The tale of two kitties………….

I am verging on ridiculous when it comes to my love of animals.  I worry about them ….. heaps.  I worry about their welfare.  It makes me sad when I see dogs chained up in yards looking bored and lonely. I can’t watch videos to do with animal cruelty.  I am totally dotty about my two dogs and cat, as you know:)  I try not to take everything on board and just be happy that mine are loved and looked after….and most of the populations is.  BUT….. Ricky’s children want to hope I clock off first, because if I don’t, the animal welfare groups will be getting what little I leave behind!  Right……we moved into this new house/town in February.  Soooooooooo  much seems to have happened since then.  It has been a bit full on.  Not the least the tale of two kitties………

When we first were getting settled and unpacked etc I noticed a cat dart across the front yard a couple of times.  It was a very pretty cat, which is why I took so much notice of it.  White, with three black spots on it side that were perfectly round.  Then it had a ginger and black face and a tortoiseshell tail.  The tail looked like it belonged on another cat……. it just didn’t match the rest of the cat.  Anyhooooooo……there are hundreds of stray cats in Queenstown and most of them live in abandoned houses or behind the shops and under the shops that back onto a laneway.  I thought this one probably belonged to someone…..it didn’t look scraggy.  Then Ricky informed me a couple of weeks later that he had seen that cat in our drive-way when he had come home late from work…..and it had a kitten with it.  A little ginger kitten.  Oh no!!!!!   So now I started to worry.  THEN ….  I threw some bread out on the little back garden shed for the birds.  This shed backs on to a side fence……that night I see the cat and her kitten on top of the shed eating the bird bread!  They were so hungry they would eat bird bread!!  Oh no……..so now they totally become MY problem because they had been eating bird bread on top of my shed???  OF COURSE THEY DO!!!!  And I did a bad, bad thing and called them “Bubble and Squeak”.

Now, you will think I am stupid….but I bloody stressed about those cats so much!!!  But also, they were causing all my animals to go crazy!!  Scarlett knew they were on the other side of the fence and would spend all day working herself into a total frenzy and sniffing and snuffling at the fence ‘like a little bush pig and trying to dig under it!!!  I don’t know why she was driven so crazy by them…..but she hated them and wanted to know what they tasted like!!

The house next door was vacant at the time and Bubble and Squeak were living under there in the dry and warm.  They would come out and sun-bake during the day.  Also, my cat, Flo….knew they were about at night too and started using the litter again because she was too nervous to go outside for a wee.  She would wait until the morning and go out  while I was home and do her pooing….but not during the night at all.  She was stressing and losing her fur and was quite affected by Bubble and Squeak’s presence also.  As usual…..poor Harry had no clue 🙂  He would spend the first ten minutes of each morning sniffing around in the carport and down the driveway  to let us know they had been lurking.  But he didn’t realise we were under threat of an attack by two kitties like Scarlett did 🙂  Also…..they kept turning on the security light in the driveway and I would look out the window and Bubble would stare back at me and Squeak would just look so damn cute….  like kittens do.  Squeak would chase the moths and things that came to the security light.  Anyway…..I just worried about their welfare and it was also quite stressful that they were disturbing everyone and during the night Scarlett would tear out the dog door flap because she could hear them and she would have to protect her backyard.  The dogs can’t get into the front yard or driveway area unless I open the backyard gate…..so she only had access to the back.  Bubbles knew this 😦

What to do?? What to do??  I started leaving leftover food on the shed roof.  Each night I would watch out the window here in the computer room and watch them arrive and tuck in to whatever was on offer on their rooftop dining venue.  I was so torn!!  I just COULD NOT have another cat.  It just wouldn’t be fair on poor Flo.  She has given us 19 years and to totally stress her out and expect her to accept another cat in her twilight years was just too cruel.  Normally, I would have tried to tame up Bubbles and Squeak and kept them!  But that wasn’t an option this time around..  I felt guilty feeding them because it was just encouraging them to stick around and also, Bubbles would breed.  But then I justified it by telling myself if I didn’t feed them……she would still breed.  She was teaching Squeak to be wary of people and both would run away if I tried to get closer. Ricky wanted me to “just stop feeding them and they will go away”.  My argument was they would probably only go half a block away and stay in a territory they knew and breed and then our problem would be ten fold with more stray cats terrorizing Flo and keeping us awake at night.  So, I had to DO SOMETHING!!!

I decided to leave food in the carport each night and get them used to eating a regular meal there.  Then I would get a trap from the council and try to trap them.  I would pay to have Bubbles put down with the vet and try and find a home for Squeak.  I felt better just having a plan.  So, each night I would put their meal out and then we would see the sensor light come on once it got dark……Bubble and Squeak would be making their way up the drive to have their tea.  We got quite attached to them!!!  I kept putting off getting the trap…..but I knew I had to soon before Squeak lost his cuteness and it would be harder to find him a family.  So, we got the trap and I put the flap up on it and didn’t set it, but put their food in there.  That way they would get used to going in there to eat…..but it wouldn’t trap them and hence, gain their confidence.  And to cut a long story short…………  we caught Squeak in the trap.  He was just so scared…..but also a little bit curious about us.  I put Squeak in my laundry in the dog crate.  I had set it up ready with a bed and a litter tray and food.  We left him there and went and re-set the trap.  It was only a matter of minutes and we caught Bubbles!!!  The council man came and got Bubbles the next morning.  He had offered to “do the deed” with Bubbles.  He promised me it would be quick and humane.  I try not to think about it 😦  There was no way she could be given a home though…..she was just too feral.

