Author Archives Jackie

October 23, 2015
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October at the Cat Hotel

What a lovely month October is, the colour of the trees here in the New Forest are stunning and I adore Autumn. The cats are all warm and snug in the cat hotel. The heating is now on and stays on 24hrs a day now until Spring brings warmer weather.

We have had another really busy month, with another lot of beautiful cats, some who have stayed before and a few new ones. It’s really lovely to have such a lot of repeat customers as the cats know us so well and we treat them as our own whilst they are here. We also love meeting the new cats who come to stay, this month we had a darling boy called Gus. Gus has a gastric problem and is often sick, because of this he has to have numerous small meals throughout the day. This is not a problem as we are with the cats right through until at least 9pm at night and Gus settled in really well. We have also been extremely lucky to have two kittens staying this month. Kittens are definitely a perk of the ‘job’! The first one was Callie a 20 week old British Exotic who is just adorable and the second one is Charlie, our first Scottish Fold who is 16 weeks. They adore all the fuss and games that is lavished on them and it is so heart warming to see them so content.

We have had three families of Bengals stay this month, Tabitha and Poppy who have stayed before, new faces Tig and Ted and another new boy Jax. Poppy and Tabitha are beautiful girls with stunning markings and settled back into the hotel straight away. Tig and Ted are 11 month old Toygers and were hilarious and so mischievous, their antics kept us so amused and we hope they enjoyed staying as much as we enjoyed having them. The last one is Jax and 8 month old ‘lad’. He was again so full of character and such a joy to be around with his enthusiasm for everything. When his Mum and Dad arrived to collect him he was tearing around with excitement as he wanted to show them everything he had been up to – I just adore them all. This week we have four different families of Persians, so the hotel has a much calmer feel! It’s funny how it changes, one week nearly every cat is black and white, another week all tabby, the next all pedigree, it’s so interesting and fascinating to be around the different breeds and characters.

We genuinely adore looking after the cats and we are so glad that we kept the cat hotel so small. Having just the seven rooms means that we know every cat inside out and they know us so well too. We never wanted to build an empire that was run by staff, I love that when I get a phone call asking how a certain cat has settled, I can answer knowing exactly how they are as it is me who has been with them. I also love the fact that worried parents can ask me questions that may seem over the top to some people. I am so over the top with my four legged friends, be they cats, dogs, donkeys etc. that I totally understand peoples concerns when it comes to their animals.

We have another busy month coming up in November and I am really looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces coming back to stay. Must go now as my guests will be waiting for their mid morning entertainment to start!

Jackie x

Bengal

Jax and the chicken!

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September 8, 2015
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Busy September at our luxury Cat Hotel

Wow, what a busy first summer! We have been flat out, enjoying the company of all the amazing cats coming to stay at Hotel Cat. Once again, we have had an assortment of breeds and colours, some arrive as bold as brass and totally relaxed, whilst others need a quiet introduction and lots of reassurance to help them settle in. I have to say that I pinch myself everyday at how lucky I am to spend all day in the company of animals, especially the cats. I love opening the hotel each morning and the lovely greetings I get from my sleepy guests. I can normally be found with a cat on my lap, chatting away on what is going on in the world – they don’t seem to mind my chit chat and I receive lots of head bumps and purrs!

With September now upon us with it’s chilly evenings, the heating is now switched on at night, I like to know that all my guests are warm and snug at bedtime. We have extended the donkey barn so that the cats on the left of the hotel can see the donkeys in the barn from their garden room windows. The donkeys also love this as they are so nosy!

We have a busy couple of months ahead of us and then Christmas brings lots of favourites, plus a couple of new guests, so lots to look forward to.

We have had a tour done of the hotel for people who live too far away to visit, I will try and put it on the website, but may have to wait until my website lady returns from holiday! Here is the link in the meantime Hotel Cat Map

Everyone is enjoying meeting Percy Pinkerton the miniature donkey and he adores all the attention. He is hard at work each day keeping the cats entertained by playing with his friend Magic and rounding up the chickens!

We are taking lots of booking for 2016, so if you have any dates you would like reserved let us know now to avoid disappointment.

