Saturday 3 November 2012

The Cats of Rome

We had our FOURTH stay of 2012 in the cat hotel last week! Can you believe it, how lucky are we! We got a garden view again, and this time we could see chickens AND sheep.

The reason we were in the cat hotel was that Rachel and Pete were on ANOTHER holiday. This time they went to Rome, which sounds a bit of a faff really. Rachel was pretty happy though, as on the first day of their holiday they came across some cats. (Well, she says they "just happened" to come across them; Pete says she had it all planned out before they even left the UK - I think we know who to believe!). The cats live in a square called Torre Argentina which is a site of various ancient Roman temples, and also apparently where Juli-puss Caesar was stabbed. Ooh! Now it's mostly a ruin of great archaeological importance, but you can't go into the square to walk around... UNLESS you are a cat!

There is a no-kill cat sanctuary there run by some very lovely ladies - you can see their website here. When people in Rome find a poorly or stray cat, they often bring them to this sanctuary, where they are treated, sterilised, and then either adopted out or allowed to live amongst the ruins for the rest of their life. How cool is that! There are a LOT of cats in Rome; Rachel and Pete saw them in the Coliseum and lots of the other places they visited.

The nice ladies at the sanctuary were very happy to show Rachel and Pete around the quarantine area - where new cats stay for a while. They learned all about the work the sanctuary does and met lots of the residents.

This little cat was hilarious - Pete squatted down to look in a cage and the kitty jumped up onto his back! Nice work.

He's sitting in Rachel's hat here, which she put down on the floor for convenience. We're very happy to see that the idea of sitting in something which is clearly FAR too small for you has spread even amongst the street cats of southern Europe.

These guys were just hanging out. Rachel said she was really impressed with how well all the cats got along, considering sometimes we can't even be friends, HMPH.

This little guy was hanging out in a cage with his brothers, while the vets worked out if they had any nasty diseases. Look at those ear tufts!!

Sleepy time! The ladies at the sanctuary said that some of the cats in this part were going abroad to be adopted - one was going to Germany.

This cat had a poorly eye, like quite a lot of the cats there. But they all seemed very happy!

Then Rachel and Pete said thank you, gave the ladies some money, and went to see the cats outside in the ruins. But first they had to retrieve Rachel's hat...

Outside, all the cats have the tip of their ear missing, it's a sign that they've been sterilised, so no-one catches them and tries to do it again! 

This little calico lady was watching the cats in the "hospital" area - these were sanctuary cats who had strayed outside the ruins and been knocked by a car. Poor things - there are a LOT of cars in Rome; and the ruin is essentially a sunken roundabout with roads on all sides!

This cat reminds me of Bertrum Thumbcat from the Cravendale ads!

Can you spot (at least) three cats in this next photo?

These cats were relaxing in the shade. I would have sunned myself on a nice altar or something, personally, and looked for ancient bloodstains...

These cats really do have a huge playground to call home. It's quite amazing.

This was Rachel's favourite cat from outside. Such a lovely big chap (or chapess!). And so photogenic! Do you want a British penpal, Ginger?!

So, if you ever visit Rome, we strongly recommend you visit the cat sanctuary at Largo di Torre Argentina. It's very central, a nice break from the hubbub of the city, and will definitely help if you're missing your kitty cats while on holiday!!

Thursday 11 October 2012

Mia the Vanquisher of Arachnids

That is me! Vanish... vanisher... of arra... arrows... Oh OK, I don't really know what those words mean, Lila thought up that title for me...

I have been being SUPER BRAVE recently as I've been protecting Rachel and Pete from a DEADLY INVASION of nasty icky (delicious) spiders. They're often spotted around the doors...When I see one, I give a warning sound (it sounds like mik-mik-mik-mik) so that the humans know not to approach. They are so stupid though, they always DO approach!

DON'T come any closer! This one's HUGE!

Then I round up the spider and corrall it between my mighty paws, and give it the patented Mia Smack of Doom.

I'm not scared of you, spidey.

I give it a sniff, to check it's been neutralised, and see if it might make a tasty snack.

Smells dead...

The small ones are the yummiest - the big ones I tend to just play with for a while until they are dead or disabled and then leave them for Rachel to clean up. Their legs can be a bit crunchy...

