Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas Day at Axhayes!

While many people were opening their presents or cooking their turkey on Christmas Day, our CCAs came into the centre to care for the cats and kittens. It’s nice to come in and make Christmas special for our cats and kittens. Since the end of November we have been collecting cat toys and food for Christmas Day.  

On Christmas morning some of our CCA’s came in early to feed and clean as normal. Once we were finished, we gave out Christmas presents for our cats and kittens. On Christmas Eve CCA Diane made a sleigh from a box and decorated it with tinsel and attached a Santa Claus toy to the front. We put this sleigh on to our feeding trolley and pushed it down the corridors. Santa’s sleigh visited each cat pen and CCAs Gemma, Christie and Michelle gave out toys for all our cats and kittens. We were very lucky to have a variety of toys kindly donated this year. Our cats and kittens enjoyed their new toys and tasty food; these donations brought our cats and kittens some festive cheer.

Didley loved his fishing rod toy and toy mouse. He’s a very playful old boy; he was happily rolling around and batting his mouse around his pen. Sam a few pens across loved his homemade catnip toy. Betony and Norman were playing with a feathery toy. Otter, Tanglefoot and Ruddle were given a large cube toy to play in, they were a little unsure of it, but soon started to play with it. Felix enjoyed another catnip toy. He’s was very sneaky before Christmas and found one of his presents. A few weeks ago he found a catnip toy from the Christmas toy bag and started to play with it. This was recorded by CCA Gemma and posted onto youtube for his video appeal. He loves catnip.    

In our maternity section, Mrs Ewing’s kittens Baby Sue, JR, Ellen and Bobby were given a large purple tunnel. They were a little afraid of this strange object in their pen at first. CCA Gemma showed them it wasn’t scary, Baby Sue and Bobby started to jump on and play with the tunnel. Please check out their video below (apologises for the video quality).   

After playing with their new toys, it was time for their Christmas dinner. A couple of our CCAs have been cooking turkey for our cats and kittens on Christmas Eve. Each of our cats and kittens were given cooked turkey, which they all tucked in to. Once Christmas dinner was finished some of the cats relaxed in bed, while others played with their toys. By next Christmas all of these cats and kittens will have loving homes and families.

We would like say thank you to everyone who donated cat toys and food this Christmas. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

We will be taking a break from our blog during the Christmas holidays. We would like to thank everyone who kindly donated cat food and cat toys for our many cats and kittens. We will be giving our cats and kittens a tasty meal and a Christmas present on Christmas Day morning. Thank you for following our blog and all of your support.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all of the cats, kittens and staff at Axhayes adoption centre.

Our centre will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year ’s Day. In the event of an emergency, please contact your local vet.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Meet our newest temporary office assistant Buttons. If you have visited our centre, you may have seen him on our front desk. He’s enjoying spending some time away from his pen, he loves lying out on top of our front desk watching people come and go from the centre. You can't miss him, he's a very handsome tabby boy with a meow which sounds like he's squeaking. Which we find adorable.

Today Buttons enjoyed sitting on the office desk, next to the computer I was working on. He decided he wanted to help me update our Facebook page by nudging the computer mouse with his nose. He sat on my lap purring happily with the occasional squeaky meow. He loves to squeak, he was telling me about his day. He sat back on the desk and enjoyed head butting my head for kisses. He’s very happy being around our CCAs and managers, he will make a great companion in a home. He had a little walk around our oldies corridor which adjoins on to our reception. He was greeting any volunteers, visitors and staff in the corridor with a little squeaky meow. After a busy morning, Buttons was back in his pen for an afternoon snooze until teatime.

Buttons is still looking for a loving home in time for Christmas. Buttons arrived at his previous owner's house ten years ago, starving and unable to eat as his teeth were so bad. He had clearly been neglected for some time. Once back to health, he proved to be a loving and happy cat. After ten years of happiness, his owner had to go into care and Buttons finds himself at Axhayes looking for a loving home in which to spend his retirement. He is a lovely boy who has a very sweet temperament and would make a wonderful companion. Say hello to Buttons when you visit our centre. We are hoping someone will fall in love with him soon. Who could resist?

