Going back to the office- I think my cats hates me!

Like most of the country, most the team from the Branch have been working from home where possible, some have been on furlough and others have been out on the front line caring for animals in need. Now with our shops open and staff slowly coming back into the office, the team is finally getting back together.

We have had the opportunity to spend more time at home with our pets and this is great however; it can also have a negative impact for when things get back to normality.

I got into a routine at home and so did my cat, Salty Darling. He got used to having me around more and he really enjoyed the extra cuddles I could give him as well as taking up space on my chair and joining in work meetings! The first day I came back to the office I did not really prepare much; I did the usual, packed my stuff, made lunch and most importantly I made sure Salty had plenty of fresh food, water, his entire home comforts such as his favourite blanket and some toys and I made sure his cat flap was open (he only goes outside during the day). Perfect right?

This is Salty when I first got him in February 2020

Not for Salty! When I came home, he was mad. I usually get a nice little meow from him, a cuddle and a loving purr. Instead he just glared at me and proceeded to take a massive poo right outside his litter tray. That’s right, not in it, next to it. He did this whilst maintaining eye contact, and then he strutted off and went upstairs. He came back down a bit later and refused to sit on my lap turning his nose up for a few minutes however it didn’t take him long to give in and give me a cuddle!

I clearly disrupted his routine; I got him only a month before the first lockdown so he was not really used to me going to the office.

Luckily I was not going back every day to begin with so I spoke to our Animal Welfare Team for advice and tried to prepare him as much as possible.

Here are some tips in preparing your cat for your return to the office.

  • Try leaving your cat alone as much as possible during the normal working week (as if you weren’t there).
  • Fun and games should happen at the usual time (outside of working hours).
  • Try giving your pets things that they can do alone. E.g. destruction boxes, puzzle feeders and toys which move on their own.
  • If you can go out for a few hours that would also help as that will start building the routine of you going out and coming home again.

I followed these tips from the team and now I am back in the office more often, Salty is not really that bothered! As it is warmer he does spend more time outside however he soon comes running back in for a cuddle when I get home.

So it turns out that in the end, my cat does NOT hate me after all!

EmmaGoing back to the office- I think my cats hates me!
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Arty August is back!

This year we have extra special prizes to be won, so why not unleash your creative side and join in the fun! You don’t need to be an artist to enter, just use your imagination and enjoy yourself! We will start accepting entries from Monday 2nd August and the competition will close on Wednesday 18h August at midday. 

If you would like some inspiration, here are some wonderful entries from last year!

No matter what your skill set is, try something new and have a go at our competition. You never know, you just may surprise yourself!

Here are a couple of our winners from last year!

Before you start, make sure you read our T’s & C’s  for Arty August 2021

EmmaArty August is back!
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Am I breaking the law?

Residents of the United Kingdom are known worldwide to be a nation of animal lovers, but do we all know where we stand with regards to the law and our pets?

In the next few months we will be sharing some prominent laws every pet owner should know.

Prior to the Animal Welfare Act, animal welfare law was largely reactive and action could only be taken once an animal had suffered unnecessarily.

The 2006 Act introduced an important and new concept for pet owners and those responsible for domestic animals, e.g. breeders, those who have working animals or farm animals in England and Wales.

This means enforcement agencies and the National RSPCA inspectors can now act by advising and educating owners before their pets suffer. If this advice is not followed or the animal’s needs are not being met then action can be taken whether through a formal warning or in some cases a prosecution.

What does the law actually say?

Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on people to ensure they take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the welfare needs of their animals to the extent required by good practice.

Anyone responsible for looking after animals should give them the five freedoms:

Freedom from Hunger and Thirst . Animals should have access to fresh water all the time and the right type and amount of food to keep them fit.

Freedom from Discomfort . Animals should have the right type of home, including shelter and somewhere comfortable to rest.

Freedom from Pain, Injury and Disease . Animals should always be fit and well and should be treated by a vet if they are sick or injured.

