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Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

Life and Kittens

Chloe Scargill

This is our new cat Chloe. She’s very friendly and currently looking after 5 kittens. We’re keeping Chloe – that is providing the boys don’t have her for breakfast and up to now they are being reasonably nice.

So now for those who’re not keeping up – we have Simba, Ruffy and Chloe and right now 5 fantastic kittens, however by the end of the week I expect they will have all been re-housed so we’re enjoying them while we can.

My shedIt’s been a busy week, apart from a slight lull at the start of the week as everyone recovered from the shock of seeing Brussels in pieces.  I’ve been working on code, blogging about some new computer boards I’ve been sent for review, finishing off Maureen’s shed and starting to get stuff from the hold in Hexham back up here – the plan being to get everything here before we clear off to better weather next month for a while. I’m hoping my new hi-tech radar movement sensors will arrive in the next couple of days or so – help make the place a little more secure (apparently these can even sense movement on the other side of a thin wall!)

Chloe doesn’t know it yet but she’s coming with us to Spain!

Chloe and her kittens

Cat Poo and other Delights

Simple SolutionI’m not NORMALLY prone to promoting particular brands – well, why should I? I don’t get paid… but in this case I’m going to make an exception – and I must clarify – this is purely for your information – I am NOT getting any benefit out of this nor do I even know the manufacturers.

I’m 60 and I’ve had cats all my life – I find them great companions and our two gingers are basically part of the family, they sleep with us (in shifts at the bottom of the bed for clarification) and spend their time when not chasing birds, in a corner always near where we are. They don’t smell, they don’t “have accidents” and they don’t need maintenance – just food, water and attention when you can be bothered. In return they give a LOT of affection – a good deal all around.

Our two “never” have accidents (I did forget about them once and lock them in the office for 48 hours – well, you can’t blame them, one came out cross-legged, the other didn’t) however cats don’t last forever and we now have a new ginger kitten – who is most adorable on the one hand, but on the other has to be the most efficient machine for producing “waste matter” (don’t want to put you off your breakfast) ON THE PLANET. He has come THAT far off being strangled a few times and I’v thought of some creative uses for corks but not implemented them. He is out and about now, having had “the chop” but until then he had to stay in the house and BOY could he make a mess.

Animal mess is something I find HIGHLY offensive and I can categorically say that every remedy I’ve seen on the web FAILS. People suggest vinegar and all other kinds of solutions that smell worse than the original problem – there are products all over the place and to the last one – all they do is mask the problem AT BEST.

Well, with the exception of one. Some time ago, Maureen found the product you see above – Simple Solution Stain + Odour Remover – an American product by the look of it – but available over here in the UK (see link later on) In desperation we gave it a shot. It works.

I could stop there really – it absolutely works. The general advice on the container  is simply to clean up the mess and pour this stuff all over the location, be it carpet, tiles or whatever, leave for a while and mop up. Two things wrong with that scenario – mopping up might not be that easy and pouring it all over ensures your expensive and large container doesn’t last long not to mention rotting the floor underneath if it’s wood.

So with that in mind, a week ago I happened to have an empty hand-spray weed killer plastic bottle and filled it with the stuff.

Put it in a convenient spot and never thought any more about it until the other day I left my office door open – I do that as I get sick of the cats begging to be in – they have a tendency to do shift work coming in and out of the office for several hours at a time.The kitten who’s just been allowed out rushed in, found a corner full of cables and made the biggest mess you can imagine – GROSS. Well, after grabbing kitchen roll, convincing myself not to throw up and cleaning up as best I could, I was left with an office with un-breathable air. NOT happy. I did consider at that point drowning him but Maureen would never have forgiven me. After a few less destructive thoughts, like dropping him off in the next village, I decided to give the spray bottle a go. I simply drenched the area with fine spray – and went off to bed for the night, convinced I’d have to pull the workshop area apart even though I’d done a good clean up job.

The next morning – NOTHING – if anything a very slight odour from the cleaner – which is actually a kind of “spring fresh” smell – it’s actually quite nice. ABSOLUTELY no sign of anything visually or odour-wise and certainly nothing you would attribute to an animal.

