Posts Tagged ‘horatio’

Dirty stop out!

I usually get home from the farm at around the same time every day (though it’s often later than usual, especially now that the evenings are so much lighter) and within five minutes of me walking in through the door, all the cats will be in through the window, yowling and wailing for their dinner.

But, on Sunday, there were only two black cats wrapping themselves round my ankles. Sunday night was the night we were preparing the chicken for the oven so didn’t have too much time to worry initially but after we were done and Jennie had made her way home, Horatio’s absence became extremely noticeable. We called and called but to no avail.

In the end, a couple of hours after we came home, I gave in and fed Mac and Queenie, putting some for H to one side.

And then, finally, just as I was mentally designing the “Lost” posters, I heard a great thump as he landed (none too gracefully) on the counter below the kitchen window.

I may be reading too much into this, but I swear he looked rather put out to find me in the kitchen, almost as though he’d been hoping that it was one of those evenings where no-one is home until late.

He ate a bit of his dinner but didn’t seem that hungry and took himself off to bed (ours), where he was fussed by a very relieved B (Horatio being her cat).

For some time now, we’ve been of the opinion that the dity stop out has found himself an elderly lady who has been spoiling him rotten. Our evidence is this:

  • Mac and Queenie have been maintaining a constant weight, despite being Hunters. H is a wuss but isn’t a scavenger – and yet he has developed quite a gut.
  • He often comes in at one or two in the morning, stinking of perfume (it reminds me of the one my grandmother often wears) and is all lovey-dovey and full of cuddles and purrs.

Is it me or does that sound like a guilty conscience?!

Our theory is this: on Sunday, his Lady Friend had roast chicken for lunch and when he turned up to visit, he was presented with a plate of leftovers. He tucked in, probably had a saucer of milk for pudding, and then slept on her lap in front of the fire until way past his usual Home Time. He hoped to sneak back in but got caught…

At least the dogs are loyal! Mostly…

Horatio tries to camouflage himself in the bathroom

Horatio tries to camouflage himself in the bathroom

Queenie reclines on her throne - 16 February 2009

Queenie reclines on her throne - 16 February 2009

Mac looks wide-eyed and a little freaky! - 16 February 2009

Mac looks wide-eyed and a little freaky! - 16 February 2009

The cats felt left out

The cats have been complaining that I never post any photos of them.

Since I’ve come home in the middle of the day to get the wrapping done, I thought I’d make an effort to keep the peace and take some photos:

Queenie - 24 December 2008

Queenie - 24 December 2008

Horatio - 24 December 2008

Horatio - 24 December 2008

Mac - 24 December 2008

Mac - 24 December 2008

Grumpy animals!

The dogs and cats are all sulking because they’ve had their food rations decreased. And when I say sulk, I mean sulk.

I tried the dogs on a Chubb sausage thing and they devoured it. Even Snipe, who is a typical Labrador and just gulps down her food without pausing to chew, delicately picks out the Chubb from her bowl before eating the biscuits. And I thought Midge was going to wet herself with pleasure!

But 800g of Chubb seems a lot more than 800g of tinned dog food so because they get their proper requirements from the complete biscuits and the meat is just a luxury, instead of halving it and feeding it over two days, I’ve cut it in three. They know they’ve been cheated!

The cats, however, are insisting they’re much worse off but they can blame Asda for their ration. On Monday, I discovered that instead of getting a 2.5% VAT reduction on the cat food, I instead paid 21p more than the previous week. The sneaky bastards put the price up from £1.98 to £2.23 but you pay £2.19 at the till and when I pointed this out to the store supervisor, he tried to insist I was getting a good deal!

Again, they get all their nutritional requirements from their biscuits (which are kept topped up at all times) so we’ve decided that since Queenie and Horatio generally get bored after eating a few mouthfuls but Mac munches his way through the rest, we’ll give them just half a tin each day. We cut them down slowly so at first they failed to notice the difference but now …. let’s just say it ain’t pretty! They all devour the complete contents of their bowl as soon as it’s put down and spend the next fifteen minutes wrapping themselves around my legs, insisting they’re all still hungry. No, just greedy. They did the same thing when Queenie decided she would eat the shop’s own cat food and not exclusively Whiskers so the boys went from a tin between the pair of them to a tin between all three cats. As I said, they’ve got biscuits whenever they want them and I’ve got bills to pay!

Tia and Scrumpy are also getting less food than they’re accustomed to but after the events of yesterday, they’re getting a whole post to themselves which I will endeavour to write and publish today. Possibly with photos!

Give the dog a bone

I wonder how many poor dogs and cats who think they’re loved and adored by their owners, will be dumped this winter? I ask because the cost of pet food has taken a sharp increase in recent weeks – and this never bodes well for our four-legged friends. It’s different for livestock – if the cost of feeding gets too much, then reverse the situation and let them feed us but when it comes to our pets, we abandon them when the going gets tough, even though they’d follow us to hell and back.

Snipe, being a Labrador, is happy with whatever food comes her way so I feed her on Asda SmartPrice complete dog biscuits (at 95p for a 2.5kg bag, can you blame me?!) but Midge is extremely fussy and would much prefer things if she never had to eat a biscuit in her life. But she will eat both the Webbox and the Wagg biscuits which are twice the price of Snipe’s but as she eats less, one bag lasts her longer. And each day they share a tin of Asda’s complete dog food, which is £1.79 for a six pack. On Sundays, they get treated to a tin of Pedigree between them.

