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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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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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Happy New Year!

January 23, 2019
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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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Bonfire Night!

November 5, 2017
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With the short evenings and the approach of Christmas it feels like winter is upon us. Today has been a beautiful day and we are busy with tidying up around the hotel. The car park is having a new surface and we are repainting the outside of the building. We have been flat out all year and have a week approaching where we have only opened half of the hotel so that we can redecorate the suites. The two Royal Mews are going to have new wallpaper and I’m off to choose it tomorrow, I have no idea what colour until I see it!

We have a hotel full of our lovely regular guests staying at the moment. I adore all their different personalities, they are all so individual and so much fun. I can’t believe how busy November is and we have turned many bookings away for the last two weeks as we filled up quickly. We have so many bookings coming in for 2018 already and  if you have any dates you would like held the sooner we know the better.

The donkeys don’t much like the onset of winter, they love the sun and their favourite pastime is sunbathing! Cleaning their barn out daily takes so long as they all insist on ‘helping’. Percy is the worst as if you try and carry on working he runs straight between your legs, there is never a dull moment here!

Right, back to the cats. I have a great book on the go and a number of cats who adore me sitting still for a few hours, it’s a tough life but someone has to do it!

Jackie xx

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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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January end

January 31, 2017
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January is always the longest and slowest month, although this year we have been exceptionally busy which has helped to speed things up. We have had a number of guests staying for between 1-3 months and it has been lovely having them for so long.  We had three separate families of Bengals staying last week, seven of them in total – definitely a walk on the wild side, well, colour wise they look wild, but their personalities are totally soft and exceptionally playful!

We loved the cold weather as the cat hotel is always so warm, but we are not enjoying this rain. It makes looking after the outside animals hard work, still, they are worth the slog as they are all so loving. I have a seat in the donkey barn and they love it when I go and sit with them all each day. Our oldest donkey had to see the vet this month as his teeth were playing up, he is ok now but will need further work done in 12 weeks. Unfortunately our oldest sheep is struggling with her arthritis, the vet looked at her and said the time is coming to let her go as her mobility is limited. She is on pain relief and stays in the barn, where all the others look after her. If all the donkeys and our other two sheep go out to the field you will always see one of them stay behind to keep her company. They have always lived together with us as a family group and they are very close, I have a lovely photo of Polly as a young sheep meeting Charlie the new born donkey taken 10 years ago.

Our diary for 2017 is very booked up, mostly with our lovely regular guests who book their stays early, but also with  a number of new guests to meet which is always lovely. We have a quieter month coming up in March, so we have decided to have a weekend away, goodness knows if it will happen, but fingers crossed!

Sid the cat checking that there are no more lambs under the bed!

Sid the cat checking that there are no more lambs under the bed!

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Happy Halloween!

October 28, 2016
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I cannot believe that we are just about to start November, the weather here has been fabulous and I am currently sat writing with the back door wide open as it’s so mild. We have had such a busy month and have been flat out with so much to do, having said that, Tim did manage to sneak across to Portugal for a weeks golf! We have had beautiful guests staying again this month, mostly regular guests, but also a few new faces. We have two brothers staying called Salt and Pepper who are the sweetest chaps and so very handsome! We had our little family of four who have been in many times and who stayed for a fortnight, they are all young and were so much fun. There is never a day when I don’t pinch myself about how lucky I am to spend my life with animals.

We have almost finished the inside of the house and it looks far better now than it did on the tv show! It has been hard to live in it whilst all the building works have been going on around us, but the end is now in sight. Next week we are decorating the cat hotel as it has worked so hard for the last two years and deserves some love back!

The donkeys are all really well and adore this weather, they are regularly found basking in the autumn sunshine. They also thoroughly approve of their new barn and it is far easier to keep them clean and dry with the concrete floor. Our little deer family are in the fields every evening and we can walk within 200ft of them whilst they just stand and watch us. I cannot express how that makes you feel, to know that a wild animal trusts you enough to let you get that close is an amazing feeling.

We have a quieter month coming up, then we are flat out again for Christmas. We have four families of cats staying for nearly two months, which means that January is half full already. If anyone has January dates please let us know soon to avoid disappointment. We are taking bookings for 2017 most days now and the bank holidays are now fully booked. We have even started our 2018 diary as we have bookings coming in that far in advance!

Right, back up to entertain and lavish love on my lovely guests,

Jackie x

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August Days

August 30, 2016
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What a gorgeous month August has been, we have had so much sunshine and have loved every minute!

We have been so busy in the Cat Hotel this month, lots of regular faces and a few new ones. We had two Siberian kittens stay with us for three weeks, they were the most laid back boys and so much fun. We have also, finally, had our first Siamese guest, ‘Lady’, she is a beautiful girl and loves to snuggle up on your lap. She has king prawns for breakfast each day and will talk to you for more!

Our new girls Stella and Sweep are loving be able to go outside and are always in the garden. Stella has managed to catch two birds and just this morning I found the pair of them playing with a mouse in the lounge. Fortunately it was still alive so it was taken out to the front garden where it scampered away. Doumy, our old girl, is still going strong and is usually found lying in the sun in the front garden.

