Sirga the orphan lioness

Cat of the Month ~ January 2015
Sirga is one hefty Cat.
Photograph: Caters News Agency
Sirga the lioness was abandoned by her pride as a young cub and left to fend for herself in the wide wild African bush. It was extremely lucky for the animal that she was rescued by the owners of the nearby Modisa wildlife sanctuary in Botswana, Africa. Today Sirga is a fully grown feline weighing in at over 110 pounds. She’s a beautiful brute of a lioness in fact.
Sirga with her two rescuers, Valentin and Mikkel

Photograph: Caters News Agency
By rescuing and looking after this cat, the owner of the sanctuary Valentin Gruener has forged an unbreakable bond with Sirga. Both Valentin and his fellow naturalist Mikkel Legarth are treated like fellow lions by Sirga. In return, the men help the Big cat to hunt for food and they get to receive the hugs of this most affectionate feline. Mikkel, explains: “The pride had three cubs and two were killed before Sirga was abandoned without food. It happened on our land and we couldn’t standby and watch her die.” “We didn’t want Sirga to become like other lions in captivity, constantly fed by streams of tourists. ” “She only interacts with me and Valentin. “She hunts her own food, taking antelopes and she will let us be near her when she eats it which is remarkable. “Sirga doesn’t mind people, but she doesn’t pay them any attention. Wild lions are scared of people, the problem comes if you release a lion that is used to people in the wild, that can cause problems.” “With Sirga we want to release her to the wild eventually as a wild lion not as one that has met lots of people. That would be dangerous.”
Sirga as a cub

Photograph: Caters News Agency
Valentin and Mikkel are conservationists who live in the real hope of saving the lion population in the Botswana vicinity but as is the case in so many animal environments today, increased farming activity is bringing lions and man into more and more conflict. The men have begun the Modisa Wildlife Project to work with local farmers to find a way to keep lions and man in their respective domains, so that they can live together in mutual harmony. The plan is to relocate the lions which are coming into contact with farmers to one large protected area where they have enough wild prey to feed on. Mikkel continues “If you release wild lions somewhere else, they will come straight back to where they were before because there is food there. “And if you just dump a pride of lions in the middle of a new territory they will disturb the prides that are already there. “In Botswana all lions are protected by the government. They are like swans being the property of the Crown in the UK. This also makes moving them a problem. “What we have now are 10,000-hectare plots with 10 to 15 lions in fenced enclosure, they are wild lions but we do have to feed them. “The first time you walk up to a lion all your body is telling you this is not something you should be doing.”

Norman’s Christmas Message 2014

Norman By The Tree
A Very Merry Christmas One and All from Yours Truly
Photograph: Ed @ Moggyblog
Dear Reader, In this First World War Centenary year I would like to draw attention to the animals that served alongside the brave men and women who gave us all our freedom today. I have it on good authority that a 16 million-strong army of animals including mules, donkeys, cats and even camels was deployed in our battle of the 1914 to 1918 conflict – with the lives of nine million of these fellow creatures tragically cut short. Here is my humble nod to these brave comrades! I salute you all! Wishing you all A Moggy Christmas and a Peaceful and Happy New Year 2015! Love and Purrs, Norman. x
Cat in the warm gun barrel
Ship’s cat tucked into one of the big guns aboard the H.M.S. Encounter 1916.
Cher Ami – The famous pigeon who saved 200 lives was awarded the Croix de Guerre medal
Probably the most famous of all the carrier/homing pigeons that were employed in both WW I and WW II (as vital communication links) was the one named ‘Cher Ami’, two French words meaning “Dear Friend”. Cher Ami spent several months on the front lines during the Fall of 1918. He flew 12 important missions to deliver messages. Perhaps the most important was the message he carried on October 4, 1918 when he survived shrapnel injuries to deliver a message that saved members of the “Lost Battalion”…. Read the full story at the Home of Heroes (
Horse and Rider – taking a break. The horses had to endure the same hardships as the soldiers throughout the conflict!
Sgt. Stubby the dog
Sgt. Stubby was nearly killed by nerve gas in 1914
The now famous pitbull Seargent Stubby took part in seventeen battles and was nearly killed by nerve gas. He also captured a german spy. He is said to be the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat. Another famous WW1 message carrying dog was ‘Rags’, a mixed breed terrier who was born in Paris. During his service he was bombed and gassed like the soldiers around him. He went on to save the life of many of his fellow soldiers. There are at least two war memorials to these brave animals. This one is in Hyde Park London
War Memorial
‘Animals in War’ Memorial in Hyde Park, London
terrier This monument is a powerful and moving tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century. The memorial was unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal in November 2004, the 90th anniversary of the start of World War I.