Then we spent two days getting Dennis used to being handled by us and getting smooches………..yes, we changed Squeaks name to DENNIS!!!!  lol  lol    as in Dennis the Menace 🙂  He used the litter and spent a couple of days in his little “apartment” in the laundry.  I just couldn’t find Dennis a home, so in the end, we took him to the RSPCA.  Or, should I say, my good friend Margie took him to Burnie for us as she was going there anyway, and dropped Dennis into the RSPCA (Royal society for the prevention of cruelty to animals) .  I wrote Dennis a letter to take with him that would tell the ladies his little back story.  Hopefully having some history might help him to get a family.  I donated the cat carrier I sent him up with and also a heap of food and some bowls.  These animal shelters do a marvelous job.  I would dearly love to give them a ring and see if Dennis got a home…….but I am too scared to.  If they said, “No, he is still here”  it would break my heart and I would be tempted to go get him.  It would be easier if he had been put to sleep.  I like to think someone read his story and their hearts melted for little ginger Dennis 🙂

I have to say I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders though once I had dealt with “the tale of two kitties”.    Flo is not as stressed and is going outside again to lay in the sun and Scarlett has calmed down and no longer runs the fence all day.  I KNOW there are other strays out there……but these are the two I knew about!  So, I realise some of you won’t get what a stress that was for me…..  and some will.  Either way…..at the time…..it was a HUGE deal to me and I am glad that is over with and we can settle in our new house.

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the shelter with Dennis…..   I  hope he gets a home  xx

MY STORY

I am from Queenstown and the lady who brought me here believes my mother was left behind by people that were renting a house a couple of doors up from her.  She is not sure how long my mother had been fending for herself, but she thinks it may have been a few months …maybe longer.  She has only just moved to Queenstown and not long after they were settled in they noticed my mother sneaking around at night.  She kept setting off the security light, which gave her away.  One night they noticed I was with her…that was about four weeks ago.

It was then they realised that me and my Mum were living under the empty house next door.  She would look over the fence and see us sunbaking in the yard. She would laugh at me chasing bugs and thought I was very cute.

But the lady already had two dogs and a cat called Flo who is 19yrs old.  Flo is on thyroid tablets and was very nervous that my Mum was wandering around at night and so she had to use litter again for night-time.  The Jack Russell was going mental because she knew we were on the other side of the fence and sneaking into her carport at night.  We were nearly tipping her over the edge and her mother said if she kept it up she would have to be medicated!

Well, the lady couldn’t stand knowing me and my Mum were unloved and unfed so she started leaving some food out in the carport where the dogs couldn’t get us in the evenings.  She knew there were probably 100’s of stray cats in Queenstown, but she said ,  “We were the two she knew about and felt responsible for us now that she knew we were there!”  She started calling us Bubble and Squeak…..I was Squeak.  She knew she couldn’t fix the whole cat problem in Queenstown, but she could do something about the two of us at least.

My Mum was very wary of her and would always run away, but I liked to stand and look at her from the safe side of the fence. I would chase moths at night under the security light too and I knew she was watching me out the window….but I didn’t care. But if she came out when we were in the carport I would run away with my Mum because that was what she was teaching me…..to run away and be scared of people.  You couldn’t blame her because she had a rough life so far!

Well, one night she put our food in a trap and I went straight in it!  The lady and her husband came out and took me inside and put me into a huge cage with a bed and food and litter.  Then they caught my Mum…..but she would not have been able to be rehomed, so they organised with the man from the council to come and pick her up and “do the right thing” by her. 

They then changed my name to Dennis.  Dennis the Menace they said!  The lady has tried and tried to find me a home, but nobody wants me because there are just so many kittens here in Queenstown.  She can’t keep me because of the dogs…..they hate me and would probably eat me and also because it would be just too stressful on Flo the 19yr old cat and it wouldn’t be fair on her.  She feels terrible, but she just can’t have me.  So, that is how I have ended up at the RSPCA.  I am a good boy and I am getting used to people handling me and I have only been practising this for two days, which the lady thinks is pretty good!  She hopes you might be able to find me a forever home…….at least by sending me here she thinks I am in with a chance. 

So, that is my story.  I know you have heaps of kittens and some of them are even younger than me.  The lady says you are swamped!  But she has run out of options and is sorry to burden you with one more……but you never know my luck!

PS:  The lady is not 100% sure I am a “Dennis” …. If not, she said I would have to be a Denise!

Back to it then………….

