Recently I have heard of the passing of two much loved canal pawsonalities. They have both run over Rainbow Bridge 62 at the bottom of Foxton and will be missedby many.
Firstly Tinker. I just about met Tinker last summer in Slawit, he looked after lock 21 on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. She offered him some of my Dreamies, but he rightly refused them, not wanting to deprive me. He was a much loved local character. Here follows a statement by Jane Emery, the poem by Bev Clarke.
Hi there, In Slawit we had a much loved cat, Tinker who spent his days sleeping and greeting people at Lock 21. So many people asked about him, the canal trust made a sign to explain that he wasn’t a stray and well looked after. Sadly Tinker passed over the rainbow bridge this week prompting a huge response from those who will miss him.. Below is the announcement of his passing:
To all who paused when passing by,
With gentle pat and kindly eye,
I thank you for your friendly ways,
That brightened up my latter days.
I proudly kept lock 21, for many years.
My work is done.
Please do not mourn, my life was good, But I was tired.
I leave with love. Tinker. X.
Then news from November last year about the passing of Retired Guide Dog Oakley.
Just a few days ago would have been his eleventh birthday.Fundraising has helped raise enough money to sponsor a Guide Dog Puppy in his memory. Oakley’s Legacy fund raising page is here
Oakley served She Tracey for many years, helping her along the towpaths of the canals, a few years ago he retired and went to live with his Daddy Dixon. His last week was spent in the Lake District with his good friends.
I never met Oakley, but Houdini the previous second mate on Lillian did, at a distance, with a pane of glass between them, Oakley didn’t like hissing furballs. But both Houdini and Oakley could appreciate each others qualities both living on boats. Oakley wrote a blog when he worked with She Tracey and somehow he has sent word from the other side of the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal via a bears blog! Yes I know a little bit strange.
Here’s a link to Oakleys final blog post from the great carrot patch of the Leicester Section.
I hope that when I get to run over bridge 62 I’ll be joining Houdini in her field of mice and shrews surrounded by big trees to climband not have to eat any carrots!
Many Thanks to Tom Tim for being able to use the photos of Oakley.
Scarboreugh is turning out to be not quite so boring after all.
The last few nights I’ve been on guard as I suspected there might be a friend about, and last night we came nose to nose. I was so pleased that I’d found a friend that we both climbed the stairs so that I could introduce She and Tom.
It took a bit to wake them up. She cottoned on first that I had a friend with me and wasn’t about to curl up on the bed with her. Instead I was doing my best to persuade my new found friend to come out and say hello from inside some of She’s clothes that were on the floor.
She in the end helped and confirmed that I did have a friend, a mouse. I of course knew that! I’d brought it with me! She said hello and lights were turned on, my friend was a little bit shy of the spotlights and dashed away to find Tom’s clothes.
Tom came over to say hello too. Neither of them knew where my friend had come from or was, I did though. Tom lifted suitcases, She flipped boxes around whilst I didn’t understand why they weren’t looking at Toms socks.
They are such strange things. She zipped up the big ‘I’m going away’ bag, listened to it and then handed it to Tom. He took the empty bag downstairs and outside and closed the front door. Where was he going away to at this time?!
Just a little while later he brought the bag back, put it on the floor and got back into bed. He can’t have gone away anywhere.
Night Night Tilly!
But I hadn’t introduced them to my friend properly yet and they were turning the lights off. They’d distracted me so I’d lost sight of my new acquaintance. I carried on looking for them whilst Tom and She got back on with snoring!
They are handy for balance, calculations, emotions and mostly undecidedness. They whip from side to side whenfriends are near, aiding pouncing preparation.
She says they can also be very handy at a distance. Well mine can be because of it’s white tip. She says she can see me for miles and miles. It also makes her very happy to see how happy I am when I see her and my tail flips straight up in the air, the white bit a touch heavy and bending it over a touch.
So how would it be to be without a tail?
I really can’t imagine.
But this little fella is going to have to.
My number one fan She Joa is looking after him at the moment. Sir Antonio Bandidas or Bandit for short, is about 11 weeks old and tomorrow a Green Tom will take his tail away, for good.
She says he is Bandito Badass as somehow he got a very bad infection and his tail has died. She says there is more to his story but the details are really quite icky! So he is going to have to grow up and learn to live without his tail. I suspect he’ll get very wiggly hips having to compensate.
She Joa says he is ever so friendly, purry, the most adorable kitten she has ever had! Well she didn’t know me when I was 11 weeks old, I’d have knocked his stripes off. Hopefully when he’s recovered She Joa and friends will find him a lovely forever home.
She says if we ever move back intoa house to live all the time then she might think about being a Foster carer. But I’m not so keen on the idea as I might have to share my Dreamies or Webbox! With another cat!!!
Having said that as Bandit won’t have a tail he’ll be a different sort of cat so I might even share some of my Webbox with him.
Well I’ve been quite quiet on here recently, that’s because She has been hogging the computer and tapperty tipping lots. Then She has been working and Tom has been tapperty tipping lots instead. Just when does a cat get chance to do some writing of her own!?