Sparrow Hawk gets the bird

Cat Bird of the Month ~ November 2014
Sparrow Hawk Feeding
Video: Ed @ Moggyblog

This daring bird had the cheek to nestle down on Norman’s patch and proceed to tuck in to his elevenses. I dissuaded the said cat from going out to defend his turf on this occasion. Instead we watched from the safety of an open window.

The video is a bit gorey and not for the squeamish … He’s a lovely adult male bird though (looked him up on R.S.P.B website).

We are struck by the strength of his legs when he is pulling the prey apart and by the bright orange colouration on his chest.

Lion Cub

Cat of the Month ~ October 2014
lion cub photo by sperka
Lion Cub at Play

Photograph: Christian Sperka
Christian Sperka was born in Germany in 1962 is a professional photographer and photography teacher based in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the last 10 years, Christian has traveled the world ( living in Germany, Switzerland and the USA) photographing mainly animals in wild game preserves of South Africa, the jungles of Costa Rica, as well as zoos in Switzerland and across the United States. His work has been featured in wildlife magazines, books and promotional campaigns for Nashville Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo and Zurich Zoo in Switzerland. In June 2010, Christian opened his Animal Art Photography gallery at the Arcade in Nashville. Since January 2011 he is the Offical Nashville Zoo Photographer and Photography Teacher. Visit Christian Sperka’s Website to view photographs of animals of all kinds.

Poussie Poussie Baudruns

front cover illustration
Jennie (where a boy becomes a cat!) Book Cover
Photograph: Ed @ Moggyblog

Poussie Poussie Baudruns

Old Traditional Scottish Nursery rhyme

‘Poussie, poussie, baudrons, Whaur hae ye been?’ ‘I’ve been tae London, Tae see the Queen.’

‘Poussie, poussie, baudrons, Whit gat ye there?’ ‘I gat a guid fat mousikie, Rinnin’ up a stair!’

‘Poussie, poussie, baudrons, Whit did ye dae wi’ it?’ ‘I pit it in ma meal-poke, Tae eat tae ma breid.’

In this old Nursery rhyme it seems that the baudrons (or cat) has saved the mouse he has caught to make a sandwich later. The baudrons translates as “a cat” or even “an affectionate name for a cat”, or “a happy cat (re: the word mimics the purring sound of a cat)”. Reference: The Nursery rhyme is taken from the preface of the book ‘Jennie’ by Paul Gallico. The book was first published in the USA in 1950 as ‘The Abandoned’. The book is a fantasy story about a boy who loved cats so much that he would bring in the local strays and neighbourhood cats off the street to keep in his bedroom (mother is not pleased!). Without giving too much away the boy is himself turned into a cat. The book is a narrative of the cat’s adventures.

Daisy the Carpathian Lynx

Cat of the Month ~ June 2014
Daisy the Carpathian Lynx

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens

Our cat of the month for June is Daisy, a beautiful four year old Carpathian Lynx. Daisy lives at Dudley Zoological Gardens with two other adult Lynx, Dave and Chloe in a specially made compound they have there.

And why did we pick Daisy as our special feline … (and well you may ask Norman)…. it just so happens she’s recently become a proud mum of triplets (yes three bonny bounding cubs). So well done that Feline …and not forgettign Dave too of course. The triplets, who were born on May 23, have been cosying up with mum in the specially made dens but have within the last few days started to explore the surrounding undergrowth.

…proud Mum Daisy keeps a wary eye on the camera

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens
Sixteen month-old male, Dave, transferred to Dudley from Salzburg Zoo in Austria in 2012, whilst our female, Daisy (when aged two) moved from Zoo Veszprem in Hungary in the autumn of 2012. Chloe, the third lynx of the trio is the long standing resident in Dudley but she had to be temporarily moved out of her usual enclosure to make way for the new guests. It’s taken them quite a while to get used to one another but now they get along just fine. See the footage of these lovely cats and thier keeper here
Daisy at play on her new rope scratching post

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens
The transfer of these lynx is part of an ongoing European breeding programme for this rare subspecies of Eurasian lynx. And it looks like they struck feline gold this time!
Success … and they don’t get much cuter than this!

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens

Nebulung Cat needs a home

Hi reader, Do you live in or around New Jersey U.S.A?

Moggyblog Member Prudence has written in to ask for offers of a home for a beautiful Nebulung Cat (see Picture below). If you live in the New Jersey region and would love to look after a long haired cat, please contact Prudence on the email address give below.

… Here is the message from our reader

I am fostering a nebulung cat name Maggie in hopes in finding her a forever home with little success. I am reaching out to this network to find someone who would love a cat that snuggles and cuddles up. Attached is her picture.

Please contact:

Thank you.

Beautiful Maggie needs a home! ~~~ she’s sure to be lucky:-)

Photograph: Member, “prudencies”
Pudence, I wish you luck with this request. [Ed.]