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There is always something going on in a multi-cat household. Erm 9... cats and counting...... Plus stories from the Sheffield Cats Shelter

Monday 16 December 2013

Monday at the Shelter 16-12-13

Wow, what a weekend. 14 adoptions, yes 14!!  Followed by 2 more today and four pre-adoptions about to be completed too.

That brings the adoption year to an end and what a year its been, a record breaking one in fact.  When the final four planned pre-adoptions go through, that will bring the total this year to 464.

Last year the total was 408 and previously the highest adoption figure was 442 back in 2008.

These numbers would not have been possible without the sheer hard work and determination of the Shelter team.  Manager Shirley, Cat Care Managers Kim and Emma, Judith, Leanne, Hollie, Vicky, Ray and Katy.

Then there is a whole team of volunteers and foster carers, the Shelter could not manage without the time and dedication of these people.  I'll be telling you more about them over the next couple of blog posts.

Lets not forget Highfield Vets who rush cats and kittens into their surgery at a moments notice and consistently offer invaluable, trusted advice and support.

Finally you will find the Committee and Trustees working hard behind the scenes (and often on the front line too!)

All these people come together to make one fantastic team and I'm very proud to be part of it.

Here's a selection of some of the cats and kittens who are going to be spending a happy Christmas in their new homes.





The Shelter is now closed for further adoptions until the New Year.  But that certainly doesn't mean the work ends.  With the exception of adoption viewings, its business as usual for the Staff and volunteers.

There will also be time to do additional work like painting, repairs and maintenance.  As there have been such a lot of adoptions it will free up rooms for full deep cleaning.

Rooms won't stay empty for long though.  In addition to the waiting list, there are urgent cases, such as 3 expectant mums out living on the streets.  They will be brought into the Shelter as soon as possible to have their babies in safety.

My final note this week has to be a thank you, a thank you to everyone who has donated to the shelter, to everyone who has taken a cat or kitten into their home, because without you the Shelter could never have reached this fantastic adoption figure.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Sunday at Shelter 1-12-13

There are a number of kittens in desperate need of homes at the moment.

In Room 4 we have Alfie and Archie who need to go to a new home together.  They are 3-4 months old.


Last time I met them it was when they had a mini break while their foster parents had a weekend away :) Here they are with their Mum Fluff when they visited us.

Fluff and her kittens

Fluff was originally left on a doorstep when she was heavily pregnant.  Thankfully the Shelter had room for her as the kittens were born the very next day. 

Dora and Daloris are around four months old and were born outside.   They are very close as you can see.

Dora & Daloris

Their Mum, Doris, has now been adopted.  You might remember she was the one who had a horrible collar injury.

Mum Doris

Next we have Badger, Panda and Squirrel. Their siblings Bear and Rabbit have already been adopted. These little cuties were born outside to a Mum who was a stray.  They are also around 4-5 months old.

Panda (photo Courtesy of the Shelter)

Badger  (photo Courtesy of the Shelter)

The next 'batch' of kittens were in Room 3.  I met these little ones when they originally arrived at the Shelter in September.  They were suffering terribly with flu and had the dirtiest ears I've ever seen!!  They were all named after American States and Cities.

Here they are on that first day.


Poorly eyes

Now they are all grown up and ready to find their forever homes.

Sadly Michigan's eyes were damaged by the Flu and will always look sore, even though they aren't.  He seems to be able to see without any problems, but it's likely he could suffer from more eye infections than a 'normal' cat.

Marmaduke has been pre-adopted and is just waiting for some dental treatment before he goes to his new home.  


But the BIG story this week has to be Crystal.  At the Shelter for 8 long months, prospective adopters have come and gone, but sadly Crystal remained.  


Until this week!  It seems Crystal bestowed her approval on a lovely couple and they felt she was the one for them too.  The staff will really miss Crystal as she'd become such a familiar sight 'holding court' in the yard,  waiting to share everyone's lunch.  Now in her new home, updates on Facebook seem to confirm this was a perfect match, and you can't get better than that :)

Sunday 24 November 2013

Sunday at the shelter 24-11-13

Today Libby and I were working in Maternity.

