Cats That Love Close Ups!

Up close and personal with my favourites on my cat sitting adventures ūüôā

cat care in south shields

Zelda

whitburn whiskers cat care

Tabitha

cat sitting south tyneside

Yorkie

cat sitting south shields

Jasper

cat sitting in cleadon

Bruce

cat sitter whitburn sunderland

Hendrix

cat sitting southwick

Much missed Maisie

cat sitting boldon colliery

Sophie

cat care south shields

Marmite

cat services in south shields

Wilma

pet care whitburn sunderland

… and Cassie (pretending to be a cat)

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

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Ten Reasons to Love Black and White Cats

I love black and white cats – they’re the ultimate moggies!

Felix the black cat at south shields cattery

Felix

They wear little tuxedos

Jess the black and white cat south shields

Jess

They walk around like penguins

Thomas the black and white cat

Thomas

They come in all kinds of fluffy coats

Black and white cat by the fire

Oscar

They’re often overlooked in¬†shelters… which makes a lot of us think that black and white cats will love you more!

Lyla cat mobile cattery south shields

Lyla

They are the ultimate in style with a monochrome palette!

Black and white cattery

Neo

They’re the postman’s favourite kind of cat!

Missy the black and white fluffy cat

Missy

There’s nothing cuter than four little white feet on a lovely black cat

Cattery alternative in south shields

Hendrix

Their eyes are astonishing

Cat care in south shields for Jessie

Jessie

Sometimes their black and white coats can be really funny – I’ve seen cow prints, twirly moustaches and beards!

Cattery alternative in Sunderland

Coral and Trevor

And no two black and white cats are ever the same (although they might try to pretend otherwise!)

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Penguin Christmas Bow Tie Cat Collar

Inspired by a very famous little penguin, have a peek at this lovely little cat collar which is definitely my favourite for Christmas 2014.

Penguin Christmas 2014 cat collar

Lovely Boop-cat showing off his penguin bow tie

You’ll find lots of tumbling mini penguins set against an arctic blue background and as always, my collars are all handmade in not so sunny Sunderland using lightweight, flexible material and an adjustable safety buckle.

Penguin Christmas 2014 cat collar

Lyla looking a bit like a penguin herself in her fetching tuxedo!

Each collar comes with a matching penguin charm to finish off the festive look, dangling from a split ring so that you can attach your cat’s name tag too.

Penguin bow tie cat collar

A dinky penguin charm

Head over to my Etsy shop to have a look at all the other bow ties. And remember, penguins don’t jump – they bounce!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Christmas Bow Tie Cat Collars

‘Tis (nearly) the season to be jolly and merry and don’t forget to include your festive felines this year! These Christmassy bow ties are just purrfect for your little ones (and can be bought from our Etsy shop).

Christmas Tree Cat Bow Tie Collar

Mr. Boop wearing his Merry Christmas tree cat collar

All of the collars are handmade (by me!) and are fully adjustable and feature a safety breakaway buckle so your cats can go off on their adventures without worry of getting stuck anywhere! The bow ties are made of light weight cotton so won’t slow them down either!

Christmas Bow Tie Cat Collar

Lyla-cat modelling a Snowman Bow Tie Collar

All bow tie cat collars have a lucky charm (snowmen, stockings, reindeer or Christmas trees to name just a few!) dangling from a split ring where you can attach your cat’s ID tag.

Santa Claws Bow Tie Cat Collar for Christmas Present

Boop is excited for Santa Claws!

There are some more designs in my online shop but I just wanted to show you a few of my favourites. And I’d best say a big thank you to Lyla and Boop for being very patient and modelling so well – mind you, they love having their photographs taken!

Christmas Bow Tie Cat Collar Holly Design

Lyla-cat wearing her jolly holly Christmas bow tie

Best wishes!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Sunderland Illuminations 2014

The Sunderland Illuminations are back bringing magic and sparkle to Roker Park as the nights get darker. From 27th September – 2nd November the park and areas along Seaburn seafront will be lit up every night (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) and just like¬†the last two years, it’s absolutely FREE!

Sunderland Illuminations 2014 The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit at the Sunderland Illuminations

The Wonderland in Sunderland theme runs throughout the park with Alice, the Cheshire Cat, sparkly Playing Cards and the White Rabbit himself all making an appearance. There are fairy lights and a whole sparkling tea party to explore with lamp-lit reading plinths where the little ones can follow the story of Alice too.

Alice in Wonderland Sunderland Illuminations 2014

Alice in Sunderland!

Sadly, the tap from yesteryears is yet to make an appearance – but the fantastic musical dancing water show will be on the boating lake and we’re promised a secret grove of fairies too! The Roker Park miniature railway will also be running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings (5pm – 8pm) and you can purchase an illuminations booklet for the children to follow a Hunt the Rabbit trail and complete puzzles.¬†Weekends will be a bit more special with extra activities, including storytelling by the characters themselves, coming to life – and giving out autographs to little ones.

Sunderland Illuminations Autumn 2014

Sunderland Illuminations September – November 2014

This year there will be a free park and ride service operating from Morrisons Seaburn and running along to the Roker Park Road entrance nearest to the boating lake. This will run every 20 minutes on Friday – Sunday evenings and daily during the half term. So no need to worry about tiring little legs out.