If you are interested in adopting Buttons, please call us on 01395 232377 or please visit our website for more details about our homing policy. Thank you.  

Monday, 17 December 2012

Found a home in time for Christmas

We had a great afternoon on Saturday, Israel (Izzy) and Nessie have finally found a new home together. These two were found on a farm back in March when they were only six months old. They were incredibly hungry and had no place to call home. Luckily some cat loving people contacted us and they came to the centre. They were a little shy to start with, after lots of TLC from our CCAs their confidence grew and they became very friendly affectionate cats.

Izzy and Nessie were very happy to leave in their cat carrier. Izzy happily purred in her carrier and watching me fill out her paperwork. She was clearly very happy to be finally going home. We are so pleased they have found a home after spending nine months with us. It’s true when we say at the centre; all of our cats find homes eventually.   

We have great news about some of Unicorn’s kittens! For those who follow our blog regularly; you may remember these kittens were rescued from under a dual carriageway bridge back in September. Our lucky kittens Rydon, Lucky, Haddeo and Digby have been reserved and will be going to their new homes very soon. We are hoping our remaining black kittens Aspen, Betony, Norman and Russell find homes soon. They are all very sweet, friendly and playful. They are waiting for someone to pick them.

Morpheus and Trinity are our longest staying kittens at the centre. Please read our previous blog about them for more details. We really hope someone will adopt them in time for Christmas or the New Year. We can’t understand why they are still with us. Morpheus and Trinity are very outgoing, energetic, affectionate, mischievous and of course playful. They love to play and run about. We've had many visitors on Saturday and today, Morpheus and Trinity happily introduced themselves to them and loved to attention they received. Sadly they have no been chosen today, we are optimistic they will find a home together. They are will make a great addition to a family; they are great with cats, dogs and children. Please contact us for more information about Morpheus and Trinity.  

If you are interested in adopting any of our cats and kittens, please contact us on 01395 232377 or please visit our website. We will be taking a break over the Christmas holidays on our Facebook page and blog, so their will be a delay answering any questions. Please contact us via our telephone number.

Over the Christmas period the way we home cats changes slightly. Many people's homes are very busy, full of excitement and hustle and bustle, and this is not the right kind of environment to settle in a rescue cat. For this reason homing during the Christmas period will be at our adoption centre manager’s discretion. We will continue to carry out home-visits, and after these, you can still reserve a cat to be picked up in the New Year.  Our opening hours only change in that we are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Thank you.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Unicorn's kittens are ready to find homes.

"Rescued from under a bridge"

We thought we would give you a quick update on Unicorn’s eight beautiful kittens. These lucky kittens were rescued back in September by our CCAs Diane and Christie. They were living under a bridge which was over a dual carriageway with many cars zooming past below. Not the safest place to raise a young family. We were alerted about them from a concerned member of the public, our deputy manager Phil and CCA Diane spent hours trapping them. They managed to trap mum and seven kittens but there was still one kitten left. CCA Christie spent hours sat in the rain and eventually the tiny little black kitten emerged from under the bridge. Our kittens, Aspen, Russell, Betony, Norman Digby, Haddeo, Rydon and Lucky have moved on to our rehoming section today. These kittens are enjoying relaxing in their new pens this afternoon. They’ve been playing with their new toys, watching people pass by and have had volunteers and CCAs saying hello to them.

All of these kittens are waiting for any potential adopters pick them and take them home. These kittens are all playful, friendly and affectionate; they are looking for a safe place to live away from busy roads and traffic. Their mother Unicorn is also available for adoption. If you are interested in any of Unicorn’s fabulous kittens, please get in touch with us. Please visit our website or facebook page for more information. Thank you.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Our first Christmas Appeal video

Lights, camera, action! CCA Gemma has been busy filming our latest youtube film, for our Christmas Appeal. Our Youtube channel is nearly two years old and has undergone a make over this year; this is its first Christmas film. This latest film has made some of the CCAs a little teary when they watched it in the office. We hope it will help many kittens and cats here at Axhayes find homes in time for Christmas.

