Starting off the New Year with some light reading, and continuing to further develop my knowledge around cat care, the arrival of the book the “ ISFM Guide to Feline Stress and Health” will continue to help me understand why cats can become stressed and distressed in many environments and this guide suggests how to improve welfare. Implementing some basic ideas, principles and tips can make a huge difference to cats and this knowledge is something I love to share with owners and cat owners in the community cat group I run.
The International Society of feline Medicine is the veterinary division within International Cat Care. It works with the veterinary profession across the world to provide cutting edge information for the veterinary care of cats and is recognised and respected for the standards it aspires to. I truly only like to learn from the best. More details on what the ISFM do can be viewed here International Cat Care
I also continue to support International Cat Care and their campaigns, to attend various webinars and read other published work that I feel is relevant to what I do and to keep myself up to date on many things cat related. The work International Cat Care continue to do is truly outstanding and I am proud to support them. More details of what they do are available hereInternational Cat Care
Following the sad news of the death of Mike Robinson from the Petsitters Alliance, of whom I had been a member of for some time, it was now necessary to find a new insurance provider for the business. Following recommendations from other pet sitters I know and research I did, I chose to go with Cliverton Insurance.
They were founded over forty years ago, and they have a working lifetime of experience in providing specialist insurance cover to animal related trades, rural and equestrian businesses, farms and smallholdings. Today they use that knowledge to maintain their position as the market leader in their chosen fields.
Their specialist cover, company structure, knowledge and experience were just some of the reasons I chose to insure with them. Not only does Cliverton Insurance give me peace of mind but it also ensures my clients can have peace of mind that I am insured with a market leading insurance specialist for what I do.
Please visit their website for more information and you can also see the various policies they offer. I always bring my policy details and insurance certificate with me when doing consultations for clients to see. Cliverton
I had been a member of the Petsitters Alliance for some time and my insurance was also with them. Mike Robinson, who ran the Petsitters Alliance sadly passed away this month and there was no one else who wanted to step in to run the company like he did. My sincerest thoughts were with his family, friends and colleagues after his sudden death. The Petsitters Alliance had been wonderful to be associated with over the years and Mike was always friendly and happy to help with any queries or questions.
So many bookings are being made already for 2018 – good job I got next year’s diary super early plus there is already a booking for 2019 too!! My apologies in advance as I know it means it can be difficult to get booked in with me. School holidays and peak holiday seasons are usually the first dates to get fully booked.
Sometimes it is great to share things and I would love to share with you the work that Ian Pointer does. He is an artist and illustrator and he creates the most amazing caricatures of people with their pets from photos. Of course I had to have one done of myself with my hand reared boy Furgus and what a cracking job Ian did. For more information on his work and to contact him please see his website or Facebook page. Some things are too good not to share!! Several of my clients have now used him too!!
A summer season fully booked once again months in advance is already keeping me nice and busy! So many of my clients thanking me for all I do for them but it is me that is truly thankful to them because they enable me to do a job I love so very much.
I receive some truly beautiful cards and gifts at times and they really do mean so much to me. Thank you, each and every one of you!
As a fully qualified cat specialist I am continuing to keep my learning up date to ensure my kitty clients always get the best possible care. It is amazing how much of a direction my business has taken more towards cat care and I love it. Cats are an absolute passion of mine and I continue to follow, read and do any webinars available to me with International Cat Care who I am qualified in cat health and welfare with.
After years of campaigning I have finally got the result that ensures every cat killed on our local roads will be scanned and checked for a microchip. I am thrilled the Warrington Guardian have also put the news out there as it will also serve as a reminder for the council to keep their promise on checking every cat, doing the second check if needed and recording information accurately and swiftly informing owners. Many years of hard work and campaigning have finally paid off!
It really is quite frightening how quickly time is flying by once again. I am in contact with my clients on a daily basis for their updates via text or WhatsApp. My clients like to keep me busy, so updating the website sometimes doesn’t happen as often I would like.
It is also a quicker and easier option to update things on my Facebook page, especially when needing to get the word out quickly on missing or injured pets in our community. Please ensure you follow my Facebook page Chapelford Pet Sitting Services
The last year of studying with International Cat Care has been challenging at times. The hard work and dedication I gave to this course has resulted in me gaining a qualification at a level I had only dreamed of.
I now hold a foundation qualification in "Cat Health and Welfare" awarded to me with a "Distinction".
The course provided me with a detailed insight to feline health, welfare and behaviour and has greatly improved my knowledge of cats. This means I can now better help owners and cats with Behaviour, Preventative Health Care, Nutrition, Common Feline Diseases, Reproduction and other subjects. I also look forward to further learning with International Cat Care in the future.
