I First heard about Miss Marple from other rescuers. MM had arrived at a crowded suburban pound where she was recorded as a senior of eight years with allergy issues. ‘Fleabitten’ was mentioned. It conjured up visions of a raggedy moth eaten cat. Obviously the cards were stacked against her when you consider the competition of young attractive adults and kittens galore.
Other than being intrigued by her name I did not pay much attention. Imagination kicked in though, as it is apt to do and visions of a cat detective floated through my head. Murder investigations, following the clues, pince nez on a cat. A wise and logical mind, clever deductions made by a super intelligent and shrewd feline.
I heard there was a move afoot by rescue groups to help her. A few complications evolved and the ‘save’ fell through at which point nobody expected her to make it out alive.
We were full at the time, a chronic condition experienced by most rescues.
There are varying degrees of full though and an empty crate seemed preferable to death. So I put my hand up to take her until something could be worked out and that was five years ago. Really! what could go wrong?
When I arrived at the pound to pick her up I was told she had escaped. I thought that would be the end of that and regrettably nobody would hear of a cat called Miss Marple again. I was quite wrong though, MM was later found in the kitten section, doing, I assume, some investigative work. Obviously their menu was superior.
On first sight Miss Marple appeared to be your average garden variety of tabby, a rather unremarkable feline but I’m no fool and understand that a super sleuth needs to blend in to her environment. I was however, struck by the big ears and the suspicious green eyes, no doubt essential tools of trade.
There emerged another problem. MM appeared to be highly strung. There again, what super sleuth does not live on their nerves I ask?
Apparently she did not at first understand this swapping of prisons and misunderstood her incarceration to be an arrest.
Our next step was to get a health check so we took her to our vet. There I met a new trainee and told her about the flea allergy and possible need for Cortisone.
‘No Cortisone!!’ she said loudly, jutting her chin.
‘she get fleas from you!!’
‘Yes! she get fleas from YOU!’
‘She get fleas from your HOUSE!!’
‘No, she came from the pound’
Not a good start.
The senior vet came in to examine her, opened her mouth and exclaimed at the brilliance of her teeth. Which toothypegs Miss Marple was getting ready to use if needs be.
‘How can she be that old and have such good teeth?’
Displaying her paperwork from the pound which gave her birth date and year, I did wonder how anyone who had her for so long could surrender her to a high kill pound.
Miss Marple came home with a clean bill of health and after her quarantine period was allowed to ‘mingle’. It was around that time when I was busy in other parts of the house that I kept hearing screams from other cats. It seemed Miss Marple was addicted to crime. I came to realize that MM did not like her own species at all. Amazing really when you realize she continued to live amongst them for these past years. They, however, learned to avoid her, much like one dodges a cranky colleague in various walks of life.
We planned to put her up for adoption but soon found out it would not be that simple. She appeared to have ‘characteristics’ that would not be too attractive. She loved to sit on our laps but once ensconsed there refused to move off if we needed to get up.
In the early stages she simply bounced back on, we put her down, she bounced back. We had acquired a bungy jumping cat it seemed. Soon though, she developed a better technique, consisting of a blood curdling growl and a fixed maniacal stare, which she turned, glassy eyed upon the perpetrator upon whose lap she was lying. There became the need to ‘talk her down’ while one of us appealed to the other for urgent help. It was the way she hung on to vulnerable flesh with extended claws that complicated matters.
Once the talons were somehow disconnected, woe betide the cat or cats in the near vicinity. Charging at them and slicing the air around their body parts like a true sword fighter because....it must be their fault! Afterwards the run with hunched back and tippy toes. A person has to laugh. Muffled of course for obvious reasons.
There was playtime for her. Tearing around the carpet with her prey... a piece of paper or fluff. Once I was amazed to see her play ball with a one year old kitten. The ball was sent back and forth between them with a well judged tap on her behalf. I felt so proud of her.
Miss Marple and I, we‘ve had a good relationship in spite of everything. You have to have been an outsider to understand what it feels like. These days we have headbutts together, discussions, extended talks which she loves. I once interviewed her on film. She didn’t say much but it was a bit of fun. Off camera she meows loudly with her orders and I run to fill them. There is still lap time and the talons are alive and well. Five years have passed so quickly. We continue to have ‘chats’ and sometime arguments about claw trimming, medicines, flea treatments and the like none of which she claims are requirements for a retired sleuth.
