Our Cats Shop

If only... competition

ONE OF the best aspects of working in the canine press is undoubtedly meeting people like Carrie Stroud, a dedicated cat lover with an amazing talent.

Carrie’s If Only They Could Talk offers a delightfully unique way of capturing - in words and pictures - the essence of what makes your cat special, and her rare talent for translating the relationship between you and your cat makes this one of the most unusual keepsakes you could wish for.

Carrie is keen to point out that whilst she is happy to do memorials, her prose will never be sad! Instead, she brings a gentle blend of humour, sentiment and fact to celebrate a cat’s life.
Carrie has exhibited at various shows during 2005 to gauge reaction to her work, and has been delighted by the response. ‘I’ve done my research’ she says ‘I come as a bit of shock, but when people realise what I am doing and stop to look, they are fascinated!’

If Only They Could Talk are built around clients’ photos, tales of the cat and an impression of the relationship is carefully worded, in Carrie’s own time, and only then will she pass the piece on.
‘A lot of people ask me to write as if their pet is speaking, hence the name ‘If only they could talk’! I try to take quirky, unusual and humorous slants to my work. Like Laura’s ‘Sorry’ letter to her Mum written after she had run away and caused mayhem. Her piece still reflects the devoted companion she is most of the time.

“I had great fun writing a piece about Max (see picture above). Carrie prides herself on offering an old fashioned and personal service. I do not take on more than a handful of commissions at any one time. ‘Each animal I write about is utterly different, and I cannot concentrate on more than a couple at once.’

Bearing in mind the fact that some people wish to order for friends as a surprise, but don’t know enough detail about the animal concerned, Carrie also offers a gift voucher service. They can then talk to Carrie directly which gives this gives them the opportunity to make their own decisions about the form they would like their piece to take.

Carrie says, ‘I love what I do. It’s a real privilege to bring pleasure to others by celebrating that really special relationship between people and their pets.’

Customers are already jostling for Carrie’s business, and we are delighted that Carrie has offered one very lucky reader a free If Only They Could Talk framed picture and prose. We are delighted also to offer five runners up gift vouchers for their own If Only session.

Simply write in telling us why your cat deserves Carrie’s offer: Rob Dean, Our Cats, If Only Competition, 5, Oxford Road Station Approach, Manchester, M60 1SX. Or e-mail editorial@ourcats.co.uk


Let me introduce myself,
My friends call me Max the Magnificent.
You only have to look at my image to see why,
Eyes of emerald green, and coat of shiny ebony.

My first home was not to my liking,
I was not properly cared for – so I moved on.
Hitched a lift with Dad - and here I am!

Lovely place in the country with panoramic sea views.
Huge garden full of wildlife, devoted servants.
So excellent hunting and a life of pampered luxury
Everything a cat could wish for.
I have my own door at the back of the house
But when I am feeling lazy or it is dark or cold
I only have to tap at the window and Mum lets me in.

Mum keeps the house really warm and cosy
And attends to my every need.
Dad always has time for cuddles.
He is an excellent tickler
And is quite content with loud purrs as a reward.

I can’t think why, but
Mum is less pleased when I bring an occasional live mouse
for her to play with in her spare time.
In fact she gets quite cross when I let them go for her to chase,
And they scuttle under cupboards where no one can reach them.
She always forgives me though –
Oh yes, life is good for Max!

I really fell on my paws didn’t I?