How NOT to Run a Frog Sanctuary

Morrison Household. Early morning. Shouts from downstairs.

“Quick. Get down here! There’s a frog in my camera bag.”
Me: Well, that explains why you’re so jumpy. Pick it up and put it out.
Man of the House: “Help me!”

We’ve accidentally become a frog hotspot. Well, cool spot, to be more accurate. It’s been very warm and dry here recently, and in my infinite wisdom (yeah, right!) I’ve left a higgledy piggledy pile of stuff in my garden for the last three to five years. You know, pots, trowels etc etc. In a previous effort to ‘tidy’, I put a load of the empty pots into a blue plastic storage box. Then I left them where they had been….just, you know, en-boxed. In the course of time, it filled with rain water and various types of algae etc, and at some stage, became home to some frogs.


Custom Built Frog Habitat and Recuperation Unit


Until yesterday, I thought  the frogs were just passing through, possibly from the linear park that runs at the bottom of our street. It’s an old railway line that’s been converted into a pedestrian walk and wildlife sanctuary. I didn’t realise they’d be happy with so little water – standing water at that.

I think I’d rescued three before this. Or maybe the same one three times? Hard to tell….I don’t know them well enough to remember their markings.

So yesterday, Toko got another one. Or maybe the same one again….you know what I mean. I took it out and dropped it back in the water. They kinda play dead when they’ve been caught, but then they swim away when you put them back in the water.

Then there was this morning.

So, before 7am, I had (in my underwear) rescued the frog, for about the fifth time this summer, and took action on cat proofing their habitat (the blue plastic storage box, filled with rain water and flower pots. Now with added laundry basket cover…) Unfortunately, his compadre didn’t make it. Zizou, the master frogger, tells me they taste just like chicken. And he knows they live in plastic boxes, so he’s now conducting a thorough search of every plastic box in the house. Not just blue ones.

He’s not stupid, you know.


Hand Over Hoppy or the Kitchen Roll Gets It.


Hey all,
We have finished a set of 10 new Magic Mojo masterpusses. Some you may have seen in sneak previews, and some are debuting right here. Which do you like? It would make us very happy if you would scroll through and give your favourite the seal of approval in the poll below. We haz worked our likkle whiskers off on these :)

Steampuss long post

60% of My Cats Are Wrong

Apparently, I have truly awful taste in cats. I have absolutely no credentials in cat selection whatsoever, and would surely be flatly rejected if I ever applied to any institution of import in matters feline.

Wanna know why?

Well, it turns out that my cats would be routinely rejected by prospective adopters at shelters.

Let’s take it on a case by case basis:

1 – Parker.

Issue? She’s black.

I’m sorry. I really don’t understand the problem here. Do people really avoid adopting black cats because of superstition? I mean, seriously?

I just couldn’t believe my luck when a family brought her to me, because no-one else wanted her. Such a beauty – sleek and velvet and flashing green eyes. (I’m just not really with it, when it comes to toeing the line of desirability.)

Parker’s been with me for fourteen years now. She is an utterly devoted cat. She knows the sound of my car, sleeps under my desk during the day, and beside my bed at night. She is 50% sheer beauty and 50% velvet love. I just couldn’t imagine life without her.


2 – Mojo

Issue? He was an old cat when we got him. Actually, we don’t even know how old. So he could really be as old as Methuselah. He’s used up a few of his nine lives already, that’s for sure. His trade mark Elvis impersonation is due to a car related accident before he came to live with us, so he’s got a maximum of eight left.

And I’m reasonably sure that he used another one up before Christmas last year. He got sick. He got sick fast, and it was serious. I took him to the out of hours vet and they kept him over the weekend. They phoned me and told me that he wasn’t going to make it, and that he’d have to be put down. The world stopped a bit.

It was the worst possible timing. I had to go away for work the next day, and I wasn’t due back for a couple of weeks. So I went to see him in the animal hospital . He was on a drip in his enclosure. I opened the door, stuck my head in, and cried into his fur for the best part of an hour. I thought I’d overdone it when I stuffed half a box of tissues into my pocket as a left the house to see him. I was wrong.  He head butted me. He ate the snacks I brought him. Then I had to leave. I didn’t think I’d ever see him again.

But, do you know what? I really think he understood in that hour how much he means to me. This common or garden mog, of inderminate age and origin, is really and truly part of my family. And somehow, he pulled through. When I came home, it was as though he’d never been sick. But he’s an old cat, so hey… who’d want to open their lives to that, right?


3 – Toko

Issue? She’s black….wait for it….AND WHITE!!!! OMG… Black AND WHITE? I mean what kind of crazy person could think THAT wasn’t a problem, right? Well, do you know why she’s called Toko? Cos one of my favourite artists of all time is Toko Shinoda. Guess what colours she uses? Yip…. Black and white. And that is one classy lady. I defy anyone to look at Toko and see something other than beauty and elegance. But Toko would probably be repeatedly passed over if she were in a shelter, just because of her colouring. Sometimes, I wonder how cats put up with humans.


So, you think you want a cat….or a dog, or a human, or whatever. Have a think about your priorities before you consider yourself ready. Having another living creature share your life is a pretty amazing experience – one that should be ruled by the heart. And it definitely shouldn’t be based on a set of pointless prejudices.  So, if your heart is open enough to open your home and your life to an animal from a rescue centre, remember, those animals will only be looking at you wondering how much love you can share together. Whether or not they match your colour preferences is really irrelevant. 

Oh, BTW, the other 40% of my cats are both ginger, one of them feral. Yet more evidence of my truly awful taste :)



Roaming Patterns of the Average Moggie

Cat Cams & GPS Track 11 UK House Cats on Their Rounds

I haven’t seen the Horizon Cat Cam programme yet, but for those of you who don’t have the BBC, here’s a taster of how it goes.

Basically, they put little micro-cameras on a group of domestic kitties and tracked their movements to see what their territory was and how much ground they covered.

I interrupted Stripey mid-roam the other day and asked him what he was doing and why he was on the other side of Cyprus Avenue. He did a miaow that must have lasted 7 seconds, and finished with a definite tone of ‘So, let me get on with it, human!’

Hope this will tell me something about what I interrupted!


Retirement Present for a Cat?

So, what do you get the cat who has everything? The occasion is Stripey’s official retirement.

“Huh?” I hear you ask.

Well, I recently spent some time at a trade show. And on my return, I found that the status quo had definitely changed. It was subtle, yet distinctive. There were still five cats, but the pecking order was different.

For thirteen years, Mr Stripey Pants has ruled the roost with a velvet fist. He was the biggest. The strongest. The street-smartest. The bad-assest. He may still be one or more of those things, but the tide has turned.

No longer is his the first nose in the bowl. No longer does a path through the tangle of cats open as he approaches.

There’s a new sheriff in town.

His name is Zizou.

NF109 Good Bad Furry 2