site and try to match up stray cats with those reported lost. We would suggest that you also report your loss to all local vets and make use of posters and flyers in your area. Quite frequently a curious cat is accidentally shut in a shed or garage and a request to your neighbours to search their premises may reveal the wanderer.
On Saturday, 20th November we shall have a stall on Andover market and on the morning of the following Saturday, the 27th, there will be a jumble sale in Whitchurch Parish Hall.
Tammy has been living as a house cat and has, unfortunately, become rather portly so she is on a strict diet at the moment. She is 9 years old and apart from her weight problem, very healthy. She is extremely friendly and doesn't mind being with other cats. She requires a new, safe home where she can go out and get a bit of exercise.
Emmie, featured last month, has been offered a new home.
This month a change is taking place in the way our rescue operations are funded. Previously, when rehoming a cat, we have asked for a donation in the region of £50 onwhich we could claim gift aid. Sometimes people gave more, sometimes less. However we are now moving in line with the other animal charities and will be asking for a set adoption fee of £50. This means that although we can no longer claim gift aid, VAT will be returnable on all purchases relating to rehoming; eg veterinary fees, food and litter. Our financial advisors assure us that we shall make more money this way. £50 is good value when you bear in mind that the cat has been vaccinated, micro-chipped and possibly neutered before going to its new home. Nevertheless this branch is intending to view the set fee sympathetically and people who cannot afford this sum will certainly not be denied a furry companion. We are hoping that those who can afford more will still give and gift aid will still be claimable on the amount in excess of £50.
On Saturday morning, 30th October we shall be holding a sale at the Methodist Church in Bridge Street Andover. As well as the usual bric-a-brac and books, Cats Protection calendars and Christmas cards will be on sale.
Emmie, very sadly, came into care when her elderly companion was obliged to movehouse. She had lived there since a kitten and was, understandably, very upset and confused. She is a friendly cat who loves human company but also likes to go out and about a bit. There must be some kind person out there who will offer her a new home.
Smudge and Tabby, featured last time, are now settled with new owners in St Mary Bourne.
In these cash-strapped times there are fears that animals could be suffering as households tighten their purse strings so Cats Protection would like to offer a few hints.
Take out pet insurance. This will help to manage unwanted costs and could save hundreds of pounds in the long run.
Keep jabs up to date and regularly treat for fleas and worms. Not doing so could prove a false economy when your cat’s health suffers.
Get your cat neutered as it reduces the risk of cats fighting, roaming and passing on disease through bites, saliva and sexual contact. If you receive benefit or are on a low income we can help with this.
Take some time to look at your cat's environment from a cat's perspective to reduce the risk of stress-related diseases. For example, separate food and water bowls to encourage him to drink more. Put a litter tray in a quiet private location (away from food and water) which your cat can access with ease and make sure he has somewhere to hide when he's feeling anxious; where he can rest without being disturbed or overlooked, particularly by other cats.
On Sunday, 5th September we shall be holding an Open Afternoon at 103 Micheldever Road, Whitchurch. On Saturday 18th there will be a Jumble Sale in the Bridge Street Methodist Church, Andover and the following Saturday, the 25th, a stall on Andover market.
Smudge and Tabby are a year old. They both came into care with kittens which they brought up together. The kittens have found homes and now Smudge and Tabby are hoping that someone will choose them.
We are pleased to report that Daisy, the cat featured last month, has settled well into a new home.
As the summer has progressed we have had more and more kittens handed in. At the beginning of the year there was a big demand for kittens and we had none but now the cats are onto their second litters and the people who have not bothered to get their pet spayed are finding it more difficult to home the kittens. We are providing free neutering for more cats than ever before but it doesn’t seem to be solving the problem.
In the past week we have had six lots of feral kittens reported to us. If we can get them by time they are six weeks old we can tame and re-home them but after that it becomes increasingly difficult. We always try to trap the mother cat and get her spayed to ensure no further litters and are very grateful to those members of the public who help us with this.
We have just taken in a stray cat and seven kittens from a country area. At first only six of the kittens were captured but when the mother was taken back to the site she called to the last one which appeared from the woodpile and was taken to be re-united with his siblings. A happy end to the story.
