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Mews Archive 2009 - 2010

December 2010
 
We have once again launched our Fill a Cats Christmas Dish Appeal!
They look forward to their dinner so much. Also we need funds desperately as usual. We have more pens to buy plus many more items are needed for our new shelter site to become operational. Because of the lateness of sending this out we are running the fill a cat dish until February.
 
You can download and print your Filldish form by clicking on this link
 
Ok, we obviously won't be feeding them quiche, twixes and wine (no comments on my own poor diet purrlease!), but I couldn't resist this picture of my naughty rescue cat as he stole my leftovers before I swiftly removed the plate!
 
We tend to give chicken rather than turkey, which can be too rich for their tummies. Or some may prefer some tasty tuna, salmon or other delicacy!
 
 
Don't forget to review your house for cat (and especially kitten!) hazards at this time of year. Those lovely Christmas Poinsettias can be poisoness if eaten - and kittens do like to chew anything - plants, decorations....you name it....
 
Our cats from the Scratching Post have also been in the news this week - check out the local Mercury newspaper - front page and page 2!
 
 
13 November 2010
 
Apologies that the website has been quiet recently. We are just all soooo busy.
Work at the new shelter site is coming along. Keep an eye on our Shelter page...
We are - as always - full up with cats and still have lots of kittens. Homing is slow still and we recently had 2 kittens returned for being too lively!! We hear it all here. All our cats do come with a guarantee that we will take them back.
 
Web Ed has been busy taking care of her 2 foster mums and their wonderful and very precious kittens, who are now old enough to be homed...
 
  Mitzy and her kittens 
        
Mitzy will be speyed and also needs a new home of course. She was previously abandoned to live outside so she needs a very loving home where she can be looked after forever. She is hardly more than a kitten herself, at around ten months old. She loves to play - straws are her favourite toy!
 
 
Milly's kittens
 
        
 
Milly
 
 
Milly is not available for homing. She has never been socialised with humans.
 
She has had a really hard and traumatic life. Left outside to fend for herself, without anyone feeding her, and to get constantly pregnant, she has had 2 litters of kittens (that we know of) straight after each other. The first litter were born outside and are very timid. The second pregancy and nursing was a very traumatic experience for Milly and only 2 out of 5 survived.
 
Milly is shown here in a cage when she was a bit poorly, in order to make sure she got her meds. She now has her own room, with areas to play and run around with her kittens, shelves and high places to climb and hide in, scratching posts, toys and a window she loves to spend all night sitting loking out of. Once she is neutered and properly health checked etc, she will be released in a safe place where she will be regularly fed and monitored, and where there are other cats for company.
 
Milly's kittens have been handled from a very young age and are very sociable - actually, they are total buttons and love to play and cuddle because they get very special cuddles every day, being so precious...! 
 
 
4 October 2010
 
Mitzy is one of our foster cats. She had been abandoned and was heavily pregnant when she came to us. Here are some pictures of her and her kittens as a thank you to all our supporters. Without them we could not help cats and kittens like Mitzy and co.
 


 
 
Please visit our Shelter appeal page to see how work is progressing and say hi to our Furry foreman who is overseeing the works.
 Shelter Appeal
 
18 September 2010
 
As always we are brimming with cats, and kittens. Last week one 2 of our volunteers patiently trapped and brought in a pretty young black and white stray cat with her 5 kittens, of around 4 months old. We think that she was once somebody's cat, but had been abandoned. Where she has been living out and fending for herself, she is now extremely mistrustful of humans, and her kittens have also learned this fear. It will take a new home with loads of patience to socialise them, otherwise they will be moved into the feral barn, once they are neutered.
 


The poor mum cat is of course already heavily pregnant again. Her poor body already exhausted from raising 5 kittens (that we know of) - she is now almost immediately having to do the same again. 

 


Although Milly - as we have named her - is still very fearful, her kittens will be brought up with human contact and be well socialised from an early age. 
 
It goes without saying that Milly's kitten rearing days will then be brought to a close by the kindness of having her neutered.
 
(Update October 11: Sadly only 2 of Milly's new litter have survived, 3 have passed to the Rainbow Bridge.) We are all heartbroken and praying for the remaining two.
 
 
 
 
Shelter
 
Work at the new site for the shelter is moving forward slowly and we are sooooo grateful to everyone who has supported us and given donations. We still desperately need funds so that we can order good quality cat pens - these are thousands of pounds just for one pen but we need them to be good quality, making them easy to clean, warm, comfortable and long lasting.
 
Please continue to support us in our Shelter Appeal.
 
 
20 August 201
 
Update to our Shelter Appeal - 'The dream moves one step closer...
 
This page may have been a bit quiet lately, but we are busy working away behind the scenes, as always, and have some BIG news!
 
We have finally secured a piece of land where we plan to expand our work and to have our own permanent shelter. Read more about this exciting development to our Shelter Appeal.
 
 
17 July 2010
 
We are sorry the news page has been quiet. It brings to mind a phrase much used by parents around the world - 'if you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything at all.'
 
The calls to the helpline are breaking our heart. The shelter is full to bursting. All the volunteers have pregnant cats and kittens sqeezed into their spare rooms! Still the Helpline is over-run with calls to take yet more pregnant cats and kittens. We just despair of ever getting people to understand the important of neutering.
 
It annoys me so much when I see adverts of kittens for sale - don't these people know there are hundreds of kittens stuck in rescue shelters - all for a quick 'few quid' of profit from these poor mum cats, exhausted from constant being in heat and kittening - and at health risk (FIV amongst other things) from indiscrimate 'fathering' by the local Tom cat. By the end of the summer - well, by now actually in our experience - the 'kitten' demand is already way behind the supply of thoughlessly bred kittens. And what do these people do with the kittens they can't home? You guessed it - we get the call! What happens to the ones we can only put on our waiting list, we dread to think.
 
If you are thinking of taking a cat of kitten, please do call us urgently - we can bring a furry friend into your home.
 
