A monthly dog blog
Hi folks. It’s that time of year when many of us start
thinking of doing something different during the long, dark
winter’s evenings. I’m talking about evening classes.
Learning a new language. Dabbling in painting. That sort of
Bossman’s receptionist, Beryl, tried her hand at oil
painting last year. The result was – to put it mildly – a
mess. He and his colleague, Eric, were studying the oil
painting Beryl had propped up on the office desk while she
went and made coffee. In the centre of the canvas was a
large swirl of orange with darker orange stripes radiating
out from it. At its base were four similarly coloured blobs;
and to each side, a bank of unsteadily executed lines in
white paint, some thick, some thin. Sounds pretty grim,
do you think it’s meant to be?”
said Eric, scratching his chin.
bowl of oranges?”
more like a Bagpuss pyjama case overstuffed with jimjams, if
you ask me,”
said Bossman. Eric sniggered.
There was a sudden hush as Beryl bustled in with a tray of
what do you think?”
She handed each of us a mug.
I caught his likeness?”
Eric had picked up the painting and was holding it between
not quite sure …”
He tailed off, his forehead creased in wrinkles as he swung
the orange offering from side to side.
Beryl stepped forward with a loud tut, snatched the canvas
from him and rotated it.
were looking at it upside down,”
can you see the likeness?”
Bossman could see Eric turning red, his bald pate glowing.
He guessed that like Eric, it made no difference whichever
way the painting was held. It still depicted a shapeless
swirl of orange.
Only now at the top of the ball and slightly to one side
Bossman could see there were two blobs of green encircled in
black. Maybe they were meant to be eyes? In which case, the
four blobs at the bottom could possibly be paws. Making the
straggly lines either side whiskers.
Bossman suddenly cottoned on as to what the painting was
meant to represent.
of course. Who else could it possibly be?”
It was no surprise to Bossman that Beryl had chosen her
beloved cat as subject matter for the art class she’s been
attending. She was besotted by the fellow ever since he’d
strolled in through the side gate to her cottage two summers
back, demanding to be fed. Beryl obliged and when the cat
then decided to set up home with her, she provided full
The effects of that full board were all too evident when
Beryl presented him for a check-up and vaccination. He lay
contentedly on the consulting table his rolls of fat
rippling towards the edges. Bossman knew anything he said
regarding Ginger’s weight would elicit one of Beryl’s
laser-like glares, her head tilted to the side. But taking a
deep breath, he took the risk.
a bit on the portly side,”
he said, levering up a large lump of fat in his scruff to
give him his vaccination. Beryl’s head started to tilt.
you suggesting he’s overweight?”
he could do with losing a few pounds. We wouldn’t want him
to go down with diabetes or problems with his ticker would
Beryl’s head tilted even more. Bossman was going to warn her
of the likelihood that Ginger might develop hip problems
carrying all that weight but felt it could end up with her
head angled on her shoulder and him being vaporised by her
glare. So he desisted. And tried another tact.
he’s a hearty eater.”
the best for my Ginger.”
Actually Bossman already knew that. Beryl often popped down
the road at lunchtimes returning to the hospital with
goodies for Ginger’s tea. Pilchards and sardines were
favourites. Invariably accompanied by full cream milk. He
dreaded to think of the cat’s daily calorie consumption.
Huge. And its effects were spread out before him now. Just
think I overfeed him, don’t you?”
Beryl was saying.
it could be something in his genes.”
Beryl, it’s in his food,”
Bossman wanted to say.
Beryl went on,
it could be to do with his hormones.”
… No … No … It’s food, glorious food,”
Bossman wanted to sing out. But it would have been futile.
Beryl was never going to listen; and Ginger was never going
to lose weight.
The proof of the pudding was in her painting.
If any of you are off to evening classes, may the creative
spirit be with you.
Love and licks,
P.S. My Bossman is Malcolm Welshman.
