Cats, Dogs & Other Friends

 Taj-dog standing in the water race.
Tajdog

The Moosey house and garden has always been home to multiple cats and a dog. Wild kittens have been rescued and socialised, with the lone canine (first Tajdog, then Rusty) accepting the furry newcomers without too much fuss. There's always a cat or dog willing to provide company when I'm gardening.

Living in a rambling country garden (with warm house attached) can be quite exhausting, though. Where's my food? Where's the sun? Where's the Head Gardener off to now? Aha! A mouse to torment! Something rotten to roll in! Someone's left the pantry door open - quick, pee on the potatoes while no-one's looking! Tiger, senior cat, you are a disgrace sometimes...

A few non-furry animals are represented in the pages which follow - merino sheep, pet lambs, the hens, and just a few birds. A pig, with whom I became fascinated while on holiday, gets a mention, too. Fair enough!

Cat CompanyCat Company...
Cat Company is not the name of some feline business. It's the phrase I use to describe the physical presence of one or more cat companions joining in my gardening activity. Cats are expected to look interested at all times, even when it's drizzling or raining...
Euro 16 for Cats and Dogs Euro 16 for Cats and Dogs ...
In Euro 16 (the European football cup) all my cats, dogs, and house-people have drawn a team in the Round of 16. I had to include two posthumous cats to make up the numbers. The prize is a carnivore's dream, and hopefully will be won by someone furry. And alive, oops...
Escher the Country DogEscher the Country Dog...
Escher, a German Pointer Chocolate Lab cross, is staying with us. But it was a little premature congratulating him on graduating to country dog status. Almost the next day he jumped three fences, his delighted nose discovering a long-deceased sheep at the bottom of the neighbour's rubbish pit. And did he take the slightest notice of me bellowing?
Tiddles the TabbyTiddles the Tabby...
It's time to meet and greet one of my youngest cats, Tiddles the tabby. 'Tiddles' is apparently a traditional cat name, suitable for either a large, benign, immobile moggy or a sweet little bundle of fluff. Oops. My Tiddles is neither of these. She's an athletic brown tabby with attitude.
Miss Buster, Black CatMiss Buster, Black Cat...
Miss Buster arrived as a sweet little black kitten at the end of 2014. Now she's a beautiful, laid-back, friendly cat. She sits on laps, smooches on beds, and loves to stretch out in the sun. Don't let all this lolling around fool you. Miss Buster leads a double life. Miss Buster is a spy!
Winnie the New PuppyWinnie the New Puppy...
Meet Winnie, our new black and white Border Collie puppy. Writing about her early in the morning is a breeze! I'm all dewy eyed over her cuteness. In the afternoon, after she's collected and de-laced three of my shoes, chewed a sock, and completely dismantled the dog couch - not such a good time! Hmm...
Think like a sheep...Think like a sheep......
Since the tree damage, our side driveway has been open to next-door. So herding the sheep up and down it has been interesting. 'Think like a sheep' said Non-Gardening Partner, the chief herder. 'If you were a sheep, what would you think?' This is an oxymoron, right?
Cat and Dog SpeechCat and Dog Speech...
If there was just one thing I could tinker with in the Great Grand Design, I would give domestic cats and dogs the power of cat and dog speech. But it could then be a case of 'Be careful what you wish for'...
Thanks, Tiger the TortoiseshellThanks, Tiger the Tortoiseshell...
It's time I counted one of my cat-blessings, and formally thanked Tiger the tortoiseshell, who at the time of writing is the senior-most cat at Mooseys. There's so much I have to thank Tiger for. She's always around, the very first cat to say hello...
LilliLilli's Cat Lounge...
I've had a good idea for Lilli-Puss, my grey outdoors cat. Aha! I've caught Non-Gardening Partner unawares. 'It's a really tiny idea.' I tell him in my sweet, smiling voice. 'Will it cost me anything?' asks NGP, hemmed in on the couch, ever alert.
More Cats of the WorldMore Cats of the World...
Daughter of Moosey, still off adventuring in the big good world, keeps sending me photographs of cats she's met on her travels. She's now seen at least one replica of each of the Moosey cats, including several Little Mac kittens.
Cats of the WorldCats of the World...
Mothers hope they've taught their daughters some of the good things in life - how to knit, how to tend a garden - and how to love cats. Well, I think I've done the last one quite well...
Furry Gardening Friends - Cat, Dog, KittenFurry Gardening Friends - Cat, Dog, Kitten...
