Chris, Cats & Caterpillars

There are some incredible birds around at the moment, very exotic! I’ve never understood the concept of putting something in a cage that has the gift of flight.

All cats and dogs here doing well, the frogs that Chris adopted are about the size of cherry tomatoes. Someone asked me the other day what my constant reference to ‘up the tree’ was. Outside our kitchen door is an almond tree, we nailed boards to it to make a platform so that the cats could be fed away from the dogs…dogs love cat food and cat poo, as it goes. The tree has grown at an angle so it’s easy for them to run up and down. A couple of the dogs can do it now, jack Russell mainly. The dogs are smart; they wait under the tree and the cats, whilst eating, cause a shove-penny effect. You know; the fairground game.
Sometimes, if we have run out of cat food, it gets really scary out there. Thirty cats on walls, up the tree… all very cross. It’s like the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds. You have to pass the tree to get to the laundry room and they make it impossible. I quite often have the Jaws movie, sound track in my head as I walk past them. My son Jack says that one day they will drag him up the tree and eat him!

They love all the fabric and towels you have given them. One donation was a sleeping bag with a broken zip, so half zipped up. I put it in the laundry room, I say laundry room; it’s an outbuilding that everything gets dumped into before it is thrown away! Anyway I laid it out in there and went back a few hours later thinking that they might be on it, only to find fifteen of them in it, with all sorts of disgruntled growling and hissing coming from this bag, yet not one of them is prepared to give it up.

It’s amazing how well they get on with the dogs; they all sleep together, groom each other and play together. In fact, lots of my customers who have their own mini, rescue centres say the same thing; cats and dogs getting along famously.

It’s coming up to marching caterpillar time again. The nests should be fully formed by now, looking like white candyfloss. Cut them out and burn them is the most common advice, before they fall out of the nest at the end of February to the beginning of March.

They can kill a cat or dog and are very dangerous to small children or anyone, really. Dogs and cats sniff them or try to eat them. The caterpillars have tiny spores that have a kind of acid on them that very quickly dissolves the mucus membrane of an animal’s nose or tongue. If ingested, they will eventually cause kidney failure: nasty things, right up there with ticks and centipedes.

Any old fabric, clothes, towels, blankets needed for cats and dogs. 20 dogs 30 cats. Ta.

(Please don’t write in, anybody, (again) crying to the heavens that Claire is suggesting that you torch a pine forest – Nobody would be so stupid as to burn a nest whilst it’s still in the tree… and if they are, God help us! – Ed)

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