welcome to the daily mews

 

Hello and welcome to thedailymews.com. Here you'll find everything on all things feline. Why not subscribe to our FREE monthly Mewsletter. You'll see a link further down on this page. Lots of great articles for you to enjoy, plus the caption competition to enter.

 

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Enjoy!

 

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Catnip Corner

Catnip Corner

My main passions in life are cats and writing and this new section combines both quite nicely. This blog is the chatty bits which are usually found at the beginning of the Mewsletter and the Scratching Post but in a bid to make both of them more user friendly, I am cutting the chatter and putting it into a blog. I hope that you'll take time out to read them and more importantly, enjoy them! I always welcome feedback so please write to me using the contact us box.

Thank you for reading.

paws for thought

Paws For Thought

a place where you can stop off at any time of the day to rest a while; put your feet up; have a drink and relax – perhaps with your favourite feline on your lap or nearby.

Paws for Thought is a collection of quotations written by people from all walks of life on their passion for cats. I do hope you’ll enjoy them enough that you’ll want to come by often to just sit and find peace with your feline companion while you read.

A Message from Pauline

Where it began ....

Where it began, I can't begin to knowing,
But then I know it's growing strong
Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who'd have believed you'd come along

Neil Diamond, Sweet Caroline

The opening verse to Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond sums up the birth of the Daily Mews perfectly.  I didn’t know, when I first, tentatively, began to put content on a rather rudimentary website back in May 2002, that it would still be going strong twenty years later.  There have been some ups and downs, and losses and the family that I feel the wonderful subscribers to the Mewsletter are to us, have kept me buoyant when there were times I felt I was sinking.

Sam, Garfield, Timmy, Billy, Ollie and RickyThe original Daily Mewsers: Garfield, Billy, Timmy, Sam, Ollie and Ricky (see photo) are all, sadly, long gone but never forgotten. There were a few other felines who passed through the cat flap from time to time, who left their pawprints on my heart; some were found homes with new families, some, sadly, passed away.

My house is small, just two up and two down, but with Garfield et al, it vibrated with purring all day, every day.  Each room had a feline stretched out – sometimes two – nose to tail basking in sun puddles, on a couch, bed, or cupboard.  Cats don’t mind where they sleep.  I’d walk from room to room and feel so blessed because these wonderful, amazing felines had made my life complete.  

Back in 1993, a miniseries based on the book by Armistead Maupin was shown on British television. I was hooked.  Tales of the City starred Olympia Dukakis as Anna Madrigal, the owner of a seemingly a large house with tenants renting rooms.  As a newcomer arrived, she would tape a joint to their front door as a welcome gesture. 

I had visions of writing something similar based on the lives of my cats. Garfield was the senior kitizen, who mentored the newbies as they arrived and offered the benefit of his wise counsel to the others. I wondered if I should leave a snifter of cat nip nearby to help each kitten or cat settle in.  But as we all know, life sometimes gets in the way of the best laid plans, and Tales from 227 (or whatever I was going to call it!) never materialised.  

And now the Lazypaws Guest House for Discerning Felines is home to Casey and Gibbs; two mackerel tabbies who found their way through the cat flap a couple of years apart and into my heart. 

Back in June 2006, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, and two subscribers – Jeff Shepherd who lives in the UK and Stacy Mantle, who lives in the US, between them, kept the website updated with new content, and a Mewsletter was sent out each month.  I can’t remember now how long they did this for, (I think it was a couple of years while I was going through the worst of the journey,) but I am so grateful to them both for their selfless devotion to my little website, while I slowly recovered.

Thank you, Jeff and Stacy.

Friends were made along the way, either because they contacted me or because I’d read a book they’d written, and I contacted them to ask if they’d like to write for the Daily Mews. Jim Willis contributed from quite early in the Daily Mews journey, while Ed Kostro and Jared Kline have been friends of TDM almost - but not quite – from the beginning.  And from about 2006, Carol Turner, became a contributor and a great friend. Writers have come and gone for various reasons, and I have been grateful to each one for his or her contributions.

The current writing team consists of Carol, Audra High (with Raena Belle and Zebby – her service cats), Susanne Haywood with Bilbo, (who writes his Buzz when he isn’t too busy), Darren, who is dad to Ceci, who is blind, but lives life to the full, and her various house mates that Darren rescues.  Newcomers Andrew Lane and Gloria Lauris have brought fresh voices to the team and their writing is hugely appreciated.  

I am also blessed to have Aida Marina on the team because she has created some amazing banners over the years, and I have her to thank for this 20th anniversary banner on the Mewsletter.  I must also thank Aoife McCann for her beautiful illustrations in recent times.  

The Daily Mews is very different now to when it first began back in 2002. Back then, I wrote a couple of articles and sent out Mewsletters to a handful of people, some of whom have stuck with me through thick and thin, some of whom left when their own cats passed away. I am grateful to everyone who came, stayed, or left, for their contributions over the years.

I don’t have copies of the first Mewsletter I sent out, but I do have some of the articles I wrote. They seem a bit naïve and ‘innocent’ now, but I’ll put links at the bottom of this piece so you can check them out if you want to. A whole raft of my various pieces is in the ARTICLES section, just click on it, a drop-down box will show you lots of contributors – and you’ll see my name.  Click on it and you can read – if you want to – lots of stuff I’ve written over 20 years.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to still be here.  Last year, I had some very scary times when I really thought I would have to give up the website.  Many of you wrote with encouraging words of how much TDM meant to you and with suggestions to try to keep it going, even if it was only once or twice a year.  I still have Long Covid, and I do struggle daily with various symptoms which are unpleasant and difficult to live with. But I know it would break my heart if I had to stop writing about cats and never be able to share stories with you guys ever again.

