Cleo checking for openings on her new cat run

“Finally all finished!

It was a lot of work, especially cutting around the tress and getting the net tensions right.

I will leave the 2nd zip door for later.

Cleo now comes & goes via the bedroom window pet door and is a much happier cat.

Must say I’m VERY happy with how it turned out, and your kind support through out.”

 

Northern Australian Cat Run

There are a lot of palm trees in Darwin, so if you want to install a side of house cat run up here, you have to cut the roof netting across from the fence to each palm tree trunk and re-join the net again to make the cat run escape proof.

“We have four cats ourselves. My work was fostering the four of them and my husband and I originally wanted two of them, but try as my work could we couldn’t find the other two homes. So when we bought our house we decided to keep all four. They really do love spending time out the side of the house, having the enclosure was the best thing we ever did. We’ve done it up a bit using stuff from Bunnings. And our neighbours have all asked how we got the enclosure. So I am very happy to  recommend your service.”

Mum’s Verandah Cat Enclosure

“The cats are loving their new home looks fantastic and now Mum can sit out there and enjoy her verandah with them and the birds are already coming back to the garden It’s wonderful as she loves her gardening!”

Ben & Mac in their new cat enclosure

Ben & Mac show their appreciation after their staff  have just finished building their new patio enclosure, so they can snooze and watch the world go by while their staff are out at work earning money for cat food and tasty treats.

Frankie’s Story

FRANKIE

FRANKIE’S STORY

 

This is the story of how beautiful, three year old, one-eyed Frankie came to spend the balance of his life with us on the Sunshine Coast – lucky boy!

First, I must back-track to a day in late February, when we’d travelled to Sydney the day before for a family court matter, and then had to wait for most of the day for a late afternoon return flight to the Sunshine Coast.

On our return home at about 7 o’clock that evening my beautiful big Tiger was keen to greet me, as were the other three cats, but he was my favourite. I had got Tiger as a kitten (my last!) and he was a beautiful 8 kg six year old. You’ll see that from the photo of him.

Tiger 2

TIGER

I made my usual fuss of him, as I loved him dearly, but, unfortunately, and totally unexpectedly, two hours later he had a massive heart attack and passed away, fortunately very quickly. We rushed him down the hill (we live on the top of Buderim) to the emergency vet hospital, but he was gone. I had suspected he might have the defective HCM gene, and the vet confirmed that this had probably been the case. More about that at another time!

Ken and I were totally devastated, of course. It was a heartbreaking end to a day that had not gone as well as it could have.

However, Ken is very patient where our cats and I are concerned, and was happy to help me look for another cat, as he knew how much I missed Tiger. His passing had left a huge hole – for me, anyway. As a result Ken found Frankie advertised on Gumtree, looking to be rehomed by his Mum, Amanda. Amanda already had an old female cat, Saba, who had not taken to Frankie. I have to say, we’ve also found this with our female cats when introducing male kittens or cats.

Amanda had adopted Frankie from the RSPCA the previous July after he had been handed in with a badly damaged eye, which was later removed by the RSPCA vet. He was also desexed and microchipped at that time. Probably a lot of people would have been reticent about taking a cat recovering from such a traumatic injury, but Amanda took him home and did a wonderful job with him, giving him the love and care he really needed at that time.

However, Amanda’s work as a night superintendent at one of the large clubs in Sydney meant that she really did not have the time to spend with Frankie, who is very affectionate, and loves company and being petted. So ultimately she reluctantly made the decision to rehome Frankie – a very difficult decision as we know she loved him dearly – as do we. We believe her Mum also helped and supported her in this difficult decision.

As a result Ken flew to Sydney from the Sunshine Coast, picked up a hire car at the airport, and drove to Amanda’s home to collect a very unwilling, and very vocal, Frankie. Apparently they had great difficulty putting him in his carrier, and by the time Ken left for the 40 minute drive back to the airport both Amanda and Frankie were crying – Frankie very loudly. Ken rang me from the airport, very upset, and said he felt like a baby snatcher. I did my best to comfort both of them!

Unfortunately, as only some flights carry animals, they had to fly back into Brisbane on a late afternoon flight, which was fine for picking up Ken, but we had great difficulty finding the cargo animal collection place for Virgin Airlines. I was in a panic, of course, as it was a late Saturday afternoon/early evening and I had horrible visions of Frankie being locked up for the weekend; incorrectly, of course.

We finally got to the right place and Frankie was brought out in his carrier, looking quite composed, actually – far more so than I was! I spoke a few words to him and put my fingers through the cage door, and he seemed to be okay, thank goodness.

We were expecting a very noisy trip back to Buderim (about an hour’s drive), but there was not one peep out of young Frankie, until he gave a bit of a squeak just as we turned the last couple of corners to home. He seemed to sense that we were almost at our destination.