Miss Marple, the spice of (my) life is a what we call a ‘sanctuary cat.’
If you would like to donate to support our work and the cats we have in care please visit: https://www.catmintcottagestreetcatrescue.com.au/donate.html
Queen sleeping it off after a concert. Not quite!
Queen our boofy boy "enjoyed" a day at the "Vet Spa" getting his much needed dental, kidney check up plus manicure, ear clean and nose job. With a history of stomatitis (inflammation of gums/mouth) that hasn't cleared after his first dental, he is now a toothless chomper. I'm pretty sure that won't hold back his appetite. He had a big day followed by a good night's sleep to recover. I won't be missing his lovely fragrant breath 🤢 😂
Here is a bit about him:
Many would look at me and say I'm a loveable boofy boy. Well, I won't dispute that! My name is Queen .. yes, that's right Queen, inspired by Freddie Mercury and his rock band ... pretty cool I think.
I wasn't in a good way when I first arrived and PTS was suggested since life with continually ulcerated, bleeding, infected and painful paws was no way for me to live, BUT with daily treatment for many months my paws have healed and have been good ever since. I had likely cancerous lesions on my nose which have since been removed thanks to all the kind people that donated to make this possible. Unfortunately, I also have other health issues that need managing. I'm on a prescription veterinary diet for urinary issues, have stomatitis (inflammation of gums/mouth) and a chronic weepy eye. I'm also FIV positive and a senior citizen so staying healthy is very important for me.
UPDATE JAN 2019: Queen has now been adopted and is lapping up all the attention :)
Meet Monsieur Masky. Seemed fitting to add Monsieur to his name seeing that he had grown some lovely long distinguished whiskers.
We posted about him a few months back when he came limping along to his regular nightly dinner. After a consult at the vets, it was confirmed he had an abcess on his paw and required antibiotics and time to heal. He was suppose to recover after a couple of weeks, but being FIV+, he took a lil longer - 1.5 months. During that time he was also being treated for an eye inflammation.
In the meantime, Masky has enjoyed having a warm bed and regular healthy meals. He started off as a two-toned kitty - light grey on the front half and brownish on the back half. He's now evened out with a dark grey covering and brown highlights.
Masky is a shy, placid cat. He's the fur-baby that's scared of loud noises and would hide under the blankets if he could. He adores affection and prefers close companionship... following me around, sits in my lap and gives me face rubs. Did I mention he'll join you for yoga too?
If you would like to sponsor Masky while he is in foster care please go here :
If you would like information on Masky with a view to adopting him and would like to meet him please go here:
Khaleesi was a social butterfly who thought there was nothing better than an audience of her own. Visitors were never ours, they were hers. Other cats were clouted out of the picture as she sat hanging on every word, even if it wasn't about her. And lots of times it wasn't!
Like all aging actresses she could be forgiven for not sharing the limelight and cute kittens topped the list.
She would sit on the arm of my chair while I bottle fed Captain. The look on her face was revealing enough. I was doing it all wrong obviously or was it that I shouldn't bother at all? When I held him up to show her with the question 'do you like him?' he narrowly missed being swiped.
Older kittens really stressed her equilibrium. Out on the verandah they would be chased out of the tunnels they played in, swatted off the scratching post, have their toys stolen, be pursued with intent and a grim expression that would make us laugh. She would lie in the tunnel in wait to surprise her 'quarry' with a look of smug reptilian anticipation and when they failed to fall for this booby trap would charge out like the big bad wolf.
Being kittens they were fast and went in all directions at once! So frustrating to be swiping one off the post as another two were chasing a ball across the room, a third and fourth running up walls or hiding under a crate where she could not reach. Poor Khaleesi's blood pressure!
How many pregnancies had she had in her estimated ten years? Was it any wonder she was over kittens?
KHALEESI was named after a Queen. She certainly didn't look like one when we first saw her. Brought in by a colony feeder, she sat in the carrier at the surgery, eating, quite oblivious to her surroundings. She presented with greasy, dirty, sparse fur, ears tattered black leather from skin Cancer; her nose had a spot, her teeth were bad. Lice, undesexed, scrawny and starving. Myriam UJ, a rescue friend, christened her after the Queen in Game of Thrones, a role this girl would have sunk her teeth into had she had any left.