It has been brought to my attention that some people have been having issues with the new contact form that was added a while ago. This has been temporarily removed from the website due to some technical issues again. However the main means of contacting me remain email and telephone and are still under the “Contact” section of the website.
Just like last year bookings are being made again well in advance by my clients for next year and also enquiries for 2016 have been made! There is now limited availability for certain dates over the peak summer holidays for 2015.
I have again been very fortunate to attend some specialist webinars. It’s important for me to do these and learn from some of the greatest veterinary and pet specialists around.
A webinar that was very meaningful to do was the Management of heart failure - Simon Swift MA, VetMB, CertSAC, DipECVIM-CA (Cardiology), MRCVS European and RCVS. Simon has been in practice for the past 26 years and became a lecturer in Cardiology at Liverpool University in 2005. He gained his European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Diploma in Cardiology in 2009 and is the current chairman of the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society.
This webinar was of great interest to me after being involved in the 1990’s ownership of some kittens that suffered from a hereditary heart condition which at the time not a great deal was known about or the cause and treatment of it. At the age of 5 years old young cats were suddenly dying due to this heart condition causing other issues with other major organs. A good friend of mine lost two of her young cats and at the time she was in practice so she allowed research to be done on their bodies as she needed answers. Simon Swift himself was involved in a lot of the research of this overall group of cats. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is now a condition that can be better managed and there is medication now available to look after cats living with this heart condition. Knowing we too lost cats to this condition, and as heart breaking as it was, has meant that the knowledge learned over the years and the research done by the likes of Simon Swift has enabled cats to better live with this condition today. I actually have clients now on medication for this condition, medication which back in the 1990’s wasn’t available.
Feeding Your Dog or Cat For Optimum Health, was run by Dr Marge Chandler DVM, MS, MANZCVSc, DACVN, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, MRCVS. With so many diets available today for our dogs and cats, how do we know we are feeding them for optimum health? Do we feed a commercial diet? If so, which one? Is it better to feed a homemade or raw diet and, if we do, are there are potential pitfalls? In this webinar, leading veterinary nutritionist Dr Marge Chandler answered all these questions and many more from a very practical yet scientific and evidence-based position. Ann expert with years of specialist clinical experience. It was very enjoyable.
Pet Bereavement Webinar run by Pam Burne-Jones, PBSS Training Officer of the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Services. Having suffered the loss of several family pets over the years and one very special pet in particular I can empathise fully with owners when they are faced with this situation. I had to turn to the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Services myself after the loss of our Jefferson, the cat I helped hand rear and he was at my side for almost 16 years. The grief of his loss hit me very hard. Our pets are our furry family members and being able to help and support my clients and any pet owner I know in our local community is important to me. It was hard and emotional at times to do but it gave me so much more knowledge and tips to help others – that was important to learn.
The webinar covered -
•When Blue Cross got involved with PBSS and how people can access their support line and email service – what they can expect when they do.
•Signs to look out for and the stages of grief people go through following loss. Also Anticipatory Grief and Responsibility Grief. What they are and how to recognise and understand them.
•Why bereavement support is needed.
•Steps people can take to help themselves & understand that what they are going through is normal.
•Things that others can do to help someone grieving the loss of a pet.
•The difference between empathy and sympathy – what they are and how to display empathy.
•Coping Strategies and ways to remember your pet.
•Moving forward – whether to have another pet or not.
Am absolutely thrilled and proud to be developing my feline knowledge further. I have finally started a foundation certificate with the amazing International Cat Care (formerly the feline advisory bureau) in “cat health and welfare”. It is a very challenging course and is hard work but it is teaching me so much more about cats which means the advice and service I will be able give to my clients will be even better than it is now. The course will take me 12 months to do and I shall update with my results at the end. It’s so exciting and enjoyable to be studying for something so special.
Bookings continue to keep coming not just for my regular clients but for many new clients too who are continually discovering my services. October half term is pretty much full and limited availability now between Christmas and New Year. Bookings for April, May and June next year are already in the diary as clients have rebooked after this years summer holiday immediately!
To me learning and keeping my knowledge up to date is paramount to the level of service I offer to all my clients. I not only love my job but I love learning about animals because I have a genuine passion for them and I truly believe you can never learn too much and I will always make the time to learn! I will ensure I learn from the best and will continue to ask questions and keep growing in my knowledge of pet care to enable me to help and support my clients owners.
