Nambia? No, Namibia. Where the hell is that?! by Erin Rainey

I'm very excited to introduce you to our newest Feline blogger, Erin Rainey. I first met Erin in 2012 when I was volunteering at Harnas Wildlife Foundation in Namibia. Erin is a fellow Aussie who was living in Namibia and working on the research team at Harnas, and had formed a very close bond with many of the animals at the sanctuary. Erin's blog posts will detail her journey to and from Africa, the amazing relationships she formed with big cats, and the awesome things she accomplished in her 4.5 years there.

I was 23 and my first 'real' boyfriend had just dumped me whilst we were sitting on the couch watching Uncle Buck (Yes. Uncle Buck.). I thought my life as I knew it was over. Not over dramatic at all. I probably cried myself to sleep for months, torturing myself with all those incredibly unhealthy irrationalities that girls seem to love to perpetuate when suffering through a heartbreak.

I had one semester left of my Animal Science degree and my new found freedom presented me with a strong desire to run far, far away from home. Africa. I had always wanted to work with Big Cats. When I was a kid, all I wanted was a cat. Dad hated cats, so it didn't matter how much I begged or letters I wrote to Santa, I never got a kitty of my own*. So heading half way across the world to a third world country where OH&S is considered highly optional to work directly with 200+kg cats seemed like a natural progression. I signed up with a travel agency and they suggested a project in Namibia. Nambia? No, Namibia. I had never heard of Namibia but I was excited and booked for an 8 week placement. That was exactly what I needed. I'd get to fulfill a dream, maybe give this 'finding myself' thing a go and then I'd come back home with a one to two cool stories and a mended heart. Easy. I had it all planned out perfectly.

Africa, with all of her seductive charm, had a very different plan in mind.

*Mum and dad have been since adopted by a stray Birman that turned up on their doorstop. I swear they love the cat more than they do my brother and I combined.

Sheldon, the apple of my parents eye!

Sheldon, the apple of my parents eye!

Want to follow Erin's journey and stay up to date with other Feline news? Click here to subscribe to the blog, or like us on Facebook.

Snap Happy by Jessica McColl

When I wrote my last post I was feeling deflated. In fact it is very easy to feel deflated when you see the plight of cats in shelters. People who work in such places talk of self-preservation. That you have to close yourself off emotionally, to some extent, so that you don’t spend your life in tears.

Twenty kittens to euthanize today. Sure thing, can’t wait.

I do not emotionally disconnect myself and I never will. Change will only occur if people continue to see the injustices. The volunteers have a sort of motto  - “do the best you can for the animals while they are at the facility”.

So, I spent Saturday making up mushy food for the littlest of our kittens (only available to rescue due to being too young to rehome) and stayed with them to make sure each of the little fluff balls got enough to eat. I always say that when I get another cat, I will only adopt an adult. But kittens are divine.

 *Le sigh*

Whilst preparing the kitten food, I noticed some people photographing the cats. You see, shelter staff don’t have time to take photographs beyond the picture taken when the animal is impounded. Usually this photograph shows a terrified cat huddled in the back of a trap or cat carrier. Now I am no marketing expert, but surely the majority of general public aren’t going to be lining up to visit that cat. These photographers come in and set up a makeshift studio in the cattery and take very polished looking images of the cats, which they then give to the shelter so that they can advertise the cats on the shelter’s webpage. What I discovered through chatting with a few of the photographers was that they do so much more.

They come in looking every bit the professional pet photographer. With a bag of tricks to entice even the flightiest of felines. Think: natural yoghurt, kitten milk, wet food and toys. They bring out white screens and props so that it appears the cats are not in fact in a shelter, but are instead in a fancy studio.

"Never work with kids or animals", photographers Katie & Andrew with some un-cooperative kittens

"Never work with kids or animals", photographers Katie & Andrew with some un-cooperative kittens

Surprisingly though, they all have other jobs, not in photography, but in fields such as law and occupational therapy. They clearly have an interest in photography, which they are able to foster through donating their time to some very needy (and at times, highly un-cooperative) subjects. They also love cats. And as the shirt says, people who don’t like cats are weirdos. So I took a liking to them straight away

But wait folks, there is still more. They belong to a group called the Rescue Cat Project. You can visit them on facebook here. They do something a bit different to the work of the regular rescue groups. They instead aim to give the impounded kitties a voice. They do it in three major ways.

