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Clever Cats

If you would like your pet to feature on this page then please send an email to judithdavenant@gmail.com

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Arthur

Arthur... the best sort of cat.. was put to sleep in March 2006 and his story will be told in Nibbling News...A GREAT cat.

When he died we adopted two kittens from the Buckland Cat Sanctuary.. they are proving to be engaging but have a number of inconvenient short-comings..and they are called Pepys and Nell

I will be adding information about Riverhaven Animal Sanctuary for Cats which urgently needs your help. 


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Tiggy

Andrea of WETNOSE (www.wetnoseanimalaid.com) told Nibbling News that when she had a Rescue Centre, Tiggy turned up one July evening with five kittens. She managed to catch them by providing some delicious cooked chicken - and she also managed to catch the father. He was a large black and white cat who was named Knasher. Tiggy and Knasher were neutered, wormed and vaccinated.. Knasher was released and the kittens re-homed. The delightful, good-natured and sweetest cat ever - Tiggy - decided to move in and remains with Andrea.


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GLOSSIE another of your Editor's cats

Glossie the cat was brought to us nearly 17 years ago by our first stray, Bob. We had made Bob's life easier by removing a pane from the laundry room window so he could come and go as he pleased. But one day he chose NOT to come in but sat outside the kitchen door making that familiar mournful call. I opened the door and there was Bob with a black and white kitten which he duly led over to a sofa on to which he heaved his new friend. We put some cushions there so that the creature could climb up and down. A couple of days later a LARGE black and white cat walked in.. looked at me, then Bob and then had an exchange with the squeaking kitten. Mother (as it turned out) seemed happy with the situation and walked out ..glancing at me as she left -never to return..

This kitten was here to stay so the next thing was a name. As it happened at that time I was making regular visits back to Oxford from North Wales and since the M40 extension was yet to open, it involved tedious journeys across Cheltenham to the M5. On this occasion I was stuck at every traffic light and the sign at each of them pointed towards GLOSCAT - Gloucester College of Art and Technology. So this pretty creature with the shining coat became GLOSCAT. - Glossie.

Knowing nothing of cats her romping with Bob brought fears of multiplication and she was duly taken to John the vet to be neutered. A phone call later in the day informed us that Glossie was NOT a girl but an underdeveloped boy! Being pretty.. Glossie remained 'she'! The cats were allowed out all day but brought in at night and one night Glossie was missing. We searched the streets and gardens without success but found her eventually inside the blankets in the airing cupboard. That was the night when we learned the Glossie rule of life. Find somewhere warm and soft and stick to it. She kept that rule for the next fifteen years devoting herself to the quest for warmth. We put a box covered with a towel next to the radiator in the kitchen and she was there in the winter. In the summer it was my sun-drenched office window or office chair - or her favourite window seat - usually on her back with the front paws raised and neatly together and her back feet carefully pointing upwards. At night she moved to the top of the stairs or got into bed stretched out next to me with her head tucked under my shoulder.. when the purring stopped it meant she had gone to sleep

As part of the move back to Oxfordshire we rented a house in Benson taking our - by then six cats - having been adopted by Edward the Tom, Arthur (seen in the illustration on this page), Voodoo and Boots. ..as well as Bob and Glossie. They loved the garden and the stream running through it but Glossie in particular demonstrated a right hook which she regularly landed on the neighbour's cat. The damage to Glossie was minimal but the next door cat started spending far too much time on the operating table so it was agreed that the two households would allow their respective acts out on alternate days. On Glossie's day out this meant sitting outside, nose to nose with the neighbour's cat flap whilst on her days inside the other cat would taunt her through the French windows. Once we moved to Burford all six cats were indoor cats and within a few months Bob who was scarcely seven , was put to sleep and Edward died in my arms... cancer ... shortly afterwards. Glossie clearly missed Bob but soon adapted to being senior cat and re-distributed everyone's jobs only the newly acquired tiny and elderly Poppy refused to be organised by her.