It's rare day that I go gardening on my own - usually a furry friend (or two) tags along. This summer a mismatched trio are my constant gardening companions - a tiny black and white kitten, a large fluffy ginger cat, and a shaved border collie dog with a 'pouff' tail.
Little Mac the Black and White KittenLittle Mac the Black and White Kitten...
Welcome to Little Mac, our new black and white kitten, the latest furry feline to 'find' Mooseys. In three weeks the kitten has gone from a far-too-small tiny creature to a strong and confident Size Four Kitten. At least Size Four!
A Week in the Life of Mrs PigA Week in the Life of Mrs Pig...
On my recent Ratoronga holiday I took an interest (not morbid, I assure you) in a large pig tethered alongside the Inland Road. The owners must have been puzzled by a pasty-skinned older woman turning up every day to take photographs. Was she planning a pig-heist?
In Memory - Sifter the CatIn Memory - Sifter the Cat...
Sifter the tabby cat came to Mooseys in 1997, was given warmth, companionship, and great food, stayed as long as it suited him (about five years), and then wandered off. I've always felt I had 'unfinished business' with this cat - until now.
Winter Cat PicturesWinter Cat Pictures...
This winter the house and garden have been quietly purring in a warm feline equilibrium - not surprising, when I've had the log-burner going so much. All the Moosey cats are behaving well, and obviously enjoying the in-house services.
Kaya the Black CatKaya the Black Cat...
Dear Lady Kaya, Black Beauty Cat, welcome to the Cats' Division of Moosey's Animal Farm. We hope you will enjoy your stay here with us in this pet-friendly, rambling country house and garden. Perhaps you may even stay forever. Allow me to introduce you to the facilities we offer...
YouYou're a Good Lamb, Stu......
My pet lamb Stu (oops - he sounds like a casserole) lives in the ram paddock above the pond. Stu is an easy-care, chubby merino lamb - he drinks his bottle, eats grass, and snoozes in my old fashioned rose garden underneath the Omar Khayyam rose.
Moosey Cats UpdateMoosey Cats Update...
Cats do tend to come and go at Mooseys. The coming is often a happy accident (finding a kitten in the woodshed), and the going is often inevitable (saying goodbye to little Mugsy). But the September 4th earthquake has caused rather a lot more coming and going than I like!
20102010's Pet Lambs...
September 2010, springtime at Mooseys, started off with an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on the Richter scale, followed by lots and lots of aftershocks. Not the best time for young first-time ewes to have their lambs. On the third morning after the earthquake two abandoned new-borns needed rescuing.
Supreme Winter Gardening CatSupreme Winter Gardening Cat...
In the frosty depths of the mid-winter garden, one week before the shortest day, a pale ginger fluffy gardening cat is busy keeping the Moosey Head Gardener company. Forget the toasty warm pet-beds in the house - this cat is weatherproof.
Vote in the New, Updated MVPVote in the New, Updated MVP...
On computers all over the gardening world, intelligent women(*) are exercising their right to vote! Oops... They're all friends on whom I've leant heavily, and they're voting for Histeria the tabby in my Most Valuable Pet competition. And Minimus the grey, Percy the ginger, Kaya the black...
Year of the TigerYear of the Tiger...
2010 is the Year of the Tiger, so I thought I'd pay homage to Tiger the tortoiseshell, now the senior Moosey cat. Tiger, whose legs are too short and body too fat, and who is consequently on a 'Shape Up For Life' programme of exercise and diet. Lucky cat!
The Changing Lives of CatsThe Changing Lives of Cats...
When I write about my cats I see them as they are at the time - I don't think about them getting old and boring, or being any different. But cats do change. And sometimes they completely rearrange their lives.
Sharing the AnimalsSharing the Animals...
The Moosey animals enrich my every day in the house and the garden. And best of all - their stories and photographs are shared with others. My cats sometimes get more 'fan mail' than the Head Gardener does!
Smelling of Roses?Smelling of Roses?...
Cat owners understand the protocols for kitty-litter. Some cats lead the happiest of lives indoors, and obviously the house pot-plants are not an appropriate cat-toilet. But unless the kitty-litter tray is freshened, or changed every day...
Lilli-Puss the GreyLilli-Puss the Grey...
Lilli-Puss, my young grey girlie cat, has always been cheekily called 'The Apprentice'. She lives upstairs with Jerome the Grey (at seventeen the oldest, slowest, living Moosey cat). So 'The Apprentice' needs no further explanation - oops!