His latest novel, Pets Aplenty, is published by Austin
Macauley Tel: 0207 038 8212 at £7.99, Kindle version £0.99
and available to buy from
Malcolm Welshman has his own website at
Firework Fears for your Dog with Equafleece
It’s estimated that 45% of
the UK’s dogs are likely to show fearful behaviour when they
hear fireworks. That means more than 3 million dogs display
behaviour such as chewing their feet, barking with fear,
hiding or trying to ‘dig’ a way out. The firework season can
start as early as the beginning of October and runs right
through to New Year.
Equafleece’s Dog T-shirts have been hailed as revolutionary
by canine therapists and vets who have described them as a
‘protective portable hug’. They are even recommended by
Internationally renowned behaviour specialist Sarah Fisher
in her book Unlock Your Dog’s Potential.
The principle behind them is simple – when a dog is
frightened he holds his breath. The comforting contact of a
T-shirt makes him feel supported, more able to relax and
therefore more able to breathe and cope with fears. There is
no need to medicate your dog with sedatives or other drugs,
and the T-shirt is a cost effective option too!
Rebecca Reeves, an Equafleece customer says, “I could not
believe how incredible effective the T-shirt was in calming
my very anxious greyhound, and how quickly. She changed from
being a shaking drooling wreck into a snoozing relaxed dog
in a matter of minutes the first time I used the Equafleece
T-shirt. It continued to work brilliantly during fireworks
and thunderstorms for the rest of her life.”
Equafleece Dog T-shirts are made from 100% breathable cotton
stretch fabric. They were originally designed to combat
contact allergens, photosensitivity and to keep dressings in
place but owners were soon reporting that their dogs were
much calmer and less anxious while wearing their T-shirts.
Don’t let a firework phobia ruin your dog’s winter. Pop an
Equafleece T-shirt on him and watch his fears fizzle out.
The T-Shirts are available in 8 sizes and come in Black,
Grey, Red, Blue, Brown and Camo Green. Prices start at £13
and they are available direct from Equafleece,
You can also request a brochure or order by phone on 0845
Cat and Dog Body Language Books
Review by Jenny Itzcovitz
Want to develop a stronger
bond with your pet? Find out why cats flatten their ears
when scared, why dogs bury bones in the back garden, how
kittens will try to mark their territory and more!
Cat Body Language and Dog Body Language deliver the answers
to interpreting the 100 most common of your pets’ noises,
body positions, behaviours and annoying habits correctly
every time, helping you to better communicate and understand
Split into clear chapters covering key aspects of pet
behaviour (such as interacting with owners, marking
territory, kittenhood and puppyhood, and mating behaviours),
these books can either be used as reference texts to deal
with issues specific to your pet, or as a flick-through read
to better understanding your animal.
Cat Body Language also includes chapters on cats’ ear
movements, their hunting instinct, and licking and grooming
rituals, whilst Dog Body Language covers feeding time, the
pack instinct, sleeping and more.
You can also enjoy plenty
of snippets of fun canine and cat popular culture trivia:
from which canine was Sherlock Holmes’ pooch of choice, to
the true reason that male cats are called ‘Toms’.
Filled with ‘aww!’-worthy photography, these are the perfect
gift books for the new pet owner or animal lover in your life.
As a cat owner
who is convinced that my cat talks to me, I was delighted to
receive Cat Body Language. This neat little book includes
one hundred snippets of advice to help you read your cat's
behaviour signals and understand how they are communicating
with you and the world around them.
Packed with beautiful colour photographs, this helpful book
shows you how to understand what your cat is trying to say
to you. I was particularly interested to find out why they
claw at the carpet and furniture, go in and out of the cat
flap or back door for no apparent reason, wag or lash their
tail, and give you the slow eye blink - know as the 'cat
gift for cat owners. I keep it handy when I want to find out
what my cat is telling me and keep him happy and contented.