It is not our policy to recommend any particular vet or other charity website, but we are desperate to see neutering increased. If you have an un-neutered cat, we know of at least one Veterinary Chain in our area that is offering low cost neutering. Or for free neutering, if you are on low income, a student, or feeding strays, follow this link for details of schemes in your area or ask your local vet for a free neutering form. http://www.cats.org.uk/c4/eligible.asp
This scheme covers London and also out into Essex and Herts. 
 
The Summer Raffle was drawn today - I'm on standy next to my phone for the call to say I'm off to Europe with my prize on the Eurostar!! Ok, so I never win anything, and the phone is strangely silent, but one lucky person is packing their bags soon!
 
Thanks so much to everyone who raised fund by selling tickets for the Shelter Appeal!
 
WedEd


 
18 June 2010
 
Feeding time for the many kittens we currently have in our care!

 
 
Sleepytime and playtime! 
These are Missy's kittens - they are 8 weeks old now and ready to be homed - please call us if you would like to offer one or even two of them a home!
We have lots of other kittens, lots of different colours, boys and girls.
 

 
June 2010
 
What a wet start to the so-called summer! The cats are still huddled up in their warm blankets and the volunteers are busily mopping up from the leaks in the cattery roof! Please don't forget to return your raffle tickets for our SHELTER APPEAL.
 
May was a very slow month for homing. Lots of pregnant cats and kittens coming in, and desperate pleas to take in adult cats have meant we have been full to bursting all month, but with very few people coming forward to take in our lovely cats. Our waiting list is huge, as always.
 
Here's a cutesy picture of our latest arrivals! Any donations of kitten food welcome....
 

 
The person who gave in this heavily pregnant cat was worried that she would give birth on her cream carpet. Had one of our volunteers not rushed to collect Missy late one night, she would have been put out to give birth in the garden. In the event, Missy was extremely happy with her supermarket cardboard box in her foster home!
 
 
May 2010
 
WebEd apologies for the lack of mews - she has been somewhat tied up with fosting Gabrielle's kittens - all now gone to their new homes. It only seems like yesterday they were coming home as 4 hour old kittens with their mum. And now they are all 9 weeks old and gone to loving new homes - their mum is neutered and has been homed with her tiny baby kitten - how lovely! Another lovely lady, with her husband and daughter, came to choose 2 of the 3 remaining kittens......what a difficult choice - and yes, you guessed it, off they went with 3 kittens.
We are so grateful to the loving homes offered for all our cats and kittens.
 
We wish it could all be such good news. However, we have recently taken in a cat with her newborn kittens who has not been so fortunate. Undoubtably the victim of human cruelty, she has burns on her ears and body.
 
This cat with her newborn kittens are being cared for at one of our foster homes.
Unfortunately we are seeing more cases of abuse - is it the recession - more stress? It's inexcusable. Along with the mum cat, there were 2 others, one with a broken pelvis. The vet strongly felt this was done by a person.
 
You can see a photo here of our new mum cat and kittens and some of her injuries - not pasted into this page in case it upsets anyone who doesn't want to view it. 
 
 
MEMBERSHIP
 
Thank you to all of you who have already paid your yearly membership.  For the people who are a little late please do not forget us.  We rely heavily on your continued support. 
Membership runs from December to January to keep the cost of administration at a minimum
We are also selling raffle tickets to raise money for our shelter appeal - more info is on our home page.
 
22 March
 
Angel came in at the same time as Gabrielle - like her, she was a stray but must have been someone's cat recently because he has a lovely temperament. She had SEVEN kittens, all in the image of herself, pure black. We have another pregnant cat at the shelter as all our foster homes are now full up and more on the waiting list to come in. Some have already given birth as strays in gardens as we simply don't have room for any more.
 
The ones you see here are the lucky ones. The kittens will be well socialised and healthy and we will find them loving homes. The mums will be neutered and re-homed. 
 
It bodes really badly for the year ahead that we already have so many kittens.
 
 
Purrlease get your cat neutered! If you have a local pregnant or un-neutered stray in your area, please ring us for advice and help. We are bringing in the cats as soon as we have space.

Do you think you could be a fosterer for us? Call us today!! You will need a spare room, if you have your own cats, where the mum can bring up her kittens. You will need to be able to care for them until the kittens are ready for homing, at around 8 weeks old. You may decide to keep the mum and or a kitten (or 2) and let us re-home the rest. As with all our placmeents, you would need a home visit.
 
You will also need to be committed to spending time to socialise the kittens. This involves lots of playing and cuddling time - it's a tough job description! You will be supported by our other volunteers and experienced foster carers whenever you need it.
 
4 March
 
Brr, the cats at the shelter are pulling their fur coats in tightly around themselves, hoping that Spring will soon bring them some warmer weather.
 
Homing is still slow, but with lots of new arrivals. We are trying to take in any many as we have room for, it's always a squeeze.
 
The very cold winter doesn't seem to have stopped the female cats coming into season and becoming pregnant over the Winter. Some of them have been in extremely poor condition, and we have  one cat fighting for her own life after contracting a serious womb infection due to carrying ten kittens (all stillborn). She was simply not big or strong enough to carry so many kittens. Another abandoned mum gave birth to 7 kittens, only 3 of whome were alive. It's a very sad time for us all.
Pregnancy does present health risks. If you are reading this, then you are probably already a responsibily cat owner. However, if you are thinking of letting your cat have kittens, we urge you to think again. If you want kittens, come and see us, we usually have lots!
 
It's not all doom and gloom though - we know you don't like reading bad news, and we certainly don't like reporting it.
 
Gabrielle
After a worrying week with sickness, diarrhea and complete loss of appetite Gabrielle and her kittens are on the mend.
Gabrielle had barely arrived at the cattery when she gave birth. Although she was given one lot of wormer, the problem was serious and she had to have a further 3 day course. NB: only certain wormers are suitable for pregnant and mummy cats with kittens still taking their milk (lactating cats). Once the kittens are around 3 weeks old, they will receive their first treatment, and their mum will get another course aswell.
 
A lot of people don't realise how seriously ill worms can make a cat. Pregnancy causes any dormant or minor worm infestations to become rampant and multiply profusely.
 
