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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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Autumn at Hotel Cat

October 14, 2018
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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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May – our favourite month at Hotel Cat

May 15, 2018
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We love May, it heralds the arrival of summer and everything looks wonderful here at the farm. We have baby birds galore and the bird feeders around the cattery are being filled at least twice a day to keep up with demand! The sheep have now had their thick winter coats removed and are much happier, they look very smart too.

The donkeys are busy shedding their coats and we often see the jackdaws sitting on their backs picking at the loose hairs. Yesterday whilst sat outside I saw a red kite fly over, it’s only the second time we have seen them around here and I do hope they are here to stay.

The cat hotel is really busy and filled with the most wonderful guests, I know I’m biased, but I do believe that we get the best cats staying with us. We have a pair of identical young ginger boys staying here at the moment. They are gangly with lean long bodies and must have purr switches everywhere as when you touch them they purr non stop! It’s lovely to see them so happy and I love watching their crazy antics – I find the outside rugs in all sorts of places where they practice their skidding moves! We also have our first Munchkin kitten, she too has settled straight in and is just gorgeous. We have made her steps so that she is able to climb up on the bed and cat trees. We have a busy summer ahead of us and can’t wait as it’s full of lots of our favourite guests.

Right, back up to play with the cats – enjoy the sunshine everyone ūüôā

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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Happy New Year from Hotel Cat

January 11, 2018
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Wishing everyone a very Happy and Healthy 2018, I hope you all had a lovely,stress free Christmas and that all your cats are in perfect health.

Our Christmas with the cats was lovely, they were all regular visitors and they all enjoyed being thoroughly spoilt. I had my Mum staying so the cats had an extra lap which went down well. We are still really busy this month and our last Christmas guest goes home on Friday. Poppy has stayed for the last forty days and I shall miss her terribly. We have a lovely afternoon routine where her and I curl up on the bed with a book, she is such relaxing company and the perfect excuse for putting my feet up. Tim meanwhile entertains the more energetic guests and Poppy loves to watch the antics beside me. We have a number of cats who stay for long periods and I know their parents are always worried at first, but the cats settle in so well and we do spend an awful lot of time with them all throughout the day and evenings. It is lovely and warm in all the suites, the heating is set to a minimum of 21 degrees and is on 24 hours a day, we do not like the cold and neither do the cats!

The donkeys enjoyed being thoroughly spoilt over Christmas and even had their own Christmas tree outside their barn! I hope this year they will have a new barn, we are in the process of getting quotes now. I would like them to have heat lamps for when it gets cold, but Tim says that may be a step to far – plus he thinks Charlie would pull them all down as he does like to play with anything new! Could you imagine it though, all the donkeys stood under heat lamps on a frosty night, it makes me smile just to think of it!

Our old dog Kia was rushed to the vet last week and it turned out that she had a large growth in her abdomen. We were faced with the decision of whether to let her go or put her through an operation. She will be 12 in March so the decision was not easy, but we decided that we had to try. The vets removed the growth and her spleen. The growth was a kilo in weight and was infected, which is why she was so poorly. We were called back in on the Friday as she was not doing well, but she did eat a spoonful of food for us. We were then told on the Saturday that they didn’t think¬†she would recover, but asked if we would like to take her home to spend the last couple of days with her. She then started to turn the corner and is now back to her old self, she even climbed on the¬†sofa with me last night! We know everyday is a bonus and sometimes it takes something out of the blue for you to realise that we wont have our pet family forever, they are all so precious to us and I don’t think there is anything¬†that we would not do for them.

We were back on television again last week which led to a flurry of new bookings. We are full for certain dates in Feb, May and September now. If you do have plans for this year the earlier we know the better.

Right, must go back and entertain. I have three Poppy’s in three different suites and they all have one thing in common, they LOVE fuss! Next time I write it will be February and Spring will be just around the corner, not long now……..

Jackie xx

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Merry Christmas from Hotel Cat

December 11, 2017
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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

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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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Happy Halloween from Hotel Cat!

October 12, 2017
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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

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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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