Cattery Winchester

Busy times at the Cat Hotel

September 1, 2019
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

What a hectic month August has been, we haven’t stopped playing and loving cats all month! We have had a really lovely lot of guests throughout August. Some have been many times, others it’s their first time  and we have enjoyed every second of them all. It’s still really sad when they leave but lovely to know that they will be back. September is another really busy month and we have a tiny kitten staying at the moment, he is totally adorable and a total timewaster! We have a number of regular guests who stay every September coming in and it will be lovely to see them again too.

The diary is already filling up quickly for next year so if you have any dates please let us know as soon as possible, some dates are already full up and we don’t like having to turn our lovely regulars away.

The donkeys are full of mischief at the moment and are loving the last of the hot days. They are also loving the bucket of apples they get each day which have fallen from our trees! I’ve never seen so many apples on the trees but between us, the donkeys and the birds they are not going to waste. The crows sit at the top of the trees knocking them down and then flying off with them, that’s if the chickens haven’t got there first!

Our lovely deer family are always here, it’s so lovely to have been able to see the twins growing up and to see them with their Mum and Dad playing in the field each night is so special. They are so used to us now that they just watch us and we can get quite close to them. We adore living here surrounded by animals, it really is our piece of paradise.

We have decided to give the cat hotel a makeover with new wallpaper, redecorating the paintwork and new cat trees, hopefully this will be completed by Christmas and I can’t wait.

Have a wonderful month,

Jackie xx

Read More

March Madness at Hotel Cat

March 27, 2019
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

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

 

Read More

Happy New Year!

January 23, 2019
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

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

Read More

November at the Cat Hotel

November 15, 2018
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

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

Read More

Autumn at Hotel Cat

October 14, 2018
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

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

Read More

Merry Christmas from Hotel Cat

December 11, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

We are all so excited about Christmas here at the farm. I have, rather smugly, finished all of my Christmas shopping and have most things wrapped. I can now relax and enjoy the company of the beautiful guests who are now arriving for their Christmas holidays. We have had our busiest ever November and have met a number of new guests who have already booked their second holidays with us, including two of the cutest Siberian kittens who adored cuddles! We have a full hotel all over Christmas and they are all regular guests who we know like they are our own. We shall be spoiling them with a festive lunch and hope that Santa will pay them all a visit as I’m sure they have all been very good all year!

It is very cold here at the moment, but no snow which is a shame as I wanted the young donkeys to experience it for the first time. Our old donkey Cookie now wears his coat as he feels the cold, but the others don’t like wearing them so we only put them on if needed. The donkeys, sheep and goats spend most of their time in their barn when it is cold and are very insistent on regular top ups of hay and straw, bellowing loudly when they see me in the hotel through the windows!

We are getting very booked up for 2018 and already have some dates which are fully booked, mostly in January, February, May and June. If you have any dates which you would like held please get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee a space. There are only two spaces left for Christmas 2018!

We are not sending cards again this year as we are giving to charity, but wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Give all your cats a cuddle from us,

Jackie & Tim xxxx

Read More

Happy Halloween from Hotel Cat!

October 12, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

I am late writing the blog this month, I think the last month has flown and have no idea where the time has gone. September is always one of our busiest months and we have my Birthday at the end of the month and James our son’s Birthday is on the 1st October. This year was his 21st and we are very proud of the lovely young man he has become and he adores animals as much as Tim and I which is so lovely.

We have had mostly regular cats staying in September and they are all really settled and all lovely. The new cats who have/are staying are also  lovely, we are very lucky to have such wonderful and much loved guests. All the cats heating is now on 24hrs a day and it is toasty when I go in first thing in the morning. All the cats love the heating on and they tend to all be snuggled up on their beds first thing. Today is a lovely day and most of them have been using the garden rooms watching the antics of those naughty donkeys!

I had some exciting news this month, I have a ballot entry for the London marathon! As a number of you know I run regularly, I’m no world record beater, but I love it and I am a member of a great running club. This will be my first ever marathon and I have always said that London is the only one that I would like to take part in. As it is a ballot place I do not have to raise money for charity, but I think I should. I would like to try and help a smaller charity, maybe to try and raise money for a certain piece of equipment or an operation. If anyone has any good ideas please get in touch as it will help me focus on the months of training I have ahead.

All of our lovely animals are well. The donkeys all had their feet trimmed yesterday and they look very smart. The only one who was naughty was Arthur. The tiniest one of the lot of them, you would not believe how much of a monkey he was, yet he is so placid and loving when the farrier is not here! Doumy, our oldest cat is doing really well again. She started to refuse her thyroid pills after taking them for 16 months with no fuss at all. Unfortunately she is not the sort of cat who will have it popped in her mouth and we were fearing the worst, but our vets have just started giving the thyroid medication in syrup form. It should really be given orally, but as this is not an option we put it on her food twice daily and she is looking in great shape again. The chickens are looking a bit bedraggled as a few of them are moulting and there are feathers everywhere, they have also stopped laying eggs, hopefully they will start again in a few weeks, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t as we just love them and they keep the cats highly entertained.

Have a Happy Halloween everyone,

Jackie xx

Read More

September at Hotel Cat

September 7, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

I can’t believe that summer is over and that autumn has appeared so quickly this year. Fortunately we are all prepared for winter with plenty of hay and straw supplies in our barn. The new lights up the driveway are getting plenty of use now that the evenings are drawing in, with the added bonus that they are very pretty!