The kittens are 2 weeks old now and will need loving homes in about 6 weeks time.....as will their mum, who is only a kitten herself, at around 7-8 months old. In between being a very good mother to her kittens, she loves to play with straws and chase her toy mice!
 
Gabrielle was lucky only to have 4 kittens - the other pregnant cats coming in seem to be having upwards of 7 kittens each. That's a lot of kittens for a mum cat to look after, not to mention for us to feed when they move onto solids and most importantly to find loving homes for....!
 
 
 
20 February
 
Well what a surprise to arrive at the cattery to find an extra 4 tiny mouths to feed - one of the recent pregnant arrivals had given birth to 4 tiny tabby kittens! With the temperature forecast to go down to minus 4 overnight, webEd once again finds herself clearing out the spare room (well overdue, anyway!) to make an emergency fostering facility. 
 
We have another cat due to give birth any day at the cattery and another 2 waiting for a space to come in. We still have kittens from last year who are waiting to be homed. 
 
All our foster homes are now full up with pregnant cats (please contact us if you think you could take in a mum and kittens to foster) - unbelievable, since it's not even the end of February. Is the neutering message just not getting through? We shake our heads in despair as the calls keep coming in to take yet more pregant abandoned, starving, and ill treated cats. Pregnant cats and mother cats have huge nutritional needs and must be allowed to eat as much as they need. The cost of feeding a mother cat and her kittens soon outstrips the cost of neutering - some vets have cheap neutering (ring around your local area or contact us), and if you qualify for low income, or are feeding a stray cat, you can get a FREE neutering voucher - you can pick these up from our charity shop, your local vet, or email me at scratchingpost@hotmail.com and I will gladly send you one.
 
Kittens can generally be neutered from around 5-6 months old (usually at 2kg in weight) - the safest way to ensure your kitty doesn't get pregnant is to keep her indoors until she is neutered. It's just as important for boy cats to get neutered too, so they are not fathering huge populations in your neighbourhood and fighting over the 'laydees'! Fighting causes expensive injuries and exposure to nasy diseases.
 
 
Gabrielle and her kittens at one day old. 
 
 
5 February
 
We very sadly lost one of our cats this week, Chinky. We have set up a new webpage in memorium to our cats who we have brought in from the cold but then lost. Without any owners to mourn their loss, we want them to be remembered, and know that they were loved like our own, whilst in the care of the dedicated volunteers who care for these beautiful creatures.
The Scratching Post Rainbow Bridge
 
2 February 2010
We now have our homing figures from 2009:
 
Cats rescued from Janurary through to the end of December 2009: 384.
 
Cats rehomed: 331
 
(The difference is the cats we still had in our care at the end of December, or cats who we sadly could not save.)
 
Spent on vet bills £44,296.82
 
The previous year (2008) we managed to rescue 411 cats of which 374 were homed.  It seemed such a bad year but we did manage to save more cats than the previous year (2007).
 
27 January 2010
 
Bunny Appeal
 
We have today launched a desperate appeal for help to give veterinary treatment to a very brave young kitten to enable him to walk properly. Please see here for more details.
 
 
January 2010

ADOPT A CAT!

Our 'adopt a cat for Christmas' campaing has been so successful that we are now extending it as an all year round treat - for birthday's, other special ocassions, or just a gift to a loved one.
 
Looking for the purrfect gift for the cat lover in your family? Or perhaps for a friend or family member or can’t have their own cat (or perhaps has no room for any more!)
You can now adopt a Scratching Post Cat for just £20. We will send you a certificate with a photo of one of our beautiful cats, the recipient’s name, and a letter from your cat to wish them a Happy Christmas, tell them a bit about themselves, how they came to the Scratching Post, etc. On Christmas day, you can then present this to your loved one from the cat.
If you would like to adopt a cat for Christmas, please send details of your name, and address, and the name of person who the gift is for, to Susan Delaney, either by email to dtomsusan@aol.com - you will then need to make payment via paypal.
Alternatively, you can send your details with a cheque (made payable to The Scratching Post) to Susan at by post to 69 Hillview Gardens, Cheshunt, Herts, EN8 0PB.
 

xxxxx    Thank you for your support, love from all the Cats    xxxxx

 
 
FILL A CAT'S CHRISTMAS DISH 2009!

A big thank you from the cats for their Christmas dinners! If you still haven't sent your form back, there is still plenty of time to do so.
 
View and print your copy of the  document!
 
 
 
21 January 2010
 
We start the year with good news and bad news.
 
First, a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over Christmas - coming to our Fayre, sending in Fill a Dish form, and sponsoring our cats. We are so grateful. Thank you as well to who of the volunteers who worked tirelessly in extremely difficult conditions to keep the shop open and the cats looked after during the very bad weather we have had. The road to the cattery is extremely difficult when it's icy and snowy. We hope one day, if we can reach our goal of our own shelter, we can make life a lot easier for cats and humans alike, during the difficult Winter season.
 
We have also homed some cats to wonderful new homes, and we are always glad to hear from anyone who has adopted a Scratching Post kitty - why not send us a photo and we'll put your cat on our MY CAT page! 
We still have lots of beautiful cats left, if you would like to adopt one!
 
With the weather so bad, we have had a lot less visitors to the shop, and so less donations. Please don't forget our shop when having your New Year clear out of clutter and any unwanted Christmas gifts. We appreciate the effort for you to wrap up and brave the cold, but our shop is lovely and cosy, and let's face it, we've all had a few too many mince pies to burn off with a brisk walk to one of our shops! We have some lovely items - clothes, books, ornaments, jewellry, CDs, DVDs.....it's a real Aladin's cave of surprises!
 
 
And if you don't want to read the sad part, don't go any further.
 
Rory
 
Sadly Rory became ill this week and after 3 days in the vet in intensive care, lost his fight. No effort was spared to try and save him. We think it must have been an illness he was born with because we sadly also lost his brother a few months ago.
 
We hope they are scampering in the big place in the sky together. It's always really hard when we lose a cat, but it's twice as hard with the young cats.
 