OK, you can clean it up now.

No need to thank me for keeping the humans safe, it's the least I could do. I hope your cats are protecting you too...

Sunday 9 September 2012

Summer's Done!

Hi everyone, I don't even know what excuse to give about how little we've blogged over the summer. I can only a-paw-logise. I'm not even going to try and pin all the blame on Rachel like usual, as we have been pretty lazy too... But now it's September we thought it was about time to get you up to date on what we have been doing during August. A lot of the time we were just sitting in the sun.

This used to be Rachel's sewing basket until we found it. LOL!

Apart from that, we've mostly been watching the Olympics and Paralympics. Rachel and Pete went to loads of Olympic events, but we didn't get to go to any! Instead... we got a special scratching box:

Room for a small one?

Ding Ding, all aboard!

Although we didn't get to visit Olympic park, we did watch plenty of the coverage on our new flatscreen TV. It's much thinner than the big boxy old one, so when Mia tried to jump on top of it like we used to ALL THE TIME, it fell over and Pete said some really rude words that we'd never even heard before!! When we weren't trying to destroy hundreds of pounds worth of electrical equipment, we were cheering on the athletes:

I'm a gold meow-dal winner!
Go Mo, Go Jess, Go Team GB
Ooh, shiny shiny!

But some of us weren't QUITE so interested in the sports...

We also had a visit to the Cat Hotel again, and this time it REALLY was 4 star. We got to stay in a part that we had never been to before, we had half of a lovely chalet in the garden to ourselves, with our own verandah, and the inside bit was really big too, much bigger than normal. We could watch birdies and the resident cats all day, and stretch out in the sun, and it was just BRILLIANT!  Rachel says now that she knows these posh rooms are there, we can stay in them every time we visit. AWESOME!

So that's mostly what we've been up to. What have you been doing?

PS - Obligatory tongue shot of Mia, what a silly chops!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Summer's Here!

We've had about two months of constant rain here in England, and not just unrelenting drizzle, but the kind of monsoon rain that makes you think you're in Mumbai or somewhere! We've been either stuck inside in the dry, or when we do venture out, we're likely to get caught in a downpour and just have to hope we can find somewhere we can sit and wait it out without getting too drenched.

But this weekend the sun came out and we remembered how fun it is to play outside! And Rachel remembered how fun it is to take lots of photos of us - she cleared about 30GB of photos and videos of us off the laptop in June so I think she's been a bit scared of filling it up again too fast...

But how can she resist Mia posing in front of the heuchera?

Unfortunately with all the rain the garden has got a bit overgrown...

The grass has been too wet to cut as well so there's plenty to play with... and munch!

My favourite place to hang out is under the washing line, the grass is always long there even when it does get cut, so it's a good place to hide and wait to ambush your portly tortie friend...

Hm where is she... This sun is lovely and warm... Always ready to ambush though... always alert... always ready to... yawn... pounce... al...ways...


Thursday 12 July 2012

Mog's Togs Friend - Pepper!

Pep in the Box!
It's been a while since we chatted to one of our Mog's Togs Friends, but hopefully it's worth the wait as today we have cute-as-a-button PEPPER to talk to! This little sweetheart belongs to Elli from heartstitch, maker of super cute things!

What's your name, how old are you, and where do you live?

My name is Pepper, and I are 1 and a halfs years olds.  I lives in Plymouth – there are lots of houses and humans and not much grass to eats, but loads of good climbing walls and hidey holes and I has made all the friends!

Who do you live with? What's the best and worst thing about living with them?

I lives with mah two humans - my mummy and daddy, and the other cat - Bracken.  The humans are nice – they gives the foods and the cuddles! They also lets me out to play and take away the nasties in the sand box.  The best thing about the humans is the foods – I is SO good at mewing and looking cute and almost every time they give me foods! The worst is when I do the cute face and there is no foods – I works hard to look this good!  

 Bracken is ok, I guess. She is ALWAYS grumpy and hisses at me when I sniff her – I just wants to be friends! Sometimes we sit together though, and has cat-chats, mostly when the humans is not around – we bond over how mad we are that we is not alloweds in their sleeping room.  Their bed is SO comfy! When they forgets to shut the door I sneaks in and has a nap, but Bracken’s a goody four paws and sits in her bed in the long room. I likes our cat-chats, but the worst is her purrs. Is SO noisy! She soundses like a bird cooing, and she purrs at nothings – the humans has to work hard for my purrs, but Bracken purrs if a human comes near her.  She mad.

