November 15, 2004

Bargain Hunt Filming Day 2 – and not a profit in site!

Follow-up to Petsearch goes Bargain Hunt from Angela's Petsearch blog

Well the day started badly with me having to rush a cat to the vet so we didn't get to Malvern until 10:15. As we entered the tent, the last contestants were just finishing the 'reaction to auctioneers assessment' part and we were told to 'dump our coats on the table, put the fleeces on and sit down'. Beats getting nervous I suppose!

Anyway, the filming took place in a small tent attached to the side of the auction room. We're talking SMALL tent, 16 contestants, a gaggle of 'experts', camera and production crew squashed together (it helped combat the frostbite). They had an industrial type heater that looked as though it came off the back off a 747 and the temperature varied from frostbite to strip-off-to-your-undies.

Sadly, the volume was too low for us to actually hear what was being said about our items but we made a few noises.

We then had time to sit back and relax until our lots came to auction. They were staggered every 80 or so lots to allow enough time for filming all the bits and changing over in front of the camera. Ours came up at about 1:30pm. A Nice buffet lunch was provided so we snacked most of the time.

It was fun watching all the other teams lining up in front of the camera and it got quite exciting to see what the items sold for.

Profit? Not a sniff. All the teams lost money. From £3 to about £70. We were down about £35.

So if you do get to see me next spring (if you happen to be watching day time TV) please remember I was worried about my poor cat. I just hope they keep something in about Petsearch, else for me the whole thing will have been a pointless (though interesting and enjoyable in a strange sort of way) exercise.

At least my sister enjoyed it. My niece tooks some photos so if any of them come out I may post one.


November 08, 2004

My cats

Now that I have seen how to put pictures into text I shall put my 5 cats here. I won't bore you even further by taking pics of the fish (though I might if I get too bored one weekend).

And before I start with the pictures – yes my house is a tip and I was busy doing the outside pen and cleaning litter trays. And as far as bed making goes – you can't disturb a comfortable cat can you?

Fang

I don't have favourites but if I did it would be Fang. I took him from the RSPCA shelter in Coundon July 1991 with his sister. Our other much loved black cat Jet has just died over the weekend due to chronic Kidney failure at 11 years old and we were devastated. After 3 days of crying went into the shelter and there he was! He is fat and lazy and pampered. A recent blood test has shown his kidneys are not all they should be and he is drinking a lot of water. He's not on medication yet as the vet thinks things can't be too bad because he's so fat.

Pepsi

Sister to Fang. Gentle lap cat who purrs too loudly then gets out of breath. Adopted from Coundon wedge with her brother Fang in July 1991 at about 8 weeks old. Her claim to fame is she was the cat pictured in the Coventry Telegraph in October when Petsearch was featured in the SOS column. Friendliest of the cats with strangers, very laid back and my mothers favourite (My mum calles her Tibby for some unknown reason).

Puss

Puss walked into our lives in the summer of 1992 at about 6 months old. We couldn't find his owner so he stayed with us – never did think of a better name for him. Puss is also quite fat but a bit more independent, he will only allow himself to be picked up when in the mood but loves a warm lap and will burrow under jumpers and cardies – can't count the number of times I've had to remove a cardie to get up off the sofa! When he was younger he used to go walk about every August, we did wonder whether he had another home to go to and perhaps they put him in a cattery while on holiday, but like all my cats he is microchipped. He is also beginning to drink a lot more water. For a big cat he is a right coward and gets bullied a bit. He is currently sporting a big scab on his neck.

Tipsy

Tipsy was adopted from the RSPCA in August 1997. Puss had gone missing again and after 6 weeks I thought he'd not come back so went to the RSPCA. Tipsy was there, she had been returned twice and reminded me of an earlier black and white cat that had died the previous year. A mad cat. Can't be picked up without wriggling free, loves laps and chewing plastic bags. Likes to poo in the hall – though hasn't done for a while and bullies poor old Puss who she has never really got on with.

Smudge

Smudge came from the Cats Protection Birmingham rehoming centre Jan 2004. Her owner had died and she was a timid cat that was pining away. I was working there at the time and hated to see how a couple of the assistants there bustled around her , cleaning her pen while she cowered in the corner. She was losing weight and I felt obliged to give her a home. She spent the first 6 weeks living in a drawer in my desk and now spends most of her time on her own in the front bedroom. She doesn't like to be towered over so enjoys being fussed on the stairs and she'll come on my bed at night for a quick fuss. When she's hungry she'll come downstairs, walk a lap or two around the dining room table then sit down and stare at the nearest human. She still eats upstairs and has her own litter tray. Still, early days….. Her health is not too robust , she had a tumour removed from her chest in June and has suffered from a lot of cystistis. I noticed recently while lying on the floor to give her a fuss that she has some cloudiness in one eye – so that's another trip to the vet which petrifies the poor girl. She's supposed to be about 9 years old.