We know it's hard to read bad news, but we want our cats to be remembered. Some of our kittens who are still with us were born at the shelter, and however much we love and care for them, it's not the same as them having their own loving home. We think that if we don't remember them, then who will. 
 
 
December 31st, 2009
 
The cats would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported them at the Scratching Post this year. Without our supporters and volunteers we could not exist. We know it's been a really tough year, but we are optimistic about 2010 and thank you for continuing to support this wonderful charity. A very special thank you to our founder and co-ordinator, Susan Delaney, for making this charity possible at all. Susan works tirelessly for the charity, as do all our dedicated volunteers. And if you would like to join us as a volunteer, we would be really pleased to hear from you. Or perhaps we can interest you in a cat......or two.....?? Alternatively, why not join us as a member, or sponsor a cat? Or perhaps you could give a few hours to our shop - or even just bring us your unwanted Christmas gifts. The ways you can help us are endless.
 
As regular readers of this website may know, our ultimate goal is to have our own shelter. If you know of anywhere suitable, please contact us. If you would like to leave a lasting legacy to help us carry on the good work in your name, it would be so gratefully received.
 
Please visit our 'How you can help us' page for more information.
 



 
We could not resist this picture of the cats enjoying their post Christmas dinner nap - how many can you count?? Thanks to everyone who has sent in their Chistmas Fill a dish - please do keep them coming. We have so many hungry mouths to feed.
 
Happy New Year for 2010!
WebEd
 
 
December 09 
 
It's been a slow start to homing this December but finally things seems to be looking up with several cats going to their new homes this week, and more booked to go next week. The cats are all excited about spending Christmas in their new homes, and we will try and make it as good as we can for those not chosen. If you would like to help us with this, please do take part in our Christmas Fill a Dish appeal. Please also visit our shop for some wonderful Christmas gifts.
 
Domino is looking fantastic and we are so grateful for everyone who has supported our appeal to assist this very brave cat, who has been pulled back from the brink of death. Our thanks also to our wonderful vets who looked after Domino and work hard all year with us, looking after all of our special cats.
 
 
GET WELL SOON!
One of our long serving volunteers, Jacky, has sadly had a fall at home this week, and all the volunteers, friends and cats wish her a very speedy recovery.

'ADOPT' A CAT FOR CHRISTMAS

Looking for the purrfect gift for the cat lover in your family? Or perhaps for a friend or family member or can’t have their own cat (or perhaps has no room for any more!)
You can now adopt a Scratching Post Cat for Christmas for just £20. We will send you a certificate with a photo of one of our beautiful cats, the recipient’s name, and a letter from your cat to wish them a Happy Christmas, tell them a bit about themselves, how they came to the Scratching Post, etc. On Christmas day, you can then present this to your loved one from the cat.
If you would like to adopt a cat for Christmas, please send details of your name, and address, and the name of person who the gift is for, to Susan Delaney, either by email to DTOMSUSAN@AOL.COM - please note email corection, with apologies (you will need to make payment via paypal ), or you can send a cheque (made payable to the Scratching Post) to Susan at by post to 69 Hillview Gardens, Cheshunt, Herts, EN8 0PB
 
December 09
 
 
 
Dec 5: We unexpectedly lost Georgie today after she became very ill following an operation. She was a lovely cat who will be sadly missed by all the volunteers at the cattery.
 
November 09
 
Appeal for Domino
 
Sometimes at our Shelter, we have to make very difficult life or death decisions, for the cats in our care (with advice from the vets of course). It's one of the things that I, and I know all the other volunteers, dread.
We never put a cat to sleep if we believe they can be made well again, and go on to enjoy a good quality of life. We cry for those we lose, because they have no-one else to cry for them, and we love them like our own.
 
When I got to the cattery last Sunday, it quickly became apparent that one of the new cats in was seriously ill. At first I actually thought that he was dead, because he had been a timid cat, and I was able to scoop him up in my arms and hold him. He was very cold but moved slightly. He was in a state of collapse. His eyes were infected so that he could not open them. His nose was so blocked, he could only gasp through his mouth. He had obviously developed a very severe chest infection, along with other complications.
 
Anyone who owns a pet will know the dread at a pet getting seriously ill outside of normal veterinary opening hours. The emergencies surgeries are often far away, you may not see the vet you know and trust, and the bill could be very large. <Note to anyone reading this - if you can't afford a large bill - get pet insurance!>
 
Of course, we can't get pet insurance for our rescue cats, so we have to pay huge bills for out of hours emergency care. 
 
I immediately rang Susan, who runs the charity, and she rushed to the shelter within minutes. Susan took one look at this poor cat and packed us off to the emergency vet. In the car on the way to the vet, we quickly christened him Domino. On arrival at the vet we were rushed straight through and Domino was placed in isolation on a drip. The vet warned us that Domino was seriously ill and that in treating him we would be agreeing to a 3 figure vet bill. This has since escalated into a 4 figure vet bill, increasing by £200 per day, and is going to be a huge drain on our already stretched funds.
 
We need your help once again. If you can spare a donation towards our vet bill for Domino, we would be so grateful.
 
Domino has taken one and then two steps forward. He is still in the vet, but we hope we can bring him into a foster home soon.
 
We did not know a lot about his background, as he came in as a stray, with others in his 'family'. He had lived a hard life on the streets and we believe every cat deserves a second chance. Domino is still a young cat, perhaps around 4 years old. We will have to find him a very special home, when he is ready.
  
If you have got this far, thank you for reading our appeal.
 
If you would like to make a donation, you can send this to June Delaney, 1 Hampden Close, Cheshunt, Herts, EN7 5AX. Alternatively you can donate money securely online using your Paypal Account or any Credit/Debit card Click here to make a secure online donation. Or you can drop off a donation into the shop. 
 
As not only a volunteer, but supporter myself, I have trimmed my Christmas shopping budget and diverted it to the DOMINO APPEAL. I know that my family and friends will support this. After all, they already have lots of socks and aftershave and the gift of life to Domino will last a lot, lot longer than a pair of novelty slippers!!! 
 