During filming Mrs Ewing and Lady loved the camera a little too much. They enjoyed kissing the lens and head butting the camera. Unfortunately they didn’t make the film this time; we will try again if they are still with us. They were just grateful for the attention and cuddles.  

Our mischievous and usual hyperactive duo Trinity and Morpheus, were very chilled out and relaxed during filming. They are usually very difficult to photograph or film, they love cuddles and to play. Waggle dance and Puddle duck were also relaxing this afternoon, both purring happily and enjoying tickles. Our wonderful mums Maisie and Tabitha were pushing each other out of the way for their moment in the spotlight.   

Haddeo and her brother Digby also star in this film. These kittens were rescued from under a dual carriageway bridge in Exeter back in September. They have moved to our rehoming section this weekend. They were very frightened when they first came into us, now two months later; they have come on leaps and bounds. All they sociable, affectionate, playful and always greet you with purrs. Little Haddeo also took part in our Axhayes Christmas photos which have been featured on our facebook page along with our kittens Coverly, Pumpkin, Baby Sue and Ellen.   

We are hoping this video will help our cats and kittens find loving forever homes in time for Christmas. Please watch our video on our youtube channel today.

If you are interested in adopting any of our cats and kittens, please contact us on 01395 232377 or please visit our website or facebook page for more information. Over the Christmas period the way we home cats changes slightly. Many people's homes are very busy, full of excitement and hustle and bustle, and this is not the right kind of environment to settle in a rescue cat. For this reason homing during the Christmas period will be at our adoption centre manager’s discretion. We will continue to carry out home-visits, and after these, you can still reserve a cat to be picked up in the New Year.  Our opening hours only change in that we are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Thank you.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Please Help Felix

Poor Felix has been flooded out of his foster home – he needs your help.  

The weather in the South-west and Exeter has been really terrible this past week. Thankfully our centre has been left intact, we’re very fortunate our building is on high ground and our CCAs have all made it to Axhayes despite many roads being closed due to flooding. We have also been very lucky to continue rehoming our cats and kittens this week. One of our long-stayers Felix has returned to Axhayes ahead of schedule this week. Sadly due to this horrendous weather we’ve had, Di’s family home (where Felix has been staying) was flooded on Wednesday morning and it will be several weeks before it is safe for him to live there again.  

Our CCA Diane has been his foster mum since January and she has really enjoyed sharing her home with him. When he came to the centre one year ago, he had a wound on his neck which was taking a long time to heal. When he stayed on our admissions section, he wore a little leather boot, to stop him scratching his wound. He became increasingly unhappy in his pen and his wound just wasn’t making much progress. After a couple of months, Felix moved in with Di. He started off wearing socks to prevent him from scratching his neck; he then began to wear colourful jumpers to wear to help protect his neck wound. These jumpers have allowed his wound to heal over time and don’t bother him at all. He is now going through a trail period without it and so far so good.

Felix when he first came into Axhayes

We are now desperately looking for a home for Felix. He’s a lovely chatty, affectionate cat, he needs a quiet stress free environment, He’s looking for a forever home with a patient, caring owner who is able to continue with his daily medication and make sure that he is kept on his special diet. He’s not keen on other cats so need to be your only cat but he has been ok living with a dog for the last ten months. He loves company, so it would be great if you were retired or working from home and can keep an eye on him. He is not much of a lap cat and is not keen on being picked up but enjoys sitting and sleeping with you.


Please help him to get out of here soon as he is not happy in a pen. If you are interested in finding out more about this lovely 7 year old cat, please speak to a member of staff. Our CCA Di is one of our social media editors and is happy answer any questions you might have about him via our Facebook page. For more information about our adoption process, please contact us on 01395 232377, thank you.

