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Baby Sam update – 4 months old (nearly)


Sam at 3 months - 2

Just look at my newest grandson…. hasn’t he grown? This is my latest picture of him, which I’m proud to show you. He’s got such a winning smile and he’s a real little ‘buster’ isn’t he? – so different to Dylan, my eldest grandson, who is nearly three. Sam’s weaning at the moment and as you can see from the picture, he’s enjoying his food very much! He’s got his parents well trained!! and likes to be carried around all the time to enjoy different views of the house and garden whenever he feels like it.

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Here in the cottage we’ve all got colds and feel miserable. It doesn’t seem fair after all the hard work we’ve been doing lately, but there it is, we’re sick; sneezing and coughing and groaning, day and night.

In between the bouts of fever and sneezing, I’ve been unpacking the last box today. In it were all my scrapbooks from America and all the ‘stuff’ that goes with it. I’ve been putting off that box because I knew it would be nigh on impossible to find room here for all of it and I didn’t want to start chucking things out. I unpacked the box and got rid of the rubbish and then repacked it for another day. I will get to it, I will, I will, I will.

Millie is so pleased to be with her ‘daddy’ again and takes advantage of a cuddle whenever she can…

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So I’m back to my sniffing and snuffling, hoping to be feeling a bit better tomorrow…

Oma

Millie in the flowers.


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Millie loves walking (stalking) in the garden at the cottage. She can easily hide amongst the flowers and she is so well camouflaged that she rarely gets seen when she lies down.  I couldn’t get her to turn round for this picture.  She was watching something that I couldn’t see, so here she is, back view only.

Millie has adapted very well to her new home.  It must seem so strange to her.  It is much cooler over here, but the cottage is very sunny and she just follows the sun around from room to room so she can bask in it without even going outside.

She has become very dominant over Patch, my other cat. I am not surprised about that, but it is a shame because Patch is always at the bottom of the heap. She is old (13) and just wants to be left alone to sleep and eat, but Millie still wants to play and she chases Patch and corners her. Millie doesn’t attack Patch and there have been no injuries, but Patch is so timid she always submits.  Sometimes I just wish she’d stand her ground and not move! Of course we humans must not interfere. Between the two of them they have established a routine. Patch even finds a sort of comfort in going out into the garden when Millie is around because Millie is the devil Patch knows. If there is a strange cat in the garden or if The Ghost is lurking in the undergrowth, then patch is quite happy for Millie to sort it out!

The two cats don’t argue over the food bowls.  They both get fed at the same time, twice a day and whoever gets to the dishes first, starts. The other one will sit and wait. So far they haven’t stood next to each other to eat.

They will sit together in the back room sometimes. I like to see that and if I am in there doing my crochet or knitting, they like to sit with me. Sometimes one will sit on my lap and I have to put my knitting down, but mostly they just sit and watch.  I like to listen to story tapes when I’m doing my handicraft and I do believe they like to listen too.

So all is peaceful chez moi – for the moment.

Since the weekend is for gardening, I’d like to share with you some of the flowers I’m enjoying at the moment.

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Enjoy your weekend people.

Millie has an argument with The Ghost!


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This has been a slightly worrying week with Millie because she had an ‘argument’ with The Ghost – a large Tom cat who lives across the road.

The Ghost has always been a source of annoyance to me because he is ever-present and determined to live here, even though he has a perfectly good home of his own.  I say perfect, but perhaps he thinks otherwise. Some of the problem has been my own fault because I have tolerated his presence to a certain extent. Here’s what happened …

About four years ago, we noticed that we had a ‘stowaway’. We first saw him making a dash through the cat-flap after stealing Patch’s food one evening. We didn’t hear him come in. We only heard him going out! Then we started finding him under beds, hiding. It seemed like he wanted to stay, perhaps to keep warm, perhaps for other reasons. He was very sneaky. He used to hide and stay the night. We didn’t even know he was in here most of the time. That was when he was a kitten. As he reached adulthood he became more noticeable. When he started to spray, we shut the catflap and kept him out. He wasn’t welcome!!

