Big cats in the wrong place – is there one near my garden?!

We just found out that right around the corner is a researcher looking into sightings of ‘big cats’ in the South East of England. These occur more often that you’d think, and Neil Arnold thinks that there may be breeding pairs of cats in the area…So everyone keep your eyes peeled!

While we’re on the subject of wild animals being where they’re not supposed to be, London seems to throw up more than its fair share of stranger beasts, too…Wallabies, fish, pumas…

Books about cats & autism

In a bid to get a bit intellectual, we’ve found 3 of the best books that combine our favourite subject (cats of course!) with the fascinating subject of autism and Asperger Syndrome.

“The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas” by Julia Romp

A heart-warming and immersive story that gives a glimpse into the lives of a mother and child growing up with autism. George develops a close bond with his lovely rescue cat, Ben, and his mother witnesses a touching opening-up of George’s world. The book is a page-turner and can be read at any time of year, but have a tissue to hand! A beautiful story for any cat-lover or anyone who wants to understand about Autism.

This somewhat controversial book is co-written by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson. Temple Grandin is well known for her work with animals, and is autistic herself. She is an associate professor at Colorado State University and is world-reknowned for her work in designing humane slaughter systems. The book does a good job of making science and animal behaviour accessible, but has had some equivocal reviews due to inaccuracies in some areas. Certainly it makes for an interesting read, but it should not be used as an easy-reference to explain all animal behaviours, and is somewhat lacking when it comes to discussing companion animal behaviours. Anyone squeamish about abbattoirs should not read this book, but anyone wanting to learn more about animal behaviour and the autistic spectrum will find it fascinating.

This short, visual book gives a light-hearted view on Asperger Syndrome and its associated behaviour patterns, in comparison to feline behaviour. Despite its light-hearted take, this is is an engaging and touching book that, aided by some beautiful feline photography, gives a great insight into the world of someone with Asperger Syndrome. It conveys both the challenges and potential behind the Syndrome, and leaves you feeling inspired and positive. A great book for a child with Asperger Syndrome or someone who needs a basic understanding of what it’s like to have the Syndrome or live with it.

Happy House Cat – walking jackets for cats!

We’re pretty chuffed to come across these…Tailored walking jackets for cats, hand-made by a small UK company to your cat’s measurements, double-sided reversible material, secured by velcro on wide comfortable straps. We think they’re an absolute bargain!

The owner of this company is also, to our knowledge, one of the ONLY people in the UK designing (and ultimately making) a running wheel for cats…we await news of the final design and the product being open to orders, so we’ll keep you posted!

Remember to update your cat’s microchip details!

A lesson to those of us who move house and forget to change the address on the cat’s microchip – this cat had a Spanish microchip, but when the cat and owner moved to the UK, its microchip was still registered in Spain. After being found 30 miles away in a family’s garage, the owner’s name was luckily recognised by a local vets practice, and that cat was reunited with a grateful owner! Nothing like a happy cat story.

Changing your pet’s microchip details is easier if you know which company or database their microchip is registered with – your microchip registration documents will tell you this, or your vet may be able to help. The most common microchip databases in the UK are PetLog, PETtrac, and Anibase. There is sometimes a small fee for changing the details, but this is sometimes only a one-off, and well worth it!