Keep your cats safe if there’s actually a flood warning….
-          Keep your cat carriers to hand and check you have enough food and medication to last 
-          Keep familiar toys dry with their smells of home on it, this will help reduce stress
-          Think about taking your cat(s) to a family member of friend who lives away from the flood risk area until the danger has passed.
-          Put all documents such as vaccination records, your vet’s details and your pet’s microchip number in a sealed bag with any other important documents.
-          Keep up to date with the lastest information, local radio, TV or call Floodline 0845 988 1188.  
If disaster strikes…
-          If at all possible, don’t leave your pets behind, even if you think that you’ve created a safe place for them – it could be several days before you can make it back home.
-          If you have no choice but to leave your pets behind, shut them inside an upstairs room with plenty of food and water
-          Leave notices outside your home to alert RSPCA or your local flood warden that there are pets inside
-          Put cats into suitable carrier with a warm blanket.
-          Remember to take your cat’s food, water, bowls, medication and bedding with you.
(Courtesy of The Blue Cross Flood advice)   

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cappuccino and Butterscotch

For some cats who come in to the centre, being in a pen can be really scary for them. When Cappuccino and Butterscotch came into Axhayes back in the summer, they were very unhappy and nervous in their pen. These boys need a special home as they have the medical condition FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), so they would require an indoor home together. Luckily for these two, one of our cat fosterers was able to take them home.

In a home environment the pair soon relaxed, full of character and proved to be very sweet little cats. In less than a week in their foster home, both cats enjoyed playing games and being stroked. Butterscotch and Cappuccino (nicknamed Butter and Cappi) have been keeping their fosterer very busy with their antics, they enjoy pouncing on her feet while she sleeps, playing with cat toys and her glasses. Cappi loves to be around you at all times, he likes to sit beside you on the sofa and sleep beside you in bed. He loves lots of strokes and attention.
Butter is more playful, he loves to play with anyone at anytime of the day. His favourite thing to do is watching the fish and bats the tank when the fish swim up to him. Both cats love to play with each other and will keep you entertained for hours. They have made terrific progress in the foster home, now they are ready for a home of their own.

They are doing so well in their foster home; we would like to find a permanent home for them from there. If you are interested in giving Cappuccino and Butterscotch an indoor home where they will be loved forever please contact us on 01395 232377 or get in touch with us via our Facebook page. Thank you   

Monday, 19 November 2012

Success Story - Walnut and Waffles

Walnut and Waffles came to Axhayes back in June of this year with their siblings Wilberforce, Wesley, Whiskers and William. These kittens were found living outside and were very frightened when they first came to the centre. These kittens needed lots of help building up their confidence, some of them were socialised by our cat socialiser Carolyne and one pair spent some time in a foster home with CCA Vicky.

Two months later Walnut and Waffles (now renamed Luna) were chosen and went to live with a family. They told us during their telephone follow up, it took a little time to for Walnut and Waffles to gain their trust but once they did, they turned into friendly and loving kittens. They have settled in extremely well, they are really happy with them. Their owner’s previous older cat just loves them and has got a new lease of life!

 Today we have received some lovely photos from their new owners; these once shy and nervous kittens are now playful, funny and loving. They told us they have become “fabulous family pets and well hooligans” as you can see in their photos of Walnut playing on the trampoline. We always enjoy hearing about our cats and kittens in happy homes.

Interested in adopting an Axhayes cat or kitten? Please visit our website or our Facebook page. Thank you :-)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Cats and Allergies

Cats Protection is marking Indoor Allergy Week (12-18 November) by providing tips for sufferers with the aim of helping to ease the UK's unwanted cat problem.

Things that cause allergic reactions are called triggers or allergens. Almost anything can be an allergen including pollen, dust mites, detergents, tobacco smoke, insect stings, pets, feathers and perfume.

The severity of a reaction to an allergen varies dramatically from person to person. Symptoms include:
-          Sneezing and a running or blocked nose
-          Itchy and watery eyes
-          Coughing and wheezing
-          Itchy skin

Asthma and eczema sufferers may find that their symptoms are exacerbated by the presence of an allergen.

Am I allergic to cats?

For some people it is fairly obvious that they are allergic to cats because they have an almost immediate reaction to a cat entering a room. In other cases it may not be so easy to tell, particularly if someone is allergic to more than one trigger in their environment.
If you think you or a family member might be allergic to your cat it is a good idea to have a trial separation to determine if the cat is the cause of the reaction. Cats are often singled out because they are easily identifiable but it is important to remember that they are just one possible household cause and that dust mites are by far the most common trigger for house-born allergies.