Freedom to express normal behavior . Animals should have enough space, proper facilities and the company of other animals of their own kind.

Freedom from Fear or Distress . By making sure the animals’ conditions and treatment avoid mental suffering

If you have a concern about an animal that is sick, injured or in distress, call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999

EmmaAm I breaking the law?
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Our adoption story- Jersey & Squares

We are Jersey and Squares and we live at the beach. That’s right, we are beach bums! We both came from different backgrounds but luckily, we ended up with the same fosterer who took really great care of us. Here is our adoption story.

Squares was born whilst in Branch care and her mum is called Pringles, (yes, they were named after crisps). Our Animal Welfare Team rescued Jersey after she was found outside without a mum. Jersey was a feral kitten and she was not getting the correct nutrition for her to grow into a healthy strong cat. Although the team spent time searching for her mum, she was nowhere to be seen so it was decided that Jersey (and her siblings) would be taken into Branch care.

Jersey was taken to Sue, one of our expert fosterers who is used to dealing with tiny kittens and regularly fosters kittens without mums that need to be bottle fed. Sue was also fostering Pringles and her kittens and as Pringles was such a great mum, she stepped up and became a surrogate mum to Jersey!

Their new owner had been looking for some kittens for a while and really wanted to adopt and support his local Branch of the RSPCA. Knowing that the RSPCA receive many applications for kittens, (our Branch in particular can receive up to 100 applications in one hour of the kittens going onto the website) he patiently waited.

After applying for one kitten, he was a little too late and his application was not successful however a week later, he fell in love with Jersey and Squares and managed to get his application in quick enough to be considered. After going through the next stages of the application, chatting with the Animal Welfare Team and the virtual home visit, he welcomed Jersey and Squares into their forever home!

Jersey 

Hi I’m Jersey and I love my new life at the beach. I like to cuddle my sister Squares and we follow our new hooman everywhere. Some days, he sits with this box thing at the table and says that he is doing something called work. It’s a bit boring to watch but I still get to be with him so I don’t mind. He  also gives me treats so that is a bonus!

I really like watching hoomans that walk passed and there are lots of birdies here that I like to watch too. The hoomans next door are also my new family, I know this because my hooman goes there and eats a lot. I think they call it a BBQ. I also I like to go and see them. They do have a big cat who is older than me and another really big cat that they call dog (pictures below). They also call it Tilly, it’s very confusing.

Squares

I am a little shy but I do like everyone. When I get to know other hoomans I don’t mind a cuddle with them and my sister Jersey makes me feel braver when I see her cuddling them. I have so much space at the beach and I have my own double bed. My hooman says its his but clearly it is for me. He can share if he likes as he does give me treats and cuddles!

Without the RSPCA me and my sister may not have been rescued and that would have been sad. Thanks to them and their hoomans that they call supporters, we were cared for and now we have the best forever home ever!

Thank you for reading our blog, if you would like to share your adoption story with the Branch like we did, email them at woof@rspcanorwich.org.

EmmaOur adoption story- Jersey & Squares
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July Newsletter

Hello July.

This month our newsletter is packed with happy tails, tips from the team, advice on the law, volunteer opportunities and a lovely story about two lovely cats who really love the beach! 

EmmaJuly Newsletter
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Making the best home for your pet mice

Mice are so cute, with their quirky little ways and interesting habits and although they are tiny and seem relatively easy to look after, did you know that they have just as many needs as any other family pet?

Mice express many different behaviours and having the correct environment is essential for their welfare. Below are some top[ tips from the National RSPCA and some very useful links for more information.