Minimus the Woodshed KittenMinimus the Woodshed Kitten...
Rusty the Moosey dog is a hero. Rusty's wonderful dog-nose 'found' Minimus (a little wild grey kitten) in the woodshed, and saved her from the sad, scrappy life of a feral cat.
Histeria the TabbyHisteria the Tabby...
Full, formal cat-name: Histeria the Tabby. Pet cat-name: Hissy. Why? Because she was the wildest, spittiest, growliest, hissiest kitten when she first came to Moosey's Country Garden.
Garden Ambience for DogsGarden Ambience for Dogs...
Gardening dogs the world over are deeply puzzled about this thing called 'ambience'. Rusty the red Border Collie at Mooseys often thinks that the alpha-male of his pack (an older-lady gardener) has gone ambiently barmy.
Ginger Cat PercyGinger Cat Percy...
Ginger Percy, the last of the Wild Cat Colony kittens, came to Mooseys to be fostered and socialised. He was about twelve weeks old and had never been handled. Percy started life as a feral kitten, living under a pine hedge in a horse paddock.
Animal MisdemeanoursAnimal Misdemeanours...
Living in a house with eight cats and a dog, sometimes things are bound to go wrong. Here's my rogues gallery of the worst Moosey animal offenders. Oops - some content may offend the shy reader.
Winter Gardening CatsWinter Gardening Cats...
My garden's a bit static and colourless in winter - there's nothing much of the vegetable state to take photographs of. That's why I like winter-touring with my camera and my cats (oops - nearly forgot - and the dog).
Foster Cats - One Year OnFoster Cats - One Year On...
Almost one year ago I took in three wild foster kittens. My job was to socialise and prepare them for new homes, preferably in the country. They were not supposed to stay at Mooseys. Oops. One year later...
Dog EtiquetteDog Etiquette...
A river is the perfect playground for dogs to practice fetching things from water. Some dogs are lucky enough to have their own familiar chasing object, brought from home. Here are some dog-etiquette tips for chasing a tennis ball.
A Well-Groomed DogA Well-Groomed Dog...
Rusty the red Border Collie is a rather fluffy dog. Because he has serious gardening commitments his fur is always full of plant material - seeds, small twigs, gum leaves, and the like. He needs a professional dog-groomer!
HaruHaru's First Shearing...
Haru my pet merino lamb was born in the spring of 2006. Just over one year later she's off with the other sheep in the flock to be shorn. This is a big day - definitely a sheep's coming-of-age - Haru's first shearing.
Nine Moosey CatsNine Moosey Cats...
Nine cats are not too many. The Moosey house is huge, the Moosey garden is huge, and the Moosey farm reaches well beyond the gardens, with paddocks, orchards, and hay barns. There is definitely enough room for nine cats...
Ginger Gardening CatsGinger Gardening Cats...
Ginger cats make brilliant gardening cats. The newest ginger Moosey cat, Percy, is carrying on this proud tradition, started many years ago with old Ginger Puss, and carried on by Fluff-Fluff and dear Smoocher.
My Foster KittensMy Foster Kittens...
I'm feeling quite sad! I've just finished my four week term fostering three little kittens - Hissy, Percy, and Lilli-Puss. They arrived here frightened and semi-wild, and are leaving smoochy and sociable. My kitten fostering has been a success!
Water Sports DogWater Sports Dog...
Lead Rusty the red Border Collie dog to water and he's immediately charged with excitement. Throw a stick into the water, summer or winter, and splash! Rusty is a four seasons water sports dog.
Trap Neuter ReturnTrap Neuter Return...
I'm playing a very small part in my friend Judith's Trap-Neuter-Return programme, helping her manage a feral cat colony. Already I can sense some progress, and I'd like to share some small stories.
Cat RescueCat Rescue...
Animal shelters in the city do great work, taking in abandoned cats and dogs. In my city there's an underclass of feral cats, often living on wasteland at the edge of the suburbs. I've even made my own small, though thankfully neutered, contribution!
Fluff-FluffFluff-Fluff...
Fluff-Fluff - my gentle, fluffy, pale ginger cat with the amber eyes and the silly name - this is your own adult cat page! Welcome to the Moosey pets section.
B-PussB-Puss...
At the end of the year 2006 two Christmas kittens joined Mooseys Country Garden, injecting some youth into the resident cat community. One was almost pure white, with staring goggle eyes and a scabby face.
Lambs and Their MothersLambs and Their Mothers...