Four little siblings, Amadeus, Mozart, Wolfgang and Constanze were waiting impatiently for their new Foster Mum's to arrive.

Found dumped in a box aged approximately 4 weeks old and without Mum, they had no chance to be weaned.  By this age it's very difficult to get them to accept milk from an artificial teat, so they are having a mixture of milk and food 'mush' in a bowl. Unfortunately this does have a negative impact on their little tummies. 

Now 5 weeks old they went to their new foster home today.  It's obvious they miss the comfort of Mum as they cry out for attention and cuddles. 

Fortunately there will be plenty of love and cuddles in their temporary home. :)

Poppy was perched up on the window.   She was trapped by the wonderful Friends of Ferals Maggie, close to Centertainment.  


She is terribly frightened and the team have to take it very slowly in order to gain her trust.  She won't have really had contact with people before, so it's not surprising how scared she is.  Maggie also spotted 3 possible siblings but when she returned to try and catch them, they were nowhere to be seen.

While we were in the room she started tucking into her lunch and finished off with a wash.  All very good signs that she is starting to feel slightly less cautious around people.

Another set of four kittens are Mindy, Minnie, Mike and Maise. I love this picture of them :)

Mindy, Minnie, Mike and Maise

A little timid at the moment, they were found in garden with their Mum Mia when they were 9 weeks old.  Now 11 weeks, Mum has moved into Holding to begin her own journey to finding a new home.

And here she is, Mum Mia. 


She is very friendly, but isn't keen on other cats at the Shelter.

Also in Holding was Wilfred who wouldn't keep still long enough for a photo!  Sadly, his owner could no longer keep him.  He's around 8 months old.
Minnie and Maisy were found in woods and are about a year old.  Minnie is very protective of Maisy, who is a little timid. 

Minnie protects Maisy

She often sits in front of  the little black cat to shield her and can also be seen to put a paw around her too!

Finally, yesterday Ohio and Vegas returned to the Shelter and it was no surprise to hear they had been adopted together today.

This is how they were when I first met them.


And here they are now looking much more grown up!!

9 adoptions today meant that there have been 415 so far this year, which is amazing!!  This means the Shelter have already exceeded last years figure :)

They couldn't do it without all the support and donations received each and every day.  Thank you.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 17-11-2013

Those eagle eyed readers amongst you might have noticed that there was no blog last Sunday.  I must apologise, there was so much going on I didn't get a spare moment to even begin writing.  I shall, however,  make up for it this week with a bumper edition (I hope).

Firstly, what kept me so busy last weekend??  In case you missed it, the Shelter opened its very own Charity Shop on Ecclesall Road on Saturday the 9th November.  I, along with others, increased my volunteering to help out.

The run up to the shop being opened was verging on miraculous.  The Shelter Staff and volunteers had such a small window in which to install and paint shop fittings, sort donations, produce a window display and get items on the rails and shelves.

This first photo shows the shop completely empty on Saturday the 2nd November, that's just one week before the grand opening!

A group of people in an empty shop
2nd November - a blank canvas!!

By the 5th there have been loads of 'behind the scenes' work completed, but the shop fittings are not yet complete.

Shop front
5th November - just 3 days left before opening day!

Friday the 8th, there are hanging rails and the sales counter gets some final touch ups.

Shop starting to be prepared for opening
Shelter staff working hard 

Shelving is in and painted, now to start getting them filled!

Discussions on the best use of space
The hard work of everyone can been clearly seen as they prepare to go home after a long day.

And finally, what a fantastic shop window!

Opening day arrived and so did Actress Susan Cookson who kindly cut the ribbon. Here she is receiving flowers as a thank you.

Actress Susan Cookson

Some volunteers spent most of the day outside talking to customers and passers by.  It's hard to ignore a giant cat!

