Cats That Love Close Ups!

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

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cat sitting southwick

Much missed Maisie

cat sitting boldon colliery


cat care south shields


cat services in south shields


pet care whitburn sunderland

… and Cassie (pretending to be a cat)

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

Mobile Cattery for Sunderland and South Shields

Last year I asked whether or not pet owners would prefer to use a cattery or a cat sitter and the comments were overwhelming – a cat sitter! Or as one commenter said, a mobile cattery (I like that phrase!). A lot of people said that if they couldn’t ask for help from someone they knew, then they’d really need to rely on recommendations.

As a lot of my new customers say that they’re really reassured by my testimonials page when choosing to get in touch with me, I thought I’d have a look at their most important reasons for using Whitburn Whiskers for their pet sitting services!

  • “They were looked after by somebody who really cares about cats which meant a lot to us and provided us with peace of mind”.
  • “Basic things like checking lights and blinds/curtains are often overlooked by other petsitters, but Rachel ensured our house was perfectly safe awaiting our return”.
  • “We received regular updates and photographs of our puddy cats eating, sleeping, having cuddles & strokes, being pampered and…. basically being thoroughly spoilt in the comfort of their own home!
cat south shields

Cat Sitting Playtime

  • “Thanks to the antisocial cat taming powers of Rachel and co at Whitburn Whiskers… she is not the most sociable of cats but you obviously won her over!”
  • “Our boys have had the right kind of care and companionship in a familiar environment with their preferred diet”.
  • “This is the first time that I have ever entrusted their care to anyone other than family members. It’s hard to hand over this responsibility to someone when the objects mean so much to you personally. But I could have sworn that when we arrived back home that both cats were looking over my shoulder for you to give them a quick cuddle”.
Cat sitting in south shields

Mobile Cattery Services

  • “We wouldn’t consider anyone else now as Rachel knows Inky and Gilbert really well, and vice versa”.
  • “They were both happy and totally chilled out when I came back (as if I hadn’t been away!)”.
  • “I’m very impressed by the interest you show in each pet’s little foibles and personality”.
  • “Pet lover first, pet sitter second”.
Cat sitting services south shields

Happy at Home

I always come round to meet new customers and their furry friends, free of charge, so we can all get to know each other and I can get all the information I need to look after your pets while you’re away. Whether that be… Fluffy will only drink out of a pint glass underneath my bed… or this is Bagpuss’ favourite toy that he likes to play fetch with… or if you can’t find Tom then he’s probably tunnelled under the duvet and made himself a nest – I’ll get to know them all : )

So if you’re going on holiday, then please think of choosing Whitburn Whiskers’ pet services for Sunderland and South Shields.

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Silly Cats Sticking Their Tongues Out

I get to meet some of the nicest little cats you could ever hope to spend time with being a cat sitter. While their owners are away I send them pictures – so they know they’re not the only ones having a holiday! Playing, having cuddles or eating… or in the case of these funny cats – sticking their tongues out!

Grey and white tabby sticking her tongue out
Miss Tinkle Puss having an outside bath
Black cat sticking it's tongue out
Lama having a lazy roll around
Black cat tongue sticking out
Lovely Molly sticking her tongue out at you!
Miley Cyrus cat tongue
Hello Thomas-cat!
Happiest cat ever sticking her tongue out
Missy LOVES this stick!
Black and white moggy yawning
Fizz having a yawn or a lick?
Tabby cat licks her nose
Molly can lick her nose with her tongue… show off!
White cat yawning
Rapunzel yawwwwwwnnnning 🙂
Cat licking face eating fly
Bret eating al fresco
Lovely tortoiseshell cat tongue out
Sapphire is a cheeky little thing!
Persian cat yawn
and finally… ROooooARRRRrrrRRRrrr!!! (says Oliver)

So which is your favourite? (I love them all!)

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

13 Photos of Black Cats for Halloween

Happy Halloween to all of my little black cats! Thirteen may be unlucky for some but I think they’re all absolutely bewitching – and have the most beautiful eyes!

Black cat cuddling teddy
Black cat on the grass
Lovely Inky black cat
Cheeky black cat in bed
Black cat lying on couch
Black cat on windowsill
Maxi black cat lying down
Big black cat on table
Black cats looking through window
Issi (and her neighbour!)
Beautiful black cat
Black cat relaxing
Sleepy black cat on windowsill
Black cat playing outside

I’m really rather proud of these photos as black cats are the most difficult to capture well and sadly, most difficult to rehome from a rescue shelter. But I have a huuuuge soft spot for an all black witch’s cat – there’s just something very magical about them!!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Roker Park Lights 2013

For Sunderland Illuminations 2014 Click Here!

