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May 23, 2019
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It’s May – Hooray!

I love May it’s my favourite month of the year as it heralds the arrival of Summer. The farm looks wonderful at the moment, all the trees have their new brightly coloured leaves and our hay fields are a delightful mixture of different varieties of grass. We cannot tell if our resident deer have had their baby yet as the grass is too long but we do see the adult deer most days.

Well, the Marathon is done – thank goodness! I definitely won’t do it again as it became to all consuming and the training took me away from the farm and Cat Hotel for too long. It was a bit of a drama as unbeknown to me my chip, which registers your time and lets people know where you are on the course, wasn’t working. My Mum, Brother, Tim, James, Lucy and the charity didn’t know where I was or even if I had started. Tim was panicking as I have a reputation for getting lost and getting on the wrong buses etc and thought all sorts! It was only down to a friend watching on iplayer for hours who suddenly saw me finish who saved the day. She immediately sent the photo around much to my family’s relief. It took me 5hrs and 38 mins. My hamstring injury started niggling at mile 12 and by mile 18 it was agony. I hobbled the last 8 miles and boy was I glad to finish. On a positive note I managed to raise over £2200 for the Celia Hammond Animal Trust, so I know that I have helped a few deserving cats to have a better life. This alone makes all the pain worthwhile.

The Cat Hotel is so busy at the moment. Most of our guests are regular and we adore them all. This morning I was watching a pair of young cats trying to entice the squirrel who was on their bird feeder which is right outside their window, to come in and play with them! I so love what I do and it makes my heart sing to know that my guests are happy and content. We had a lovely old boy come to stay on his first ever visit away from home in 15 years. Jack settled in so well right from the minute he arrived and was just the sweetest boy. Whilst I was making his food he would tap my hand with his paw to make sure I was hurrying! On a sad note we have heard that two of our lovely guests have gone over to Rainbow Bridge. Dylan only stayed with us once but stole our hearts completely. At twenty years old he was one of our oldest guests but was so fit and well for his age. I know he will be very sadly missed by all who knew him. Florence was a regular guest here since we opened and both she and her brother Ravello were always cats that we really looked forward to seeing. Sadly her Mum and Dad were given the awful news that she only had six weeks to live last Nov. She managed to defy that due to both her strong, stoic nature and the love from her family and passed away only a couple of weeks ago. Again she will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

The donkeys are all really well and still shedding their coats like crazy. I have entered Percy into a class at the New Forest Show in July, goodness knows what he will think, but I imagine he will love all the attention as he is such a show off! Tim and I were putting the cats to bed last night and were sat making a fuss of the cats whilst watching the donkeys sleeping in the barn, I don’t think anything can top that, it’s certainly better than tv!

Time I was back entertaining my lovely guests,

Jackie x

 

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March 27, 2019
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March Madness at Hotel Cat

We have had another hectic month and loved every second of it. Our biggest bit of news is that we had our inspection from the local council. It has changed this year as Defra are now overseeing the licences so it is a lot more involved. They have implemented a star rating for all kennels, catteries and home boarders and we are very proud to announce that we are the ONLY 5 star rated cattery in the district. We are over the moon and can’t wait for our certificate to arrive.

This week has been full of cats on medication, it’s funny as some weeks it is full of a particular breed or colour and other weeks it’s a high medicine week. We have two guests on thyroid medicine twice daily, one cat with kidney failure who has medicine three times a day, one on atopica and another who is on a combination of herbal remedies to slow her chronic condition down. Added to that three lots of our guests are on feeds six times a day, it’s non -stop!

The donkeys are absolutely loving the warmer weather and are outside most of the day. They all had spring haircuts today and their feet were trimmed so they are all looking very smart. Percy is still loving his walks around the lanes, we are getting further each time and have met some lovely people on route who always want to give him a fuss.

My Marathon training has had a bit of a set back as I strained my hamstring. I  had to cut back on my mileage and have only just started to increase again. We did 16 last Sunday and are hoping for at least 20 this Sunday (Mothers Day!). I am under the strict instructions of a physio now who I see once a week, he is doing a great job of keeping me on my feet so fingers crossed I will get round in one piece.