Their ideal home should have:

  • Vertical and horizontal dividers in their cage (shelves and climbing facilities) to increase its complexity and allow them to confidently move about.
  • Opportunities to exercise, forage, play, interact with their cage mates without aggression, climb, investigate and control their environment within their home-cage. Mice like to stay in physical contact with upright surfaces and can find barren open spaces stressful
  • Sufficient space within the home-cage to provide suitable enrichment whilst still allowing generous space for them. Wild mice are extremely active animals, travelling many hundreds of meters in one day.
  • Space to clean and groom themselves properly otherwise they can become frustrated, and it can affect their ability to cope with their environment. Mice have a strong motivation to groom and spend a large proportion of their waking time grooming.
  • Space to burrow. Wild mice burrow and build complex tunnel systems. You can do this by: Providing them with bedding material deep enough to allow them to burrow and seek a darker environment, but that does not totally stop you being able to check on them. And by giving them cardboard tubes with multiple exits which are large enough so they can turn round and not become stuck and/or help them avoid any confrontation with cage mates.
  • Their home-cage located somewhere quiet and undisturbed away from the main activity of the home. This helps ensure they’re disturbed as little as possible during the day, when they rest and sleep. Mice are crepuscular and nocturnal animals, this means that they are active at dusk and dawn and throughout the night.
  • You should also be familiar with them and how they normally behave. Any change in this could indicate they’re unwell or suffering. Changes in types of behaviour and how long mice spend doing particular behaviours can indicate that a mouse is in pain, or distress, or is suffering.

Use the links below to be taken to the National RSPCA website where you will find out more about how to care for your pet mice.

EmmaMaking the best home for your pet mice
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I’m fostering mice!

We get many applications for volunteer fosterers, in fact we have around 30 being processed as we speak! But only one of them has the preference to foster small animals such as rabbits or mice. Whilst we generally tend to have more cats in our care, our smaller friends also need that love and care that a fosterer could bring before they go to their forever home.

In the past I have fostered kittens and dogs and this has been really lovely and rewarding. Pictured is Salty Darling and Tinks; I am sure you have seen this cheeky duo in my previous blogs as they are big blog stars! Both are in their forever homes now (I adopted Salty). I am currently fostering little mice because they also need that love and care whilst they are waiting for their forever home. At first, I wondered what Salty would do, however he is not interested in them at all. I do keep them in a separate room with the door closed so Salty has his space and the mice have theirs.

They are funny little creatures with so much personality. They are fascinating to watch and are very cute! I have two tanks, one of which has four cheeky boys who are looking for their forever home and the other one has two little ones that are playful and sweet. I am currently trying to get the little ones used to being handled, they were born whilst in our care and are getting more confident every day. Unlike the four boys, they are not ready for their forever home yet but will be soon. They will go onto our website when they are however take a look at our adoption page for the four boys, Pyrite, Topaz, Turquoise and Zinc!

Here are the ‘lads’ having a snuggle together and also being cheeky when I was cleaning them out!

EmmaI’m fostering mice!
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Central Services- Reception

Hello, my name is Jamie and I am the Receptionist for the Branch. If you have called or written to us since September 2019, then chances are you have spoken with me! Read on for more about me and my role in the Central Services Team; a day on Reception!

My role is a vast one where every day presents its own challenges, especially since Covid and working from home. You may have seen a blog I had previously written last year about my continued experience of working from home due to the pandemic.

I receive and deal with enquiries via phone, email or post. Subjects include but are not limited to; Adoption of our animals, rehoming enquiries, sign posting to the National RSPCA (they deal with animal emergencies), financial aid assistance enquiries for local pet owners and neutering voucher enquiries.

Other enquiries that I deal with include; lost and found animals, volunteering, donations, education, wildlife, social campaigns, Branch membership and other general queries and advice. Our Branch covers the Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk area, so I get to speak to and hopefully help a wide variety of people and animals.

I also respond to legacy donation letters and to those of you who write to us with your donations. I process donations and I am on the front line of admin, assisting the Central Services Team with ideas, designs and collecting feedback / statistics. This role requires a lot of concentration and it is very hard work, but the satisfaction comes from helping animals and people in conjunction with one other, something which has always been close to my heart.