Sooooooooooooooo,  where to begin??  We are well and truly settled into our new place now.  It is one of the nicer police rentals we have lived in.  An older style home with squeaky floors and old carpet, but on a par with some of the others we have had, I like it!  It is situated off a carpark.  Sounds weird, but there is a big carpark out the front and you have to drive through that to get in our drive.  The street continues along to a dead end with a park and visitor display thing along one side.  It is actually a lovely central position and I walk everywhere from here. At this time of year the carpark is mainly empty anywhere and totally full with tourists and their vans and campers in the summer months.  They leave all their vehicles here while they go on the tourist steam train trip that leaves from up the other end of the carpark area. The dogs love being allowed to play in the front yard.  There is always something for them to look at.  Life is one big drama for Scarlett…..so having the freedom to bark at every passing tourist is total bliss to her!!

This is looking down our driveway and out to the carpark area.  The front door is on the side of the house here, under the carport.

I was successful in getting a job as a medical receptionist as soon as we got here.  I lasted three weeks.  I need a job where I can laugh…….that was never going to happen.  I am so fortunate that I don’t have to stay in something I am unhappy in these days……so I quit!!  🙂  I have never done that before.  Normally I drown in my own guilt and stick things out….not this time.  It was strangely freeing!!  Then I was doing some casual work just as a waitress at the coffee shop called “Tracks” .  It was mostly tourist driven and was situated at the railway station where the tourist train leaves……strange that!!  Anyhooooooooo….I only got a couple of weeks work and they had a bloody landslide half way between here and Strahan (the town I used to live in before here) and the trains destination.  So, a good portion of the track is presently under half a farking mountain and will probably take until July to clear.  No tourists……………….no job.  😦

However………………………  my old GM is back in town working for a different contractor this time up at the mine here.  So, I gave him a call when I heard they might be looking for administration staff.  I go for my medical this coming week and will probably start the week after.  Will be doing a bit of everything…..payroll, accounts etc.  I used to do Occupational Health and Safety and Workers Compensation……so this is more office based and more “admin-eeee”  than what I am used to….but I am up for the challenge.  I have to say I am more than looking forward to getting my impulse spending money back 🙂

We had a 2.8 earthquake here!!!!   I wondered what the hell it was.  We thought there was a truck about to crash through our house!!  Pictures moved and things fell off the window ledge.  I just don’t know how my New Zealand blog friends cope!!!  A tiny little one like that felt weird and frightening….let alone the big buggers you lot get!!!!  Hasn’t the world gone mad with all the natural disasters happening around the place?!  Tornadoes and tsunamis and earthquakes and floods…..hottest summers on record and coldest winters………..quite concerning!  We also had a big building fire here in the main street.  It started in an old petrol station that was being used as a mechanics workshop and spread to other buildings in the street.  Five shops in all have been ruined.  Very distressing for such a little town and very sad and depressing.  There was a big explosion during the fire also.  That also rattled our house and threw people off their feet and blew windows out of the hotel etc…….  I had the earth move for me twice in two weeks 🙂  I panicked because Ricky was at that one and I worried he had been hurt.  He wasn’t thank goodness.  I have lots of little “side” stories to tell you…..heaps of “things” have happened to me since we moved here in February!!  I have met two bloggers in person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Jen and Flip!!!  I will leave you with some photos for now……and then I will tell you the WHOLE story and stories about these meetings and the “things” that have happened in smaller blog posts over the next week.  It feels good to be back 🙂

Queenstown syncronised swimming team!!

I was pleased to live back in the same town as another band friend called Margie.  I was also happy to be able to go swimming as Queenstown has a pool!!!!!  Only open in the summer though:(  Now we walk every day together and go on “adventure” walks when we have the time.

I got to meet Jen in person and found out that we both used to be super models and knew all the poses!

Harry is still excruciatingly handsome!! 🙂

A picture I took of people standing under the hotel awning looking at the fire....I think it is brilliant

We went to St Helen’s on the East Coast of Tassie for Easter. We met up with my friends from the lapband group on Facebook and had a wonderful time!

My first ever attempt at mosaic!

The airstrip for Queenstown. A great place to take the dogs for a "freerange" . - only really used by the flying doctor, mining exploration helicopters and the vet flys his own plane in every Weds!

I met Flip.... another blog friend!

Now, I don’t know why these pictures have gone all over the bloody place and I can’t be bothered trying to fix them and make them “tidy”….so you will just have to sort through them best you can 🙂   I can’t even get them bigger for some reason.  Oh well……………………..that’s it from me for now.  I PROMISE to blog again in the next couple of days….I have missed it and my friends here in blog-ville!!    xxxx

THERE IS ALL SORTS OF WEIRD GOING ON WITH MY BLOG AT THE MOMENT….I WILL TRY AND GET IT FIXED….JUST HANG IN THERE XX

Ricky and I have been married 20yrs on the 4th of this month xx

This was taken from my driveway the night of the fire..

I went to Hobart for my Police 25yr reunion. I met Meegan (a bandster and now good friend) at the Salamanca Markets and we had a fling together!