Trevor Warner has over twenty years of experience in the
veterinary sciences and now runs his own practice in
Melksham, where his practice included animal behaviour
clinics. He is the owner of many pets, including five cats,
two dogs, and a retired racehorse.
Cat Body Language and Dog Body Language by Trevor
Warner are published by
Collins & Brown, an imprint of Pavilion. Price is £6.99
For more information about
the books visit
Rescue Bunnies Gave Me My Life Back
got her freedom and
independence back thanks to two
rabbits rescued by the RSPCA
A woman has regained the use of her paralysed hands
after caring for and grooming two long-haired
bunnies saved by the RSPCA. Marley-Belle Quaid was
left unable to move her hands after a string of
painful operations on her wrists which left her
unable to use crutches and confined to her
Despite crippling attempts at physio, nothing had
worked for the 32-year-old - until she saw an advert
for two abandoned and neglected bunnies, Woodstock
and Wilfred, looking for their forever home.
Although she knew the pair needed daily grooming and
frequent clipping, she fell in love with them and
vowed she would do whatever it takes to give them
the life they deserved.
Marley, 32, from Guildford says, “The first time I
saw them I knew I would do whatever it took to have
them in my life. They had been found dumped in woods
by a woman running a race, who found them matted and
neglected and one of them - Woodstock - was tangled
in a bramble bush.
“The pair were rescued by the RSPCA but spent a year
in foster care because no-one wanted the hard work
it takes to keep them groomed and tidy. Although I
had help day-to-day, I didn’t know how I was going
to manage doing it myself when no-one was there
because of my wrists but I wanted to make it work.”
It was painful at first but Marley found that the
frequent brushing and care for the rabbits gradually
led to increasing movement in her wrists and soon
she was able to pick out scraps of hay and debris
from their fur and even use scissors to give them a
She says, “Within six months, I had full, malleable
wrists, I was grooming Wilfred and Woodstock by
myself on my own lap and I could use scissors again.
My surgeon was quite astounded I had the use that I
had with my wrists again. These bunnies were a
massive part of my recovery.”
Gaining the use of her hands back had another
benefit for Marley, who uses a wheelchair, because
it meant she could use crutches again to help her
Marley continues, “Before I had to use my wheelchair
all the time, because I couldn’t use my hands to
grip my crutches. That meant there were shops I
couldn’t go into or places I couldn’t get to because
I needed my crutches.
“Woodstock and Wilfred have given me so much more
than love, they’ve given me independence and
The much-loved bunnies, who are thought to be five
or six years old and were adopted by Marley two
years ago, now have the run of her flat which is
kitted out for their enjoyment. They have their own
bedroom and a room filled with play furniture, such
as hides, tunnels to simulate warrens, jumps and a
hay pit, to keep them stimulated and happy.
Woodstock was so badly matted on his back legs when
he was rescued, his bones were misshapen and he had
trouble hopping but since he’s had the freedom to
explore and run around the flat, his legs have
improved and he can hop up on to the furniture.
RSPCA rabbit behaviour and welfare expert Dr Jane
Tyson says, “Marley’s story is a moving example of
the power of pets to really change lives. When
Marley adopted Wilfred and Woodstock she gave them
the chance of a loving home and a happy future but
these amazing rabbits have also given Marley her own
life back. We know that the wonderful people who
adopt rescue animals change the lives of those
animals but pets have a real impact on our own
health and wellbeing too, which is why the bond
between owner and pet is so special.”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating
and rehoming animals in desperate need of care
text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one
standard network rate message).
Avoiding Toxic Plants for the Autumn
Days are beginning to shorten, and
over the next few weeks, signs that autumn is here
will set in. Leaves will be turning that beautiful
golden brown and parks will be filled with an
abundance of rustic colours.
And while it’s important your pet enjoys the
outdoors during the changing seasons, it’s essential
to be aware of some of the harmful plants that can
cause pets to become very unwell.
