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)

Pawprint Keepsakes by Simply Precious

I love my two little moggies, Lyla-cat and Boop, more than any fluffy thing in this world. I can’t imagine life without the two of them, being silly and filling my life full of surprises (and cat hair). Meeting so many cat owners means we chat about all things cat – and something that pops up from time to time is how to really treasure the memories of your four legged friends, whilst also having something you really love. I came across the idea of turning your best friend’s paw prints into a keepsake, something that can last forever after their time with us has gone.

paw print keyring

Beautiful, silver, paw print keyring

I was introduced to Simply Precious – who make beautiful personalised 99.9% silver jewellery. They have a special technique of capturing foot prints and finger prints, making lasting memories for babies and children – and now rather excitingly for me – paw prints!

Cat paw prints

Boop’s little feet – so cute!

After purchasing from their fabulous website, I received an impressions pack in the post very quickly – which was great as I was keen to get started! I was a bit nervous as I get a bit panicky when reading instructions, but luckily the first part of my letter from Kelly at Simply Precious said ‘don’t worry, further kits can be supplied’ – brilliant! (though I still read the instructions a further five times).

As recommended, I waited until warm, fuzzy, sleepy afternoon Boop was in a ‘calm’ mood and set up my ‘paw print’ station in the kitchen; I sellotaped the transfer paper to the kitchen table so it wouldn’t move. I checked that Boop’s paw was clean and dry. I roped in my husband for an extra pair of hands. I prepared a mug of warm water and cat shampoo, ready to dip Boop’s paw in afterwards. And then finally, I got the cat treats at the ready!

making pet jewellery

I’m not above bribery!

In the end I needed all three sheets of the special printing paper as I got a bit confused! At first I wiped the paper instead of Boop’s paw print, and then I managed to squidge my own fingerprints all over the second piece of paper *groan* so third time lucky! … I wiped Boop’s paw, plonked him on top of the third sheet of paper (extensive bribery by this point) and kept my fingers crossed that the prints would be good enough! Ta-dah! The process isn’t the slightest bit messy, as you use an ink-less wipe (magic) but afterwards I put Boop’s paw into the cup of cat shampoo to make sure he was nice and clean and he trotted off quite happily with a tummy full of treats.

Cat paw print

Paw print wizardry!

I had the choice of posting back the paw prints to Simply Precious in a stamped addressed envelope, or scanning and e-mailing over the image. I opted for the latter (because I was so excited and couldn’t wait!) and fortunately with a little bit of wizardry on Kelly’s part, she e-mailed me back a proof and checked that I was happy with everything. It’s great to know that she could transform my splotchy attempt into Boop’s unique little paw print!

I chose a keyring from the range of jewellery available (which includes charms, pendants and cufflinks) as I’m always off out in the car. I chose to have Boop’s name inscribed on the reverse and now he’s always with me wherever I go! When it arrived (well within the estimated two weeks) I couldn’t have been happier. It was beautifully displayed in a presentation box, and included a rubber stamp which was an unexpected bit of magic. I’ve already bought an ink pad and will be happily signing my Christmas cards with Boop’s paw print from now on!

paw print display box

Beautiful paw print presents!

So if you fancy a unique present for yourself, or a loved one – I can thoroughly recommend this wonderful idea. All of the jewellery by Simply Precious is made in their home studio so you can be assured of a lovingly finished product and the customer service was second to none – so much so – that I just had to write and tell you all about it! Have a look at all of their beautiful work on their facebook page or pop over to the website. Enjoy!

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

Happy Christmas from Whitburn Whiskers

We pet sitters had a very merry Christmas at the Whitburn Whiskers’ headquarters! Our two furry family members were well and truly spoiled to bits – not least by some of the lovely presents our brilliant customers sent over (and our family, friends and Santa Claws!). And don’t forget Richy and I! The cards, chocolates, biscuits and other pet paraphernalia we received were so appreciated. And already eaten : )

Richy, Rachel and Jeffrey

Richy, Rachel and Jeffrey

Our kitten nearly grown up!

Our Boop nearly all grown up!

