Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New visitor...I did not steal that cat

I have a bit of a history of stealing cats.  I don't know why people are so melodramatic about it.  I've only done it twice.

The first time I 'stole' a cat, it was more of a 'borrow' to be honest.  I was a teenager.  This gorgeous friendly cat moved in with me, I fed her and she slept in my room.  I got her a new collar and even arranged for her to be spayed through a local charity.

Imagine my horror when I was feeding her one day and we both heard someone singsong calling 'Bramble' and she shot off over the fence.  Now imagine the owners' horror when they came back from holiday to find their cat wearing a new collar, shaved and recovering from surgery.

I literally counted the seconds until the knock on the door.  Amazingly the owners were really good about it (in the end), and even asked me to look after their cats whenever they went on holiday.  I'm not sure I would have been so magnaminous.

The second time I stole a cat I really did steal a cat.  I was living in a shared student house and one of the other people - let's call him Brian (for that was his name) - acquired a cat.  It wasn't an expensive cat and to be fair Brian didn't look after the cat or feed the cat.  I did all those things.  I even taught him (the cat) to chase a ball and bring it back.

Imagine my chagrin when Brian left the shared house and took the cat with him!  My cat!  Roping in some well-meaning and pliable people and 'Operation Cat Rustle' was go.  We all piled in a car and headed to Brian's mum's house.  It was dark.  We turned the lights and engine off and gently rolled down the street as near as we dared.

While the getaway driver stayed at their post the rest of us headed to the house ninja-stylee.  The cat was sat in the front garden and looked mightily amused to see us all there, hissing his name.  He didn't move of course.  One of us (it was me) had to sneak into the front garden, grab the cat and sneak out again as quickly as possible.  It was thrilling.  And successful.

We ran back to the car and brought the cat home with a massive euphoric sense of 'sticking it to the man'.  Yeah.

A couple of days later Brian turned up to the old house to pick up some post and as he was there on the doorstep, the cat leisurely walked past him.  We exchanged nervous glances, convinced we were rumbled.  Brian was gobsmacked.  "**** me!!!  He's walked home!  that's amazing!!  Aren't cats clever?!"

Lulu the cat, was not obtained through nefarious means.

This brings me to my latest feline visitor.  A few weeks ago a scrawny but friendly little tortoiseshell cat came up to me and my son.  She looked desperately hungry so I gave her some food, and then as the food was being eaten, left a bowl by the front door and kept filling it up.  We'd been having regular sightings but today she walked past my son, wandered into the house, found a cushion and went to sleep.

Scooby isn't bothered by her and more importantly the queen of the house, Lulu, wasn't bothered either.  Cat is very friendly and likes being handled.  She's had a wander, found the food, water and litter tray and found a wardrobe to sleep in.  It looks like she's here for the night, no idea what's going to happen after that.  Watch this space...

Lulu, Queen of the house afteer a dowwnpour

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Caspar - RSPCA success story

Caspar is about four years old and was adopted from the RSPCA six months ago,  He is an absolutely wonderful dog.  I saw him when he was in the kennels and he was very unhappy and frightened but he settled into his new home really quickly and has totally come out of his shell.

He's a real addition to the whole family and very good at obediance classes (unlike Scooby).  He's a real credit to his new family and he's very attached to them.  Scooby and Caspar have a little 'bromance' thing going on.

Whenever they get together they just run and run, which is great for us owners.  Not so good for Caspar's owner is that after spending any amount of time playing with Scooby, Caspar's beautiful white coat is usually really dirty around the edges.

If anyone is thinking of getting a new dog I would definitely recommend giving an abandoned dog a second chance.  You can look up animals needing homes on the various websites, and the organisations will always try and give you as much information as possible to find the best match between dog and new owner.  Caspar is an example of how brilliant it can work out for everyone.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

who's the weirdo?

As I was going into the park the other day I almost bumped into a huffing and puffing fluorescent-clad jogger...and in my head I muttered 'weirdo'.  But then I had the realisation that actually I was walking into a park, in the dark with my dog who was wearing his light up collar, and in one hand I had a torch and the other clutched poo bags.  Now who's the weirdo? 

Thankfully the weekend means I can take Scooby out in daylight.  He's had an absolute ball today.  It's great when he meets some likeminded (simpleminded?) big dogs, especially when they have owners that let them do the daft big dog running-about-and-wrestling thing.

Even though it's been fairly cold today if there's water, he's straight in it.  Weirdo.