Glossie lost most of her teeth and in 2005 was stricken with thyroid problems and her weight plummeted. An operation in June solved that but on September 12th the beautiful cat with the loudest purr in the world was stricken in a different way. Breathless and not much tempted to eat she was taken the next day to Karen the vet and the lumps meant that it was kindest to end her life - there and then.

We miss Glossie SO much. Arthur (now 19) and Boots (now 12) remain with us and are still puzzled.by her absence. Neither of them has taken over Glossie's favourite places.


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Dr. Susan Sorek writes below about her beloved HENRY. Susan teaches Classics in the University of Wales, Lampeter. She is also an author for the Davenant Press - http://www.davenantpress.co.uk  - which publishes Nibbling News. we hope to say more about Harry and Susan's remaining cat... in the next edition of Nibbling News. All readers who SO often have a mixture of animals.. cats dogs, rabbits.. guinea pigs.. will share Susan's sentiments...............


HENRY (HARRY to his friends) was a smart black and white short-haired cat who arrived at my door one cold December evening in 1984. A friend of mine had found three kittens thrown into the river in a sack and desperately needed to find a home for two of them. At first I was a little reluctant to take on 'pet responsibility', being out at work all day and most evenings. However, he impressed me. He put on a grand display of playing with his furry little toy mouse, to show me what a good hunter he would be; inspected the various downstairs rooms indicating that he knew where his food cupboard would be located, and sat in front of the fire in 'domestic cat pose' to show me that he knew he would make a good feature in the living room.

We bonded, and from that day on he became my companion as well as my pet. I would arrive home to find him waiting by the gate (he always knew when I was on my way home); he would amble slowly down the path to greet me with an air of confident anticipation (food, fire, cuddles, excessive praise for not having destroyed anything).


He wasn't a hunter or a great athlete. He only climbed a tree once and got vertigo. He liked a game of football, he could dribble, score goals but his favourite position was as goalie. He was very fussy about his appearance and liked to have his collars replenished when they got a little scruffy, he would never go out without a collar on. In fact he was fairly laid back. He liked la dolce vita.

He liked a variety of dishes. Anything approaching haute cuisine was especially savoured (not something that happens regularly in this household I hasten to add)! Salmon of course, chicken a close second, and strawberry yoghurt (from a spoon). He sounds pampered I know but he would always be willing to slum it with a tin of pilchards.

He loved the summer and could invariably be found lying on his back in the sunshine, snoring. He chased butterflies but never, ever caught one; birds he was not so keen on preferring to watch them through the window. The garden was his main joy and he would help pull up weeds and dig holes for new plants. He could often be found inspecting the flower-beds and smelling the fragrant bouquets. The most endearing memory of him is when he would chase drops of water from the watering can until he was absolutely soaked. It eventually became a favourite game and watering the plants took an incredibly long time! He had a fascination with water and loved to catch drips from the bath taps on his paws, then proceeded to wash himself.

Life is much more sedate without him. He was a joy to be with and to know. The poem is my humble tribute to him and our seventeen years together.

Susan has also sent in this poem, which she has composed in tribute to her companion:


FOR HARRY (1985-2002).

The dearest of all creatures.
The bravest of all souls.
The friend I knew I needed,
Companion of my soul
I always will remember just how glad you’d be,
tail held high and happy,
Coming home to me.

Chasing birds and butterflies,
Never catching much.
Claws that were so lethal,
Paws soft to the touch.
But I remember you so fondly, how it used to be,
tail held high and happy,
Coming home to me.

I'd see you in the twilight
Past evening's shady veil,
Surveying all your kingdom,
Protecting your domain.
Suddenly deciding where you'd rather be
And come running back so quickly
Coming home to me.

Days are a little longer,
Nights a shade too long,
The evening time is sadder
Now that you have gone.
But I'll always have the memory of how it used to be
When suddenly I'd see you
Coming home to me.

NIBBLING NEWS, THE DAVENANT PRESS, THE COTTAGE, PRIORY LANE, BURFORD, OXFORDSHIRE
OX18 4SG, GREAT BRITAIN