Christmassy Lyla-cat

Christmassy Lyla-cat

I love being a pet sitter in Sunderland and South Shields – I’ve had a brilliant year and met some brilliant new customers – pet people are my favourite kind of people… and as my collection of furry friends grows bigger and bigger I just want to say a big thank you for choosing me to look after your little ones. It really is a big decision entrusting them to a stranger – but I’ve got fond memories of each and every one and look forward to seeing familiar faces in the new year. And to two of my favourites who were sadly no longer with us this Christmas time, Chloe and Molly – I’m so grateful to have looked after two very special ladies : )

Whitburn Whiskers team huddle

Go team Whitburn Whiskers!

We’re really looking forward to 2013 and all that it brings. There’ll be lots and lots of pictures of pets posted to our pet sitting facebook page – maybe moving towards making a charity calendar for Christmas next year! I love seeing all the nice comments and likes for all the pets that we care about so thanks to everyone that’s contributed. Right! Think that’s enough sentiment from me – even Boop’s bored!!…

That's enough, Rachel.

That’s quite enough, Rachel.

Festive best wishes to you all,

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

An autumny day trip to Flamingo Land

It’s autumn! My very favourite time of year. I love fallen, crunchy leaves and all the reds and yellows and browns of the trees – everything looks warm and lovely even though it’s suddenly time for hats and scarves and gloves.

Autumn = leaves, a treestump + mushrooms

After my recent unpleasant experience with glandular fever (including a three day hospital stint), Mr Whiskers took me down to Flamingo Land before it closed for the end of the season. Now remember…

This doesn’t include me though, does it?!

Being a dog walker, I’m pretty outdoorsy and sometimes this ends in me being ‘over prepared’. Hence a big backpack, two waterproofs, ear muffs, gloves, scarf, two hoodies – and a change of clothes being left in the car. I inherited this trait from my mother. We call it being packhorses.

Richy and I (and my five layers of autumn clothes!)

It took about two and a half hours to get there from Sunderland – taking the scenic route across the Yorkshire Moors and admiring all the autumn leaves! So we had to make sure we did everything and saw everything! No time for nerves here (and no queues out of season!) – we were straight through all the rides until we felt sick, jiggly and giggly. Going upside down, side-to-side and round-and-round could only mean one thing for me – lunchtime – and lemurs pretending to be wooly jumpers!

Wooly jumpers having a group nap to stay warm!

I loved the new penguin enclosure and for a cold, drizzly day, it was nice to see some little guys who were really happy. What noise do penguins make?… A soft crunch when you bite into them! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

“You are a nation of teeny weeny, pibbling pickolini, piddily diddily poof!” (Happy Feet)

And of course – what would a cat sitter be doing at a zoo if not visiting the biggest cats? I was even disappointed to learn that the zoo offers ‘animal encounter tours’ where you can get up close and personal with lemurs, penguins, meerkats and sea lions… but not tigers! Aw.

“I know you alright. You’re Shere Khan.”
“Precisely. And you should know that everyone runs from Shere Khan.” (The Jungle Book)

Ever since watching Dumbo I’ve been waiting to see an elephant fly but…

…I did see a tiger yawn!

Then I was exhausted! (glandular fever does that to you). But I had a brilliant day, saw some really healthy well-looked after animals and jiggled about on the scary rides and screamed my little heart out. Not Mr Whiskers mind you – he’s too manly to scream (though the ride photos suggest otherwise!!)

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

A home cat sitting visit in Sunderland

Wondering what your cat sitter actually does while you’re away? Well, we try to make sure that our visits are fully focused on your cats (and don’t worry, they make sure of this too!). Let’s use the lovely Thomas as an example of a normal cat sitting visit to a one-cat household in Sunderland (NB: A ‘normal visit’ is one where we don’t need to administer medication, rush to the emergency vets, clean up any spills or accidents, call a locksmith when the key snaps, spend 30 minutes just FINDING the cat, fixing anything broken, calling an out of hours plumber…)

Thomas and me

When I arrive at teatime, Thomas would have already heard the gate open and be sat at the door meowing loudly. I let myself in and edge around the door so he doesn’t run out – cue Tom-cat winding himself around his legs until I sit and give him a proper fuss. Then I’d pick up his black and yellow string (with a bell on the end) and we’d head round the house together closing all the blinds and curtains. We then have a bit of a play around until…

String with a ring

Thomas leads me back to the kitchen where he would let me know that it’s FOOD TIME. I collect up all his bowls and glasses (Thomas likes to drink out of a tumbler in the living room) and give them a good clean. I decide whether it’s normal tea – or special treat tea – leave him to tuck into dinner.