Enjoy this wonderful weather,

Jackie xx

 

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February 28, 2019
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February at Hotel Cat

What a fantastic end to the month, much overdue sunshine! It makes Spring feel like it has arrived and the farm is starting to wake up from it’s winter slumbers. We have been busy preparing for Spring and have been planting new beech hedging which the birds will love once it has established.

The Cat Hotel has had another busy month and the diary is full for a number of dates throughout the year already. We have had a few new faces stay recently and have the most unusually marked girl staying called Sunshine. She is ginger and white with large pure tabby sections and we have never seen another cat like her. It is a first stay for both her and her brother and they have settled straight away which is just so lovely. We said goodbye to Lucifer, Salem and Yogi yesterday which was very sad. They had been staying here since November and we adored them as they were all such characters, it’s always sad when favourites leave and is the only downside of the ‘job’.

The donkeys are loving the milder weather and are outside much more, running around and looking for mischief. I take Percy for walks around the lanes as he loves all the attention, last weekend he did a four mile walk which involved stopping at the shop to buy him an apple and he was full of himself all the way. When we meet a horse rider he gets so excited and wants to join them, but the horses are not impressed!!

My London Marathon training is going well, although my feet don’t think so! We are now up to 18 miles on our long runs. I cannot tell you how exhausting it is, but it will be worth it on the day and the fact that I am raising money for such a good cause makes it much easier. If anyone would like to sponsor me here is the page www.justgiving/jackieferrier

Wishing you all a wonderful month,

Jackie xx

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January 23, 2019
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Happy New Year!

2019 is here and fortunately January seems to be going quite quickly instead of dragging it’s heels! It is a cold but clear day here and we are hoping that there will be no snow for us this year.

We had such an incredibly busy and fun year in 2018, although the building works in the house were very trying, thank goodness they are now finished, never again!

2019 Looks like it is going to be our busiest year yet. We have shown so many new people around the Hotel since the start of the month and everyone is booking dates and they are very enthusiastic which is lovely. Fortunately most of our regular favourites have already secured their places and the diary is full in quite a few places.

My big news this month is that I have chosen the charity which I am going to raise money for by running the London Marathon in April. The charity is the Celia Hammond Animal Trust. I researched a number of charities as I wanted the majority of the money raised to go directly towards the animals and fell for this charity straight away. Please have a look at their website as they are passionate animal lovers who work tirelessly to help and support in everyway they can. I have set up a Just Giving page which is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jackieferrier  if you have a minute have a read of my story and I will update the page regularly.

The donkeys are all really well and spend the majority of the time in their barn next to the Cat Hotel eating and sleeping! The cats are fascinated by the donkeys and spend hours on their outside cat trees watching them. They are very fat, woolly coated and extremely cuddly and are so lovely to be with, both donkeys and cats are such peaceful animals and the calm effect they give is wonderful, I really don’t know how people cope with working in cities!

We have had a busy January filled with lovely guests who are all warm and snug in their spacious bedrooms. It is always lovely and toasty in the Hotel as the heating is left on 24 hrs a day and it is the perfect place to escape with my book leaving Tim in the house to answer the phone.

My Marathon training is going well and so far to plan. I am actually enjoying the training far more than I thought I would. I have a great friend coaching me and we are increasing mileage weekly. This week we have a 14 mile run on Sunday, last weeks was 12 miles which we did in 1hr 55 minutes. For those who also run we averaged 9.38 pace which I am thrilled with. At the moment I am hoping to complete the Marathon in under 4hrs 30mins, but obviously this is dependant on how training goes and what the weather is like on the day.

Right, I have my book and I’m back up to my gorgeous guests,

Jackie xx

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December 20, 2018
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It’s Christmas!!!

We are all so excited that it’s Christmas again. All the presents are wrapped and all the cats are having so much fun with the tree, some like climbing it, some like laying under it and some like knocking the baubles off and chasing them around the hall – it is definitely the best cat tree there is!