If you do not own a cat but are thinking of getting one, a simple visit to someone who has a cat or to an Adoption Centre will show you whether you are allergic or not.

Is there anything I can do to ease my symptoms?
There are a number of different things that significantly ease allergy symptoms, including:
-          Using anti-histamine tablets or nasal spray – please consult your doctor first
-          Wash your bedding twice monthly in a hot wash
-          Designating some areas as cat-free zones, particularly bedrooms, its especially important not to let your cat(s) sleep on your bed.  
-          Regularly cleaning rooms where the cat sleeps – vacuumed rooms should be allowed to settle as vacuuming stirs up allergens
-          Grooming your cat outdoors and wiping him with a damp cloth
-          Washing your cat’s bed regularly

In tests, Petal Cleanse (Biolife International) alleviated the symptoms of 90% of sufferers. For more information on Petal Cleanse, and many other products endorsed by Allergy UK, visit its website or phone its helpline on 01322 619898.

Breeds of cat
Certain breeds and even certain cats are better than others for allergy sufferers because of their fur – trial and error is the only way to tell if this is the case for you. However, bear in mind that it is a cat’s skin cells that are usually the trigger for allergy sufferers not the fur.

Please note – Cats Protection does not condone the creation of hypoallergenic cats. The money spent on just one of these engineered cats could help so many others 

Can I get a cat if I am allergic?
If you still want a cat even though you have a reaction to them then your symptoms are probably mild to moderate and therefore manageable via the steps outlined in this blog piece. Some people find that repeated exposure to the same cat or cats over time banishes their allergic reaction altogether.

Should I keep my cat?
The answer to this varies greatly from person to person. First you must make sure that it is the cat causing the allergic reaction. You do not want to go through the upset of rehoming a much-loved pet only to discover that stress is what brings on your asthmatic attacks.

In the end, the decision about whether to get or keep a cat depends entirely on you and the severity of your reaction. In some cases the symptom-easing steps mentioned in this blog post may provide enough relief for you to live happily with a cat. If not, it is advisable to avoid cats and seek advice from your doctor.

If you feel you cannot keep your cat, please contact our Cats Protection Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 for advice.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Trinity and Morpheus

Morpheus and Trinity first came to Axhayes back in May when they were just a few weeks old with their brother Neo and their beautiful mother Missy. They were sadly one of many unwanted litters we take into our care every year. Their mother Missy and brother Neo quickly found homes during the summer. Sadly Morpheus and Trinity are still waiting for someone to take them home and love them forever. These kittens are one of the friendliest pairs of kittens you will meet on our rehoming corridor; they happily greet you purring whenever you open their pen door. We have mentioned them in a previous blog back in the summer after we took them out to our outdoor playpen for some exercise and sunshine. They are nearly 7 months old and growing up fast in their pen.

Today Morpheus and Trinity have enjoying having lots of attention from our volunteers and our work experience girl Amy. After they watched CCA Theresa clean their pen, they had lots of fun playing with a fishing rod toy with Amy. Both kittens are full of energy and they love to play like all kittens do. When some potential adopters came in to look around at the kittens, they sat at the front of their pen hoping they would open their door and say hello. Today wasn't their day to be chosen, we are hoping their turn will be next. This afternoon they had a CCA visit them, they enjoyed trying to both squeeze on to her lap, jumping on and off to play with their ping-pong balls. Morpheus was running around batting the ping-pong ball across the floor.   

By the late afternoon after burning some energy playing and enjoying plenty of fuss from our volunteers and CCAs, they settled down for an afternoon nap. It will soon be teatime…

We are hoping someone will fall in love with them soon and take them home. They are very friendly, affectionate and playful kittens who will make lovely additions to a home. If you are interested in adopting Trinity and Morpheus, please contact us on 01395 232377 or please visit our website for more information about our adoption process. Thank you.  