Yom nom nom

While he’s chomping, I’d go to the conservatory to water the plants and and refresh his litter tray and pop out to the wheelie bin. Sometimes Thomas couldn’t make his mind up whether to eat – or come and play with me so to put him at ease I’d write out his diary and sit near him. This means he isn’t yo-yoing between the two getting indigestion!

No Rachel, play with me!

When I first meet a client and their cat, I like to ask what their favourite toys and tricks are – nothing makes a cat feel at ease like their own things. One of these ‘things’ for Thomas was a very soggy battered monkey toy that used to be his mum’s! I’d been advised to maybe pick it up with a stick – Thomas also likes to chase and chew sticks – but I still wasn’t prepared for Thomas’ reaction! Hissing and pouncing and battering! I soon saw what being on the wrong side of this wonderfully fluffy feline could be like!

Thomas and the monkey

That said, I don’t play rough with cats that I look after! I find that the relationship between cat sittee and cat sitter is a wonderfully complex one. They’re aware (almost immediately) that I’m there for them – and nothing else. This means that I’m bossed from food bowl to toys to neck scratches to face nuzzles in quick succession. But I don’t think they know I’m paid to do this. I think – they think – that they have to be nice to me (don’t tell them the truth!). Either way, we have a mutually respectful relationship. We play nicely and nobody gets scratched or bitten (especially not the cat).

Bubbly cat

Cat in a bubble

I want to make sure that while their pet owners are away – my cats get lots of special treatment too. This means I have lots of tricks up my sleeve to make friends with cats; whether this is special catnip toys, a cat laser pen, or catnip bubbles! Either way it’s lots more fun for us both to play different games every day – and keep them interested in my visits. Cats are naturally inquisitive so bringing something new nearly always perks them up and also gives me a chance of wearing them out so they sleep happily between visits.

What’s this? What’s this? What’s this?

Most cats like to sniff my shoes and they can’t get enough of my scruffy canvas backpack I take everywhere. I think they all want to mark their scent on me before I head off to the next house! That… or they just don’t want me to leave 😉

This bag smells like treats

Rach x

(The Cat Whiskerer)

World’s First Liliger Born in Siberia

Say hello to Kiara – the world’s first Liliger! The cub was born last month in Novosibirsk Zoo in Siberia and it’s thought that she’s the only one of her kind in the world. A little bit magic maybe 🙂

She’s a very rare quarter tiger; her mum is a liger called Zita (a cross between a tiger and a lion) and her dad is an African lion named Samson. But she’s not being looked after by her liger mother or her lion father – but instead an ordinary domestic house cat (and an extreeeemely lovely looking one at that). The cat plays with Kiara and keeps her warm 🙂

Breeding rare protected animals is of concern for wildlife laws as hybrids often suffer from growth disorders but so far so good for little Kiara. Normally lions and tigers would attack each other on sight, so natural cross breeding of the two species is rare but has been known to happen even in the wild.

So will Kiara be a fan of swimming like a tiger? Or happy being part of a pack like lions? Who knows? An adult liger can be twice as heavy as a lion so let’s wait and see how big Kiara gets. Hercules, the world’s most famous liger lives in a Miami zoo and was recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest living cat on Earth, weighing over 410 kg!

Visitors will be able to see Kiara when she’s a little bigger next month. Mr Whiskers wants to know if he can have one for Christmas *sigh* as if our little Boop wasn’t enough mischief!

Head over to the BBC – Siberian Zoo Breeds the World’s First Liliger to see the full video.

Rachel x

(The Cat Whiskerer)