All entries for November 2004

November 16, 2004

Coventry Council not checking pet bodies for microchips

Just sent off a letter to the Coventry Telegraph. Please complain if you feel like it!!!

Coventry Council Street Services and Micro-chipping.

Today a distraught Coventry resident phoned up the Petsearch help-line to let me know that her missing pet cat had been run over and killed last week. The cat was micro-chipped so we were hopeful of being able to trace the animal, knowing that if the cat was taken to a rescue centre, vets or reported to me as a stray, it would be scanned and re-united with its owner. In this instance the cat was positively identified as it was taken into a chemist after the accident and the incident filmed by the security cameras. Street services were called to remove the body.

One of the numbers I advise people to phone in the search for their missing pet is the Coventry City Council Street Services helpline on 0500 834333.
The Street Services team are responsible for picking up animal bodies and at some point went to the expense of buying a microchip scanner so that they could scan domestic animals and therefore, if chipped, contact the owners.

Over the years of running the Petsearch (cats) line, I have heard varying reports about if the scans actually take place. Several people have told me they have been informed by council employees that they do not scan the bodies.

Going by the number of calls I receive each week many of you will know of the worry caused by a pet going missing and those of you who follow the general advice to have you pet micro-chipped will feel justifiably let down by the Street Services. It takes very little time to scan an animal and saves the owner from prolonged worry and effort in trying to find their pet.

I am currently talking to Street Services to ask them to inform me of all domestic animals they collect so that I can add it to my database. In this way, if the scan is not performed or not done correctly, at least we may be able to match the animal up by its description and location.

It seems a waste of Council money that a scanner has been bought but is not being used Perhaps they would like to donate it to one of the police stations that look after stray dogs when the animal wardens have finished for the day? The Animal Welfare team at the Council also encourage people to microchip their pets and it seems a shame that this attitude is not adopted by other sections of the council.

If you have had experience of this or feel upset enough then can you please complain to the council on the above number, or email at Councillor Kevin Foster is the Cabinet Member for City Services and can be emailed at or send a letter to the Council house, Earl Street Coventry CV1 5RR.

Angie Willems
02476 765639

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?


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.


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 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 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 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.

November 2004

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