I made some enquiries as to who he belonged to. My friend around the corner told me he belonged to a lady in my street. She never had The Ghost neutered. I wish she had. The older he got, the more of a nuisance he became. Finally he started chasing Patch into the house and frightened her. She is an old lady and likes a quiet life.

Then Millie arrived. I was a bit worried that he would ‘have a go at her’ and sure enough he did – last week. She came indoors looking very sorry for herself and started licking her tale. I knew something was up. Luckily the bite  didn’t turn into an abscess but she was a poor thing for a day or two. I think her pride was hurt. She didn’t expect to be set upon by the neighbours.  After all she had been through to get here, she didn’t deserve that.

Now she is better (thankfully). I wasn’t looking forward to a trip to the vet’s office. She will have to learn to live with The Ghost. That will not be easy. There’s always one, isn’t there.

Come to think of it, there’s always one in the human world too, isn’t there.  Always someone to ‘get along with’. Someone you don’t really like very much or who picks on you or bullies you or makes your life unbearable.

Is there someone in your life that gives you a hard time? Can you ‘shut up the catflap’ or must you endure?

When we were deciding how to handle this situation with Millie, we had discussions. My house partner suggested we shoo him away. I wasn’t in favour of that. I asked myself, ‘what would St. Francis do?’ The equivalent of Jesus’s ‘turn the other cheek’ scenario perhaps.

In the end I decided to let the cats sort it out for themselves. I have enough problems.

Here he is, the devil, alias The Ghost. For the moment peace reigns!

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Millie is settling in…


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Millie has been ‘across the pond’ in England for two weeks now and is settling in very well. My English cat, Patch, was disgusted at first!!! and wouldn’t have anything to do with Millie, let alone me, but she has a forgiving nature ? and has slowly begun to come round. At first Millie wore a pretty collar so that if she got lost, the neighbours would know where to return her.  It had a barrel attached with my telephone number on it. I kept Millie indoors for nearly a week, but she is an outdoor cat so I let her out as soon as I could and she has been exploring her neighbourhood ever since.  Mostly I was worried that she would go looking for the flora and fauna of Tennessee. It’s only 4500 miles away! but so far she has taken it easy and gone a little further each day. To date she has always returned unscathed.

The collar is now off and she is quite pleased about that, but Patch isn’t because now she doesn’t know where Millie is.  They occasionally creep up on each other and when they get close, there is a fearful yowling but it’s mostly Patch that does the yowling and Millie, being the dominant cat, that does the creeping. So far no fights and I’m very pleased with the progress.

Patch says: ‘If that cat doesn’t leave me alone soon, I’m out of here!’

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Together again at last!


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Last Wednesday I went down to Heathrow Airport to pick up Millie. She had travelled 4,500 miles to be with me here in England – all the way from Tennessee no less. It was lovely to see her again!

I was expecting to collect her from Airpets at Terminal 5, but in the event, she was waiting at the Animal Reception Centre, which is much nearer to Terminal 4.  The two terminals are a long way from each other so I caught the coach to the Central Bus Station near Terminals 1,2 and 3 and then got a bus from there.

It was rather exciting.  It felt a bit like Christmas! When I got to The Central Bus Station, it was lunch-time so I stopped there and bought some lunch and a newspaper. The paperwork said it could take up to five hours before Millie was checked and cleared for collection so I was prepared for a long wait.  After I’d eaten my sandwich and drunk my drink, I phoned the Reception Centre and they told me that Millie had arrived safely and that they would ring me when she was ready for collection.  I decided not to wait at the Bus Station.  It was very busy there. I thought I might be better waiting at the Reception Centre itself so I asked the lady on the Information Desk which bus I needed to catch to get to Terminal 4. She told me I needed the number 555 and that they ran every 30 minutes.

