Specialcats News 2015 New paths, new plans

Rosie MapplebeckSpecialcats News


This year we said a goodbye to Jaime as she settled into life in Dundee for good. We have to do the visiting these days. In her place we have Pat, who just happened to need something new to do at the right time. I love synchronicity!  Pat brought her cat Molly-Bolly so we are now a 4 cat household-one cat owns each room. Pat is skilled in massage therapies so the kitties will enjoy her attentions. She also likes painting which you may have noticed from our redecorated house.

Alan recovered well from his feral cat bite injury of 2014 and was soon raring to fix things again. In a rush of enthusiasm a window to be mended became a chalet to be gutted, rewired and re-roofed, then a corridor to rejig and 2 more chalets to modify, then 2 more to build, all needing painted and then it was summer and we were too busy to think. All 5 units have extra double glazed windows for the less able to see out of, low shelf options and large entrances. We based our adaptations on the needs of customers Belle and Daisy in particular who have old injuries, though any less able cat can benefit. We have an increasing number of 17-24 year old cats staying with us.

Rosie split her time between cattery and story work. She has been running history walks in Ayr for a while and now the council want her to extend these into a full town trail. Over the next year you should see and hear the results. she still finds time for her poetry, the garden has been the most neglected task.

In November we had the drive dug out, drained and relaid. We used the opportunity to lose the steps to the cattery which are hard for some to negotiate, including us carrying in stock. Alan has his new man-cave to hide in (garage space) which just needs a bit more paintwork- the rain got the better of that job. We have been left with a large area of mud, block and stone to replant and sort before nature takes it totally in hand.

We have welcomed a wide range of guests as you can see. The youngest for a long while were 5 weeks of age and came with Mum Misty. The oldest guest was 21. Our rabbit regulars had fun bouncing up and down corridors. Grandchildren came and went, as did the summer sun. Poppy is now having acupuncture to keep her continent: age does not come alone.

We had some interesting wildlife sightings: wrens reared young in the polytunnel and could be seen feeding their young. A squirrel was spotted transporting whole apples up trees; a peregrine falcon carrying its dove prey; a nuthatch at the feeders and the first jay for years taking acorns. Our new hens settled in well but then a fox dug into their run at night and finished several off. Our bees swarmed so multiplied but the wet summer meant no honey to spare. Dragonflies arrived at the pond and newts were seen here for the first time.

Alan has been co-facilitating WRAP mental health workshops encouraging people to take more control of their lives. We do like to have several strings to our bows.

We held a Big Lunch poetry party here in June and plan to do so again next year. Let us know if you might like to come.

Donations to charities topped £1100 this year, being mostly to animal charities, sponsorships plus the tribal school we sponsor in the Philippines.

Prices for next year remain the same as this (£12/18/21/24)

With all thanks for your custom which is much appreciated and good wishes for a fruitful New Year to yourselves. Hope to see you soon!

Rosie, Alan (Jaime),  Pat and our Specialcats