Roker Park Playing Cards Illuminations 2014

Alice in Wonderland Playing Cards at Roker Park

And as you can tell, there’s lots to see and do at the park during the day – including a brilliant children’s play area and walkway along to the beach. If it looks this fun during the day, I can’t wait to see it lit up!

Roker Park Sunderland

So wrap up warm, take glow sticks and have fun lots of fun!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

(For more information on Sunderland Illuminations 2014 head over to Sunderland Live)

Roker Park Illuminations Information 2014

Roker Park Information Board for Sunderland Illuminations 2014

Happy Halloween with Handmade Bow Tie Cat Collars

These halloween bow ties are sure to bring a little bit of hocus pocus to your bat-cats. First of all you’ll find googly-eyed spiders on a bright halloween orange!

Halloween cat bow tie in orange and black spiders

Itsy bitsy halloween spiders!

Or how about a stripey number for any feline fashionistas out there! This one comes with a little pumpkin charm.

Halloween black and orange striped bow tie and cat collar

Halloween Stripes!

This ghastly green looks lovely on Lyla-cat for the creepiest (and crawliest) time of the year!

Green halloween cat bow tie

Green for Halloween!

And last but not least, this orange bow tie has a sneaky spider lurking in there!

Orange halloween bow tie cat collar with spider

Polka dots with a sneaky spider!

Fancy dress is for the whole family after all!

Hope you like the pictures – if you’d like one for your own yowling, prowling Halloween cat –¬†pop over to my Etsy shop.

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Homemade Catio – Outdoor Cat Enclosure

We’ve finally completed our DIY outdoor cat enclosure – or¬†cat patio – or catio for short!… This followed many long nights of research, walking our cats around on cat leads and LOTS of meowing at the patio doors to go outside and a bit of elbow grease…

Catio drainpipe solution

Patio with spinning drainpipe enclosure… spot the¬†two¬†cats!

For Lyla and Boop, this is a way of getting sunshine and fresh air but at no risk from busy roads, noisy neighbourhood foxes, eating things they shouldn’t or getting stuck in trees (I’m looking at you, Lyla!). The pros and cons are endless but we’re happy with the compromise we’ve made for them both – and they seem happy too.

Outside cats in catio

Lyla and Boop – outdoors!

We have a small garden (7m x 5m) which we’ve recently had patioed (goodbye lawnmowers) with standard 6 feet fences and a car port bordering our property. After¬†painting the fences and assembling and painting the¬†shed – we were ready to go!¬†¬†First of all I fixed¬†some bamboo screening against the car port fence for privacy and also to stop them¬†escaping that way.

outdoor cat enclosure bamboo fencing

Carport Bamboo Fencing

Then we set about installing the cat enclosure drainpipe ‘system’. I’ll be honest. We weren’t 100% sure if it would¬†work… but we really wanted to give this a go rather than just using brackets and metres of overhanging wire mesh – which we were worried would look a little bit prisony.

Whole Catio View

Catio Panorama

Here are the materials we used (incase you were interested!)

  • Electric screwdriver – make sure to drill into the horizontal fence post
  • Screws – choose the right length so that they don’t go through to your neighbours’ side if you have a shared fence!
  • Saw to cut drainpipes to size
  • Staple Gun
  • Steel Threaded Rods¬†– small enough to go through the bracket holes – these don’t go all the way through the drainpipe
  • Drainpipes¬†– we chose brown ones in the hope they’d blend with the paint!
  • Brackets¬†– already twisted so you just need to bend them to your desired angle. Once they’re screwed to the fence you can still bend them slightly to the right position.
  • Hex Nuts¬†– placed on either side to keep the rod firmly in place
  • Wire Mesh – we opted for the PVC coated mesh to last longer and to reinforce weak spots on the perimeter using the staple gun
Outdoor cat enclosure double rollers

Double Rollers for Extra Security

The basic idea is that the drainpipes rest on steel rods so that if the cats try to jump up, they’ll spin. I wish I’d recorded Lyla and Boop’s attempts to escape but after those first few occasions, they haven’t even tried again! We haven’t had any problems with other cats either as they seem a bit put off having to jump over the piping.

Wire Mesh Cat Enclosure

Using Mesh on the Weak Spots

We opted to go with double rollers as the twisted strap has more than enough space to hang both. It means the lower one can be pushed closer to the fence so the cats can’t get under the first drainpipe, or over the second drainpipe. This is a trial and error thing and very much depends on how much of a houdini your cat would be!

Catio weak spots

Plants and wire mesh in Corners!

We’ve had to put all of our garden furniture in the middle of the garden as otherwise they could use them as platforms to leap over the fence. And I’ve put a few plants around the corners to lure them away from weak spots! In time I’ll make them some outdoor cat toys but for now, this is where Boop likes to spend his time…

Silly Boop

Where’s Boop?

And because I’m a softy, I bought a little cat maisonette for our Lyla so she can even sit outside in the rain.

Shade for Catio

Cat Maisionette

Let me know what you think and if you have any questions, ask!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)