Frankie spent his first few days in the master bedroom, which has large bi-fold doors onto a very large deck, with a wonderful view across to the Blackall Range. I had done this with our previous youngster, Riley (now also known as Skippy because of his long legs!). There is a cat opening from the deck into this bedroom, but we closed it off to keep our other cats out of there until they got used to each other. However, they could still see each other (our two naughty young ginger males) through the glass, and do what cats do – hiss ferociously (just a big act really) at each other.

Frankie actually spent a lot of his first few days in the walk-in robe, behind the shoes, peering up at us with his one bright eye. The fact that he’d lost an eye upset me at first, but I’ve got used to it, and he certainly copes very well. However, I’ve become a “helicopter parent” and get a bit panicky when they roll around the floor playing and having the odd squabble, as young cats do.

But Frankie has settled in very well and is a source of much entertainment and joy for us. My elder sister Enid, who is now a little forgetful, particularly loves him, and she has a framed photograph of Frankie on her bedside table – which amuses me as I’ve never known her to be so besotted by a cat before!

Frankie doesn’t jump on the large cat trees, of which we have four, on the deck or walk around the large deck railing, but I guess this has something to do with his ability, or inability maybe, to gauge the distance to jump up. I’m not sure about that, but I do know he loves all the chairs (there are ten) on the deck, and we have to work around whatever his current choice is.

Frankie loves his food, to the point where I’m a bit concerned that he’s becoming a little overweight, but I’m hopeful that once he gets used to the variety of food available that will settle down.

He’s also a great talker, and has just come into the office and is saying something to me. He always makes his presence known, especially at 4.30/5.00 a.m.! Fortunately we’re early risers, so this doesn’t bother us. It has probably come about because of Amanda’s working hours, I would think.

So this has been a bit of a journey for us, and Frankie, but the end result has certainly been worth the effort and the cost of bringing him to live with us. I still grieve for Tiger, sometimes quite a lot, but I like to think that Frankie was meant to come to us, and we love him very much.

We also thank Amanda, to whom I still send photos and keep in touch, and her Mum for letting us have Frankie. He’s a wonderful, kind fellow and we’ll, hopefully, have lots of years of his wonderful, loving company.

 

V & M cat runs 8

Snake Season by Robyn Roberts

I was reminded a few days ago when my sister and I were walking along a path that snake season is upon us, when we almost stepped on a very lively snake. It gave us both a shock, and we’ll be more careful when walking along paths that lead through forested areas, even though we were only fifty or so metres from the coffee shops and restaurants of Buderim Village.

It also reminded me that we have to be careful of kittens, and also young and/or small cats, at this time, particularly if there are pythons around – as there are in most areas in Australia!

A number of years ago when I was living in Carindale I had a cat enclosure installed, which ran out into the garden from the house and included the paling boundary fence as one side of the enclosure. It was one of those paling fences with gaps between the palings, but it never occurred to me that a snake would come into the enclosure that way – in hindsight I guess I should have thought of that.

At that time I had two adult cats and one five month old Chinchilla kitten named Sam. I was getting ready to go to work one morning (fortunately running late!) when I heard him scream, and knew something terrible was happening to him. It was a large two storey house, and I ran downstairs to be confronted by the terrifying sight of a large python wrapped around my beautiful kitten.

I am utterly terrified of snakes, but of course, without thinking, picked up the whole bundle (it was a large snake, and quite heavy, and I was a lot lighter in those days) and proceeded to try and separate the snake from my much loved kitten. I was about to drag the whole lot into the garage and grab a shovel to hit the snake, I guess, when the snake let go and poor little Sam took off, with me in hot pursuit. I was terrified he would have collapsed and died before I caught up with him – thankfully that was not the case!

However, I had the presence of mind (thank goodness) in my panic-stricken state, to shut the enclosure flap leading into the house, because when I came downstairs later the snake was right at the entrance, very keen to get at my much loved kitten.

Needless to say, I was very late to work that day. Firstly, I rushed my kitten off to the vet, where he was given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic injections, and then I saw my GP for a tetanus shot as, unbeknown to me at the time, the snake had bitten me on the arms several times.

We both lived to tell the tale, although I have to say poor Sam developed severe asthma at about age five, and having seen the large snake wrapped around his tiny chest I often wondered if that had been the cause of the asthma.

However, I mention this as something to bear in mind when planning the installation of a cat enclosure if a boundary fence is to be included. It’s not something I would like to go through again, although I guess I’d do the same thing, and I hope this will save someone else going through a similar ordeal.

As you can see, Sam survived the ordeal and is inspecting Ken’s efforts to produce our zip installation manual.