Pets are naturally inquisitive, especially if
they’re young, so knowing what to avoid is crucial
to keep them away from harm. PDSA Vet, Rebecca
Ashman, provides her tips on keeping your pets safe
from toxic plants.
It’s important to recognise which autumnal plants
are poisonous as accidentally eating them can cause
pets to suffer from sickness, and in severe cases,
can be fatal. Steering clear of these plants will
avoid any upset stomachs – or worse – from happening
Poisonous plants to
Acorns – they are very toxic if eaten by pets, as
their tannic acid affects the liver and kidneys.
Unripe, green acorns are even more harmful.
Yew Trees – Every part of this tree is poisonous to
pets and even eating a few leaves can be serious.
They are often found in churchyards so keep your
Horse Chestnut trees – their bark, leaves, flowers,
and conkers are all poisonous to pets.
Autumn crocuses - have pale mauve, pink or white
flowers in autumn and all parts of the plant are
Rebecca says, “When out walking this autumn, it’s
crucial to be aware of any dangerous plants and
trees that might cause harm to your pet. Keep a
close eye on them, and try to walk your dog
somewhere you know is clear of toxic plants.”
“Vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking and breathing problems
are all signs that your pet might have eaten a
poisonous plant”, adds Rebecca. “If your pet has
eaten something they shouldn’t, take them straight
to the vets as an emergency. The quicker you act,
the quicker vets can provide essential treatment.”
For more information about keeping your pet safe
this autumn, please visit the PDSA website at
RSPCA Appeal after Horse Crisis sees 55% Rise in
RSPCA launches Stables
Sponsorship following surge in neglected and abused
horses last year
The RSPCA has launched a fresh
appeal to horse lovers to help horses as new figures
showed the charity rescued 55% more equines
from cruelty and neglect last year.
As England and Wales’ largest animal welfare
charity, the RSPCA has seen an enormous increase in
the number of horses coming into its care - with
almost three a day being rescued.
The charity is currently looking after more than 850
horses, donkeys and ponies and has launched Stables
Sponsorship, asking horse lovers to help the RSPCA
care for rescued equines until they are ready for
Cathy Hyde, who leads a team of specially trained
equine inspectors at the RSPCA says, “For several
years now we as a charity have been picking up the
pieces of the equine crisis, with our inspectors
being called out to sick, injured, neglected or
cruelly treated horses every single day. And despite
our best efforts the crisis is not getting any
better. Last year we took in 979 horses which was a
55% increase on the year before.
“For many of the horses, being rescued is just the
beginning of a long road to recovery, and it can
take many months for us to rehabilitate them to a
point where they can be rehomed. The time and work
during those months is absolutely essential but
extremely costly, and we now find ourselves with
over 850 horses in our care, so we desperately need
the public’s help.
“Those who rehome a horse from us are doing
something very special but for those who aren’t in a
position to do so, this new scheme provides a unique
opportunity to make a huge difference too.”
From foals suffering neglect to older horses cruelly
treated or abandoned, the RSPCA has seen an enormous
increase in the number of horses taken in.
The impact of the recession, over breeding, the high
costs of vet bills and falling prices for horses
have all contributed to the crisis, which has also
seen a distressing number of horses dumped dead and
dying like rubbish.
The poor state of the horses coming into RSPCA care
means that the cost and length of their
rehabilitation is increasing and as a charity, the
welfare organisation is urgently calling for the
support of horse lovers through the new Stables
Last year, the national call centre received over
30,000 calls about horses and already this year
alone more than 500 equines have come into the
RSPCA’s equine centres.
These include four-year-old horse Prince (pictured
above) who came into the care of RSPCA Lockwood
Centre for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys last winter,
after he was found abandoned, suffering with a
horrific leg injury that was so severe, it exposed
parts of his tendon. Prince was understandably very
unsure of people but the grooms at Lockwood worked
tirelessly to rehabilitate Prince and treat his
severe injury and help him to trust people again.