1)     CatOgraphy- the cute name given to these fabulous photos they take to advertise the kitties while they are in the shelter. This aids in more adoptions taking place directly from the facility and taking some of the pressure off the already over-flowing rescue organisations.

2)     CatVocacy – another cute name given to the Rescue Cat Project’s plight to be the physical voice of the cats in the shelter by attending council meetings to question and challenge the bureaucracy and advocate for change. 

They also team up with rescue groups to help get cats and kittens out of the pound and into foster care.

3) CatFunding – raising funds to improve the life of cats in shelters. While they were there, the kind representatives of the project offered me food and specially formulated cat milk to feed the little kittens I was caring for. I am not sure I can write eloquently enough how greatly appreciated this is. Such a small thing really. My cats have cat milk stocked up as treats – half the time they won’t even drink it. For these tiny kittens an extra full belly can be the difference between life and death. Today’s serving of kitten milk may be the highlight of their whole life. Their entire lifespan may consist of five weeks.

So this week, I left feeling somewhat uplifted. When you see others out there fighting the good fight, it motivates you to continue doing the same. After all, we are all in this together.

Shelter Cat Sunday - Kitten Season

Kitten season is well and truly under way here in the southern hemisphere, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to desex your cats!!! My friend volunteers at the pound and she told me that with the amount of kittens coming in, most don't even get the chance to get adopted, and go straight to euthanasia. So so sad :(

This is Belle, and she is one of the lucky ones, looking for her forever family with Saving Animals Matters in Western Australia.

Belle is a gorgeous 8 week old grey kitten looking for her forever home. She came into care with her sister Rose and brother Cogsworth after finding themselves homeless. She is an affectionate girl that loves to cuddle her foster mum, and play with her foster siblings.

Check out Belle's profile to find out more about her, or get in contact with her carer if you're interested in adoption. And remember, always visit your local pound or rescue when looking for a new kitty. There are SO many that are in need.

From one Mother to Another by Jessica McColl

It is spring here, in sunny Sydney, Australia. We have beautiful warm days and the native flora on my street is in full bloom. My daughter and I go on long walks and my cats bask in the midday sun coming in through the windows.

Spring should be a beautiful time for all, but alas it is not.

At the pound, where I volunteer, we are already getting in mama cats and kittens by the basket load. Puts a real damper on my thoughts about spring.

On the weekend, I observed a mama cat with her young kittens. She watched peacefully while they played together, rumbling as kittens do. Until the rumbling sent one little ginger ninja and he plummeted head first into the water bowl. Once she had ensured his safety, mama headed over to the put herself in between the tabby instigator and it’s next victim. Gentle discipline at it’s finest.

I also witnessed the terror of a feral cat, separated from her young.

The young babes were taken by a rescue group.

The mama was ‘not suitable’ to be rehomed.

I have been thinking bout this non-stop. Because, you guys, these mama cats are not so different to me. I use gentle discipline always and if I were separated from my baby, fear would not cover it. In fact, I believe I would also become positively feral.

Yes, I see you mama cat.

My heart positively breaks for you.

A kitten yourself, trying to do the best for your babies. Sacrificing your own health and wellbeing to care for these little creatures. Knowing the fear that your future is uncertain. Hearing the sounds of danger all around with nowhere to escape to, nowhere to hide them.

Having them taken away.

Being taken away from them.

Hearing them cry out in little mews for you for those brief moments before you never see them again.

The absolute terror of being taken from the cage for the last time on a catchpole by a person wearing metal gloves.


Today I am sick of it. I am sick of people being so damn irresponsible. I am sick of animals being treated as though they are garbage, dropped off for someone else to deal with. I would tell you to ‘desex your pets’, but hey, you already know that – yep you are already right here on this page. I would tell you that ‘tnr programs’ are great for controlling the stray cat population but I bet you know that too.

The hard truth is that the cycle, in itself is never ending. There is even a name for it – ‘kitten season’. It is horrific that we have a formal name for a time of year, which relates to the influx in the overpopulation of cats.

