Specialcats’ Newsletter 2023

LCDe5ignerSpecCatsSpecialcats News

This year has been challenging for most and world events have shocked and dismayed many.
The pandemic aftermath begins to heal though many lessons apparently have not been learnt. Where went appreciation for those who serve us? It seems people get more entitled as their response to challenge, not more grateful. We are all in this together, however we feel day to day. Better to help each other and care.
There’s been a lot of cat grooming to do this year including at-home appointments, not something I’ve tried before as I like to have equipment all at hand and help if needed but it has worked so far.
Home calls are part of accessibility provision. Of course I missed the Coronation palaver due to grooming work 🙂

Lovely Rosie after her dematt

Interestingly, this year I was recognised as being disabled: its only taken 63 years! Having the blood cancer seems to have given me more ‘points’ than my autism ever did. Still same person, working same ways but feeling more able to be myself.
Part of the pandemic legacy is webinar availability so it is easier to attend poetry and training events distantly. In that way I’d attended shamanic teachings and meditations and found myself drawn to a Four Winds retreat in Peru. My doctors weren’t keen at first as altitude and high blood pressure don’t mix well but I agreed to try chemotherapy to improve matters and gave litres of blood away and they agreed. Chemo didn’t last long as I reacted badly to Hydroxyurea, was off it before my trip and very glad. While in Peru I was part of many ceremonies and healings and looked a thousand times better on my return (like death beforehand I was told).

The food was local, often from the monastery gardens: healthy and tasty, company was good and having our personal live Deva Premal concert with her yoga practice daily was bliss . I made friends with several animals as we travelled: this chap at a sacred site came to us to share our lunch and let me pull the cactus spines out of his muzzle and paws poor bonnie lad. Back home we discovered the delights of fresh citrus and avocados direct from Spain via Crowdfarmer: organic small farm produce, also cheese, flours, pesto and seeds. Great healthy food better for Momma Nature too. You can learn about the farm team and choose your delivery day, another online social benefit.

Another joy was watching Reuben, the lion we sponsor with Animal Defenders International flown back from Armenia to Africa where he belongs and seeing his progress live-streamed. The cattery supports various rescues and projects which make a difference to human and natural world.

Eko; Animal Defenders International; Naturewatch; Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue; Avaaz; Ayrshire Hospice; BUAV; Animal Free Research UK; Amnesty International and Only One

We gained a new member of staff as Madison joined our team. She is the daughter of my first ever employee Dale and a gentle humorous soul. I’m feeling like a grannie now! Here she is with Marlena who is now registered as a therapy dog, awaiting her new role to start. We also have the company of Cameron and carer who come for work experience weekly.

When I got back from Peru the extra energy I had led me to find a new doctor’s surgery and sack my old one as lacking respect for the neurodiverse community. I lodged the complaint on the web too as NHS says it likes Patient Opinions.
Wonder if they did? We certainly appreciate clear feedback on Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor or via Yell.

Our vet David Crawford had a big birthday this fine summer and a big beach dog-party was held in his honour which was great fun. The summer was very hot but we already had foil at hand for cooling the cattery and cold fans ready. This is climate change for sure, now we suffer the extreme wet weather and the A70 to Annbank road as I write is currently flooded. Other routes are fine however.
Many butterflies fluttered round the garden and to the soft fruit I put out for them. Caitlin made friends with a robin and we trained it to feed from our hands. She now comes daily and demands.

I’m intending to set up a new online booking system to ease the online chasing of payments and matching them to cats and dates. You can of course still use the old methods. I don’t wish to make things over technical for those who find that challenging (that includes me, who couldn’t manage the new council online licence system- it took my money but not my information so we asked for a simple form to be proffered as our details haven’t changed and it could have been lodged from last years information. Arm’s length management can be challenging. Stop press!
License is renewed.

Its been a busy year and I hope we can add the extra units I had planned in next couple of years. If anyone knows a decent joiner….
Caitlin has been adding to her menagerie: snakes, lizards and geckos now festoon the house, beware! They are very beautiful, not so much cuddly as constrictive! Our elderly animals limp on: Madame has developed a penchant for avocado, mayonnaise and vegan ham! One at a time, mind. Maybe it balances her fresh Katkin meat diet? She’s a funny old soul. Big 3-legged Samson has been clambering onto the roof to scare Caitlin’s mog, Goose very successfully, the rascal. Sadly her old deaf dog Curie developed cancer so left us this week.

Maddy met her litter brother in the park just before he left for Italy. Knew we would meet one of her siblings one day. He wouldn’t play so won’t be missed by her. Marlena got through the assessment hoops to become a therapy dog with Therapy Dogs Nationwide. She has her uniform as do I, only issue being we haven’t yet found anywhere for her to do her cuddle work as people don’t get back to us despite us volunteering so its free!

My elderly laptop has been replaced by a new model, hope it will last as long as its predecessor as its in full use for cattery, poetry, song and story writing. We attended a first aid course this month and we will do a food hygiene one now colleges have restarted, in-person ones. I wrote a few more Standard Operating Procedures to add to the files. I try to keep ahead of the local inspection requirements, even signed up to be on an inspector’s course.
Now my head is healthier I study better.
Who said all we do here is cat-cuddling? I wish!
(This puffball is just to show good free foraging is to be had locally.)


A reminder to all cat owners that next year it will be a legal necessity for all cats to be microchipped if not done already. It’s simple and not expensive to have done and registered, can even save their life!

Wishing you all the best for the New Year to come
Rosie, Caitlin, Madison and Specialcats XXX