Family portraits in the animal kingdom are usually just 'mother and child' - sorry, fathers, but you don't usually get in the picture! Our small group of beautiful merino lambs each has an especially caring mother.
FredFred's First Shearing...
There are two pet sheep at Mooseys (as well as Haru, the 2006 pet lamb) - dear old George, a merino wether from way back, and the bumptious woolly bully Fred, breed unknown. This spring is Fred's first shearing time.
Dog in DisgraceDog in Disgrace...
Dogs do unmentionable things. Sometimes? Often? In the house? In the garden? If there were demerit points for dog misdemeanours Rusty the red Border Collie would be well and truly disqualified!
My New ChooksMy New Chooks...
Once bitten twice shy? Or should that read 'Once pecked twice as wise'? The new hens and rooster at Mooseys have a fiercely organised routine - and they love it!
Charles the Merino RamCharles the Merino Ram...
Charles the merino ram came to Mooseys Animal Farm in March, 2006. We run a small flock of merino sheep, concentrating on fine wool production, and we wanted our own super-fine ram.
Our Spring Pet LambOur Spring Pet Lamb...
The Moosey spring lambs should be frolicking in the front paddock, looked after by their woolly merino mothers. This spring, one little lamb had a slightly shaky start...
Samoan CatsSamoan Cats...
The basic physical shape of a Samoan cat is very different to my own cats. They are narrow and light, with long bodies, slim long legs - like cat-walk models, compared to the lumpy, fluffy fatties who live with me in my house and garden!
The Year of the DogThe Year of the Dog...
Moosey's Country Garden and Animal Farm is pleased to celebrate the Year of the Dog. It's been a great year for the current canine, Rusty, full of zooming bicycle rides, concentrated, repetitive dog-gardening, and long country walks.
Gardening CatsGardening Cats...
The two youngest Moosey cats, Fluff-Fluff and Beige Puss, are fast becoming my best all-weather, four-seasons gardening cats. And such stamina! They keep me company from dawn until dusk.
Travelling Without AnimalsTravelling Without Animals...
A travelling garden reporter in summery England has a great life - zooming through the countryside on trains and buses, visiting new gardens, making new gardening friends, experiencing the (wet) English weather. What could be more heart-and-mind-warming?
MVC Annual ReviewMVC Annual Review...
It - that is the MVC, or Most Valuable cat Competition - all started as a competition between cats and honorary cats (the Moosey dog), something to do over the giddy summer holiday weeks, when the gardening weather became too hot to handle.
Designer KittensDesigner Kittens...
It's a serious business, getting the right Christmas present for a stylish red border collie dog. Bones just get buried, and toy squeaking ducks are very un-PC. How about a designer kitten? The perfect present!
Rusty DogRusty Dog...
Rusty the Red Border Collie - it's well time you got your own dog-page! You're over a year old, and we still call you a puppy!
Pet LambPet Lamb...
Fred the pet lamb has come to live at Moosey Animal Farm. Fred is a Romney, with large ears and a large 'cute factor'. He's a pretty lamb - I'm sure this rather girlie adjective won't upset Fred's self-sheep-esteem.
Sheep ShearingSheep Shearing...
Mid-spring is an exciting time on Moosey Animal Farm. Exciting, that is, for the small flock of merino sheep - it's shearing time!
MVP Guest AppearancesMVP Guest Appearances...
Most Valuable Pet Contestants earn 10 bonus points every time they get a mention or a photo in another website or blog.
Tiger the CatTiger the Cat...
Tiger the cat came to Moosey's Country Garden as a Christmas 2005 kitten with her brother Smoocher. The two newcomers soon named themselves - as soon as she settled in this little striped tabby female turned into a wee tiger!
MVPMVP...
The Most Valuable Pet competition features a sophisticated pet scoring system, with contestants competing for Most Valuable Pet Points in 6 separate categories. Vote for your favourite Moosey animal every day and help decide the MVP.
SmoocherSmoocher...
Smoocher the ginger cat came to Moosey's Country Garden in December 2004 with his sister - two small squeaking six week old Christmas kittens. She was content to sit, and squeak, and look cute. He was definitely a kitten on the move.
Walking the DogWalking the Dog...
Gardening can be very repetitive. But gardeners who own dogs have no reason to get bored with their self-imposed garden routines. At Mooseys, when feeling a little gardened-out, I can take Rusty the puppy for a walk...
Moosey Animal EquilibriumMoosey Animal Equilibrium...
It's some weeks now since the new 2005 Moosey animals (two kittens and a puppy) arrived. Pet owners will understand that animal equilibrium in the household is a delicate matter.