Thanks for reading,

Jackie

Burmese Cat,

Handsome Burmese ‘Norty Cat’, such a stunning boy

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August 3, 2015
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A beautiful summer and happy cats

We are very fortunate to be living in one of the most beautiful parts of England. We adore the New Forest and it is lovely to see all the young foals chasing each other around. The weather this year has been kind, the rain always seems to start north of us and we do seem to have more than our fair share of sunshine, which keeps both us and the cats happy.

We continue to have the most amazing cats coming to stay and we love them all as they are so individual. The family of Australian Mists are currently staying and are one of the most chilled out breeds we have met. We had our first Persian Chinchilla who was such a sweet girl, who fortunately loved to be groomed and had such an amazing coat. We also have Milo the stunning Bengal cat, he has stayed once before and we adore him. He loves a game and also gives kisses which is the sweetest thing. It’s funny how each week changes, one week we had seven Silver Tabbies staying, the next week we had seven black and whites. I think the best thing about running a cat hotel is meeting all the guests and seeing how well they settle. I have another golden oldie coming back to stay for a month in August. Freddie has stayed with us before and is a real gentleman, the older ones just like us to go and sit with them and chat, occasionally they will play, but most of all they just want company. We have had lots of long term guests and it’s amazing how quickly they settle in. It’s always important that they have plenty of familiar thing from home in their suite, as this is very reassuring to a cat in an unfamiliar surrounding.

We are always more than happy to show you around before you book and will hold the suite for you until you have visited. We do ask for appointments as we keep the bottom gate locked and do not know you are there when we are with the cats.

Bengal Cat Hotel

Milo the amazing Bengal cat who has the most stunning markings.

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July 3, 2015
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Our television debut

Did many of you see us featured on the documentary 90 cats and counting? It was about various people who love cats, including a lady who has 90 of them. She takes in unwanted cats and rehomes them, such a lovely dedicated lady, she must work tirelessly. We were featured as they liked the story of how we built the cat hotel before we spent any money on the house. We moved into Downlands Farm in October 2013 and it needs so much doing to it that we didn’t really know where to start. We spent all of our savings on the Hotel Cat and are very proud of what we have achieved. It is a very tranquil hotel and you feel so calm as soon as you enter. The gardens leading to Hotel Cat were overgrown paddock land which we have transformed ourselves by hand, we still have lots that we want to do, but love how it is looking already. Our house will always be a work in progress, but we have at least had a few new windows put in last month – no more wearing a scarf on the sofa at night this winter!

We have been extremely fortunate with the amount of publicity we have had, Your Cat featured us in their magazine this month and it has really helped us become known quickly. We adore running Hotel Cat and love meeting people who are as passionate about their cats as we are. We now have a large number of regular visitors, some of whom were young kittens when we first met them and who are now approaching their first Birthdays. We love them all, regardless of breed, age or colour, each cat is so very unique and we are very privileged to be part of their world.

We had another visit to see Percy Pinkerton this week. He can come and live with us next month and we can’t wait. He has grown into a really bonny boy and is just so laid back about everything. We aim to train him as a therapy donkey so that we can take him to care homes and hopefully children’s hospitals. He has already gone to his first donkey show and also met 40 children at a pre-school visit. His new paddock is right next to the cat hotel so everyone who arrives will be able to meet him and have a cuddle. Our other four donkeys are looking really lovely, Holly and Charlie have their full summer coats and are gleaming in the sunshine, I wonder what they will make of their new playmate :-).

Tommy the stunning Silver Tabby, who loves watching his Feline Frolics DVD

Tommy the stunning Silver Tabby, who loves watching his Feline Frolics DVD

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June 22, 2015
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Hotel Cat guests

We have had so many beautiful cats come and stay since we opened our Cat Hotel. One thing we have noticed is that most of our cats parents are booking their holidays well in advance and we are getting lots of repeat business which is lovely. The cats are continuing to settle really well in their new, but very exciting, surroundings and it is so lovely to be able to share their holiday with them. Most afternoons I sit with my book and always have someone on my lap purring contentedly. The mornings are normally play sessions, grooming and general room tidying. Early evenings are play sessions before tea and late evenings are when the real fun starts as they all want a good run around before bed. Dreamies cat treats are the bedtime snack of choice with the majority of guests, along with a kiss goodnight for all of them. We are absolutely loving all the different personalities and one little man who has just gone home, after being with us for the last 5 weeks, is Treacle. He was a wonderful gentleman, who adored a fuss and a gentle play each day and had a delicious diet of fresh cod or chicken for both breakfast and dinner each day, along with a slither of smoked salmon on the side, to disguise his daily pill. It’s so lovely to give all the cats such undivided love and attention as they certainly all deserve it.