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Success Story - Violet and Dandelion

One of our jobs as a CCA is to do follow up checks on some of our adopted cats and kittens. We normally phone our adopters after three months to chat about how their new cat or kitten is settling in, to give any advice for any problems they may have had and to answer any questions. We do occasionally do follow up checks in person too, due to constraints on our time we can only do local visits. These visits are always nice because we get to see our ex-Axhayes cats and kittens in a happy loving home where they should be. This is a very rewarding part of the job.

Today I visited Violet and Dandelion armed with my camera. As mentioned in previous blog entries, these kittens starred in “The Life of an Axhayes kitten”. This youtube video has over 370 hits and took nine weeks to record. Violet and Dandelion were adopted back in July and their siblings Foxglove and Bluebell were finally rehomed last month.  

Dandelion now renamed Ernie was a little wary of this strangle cat-smelling lady in familiar blue uniform walking over to him. It was lovely to see him curled up on the sofa and he is grown up so much, he now looks like a fully grown cat. Violet was happily sat in their conservatory and said hello. Their owners absolutely adore them and both kittens love them too. Violet and Ernie settled into their home very quickly, both very playful, loved running around the house and up and down the stairs. They love playing in the garden, Violet is much more adventurous whereas Ernie is much more homely. Both kittens love being around their owners and don’t like to go too far. After about 10 minutes Violet and Ernie came over to me for a stroke and to sniff my hands and cat-smelling uniform.

It was great to see them again, now they are seven months old and have grown up so much. It was fantastic to see them in a happy loving home together and their owners are really happy with them and love them lots. A very happy ending for our famous youtube/facebook kittens. 

Interested in adopting an Axhayes cat or kitten and you live in the Exeter area? Please contact us on 01395 232377 or visit our facebook page or our official website at Thank you.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bonfire night - 5th November

Remember, remember your cat this November!

With fireworks seemingly no longer confined to 5th November, spare a thought for your feline friend this autumn….

While the festivities – particularly those based around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve – are entertaining for us, they can be distressing for pets. Apart from the obvious physical damage that can occur as a result of accidental contact with fireworks, cats can also be badly affected by the resultant noise and lights. In some cases, behavioural problems could arise as a result of fear and stress, including soiling of the home or excessive grooming, while there is also the danger of them running away. The following recommendations should ensure that you can enjoy the celebrations with the peace of mind that your cat will be safe and sound.

First of all, keep him in after dark and provide him with a litter tray if he is used to having outside access. In order to feel secure, cats need to be settled in cosy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed or favourite chair, so make sure these are available. Make sure that all doors and windows are securely closed – this will also reduce the level of noise from outside. To create a semblance of calm, pheromone plug-in diffusers – available from pet shops – have a beneficial effect, but you must start using them a couple of weeks before the fireworks season starts in order to maximise the benefit. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help.

If you are having your own celebrations, you could consider buying hand-held cascading fireworks rather than noisier varieties. Similarly, many companies now offer quiet or almost silent fireworks – giving you the same spectacle without the loud bangs. Try to keep fireworks and bonfire displays as far away from your home as possible, but do bear in mind the effect these displays will have on wild animals. Finally, check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small creatures are sleeping inside.

For further advice on keeping felines safe and happy during the fireworks season, please call our centre on 01395 232377.

Ripley's story

Ripley's story : a ‘tail’ about the unseen side of our job.

We received a phone call about the ‘tolerant’ Mr Ripley from a lady who was out in the countryside in Mid Devon.  She said that she had found a bedraggled biscuit-coloured cat.  The lovely lady then literally went ‘the extra mile’ for an animal in distress, and took him too the vet.  After an examination, ‘Ripley’ as he was then named, was found to have two massive gashes in his throat, severe ear problems, and had bad teeth.  He was clearly aged, and later it was discovered that he had also contracted FIV.

Ripley when he came into us 17th September

His organs were good though, and the vets soon called us and we found Ripley to be a darling boy who actually enjoyed having his injuries nursed!  We nursed him for weeks with antibiotics, ear drop and pain relief, bathed his wounds frequently; and of course he got a lot of good food and love! He loves being stroked, and if you stop, he puts his paw gently on your hand and puts his head underneath!