DAISY is just two years old and has been in care since February. She is playful and loves to be stroked and wouldn’t mind sharing her new home with a feline companion.
The Cats Protection float won its category in the Whitchurch Carnival on 17 July.
The month of July is going to be busy for the Cats Protection fund raisers. On the July 10 there will be the usual stall on Andover market stall and on the July 17 they will be at the Whitchurch Carnival and Nether Wallop Market. On the afternoon of Friday July 30 they begin their two week occupation of the charity shop in London Street, Whitchurch and on Saturday July 31 they will be at St Mary Bourne fete. They comment that this will put quite a strain on their resources, so if you think you can help or have unwanted goods for resale, please give them a call.
They are very pleased to be able to report that Wilson, the cat featured last month has at last found a loving home. This month they have Treacle and Pickle, young brothers who looking for a home where they can be together. They are quiet and a little shy of strangers but this is probably because they were indoor cats who were confined to a very small area and had little to interest them. They would like a new home where they can go out and about safely and have some fun.
Not all the cats that we take into care are suitable for homing and this causes us a problem as no cat that is healthy is ever put to sleep. Tabby and Lizzie, two elderly, ex-feral cats, who are extremely nervous, had been used to a warm conservatory so could not be put out on a farm but are quite unsuited to family life. They now have heated accommodation in part of Clare's pen and take the air in the garden. This is a big change from their previous country home but they seem content and mingle quite happily with Clare's two cats.
We are hoping for a flaming June as on the 6th of the month we have our Open Afternoon at Herbsland, Stoke Rd, Hurstbourne Tarrant where you will be able to meet quite a large number of our cats. There is plenty of parking space. Later in the month, on Sunday 27th, afternoon tea will be served between 2pm and 4pm in the garden of Long House Cottage, Hurstbourne Priors.
This is Wilson, found by builders who were renovating a house in a village outside Andover. They thought that he had been abandoned. He is quite tubby and healthy, very friendly and about three years old but, sadly, he has been in care for a long time now, probably because he is black and white, a colour that does not appeal to most people.
Sadie, the tortie who was featured a couple of months ago, has at last found a nice home.
This month our fundraising is really starting with a vengeance. On 2nd May we shall be having an information stand at the Anton Veterinary Practice which has recently opened in Andover. The following day (Bank Holiday Monday) we will, as usual, be at Hurstbourne Priors Fete. On 20th May there will be a fund raising coffee morning in the garden at 1, Test Road Whitchurch, weather permitting. On Sunday and Monday, 30th and 31st, we shall again be providing teas at Bere Mill in Whitchurch for the National Garden Scheme open days. The same event in March was a great success, the weather being glorious. Our catering team were run off their feet and we raised £300. We would also like to give you prior notice of our Open afternoon at Hurstbourne Tarrant on Sunday, June 6th where many of our cats will be on view but there will be more about this next month. If you would like to help at any of our events please call us, you will be very welcome.
GT is two years old. One eye shows evidence of an earlier infection which twisted the iris but this is now quite healed and will not require any further treatment. He is rather shy, probably because of his impaired vision, but he is used to other cats and well-behaved dogs. Surprisingly, Sadie, the lovely cat featured last time is still in our care though happily, Felix and his mum, Sheba have found a new home.
The Andover Cats Protection helpline is manned by a volunteer; if no one is available they usually respond to voice mail messages within a few hours. Calls can bring offers of homes (always welcome), or requests for financial help with neutering (usually granted). Although they try to act quickly when a cat has been abandoned or a small kitten is involved they cannot always help immediately; they cannot help with other people’s veterinary bills and injured animals are the responsibility of the RSPCA.
Cats Protection will have a number of stalls this month: Saturday April 17 on Andover Market, Saturday April 24 at the Open Afternoon at Strathmore Veterinary Clinic, and Bank Holiday Monday, May 3, at Hurstbourne Priors Fete.
Sadie is a beautiful young calico tortie who is a little aloof (as are most torties) but is friendly and loves attention. She would prefer a new home where there are no small children. Felix and his mum Sheba who were featured last time are still looking for someone to care for them.