Thankfully, Prince is now healed and is ready to
find a new home.
You can help horses like Prince by giving just £10
sponsorship per month which will help provide our
equine centres with everything from shavings and
straw for the horse’s bedding to feed and hay,
grooming brushes, rugs and of course veterinary
treatment for those who are rescued from the most
appalling conditions by RSPCA inspectors.
You will receive quarterly news and updates about
some of the horses who have been taken into RSPCA
care and looked after in the stables along with
letters from the staff at the RSPCA equine centres
with updates on the horses they have helped.
To sign up to sponsor our stables, please call 0300
The first national Hedgehog Housing
Census has been launched by Hedgehog Street with
charities, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society
(BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES),
to help combat the decline in native hedgehogs. The
survey is in partnership with the University of
Reading and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
Between now and the 31st October 2017, the Hedgehog
Housing Census will dig a little deeper into the
world of hedgehogs, and aims to answer several
questions about how they live and in particular,
their use of artificial hedgehog houses. The
information will be gathered via an online survey,
and the data then analysed by scientists at the
University of Reading.
The results will help the
Hedgehog Street team find out what the best type of
hedgehog house is and how they can be used to
support the conservation of these animals, enabling
wildlife enthusiasts across the UK to further help
their spiky garden residents.
Since its creation in 2011, Hedgehog Street has over
44,000 volunteers, known as Hedgehog Champions,
pledging to help save the nation’s favourite mammal
by making small steps in their gardens. This census
will answer questions such as: is your hedgehog
house used? Is it used for summer nesting, as a
maternity nest, or for hibernation? What materials
is it made from? Is it homemade or shop bought?
Where is it located? What’s the best design?
If you'd like to take part in the survey click on
Senses Food Maze
Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Feedem to offer
one lucky reader the chance to win a Hagen
Catit Senses Food Maze.
The Hagen Catit Senses Food Maze is the smart way to
feed your cat treats and dry food.
This eyecatching maze stimulates a cat's playful
nature and beats boredom. Offering different levels
of difficulty, your cat is challenged to move its
food throughout the maze until it falls to the
bottom, ready to be eaten.
The maze encourages your cat to eat in moderation,
promoting healthy digestion and avoiding an upset
stomach which can often happen when eating too
It also entertains while engaging your cat's sense
of touch, taste and sight.
The Hagen Catit Senses Food Maze is available from
Feedem. Price is £17.80.
more information about the Hagen Catit Senses Food
For Your Chance to Win
us what type of cat food should be dispensed in the
Hagen Catit Senses Food Maze?
b) Grilled Fish
c) Meat in Jelly
d) Fresh Water
To Enter the Competition
us what type of cat food should be dispensed in the
Hagen Catit Senses Food Maze? Then send in your answer together
with your full name,
postal address and telephone number to the
Sixtyplusurfers email address as shown below:
* Please label your entry Cat Food Maze Competition
* This competition is open to
our UK readers only
By Johanna Buitelaar, founder
and owner of Memory Bloom
We are a nation of animal lovers, making pets of
all types truly part of our families. It’s no
surprise then that the death of a beloved pet
can hit many people as hard as the passing of a
human family member.
Where children are concerned the loss of a pet
is often their first experience of death and
grief and therefore very important to deal with
as sensitively – yet realistically – as
Remember that grief is a very personal thing and
of course all individuals will react differently
but no one should feel ashamed about how they
feel, or believe that it’s not appropriate to
grieve for an animal friend.
Ultimately we take animals into our family homes
and they in turn provide companionship,
acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional
love. If you understand and accept this bond
between humans and animals, you've already taken
the first step toward coping with pet loss.....
knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet
Here at Memory Bloom we have put together some
tips to help you deal with the grief of losing a
· Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel - Your
grief is your own, and no one else can tell you
when it’s time to “move on” or “get over it.”