I caught the next one, at 12.25 and asked the driver if he would drop me off near the animal place. He said there was a bus-stop right outside so I didn’t have to walk very far. The Reception Centre itself was being filmed when I got there.  Who knows, I might be on T.V. at some point. There were people waiting in the conservatory waiting area, which was very comfortable.  Everyone was excited and nervous and longing to see their pet again.

While I was waiting, I phoned the taxi firm to arrange for transport home. Millie was in a larger than average cage because that’s the way they do it, so I needed a people carrier taxi to accommodate her.

I waited there for 30 minutes or so and then she was brought out to me. She looked a bit scared but I think she recognised me. I know she recognises my voice and all was soon well. A few soothing words goes a long way…

When I got home my son was here, working from home. I left Millie in the cage for half an hour and then let her out to explore the house. She was purring as she looked around. I expect she was glad to be free again although she had been let out 2 or 3 times during the long journey, which started with a 3 1/2 hour car ride from Knoxville to Atlanta.

So far so good, but she still had to meet my English cat, Patch and the neighbourhood terror – The Ghost. More of Millie’s adventures next time.

Millie looking out of my window.  “Where the …..! am I?  Oh well, at least I didn’t have to go into quarantine!”

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Millie’s trip to England – quarantine


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It won’t be long now before Millie makes her epic journey to England from America. I want to follow her progress with you.

Tomorrow she is going to the vet to get her rabies injection.  She has to have that exactly one month before she travels.  We don’t have rabies in England and we don’t want it thank-you so this is really important.

She also has to have a new chip put in her neck because the American one is not acceptable internationally.

She needs a passport to travel.

When she gets here she will not need to go into quarantine because the laws have been relaxed for some countries. You can read more about that issue here.     I don’t think I would bring her over if she had to go into quarantine for six months here because that would be cruel. She’s always been free to roam in or out of the house and she would think she’d done something wrong if she was trapped in somewhere.

However, I will have to keep her in the cottage for a few days so she gets used to the new environment and my England cat, Patch – see below.

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Patch is thirteen years old now and may not take kindly to a stranger in the camp! We’ll see. Watch this space.

So good luck for tomorrow Millie. I hope your inoculation goes ok.

See you soon…

Oma

Can I take my cat abroad with me? – Millie looks forward to her adventure!


This is my American cat Millie.  Soon she will be travelling back to England with me to begin a new life in a colder climate. Hope she likes it!

Back at the beginning of the year I happened to notice that quarantine isn’t necessary any more for some countries. In the U.K. we have no rabies. It has been so for many years and we are not keen to have it either, thank you very much! However nowadays pets can have passports and injections for rabies and other nasties so we have decided to move Millie to England complete with her very own passport, chip in her neck and all the necessary jabs. It will mean an inconvenience for her for 24 hours but if we permanently locate to the U.K. eventually, the Millie has to come to. I couldn’t bear to leave her behind. Even if we don’t move entirely, at least Larry will be able to come and stay without worrying about Millie stateside.

Quarantine would have meant six months in a cage with me visiting her as and when I could. It is a long way to Heathrow from where I live and it would be expensive and inconvenient not even counting the cost of boarding a cat in quarantine kennels. It has always been a no no. Millie wouldn’t like it and nor would we, but this way, one day of inconvenience and it’s over.

Millie started her life with someone else. When we first saw her she was about one year old.  She was sitting in a cage in Petsmart and we chose her specially. When we brought her home she zoomed about all over the apartment, obviously glad to have so much space. She is an outdoor cat, preferring to run free up the banks next to the apartment block, in and out of the hedges and trees.

She has her very own cat-door, which Larry made for her and her own special basket, see above.

She is a very special lady, six years old now and in her prime.

When she gets to England she will meet my other cat Patch, who is an old lady of 12 years.

and the Ghost, who belongs to someone else, but lives mostly with me, inside if he can sneak in or outside mostly:

It will not be easy…. there will be tense moments…. but fingers crossed we will all be happy family one day!