3rd October CCA Christie bathing wound

After a dental, a major operation on his ear and having his two wounds stitched together into one, Ripley has made a remarkable recovery, especially considering he has FIV!

18th October - wound healed over

We are very happy to announce that on 03/12/12, Ripley found a loving forever home where he can enjoy life and play ping-pong (he always loved chasing a ball!) to his heart's content!

(If you are interested in adopting an FIV cat, please call us on 01395 232377.  Thank-you.)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tribute to Digit

You may have seen him around reception and the office…our elderly grey and white cat Digit. It has been a really sad day here at the centre, we had to say goodbye to Digit. He peacefully passed away at the vets with Louise our deputy manager by his side this afternoon.

Digit was found living rough in Hemyock two years ago; he came to Axhayes to find a home. We soon discovered that he had renal disease which can limit his chances of finding a new home. After many months unhappy in a pen, it was unfair to keep him in his pen for so long and we were not sure how long he had left. He started hanging around in the office with our managers and receptionists. He was happy curled up on office chairs or sat in a sunny window. He would like to be awkward by walking over keyboards, paperwork and sitting on our till. He was no trouble; he was a good member of the Axhayes team.

He was a bit of a grumpy grey, you could look and you couldn’t touch. He didn’t like being stroked, you might get one stroke maybe two then he had enough and would tell you ‘get off!’ We still loved him and his spirited nature. He would always greet us in the morning by the reception entrance. During his time around the office he met Tom and they got along really well. Digit loved to have whatever Tom was having for breakfast, lunch and tea, even though we would give them the same food and favour. Sadly we lost Tom back in August of this year, now Digit too. 

Digit at our Halloween Spooktacular
Tom on the right hand side
Our office boys will be truly missed by all of our staff and volunteers. We all have happy memories of them.

Rest in Peace Digit and Tom -X-

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Unicorn's kittens update

It's been a month since Unicorn and her eight kittens were rescued from under a dual carriageway bridge by CCA's Diane, Christie and deputy manager Phil. They are settling into cattery life well. All eight kittens Aspen, Betony, Digby, Haddeo, Lucky, Norman, Russell and Rydon are making good progress. They are growing up fast, looking healthier and eating well.

Our CCAs who work on our maternity section are working hard to social these nervous kittens. These kittens have lived outside and had very little human contact, so it's really important for us to socialise them to help them find homes. To help them, we have been handling them lots, playing with them, giving them carpet and listening to the radio. Their confidence with us is growing each and every day. Our two tabbys Rydon and his sister Haddeo are the most outgoing. They love to sit on a lap and purr lots.   

Today CCAs Gemma and Therese gave them a little playhouse a.k.a - a box with a door and windows cut out for them to play with. We've had lots of deliveries and boxes containing prizes for our Halloween event later this week. We were able to give our kittens lots of boxes to play with. They loved playing with the box, pouncing on each through the windows, hide and seek, peak-a-boo and relaxing on the top. Hours of entertainment...for free! 

These kittens not available for homing yet, we will keep you updated with their progress on our blog and facebook page.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Weighing our kittens

One of our many jobs caring for our cats and kittens here at the centre, is weighing them. Each week we weigh our kittens to monitor how they are doing. This is especially important during weaning when they start eating solid food for the first time. When we weigh our kittens, it’s a good time to give them a quick health check and get them used to being handled. We record all of their weights so we can monitor their progress.  

This afternoon Galileo and his siblings had to be weighed so we can adminster the correct dose of wormer. From six weeks old we worm our kittens monthly until they are six months old. These kittens were very hyperactive today, we had to be patient and wait for the scales to settle. We are pleased Galileo and his siblings have gained weight and are doing well. These kittens are not currently up for adoption yet.  

CP Weight watchers – we also weigh our overweight/obese cats which come into the centre. These cats are put on a low calorie diet by our vet and we make they get plenty of exercise. We take to our outside playpen (when it’s not raining of course) to help them lose weight. In their pens we give our cats a variety of toys to play with, boxes to play in and puzzle feeders, these activities can also help our cats stay in shape. Our CCAs and volunteers play games with our cats with the fishing rod toys, ping-pong balls or feather wands too.

