luxury cattery hampshire

The latest news from luxury cattery Hampshire, Hotel cat

March, but where is Spring?!

March 11, 2020
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We are so desperate for signs that summer is on it’s way, this has certainly been the longest wettest winter. The primroses and daffodils are all in flower around the entrance to Hotel Cat but we want some sun with warmth in it! The donkey’s paddock is still very muddy and they are not happy, fingers crossed the worst of the weather is past and next time I write we will be enjoying an early heat wave!

The Cat Hotel has not been quite as busy due to the uncertainty from coronavirus but we have plenty of bookings coming in for the summer so lets all hope for good news by then. We have been lucky to have only had two cancellations and they were both covered by insurance which covered their boarding fees. It’s been a really odd year so far with Brexit, floods and now coronavirus, lets hope it improves once the sun appears.

We have had new fencing and gates put up in the driveway, it looks so smart and it is now totally secure. Our electrician is coming out next week to fit a video doorbell and floodlights, it really does look so much smarter when you drive in and we love it. Once the trees are in leaf we will get a new video tour done so that the new cat rooms can be seen on the website, we have had great feedback from everyone and lots of new customers already which is great.

The donkeys have their feet being trimmed this weekend and are due their worming so they won’t be happy! Percy and Arthur are doing well with their training and we are now looking for a trailer to take them out in.

Our lovely deer family are all well and last years baby now has tiny antlers appearing, he is so sweet and is fascinated by us walking by!

I hope you all are well and keep that way,

Jackie xx

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Halloween at Hotel Cat

November 2, 2019
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Well it looks like winter is well underway! I am sat here in the warm whilst the wind and rain do their best to rid the trees of all their leaves.

October is always one of our busiest months and this year was no exception. We have had a number of new guests this month which has been lovely, especially when they settle straight in. The majority of first timers have already reserved their suites for next year and I have never seen the diary so full this far in advance, we already have quite a few bookings for 2021 as well!

The donkeys are really fed up with the rain and are spending most of their time in either the barn or the stables, hopefully November will bring some crisp sunshine for them. We have decided to rehome some more chickens so if anyone knows of any elderly girls who need a home please get in touch. Our golden oldie at the moment is seven and going strong, she doesn’t lay eggs anymore but has a lovely retirement running around the donkey paddocks and keeping all the younger girls in check.

All of our own cats are staying indoors now and there is always at least one of them on our bed both day and night, I love knowing they are safe and warm, it’s always a worry when they go outside. All of our guests are lovely and warm in their suites, their heating is on 24 hours a day and very few of them go and sit in the outside rooms, they are usually all in the warm bedroom. It’s so relaxing so be with them and we love being up at Hotel Cat.

We have a quieter couple of weeks coming up so we are looking forward to doing some decorating in the suites that will be empty.

Enjoy your weekend,

Jackie xx

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March Madness at Hotel Cat

March 27, 2019
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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 at Hotel Cat

February 28, 2019
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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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Summer Time at Hotel Cat

August 9, 2018
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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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April – Sunshine at last!

April 18, 2018
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It seems unbelievable that a month ago it was snowing and now we are basking in glorious sunshine – You just cannot beat the British weather for diversity!

The donkeys are all very happy and are starting to shed their coats. They adore the sunshine and have spent today sunbathing in the paddock by the cat hotel. It’s so lovely to see all the trees and hedges turning green at last and our first oak tree has just started to show it’s lovely fresh green leaves. Our chickens are starting to lay again and we pick up at least 6 eggs a day, which is not bad for a group of pensioners. They too adore sunbathing and are regularly found spread out on our sun loungers!

We have had a really busy Easter and after a quieter week this week we are flat out again from the weekend onwards. We now have very limited space left from now until the end of October. May has a long waiting list as does the first two weeks of September. We are even fully booked for most of next April (2019). If you do have any dates please do get in touch as we have had to let a number of people down lately which is not something that we like to do.

We have some adorable guests with us at the moment, including two mischievous Burmese brothers. One of them gives the best head bumps and nose kisses and they are terrible time wasters!

The outside of the Hotel has had a fresh coat of paint and looks very smart. We are off to sort the hanging baskets this week so that it looks very colourful too.

Hope all your lovely cats are enjoying the sunshine again too.