Shelter Manager Shirley checks on the welfare of the fund raising cat!
It was a fantastic first day, with lots of visitors and plenty of positive comments about the shop and the stock.
It would certainly not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Staff, volunteers and Trustees.

When you've been so busy, sometimes you need a reality check.  A little reminder what all this is for.  I got mine when I popped back to the Shelter after the shop closed.  3 kittens had just been brought in by their owner.  Her cat had had kittens and she was unable to keep them.

I picked up a little tabby kitten and had a cuddle, yeah, this is what it's all about.  "Little sausage" I said as I enjoyed my cuddle.  So when you learn the kittens are now named Sausage, Bacon and Eggs, you know who to blame :)

three kittens in a basket
Sausage, Bacon & Eggs

At 7-8 weeks old, they are a little underweight, but hopefully that should be rectified in no time.  Here's a recent photo of Sausage, who's happily settling into his foster home.

Tabby kitten
A 4-5 month old little white and black kitten, named Prince, has just found his way to the Shelter.  He was found as a stray and was limping, unable to bear weight on one of his front paws.

Examinations concluded that he has two broken bones in his front leg.  Despite this he is such a happy little boy.  He will be having an operation tomorrow to repair the leg.  Recovery time will depend on whether the leg can be reset and plastered or if he needs pins inserting.  As ever, the cost of the operation, which will likely be in the hundreds, will be paid by the Shelter regardless.

Finally to Libby.  Her story has been featured a number of times in the blog.  She's certainly had her ups and downs having to be trapped not once, but twice by the fantastic Maggie.


Libby is very fearful of people and has been unhappy at the Shelter as she doesn't like being confined indoors. Not every cat will thrive in a home environment and the Shelter do all they can to consider alternatives.  A farm home has been found for Libby.  She will receive food, shelter and care but with less human interaction.

I'm always amazed the lengths the Shelter go to, to find homes for all the cats and kittens in their care, however 'alternative' that might need to be.

I will be sorry to see Libby leave the Shelter, but I'm pleased to know she'd finally be able to get the type of life she she needs to be happy.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 03-11-2013

November!! Oh my this year is going fast.

This weekend I met three young kittens, Jasmine, Jeeves and Jessie, who had just returned from their foster home.

Jasmine, Jeeves and Jessie

They were in room 5 with black kittens Dora, Daloris and Alfie.

Kim explained that she needed to do some routine checks on the new arrivals.  Each one is weighed as sometimes kittens might not eat very well when they are first returned to the Shelter.  Having a baseline weight enables the Shelter staff to monitor any problems.

What a sweetie :)

If they are due for flea or worming treatment, this will be administered now too.

The kittens have all had microchips implanted whilst in foster care so Kim also checks that these can be picked up by the hand held scanner and that the number corresponds to the details given by the Vets.

In addition, Jasmine has her spay scar inspected.  Kim is looking for any sign of infection, such as scabs, swelling, or discharge.  Thankfully the scar is nice, neat, flat and healing well.

All of this is recorded on each kittens information sheet.

Foster carers give the staff information on the temperament of each kitten, how they interact with each other and any other animals in the house.   Sometimes kittens are so close that it's decided they would be better to be re-homed as a pair. (As is the case with Dora and Daloris) Once all this information is collected, the final task is to update the room board with the names and details of the new occupants.

Board ready to be updated!

In Maternity, Mum Chestnut was with her kittens Brazil and Hazel.  Mum was a stray and the kittens were born outside.  Aren't they stunning?

Chestnut with Hazel and Brazil

This little chap was also found living outside with his Mum.  At around 10 weeks old, Heisenberg (don't ask!)  is very frightened and has therefore gone into a foster home.  Hopefully it won't be long before he's feeling much happier and more relaxed.


Great news to finish the weekend.  You may remember Tia, 17, who had her thyroid removed? 

black cat

Well today she was adopted!  What fantastic news.  She is such a lovely cat, perfectly happy curled up on someone's knee.  To think she could have been put to sleep if it hadn't been for the Shelter.

I love a happy ending :)