The only solution, I believe, is education. People must know the implications of not desexing their pets. This week feline lovers, I want you to shout it from the rooftops. Maybe from the high vantage point you will see me, because I will be out there shouting along with you.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This gorgeous young girl is Mama. She is in care with the Animal Holding Facility in Blacktown NSW and desperately wants out!

Sweet little Mama has lost her entire litter to illness and is really feeling the pain, all alone at the pound. She is a very sweet kitty but desperate to get out. Please contact the Animal Holding Facility on (02) 9839 6161 ASAP if you can offer Mama the home she deserves. Her impound number is #5062. Good luck Mama girl! 

Shelter Cat Sunday + SALE!

How cute is little Zalie?! Zalie needs a home! She is on the Central Coast of NSW with Claws N Paws Rescue. 

Zalie is a very quiet natured kitten. She is a great companion cat for you and your other cats and kittens. She loves company and will seek you out when your out of site. She has bonded well with all the other foster kittens and would best suit an older, quiet household with other cats or kittens. She is quite timid but warms up to new people. She has lovely markings and a sweet voice.

If you'd like to know more about this pretty tabby, please call Brianca on 0423 346 407 or have a look at her online profile

In other news, it was my birthday yesterday, so I'm celebrating with a sale! Take 20% off in my ceramics Etsy shop until 15th Nov with coupon code ITSMYBIRTHDAY, and you can also get 20% off in our US and UK shops until 11th Nov (min spend $30) with coupon code 20EARLY. Our US and UK shops ship worldwide.

The Feline Foundation Welcomes Jen Moules

Its a new month which means a new artist! Artist Exchange has been running for quite some time now, and we've had some AWESOME artists contribute their work, and I'm so glad it is continuing this month with Jen Moules.

Only available for the month of November, so be quick!

Only available for the month of November, so be quick!

Jen Moules is a designer maker from the UK specialising in interior textiles, wallpaper and giftware. She draws inspiration from her surroundings and has a passion for nature and wildlife which is reflected in both her textile designs and illustrative work.

Jen's super cute kitty design is available in our shops now, with all proceeds going to our partner charities around the world. Make sure you pop over to Jen's beautiful Etsy shop too.

If you're a creative interested in participating in Artist Exchange, check out the details here.

Shelter Cat Sunday

In love with this little tabby girl. Her name is Lena and she in in care with Safe Bunbury in Western Australia.


Lena, is the most gorgeous little girl. She is such a part of the family and is wherever we are but in such a gentle way. She will just lay down beside us if we are in the garden, or inside. She is so sociable and just loves to be a part of the family. She is always there to greet us when we get home and is never far away from us - she checks on us all the time. She is the most amazing little companion, but not overpowering at all. She likes to talk to us with a few little meows if she can't find us, but once again this is so sweet and not too much at all. She loves my daughter, my 2 dogs and foster cats. She would make the most amazing companion for a loving home and we will miss her very dearly when she does find her forever home.

If you think Lena is the one for you, please get in contact with Nicky on 0414449045. Good luck little Lena!

Time in the Joint by Jessica McColl

My profession is working with adolescence, and as you know my current position is mother to Young Miss Crazy Cat Lady in Training.

But let’s face it. We all need a bit of a break sometimes. As a little me-time, I decided to put my name down as a volunteer at my local pound.

I usually spend Saturday there, hanging out with both the dogs and cats currently being held at the facility and chatting with the public. I love it because I get to do all the fun stuff. Walk and play with the dogs and cuddle and play with the cats.

There have been many things I have learnt there already. The pound staff have even provided opportunities for us, as volunteers, to receive some training. The worst part is seeing some of the darker parts of human nature. There is something truly upsetting about a dog sitting and waiting at the gate of it’s kennel for it’s owner to come get them – not realizing they are never coming back, it is also truly upsetting seeing an older cat confused and unwell after a hard knock life hiding as high up in the eaves of the cattery as it can get, even if this means it will also get soaking wet. It is a sad picture to paint.