I am regularly attending webinars whenever I can. I feel keeping my knowledge up to date and learning things is vital for me to ensure I always give the best care to all my clients. I recently attended a webinar on crucial aspects of first aid for cats and dogs. I thought this would be useful to follow up on after the 6 week course in pet first aid I had completed. This webinar was then followed by another on dangerous foods and poisons and also teaching us about the signs and behaviours animals display in genuine emergencies. Both of these webinars were run by Mr Paul Aldridge BVSc CertSAS MRCVS an emergency care expert. Paul graduated from Liverpool Veterinary School in 1995. Since 2000, he has worked in the largest Emergency Out Of Hours Clinic in the UK. He is interested in all aspects of Emergency care, particularly surgery. Paul has co-authored a leading textbook about nursing emergency patients.
Risky discs was an amazing webinar to do. This was run by Professor Simon Platt BVM&S DipACVIM(Neurology) DipECVN MRCVS who qualified from the University of Edinburgh in 1992. After a spell in the United States, he became head of the neurology unit at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket where he stayed until 2007. He then moved back to the University of Georgia as associate professor and later a full Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Simon is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in Neurology and of the European College of Veterinary Neurology (ECVN) as well as being a RCVS recognised specialist in Veterinary Neurology. Simon is currently the ACVIM Neurology Specialty President and has co-edited two textbooks on Canine and Feline Neurology. This webinar was amazing and taught me all about slipped discs in pets and which breeds are more vulnerable to this problem, what treatments are available, diagnosis and much more. It was truly fascinating.
Without a doubt the best webinar so far I have done was on fighting fits. It was run by Dr Laurent Garosi DVM DipECVN MRCVS RCVS and European Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Neurology. Dr Garosi is Head of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Davies Veterinary Specialists, UK. He has published widely in the field of neurology and is a regular speaker at national and international veterinary conferences. He is currently President of The European College of Veterinary Neurology, past chief examiner of the ECVN examination committee and has co-edited a leading textbook on Small Animal Neurological Emergencies. Everything from what causes epilepsy, to the treatment, medication and side effects and much more was covered. It was truly fascinating and there were videos to watch and if ever I have to look after a pet with this condition I will feel more confident now having done this webinar.
At last a fantastic new website being launched which showcases what Chapelford Petsitting Services has to offer. My thanks go to one of my best friends Mike Dalgarno who has worked on this new and exciting website tirelessy to get it just perfect.
I just hope I haven't been too difficult a client for him as I can be quite fussy and particular but his technology skills and experience mean my services will now be even more accessible across a whole range of media devices now and is right up to date with how things should be. It also looks amazing and also shows off some of my clients wonderfully!
Thank you Mike, it's purrrrrfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let's crack open some champagne!!!!!
Having the nickname "Crazy Cat Lady of Chapelford" I thought it only right after being asked to create a page for the feline community in the area on Facebook. So the page Chapelford Cats has been created where cat owners within Chapelford and the immediate surrounding area can join.
This is a unique way of being in touch with owners in the area and is of paramount importance with there being a high number of cats who do sadly go missing in the area. By getting to know each others cats we can become aware and keep our eyes open. We have had a success of getting a cat and it's family reunited after the owner posted about their missing cat.
Owners can share pictures, funny stories, hints, tips and advice on cat care and we can have fun as well as learn from each other. It is about building the cat community in the area so please come along and be a part of it if you are local.
I am now officially qualified in pet first aid. This will be added reassurance for my existing clients, and great for new clients to see I have done this when I first visit and do their consultant. Reassurance that your pet is in safe hands with me.
I am so chuffed and knowing in an emergency I will be able to help pet owners in Chapelford is wonderful as it is so so hard to not panic and be upset when something happens to your own pet. Additionally, being a pet first aider in the community where I live is also peace of mind for the residents; as they can contact me if they come across an emergency.
Your vet is always the first call to make but then to prevent further suffering or to protect life I can be on hand. Something I hope I never have to use but good to have the skills there just in case.
Thanks to Lowton High School and Wigan Council for offering the course, and most importantly thanks to Lesley Hughes from Pro Co, the college where they train vet nurses, for putting this course together and being a wonderful teacher.
After listening to my clients and being able to adapt my pet sitting visits, I am able to add new services which are really affordable for those pet owners who need me to spend extra time with their beloved dog.
The new services are:
Half day visit (4 hours) - £30
Full day visit (8 hours) - £50
Overnight stay at client’s home - £50*
* I will do this in exceptional circumstances only. Normally when a pet has been ill, needs medication or is recovering from surgery etc., and the owner has to go away.
Meeting my client’s needs is vitally important to me and as my little business grows I am discovering more about clients and their needs for their pets. So never be afraid to ask for any help, or for me to adapt my services to suit you and your pet. I am a very passionate pet owner so totally understand how you feel about your pets too.