My thanks to Chief Reporter Nick Mays for standing in for me in this column, last issue. I managed to take my missus away for a week’s convalescence after her recent illness…many thanks to everyone for their continued support and good wishes.
Nick has a close eye on the legislation proposals re animal carriage and I thought his piece on the cover last week was a good in depth piece; it was good to hear that the cat fancy was putting its side of the story.
My apologies though to Carol and Julian Hague at Wyvern, where I have been for the last few years on the second Saturday of September (it’s a body clock thing you know). I hope and feel sure that Wyvern went well, and I hope to be back with you next year…although Mavis Donnelly of Northern Counties holds out the attractions of Spennymoor on the same day! Thanks to Mike and Judy and all the gang for welcoming Charlotte and Brian to the Teesside, also at Spennymoor.
All you show organisers work very hard for your day and you all deserve success. Good luck to the Yorkshire with their new ideas... see lead story.
Our Cats will be at the North West for sure and we hope the South West, logistics allowing. Watch this space and also the ever-growing Our Cats website and email newsletter.
If you see the Our Cats stand anywhere, sign up for a subscription, it’s the best value for money and will avoid you paying any potential increase in the cover price. As we haven’t put the price up in years, this will be inevitable in the current climate.
Thanks to everyone on the National team for contacting the office with their news… see panel on this page. More to follow from Carol, Ron, Tania and co over the next few weeks.
Now to finish off with a little story I picked up in Tenerife. I thought I would share this with you - this chap sounded a right character, just like some of the other felines I noticed round the island.
End of Nelson’s reign over marina
Residents of Los Gigantes Marina in Tenerife recently mourned the passing of one of the area’s favourite characters.
Nelson, the one-eyed ginger tom cat who crept into the hearts of everyone he met, died peacefully in his sleep at the last of the many places he called home on the harbour. He was 22 years old.
He had survived the loss of an eye, being run over by a car and being thrown into the harbour by drunken louts.
Originally called Juanito, he was re-christened Nelson after he lost his left eye in a battle with a ginger and white cat for supremacy in the area. The victor was promptly given the name Napoleon.
But, though he had lost a battle, Nelson won the hearts of thousands of regular holidaymakers who always asked after his welfare on their next annual visit.
Napoleon remained a regular habitué of the marina but it was Nelson who stole most of the attention.
He died on a blanket in Churchill’s Bar, watched over by the tearful owner, Carl Devenport, who had cared for him for the past six years.
“He had been looking poorly for about a week, but suddenly took a turn for the worse on fiesta night”, said Carl. “I made him as comfortable as I could but could not get a vet to come out, probably because of the fiesta.
“It soon became clear that he was dying and I am only glad that he chose to come back to what he had learned to call home”.
Carol took Nelson’s body to a vet and paid for him to have a proper, dignified burial. “Nobody who knew him would have wanted it any other way”, said Carl.
Nelson is believed to have come to the marina as the pet of Jersey Zoo founder Gerald Durrell’s former wife in the 1980s. When she left the island, Juanito, the first of many names by which he was known, turned up at the Offshore 44 Bar where he endeared himself to regulars by sitting up on a stool at the bar to lap up a saucer of milk laced with brandy.
As the Offshort 44 passed through several hands, he began to frequent other bars, notably the now defunct Piano Bar and, more regularly, the nearby Dolphin Bar, fed and vigorously protected by owner Irene Foster.
When she sold to Carl Devenport and took over the bar next door, Nelson had two placed to call home, waiting patiently but never demandingly for titbits willingly offered by diners. One Canarian fisherman regularly gave him the first of his catch to come off the boat.
Nelson gave up his drinking habit and settled for a life of ease and comfort, growing steadily fatter in the process - which just helped to draw even more attention from passers by.
With his passing, Nelson leaves something of a power vacuum in the marina’s cat community.
Napoleon still bestrides the little universe, but a usurper is emerging in the form of a black cat, known as Pepito, with the distinction of only half a tail.
Residents and knowing holidaymakers wait to see who will become top cat. But they will never forget Nelson.
Story courtesy of The Tenerife Sun Newspaper
Blue Peter will be attending the show
Schedules are now available for the
National Cat Show
on Saturday, 9th December 2006 at the National Hall, Olympia, London.
Send an SAE with 32p postage to:
Carol & Ron Pike, ‘Caroona’, 24 Shaftesbury Close, Harmans Water, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 9PX.