The stuff REALLY works – I don’t know how it works – but it does. Similarly the little devil stained the carpet at one point – now that is REALLY a problem as it gets into the under-carpet and everything and basically you’re normally talking “carpet replacement”. Again, a good soaking, this time blotting up after a while – again – UTTERLY SORTED.

It is very rarely that I rave about products – but I’m sold on this stuff – if you have cats it could be a LIFE-SAVER.. well, you know what I mean.

There are variations – one with a dog on it – I have NO idea if it’s the same – and there are various size – we bought the 4 litre version… a quick Google failed to turn up the 4 litre version but I found this –


It’s the smaller spray version and definitely the same product we bought. If you have a cat and this is of interest – ENJOY! Life just got a lot easier.

Christmas Cheer

tmp7C5EHad a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses over during the hols. I heard the knock on the door, opened it and “Hi.. don’t you think it’s terrible that people live their lives without Jesus” was their opening line. “We do” I said politely in my opening shot – at which point Maureen started griping about the cat getting out so I had to closed the door.

They didn’t come back – a shame as it’s been 20 years since they last called and I’ve been building up my response. Ah well.

A very good point was made on Facebook today… somewhere in the USA, 200 million dollars spend on NYE fireworks, millions praying – meanwhile millions starve.. something very wrong with all of this.

Happy New Year everyone from Maureen and I, our two cats and our new trouble-making kitten!

A quiet day at home

Simba (front) and Ollie (rear) on my workbenchBetween endless meetings and a holiday, I’ve not spent a lot of time at home recently and this coming week will be no exception. I’m not looking forward to travelling up to Edinburgh for endless meetings- not least because it will be freezing cold up there.

The cats certainly noticed my absense – my two boys – Simba (front) and Ollie have been all over me since we got home last night. As I dozed off last night, I could feel one of them sliding under my arm for a late night hug….and this morning when I awoke, he was trying to suffocate me… since then they’ve been following me around endlessly… as you can see here. Quite content to just be nearby and not after food or anything.

Strange creatures. Click the image for larger versions.


Ollie (front) and Simba


We’ve had kittens! Not much more to say at this point… 3 kittens, can only have appeared between me going to sleep at 3.30am this morning and getting up now at 10am..



A cat’s life


It’s a tough life being a cat. In the first photo, I  must’ve sat most of the day working on a document and the only time I moved was to yank young Ollie back off the floor as he slowly slid off the edge of the bench fast asleep and eventually fell off, via me. I think the mouse movement on the screen hypnotises him….

Here then are a few recent pics of my cat in action…

Ollie working hard

Ollie in Action


Ollie in action

Sad Departure

Sadly it looks as if Rosie our cat managed to get run over by truck or similar in Wark. So if you’re looking in and remember running over a long-haired ginger cat recently – here’s a wish for a lifelong and painful curse upon you and all your relatives!

Rosie was still under a year old and carrying kittens… thankfully they were her second attempt and from the first lot we have young Ollie who’s turned out to be a winner.

Ollie Scargill

It’s tough being a Scargill cat

Young thingy

Working 7 days a week down ‘pit’

coal-covered cat

This is what a normally pristine clean cat looks like after emerging from someone’s coal shed… probably ours.

I was just sitting catching up on Facebook when in she walked looking like she’d been down a mine (photo on the left).

Right now she’s off cleaning Normal clean looksomewhere – I hope not on a bed!  Meanwhile her offspring seems have recovered remarkably from having his bits removed at the vets this week!

Rosie’s normal clean look is seen on the photo on the right…

Enjoying the Snow

Here in Northumberland, with just about the most snow and coldest temperatures I’ve seen this century, at least someone is having fun…. we get a few hours of glorious sunshine – then back to snowfall – with no sign of it slowing down. Meetings scrapped, people stopping at home… thank heavens for electricity!


Mother and son fighting in the snow

Eagerly awaiting birds for lunch

Still a kitten but Ollie instinctively knows when he sees a bird!

knee-deep in snow

No change of cutting the grass in the near future..

Part of the back garden covered in snow