Miss Izzy

Miss Izzy

Now let me shed some beauty for you.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that the dogs remember me from week to week. You can both see and sense their excitement as you approach them. When practicing basic obedience with them, it is pure joy to see how elated they feel when they get it right and get some positive reinforcement (read:TREATS!!). Putting a dog back into it’s kennel after a marathon fetch session in the exercise yard, and watching him collapse onto his bed as though he has not a care in the world is a feeling second to none. 

Charlee boy (blind & slight neurological disability)

Charlee boy (blind & slight neurological disability)

I cannot describe to you eloquently enough the sheer satisfaction when you spend half an hour with that elderly puss hiding in the eaves and eventually are able to entice him down. Maybe not to get a smooch, but you do get him to go willingly to their own soft basket. Winning at life, right there.

And when that cute couple come in and adopt the shy fluffy kitten (c’mon you know who you are!) and you know they are going to give him the best home EVER – well, you almost overdose on that warm and fuzzy feeling.

The realisation that you cannot save them all is tough. I would never envy the job of the pound staff; they are not the mean dogcatchers you have pictured in your head. They are people who genuinely love animals. If you ask me, they do the hardest job in animal welfare. They deal with the surplus. The overbred, the unwanted, the neglected, the ‘I’m having a baby,’ the ‘kids would rather a cat/dog’ (as they drop off their dog/cat), the ‘I don’t have time’ and the strays that just never get picked up. Animal lovers, who see, deal with and have to, at times, hand out the worst possible sentence to our domesticated pets.

If you take anything away from reading this, I hope it is a firm respect for the people who are employed by animal holding facilities (pounds) and the next time you see people on social media call them ‘killers’, I hope you serve them a piece of your mind.

So just to circle back, no, you cannot save them all. However, as a volunteer, you can make a difference to these animals that is immeasurable.

Suddenly all of their days don’t look the same and they have something to look forward to.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that something was you.

(I imagine it will also be nice when I stop wanting #allthekitties =^.^= )

Shelter Cat Sunday

This black beauty is Riley, a 5 and a half year old black DSH located in NSW with the 
Animal Adoption Agency.


Riley is a happy cat that loves people & other cats. She has a fantastic temperament & is a lot of fun to have around. Riley will settle into a new home in no time. 

If you would like to know a little more about this gorgeous girl, please call Lee and Fiona 02 4777 4746. We're purring for Riley!

Shelter Cat Sunday

This little cutie is Smudge and she needs a loving home of her own. She's located in NSW with DCH Animal Adoptions

Smudge is a sweet girl who is getting used to being nursed and fussed over, she is quite shy when meeting strangers but soon warms up to them quickly. She was born on the 2nd October, 2013, after her heavily pregnant mother was dumped at a Vet Clinic where she gave birth to 7 kittens.

If you think this sweetie is the one for you, have a look at her profile or call Roslyn on 0412193957. Good luck Smudge!

In other news, I've just added some new cat planters to my Etsy shop. A portion of all cat-themed ceramics goes to The Feline Foundation. 

Click here to see more

Click here to see more

Portraits for Cats Fundraiser # 3

Last year we held two successful Portraits for Cats fundraisers so I thought it was time to do it again. With Christmas fast approaching, what better time?! What is the Portraits for Cats Fundraiser? In basic terms, I will draw your cat for a donation! Please note, the terms and conditions are specific, and there is a donation minimum, so please read very carefully below.  

Fundraiser conditions:

  • donations must at least AUD$25 to qualify for a free artwork (see below)
  • you WILL NOT recieve a hard copy of your portrait like last time. You will be emailed a large file of the completed artwork which will be print ready. That way you can have it printed on whatever you want, at whatever size you want, as many times as you want!
  • donation of AUS$25-34 includes a portrait of one cat head
  • donation of AUD$35-44 includes a portrait of two cat heads
  • donations of AUD$45-$64 includes a full body portrait of one cat
  • donations of over AUD$65 includes a full body portrait of two cats
  • please email if you would like a portrait of more than two cats
  • donor must email me to claim their free gift after they've made their donation: *this step is important - you must email me as I don't have time to chase people up
  • a clear, good quality photo of your cat must be supplied if entitled to a free custom portrait
  • PLEASE NOTE: you are not buying a portrait. You are making a donation and getting a gift in return, thus only very minor changes will be able to be made to your portrait once it is complete. I will ask for your input before I start it regarding colours, patterns and anything else you'd like me to include
  • all donations are distributed between the groups we support who work to save domestic cats around the world, and big cats in Africa
  • to donate, use the button below
  • for more info about how the custom portraits are produced, click here
  • click here to see more of the portraits I drew during our last fundraiser
  • portraits will take approx one week to complete
  • fundraiser will run from the time this blog post goes live, until 22nd November 2014


Shelter Cat Sunday

We're swooning over this cutie! Meet Dorian from Sydney's Cat Protection Society.