We have had a fabulous year with lots of regular guests and plenty of new faces too. We just love what we do and wouldn’t swap places with anyone. It’s so lovely to be around the cats and to get such love back from them all. We are busier than ever for next year, the diary has never been so full so early so if you do have a holiday planned please let us know as soon as possible.

The donkeys are now in their full hairy winter coats and spend most of their time in the barn. They do not like the cold and wet so prefer to be waited on hand and foot in their dry quarters, we don’t mind they bring us such joy and are such good company. I have started taking Percy for walks around the lanes, it’s a slow process as everyone wants to stop and talk to him! He loves all the attention and it’s great for his education, although standing still isn’t as much fun as running at the moment!

Talking of running my marathon training for London has started so Sunday mornings are spent doing my long run of the week. I’m up to twelve miles on my long run at the moment, goodness knows where I will find the energy to add another fourteen to that. It’s such a great opportunity though and if I can raise some money for charity then it will be worth it.

Time to go back and entertain my lovely guests. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year for 2019 and thank you all for your loyalty to Hotel Cat.

Jackie xx

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November 15, 2018
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November at the Cat Hotel

It’s so beautiful outside at the moment that it’s hard to believe it’s Christmas next month. Normally I am really organised and have done most of my shopping, but what with the building works going on in the house I am way behind. I am hoping to start preparing for Christmas next week as (hopefully!) the builders will have finished. It has been a long few months and the cats and the hotel have been a godsend.

We have had another really busy year and start to quieten down from next week, Tim and I are even having a couple of days away in London which we are really looking forward to. We have had a couple of new guests staying this month and have had our first guest called Graham! What a great name and he is such a gorgeous boy who will flop down on your feet for a fuss, I really do love my guests.

The donkeys are all well and getting much thicker coats in readiness for the cold weather. They are spending far longer in their barn and wait in the warm for their daily digestive biscuits rather than coming down to the paddock where they can watch us through the windows – it’s a real guilt trip if you fancy a sneaky coffee before going out to see them!

The cat hotel is always lovely and warm as the heating is never turned off whilst a guest is in the room and it’s so relaxing to be with the cats. I have two pairs of young cats staying at the moment so I had better get back up to entertain them before they wake up the older guests!

Jackie xx

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October 14, 2018
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Autumn at Hotel Cat

Sat here on what has been a wet and blustery October day watching the leaves falling off the trees, summer seems a distant memory already.

This year has flown by and we are already planning Christmas, well wondering if we can get the donkeys to wear the elf hats that I have for them so that I can get a perfect Christmas card photo!

Our house is almost finished and it looks lovely, the builders should have finished by the end of this week and it will seem odd to have nobody turning up during the day, odd but lovely – plus we won’t have to make copious amounts of tea and coffee!

We have a new family member too. Someone sent me a link to a puppy that was in foster care through a charity called Pro Dogs Direct. They are a wonderful charity who find homes for unwanted puppies and ex breeding dogs. We fell in love with Sophie as soon as we saw her and applied straight away. She is a tiny Yorkshire Terrier who is blind in one eye and with a skin condition which makes her almost bald. She is a tiny missile who has us all eating out of her paws! She is always up to some form of trouble and we need eyes in the backs of our heads. It’s very cute when we walk around the farm in the evenings with the three big dogs, Nou the Ragdoll cat and this tiny pup in her little pink jumper!

The Cat Hotel is very busy all the way through October and for a large amount of November too. We have had a gorgeous bunch of cats staying, mostly our lovely regular guests, but with one or two new faces who have been delightful and have all booked in for next year already. We are fully booked for quite a few dates next year and are at least half full for the popular months already.

It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon and I’m off with my book to sit with my gorgeous guests, what a perfect day.

Jackie x

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September 12, 2018
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September at Hotel Cat

September already, how did that happen?! Always are busiest month , we call it Silver Tabby and Bengal month as all our regular guest of these two breeds book September. I think at on point we have 3 different families of Silver Tabbies and 3 different families of Bengals staying at the same time. We have had a few first time guests lately including Cyril the Sphinx who has just started his own instagram page, you can find him under Cyril Sphinx. He is just the funniest little man and had us in hysterics with his antics. It’s not a breed I would have considered having had I not met them, but they are the funniest and most loving characters and if we were going to have an indoor cat then they would be my first choice, you could never be bored with a Sphinx around!