What has been your greatest adventure / scariest moment?

The greatest adventures are when I gets to go outsides! I likes to go see my boyfriend Harry (he lives upstairs and has the bestest softest longest ginger furs).  He waits for me by the door flap and we rubs noses and we chases each other around the garden.  The humans tease me and makes silly noises like ‘ahhhhh’. Sometimes I even sneaks into Harrys house but his humans and his sister don’t like it when I do.  I don’t cares.  I are loving the warms – it makes all the weird buzzy things come out and I likes to chases them and catch them, and then I eats them.  The humans made a big fuss the other day when I ate a big furry buzzy thing, it was yellow and black… I think they calleds it a B? They was wafflings on about something called a sting and they mentioned the V-E-T. We do not like the V-E-T, he always pokeses us and prodses us, and sometimes he takes away mah claws and once he even stuck something in my neck! I don’t knows what they were worrieds about though, I feels fine!  I do like to eat a lot of things.  The humans says I has pika so is not my faults, but they get angry when I eats the ‘cables’ and the ‘sellotape’ and the ‘plastic’… I dunno - smells like foods to me, and feels nice on my teeths.  

The scariest time was when I was away from home for 5 days.  I got shut in somewhere, and there were some humans – but they weren’t nice humans like my two… They didn’t even gives me foods! My collar didn’t fits when I came homes and I’s a trim kitty as it is!  Daddy gave me a sniff when I came home and said I smelled like I had been with some naughty humans, and then mummy wouldn’t stop cuddlings me and didn’t lets me out for weeks! It made me very grumpy, but I had missed my nice humans – at least they feeds me!
Helping with the cutting and the sewing!
There was another scary time when I had found THE BEST place to play – the humans have this thing that they fill with water and lie down in that has a bit at the front that I can pulls open a bit, and underneath it is all the dusts and stuff and there is a hole! You can climbs down it and is all dark and funs, I thinks I saw a meece down there once! Only problem was, the humans closed the gap after me, and I was stuck down there.  I mewed and I meweds and I knew they could hear me cuz they were calling me, but silly humans don’t understands the mewings.  They were going to call out the fire people – they didn’t know about mah little hole under the water holder, but they worked it out eventually, even if maybes I did get a little losts (is hards in the dark!) they put some foods out by the water holder and I did sniffs my ways out. 

What would be your perfect day?

Only Daddy gets shoulder cuddles!
The perfects day… I woulds wake ups at 5am likes normals, but the humans would have let me sleep in their bed. And they wouldn’t have fidgeteds all night like usuals! And they would wakes ups then too and give me ALL the fussums – they don’t like 5am cuddles, they yell L  Then they would feeds me a mountain of tuna – I don’t gets to has it very often – only if the humans are hasing it, and fishy flavoured kitty kibbles? Forgets it – mummy says it smells bad L I would go see Harry, and play in his house – his humans gives him ALL the toys and he has two fancy sand boxes with doors and lids, (but his humans make him do one types of ‘business’ in one and the other types in another – poor Harry, I don’t let my humans decides wheres I do mine! I do mostlys go in the sandboxes though – and I has trained my human to go clean it immediately!)  Harrys humans also have some fancy tiny waterfall in their house that he drinks from – I just has a bowl. I wants a waterfall!  After a quick wash, we would go outside and play, and I’d probably catch some more buzzy things and eat them too – SO tastys! Then the humans would come out and feed me all the Dreamies, but they would be fishy Dreamies, though I do like the chicken ones I gets normallys.  Quick catnap, then more playing! Oh, and more tuna too! Then I would climbs up on daddy’s shoulder for evening cuddles, and then sleeps on the bed again when it is night time. *Purr*

Which is your favourite Mog's Togs collar?