Let yourself feel whatever you feel without
embarrassment or judgment. It’s okay to be
angry, to cry or not to cry. It’s also okay to
laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go
when you’re ready.
· Reach out to others who have lost pets - There
are a number of pet loss hotlines, and support
groups. If your own friends and family members
are not sympathetic about pet loss, find someone
who is. Often, another person who has also
experienced the loss of a beloved pet may better
understand what you’re going through.
· Seek professional help if you need it - If
your grief is persistent and interferes with
your ability to function seek medical advice
from your GP in the first instance.
· Rituals can help healing - A funeral or
memorial service can help you and your family
members openly express your feelings and help
bring some feeling of ‘closure’.
· Create a legacy - Preparing a memorial,
planting a tree in memory of your pet, compiling
a photo album or scrapbook, or otherwise sharing
the memories you enjoyed with your pet, can
create a legacy to celebrate the life of your
animal companion. Remembering the fun and love
you shared with your pet can help you to
eventually move on.
· Look after yourself - The stress of losing a
pet can quickly deplete your energy and
emotional reserves. Looking after your physical
and emotional needs will help you get through
this difficult time. Eat a healthy diet, get
plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly to
release endorphins and help boost your mood.
· If you have other pets, try to maintain your
normal routine - Surviving pets can also
experience loss when a pet dies, or they may
become distressed by your sorrow. Maintaining
their daily routines, or even increasing
exercise and play times, will not only benefit
the surviving pets but can also help you too.
Above all remember that sorrow and grief are
perfectly normal and natural responses to death.
Like grief for our friends and loved ones, grief
for our animal companions can only be dealt with
Grieving is a highly individual experience. Some
people find grief following the loss of a pet
comes in stages, where they experience different
feelings such as denial, anger, guilt,
depression, and eventually acceptance and
resolution. Others find that their grief is more
cyclical, coming in waves or a series of highs
For many the grieving process happens only
gradually and it cannot be forced or hurried –
and nor should it be as, throughout life, there
is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some
people start to feel better in weeks or months.
For others, the grieving process is measured in
years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s
important to be patient with yourself and allow
the process to naturally unfold.
Please also bear in mind that trying to ignore
your pain or keep it from surfacing will only
make it worse in the long run. For real healing,
it is necessary to face your grief and actively
deal with it. By expressing your grief, you’ll
likely need less time to heal than if you
withhold or “bottle up” your feelings. Finding
ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer
to the day when memories bring smiles instead of
Memory Bloom is the only product of its kind
designed to help mark the passing of a pet by
providing a living, flowering memorial and
providing everything needed for holding a simple
The kits contain bio degradable containers,
compost and seeds as well as a special story
book and little notes and markers to personalise
your own memorial. The idea is that some of a
pet's ashes or small memento (name tag/collar)
can be placed into the compost along with the
seeds to provide a focal point for remembrance
as the flowers – a mix of beautiful Anemones,
Forget-me-nots, Californian Poppies and insect
and bee friendly wildflowers - begin to grow.
It should be kept indoors until green shoots
start to emerge and then planted outside where
the containers will simply degrade and break
down into the soil and the flowers will bloom
each year from spring to late autumn.
Johanna Buitelaar, Memory Bloom’s founder and
owner, came up with the idea originally because
of her own experience losing her Jack Russell
Grooby when she was a teenager. Years later the
idea became reality because of another elderly
Jack Russell and family pet, Jasper, and her
realisation that sooner or later she would have
to explain to her young children that Jasper was
no longer with them.
Johanna says, ”In the end Jasper lived to the
ripe old age of 21 and when I had to have him
put to sleep I was absolutely devastated. The
children and I made a memory bloom for Jasper; I
couldn’t believe how much easier it made things.
I explained what had happened through the book
that I’d written and the children had something
physical to do to enable them to gain closure.”