We’re just Wilde about the stunningly beautiful grey boy Dorian – he’s incredibly gentle and loves to snuggle! A tranquil home where he can remain indoors will suit his quiet nature and a window ledge or strategically placed scratch platform will quench Dorian’s need to have a sticky beak at the world outside.

If you'd like to know more about Dorian, please get in contact with CPS by calling (02) 9557 4818. 

And speaking of CPS, I've donated a large ceramic cat planter to them to raffle off at their upcoming Open Day (more details here). I'll also have a new batch of ceramic cat planters in my Etsy shop tomorrow, hopefully. Visit my art blog to stay up to date on ceramics.

Shelter Cat Sunday

Say hi to Venita, a pretty grey and white DSH in care with Happy Paws Haven in NSW.

Vanita is one of the V-Team, a litter which arrived with their mother when they were very small. They have been found in a barn yet Mum was very friendly. They were on a property with very few neighbours and no-one knew where they came from. A gentleman rescued them but found that he could not look after them so bought them into Happy Paws Haven where they have grown up to be beautiful kittens. They have been desexed immunised and chipped and are now ready for their new homes.

To find our more about Vanita, call Sally on (02) 6644 9936 or have a look at her online profile. Good luck Vanita. And on a side note, go the Bunnies today!

The Feline Foundation Welcomes Sarah Preuss

We're so lucky to have Sarah Preuss back for Artist Exchange this month! She submitted the gorgeous logo design to our competition a few months back, and it was one of my favourite designs! You can get it in our shop now on all sorts of goodies including tees, cropped tees, totes and even yoga pants in a metallic print! I just bought myself a pair! AND from now until 5th October you can get 10% off all ladies gear in the US and UK shops with coupon code THINKPINK (between those two shops they ship worldwide, but we do have an Australian shop too of course!)

Hurry, this design is completely limited edition so wont be around for long. And remember, ALL proceeds go to the cat charities we support around the world. If you're an artist or designer and would like to lend us your design, check out the details for Artist Exchange here

To Fur, With Love by Jessica McColl

Let me begin by telling you that I find the wearing of fur totally abhorrent. It is cruel and totally unnecessary. I also think it is just weird, to wear a real fox, eyes and all, around your neck. It smells funny and I really just do. not. get. it.

I think the work of Snuggle Coats is fantastic. You should check them out, repurposing fur to benefit animals is a wonderful thing to do. It also inspired my crafty fingers.

So this week I crocheted my own stol which is styled to look like my own beautiful Macy.

Yes, Mr. Bean did think this was a real cat!

Yes, Mr. Bean did think this was a real cat!

I decided I would share my pattern with you, it is not very hard (intermediate, perhaps?) and no crazy cat lady or gent’s wardrobe is complete without one!

Feel free to personalize by adding you own cat’s markings, the pattern is written for a single colour, but you can alter it to suit. Also if you find this more Cruella De’ville than cool, you could try making a cat in a totally unrealistic colour.

You will need:

4mm crochet hook

3 balls of 8ply yarn [I used 2 black & 1 white]

small amount of yarn to embroider the nose and mouth [I used a fleshy tone]

1 pair of safety eyes

yarn needle

[ch = chain, sc=single crochet, st= stitch, sts= stitches, tog= together]

Method [worked in circular rounds starting with the cats head]

1.      Ch2, 5sc in second sc from hook. 5sc

2.      2sc in each sc around. 10sc

3.      (sc in next sc, 2sc in next st) around. 15sc

4.      (sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 20sc

5.      (sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st) around. 25sc

6.      (sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 30sc

7.      (sc in next 5 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 35sc

8.      (sc in next 6 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 40sc

9.      (sc in next 7 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 45sc

10.  (sc in next 8 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 50sc

11.  (sc in next 9 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 55sc

12 - 155. (sc in each sc) around. 55sc

Leave work on hook. Secure eyes and embroider nose and mouth.