Modelling her Daisy Parade!
Mummy gots me mah firsts Mog’s Togs collar the other day.  It’s not like the last ones.  Is soft. And it doesn’t hang like the last ones, it fitses so I can’t bites it off. I struggleds when the humans tried to put it on, but now is on is okay, I don’t really notices it.  Mummy says the human who made it made it special for me cuz I is so tiny.  When she says tiny I think what she means is ferocious.  Daddy says the best things comes in small packages though.  He’s my favourites.  My collar is super prettys, and none of my kitty friends has the same one – even Harry is jealousies and he has ALL the posh stuffs! I has the Daisy Parade one, but I hopes the humans get me more – I wants a different one for each day of the week!  Mummy says you can’t really see it anyway cuz mah fur is all thick but she is a silly mummy – Ima try to pose so she can sees it and then she will gets me more! 

Mummy promised me Dreamies if I typed this… If I no gets them Ima pee on the curtains again! 

I'm assured Pepper DID get Dreamies and the curtains remain unsullied - Ed. She's so cute, how about a few more photos for us all to coo over!

Massage time
Real men love cats!
Bye Fans!
If you'd like us to feature your cat as a Mog's Togs Friend, please have them answer the following questions, and send us the answers along with at least one good quality photo of them to (send more photos if you like!).

  1. What's your name, how old are you, and where do you live?
  2. Who do you live with? (Humans and other animals) What's the best and worst thing about living with them?
  3. What has been your greatest adventure / scariest moment?
  4. What would be your perfect day?
  5. Which is your favourite Mog's Togs collar?

We recommend payment of 5 Dreamies or Whiskas Temptations as reward for your cat, for submitting to such a rigorous interview.  If you have a blog or Folksy/Etsy etc shop of your own feel free to let Rachel know the link and we'll include it. We can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday 24 June 2012

Garden Invader AGAIN!

Ok... grovel grovel... we haven't blogged for a whole MONTH!! Sorry!! We've got to let Rachel off the hook though - she had her viva exam for her PhD, so was working hard on that and didn't have time to study, AND sort lovely cats out with their collars, AND type up our blog posts too. Good news though - she passed her exam so now is pretty much a Dr! Hurrah!

What's that, Rachel? You're not a Dr of medicine? You can't save anyone's life? What's the point of that!! Hmm, Mrs PRETEND DOCTOR, well I suppose you ARE still qualified to type up our musings for us... (mutter mutter... Gillian McKeith... mutter mutter...)

So, last time but one we blogged, we mentioned the naughty black-and-white garden invader, AKA Bella, AKA cheeky monkey. And if you remember, we were worried that while we were away at the cat spa for a couple of weeks, she'd take over our garden... well, we were kind of right. Just take a look at this video from the week we were back! NO RESPECT!

Gosh, the youth of today! All that talking back she does!

And the worst of it is that we're off to the cat spa again today, and so god knows what'll have happened when we get back...

Thursday 24 May 2012

RIP Cedric

Rachel and Pete were on holiday earlier this month, so Lila and I got to spend 12 days at the cat hotel! It got a bit boring after a while. When we at last heard Rachel's voice calling "Mia, Lila..." we were so happy we ran round and round our room in excitement!

However, during this stay at the hotel, a sad event occurred. I don't think we introduced you to our friend Cedric, but here's a photo of him in happier times. He's the little grey mouse. The brown thing is Kiwi; Lila will tell you about him another day.

Lila: I'm so happy to be alive.

A close up of lovely Cedric.

Cedric was my special friend. He didn't have catnip in or anything, but from the moment he arrived I couldn't resist him! Every time I passed him I stopped to bat him about or have a chew on his tail. I'd chase him all around the lounge until we collapsed in a laughing heap on the floor, like an advert for life insurance or something. Sometimes I would snooze resting my chin on his furry back. We had such great times together!

So when we went off for our long cattery stay, Rachel thoughtfully packed some toys and beds for us, including Cedric. It was so nice having him there. But partway through our stay, a tragic event occurred. I don't want to go into details, it hurts too much, but have you seen Slumdog Millionaire? Yes? Well, you know that scene right at the start, when the boy gets locked in the toilet and has to escape in an unspeakably disgusting way? Well, that is kind of what happened to Cedric. It isn't our fault the litter they use at the cat hotel isn't absorbent like the stuff we have at home!

Anyway, I was devastated. When Rachel came to pick us up, she asked where Cedric was, and the lady proprietor said there'd been a "mishap" with the litter tray and they'd had to get rid of Cedric. A MISHAP? How can you describe what happened to my dear friend, my darling Ceddy, as a mishap!