Zen and Zorba our water loving kittens!

Who said cats don’t like water? These cheeky brothers can’t seem to get enough of water! They are just fascinated by it! Each and every morning on holding/Admissions we find Zen and Zorba have most of the water in their bowl is all over their pen. We often have to clear up these puddles of water and change their wet blankets daily. We gave them a china bowl, as it’s much heavier, but this hasn’t stopped them. Their new trick of the week is to move the water bowl (spilling it a long the way) around their pen. Their favourite location is to push the bowl in front of the cat flap and run through it when they go in and out. When they greet you, you’re met with soaking wet paws and tails! We still love their antics!

Zen and Zorba have recently moved to rehoming, they are now waiting for someone to choose them. So far they are being well behaved with their water bowl. We think in a home they will love running taps and puddles!  

Did you know?

Some breeds of cat including Bengals, Turkish vans, Maine Coons really enjoy water activity ranging from pawing water from bowls, drinking from a dripping tap, joining you in the shower or even swimming in the pool.

Interested in these two and you live in the Exeter area? Please visit our website at for more information. Thank you.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Rescued from under a bridge

On Monday 24 September, we took a call from a lady who had seen a cat & kittens that she was concerned about.  Deputy Manager Phil and CCA Diane went out straight away to check the situation and see if they could rescue them and bring them back to the adoption centre. The site was on the right of this photo where the bridge over the dual carriageway goes into the trees. 

They had to use a cat trap to catch them safely as they could not get close enough to handle them and they were very nervous. They don’t get hurt in this but once they walk in the open end to eat some food, the pedal they stand on releases the catch holding up the open door and then they can’t get out again.

Mum was the first in the trap that evening but we needed her babies to come out or they might have been in danger of dying without her there to feed them. We weren’t sure how old they were and if they had started to eat solid food yet.

We moved mum from the cat trap into a crusher basket. It is called this as the side is able to be moved to allow treatment to be given to a cat that may not tolerate being handled. She was very afraid but did not lash out or try to bite.

Then, we had to wait. And wait… and wait. Due to the location, this meant standing on top of the bridge in view of passing pedestrians and cyclists. We had lots of attention from the public wondering what we were doing. We also met a few cat lovers who had previously adopted from our centre.  

We had been told that there were either 4 or 6 kittens so we had to be patient and make sure we had seen them all. It was Tuesday before we were able to trap any of them and we returned to the bridge with mum. In the morning, 2 went into the trap for some food. Then a few hours later 5 came out for food and we caught 3 more in the trap. 2 of the kittens ran back under the bridge when the trap went off.  When they were hungry again after a nap, they came out for some more food. This time there were 3 kittens. We had more trouble catching these and managed to get 2 of them but the smallest ran away. It was clear we would have to find another way to get the last one. CCA Christie was then asked to join the rescue party. So now we had 7 kittens and 1 still to catch.

CCA Christie returned the next day and waited for hours. The little one didn’t come out. When she came back in the afternoon, it came out from under the bridge and she was able to act quickly by covering it with a large towel and scooping it into a cat carrier. This little kitten was very’ lucky’ to have been rescued so that is what we named her.

 All of the kittens are very nervous like mum as they have not had any human contact before. They improve very quickly when they are so small and we believed they were less than 6 weeks old as they still had blue eyes. Our patient love and attention means they are slowly beginning to trust humans.

Living under a bridge is no place to look after a litter of kittens but that is what this pretty young tabby had to do. We have named her Unicorn and she has 8 lovely kittens. 
4 girls- Aspen, Betony, Haddero and Lucky and 4 boys-Digby, Norman, Russell and Rydon.  Haddero and Rydon are tabby like mum and the other 6 are black.

We are so pleased to have been able to bring them all back to the centre and give them a chance of a better life. They are getting used to us now and will be ready for homing in the next few months. We will keep you updated with their progress.