156. (sc in next 5 sc, sc next 2sc tog) around.

157. (sc in next 4 sc, sc next 2sc tog) around.

158. (sc in next 3 sc, sc next 2 sc tog) around.

159. (sc in next 2 sc, sc next 2 sc tog) around.

160. (sc in next sc, sc next 2 sc tog) around. Bind off.


1.      ch2, 9sc in second sc from hook

2-7. (sc per sc) around.

8. sc 2sc tog, 7sc

9-26. (sc per sc) around

27. sc in next 5sc, turn

28. Skip first sc, 4 sc, turn

29. Skip first sc, 3 sc, turn

30. Skip first sc, 2 sc. Bind off.

Sew tail to the end of the stol.

 Legs [make four]

1.      Ch2, 6sc in second sc from hook. 6sc

2.      (2scs per sc) around. 12sc

3-7. sc per sc around. 12sc

8. Sc 2sc tog, sc in next 5scs, sc 2sc tog, sc in next 3 sc. 10sc

9-10. sc in each sc around. 10sc 2sc tog, sc in next 8sc. 9sc

12-21. Sc in each sc around. 9sc

22. Sc in next 6sc, turn. 6sc

23. Skip first sc, sc in next 5sc, turn. 5sc

24. Skip first sc, sc in next 4sc, turn. 4sc

25. Skip first sc, sc in next 3sc, turn. 3sc

Attach legs to underside of the cat’s ‘body.’ The paws of the front legs should be either side of the face. The back legs follow the direction of the tail.

Ears [make two]

1.      Ch2, 4sc in seconds sc from hook.

2.      (Sc per sc) around

3.      (2sc per sc) around

4.      (Sc per sc) around

5.      (Sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc) around

6.      (Sc per sc) around. Bind off.

 Attach ears to cat’s head. (Mine are located at round 23)


Happy crafting cat lovers =^.^=

Shelter Cat Sunday

What a pretty girl Lucinda is! She is looking for her forever home and is currently in care with Angel Paws Inc in QLD.

Meet the stunning miss Lucinda, this very pretty kitty is looking for a family to call her own. She is still a little shy, but is starting to come out of her shell now. Once she gets to know you she is an affectionate little girl. She is also quite talkative and will keep you well informed as to when she believes its her dinner time.

If you or someone you know would like to meet Lucinda, please check out her profile or get in contact with Angel Paws here

Character Caracals by Alison Lee Rubie

Before going to Africa, I’ll be honest, I had no idea what a caracal was. I hadn’t even heard of them. They aren’t a common animal to have in Australian zoos, nor one that we would learn about, so I was completely naïve about them. But while in South Africa last year I had the privilege to work with these beautiful cats up close. They have some great characteristics and certainly have a lot of character about them.

Found across Africa, Central Asia and south west Asia (into India), the caracal – Scientific Name: Caracal caracal,  is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Redlist. This is positive as it means their numbers are steady and not declining. They occupy a wide variety of habitats and are adaptable to their surrounds from savannahs to semi-desert and even scrubland and forest dwellings. Their diet consists of small to medium mammals such as rabbits and duiker and other small antelope to even birds and fish and reptiles. As with all African animals, habitat loss is a big threat to them as well as laws allowing farmers and landowners to kill without restriction. Despite these threats, the population remains steady.

Pictured here is a Sakura. She was always so calm and affectionate when we didn’t have food to give out but seemed to be a completely different cat when she knew we had food for her. It was a race to run into her enclosure, drop the food and run out, beating the snarls and hisses coming from the hungry caracal. A thrill though nonetheless for me. 

I’ll be heading back to Africa on October 5 after the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions in Sydney (11am Sydney Town Hall) and plan on sending through a blog then. Stay tuned for ‘on the ground’ blogging.

Thanks as always to Alison, our big cat blogger. We absolutely love caracals! You can also read all about Sarah's caracal adventure here.