Jackie xx

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February – here at last!

February 5, 2018
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It is true that January is the slowest month of the year! At last we have the arrival of February which shows early signs of Spring. We have a row of very old Damson trees leading up to the cat hotel and they are already starting to shoot little green leaves. They are always the first trees to show and we love watching them daily for more growth.

January was another busy month, full of both regular and new guests. We tend to show a large number of people around the hotel in January who are booking for the first time. The diary is getting full quite quickly which is lovely to see.

I was reading one of my blog posts from February 2016 and it was then that our old cat Doumy was diagnosed with her tumour. I cannot believe that two years later we are still lucky enough to have her with us. She is almost 15 now and completely adored by us all, our children were only 3 & 6 when she arrived and they cannot remember a time without her. At mealtimes she will sit by their plates and wait for titbits, although she will refuse to touch it unless it is exactly the right size!

The donkeys are all well and are having a great game today as they get really playful when it is frosty outside. They spend approx. 20 hours of the day in the barn as they don’t approve of the wet fields. We rehomed 6 new chickens last month who were a bit freaked out by the donkeys at first, but they have settled down now and will often be found scratching around in the barn with them.

I must go back up and entertain our lovely guests, we have Sebastian the gorgeous silver tabby staying and he is very demanding of lots of love!

Jackie x

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Long Summer Nights

July 9, 2017
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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

 

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Happy April!

April 1, 2017
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I cannot believe March has gone already, why does the time fly so fast when the weather improves?! We had a lovely week off and had a couple of days away with James and Lucy which was lovely. Our wonderful friends Sue and Andy moved in to look after our animals and they were all thoroughly spoilt – the added bonus was that the house was immaculate – we must go away again!

We started taking cats again once we were back on the Sunday and have been fully booked ever since, bookings are now coming in for September and October and the diary is looking quite full. We have had lots of our usual gorgeous regular guests staying lately and Tim had to collect from both Kensington and Baker Street in London this week. He loves going up to the city as he says it is so incredible to drive through, he is always glad to get back to the peace of the New Forest at the end of the day – we are so incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

We have been busy around the farm removing the ancient barb wire fences and clearing brambles before they take over. The deer are regular visitors and we will leave long grass under the oak trees for them to hide in. Holly the donkey has just been diagnosed with laminitis, which is a serious condition which affects her feet. She kept going lame and we assumed that it was because she had a foot abscess, but when the vet did x-rays this week she found the laminitis. Holly now has to come off grass until it has settled down and unfortunately she will always have to be restricted. The other donkeys take it in turns to be with her and at night they are all together, they are such a lovely family.

We have a very busy month ahead with lovely cats both in already and due in soon. I have had an awful cold this week and it is so lovely to snuggle up on one of the beds with the cats and recover. I actually fell asleep this week and woke up with two Burmese sleeping on me – I love my ‘job’.

I better go as it is nearing teatime for the cats and I’ll get told off if I’m late!

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Easter,

Jackie x

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March the beginning of Spring

March 1, 2017
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Thank goodness March is finally here, it’s one of my favourite months as it heralds the start of Spring. The daffodils and crocuses are in full bloom and the birds are very busy in the nest boxes which are all around the gardens. The sheep which a local farmer puts on our fields for the winter have now left to have their lambs at home and hopefully the deer will make an appearance again soon.

February was another exceedingly busy month, I don’t think we had many days when we did not have a ‘full house’ of guests. Our lovely Bengal family, which have been with us since before Christmas go home next week. We shall miss them terribly as they are such fun and always looking for mischief! We have had a few new faces staying this month and it is always lovely to watch their character’s come through once they realise we are not the vets!

Percy, our gorgeous miniature donkey, turned two last week. He had plenty of treats, especially digestive biscuits of which he is particularly partial. He is still enjoying his therapy training and we are now saving up for a small horsebox so that we can take him out. All the other donkeys are very well, but look a bit tatty with their thick woolly coats.

We have a slightly quieter month in March, we are even taking a few days away – we don’t know where yet, as with the amount of animals we have we don’t like to plan too much in advance. The cat hotel is shut from the 21st – 26th, it will feel very odd, but lovely to have a few days away.

Wishing everyone a happy month and I’ll speak to you all once the temperature has risen!

Jackie x

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