The Cat Hotel has been fully booked all summer and we only have limited space left for the rest of the year as even November is really busy. The cats heating is now back on in the evenings and it won’t be long before it has to be on 24hrs. As much as I love summer , I do love the Autumn and the preparation for winter. The hedges around the farm are booked in to be trimmed which always looks so smart and all the logs are being stacked. The donkeys have their hay and straw ready for the cold months, although they do have a small amount in the evenings now as they tell me they are starving?!

Our building works are now in there 11th week and the novelty has worn off! As lovely as the builders are it’s hard work with all the dust and mess, however the end is in sight as they are now plastering the walls and we have a flooring company coming in next week to measure for the finished floor. The cats and dogs are completely unfazed by all the chaos at the back of the house which amazes me. The cats think that the sand has been put there just for them, I just hope cat poo in the cement mix isn’t a bad thing!

We have a lovely group of cats staying at the moment and it is such a joy to be with them. I am off with my book to entertain and provide a lap for them for the rest of the day.

Jackie x

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August 9, 2018
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Summer Time at Hotel Cat

A late update this month, I have no idea where the last month has gone! What a fabulous summer we have had, I know not everyone loves the heat but the cats and donkeys love it! Cats just love sunbathing and lay watching the birds devouring the feeders outside their windows. We have so many birds this year and are constantly filling the feeders to keep up with demand. We were walking up to the hotel one evening this week watching a young barn owl flying through the oak trees, we adore being so close to nature. We still have the two deer who live on the farm and they are so used to seeing us that they rarely move when we walk past them, what an odd lot we must look, two adults, three dogs, one cat and at least one donkey!

The cat hotel has been flat out as usual, at the moment we have three separate families of Maine Coons staying, including one very mischievous 7 month old kitten. We have also had a few cats who have used the new cat wheel and they seem to really enjoy it.

We have had builders at the house for the past six weeks building a new extension, it’s looking huge and will make a massive difference to our living space. It means that our main living rooms will overlook the donkey paddock and there faces will be the first thing we see when we wake up. The trouble is they line up by the fence waiting for us every morning as they all have a biscuit for breakfast and as soon as they see us they start braying!

We have a huge number of people booking for both next year and for 2020, which is great but does mean that if you leave it too late we cannot guarantee you a room, so please let us know as soon as you possibly can if you need dates held.

Right I’m off to play with my lovely guests 🙂

Jackie xx

 

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June 27, 2018
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Flaming June at Hotel Cat

Wow what a fantastic summer we are having, it is bliss here on the farm and the grass hardly needs mowing which is great! The farm is a hive of activity with plenty of baby birds and rabbits for the cats to watch. Our resident squirrels are getting very fat as they are usually on the bird feeders and are so entertaining to watch. Our hay has been cut and is all stacked in the barn ready for winter and everything is very peaceful.

Last week we had to have our beloved girl Doumy put to sleep aged 15. She had become progressively frail and life was a struggle. Our lovely vet Ellen came to the house and Doumy slipped away very peacefully, she is buried under the apple trees so that we know she is always close. We miss her dreadfully, but know that we had her for two and a half years longer than the vets anticipated with all her health issues, she was certainly a fighter.

The cat hotel has been very busy with lots of regular guests, plus a few new faces. The hotel stays very cool when it is hot due to the amount of insulation, but the cats will always seek out the sunniest spot to lie in and bake! We keep a very close eye on everybody and make sure they don’t overdo it.

The vet has just been out and given the donkeys their regular dental treatment to make sure they can eat properly, this is usually an annual occurrence in the younger ones, but Cookie and Holly are done every three months due to their age. Farrier next week, we will never have much in the bank, but love this life so much.

We have a very hectic summer ahead, we only have one 10 day slot available between now and mid October, some of November is full, Christmas and New Year is full and the diary is filling up for next year. Please if you do have any dates you would like held the sooner we know the better.

Enjoy the sunshine 🙂

Jackie x 

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