The Andover Cats Protection helpline, which is manned by a volunteer, rings constantly. An answer phone is available when no one is at home to take the call and we usually respond within a few hours. There are offers of homes (always welcomed), requests for financial help with neutering (usually granted) and then there are the more difficult calls. Although we try to act quickly when a cat has been abandoned or a small kitten is involved we cannot always help immediately. At present we have at least a dozen cats on our list waiting to come in. Some calls are beyond our scope. We cannot pay other people’s veterinary bills (we have difficulty raising enough money to pay our own) and injured animals are the responsibility of the RSPCA. It requires a hard heart to refuse some of the requests but we like to feel that we are helping people as well as cats and it is a job that gives great satisfaction.
Cats Protection will have a number of stalls this month; on Saturday, 17th April on Andover Market, Saturday, 24th April at the Open Afternoon at Strathmore Veterinary Clinic and on Bank Holiday Monday, 3rd May at Hurstbourne Priors Fete.
Sadie is a beautiful young calico tortie who is a little aloof (as are most torties) but is friendly and loves attention. She would prefer a new home where there are no small children. Felix and his mum Sheba who were featured last time are still looking for someone to care for them..
During the very cold weather we have been trying to take in only the most urgent cases. The cats are housed in warm, purpose built pens and are supplied with heated pads, cozy beds and plenty of blankets but coming into care is, in itself, a traumatic experience for many cats without the added dimension of freezing conditions. Of course, for the stray cats who have been living on the street, a warm bed and two good meals a day make a welcome change.
During 2009 we took in and re-homed 208 cats and kittens and provided free neutering for a further 258. Neutering is one of the most important services we offer as it directly affects the number of unwanted kittens taken into care.
Cats Protection will be taking over the Charity Shop in London Street, Whitchurch from 20th February to 4th March. Please raid your cupboards and lofts for saleable goods and find time to come and support us.
MALKIN is a three year old, feisty but friendly, black cat with a shiny coat, beautiful yellow eyes and lots of character. She loves attention and does a lot of rubbing round ones legs, probably hoping for food. She came into care with with a tabby cat who was homed almost immediately but sadly, Malkin, being black, has not yet been chosen. She is used to children but would prefer to live in an adult household.
Andover and District Branch now has a volunteer who sells on eBay (see website for details). They are seeking suitable goods to sell which need to be small, light and suitable for mailing. They would also welcome unwanted Christmas gifts for the Tombola stalls. Please call if you have anything, they will gladly collect.
For some time Cats Protection has been collecting aluminium drinks cans and foil containers (including those from cat food). In the summer the money raised from the last load was spent on soft fruit that was then made into jam for resale. So instead of putting aluminium in the recycling bin please save it for them; they are happy to collect.
We are pleased to say that Tom and Gerry, the cats featured last month, found a new home in time for Christmas.
To start off the New Year we have Lizzie who had previously been living as an indoor cat but would now like a home where she can go out and about. She is two years old, quite shy but very friendly and enjoys lots of attention. She was obliged to share her previous home with another cat which did not suit her and she has lost quite a bit of fur on her legs through overgrooming caused by stress. Although the fur has now started to grow back she would prefer to have a quiet home where she can be the only pet.
Christmas is fast approaching and with it winter weather so spare a thought for those cats who have no home. The downward turn in the economy is rendering people homeless and although they themselves may be rehoused no allowance is made for their pets. The animal charities are being overwhelmed with desperate requests to take in homeless pets and more and more are being abandoned.
Today an Andover vet called to ask us to take a cat found sealed in a cardboard box. Written on the box were his name and a message from the owner who could no longer care for him. He is one of the lucky ones. Tomorrow he will be in a warm pen with plenty of food and soon, hopefully, he will have new home. However, we only have a finite number of pens and can only take a cat if a pen is available. More loving homes are needed to welcome these unfortunate cats and enable us to rescue more from the street.
On Saturday 5th December we shall be holding our final stall of the year on Andover market. We need funds to continue our work. Please come and support us.
Tom and Gerry were kittens rehomed by Cats Protection nine years ago but, through no fault of their own, they have been back in care since the middle of September. They are large, happy, healthy cats who have many more years of life to look forward to if only they can find a new home. They are friendly and placid and would be quite happy in a family environment.