Apparently Khaleesi was living at an empty house with some other cats. They call them 'abandoned houses.' I'm not sure if you can abandon a house but there it is. Vacated and waiting to be demolished I suppose.
Vetwork was commenced, there being surgeries to amputate her ears, remove most of her teeth, treat the lice, fleas and worms. She was 'rested' at home with us and fed a nutritious diet and eventually given a bath. Not surprisingly she was also positive to Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV). A second surgery to desex her and remove the remaining teeth was performed after she propositioned the other cats one morning.
Khaleesi became Self Appointed Head Prefect. She controlled the order, clouting others away from the food even after she had eaten. If the cat with no ears said so then they had to learn to work around her.
We loved her though. She would sit on the arm of John's chair every morning while he did his reading before breakfast and she would sit on mine, a companionable affectionate girl. If I was on the computer she would be there too and we swear she smiled most of the time.
Khaleesi was what one would view as an 'unadoptable' cat, given her FIV+ status and her missing ears and teeth but we put her out there and not too long afterwards an inquiry came in. The person was genuine and responsible, wanting a cat that was likely to be overlooked. Khaleesi overlooked? Oh Please!!!
We were not, at first, enamored either. We had become so attached to our chair companion, our kitten chaser, our Head Prefect of Other Cats, that a few days of emotional adjustment to the idea were needed.
The last news we had about our girl was that her new mum had a card night and Khaleesi 'worked the room' delighted to have so many admirers, moving around the table to each one to saturate herself in admiration. What better home could a social butterfly go to?
Khaleesi loved dressups and being a model. Who would have thought?
ASTAIRE was a personable cat. He had great eye contact and that was when you felt it, the presence, the calm, the charisma, the hypnotic zing. I called him Astaire because he wore a kind of top coat and after all had managed to dance his way out of the pound. I often said had he been human he would have worked for a corporation.
Have you ever worked for a business where you were part of the wallpaper and just a cog in a wheel, albeit a necessary one? You were most of the time a happy cog, knew your place, knew how it worked. Then in comes someone new, he's got the gift of the gab, the smile, the front. In no time at all he's best friends with everyone from the cleaner to top management and appears to always be in the office joking with the boss.
My brother told me an account of one who rose so quickly that he went through the roof. An indiscretion here and there. Sold himself too well, especially to the boss's wife.
So back to Astaire, the cat.
He claimed to have been framed and we were inclined to agree when we heard the facts. Nevertheless his libido had caused him problems because if the hat fits nobody wants to hear that the hat might have fit several others too. A scapegoat was required and Astaire and his wife were trapped by the ranger and ended up in the pound on death row. Which is where we came in. We knew their owner and felt bad for her, not to mention the cats, so we followed the trail and had them released. Astaire didn't mind coming to Catmint Cottage. He wasn't allowed to go back home, the mud had truly stuck. We were happy enough to have him. He wasn't sick, his teeth were good, a handsome chap all round. His health check revealed his FIV status and he wore it like a badge: proof of his earlier battles and conquests.
The amazing thing was there was never a hiss or a raised paw from him with the others. If there were objections from them over some minor infringement, Astaire merely gazed back at them with his guileless eyes. He really should have been in politics!
I often caught the others looking at him. There were questions. Where was he from? Why was he here? How did he so quickly manage to squeeze himself on to my lap while their guard was down? He not only managed to be head of the queue, he arrived there uninvited and proceeded to lie back with a smile on his face.
On the arms of my chair and the backrest would reside some very unhappy looking cogs in the wheel of rescue.
This personable chap scored himself a great home with a private garden at a very nice northern suburb where he continued to amuse his new owners with antics I did not hear the details of. Should I?
On the day we took him there I came home, put his photos up to look at and cried.
Astaire had risen so fast he'd gone through the roof.
We invited Astaire's elderly owner to come and visit. This lady had raised Astaire.
She had found him in the shrubs of the compound, an orphan of a few weeks of age and they were very close.
It was nice to see them together again.