August was another really busy month, filled with the most wonderful guests, both old and new. We even had two families drop their cats off on the same day and collect them 10 days later as they both went on the same cruise out of Southampton. Both of the families had booked the Royal Mews , so the cats had adjoining suites, but they didn’t know each other at all, talk about coincidence! September and October are incredibly busy months and even November is nearly full up which is fantastic.

The donkeys are really well and live in hope that someone will give them one of the many apples that are under the trees. We gather them up in a bucket each day and the donkeys form a line along the fence waiting for them! Holly made us laugh this week when she came in the garden for her feed, I had left her out there and popped indoors and two minutes later she was in the kitchen raiding the fruit bowl! If there is a melon in there she can smell it from outside – all the donkeys adore melon and we always save them the skins, but I think she decided she wanted the whole thing instead!

We have nearly finished renovating the house now and the new stair and landing carpet is going down as I write. We will then start work on the outside and Tim is desperate for the old garage to be replaced as it is past it’s best. I had a lovely phone call from one of the family who used to live here recently and she told me lots of bits about the farm and how much it was loved by them all. She also sent old photos of the original house which was on the site and it is so lovely to have all the information about the farms past. Everyone who comes here loves it as it is a very happy, peaceful place and I’m sure that is because it has always been so well loved.

Right, I had better go and see my lovely guests, they always want to know where I have been and I shall have a lovely afternoon entertaining them.

Jackie xx

Read More

Summer madness at the Cat Hotel

August 5, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

It doesn’t feel like we have stopped this month, there is always so much to do and never enough hours in the day! The weather here has turned into a normal British summer of sunshine and showers, we are all hoping for another heat wave before Autumn makes an appearance.

The Cat Hotel has been very busy and everyday is filled with gorgeous guests, love and laughter. We have a 7 month Siamese staying and she is the hotel comedienne. She loves making you laugh and is just so adorable – one day I would love a Siamese to join our family – until then I get to enjoy other people’s. I cannot believe how busy we are for the next few months, other than the odd couple of days we are full until the end of October. We had no idea how popular Hotel Cat would be and thank you all so much for supporting us. We adore what we do and are so very lucky to spend our lives with so many wonderful animals.

I have been to Ikea buying new beds and furniture this week, I even managed to build two of the units on my own! The cats adore ‘helping’ and making sure that the furniture is suitable for cats by balancing on it as it was being assembled! I am waiting to see if we can be suppliers for Kerbl cat furniture. We use it at Hotel Cat as it is so well designed and a bit different from other cat furniture on the internet. Hopefully we will be accepted.

The donkeys are all looking well and are enjoying all the fallen apples that they are given daily. They line up along the fence opposite the apple trees and start braying for someone to collect the fruit!

We are having a small price increase of £1 per cat per day from the 1st January. We have held our prices for the last two years, but our bills are going up and we do like to keep the cat radiators on 24 hours a day from September until May.

Enjoy your August and hopefully the sun will keep shining on you all.

Jackie x

Read More

Long Summer Nights

July 9, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

What a fantastic summer we are having, day after day of beautiful sunshine – we could get used to this!

June was another busy month and the cats love watching the young birds from their suites. It seems like a really good year for the young birds and all our bird boxes have had two lots of young already. It looks like it will be a bumper harvest on the hedgerows and fruit trees too. Our sloe bushes, blackberry bushes and elderflower trees are showing signs of plenty of berries. Our apple and damson trees have a huge crop of fruit and the hazel trees in the hedges have nuts in abundance.  All the birds, squirrels and mice will have plenty of supplies. We managed to get our hay cut and stored in the barn ready for winter, which is always a huge relief as we are so reliant on the British weather.

I know a number of cats who come to stay have been rehomed into their now very loving homes and I must share our story of rehoming with you. We always try and offer a home to as many animals as we reasonably can and in the winter of 2009 we were asked to rehome a pair of donkeys which had travelled over from Portugal. They had both had very tough lives and suffered terrible abuse. Basil was the oldest, estimated by our vets to be between 30 and 35 years old and Cookie the younger of the two at a mere 20-25 years. Basil was a cantankerous old man and we believe his tough character kept him going so long, he had a loving retirement with us and passed away in Dec 2015. Cookie has always been a complex donkey, never wanting any affection and being terribly head shy. He has never wanted anything to do with us, but is inseparable from Holly our original donkey. We would catch him whenever he needed to see the farrier or vet and that could be a real work up, other than that we left him to choose to do whatever he wanted. Numerous times I have faced his teeth or back legs if he felt that I was invading his space. Unbelievably, this spring after over eight years of being with us he has learnt to trust, I cannot tell you how much this means. After not wanting to ever be groomed he now loves it and will push in to be done over again. He has had three showers and shampoos to keep him cool and will stand patiently waiting for his massage. I can after eight years walk into the field and catch him straight away, in fact he is normally waiting for me at the gate when he sees me. Best of all he loves his nose kissed and will leave the others for extra fuss. It just goes to show that some animals take more time than others to let go of ‘baggage’ from their past, but the rewards when they do are worth more than all the money in the world.

Right, I must go and entertain my lovely guests. I have three gorgeous Bengals who do love a good game and Florence and Ravello will be expecting their cuddles, Ali will want to try and climb in my skin and then fall asleep in my lap and Colin (17) and Minky (18) will want gentle fuss and just to be with us.

Have a wonderful month and lets hope this sunshine continues :-).

Jackie x

 

Read More