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Stolen Kitten - a warning to us all!
The following incident happened in the Sussex area but could have happened anywhere… Some people recently made an appointment to view a litter of kittens. When they arrived, they loved the kittens and asked to see the sire. The breeder then went out, intending bringing the boy to the window to show the prospective buyers. However, she couldn’t see the people through the window and by the time she got back into the house they had disappeared - along with one of the kittens! The police were informed but as the telephone number was ‘unrecognised’ there is little hope of tracing them.

Prickly Readers
Thanks to Margaret Walkden for this great photo of a young OUR CATS reader – enjoying his lunch as he reads the headlines!

140th Birthday
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is celebrating its 140th birthday this year and continues to promote animal welfare through various projects. The ASPCA is joined once again by Fresh Step (cat litter) to encourage adoption of shelter cats for the entire month of June.

A cat in the cottage
Kevin Cullen, writing in the Layfayette Journal & Courier, explains all about Luna, a cat which works like our UK Pets as Therapy cats.

Photo by Michael Heinz/Journal and Courier
Luna plays at the feed of Bickford Cottage residents.

“Almost everybody loves Luna. She recently moved into Lafayette’s Bickford Cottage, a 28-unit assisted-living facility for seniors. Luna has white hair and blue eyes. She doesn’t say much, but she doesn’t have to. She’s a cat ... a two-year-old cat that lucked into a really sweet deal. June is national ‘Adopt a Shelter Cat Month’.

Luna, once caged at the Tippecanoe County Humane Society, now spends each day napping on her own bed, walking the halls, sitting on laps, getting petted and being babied. “It makes it more like you were at home,” says resident Vera Amstutz, 78. “I don’t love cats, but I like them. I pet her and talk to her. She’s friendly. It’s something alive around.”

Bickford Cottage opened about a year ago and has ten residents. Luna stays in the ‘model’ room, a fully furnished unit that potential residents and their families tour when they are considering the facility. “There is one lady who doesn’t like cats, but everybody else loves her,” says Shannon Huffman, director. “She gets a lot of attention.” If a resident doesn’t want Luna around, she just shuts the door to her unit. Everybody else knows that they may get an unexpected visit from a certain feline. “She has favourite areas where she sleeps, and obviously she has favourite people,” Huffman says. Luna’s litter box is in the laundry room.

Several studies have shown that interaction with animals is beneficial to seniors living in residential facilities. It helps them mentally and socially. Some facilities ‘adopt’ animals, such as Luna; others arrange to have dogs and cats visit the residents occasionally. Huffman brings her pug dog, Carl, in to visit. The son of a resident often stops by with his German shepherd, Sunshine.

Huffman previously worked at a facility for seniors in St. Louis that had three cats. The programme was so successful that she decided to do the same thing. Brenda Andres, acting director at the local Humane Society, chose Luna because of her personality and temperament. “If you’re a pet lover, it gives you more of a warm, homey feeling,” Huffman says. “I think it does that for the residents. When she first came, the residents would get together and be very quiet to get her to adjust. We make her cat treats in the kitchen.”

Resident Corrine Kirkpatrick, 83, always had animals on her farm, 12 miles east of Attica. “I miss them. She helps take the place of them,” Kirkpatrick says of Luna. “I had 29 cats once. We had two girls, and they had kittens. We couldn’t give them away, so they multiplied.” Luna, she says, is a lot of company. “She’s awesome,” says Beth Brooker-Goldsberry, a licensed practical nurse at Bickford Cottage. “I think she adds a lot to the atmosphere,” she says. “She gets skittish, but she is adapting ... I think (the residents) would be lost without her. They like to look for Luna.”

Harry at the Midland Counties Show in May 2006
Heather Simpson sent me the following article, following a conversation we had about the Imperial awards, at the Midland Counties Cat Club Show. I asked Heather to elaborate…
“I brought my then 11-year-old, now 12-year-old, brown Burmese GR PR Papagena Harry Paddington (Harry to his friends) out of retirement to enter him in the ‘Stars From the Past’ class at the Burmese Cat Club Show last year and to my delight he won! I therefore decided to have a shot at getting him Imperial Grand Premier status.

“At his first attempt at the North West show I was thrilled when Mrs Kilby awarded him RIMP and also gave RIMP to his niece GR PR Papagena Nadina (Dina) in a strong field - she was beaten by the beautiful ten-year-old, GR CH & GR PR (now deservedly, also IMP) Chiaro Diavoleria. What a brilliant start! I was even more thrilled when Mrs Rose gave Harry his first IMP at the Coventry & Leicester this February!

Photo by Dr I. Jarvis
Maria Chapman and Harry at the BCC Show in June 2005.

“At his next time out at the Bedford, Harry was soundly beaten by his super fellow oldie and great contemporary friendly rival, GR PR Mainman Candyman, who won his Open, BOB, the Imperial and also went on to be overall BIS Burmese. I was really pleased when Helen Marriott-Power awarded Dina RIMP in a super class of girls, the IMP being awarded to a fabulous 12-year-old double UK GR lilac lady UK Gr Ch UK Gr Pr Minahto Shizukana.

“I decided to enter Harry and Dina next at the Midland Counties show, which is a well-run friendly show and always enjoyable. It was very rushed for me at the beginning of the day because as well as showing, I also had to set up my customary stall for Halcyon Cat Haven, before being privileged to judge some fantastic Household Pets, ably assisted by my daughter Genni before once again manning the stall. I’d like to thank Chris Cook very much for very kindly setting out the tombola prizes for me and Angie Walker, who ably manned the stall while I was judging. Not sure what I would have done without them, that’s for sure!

“That day Harry was once again up against his great rival GR PR Mainman Candyman amongst other strong competition. After the Bedford result, I was not optimistic; however, imagine my joy when I was told that Harry had actually won, with GR PR Mainman Candyman being awarded the RIMP! To cap it all Mrs Walkden also awarded Dina the IMP, my cup ranneth over...

“I am so pleased that the Imperial status has been introduced as it gives the Grands another competition to enter once they’ve gained their Grand status and might otherwise retire from the show bench, thus depriving fellow exhibitors and the public from seeing many fine senior examples of the breeds.

The clear message is that it’s never too late to go in for the Imperial competitions, subject to condition and waistline.

We’re beginning to win the battle with Harry’s waistline as his recent results show (not that he appreciates the effort) and I’m a fine one to talk! As for Harry and his mate GR PR Mainman Candyman, they now have two IMP GR PRs apiece. I’m looking forward to their next respective outings and who knows...?”

* Please see the full Midland feature, in the next update.

More next time!
I have more news, thanks to OUR CATS readers, but will keep it for the next update, 30 June. Please keep your news and views coming! Best wishes.

By Chris Stalker V.N.