NEWS UPDATE 16 NOVEMBER: Domino turns out to be a girl!! She has started nibbling at some tuna and is expected to leave the vets sometime this week.
UPDATE 20 NOVEMBER: Domino (we are still trying to work out what the female equivalent is....suggestions?) is now out of the vet and is looking much better.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this appeal. We don't have the bill yet, but we know it's huge so please keep your donations coming.....
 
 
Fund raising in November:
 
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our supporters who attended the cookery demonstration and/or Christmas Fayre. Whilst turn out was a little lower at the fayre than we had hoped, we still had a good day and raised much needed funds for the cats. 
 
If you were unable to attend, we still have lots of Christmas gifts, decorations, cards, etc in the shop. Please do come along and support us. Your purchases will also be very 'green' as many are 'pre-loved'! 
 
Christmas raffle tickets and fill a dish forms are also available in the shop.
 
 
October 09
 
We have now launched our FILL A CAT'S CHRISTMAS DISH 2009!
 

 
View and print your copy of the  document!



 

Fund Raiser

Thursday 12th November 2009

 

Dobson’s, a local home improvement company, in conjunction with Neff appliances, have kindly agreed to hold a ticketed cookery demonstration in their Cheshunt showroom in November this year, with all proceeds being donated to the Scratching Post Shelter Appeal.

 

Tickets for the event will be £25 each and will include a demonstration from a Neff Home Economist, lunch or tea cooked by the Home Economist featuring a variety of dishes to tempt the taste buds, a Neff goody bag and a superb raffle.

 

There will be two cookery sessions during the day and tickets will be limited to 25 people per session. Tickets and more information are now available and if you are interested in attending please call Helen or Louise at Dobson’s on 01992 623066 or email helen@dobsonshome.com.

 

It should be a great event and what a perfect way to get some new cookery ideas in time for Christmas!

 

 


16 October 09
 
Sky was in our care for a few months. She was brought in from our waiting list after a lady called to say she would take a grey cat, even if older, but did not want Sky when she saw she was overweight. Sky pined for her previous home and sadly developed liver failure and was put to sleep this week. We are not sure if this was caused by her being over weight, or losing so much weight so quickly. We all miss her so much.
Please consider a cat who is perhaps not as 'pretty' or perfect as some of the others and may need a bit more effort and attention.
 
 
September 09 
 
Saturday 12 September
 
Well, the heavens smiled upon us today and we were blessed with a wonderful sunny day for the Fete. A huge thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard to prepare and run the event, and to all our wonderful supporters who came along and bought from the garden stalls and shop - not forgetting of course the always popular tombola and raffle. A BIG thank you to those who prepared and donated cakes, jams, plants and raffle prizes.
 
We raised £3135.52 - not as much as last year, unfortunately, but still a very welcome addition to our funds for the cats. If you were unable to attend, please do come along and visit our shop any day, or any 'post-fete' donations are very gratefully received.
We will have to get our supporters baking and 'jamming' much harder for next year!!
 
Susan, our Charity's founder and co-ordinator, spent a tireless week, with the other volunteers, at the shop getting ready for the big day, whilst also looking after the cattery (around 60 residents), and caring for a very demanding 3 week old orphaned kitten (needing feeding every 3 hours around the clock), who brough much 'oohing' and 'ahhing' from visitors to the fete! Little Magic was found in ditch, with 2 other kittens - one sadly already dead, the other who lasted just a few days. They had been covered in nasty fluids and left there to die. Little Magic is by no means 'out of the woods' yet, and requring constant attention and ongoing veterinary care, but we always remain optimistic for our little fighters.
What a timely reminder for all those working so hard to raise funds this weekend.
 
I caught up with a bleary eyed Susan on Sunday evening at the cattery (little Magic in tow, naturally) where in between re-stocking the shop ready for Monday, and finishing clearing up, she had also managed to home 3 of our beautiful cats from the shelter.
Wonderful news!
 
Web ED.
 
 

SUMMER FETE

OUR SUMMER FETE WILL BE HELD AS USUAL AT THE LANCASTER ROAD SHOP ON :

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12th

11.00 am to 4.00 pm
Lots of bargains to be had! Clothes, bags, bric-a-brac, books, toys, plants, raffle etc.
*Delicious refreshments available*
 
Please come along and support this wonderful charity, whatever the weather! If you have quality items you would like to donate for sale, or for the tombola or raffle, these will be much appreciated!
 
Shelter Appeal
We have been to see a couple of potential properties recently and have found both to be suitable premises to house our rescue shelter, with some land and barns which could be converted. However, because of the recession money lenders are only offering mortgages to people with 25/30% deposit to put down. It is so frustrating. We are not giving up; we need more fundraising to achieve our goal, which is now so close. We are not deterred, just more determined. We are now starting a large campaign to raise the money for our much needed shelter. We cover an enormous area with few cat rescue organisations. We need to move forward to enable us to rescue and help more unwanted cats and kittens. The group has grown immensely and our facilities are very much outgrown. If anyone has any ideas, knows of potential sponsors or would like to contribute to our shelter fund we would love to hear from you.
 
 
Homing news
We are finally having some calls to home our beautiful cats. Our main success seems to be with the ferals. As a result of a magazine advertisement, we have currently homed 35. However, our name is becoming more well known and people are ringing from all over England with feral cats, as there seems to be limited facilities for them. We are now full again with over 25 feral cats waiting for homes.
 
 
August 09
 
People sometimes complain when I put something sad on this page, but I believe it is the good and bad experiences in life which make us the people (and cats!) we are.
 
It's been a sad start to the month. I lost my beloved foster cat Sam, and we also lost wonderful Archie from the cattery. Despite his young age, he was suffering from organ failure and despite the best veterinary care, he went suddenly downhill.
 
Anyone who thinks we are tough to do this 'job' could not be further from the truth. It always hurts us when we lose a cat, just as much each time. What keeps us going is all of the happy success stories, the wonderful cats who we can save, and our fantastic supporters, without whome, we could not carry on, and give these cats a good quality of life, and loads of love, even if it's not for as long as we would like.
 