Most Valuable Cat Competition 2005Most Valuable Cat Competition 2005...
The Most Valuable Cat Competition, or MVC for short, is a traditional summer animal contest. It is enjoying a revival this summer (2004 - 2005), as new Moosey animal arrivals give it new life.
Rusty The New PuppyRusty The New Puppy...
Rusty the red border collie puppy has come to live at Mooseys. He's fluffy, bouncy, chewy, and completely adorable.
AnimalsAnimals' Tenth Anniversary...
Talking to animals - a sign of madness or niceness? Interviewing the animals on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Moosey Country House and Garden? Surely a bit of both! But since this is a very special anniversary...
Rooster & HensRooster & Hens...
I promised myself I would never do this - try to write from the mind of one of the Moosey pets. It's - well - just too silly. But the temptation is too great - there's not much going on apart from the antics of the visiting rooster and hens.
Cat & Dog LifeCat & Dog Life...
A month in the life of a Moosey animal is exciting and action packed. What did the cats & dogs get up to this March?
A New Puppy?A New Puppy?...
If you look very carefully in our pantry behind the flour and sugar, you'll spy a small pile of library books. Why are they hidden in here? Has the Moosey household got even madder?
Cat TummiesCat Tummies...
I love writing about the animals. And I've always wanted to write about cat tummies, and the deeply significant feline ritual of showing ones tummy to the human world...
An Old DogAn Old Dog...
Taj-dog is getting old. He has been our house dog for many years now, and has spent most of his life enjoying the country ambience of Moosey's Country Garden.
Dog RiverDog River...
It's Saturday afternoon and I'm building another purposeful path through my garden. I am a compulsive path edger, and today I need more stones. Taj-dog needs his weekly wash. We both need to visit THE RIVER.
Most Valuable CatMost Valuable Cat...
My Most Valuable Cat Competition for the summer of 2001 - 2002 has been a complete flop. The prize tins of gourmet cat food are still stacked on the pantry shelf.
Cats & DogsCats & Dogs...
We have always had cats and a dog in our family. The animals sit on seats with us, sleep in/on beds with us, go for walks with us, wait for us to open the fridge...
Pets & PeoplePets & People...
Pets and people can develop quirky relationships. The house pets at Mooseys are definitely creatures of quirky habits.
Catfood & DogfoodCatfood & Dogfood...
Cat and dog feeding in our house is rather complicated. There is a routine - the bowls are laid out on the bench...
Lucky CatLucky Cat...
Lucky was a white, ginger and black splodgy cat who retired to live here with us. In many ways she wasn't a very lucky cat...
Cat Sleeping SpotsCat Sleeping Spots...
Consider the vital cat question of the best sleeping spot. The sun is extremely inconsiderate to snoozing cats, moving across the sky during the day.
Sheep & LambsSheep & Lambs...
We keep about 20 to 25 sheep on the property - the number varies from year to year. The sheep act as automatic four legged lawnmovers and provide entertainment in the spring by producing a new crop of lambs.
GingerpussGingerpuss...
Gingerpuss was an old gentleman cat of seventeen years when we moved here to the country. He settled in immediately, taking up residence underneath the house decking...
Jeremy CatJeremy Cat...
Jeremy was Stephen's black and white fluffy cat. It's hard to describe Jeremy without insulting her, for she was always a bit of a pathetic cat, timid, and frightened of her shadow. Yet she was a silly smoochy cat too, and extremely loyal.
Jerome CatJerome Cat...
Jerome the cat is Stumpy's sister. She is a champagne and grey cat with very subtle stripes and a spotty tummy...
Mugsy the CatMugsy the Cat...
Mugsy the cat is not a very brainy cat. Her face is coloured half and half like a mask - one half is black, one half is orange...
Big Fat Sifter CatBig Fat Sifter Cat...
Big Fat Sifter is our biggest cat, a large brown tabby. He came to us merely a medium-sized cat. In fact he was lucky to come to us at all.
Slow PussSlow Puss...
Slow Puss was one of our earliest cats. He never had the chance to live here at Moosey's country garden.
Stumpy CatStumpy Cat...
Stumpy is a small grey female tabby cat, one of two sisters. She is named after the middle stump-camera at the cricket, which one T.V. commentator affectionately called 'Stumpy'.
Taj-dogTaj-dog...
Taj-dog is a simple sort of dog. His happiness depends totally on four words - bunny, walk, car and river.