We are getting very excited about Percy the miniature donkey coming to live with us in August. Our other donkeys are keeping the grass down in his little paddock and his new shelter is going up soon. We have two new cats in this weekend called Lily and Charlie. They live in central London and are transfixed by the chickens, ducks and donkeys outside their window, I thought Lily would explode with excitement when she saw them for the first time!

Our diary is filling up fast for the rest of this year and if you have any potential dates in mind please let us know as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Cat Hotel Guest

Percy taking advantage of his full size bed and duvet at our luxury Cat Hotel

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May 12, 2015
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Summer is on it’s way

It is absolutely beautiful here on the farm now that summer is almost here. The birds are busy feeding their babies and there are young rabbits everywhere – the cats approve of the outside entertainment!
We have had another really busy month with a variety of cats coming to stay, we even had George, William and Kate here for three weeks. They were three very lucky cats who were rehomed from Battersea, they really have landed on their feet now and live like the royals themselves.
It is Champagne Charlie’s (our little white donkey) 8th birthday today. He had extra digestives for breakfast and has his favourite broccoli stems for an afternoon treat. He is a real sweetie and totally adored by everyone who meets him. We took on his expectant Mum, Holly in April 2006 and after a very long pregnancy Charlie eventually appeared on the 12th May 2007. I have to say that having a baby donkey is the cutest thing and we wouldn’t of missed it for the world. Holly and Charlie used to walk through our garden to get to their field from the stable and they would always stop for a sunbathe on route. Charlie was actually in quite a lot of the papers, both national and local at the time as a photographer took a beautiful photo of him kicking his legs up on a hill. We have kept all the cuttings and love looking back on our ‘famous’ boy.
We are busy landscaping the approach to Hotel Cat at the moment and it is looking very smart. We adore our lives living and ‘working’ with animals, they really do give you so much love and although we will never have wealth, we have a fantastic life.
I must go back and sit with my oldies now. I have Colin who was rehomed as a stray 15 years ago staying with us and Treacle who is at least 18. Both of their owners adore them and they now have wonderful homes. They are a delightful pair of gentlemen, and like me to just sit and talk to them, it’s never a problem :-)

Donkey foal new born

A new born Charlie. The cutest baby donkey!

We are almost full for the summer, with just a few dates left. If you are thinking of leaving your cat in our hotel, the sooner we know the better as we have had to turn quite a few people down for certain dates lately.

Charlie two days old!

Charlie two days old!

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April 19, 2015
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TV!

A few of our customers know that we have had the TV cameras filming lately. They finished filming today and the documentary goes out in approx. one months time. It’s called ‘For the love of cats’ and is all about the sacrifices that people have made in order for cats to have a better life. We are very excited and extremely nervous in equal measures! The cats chosen for the filming were the bold, attention seekers and they had a ball with the film crew. Sebastian the Silver Tabby is a total natural in front of the camera and was a total star. Pino the Maine Coon kitten was also thrilled to be chosen, along with Willow the one eyed Tiffany cat and Poppy the sweetest little ginger girl who came from a rehoming centre and has now landed on her feet with a family who adore her.

Percy Pinkerton’s paddock is finally being fenced tomorrow and a new shelter for the donkeys is being ordered. Holly, our first ever donkey, has been under the vet this month as she developed a condition called COPD. This is basically a lung infection and we think the most likely cause is her current barn as it is very old and dusty. Those who have been here know that we have an awful lot of work to do on the house, but this is now on hold until the donkeys have dust free accommodation. Everyone who loves their animals understands that they always come first.

We are filling up fast for the summer and September is almost fully booked. If you are thinking of planning a break and would like your cat to stay in Hotel Cat then please give us a call.