Roker Park Illuminations 2013

The darker nights are set to be sparkly again as Roker Park Lights returns this autumn. From October 12th – November 3rd it’s going to be Wonderland in Sunderland from 5pm – 9pm every evening. Hooray!

The park is going to be lit up at dusk with fairy lights and baubles and the welcome return of all things Alice in Wonderland. Expect to see the leading lady herself, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and of course my favourite… the Cheshire Cat! (Naturally!) Here’s a little map so you can see whereabouts everything is happening in the park;

Roker Park Map 2013

The lights looked lovely last year (especially over the boating lake) and it’s the perfect place to take the children along to when it’s dark outside. There’ll be music, refreshment stalls and the miniature train was a firm favourite. Extra activities have been planned for weekends with hopefully something special in store for Hallowe’en and remember the best bit – it’s absolutely FREE.

So wrap up warm, enjoy yourselves and keep your fingers crossed for me that the tap from yesteryears will make an appearance!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Fun with homemade cat toys

At the risk of becoming more of a crazy cat lady… I love making my own homemade cat toys and have recently been plugging away at my sewing machine. Working as a cat sitter means that I get to meet so many lovely little furry things and I’m constantly delighted by their personalities and character traits! I always try to get to know my furry customers by asking their pet-parents what their favourite toys are at our first meeting and some are always a bit sheepish… before bringing out weird and wonderful playthings! It just goes to show that all cats are different and what better way to try out my cat toys, than with my very own (and very willing) cat focus groups. First of all this is Fogle having a go on a leopard spot cat kicker (click to watch a video of Fogle);

Homemade cat kicker

Fogle playing with a furry cat kicker 

Cat kickers bring out the huggy side of some cats. They can wrap their arms around them, roll round the floor and fall asleep on them like they’re special cat pillows (click to watch a video of Billy). Or, for Fogle above, they’re great for cats that like to hunt. He sneaks up on the kicker… pounces… wrestles it around – and gives it a good kick with his back legs. I sew a bit of high quality catnip, carefully hidden inside the squishy stuffing which means you often get a cat happily licking and nuzzling into his cat pillow (that’s why it’s a good idea not to share!).

Homemade cat toys south shields

Billy and his cat kicker

I’ve always loved to make toys for my own two moggies and thought my extended cat family deserved a treat too. Cats by nature are inquisitive and most are especially taken with new toys – they love a novelty! I make little squashy mice with a tiny bit of catnip inside and ribbons for tails. This means they’re good all rounders for lots of types of cats;

  • Those that like to carry toys in their mouths
  • Cats who are catnip-mad
  • Moggies that jump up for dangly toys love to bat the ribbon tail around – I add a piece of string attached to a hand-held stick for my comfort.
  • For cats that enjoy a chase I sew in a long piece of string with a finger loop on my end, then trail it behind me as I do my patrol round houses closing curtains etc! Great for pouncing round corners and running up and down the stairs!
  • For those cats who like to get their paws stuck in – they’re squashy and satisfying to the claw!
Cat and mouse south shields

Maisie’s elephant mouse

Cat playing south shields

Bret doing a tour de stade

For younger cats, or ones with lots of energy and love a chase, I bring round my catit senses maze toy. It can be added to (a bit like scalextric!) so you can make a biiiiiig one – but I find this simple ‘S’ shape is great. You can position it round a corner, or hooked round the bottom of the stairs – so your cat can hide and pounce and follow the ball round. I even take it outside if it’s a nice warm day. The ball I’ve put inside lights up when the cat moves it so it’s especially fun. Here’s Bret and Jemaine, two teenagers, burning off some energy (click to watch video of their football skills)!

Home cat care in shields

Bret (and Jemaine spying on him)

I love finding out which toys each cat prefers to make sure they get a bit of exercise and stimulation as well as a cuddle and some fuss. So whether it’s chasing shoelaces, jumping for danglers, batting at furry mice on elastic string, maze toys, cat kickers for cuddling, feathers, cat bubbles … I definitely believe there’s a toy for every cat! (And for some cats, they just love them all!)

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)