Life in Scarboreough (where the outside doesn’t change) was boring, yet I had to keep on my toes. So many cats about and not one friend to be found! I had an inside tree to keep me happy, from the top I could gloat at Bogie Face Alan and Fatty Betty. There was LOADS of room inside and several comfy beds to choose from. Well that was until they all got nice clean sheets and the doors got closed.
Tom thinks I became a junky for a week, Cannabis is what he thinks I had. If that’s the case he was my dealer, sprinkling it onto my food on an evening! Apparently it was meant to make me a touch more laid back, but with all those cats around I couldn’t lounge around.
I found myself being shoved into the cat caravan and then spending far too long getting all hot around the collar and trying to avoid the inevitable. She did try to help, but I was soglad when Tom stopped turning the wheel.
What was this I saw before me?! Oleanna!!!!!!Our proper inside.
She locked us in the bathroom, wanting to check I was clean. Then She said, ‘Do you know where we are?‘ Of bloomin course I did! Just let me get through that door for a nice calm sit down and a bath please!
The inside smelt a little bit different to how I remembered it. A couple of sniffs and then I decided to sit on my shelf, keep myself out of the way as She and Tom would be busy. Things went away into cubby holes, I checked them out before they opened them up in case anything had moved in whilst we were away, but all was fine.
Outside there were views again, birdies to watch, water to be aware of. Life was back to normal, I could forget about lockdown in Scarboreough.
But hang on something was missing! I had to send them back to get it, I most certainly wasn’t going to join them. Tom said that they hadn’t forgotten it, but there just wasn’t space for it and anyhow they had to go and see Bill. Off they went leaving me to get settled back in. I checked things over, feed me shelf, my shelf, Houdini’s shelf, the curtains are too clean and the insides of them don’t have enough grip factor yet, but I’ll work on that once my claws have grown back. Just a shame she’d left the lid on my toy box, I’ve missed playing with Transgender Mouse.
When they came back, the first thing into the boat was my missing item. She hadn’t even got in through the door properly before I was using it. My scratch post! Then she opened up the toy box and there were my friends again and the really good bouncy balls, they are pathetic in a house, but great on a boat.
After a few days they went outside. It was time to let this outside go, they untied it and pushed it away. I wasn’t sure if they could remember what they were doing so had to sit on the back steps and shout at them through the door. Don’t forget to push the thingy! Put the ropes where you can lasso the outside again. I’m not sure they heard me, although She kept opening the slidey top and asking if I was alright. I was fine, but were they!!!
I decided my nerves couldn’t take it any longer, so I had to go for a snooze and just hope they caught a good outside. After three nervous snoozes they tied one up. The view from the windows looked good. No trees or sideways trees, but plenty of friendly cover. It took them forever tying it up.
‘You have an hour. NO friends home dead or alive, or putting them on the roof for later. No jumping in. No falling in. No bullying. Go and enjoy yourself.’
She and I had a little walk up the towpath to check it out then I was allowed to go solo. Here there were friends! Tasty friends, oh how I’ve missed them.
Since then they have repeatedly tied up the marina outside. This means I can’t go out, the close proximity of friends has been used as an excuse.
But I’ve been fairly happy just watching things and occasionally twanging the bolts on the back doors.
They have also changed the outside several times. Sometimes with trees, other times fishermen (who apparently don’t require my assistance), other times some other boats. Apparently if the weather is good, the tide right and when She’s finished her working they will be letting go of this lot of outsides. They will make the outside go up and then it will zoom away and escape. She says I won’t be allowed out for a few days as it will all be tidal outsides, so I have to make the most of things now.
I’d best lend She a paw with her working then they can get back to moving the outside properly again.
She and Tom have had their first jabs, they have to wait for ages to get their second one. I, being a cat had my first jab several years ago, my second followed just a couple of weeks later. Every year they take me for a top up, I wonder if they will get annual top ups too? I how ever didn’t get a sticker!
This was a bit different to last year. She brought out a cat caravan. This is different to my escape pod, not as nice and cosy, in fact the caravan is quite spacious inside and my arms fit through the front door. Then we headed off in the fast car, not too far, but far enough.
Here a She with a windscreen came to talk to She. No problems this year, I’m a boat cat at heart and would be requiring the best possible worm and flee treatment for a year please. Only the best for me!
Windscreen She took me inside, listened to things, had a look at my teary eye and my teeth gave me a weigh and then my jab. I was returned to She and Tom, I was a little bit lighter than last year, well someone had to make up for the weight they’ve put on in lockdown! She then asked Windscreen She if travelling by car could be made less stressful for me, a suggestion was made and a leaflet added to my drugs stash. Off we went again and soon got back to the house thank goodness.
She was very happy until she noticed something about some of the boxes. There were four of them, but each one contained three flee treatments! She thinks I will hate her for ever!
I checked out my passport. This usually means I am granted shore leave for the next year. But She suggested that this year it also meant something else, that I would get to leave the shore behind! Maybe I’m going to be a boat cat again.