As usual, after a big walk he's knackered and all he's good for is sleeping.  It's a hard life.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

where there's a will

I was listening to an item on radio 4 the other day about a scheme to get people without wills to make them for a charitable donation.  I've been trying to find a solicitor to make an appointment.

The thing is I've not really got anything to leave behind.  My sprogs are grown-up and so I don't need to find guardians for them.  But then there's Scooby...

It's quite hard finding someone to agree to look after Scooby.  I don't want someone to say 'yeah yeah I'll have him' without really thinking about it, but on the other hand the more people think about it the less likely they are to agree.

I know beggars can't be choosers but little things suddenly seem important to me in prospective adopters...will they let him snuggle up to them on the settee?  when he has a nightmare will they be gentle with him?  will they give him lots of chewy things...and dried tripe even though it stinks and makes him fart worse than usual?

I think the way forward is probably to have conditions to any financial benefits.  I can see now why people have left their houses or fortunes to their cats.  My conditions would have to be a lot more modest, including things like my vinyl collection and set of Wade Natwest pigs in return for a long and cuddly life for Scooby.

I think I'm going to have to rob a bank/win the lottery...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

To bed or not to bed?

Every single night I kick Scooby off my bed, and every single morning I wake up to him sprawled across it and asleep.

I know I only have myself to blame.  When he was little he was so warm and pudgy and soft it was like having my very own cuddly hot water bottle.  This was useful as all my actual hot water bottles developed puppy-tooth-shaped holes and leaked.  Weird eh?

Now he's a big cornery smelly doofus and stretched out reaches from the foot of the bed to the top.  And he snores.  And he chases rabbits in his sleep.  And he's very heavy.  And did I mention the smell?

He does have his own bed.  It's the same one he was swamped by when he was a pup but now it fits him more like a tightly fitting womb.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The great outdoors

There are plenty of not nice things about having a dog - the smell, the poo, fleas...but one of the best things is all the places you get to see and all the exercise you get.

I've never done so much walking and been to so many parks in my life since having Scooby.  You can't miss a day either, or only go when it isn't raining.  This isn't sounding like a good thing at all now actually....

Maybe it's because Scooby is half Husky, but he loves the winter and snow!  Spot the dog in the above picture.  

A picture of a frozen waterfall while walking Scooby last Boxing Day....yes I am aware that most normal people were eating chocolate oranges and watching Mary Poppins at the time. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A day in the life of Scooby

This is a little film I made of Scooby and uploaded to youtube.  It was my first time using imovie.

In it you can see and hear Scooby howling at his squeaky toy, running, getting very dirty and the resulting bath...and ends with him being wrapped in towels and blankets and nodding off.

I think he's due another film soon.  I need suggestions as to what I should get him to do in it....anything other than sleeping (which he does a lot of) will need some planning.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Beware of the dog

My new sign from ebay arrived today.

The idea is to scare off potential burglars.  The problem is, Scooby actually isn't very scary.  Even his name which he suits so well isn't scary.  On occasion when I've found myself in an intimidating situation I have changed his name.

Walking Scooby through a less cheerful part of town in the dark and surrounded by be-tracksuited youths I have (once or twice) resorted to tugging on Scooby's lead (as if to restrain a wild beast) and told him "Calm down Killer! No!"

I could get an Oscar for my part but Scooby's rubbish at acting hard and gives it away by enthusiastically wagging his tail at the feral youths, who in turn go all mushy, come over and ask me what kind of dog he is, how old he is and then tell me all about their pit bulls.

An example of Scooby 'not looking hard' after my son put a t-shirt on him following a request to dry off the dog.

Friday, 11 November 2011

In the beginning...

...Scooby was a pudgy timid little thing that couldn't get up the stairs and cried.

Shortly after this Scooby became a force of nature, like a tornado, wreaking havoc throughout the entire house.

He was always very affectionate and craved attention.

He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and he's had many scrapes along the way.  Daft things like getting stuck in the window when he tried to climb out, being beaten up by the cats because he just doesn't really understand that they don't like him, being stung by a bee when he was being too nosey...

Knowing Scooby, I think there's many more scrapes to come.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Moonlight dog walking

It's a bit mad walking the dog by moonlight, but necessary if Scooby's going to get enough exercise through the week, from now until Spring.  His glow in the dark collar is working out very well, and the extra jingley things on his collar so I can hear him coming.