 
 
 
 
July 09
 
It happened in the blink of an eye, one minute I was just casually chatting with Susan, the SP co-ordinator, the next minute I had a basket loaded up with kittens.
It's not like I don't have anything to do in my so called 'spare time', but with the cattery bursting at the seams with beautiful cats and kittens, the timid ones always get overlooked, and these 2 gorgeous kittens had not had enough human contact. They needed to be socialised by a willing volunteer. And before you know it, I heard this voice saying 'I'll take them'!
I didn't even realise that was me speaking for a few minutes!! 
So here, I am, a kitten fosterer (again). We always need foster carers - think you have the patience to socialise a timid kitten? Lots of patience and cuddling required.
 
This time spent with these kittens can make make a huge difference to the kitten's future and the difference being placed in a loving home, to living as a feral. We can guide you on ways to 'bring your kitten round' - or kitten taming, if you prefer! Some kittens 'come round' very quickly, in a couple of weeks, whilst others may take a few months.
 

'It's a hard life being a kitten' 

 

 

 
Summer at the SP 
Well, as usual, the cattery is absolutely bursting with cats, kittens, and pregnant mothers to be.
Then, at the busiest time of the year, we find that offers of homes almost completely dry us, as people are 'too busy' planning their summer holidays and it's not the 'right time' to take on a cat.
 
As well as all the lovely cats you see on our homing pages, we always have new cats arriving. We also have cats and litters of kittens in foster homes, waiting for a space to become available at the shelter. Our wonderful volunteers homes are bursting!
 
Well, we hear that Staycations are the new 'going out', so are hoping that people will treat themselves to a new feline companion instead of their 2 weeks in Majorca this year. They are much cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and last much longer! With a week or 2 at home, it's the perfect time to bond with your new companion too.
 
 
 Acknowledgement
WebEd, on behalf of Sam, aka Ginger, would like to thank the Catworks Sanctury for their wonderful website and follow up support http://www.fivcats.com/.
I would encourage any cat lover to read their information, as it provides a fresh view on these cats, whose illness is often much understood, leading to many un-necessary euthanisations of otherwise healthy cats.
FIV - like  human HIV - need not be a death sentence these days. Modern medicine
 is a wonderful thing, as is education!
 
Sam is still enjoying being King of the household, and the rest of the household cats think he is great, because he doesn't bother them, and his dodgy tum (from years of eating out of rubbish bags - a hard habit to break, leading to an investment in a new stainless still bin) means a constant supply of hot chicken dinners in the house...
 

 Guess who gets the best deckchair, and who gets the blanket on the floor in this household......?
 
Editors note 1 August 09. Sam departed for the Rainbow Bidge today. He will be much missed. After being treated cruelly and neglected for years, starving on the street, his last few months were spent being spoiled and loved, and showing him the good side of human nature.
It can be hard to take on a cat with limited life expectancy, but it is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done, and although tears have been shed, there are no regrets, and I will gladly take on another 'oldie', when I am ready.
It breaks my heart when I hear people say that they can't get another cat because it hurts too much when they lose them. These are the people who we most need to come forward and offer a cat a home - the ones who truly love them, and feel the joy and pain that comes with love. We have to remember the happy times, and the love and warmth that a cat brings into the home. One cat never replaces another. Each one is a new beginning...
 
Editor warning! The poem below may cause symptons including watery eyes and sniffing/blowing of nose......
 
 
 Rainbow Bridge

 

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
 
 
Techno Babble.

Visitor numbers to the website are down on the previous 12 months, probably reflecting the economic conditions. Come on, tell your friends to visit this website to choose a new kitty friend. These cats need you!

June 09
 
We need a volunteer/s to feed, water, clean and generally look after the cattery on a Monday. We always need help on other days, but Monday morning seems to be the problem time to get volunteers for!!
 
We also need some to help us with advertising for the charity. This would involve putting adverts in the local paper and also putting together display boards, posters, etc.  If you have a creative flair and think 'I could do that!' please contact us as soon as possible!
 
If you are currently 'between jobs', what better way to keep your skills up to date, and  avoid any gaps in your CV!
 
As always, we are still looking for somewhere to set up a permanent shelter. Does anyone know of a property that would make a good shelter in Cheshunt, Cuffley, etc?
 
We are flooded with both cats and kittens at the moment, please contact us if you can offer a loving home to one of our beautiful cats. All adult cats are fully vaccinated, neutered and micro-chipped. If you take a kitten, you must agree to have him/her neutered at 6 months of age.  
 
 
Kitten season
 
Kitten season is fast upon us. Already we've had kittens dumped at the cattery (can you believe it) - they are lucky to have survived.
If you have a young female cat, she can come into season at 5 months old. If you have a male cat, he will start to become interested in the 'laydees' at around the same age, and this will cause him to wander much further than normal and he may get into fights with other Tom cats.
 
 
If your cat is pregnant or does have kittens, please remember that her feeding requirements will be MUCH more than previously. She may need up to 4 times her previous nutritional requirements and you can feed her kitten food too, which is high in nutrition.
 
 
If you want to get your cat neutered but can't afford it, please pick up a leaflet from our shop, or drop me a line and I will mail one out to you: scratchingpost@hotmail.co.uk.
 
 
SAM
 
Sam, my Scratching Post foster cat, is doing well. He had a bad few days when it got really hot, but luckily it cooled down and he's back to his normal self.
 
Luckily, following a previous very hot summer, I had invested in having 'dim out' blinds and a fan installed in the house. I really recommend both of these!
If you can afford it, you may also want to think about wooden shutters. They aren't cheap, but they allow you to have your windows wide open, whilst keeping your cat securely on the right side of them, and they look fresh and modern. Especially great for 1st floor windows and above.
 
Old or sick cats will feel the extremes of temperature, and may go downhill in the very hot weather. It's important to stop them from getting de-hydrated. You can mix extra water with their cat food and provide wet food aswell as just biscuits.  
 
Make sure you provide lots of fresh water too and give them somewhere cool to rest. You may find their appetite decreases in the hot weather and they prefer to eat at night when it is cooler. Make sure you keep flies away from their food, as they can lay eggs in it, which if eaten, can lead to serious illness.
 