A couple of days later my food started tasting a little bit different, not bad, just different. Maybe this was a different flavour of poultry. I only eat poultry, fish is so last month!
Yesterday I was left in charge of the house with an extra early dingding. Then I was on my own, it got dark, it got light and I was still all on my own.
After twenty or so naps the front door opened. She and Tom were home. I was really pleased to see them and told them all about it. I kept telling them and then some more. That fishfinger sandwich smelled nice too, so I told them about that. All I wanted was head nudges and maybe a snack or two. She was a bit puzzled, why was I acting so oddly?
I didn’t know, I just wanted another stroke, some more Dreamies, I had the munchies! Then She looked at me all concerned. She sat and talked to me, was I okay? Did I feel odd? Well I told her but I know she didn’t understand! So I told her again.
She rang to talk to Windscreen She’s friend. I shouldn’t have anymore of the extra calming pills, these were making me not calm apparently and making me twitch! She would talk to her friend and see what was to be done.
Tom and She were being very busy, so I chatted to them all the time. I was told off when I tried dismantling the dishwasher! Chat chat chat, it got me some very nice cuddles that I don’t normally like, but today they were good.
She here. The nurse rang me back, apparently the Zylkene is totally natural and would have no side effects. I should keep giving them to Tilly until she’s had her car journey, but why was she getting shaky a little bit tremorish every now and then? I could take her in for a check up. So I booked an appointment. For the rest of the afternoon I had a hyper shadow where ever I went, constantly shouting at me. Well I had to tell her everything, right from the beginning, except I couldn’t quite remember where the beginning was!
The caravan came out again, I complained all the way to see Windscreen She. She and She chatted whilst I chatted to Tom in the car, then I went in. I had a full medical, everything checked over. Windscreen She left me to chat with She, saying I was a bit of a jumpy cat and that my teary eye maybe needed some ointment. She then came back to see me, we chatted and had a bit of a pampering session, I got a pedicure. Apparently even though I have my own inside tree I’m not climbing enough to do this myself. I just hope Windscreen She hasn’t trimmed my claws too much to inhibit my climbing skills.
If I wasn’t showing any sign of improvement tomorrow She should bring me back, maybe for a face pack! Apparently I wasn’t as chatty in the car on the way back. I was allowed a cushion next to She on the table and snoozed the rest of the evening, I was a bit warn out after all that chatting.
She has decided to go against Windscreen She’s advice and that today I won’t have any of my calming drug to see if that calms me down. She says it was as if I’d had three expressos or smoked the biggest spliff and the dishwasher really couldn’t take that much attention over the next week.
With the lovely warmer weather recently I’ve been spending a bit of time in the front outside. Here the gravel and paving get lovely and warm in the morning, great for stretching out on.
When She and I break for daytime dingding She comes outside with me to help soak up some sun, there’s been lots of it so plenty to go round. She sits on the wall and I have a good old sniff round, the occasional rearrangement of gravel and consider if the front flower bed would be suitably safe to make a deposit.
Shitty Shoes turns up!
Tom sprinkled something on the grass the other day which seems to have stopped Shitty Shoes from leaving his squishy deposits on the grass. Now that it smells much nicer out there, Shoes has decided to use up some of our sunshine!
Well I’m not having that!
I chased him away several times and then settled back into rearranging the gravel. Then that smell returned, he was hiding behind the wall stealing sunshine again.
He just doesn’t bat an eye lid, well his eyes are skew wiff, so it might just be hard for him. I ask him politely to shift. Go and find his own sunny outside. This doesn’t work. So I add a bum wiggle and a charge, this seems to work and he heads off down the street.
But then he reappears and sits in the shade under one of our benches! Just WHAT is the point of that!!
She thinks he’s either stupid or just wants to be near me. I think he is a very rude cat and all he actually wants is bits of dingding! He’s obviously been brought up by people who didn’t have the instruction book. ‘Never, ever, ever, ever give your cat human food’.
I have been brought up properly. Squinty eyed squitty bummed Shoes most certainly hasn’t!
Due to a national shortage of dog and cat food pouches, we’re sorry if you’re not able to find your usual product at Sainsbury’s. We’re working hard to resolve this. We think the issue will be ongoing through the year, but we hope to get them back onto shelves as quickly as possible.
I can’t eat anything other than pink fishy food! Don’t they understand!
She says I used to like blue meaty food. Tom says I wouldn’t notice if they changed it to one with a fancier name. Little does he know how long I can last just on yellow biscuits.
They have tried, though. Tom struggled back from the shops a few weeks ago with a big box of pink fishy, but they soon went. Then they hunted round on the internet and found some.
These had to be delivered by a man in a van, all very exciting, 2 big boxes just for me! She and Tom sighed a sigh of relief. She said ‘that will last her three months’.
Salmon just isn’t what it used to be, neither is whitefish. Tuna and Coley are okay I suppose. Maybe I fancy something a little bit different. Maybe some chicken, or duck!