Castle Castro Cats

Just got back from my summer holiday and (as usual) I took a few photos of some of the scenery and wildlife we happened upon…. and not surprisingly, some moggies were amongst the collection.
Photo of Castle Castro
Castle Castro
Old Skiathos town was founded here in 1538!
Castro or Castle Castro is the medieval town of Skiathos in Greece, which was built on a gigantic rock several hundred feet above sea level. Castro is situated in the northern part of this Greek island, and took us around an hour by boat to reach from the new capital of the island.
Castle Castro Cat
taking shade in the heat of the day.
Amongst the ruins stand some middle ages houses and at least three churches (I counted). High on the clifftop are stunning panoramic views of the Aegean sea which can be seen in the photographs above. A single cannon from those ‘days of pirates’ is still intact amongst the remains of the ruined town. Amazingly Castro was the old capital of this island from 1538 until 1829. [teaserbreak]
Castro Cat at the ouzo table.
Set out on a table outside the highest church were a couple of little bottles of ouzo and some glasses. These, together with a tray of boiled sweets, were kindly provided by the church warden.
Word got round that this was free to drink and we didn’t want to disappoint did we!… Anyway a few minutes later several local moggies appeared which looked to be quite well fed and friendly.[teaserbreak] ..and a couple more Skiathos moggies for good measure…
Sadly not all the cats and dogs we saw on the island were as well looked after as the Castro cats. I’ve provided a link below to the local cat (and dog) sanctuary on the island. This husband and wife team (Peter and Sharon Hewing) look after the islands unwanted strays and outcast domesticated animals all year round, but the end of the holiday season is a particularly difficult time!

Smudge at Xmas

This is me on my first xmas, and I love climbing up the tree – it is so much fun. I like it when I hit the decorations on the tree and then they fall off!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA But my humans are not very happy about that!Luv smudge


Hi everyone!My name is Smudge and I am 1 year old.
I have a nice bunch of humans looking after me (well, O.K – spoiling me!) and I have a best friend next door called Izzy. We have loads of fun chasing each other but we do have to watch out for the cat who lives the other side of me. He is a mean dude called Pudding (glad he had a silly name – serves him right!)My favourite pastime at the moment is catching frogs. I find it great fun, but my humans don’t seem so keen. What is wrong with them???Going to put on a few pics so you can see what a looker I am.Luv and miaws,Smudge

Ten Tips for Cat safety

Here’s a serious one reader.…a short list of dangers you can take steps to avoid (to protect your cat, or in fact any young child or pet) in and around the home. A lot of these items are a little obvious no no’s when you have a pet around, but it seems to me there’s no harm in reminding ourselves from time to time, wouldn’t you agree? Ed.
Curious cats have been known to eat anything!
1. Be aware of the plants you have in your house and in your garden, if your cat is permitted outside (the American CFA advocates cats being kept indoors at all times). The ingestion of azalea, oleander, easter lily, or yew plant material by a cat could be fatal.2. When cleaning your house, never allow your cat access to the area where cleaning agents are used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; from those that could just irritate the gastrointestinal tract to those that have a corrosive action and can chemically burn the sensitive mucous membranes of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.3. When using rat or mouse baits, ant or other insect traps, or snail and slug baits, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your cats. Most baits contain sweet smelling inert ingredients, which can be very attractive to your cat.4. Never give your cat any medications unless under the directions of veterinarian. Many medications that are used safely in humans can be deadly when used inappropriately. One extra strength acetominophen tablet (500mg) can kill a fully grown domestic cat.5. Keep all prescription and over the counter drugs out of reach of your cats. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, and diet pills are common examples of human medication that could be potentially lethal even in small dosages. Only one half of a 200mg naproxen tablet could cause stomach ulcers in cats.6. Never leave chocolates unattended. Approximately one half ounce of baking chocolate per pound body weight or less can cause clinical signs of toxicity.7. Many common household items have been shown to be lethal in certain species, including felines. Miscellaneous items that are highly toxic even in low quantities include pennies (high concentration of zinc), mothballs (contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene – one or two balls can be life threatening in most species), potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, automatic dish detergents (contain cationic detergents which could cause corrosive lesions), batteries (contain acids or alkali which can also cause corrosive lesions), homemade play dough (contains high quantity of salt), winter heat source agents like hand or foot warmers (contain high levels of iron), cigarettes, coffee grounds, and alcoholic drinks.8. All automotive products such as oil, petrol, and antifreeze should be stored in areas away from cat access. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) can be deadly in a seven pound cat.9. Before buying or using flea products on your cat or in your household, contact your veterinarian to discuss what types of flea products she/he would recommend for your pet. Read ALL information before using a product on your cat or in your home. Always follow label instructions. When a product is labeled “for use in dogs only” this means that the product should NEVER be applied to cats. When using a house spray, make sure to remove all cats from the area for the time period specified on the container.10. When treating your lawn or garden with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, always keep your cats away from the area until the area dries completely. Discuss usage of products with the manufacturer of the products to be used. Always store such products in an area that will ensure no cat exposure.Original article by Jill A. Richardson, DVM – [Veterinary Poison Information Specialist ASPCA/National Animal Poison Control Center]

Casper the bus riding cat

Casper the cat has been catching the same bus every day for four years.Casper boards the 10.55am service in Plymouth, southwest England, for its entire 17 kilometer journey, before returning home about an hour later.The 12-year-old pet has become such a regular traveler on the Number 3 bus that all the bus drivers on the route have been told to make sure he does not miss his stop.Casper’s owner Susan Finden said she was stunned when she first learned about the cat’s daily jaunt. “Casper has always disappeared for hours at a time but I never understood where he was going” she told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper…

Ms Finden chose Casper as a pet from a rescue centre in 2002… “I called him Casper because he had a habit of vanishing like a ghost, but then some of the drivers told me he had been catching the bus.”Ms Finden, 65, went on to say… “the cat probably got the idea by watching other passengers at a bus stop outside my home. He sits patiently in the queue and is as good as gold. Casper is quite quick for his age so he when the bus arrives he just hops on before the doors close”A First Bus spokesman said: “The drivers all check he’s on the bus and that he gets back safely … We wouldn’t sell a cat a Rover ticket… but in cat years he’s an OAP so he’d get a free bus pass anyway.”Link to a video of Casper riding the bus.Sadly, Casper passed away in March 2010. Here is a link to our remembrance of this wonderful cat. God keep you Casper.