I am a huge advocate of rescuing cats from shelters rather than buying them from breeders or pet shops. Every type of cat, of every age and every breed are available in a shelter somewhere. Only want a pedigree kitten? There will be one, somewhere, in a shelter! So why spend out hundreds of pounds when shelters are having to put down animals they can’t home? (Though really good shelters have no kill policies except due to severe illness.)
Pretty much every stereotype about shelter cats are untrue. They’re just as loving and adorable as any other cat out there – and the great thing about shelter cats is the staff/volunteers will want the match to work – so will evaluate the pet to check how they are with other animals, children, or specific people, and what kind of home would suit the cat best. Some are happy to be left home alone for longer periods of time, others need more attention. Many like to roam outside, while a few want to stay indoors pets. They will also flag up if there are any specific health care issues. It means when you take a cat home with you, you can have far more confidence that the pet will work with your personal circumstances, rather than taking a gamble.
Another reason to choose a shelter cat is it will keep more money in your pocket. Having an animal isn’t cheap, but when you pay the fee at the shelter, it usually covers a whole range of costs including neutering/spaying, vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, and the pet should also be micro chipped as well. My local shelter charges a £60 fee which covers all that, yet my vet charges £60 for a spay alone. What a bargain!
My “rescue” cats
Despite being a huge proponent of rescue animals – none of my three cats are actually from a shelter. But I didn’t buy them either. Two were strays that were found in not-so-great situations, and no possible owners came forward after searching. Even if owners had been located, I wouldn’t have been happy giving them back as they both showed signs of neglect in different ways. My third cat was a kitten that was dumped with someone who had large dogs, so couldn’t keep them (the original owner asked her to look after the kitten for the weekend, then never came back).
My first cat, Button has come on such a long way. When I first got him I used to say he was ‘scared of life’ – jumping at every sound, and running away in terror if a man came near him. It took me a long time to gain his trust, but he’s now the most loving cat, always wanting cuddles and attention.
Bailey, the kitten who was dumped, is full of personality. He will only come to you when he chooses to, so you feel all the more privileged when he honours you with his presence. He gives adorable little head nods to people he’s feeling affectionate towards.
Pepper is my little eternal kitten – half the size of Bailey, who is almost half the size of Button! She’s full of sass, keeping the two boys in line, and constantly begging for treats – and is often found in random places (the bin, a cupboard, a box that’s half the size of her, and so on!)
Why Poppy’s Place?
Poppys Place is an animal rescue that have two bases – one in Colchester and the other in Dartford. They’re 100% non-destruct, and often take cats in that are hard to adopt. The love and care they have for the animals they rescue shines through everything they do (just read Sybil’s story here).
What am I doing to help them?
I’ve made a set of six fused glass coasters each with a different cat image on it, and I’m going to give 10% of every sale to Poppys Place. You can find the coasters on the Sparkly Place Fused Glass Facebook page.
They will make a lovely addition to any cat lovers home. And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten dog lovers – they will be another set for them, with the same 10% going to Poppys Place.
Having written about organ donation in The Huffington Post in February, I was contacted by the makers of a new documentary called A Love Worth Giving to ask if I would help to spread the word about their Kickstarter campaign.
The documentary follows a newly married couple Sam and Luke. Sam has Cystic Fibrosis and needs a double lung transplant urgently. The documentary follows her battle as she has to deal with false alarms and her health going downhill.
The makers have started a Kickstarter Campaign to fund the post-production and release of the film. I’ve watched the trailer and already it looks incredibly professional and well-done, and looks to be a heartbreaking story. (You can watch this by clicking on the link to the Kickstarter.)
The makers of the film have also set up a page on their website where you can submit a photo of one of your loved ones – if they have either died waiting for an organ, or if on their death they donated organs to help save other lives. This is a really lovely touch, and it would be great to spread the word to get the film made, and to hopefully help change attitudes about organ donation.
While 9 out of 10 people in the UK support organ donation, only 3 out of 10 actually sign the register. And many family members override their decision on their deaths.
This has to change urgently to many more lives can be saved.
There are only three days to go to get the documentary funded. Please dig deep and spread the word!
Edit August 2015: I’m really pleased to say this project did get funded, with 380 backers pledging£15,435. As of this month the documentary is complete, and I can’t wait to see it! The documentary will have its world premier at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival – which is excellent news. Well done to them!
Credit to the Kickstarter Page.
Credit to Puiu Adriana Mirabela
Today I went to a Chronic Pain support group. I love going, it’s quite a great feeling being in a room full of people who know exactly what you’re going through. Sadly it usually clashes with a work day, so I’m not able to go. We spend the time just talking about our current issues – sharing things that have worked for us, having a bit of a vent and quite often having a laugh at ourselves.
Speaking of work, things came to a head when I went to see my GP recently and explained how low and stressed I was feeling. She then said she wanted me to have a break from work, and signed me off for a month. She also referred me back to the chronic pain clinic at the local hospital to see if they can try something new, and decided to put me on Prozac, to see if I can kick this depression.
Work took it in their usual way. I have an occupational health assessment tomorrow, which they asked me to have when I joined the company. I’m quite nervous about it, but will see how it goes.
I’ve been trying to think of something new to do a fundraising event for Fair Access to Colchester. The group has no money, and I desperately want to advertise and do lots of other things that cost money. I’ve run some pamper days for a village hall charity before, and I wanted to do something different.
At the same time, I was trying to arrange a craft themed meeting for Fair Access. I have found lots of disabled people are into crafts, and that’s how I got into them myself really – by looking for a hobby that could distract me from the pain. I suddenly realised the craft theme could work on a larger scale – by getting a large hall, and having lots of different crafters in giving small lessons. For example someone would come in a pay a small fee to make a bracelet, or a card, or paint something. That way people get to do something fun and try out something they may not have done before. It’s expensive starting a new hobby, and you want to make sure you’ll like it before you spend money.
I thought I could have some tables selling crafts, some children’s stuff and maybe a raffle or something.