The cats get complete biscuits whenever they want them – there’s a bowl in the kitchen that we keep topped up at all times so they can help themselves when they’re hungry. None of them are fat so this system obviously works for them. We’re really lucky that they’re not fussy when it comes to their biscuits, so I get to buy whatever seems to be good value, just to vary things a bit for them. We used to get an excellent sack of biscuits from the farm shop but they came in 25kg bags and just one flavour – after they’d eaten 100kg, they started to get somewhat bored!

However, whilst they’re happy to eat whatever biscuits come their way, Queenie is quite fussy when it comes to her tinned meat. For months, we had to buy Whiskers for her and the shop’s own brand for the boys (who are well trained and if it’s in front of them, they’ll eat it!) but we eventually persuaded her to try a shop brand and so long as it gets varied (and isn’t supermeat), she’ll grudgingly tuck in to the cheaper tins! Like the dogs, the cats get a “posh” brand on Sunday – usually Whiskers or Go-Cat. Unlike the dogs, they sulk every Monday because they expect their treat to carry on!

Having said all that, I’m looking again at how we feed the dogs and cats, as the prices have gone up quite alarmingly in just a short space of time. Asda’s dog tins were £1.79 for a six pack, but are now £1.98. The SmartPrice dog food is still 95p but Midge’s Wagg biscuits have gone up from £1.98 for a 2.5kg bag to £2.19. Luckily, the Webbox are still at £1.98 but I think I’ll have to try her again on Snipe’s cheapo biscuits. And I’ve not bought them their usual tins this week. Asda have got 1.2kg tins so I’ve bought one of those to try. The theory is that I use one 400g tin a day for both dogs so a tin three times the size will last three days. Price-wise, it’s great – 74p per tin so the saving for six days amounts to 60p… It might not seem like much, but remember that this saving pays for two thirds of Snipe’s biscuits!

I opened the tin yesterday and the dogs didn’t object to their new meat, which is good news. The only hassle is putting two thirds of the tin in two containers and then getting to the bottom of the tin for that day’s food. Why they have to make these big tins tall and narrow is beyond me – short and wide would make much more sense, especially when you don’t want to smear dog meat gravy all over your hand!

The other way of feeding them, which would be even cheaper, would be using the Chubb sausage things. I hate them and they look vile but I know the dogs like them. There are just two things putting me off that idea. Firstly, it’s not a complete food, just complementary. I don’t know what, if any, difference this makes, but I’d rather feed them the complete food, if only because I don’t know when Midge will next refuse to eat! She’ll always eat the meat, even if she refuses the biscuits and I don’t want her to miss out on the necessary nutrients just for the sake of a few pennies. The other thing is that I’d only need three a week but Asda only sell them in multipacks of 8 so the savings would be monthly, but I get paid weekly which just makes it a bit of a pain!

The other obvious thing to cut the costs would be to stop feeding them all their Sunday “treat”. We only started this at mum’s because we all enjoyed excellent food on a Sunday, especially our roast dinners after we put the pigs in the freezer, so why not let the animals enjoy some food treats as well?

We could always give them milk or something to continue the tradition, there’s plenty of things they’d enjoy as a treat but the annoying thing is that the cat tins come in packs of six – but there are seven days in a week…

Anyway………………

This post has turned into a rather lengthy (and, I fear, extremely dull) ramble about what I feed my dogs and cats but the original point was meant to be this:

People get rid of their pets when the going gets tough (I won’t dwell on the methods) but the PDSA have announced that according to their figures,

around 30 per cent of the nation’s dogs are overweight or obese – that’s around 1.95 million fat dogs across the UK!

Surely, then, if the owners of these dogs (and cats) cut down their food intake, they’d save money and our nations pets won’t be dumped because they cost “too much” to feed?! There are ways to save money when it comes to your pet’s grub – and without compromising their health.

Happy Halloween (again)

Horatio and Bailey have asked me to pass on their Halloween greetings to you all…

Bailey - 17 October 2008

Bailey - 17 October 2008

Horatio (devil cat) - 18 October 2008

Horatio (devil cat) - 18 October 2008

One small step for a cat…

Watching the boys leaping about the place now, it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when they couldn’t manage the basics, such as jumping in through the window. But it was only this time last year that they first plucked up the courage to give it a go:

Hey, look at me! I made it! - 29 October 2007

Hey, look at me! I made it! - 29 October 2007

How did you get up there? - 29 October 2007

How did you get up there? - 29 October 2007

Waddya mean this ain't the way *you* did it?! - 29 October 2007

Waddya mean this ain't the way *you* did it?! - 29 October 2007

Er, so how do we get down? - 29 October 2007

Er, so how do we get down? - 29 October 2007

Awww, bless!

Kittens take on the grass

Another photo of the boys from last autumn, this time when they started to gain their confidence outside and wanted to know what the green thing on the ground was and why those funny brown things that make a rustling noise looked as though they would be fun to chase about.

The boys examine the grass - 28 October 2007

The boys examine the grass - 28 October 2007

I miss having kittens!