 

Bob’s Story

Having just read the book “A Street Cat Named Bob” it brought to mind the story of our own Bob, a beautiful white Chinchilla who lived to the good age of fifteen, and to whom we said “Goodbye” in January 2016.

In 2001 Robyn  lost two of her much loved cats, one of whom was Sam, a much loved, gregarious, white Persian.  It was commented on by a number of people that he was “a cat in a million”, and he certainly lived up to that, personality-wise! Unfortunately, Sam had asthma and eye problems.  The only thing to use at that time for his asthma was cortisone, which was a life-save for him.

The breeder we had got him from kept her kittens in a very sorry state, and when Robyn took him when he was handed to her he was trembling so much she couldn’t leave him, so she and her husband at that time took him home.  He was a great worry health-wise, but a wonderful cat and she never regretted that decision.  His health deteriorated badly and he was euthenased on 11 August, 1997, two or three weeks prior to Princess Diana’s untimely death.  11 August would also have been Robyn’s father’s birthday had he been still alive, so it has been a very easy date to remember.  He was 11 years old at the time.

The second cat was a sweet natured cream Persian named Boulie.  He had been so named by the breeder because, to use her words, he was so “bee-ute-iful”!  It took us some years to realise that Boulie had gone blind.  We assume he had some sight in his earlier years.  We got him within a few weeks of getting Sam and they bonded immediately, and particularly more so as Boulie lost his sight over time – we realised later.  Unfortunately, Boulie grieved so much for Sam when he was euthenased he became quite demented, and we made the difficult decision, with our wonderful vet Vic Menrath of the Brisbane Cat Clinic, to also euthenase him a week later.  It was a very sad time for us!  Boulie was also just short of 11 when he died.

However, we still had our other cat, a beautiful blue, rather aloof, Persian appropriately named Sheba.  We loved her dearly, of course, and she lived a further five years, becoming rather demented in her old age.  She was euthanased when we realised she had become severely diabetic.  Unfortunately this happened on Christmas Eve in the year 2000. This decision was made in view of her age and the fact that she did not like being handled, and it would have distressed her far too much to be giving her blood tests and injections.  We later became very familiar with treating both asthma and diabetes.

We had, previous to Sheba’s demise, taken home from a local refuge a lovely Tortoiseshell domestic long haired female cat named Keisha.  Her owner had gone into care and Keisha had been placed in a refuge, where she was very withdrawn and unhappy.  It was because of this, not knowing at all what sort of personality she had, that we decided to take her home.  She settled in very quickly and had a habit of bullying poor old Sheba, but later, when the two boys, Sam and Bob, arrived on the scene she was smartly put in her place.  But she was a lovely little cat and particularly loved Ken, as all our cats have done!

Following Sheba’s death, in early 2001 Robyn decided to purchase a lovely Chinchilla kitten from a local pet shop at Carindale.  He was a beautiful boy, but developed severely ulcerated eyes, and when he was about three years old he also developed asthma.  He was another much loved cause for worry and concern, with frequent visits to the vet.  We hate to think of the cost over his 11 years with several lots of eye surgery and also asthma treatment.

Eventually a specialist vet at one of the many veterinary specialist centres we visited with him advised us to use a specially developed asthma puffer.  So every day, twice daily, he was given his inhalant.  He also had to have cortisone tablets on occasion as well.

 

Ken and I made the decision at the time, after  that we would stay with two cats.  However, the Cat Clinic at Mt Gravatt had other ideas and were keen for us to take a kitten which had been found living under a car in Paddington.  We resisted for a week or two, then went and saw this little, still partly grease covered (on his nose!) white Chinchilla kitten. He had been thoroughly washed, of course, and treated for intestinal worms, but some of the grease colouring still remained on his little face.

Anyway, the inevitable happened and we took him home, a decision which we never regretted.

 

 

 

A Life of Riley (the newest member of our Catsafe family)

           

Welcome to Riley, the newest member of our family.

We spotted Riley in an RSPCA adoption centre and thought he could do with a good home.

He’s also a good mate and sparring partner for our two year old ginger and white, Tommy, pictured with him.  Big Tiger also loves a roll around the carpet with him, much to Robyn’s distress as he sheds his lovely long fur coat over the carpets and mats, and she’s forever vacuuming.

But they’re great fun to watch and keep us on the go, especially at feed time!

As you can see, our Catsafe house in Buderim is a cats’  paradise, the cafe curtains keep them warm in winter, and we roll them all up in summer.

Outdoor cat enclosure for two very spoilt cats

All cats love to get outdoors, and with a cat enclosure, you can give them fresh air while keeping both your cats and the local wildlife safe from harm.

An average size cat enclosure is a lot less expensive than a vet bill following a cat fight.