If you see your cat straining in the litter tray, or visiting it very often, they may have cystitus, which can be brought on by de-hydration, and you should seek veterinary advice immediately. If your cat is not passing any urine at all after trips to the litter tray, or if there is blood, this is the most serious, especially for a male cat. Get your cat to the vet urgently.
  
 
Sam with one of his new friends. Spoilt? With his own sheepskin rug? As a vegetarian, I had some ethical issues with this (only lessened by it being second hand/donated), which Sam did not share!
 
 
May 09
 
May 2009: Kevin and the Scratching Post Volunteers have now collected over £1800 in sponsorship for his marathon run!
 
A BIG thank you to Kevin for this huge achievement and to everyone who supported Kevin and the Scratching Post with sponsorship.
 
At this time, we would also like to thank everyone who volunteers for the charity - you know who you are! And of course all of our supporters and everyone who has given a loving home to our beautiful cats.
 
This is a very good time to get a black cat from us - we have lots!
 
They are lucky too - and they will feel very lucky if you can give one or even two of them a loving home.
 
You will be visited by one of our home-checkers to discuss your requirements, and to help you to match you and your home with the right cat. Like all charities, we also request a donation for each cat adopted. Your cat will arrive fully vaccinated, micro-chipped and neutered. If you adopt a kitten, you must sign an agreement to have him/her neutered at the appropriate age.
 
April 09
 
We are delighted to share with you the news that Kevin successfully completed the London Marathon, and in a great time - about which he is very modest!
 
Kevin writes:
 
 
“I wanted to say thanks to all of you who were kind enough to sponsor me for my recent attempt to complete the London Marathon.  A very hot day slowly took its toll on me, but I managed to get around the course in 3 hours and 13 minutes.  You probably don’t need me to tell you that 26.2 miles is fair distance, but the money you offered to donate to the furry residents of the Scratching Post was a great incentive to keep me going through some very tired moments.  I think we’ve managed to raise something in the region of £1,000 to date, so well done to you all and thanks again for getting involved.”
 
Kevin, May 2009
 
   

 
  
  April 09
 
We are honoured that Kevin Haynes has offered to run in the marathon for us.
 
''Since adopting two equally greedy brothers from the Scratching Post in 2007, I’ve been meaning – although not succeeding - to offer my support to those who do such sterling work to look after so many homeless cats.  That’s why this year I decided to combine my favourite pastime of road running with raising money for the charity.  The perfect opportunity arose when I was awarded a place to run in this year’s London Marathon, which takes place on 26 April.  I’ve approached a number of friends, colleagues and family members to ask for sponsorship.  However, I would gratefully appreciate any support from those of you who I don’t know, but who share my affection for cats and a desire to keep the Scratching Post afloat. 
 
If you would like to sponsor me, can I please ask you to email scratchingpost@hotmail.co.uk, stating how much you would like to donate, either in total or per mile –remember, a marathon’s 26 miles if you’re considering the latter type of investment! 
 
Best wishes, Kevin''
 

    
 
Kevin on a previous run..............and Marcus and Rooney who will be cheering him on from the comfort of home.
 
 
10 April 09
 
Message from Susan Delaney, founder of the Scratching Post:
 
'I would like to give an enormous thank you to all the people who sent in donations at Christmas and kindly filled-a-cats dish. Also for all the lovely letters and cards I received. I did try really hard to answer them all but, with the pressure of work and Christmas, I find I still have a large pile unanswered. I am so sorry, but I know you will understand.

Many people are asking how the recession is affecting us. We have noticed an increase in the list of cats needing our help, plus more emergencies due to people losing their homes. The waiting list has always been difficult to manage with a large volume of calls each day, but even more so now. We have also noticed fewer homes coming in. The beginning of the year has previously been our best homing period. This year, we have certainly not homed as many as usual. In fact, the cattery is at bursting point. You are probably used to hearing this – but sadly it is true. In fact, we have never had so many cats in care before. Every space is filled with beautiful homable cats, that no-one appears to want. People who do visit the cattery seem to expect so much of them. Many people walk away without taking one. We cannot understand why, when there are so many beautiful ones to choose from. Often someone will walk straight down the middle of the unit and announce ‘nothing inspires them’ and leave. The cats do not instantly run up to people they don’t know. Would you? Although we do our best to make them happy, it is not an ideal living in a shelter. They do not understand why they are there; they have lost their homes and owners. They are frightened and confused. Once in a new home they blossom into the loving cat they are expected to be. Sometimes it seems nobody will give them a chance and they can be with us for months, becoming more despondent and depressed. So please – if you visit and decide to take a cat home – give him/her a chance to overcome their fears and nervousness.'  
 
 
23 March 2009
 
The cattery is bursting at the seams this year. We are inundated with calls from people wanting to give us their cats, or kind people ringing in strays / abandoned cats. We are always full up, with a long waiting list of cats to come in, when we get a space.
 
Sadly, we are receiving fewer calls from people who want to adopt one of our beautiful cats so each cat is spending longer at the cattery. We have some really special and beautiful cats in our care - including the odd pedigree - not that they come with papers! As always, we have lots and lots of black cats, who always seem to get overlooked. Some have been with us for many, many months.
 
Lots of cats means lots of tummies and we are getting through cat food like you would not believe! Vet bills are - as always - huge. Each cat needs a full check up and usually neutering and vaccination. On top of that they may need costly treatment for illnesses, aswell as routine treatments such as de-worming and de-fleaing. All of which adds up to an average cost per cat of around £200.
 
We are grateful for donations of good quality cat food and donations to our shops in Enfield. Please think about us when you have your annual Spring Clean! Remember too, that buying second hand is environmentally friendly, as well as extremely cost effective! We have lovely hand made cards in the shop, as well as the usual clothes, shoes, cat bits and bobs, books, CDs, DVDS, ornaments........and much more! Visit us regularly as we get lots of variety in our goods! Any clothes which can't be sold in the shop, are recycled and we receive an amount per bag for these too. So it all counts.
 
 
 
March 2009
 
Thank you to those people who have asked how Sam is doing. I know I have received 'complaints' in the past that there is too much bad news in the Mews, but Sam has brought a ray of sunshine to the Scratching Post.
 