The TV crew at our luxury cat hotel

The TV crew at our luxury cat hotel

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March 25, 2015
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A busy Easter ahead at Hotel Cat

We are very much looking forward to our first Easter at Hotel Cat. We have a full house of beautiful guests to look after, who will all be enjoying a complimentary gourmet dinner. We have also bought all the cats an Easter egg to play with, these are currently hanging on our Easter tree and are being eyed with delight by lots of playful cats!

The Easter tree ready to be shared with all our guests.

The Easter tree ready to be shared with all our guests.

We have had an extremely busy few weeks and have been trying to prepare for summer outside. We have to finish the fencing for the new donkey, Percy Pinkerton, as we want his new paddock to be outside the cats windows so they can watch his crazy antics during the day. We also have new plans to keep Hotel Cat the best Cat Hotel in the country, all will be revealed shortly…….
The majority of our visitors comment on how much bigger the suites are than they imagined. I think the only way to really show the size off properly is to have a short film of Hotel Cat made. This would enable everyone to see exactly how lovely and spacious the suites are. We adore looking after your cats and the best feedback is always how chilled out they are when you come to collect them, this tells us that we are getting it right.
One thing which we are not asked, but do provide, are nightlights. I always imagine that the cats would prefer a bit of light once the main lights are turned off and so we light the main hall with battery operated candles. These provide a lovely warm glow and can also be placed in the individual suites on request.

Night lights for Cats

Night lights for Cats

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March 16, 2015
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Lovely Reviews

We have had such lovely reviews left for us since we opened. Some are left on Facebook, whilst others are sent to us by email. This one really made my day and sums up totally why we built Hotel Cat;

‘Hello Jackie
Just a quick note to say a hundred million thanks for looking after Poppy so brilliantly.
In the past when we have brought her home from a Cattery she has stuck to us like glue, always in the same room as us and craving fuss and knees and never having been groomed, despite promises to do so.
Yesterday when we got her home she was miss independent, she had a good look around and had brief knee visits and fuss and was in no way disturbed by her stay away from home. She is calm and happy.
We can tell that she has actually really enjoyed her stay with you and she sees it as a second home, with second ” mum and dad” to meet her needs.
She is very fluffy and thanks you for helping her to take care of the huge fur coat she wears.
Words cannot express our relief in finding you, we are so confident now to book trips away without them being overshadowed by the guilt of leaving Poppy somewhere as totally alien as a normal Cattery .
Our only real fear now is that by next year you will be so full that we won’t be able to secure a booking for Pops, we KNOW that will be the case and that you will be turning bookings away before you know it.
So we are going to plan our trips well in advance!!’

We love looking after all the cats who come to stay and having just the seven suites is perfect as it enables us to spend real quality time with them all. We are taking bookings daily and have a real variety booked to stay throughout the year. One breed I am really looking forward to meeting is our first family of Australian Mist cats – especially as one is a kitten!

 Beautiful Poppy

Beautiful Poppy

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March 9, 2015
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New Staff!

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We have a new member of staff joining our family in August. He passed his interview with flying colours and his official post is Head of Entertainment – we believe he will do very well in this post. His name is Percy Pinkerton and we are very much looking forward to his arrival. I have attached a photo of his interview with Tim……..

Percy Pinkerton the miniature donkey foal

Percy Pinkerton the miniature donkey foal

We have had a very busy few weeks with lots of lovely cats coming to stay. We fall in love with all of them as they are all heart stealers, but Frog the Devon Rex had us wrapped firmly around her tiny paws! She was only 6 months old and it was her first visit to us. She had so much fun and kept us so entertained with her crazy antics. In true cat fashion her favourite toy was the wire from a champagne cork, we would throw it and she would fetch it back for us each time, so very cute.

Frog the Devon Rex

Frog the Devon Rex

Spring is bursting to life all around us and the birds are very busy. We have a couple of blue tits nesting in one of the boxes which is right outside the Royal Mews bedroom window. I don’t know who is more absorbed by them, us or the cats!

We have a fun filled Easter planned with a cat themed Easter egg hunt for all the lovely guests we have booked in. We are always on the lookout for new ways to keep the cats busy between naps!

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