We hope to see you at the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions next Saturday - more info about the Sydney event here

Shelter Cat Sunday

Say hi to Taj, the handsome-est boy you ever did see!

Taj had an unfortunate start to life and suffered abuse. He arrived here a very scared angry kitten but that has all changed. Taj has become a lovely cat who really enjoys your company, will greet you with a meow, rub around your legs he just doesn't want to sit on your lap. He would love a home that lets him be himself and grow in his own time. Taj is no longer scared, he allows me to groom him, carry him and he loves to play. In fact Taj will play with you for hours. Taj needs to be an only cat, however he is good with cat friendly dogs. Taj just turned one and his adoption fee is $150.

If you are currently catless and have been looking for the purrfect addition to your home, well look no further! Taj is located in Turramurra with the Mini Kitty Commune. For more info about Taj, get in contact with them on Facebook or email

The Divine Macy by Jessica McColl

Macy is a DMH tuxedo and every bit the supermodel. She is svelte, sleek, intelligent and discerning in her tastes. Yes, she is the total and complete opposite of Mr. Bean.

Macy was also my first ever cat. Macy, you should know, was a victim of animal cruelty. I believe that Macy’s shy nature is at least in part, a result of this. She takes a long time to accept strangers. She is very sensitive and highly bonded to me.

I think I called the shelter where I adopted her from almost daily for two weeks when we got her. I slowly molded into more and more of a totally devoted crazy cat lady.

When Macy became ill unexpectedly, I was every bit the panic stricken first time mum. She kept vomiting and seemed lethargic, I rushed her to our Vet [another crazy cat lady]. She was diagnosed with fur balls.

Yep, I felt the fool.

I decided to write about this as recently a friend of mine exclaimed how her kitty has never had fur balls Macy was two years old when I rushed her to the vet with her first lot. So if your are a seasoned cat owner, you may not blink at what I am about to tell you, new cat owners be warned.

Fur balls are gross.

The cat will cough and hack and eject what looks like a long poop, spectacularly from their mouth. Sometimes their breakfast comes with it. Why did no one mention this to me? I imagined a little ball of fur as coughed up by Garfield.  This, it is not.

So I prefer to focus on the solution, or rather management of them. If you are unsure, a visit to the Vet is not a bad idea. On the aforementioned trip to our vet, Macy required an injection. The friction caused by the fur rubbing against her stomach lining caused inflammation, so she was in fact in pain.

Macy devotes 98% of her life to the beautification process, you can tell this by looking at her. However it also leads to fur build up in her digestive tract.

Mr. Bean is a DSH and has only ever had one. It was nowhere near as traumatic for him as for Macy. The initial advice from the vet was that prevention is better than a cure, true of so many things in life. She said to start giving them both food, which targets fur balls. Even though fur balls rarely affect short hair cats so severely, if you have more than one feline resident there is the chance that they will mutually groom. I dutifully followed the vets advice, despite the fact we had recently discussed that Mr. Bean is flat our grooming himself. She also mentioned that I should brush Macy during molting seasons, which I was already doing.

This approach worked for quite a while. You will never eliminate fur balls in your cats. That is not the aim of fur ball management. It is good for cats to throw up [or poop out] their fur balls. Better out than in, I always say. What you want to aim for is that the process is easy and non-stressful for your cat.

Recently we had a horrible episode where Macy attempted to cough up a fur ball, which she couldn’t dislodge. It resulted in her drooling for about two hours. It was terrifying. We had been giving them both a high quality fur ball food. I googled and googled and googled. Most options were not an option for us. In the end I tried a fur ball paste which you smear on your cats paws for them to lick off. It helps lubricate the fur in their digestive tract so they can pass it more easily.

Macy is highly offended by the mess on her paw, and ensures she removes every single trace of it before she steps off the spot. Which is exactly what I want her to do. So far, so good.  

Another good option is offering cat grass. Macy has gone off the cat grass as Mr. Bean has [another] truly charming habit of pooping in it. But give it a go with your cats.

If she were to read this Macy would be mortified. Fur balls, in their essence, are VERY un-ladylike.

What do you do to help manage fur balls? 

Macy has declined to show her face in light of today’s topic.

Macy has declined to show her face in light of today’s topic.