November 07, 2004

New home needed – Mel

Mel is a handsome solid black cat with a few white hairs on his chest and a few on his tummy.
He is neutered and about 5 years old.
He previous owners died in 2004 and he has been going through cat flaps and eating food and annoying the local residents.

He hates being locked in and seems to be good at escaping from cat baskets and sheds for the time he lived with me.

He has never struck out at me. He is very vocal and always announces his presence with loud miaows. We have noticed that he has recently started to play with the various cat toys.

Mel has now been taken in by the Cat Action Trust. If you can offer Mel a home get in touch on the Petsearch helpline and leave a message (02476 765639) or email/leave a comment here.


Petsearch goes Bargain Hunt

I am half way through filming for BBC's Bargain Hunt. Things I do to promote Petsearch!

The antiques fair bit was filmed at Warwick races in September. It was along and interesting day as I've never done anything like this before.
My sister and I were the red team and we had an hour to select our 3 items. There were 4 teams being filmed on the same day. Our 'rivals' were younger, prettier and got better items than us!

Filming didn't finish till about 7pm (8am start!), a buffet lunch was provided (BBC know how to live (not!)).

The letter has now arrived to give me details of the auction part of the show. Filming is to take place in Malvern on the 11th November. It looks like its going to be a long day again as the instructions are to get there for 9am. There will be several teams to be filmed while the auction is occurring and then the wrap up part is filmed when the auction has finished.

Profit? – I doubt it very much – if there is I will launch the Coventry Cat home Appeal.


October 28, 2004

Coventry Cat Home

Coventry does not have a dedicated cat rehoming centre. It should have, the city is big enough.

It has an RSPCA home which has about 30 cat pens but most of these cats do not come from Coventry and the RSPCA has limited contact with the local cat groups. The Cats protection group tell me that by the use of volunteers working with indoor and outdoor pens they managed to home more cats that the RSPCA last year – enough said!

Last year I was lucky enough to work at the Cats Protection Birmingham rehoming centre. This centre had about 200 pens, isolation units , a feral home and over the year rehoused over 1200 cats. Together with their resident population (which they have now had to pen due to home office directives) they usually had well over 300 cats – and (of course) they was still a waiting list to get your cat in!

So being that a cat home will never be empty and always have waitinig lists I Have a dream….....

Get a committee, get a charity set up , do some fund raising. Identify the site – be it some land or an existing building – ideally close to the city, near a good bus route. With lots of money it would be fantastic to build one the size of Birmingham, I would want to add a little Cafe so that it could also act as a day centre for education and social events. Perhaps even get a dedicated Vet set up in a surgery that could treat all the inmates and also external clients for profit back into the centre.

However before I start spending over the million pounds and getting carried away….....
It's more likey to be a house somewhere with a nice back garden which can be turned into a dedicated charity – and even that will cost a fortune unless somethings bequethed.

So as a start anyone out there want to help? Do you know your way around charity commission forms, can you design a website, would you like to be on the committee, do you have coffee mornings and are looking for a local charity to support, do you love cats, do you have a million pounds going begging????

If so please get in touch!


October 08, 2004

This week..

Just a quick recap of anything significant that happened this week and things I'm looking forward to next week.

Sunday 3/10 – Called late in the afternoon to a found cat. When I got there it turned out to be a cat that escaped from the Cats Protection – Oh well – proves the system works.

Monday 4/10 – My normal monday pulling off the CP calls from their helpline. Mainly to do with help for neutering, a couple of people wanting to adopt and some 6 or so wanting to rehome their cats – emigrating seems to be a popular reason at the moment.

Wednesday 6/10 – Got a call just as I got home from work. A woman had found 3 abandoned kittens in a box. Phoned up a couple of people to see if anyone could take them in then went to collect them. Lovely things, about 4 weeks old , just on the point of eating solids though did guzzle at the bottle of kitten milk they were given. Not sure of the story of their appearance , but they're in good hands now!

Thursday 7/10 – Pilchard Run. Nothing athletic I hasten to reveal. I have made an acquaintance who works for Glenrycks and she is a good supplier of dented 'pilchards in tomato sauce' which we pick up for free. Borrowed the CP van and drove down to Henley-on-Thames – an old haunt of mine – and filled the van up. Good journey and managed to find a copy of Ben Eltons Dead Famous in a charity shop – so RESULT!
Got back to find a message from the CP who are trapping Ferals in a scrap yard near the new football ground, seems they trapped 2 too many so wanted to know whether I knew of any owners missing their cats in that area!

Friday 8/10 – Sent off fax for found cats to the Coventry evening telegraph.

So a fairly normal week, though not as many phonecalls as normal. Things (hopefully) are getting quieter now that the cold weather is hear.

A big highlight for next week is the Telegraph are coming round to take some photos for an article to appear in the Saturday Pet SOS column. Still hate have photos taken. Never mind – all good publicity!
A couple of CP home visits to fit in – must get details.


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