The donkeys love this time of year as they love the harvest. They pick the blackberries off of the hedgerows and beg mercilessly for the fallen apples to be given to them. Our damson trees have not had much fruit and what there was has been eaten by the birds, it’s lovely that nothing goes to waste.

The deer are back in our fields and we have spotted one baby, hopefully they will stay as they are safe on our land.

We have a very busy couple of months coming up, but things do ease off in November. We have lots of bookings coming in for 2017 and if you have any holidays planned please let us know as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Back off now to play with my lovely guests, being with the cats each day is so perfect and I feel so lucky that we can do this in such a gorgeous place.

Jackie x

Lucy watching a movie with Lady the Siamese

Lucy watching a movie with Lady the Siamese

SAM_0548

 

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July in the sunshine

July 25, 2016
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What a fantastic month July has been, so much sunshine which makes everyone smile. We have had all our hay cut and it is all neatly stacked in the barns ready for the donkeys during the winter. The fields now look so tidy and Tim can now find all the golf balls he lost!

We have had another lovely lot of cats staying, lots of them are in for quite a few weeks whilst their parents have long summer holidays. We love seeing them relax into their new surroundings. We have had a number of new guests staying this month, including a beautiful boy called Ludwig, he is a real character and  has settled in so well. He is with us for the whole month and will be very much missed as he is gorgeous!

We were unfortunately visited by the fox again a few weeks ago. He took one of our chickens and two of our ducks, which left Gladys all on her own. We have been trying to rehome an older female duck to keep her company and last week found one which needed a home. They were both delighted to see each other straight away and have been inseparable ever since, it really makes your heart sing to see them together. We have named the new girl Cynthia and hope she has many happy years with us.

Stella and Sweep, our new girls are firmly settled in now. Stella loves being out in the garden all day and will always be with you, wherever you are. Sweep will venture out when we are there and loves sunbathing in front of the shed. Their little lives have changed so much for them and it is so lovely to see them so happy. Their brother, Sebastian, who was rehomed by a lovely couple in Romsey, is being thoroughly spoilt and is absolutely adored. He is staying back with us whilst they are on holiday and it is so lovely to still be part of his life. It sounds as though he may be getting a new playmate soon, I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

We are working with the donkeys daily with the aim that Percy and Arthur will be ready to start going out to care homes next year. Arthur is getting used to walking on different floors, much to our son’s surprise when he came down for breakfast and found a donkey in the kitchen! Fortuanely he is used to living in a slightly less than normal home!

We have another really busy month ahead in August and we are looking forward to a variety of new and old guests. Hopefully the sun will continue to shine as the cats to love to sunbathe.

I have to end on a sad note this month as we have had news that one of our regular guests has died. Sebastian (not Sebastian the Silver Tabby) was a gorgeous boy who spent all his holidays with us. He was adored by both his family and us alike and will be missed so very much. He had a tough start in life before he found his forever family and was such an affectionate boy who gave so much. We will never forget you sweet boy.

Jackie xx

Arthur exploring the kitchen!

Arthur exploring the kitchen!

Darling Sebastian

Darling Sebastian

Our new girls enjoying the sunshine and entertaining the cats!

Our new girls enjoying the sunshine and entertaining the cats!

 

 

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April fun at Hotel Cat

April 21, 2016
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Wow, where has April gone?! What a busy month and what a lovely one. It’s been so lovely to see the oak trees turning green and our cherry trees are laden with gorgeous blossom.

We have had another really busy month and we could do with double the amount of rooms for May as we have had to turn so many people away. We have happy/sad news about our three long term cats, Sebastian, Stella and Sweep, their owner has decided to rehome them. We were going to take them on as we thought we were going to lose our precious Doumy, but as she continues to enjoy good health it has been decided that it would be kinder to let the cats find another home. As I write Sebastian looks as though he has landed on his feet with a lovely home offered and I will let everyone know about the girls this week. If anyone knows somebody who may be interested in two beautiful short haired Persians, one who is a lap cat and one who is partially sighted but who adores games, please get in touch. As you can imagine it is going to be very hard for us to see them go as they have become part of the family and I know they have a huge fan club with our regular customers.

On a happier note we can announce the arrival of Arthur the miniature donkey and our newest member of entertainment staff :-). To say he is adorable is an understatement and he has settled straight in with the other boys so well. As you can imagine with the cats and donkeys to entertain I don’t get a lot done in a day, but I do smile a lot!! If you would like to come and meet Arthur please feel free to drop in, he does adore a neck scratch and is quite partial to a digestive biscuit…….

We have had another amazing mix of cats in this month and have had four families of three in at the same time – lots of cats to entertain! I adore seeing the cats relax and explore their suites and love it when the shy ones come for a fuss – I totally adore the cat hotel and wouldn’t swap my life for anything. The most stressful job I have is getting breakfast out on time as the cats are Very demanding in the morning!

Look forward to meeting our new guests and seeing our old favourites soon,

Jackie xx

Shorthair Persians

Darling Sweep who is looking for a home with Stella

 

Gorgeous Stella who loves a warm lap to curl up on

Gorgeous Stella who loves a warm lap to curl up on

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