None of us know what the future has in store for us.  We’re living in very uncertain times, but I hope the Mewsletter, with its links to the fabulous stories from my wonderful team of writers, will help you through your days, will lift your spirits, and perhaps, make you laugh.

I think I’d be very optimistic if I said, ‘here’s to the next 20 years’, but maybe I could say ‘here’s to the next 5 or possibly 10!’  

With love and gratitude to you all

Pauline xx

           

Cat Calls - What's New Pussycat!!

aseyWhen Casey first braved the cat flap in February 2013 and camped in the bathroom (which is downstairs, next to the kitchen) he became a ‘fursib’ to Ollie and Sam.  He and Ollie got on very well but Sam, for some inexplicable reason, didn’t take kindly to Casey moving in and would give him a piece of his mind, and an occasional lash of his paw when he could.  But he felt safe with Ollie around and Ollie introduced him to the desk in my office where Ollie would spend hours stretched out asleep as I worked on my writing projects.  Now, I had two cats stretched out asleep while I worked. It is a large craft desk and there is plenty of room for all my manuscripts to be laid out, and any other projects I’m working on, but with two cats spread-eagled I was relegated to a small area in the corner and woe betide me if I tried to reclaim any more desk space!

Ollie was run over and killed in July 2013 and that left Casey with Sam who had his own health problems.  Although they might often be in the same room together, they rarely shared a chair or sat on the sofa together as Ollie and Casey had, or Sam and Ollie had.  An uneasy truce existed and Casey, for the most part, kept out of Sam’s way.

 

Then in January of this year, Sam’s tumour above his left eye reached a point of no return and the awful decision was made to give him peace.  Casey knew that Sam was no longer around and he comforted me.  He didn’t seem upset or depressed like some cats are when they lose a ‘fursib’ but I obviously don’t know what he was thinking or how he was feeling.  I don’t know if he missed Ollie or Sam.

GibbsI received a lot of emails suggesting that I get Casey a friend or two but I resisted as Nature seemed to be taking care of that without me having to intervene.  The first was a little doppelgänger that I tried out lots of different names on before settling on Gibbs.  You all know I love NCIS and Mark Harmon plays the lead role of Jethro Leroy Gibbs – or just Gibbs to everyone in the show.   Gibbs – the cat, not Mark Harmon – showed no interest in moving in on a permanent basis, preferring to eat on the decking, or at a pinch, in the lobby area near the back door.

If I wasn’t in the room, he did come in and play with Casey’s toys and each morning when I get up, one or two of the cat nip toys are strewn about the dining room.  I know it isn’t Casey because he doesn’t play with anything – but that’s another story for another time.

And then there was George, (aka Marmalade, aka Marmie) a beautiful rotund ginger tom who decided to move in (see: the casual vacancy).  Initially, he and Casey seemed to get on alright but then I noticed Casey seemed very wary in George’s company.  George would also use bullying tactics like lying across a stair so that Casey couldn’t get up or down them; or he’d lie right near to a door – again, so Casey couldn’t get through.

By a fluke I found out that George was, in fact, microchipped and we found his owner. I suggested that she keep George in for a couple of weeks and make a lot of fuss of him so that he would associate nice things with his own home and hopefully forget all about us.  Almost the minute he was released from 2 weeks of incarceration, George headed over to my house.  He wound himself around my ankles and when I sat on the sofa, he leapt onto my lap and cuddled and kissed me like I was his long lost best friend.

His owner, Rachel, and I came to an agreement and I text to tell that he had returned to my house.  ‘Please send him back’ she replied.  So I did.

Three weeks or more passed and he was lying on the work top next to the kettle when I got up one morning.

Geroge‘Hello, George,’ I said.  I still couldn’t call him ‘Marmie’.  He smiled and nimbly jumped down and sat by ‘his’ mat where he used to eat his meals.

Casey was out at the time and I opened the back door to call him in for breakfast.  He rushed in only to stop dead in his tracks when he saw George.  He looked at me to tell him what to do.  I pointed to the pedal bin and then on to the work top.  Casey jumped onto the lid of the bin and then up to the work top and then I lifted him down and put him by his own little table (which had been Garfield’s table). 

Once George had eaten his breakfast, I picked him up and put him outside on the decking, telling him to go home. I could tell that Casey was uneasy with him around and I didn’t want to upset Casey.

Gibbs, on the other hand, (the cat, not Mark Harmon!) gets on well with Casey and they often play together in the garden.  If Casey goes outside and Gibbs is already out there, they greet each other with a nose kiss.   If Gibbs wanted to move in (and this case, I wouldn’t say no to Mark Harmon!!!) I would let him because I think Casey likes him.

I don’t think it is essential that Casey has a friend in the house.  Cats by their nature, are used to living in solitary circumstances.  The original Daily Mewsers all got on very well together.  I was extremely blessed and lucky that there weren’t any underlying problems between any of them but times are different now.  I am older, for one thing, and my health problems do not seem to be going away any time soon.  Also, the financial implications of having more cats do not sit well with me.  I’d rather give what I have to ensure Casey has a good standard of living and not have to struggle to feed many more cats.  Also the cost of veterinary care is exorbitant these days.  I swear that I put my vet’s two sons through college, university and financed all their exotic holidays over the years I had Biggles, Garfield, et al.    

If Casey does seem unhappy as an only cat then I will take steps to see if I can find him a friend, but for now, I think he is happy enough being an only cat because he gets all my attention.  He is also very fair with his affections.  If Lawrence comes over Casey will share the love between us all, first going to Lawrence and then me and then sitting between us.  I think he’s quite happy being the centre of attention!

 Pauline

 

 

              

    

Speaking "Cat"

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TOP TEN CATS' NAMES 2022

Luna

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A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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