So, we came home and life got back to normal; I tried to put Cedric out of my mind, but there was always something missing, a hollow feeling in my fluffy tummy. The house was too quiet without him.

Then, a few days later, a miracle occurred. I had been out in the garden and came inside to find that our latest delivery of food had arrived. And who should be sitting on the top of the cans, shackled to some kind of board...

On the third day, Cedric rose again.

CEDRIC!! He had been resurrected from his rodenty poo-death! Yay!! I was so excited. Once Rachel had freed him from his bonds, we carried on as if nothing had ever come between us. Of course, I didn't ask him about what had happened to him since I'd last seen him, or what he'd gone to to try and return to me, as it was obviously painful. Before long we were chasing each other around the house as though he had never been away. Although he doesn't go outside, I did take him to the back door to see how much the garden had grown while he'd been away. Look how happy we both are!!

See the grass Cedric? Yes, it's about a foot long. Awesome.

Hopefully now we're reunited, I'll be able to bring you some more stories about the fantastic adventures Ced and I get up too. But I'll be keeping him well clear of the litter tray from now on... (shudder).

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Feline Invader!

Goodness me, we're both all a flutter at the moment, due to the UNWANTED INCURSION of another feline into OUR TERRITORY!

First thing we knew about it was one morning a couple of weeks ago, when through the catflap we saw a flash of black and white fur at the end of the garden. We thought it was the big scary longhaired cat from up the road, and Mia ran upstairs to the farthest point of the house... but later on that day, we were outside, and saw more clearly that it was a BRAND NEW cat! And she was playing in OUR playground at the end of the next door neighbours' garden!

A closeup of the cheeky monkey...

She's quite small, so even Mia wasn't scared of her. We went over to let her know that we were the bosses around this garden, but she could play, if she showed suitable respect. However, she just IGNORED US!! How rude!!

Look, she's not even scared!

We thought we'd better put her in her place. As she got busy exploring the playground, we instigated a pincer attack. Mia distracted her on this side by making her chattery bird noise, while I sneaked around the back....

Ninja Lila

But... by the time I went to jump at her, she'd disappeared!!

Where'd she go?

Hmph. We've seen her around a few more times - still showing ZERO respect for her elders and she doesn't really want to play with us either. She's been lounging about on OUR shed roof, where we like to relax, and even went into the garden on the other side of us and chased OUR butterflies! Those are our favourite neighbours  - they let Mia come and sit on their sofa, and don't even mind when I sneak into their upstairs windows from the flat roof. What if they decide they like her better than us?

Rachel said she talked to the cheeky cat's human, who lives just 2 doors down, and the feisty new kitty is called Bella. She did say that Bella isn't allowed outside at night either, so that's one good thing I suppose... but we're off to the cattery for a little while tomorrow, and I'm very worried that she might think that our garden is there for the taking!! I'll keep you updated...

In the meantime, we have been letting Rachel take lots of photos of us, just so she wouldn't forget that WE are the cutest cats around here. Once again, hmph.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Mog's Togs at the Dandy Lion!

Yesterday, instead of staying at home and bugging us all day (like a normal Saturday), Rachel and Pete went all the way up to North London and took all the Mog's Togs collars! Insanity!

Apparently they took them to sell at a fair called The Dandy Lion near Highgate. It was in a pub called the Boogaloo (funny name, if you ask me...). It nearly all went wrong though right at the start just after they'd spent ages making their little table look nice.

Can you see the little mice down at the front? They've got catnip inside them, mmm, a whole teaspoon in each, which makes them pretty pungent! They smelled so delicious, that one of the the pub's resident cats, Hutch, came to investigate. Before long she had decided that in fact, all the mice should belong to her.

This one is mine, and this one is mine, and this one..

The catnip started to send her a little loopy, so Rachel decided to donate one of the mice to her in the name of peace and quiet and to save her stall!

Looks like she loved it!

I shall hug you and kiss you and call you Mousey...

And phew, the stall was saved!

Do you like the collar model there at the back?! He's GRRREAT!

P.S. In case you were wondering, yes there was apparently a Starsky at the pub too, to go with Hutch, but she was a bit shy, so Rach and Pete didn't get to meet her :-)