By reading the Story Book and planting the
Memory Bloom bulbs a sense of closure can be
achieved and the gravity of the loss can be
eased by giving a treasured pet the send off
that they deserve. The living, flowering
memorial then offers a focal point for everyone
to be able to remember and celebrate the life of
their beloved pet.
Memory Bloom offers the perfect way to remember
your beloved pet or a thoughtful gift for a
grieving friend. The kits come with a choice of
3 different pot colours (red, pink and yellow)
and retail at £38.95.
For more information about Memory Bloom visit
Or Telephone 01790 754 670.
Missing Cat Returns
after 12 Years
When Sue Hopkins’ young cat Hermione disappeared
she didn’t think she’d ever see her again.
Little did she know that 12 YEARS later she’d
get a phone call out of the blue to say the
RSPCA had her long-lost missing puss…
Sue was living in Redbridge, London, in 2004
when she brought home little tortoiseshell puss
Hermione. “We got her when she was a kitten from
our childminder whose cat had had a litter,” Sue
explained. “But unfortunately she didn’t get on
with our other cat, Snowy, so we asked someone
to look after her for a week while we made some
arrangements in the house to keep both cats
But, sadly, after a series of events, Hermione
went missing and Sue was devastated. She didn’t
think she’d ever see her family pet again. The
family moved from their home in Redbridge and
went on to move three further times before
settling in Walthamstow, but each time Sue
contacted the microchip company to change the
contact details on Hermione’s microchip - just
“My daughter would always ask me why I kept
calling to update the details,” Sue said. “But
it only takes 30 seconds to pick up the phone
and update the details so just because of that
one in a million chance I thought I would keep
On 23rd August the RSPCA were contacted by
members of the public who were concerned for the
welfare of a cat who they believed lived with a
man in Billericay, Essex, who had sadly died
around a month earlier.
Officers went to check on the cat and, a few
days later, were finally able to catch her. She
was suffering from fur loss and a flea problem.
When they spoke to the daughter of the homeowner
who had passed away she explained that the
female tortoiseshell had not belonged to him.
They scanned her for a chip and, sure enough,
she was registered to an address 27 miles away
Together RSPCA inspectors Rebecca Benson,
Mitchell Smith, Karl Marston and Adam Jones
managed to figure out Hermione’s story and
return her home - to Sue.
The mother-of-three explains, “We were
astonished, we couldn’t believe it. We are so
happy to have her home. I’m so glad that the
person who found her reported her to the RSPCA,
I’m really grateful to everyone who helped get
Sue’s daughter, Emma, who was in primary school
when Hermione went missing is now 20 and was
amazed to have her home. The family have also
been joined by 10-year-old Isabel and Leo, four,
since the puss went missing. The family still
have Snowy - who is now aged 20 - and also own
another cat, Toffee, so they are hoping the trio
will get on better now they’re older.
“It really upset me when I saw the state
Hermione was in. She looked very aged and all
the fur was missing from her tail, it looked
like a piece of string. She is hoovering up her
food so she has obviously been scavenging to
survive for some time.
“If she hadn’t been microchipped she could well
still be scavenging for food or she could have
even starved to death. It just goes to show you
should always get your cat chipped and keep your
details up-to-date - and you should never give
RSPCA cat welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines,
says, “This is an incredible story which shows
Sue’s dedication and commitment to never give up
on seeing her again.
“It also illustrates perfectly why it is so
important to get your pet microchipped and to
update your contact details. While it is
heartbreaking to lose a pet, if they are
microchipped there is a small part of
reassurance that should they be found they will
make their way back home to you. I’m so pleased
to hear about Hermione’s miraculous story and
that this tale has a happy ending.”
While it is a legal requirement to have dogs
microchipped it is not against the law to leave
other pets - such as cats - without a chip.
However, the RSPCA would encourage everyone to
get their pets microchipped.
For more information about microchipping visit
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing,
rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate
need of care please visit
Or text LOVE to
87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard
network rate message).