Sam has settled in well to his foster home, with his new cat pals. Due to his FIV positive status, he eats separately from them (this is spread through blood and saliva - I naturally did all the research before mixing them.) Sam's extremely docile temperament means there is no risk of fighting with the other cats, and they have quickly accepted him as not even a vague threat to them - although they do send him 'special' looks when he steals the best seat in the garden! His mobility is improving as he builds up his weight and strength, and his stomach is now totally settled, on a good regular feeding regime. He is allowed in the garden accompanied, and is a real sun seeker!
 
Best of all, he has found his inner kitten, and is actually playing with me!!
 

 

 
If you would like to sponsor Sam, please do contact the Helpline, or drop a note to either Susan or myself at scratchingpost@hotmail.co.uk.
 
If you would like to donate any good quality food to Sam (cooked chicken is his special favourite) , or any of the other cats at the shelter, this is all very gratefully received. You can drop it off at the shop or cattery (please ring first to make sure someone will be there at the time you are planning to visit.) Also gratefully recieved are clean blankets, cat beds/baskets, sturdy cat carriers, and we also collect disposable food containers (cleaned please!) for feeding the cats.
 
Thank you for your support and taking the time to read this!
 
 
February 2009
 
Love is in the Air!
 
Did you enjoy Valentines Day? If you have an un-neutered cat, chances are, they may have done too. Cats and kittens over 5 months old are now coming into season - this is the time when the female cat becomes fertile and so able to get pregnant - her smell can attract un-neutered Tom cats from a wide distance, causing much fighting, injuries to the male cats, and also the females, who may be mated by many different Tom cats - not a very nice experience, we are sure you will agree.
 
Last year we took in more kittens than ever before, and they took even longer to home than in any previous year. Getting donations for the kittens even proved difficult in some cases - the so-called credit crunch has certainly kicked in. People breeding kittens for profit suddenly found that no-one wanted to pay for their kittens anymore, and so they ended up dumped, or worse.
 
A pregnant cat can eat up to 8 times her normal intake, and when the kittens come along, and get weaned (able to eat solid cat food and biscuits), you could be left feeding another 7 mouths - not cheap! Suddenly the cost of neutering doesn't seem so much after all.....and if you are on low income/benefits, or can't afford to pay for other reasons, you may qualify for free neutering - please ask your local vet or pop into our shop in Enfield for an application form.
Some vets have special offers too, so it's worth ringing around, or ask one of our volunteers, what special offers they are aware of in the area. If you have a neighbour with un-neutered cats, why not pop a leaflet through their door?
 
 
 
Sam
One of our volunteers has taken Ginger (now Sam) home to care for him, after the vet said that there is nothing else they could do for him. He has heart problems, kidney failure, poor eyesight and thyroid problems. He has been given 2 - 4 weeks to live.....but no one told Sam that, and he is trying hard to prove the vets wrong - it's amazing how far whole lot of love, a radiator and some good fish and free range chicken can go to lift an old boy's spirits! However long Sam has, we want those days to be happy. And since his foster mum is also the website Ed, she has taken the liberty of sharing this gorgeous photo with you! 
 
A big thank you to the Catworks Sanctury for their wonderful website and follow up support http://www.fivcats.com/.
I would encourage any cat lover to read their information, as it provides a fresh view to these cats, whose illness is often much understood, leading to many un-necessary euthanisations of otherwise healthy cats.
 


January 2009
 
Winter is a particularly harsh time for homeless cats and kittens. If you suspect that a cat in your area has been abandoned, got lost far from home or been 'thrown' out, please do make enquiries with your neighbours. Offer the cat shelter in your shed or other outbuildings, with a warm blanket in a cardboard box. A hot water bottle will be greatly appreciated, especially on the long cold nights.  Just make sure it is in a cover, so the cat doesn't burn his/herself! They will also need fresh water, checked each morning to ensure it has not frozen.
Cats living outdoors will often have matted or dirty coats, dirty paws, and may look and feel extremely cold and 'hang around' more than the other cats. They can often been found rooting through rubbish - although the introduction of wheelie bins has left many strays starving.
 

So if you see a dirty, cold cat around put out a little food and call us. We will try to get the cat in as soon as possible.


We have already picked up two cats that have literally been starved so much that they were beyond saving. It is a horrible painful slow, and totally preventable, death.   
 
Ginger 
 
Ginger came to our shelter this weekend. He was in a state of collapse from severe starvation and exposure to the extreme cold. We are unsure if he will make it, but we are feeding him small meals of chicken, and he is receiving veterinary attention. Fingers and toes crossed, if his vital organs have not started to shut down through starvation, we can save him.
 
As you can see from this picture, he did struggle up to his feet to get a very tasty meal of chicken breast. We have given him a warm bed next to the heater, which he greatly appreciates. It is early days, but with all the severly ill cats that come to us, we always remain positive and hopeful for them.
 
 
 
It is thanks to our wonderful supporters that we are able to continue to help these cats, thank you, and please do continue to support us through 2009. Our annual membership is now due, if you would like to receive our newsletter.
 
Please also don't forget to send us in your Christmas Fill a Dish!
Times may be tight for us humans, but they are much harder for the abandoned and neglected cats we see every day. They can't drop into their local supermarket when they are hungry and buy cheap food! For a cat who has been a pet to be suddenly abandoned to fend for themselves is traumatic, to say the least. If you really can't care for your pet any more, please contact your local rescue shelter. They may have a waiting list, so please give as much notice as possible. In any emergency situation, speak to your neighbours too, to see if they can help.
Please don't cut back on care for your cat - they are one of the family, after all. If you can't afford a large vet bill, take out pet insurance - don't delay, do it today!

 

Homing and rescue report
It has been an extremely tough year on the rescue side. At times we felt like either screaming or crying at the never ending stream of unwanted cats. Despite the odds being stacked against us, we have managed to rescue and re-home more cats than we ever have before.

Cats Rescued from January to 26th November 2008 = 405
Cats re-homed from January to 26th November 2008 = 368