When I am not taking your enquiries, I enjoy meditation and relaxing with my partner which is normally accompanied by our trusty cat, Vinnie. We adopted Vinnie from the Branch last year.

Apart from my healthy obsession with animals, I am passionate about music and all things creative in general. I play guitar in a progressive band and have been playing and producing music for roughly 14 years.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about what I do and a bit about who I am behind the voice on the phone! I extend my gratitude to all those who share our passion for animal welfare and continue to support us.

Until next time please take care of yourself and each other, if you have a pet please give them a cuddle or pet from me! – Jamie

JamieCentral Services- Reception
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Volunteer eBay Assistant

Our eBay store is expanding which means we are looking for volunteers! Along with our shops, eBay helps us to raise the much needed funds so we can continue our animal welfare work. This means we need dedicated volunteers to join us in making a difference to animals in need.

There are different tasks that our Volunteer eBay Assistant can help us with, such as the packaging of sold items so they can be sent to our customers, listing items on our eBay site to ensure we have a vast variety and quantity of items available and researching donated items to see their potential value. There will also be opportunities to assist the Manager with photographing items ready to be listed onto our eBay site as well as responding to customer queries.

EmmaVolunteer eBay Assistant
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How I met my cat Archie

We love a good adoption story and this one is just lovely! Read on to learn how Lynn, our Chair Trustee, met her beloved cat Archie.

One Saturday evening in late 2019, I was informed of a plea for assistance from a lady who had lost her long-haired cat. She had been told by a member of the public there was a cat matching the description of hers literally stuck in a thorn bush near where her cat had gone missing. The lady had rushed down to the location, but unfortunately it was not her cat. However, being a cat lover, she spent time freeing the cat from the bush, but then did not know what to do with it as being a Saturday night, it was after veterinary practice opening hours. She ended up taking it to the after-hours vets who scanned the cat but there was no microchip present to identify an owner. Because it was not deemed to be an emergency the after-hours vets were unable to take the cat in, and the lady had no facility to keep the cat overnight. So, I offered to keep the cat overnight in a spare bedroom, knowing I could then take it to one of the Branch partner veterinary practices the next day, where we could authorise for it be taken into RSPCA care while we tried to reunite the cat with its owner.

So, the cat (now named Archie) was dropped off to me around 7:00pm on the Saturday night and while he was in a poor condition with matted fur, fleas and was very hungry and dehydrated, he was so gentle and a real softy who just wanted cuddles. Because of this I was really confident that he had been owned and that the RSPCA would have a chance of locating his owner. I emailed the details to our Animal Welfare Manager to let her know I would take Archie to one of our Branch partner veterinary practices (on this occasion it was Companion Care) for a full veterinary health check before passing him over to our Animal Welfare Team for the mandatory stray-hold period (8+ days) while they tried to locate his family.

It goes without saying that within those 12 hours that I had Archie staying with me, I had fallen for him, so I informed the Animal Welfare Team that if they could not locate his owner, I would happily adopt him. I dropped him off at the vets on Sunday (after lots of cuddles) and they estimated that he was around 10 – 11 years old. Every day I checked in with the Animal Welfare Team to see if there was any progress with finding Archie his home and despite all their efforts and advertising him as found, no one came forward. So, 10 days later I formally adopted him.

I have 11 other cats and Archie immediately fitted in to our household – not a single hiss. He was clearly used to being an indoor cat, as he was initially quite nervous about going outside in the garden (which has cat-secure fencing), but now he loves nothing better than basking in the sun on the patio. He is a real character; he will swipe food off your plate and will literally try anything (no food on your tray/plate is safe!). He loves meeting new people (be it virtually at present) and makes regular guest appearances on my work video meetings. One downside is that he snores like a trooper which does make for a few sleepless nights as his preferred sleeping place is on the pillow next to me! Over the last six months he is starting to show signs of dementia (which is often around 3:00am…!), but I simply adore him and am so glad I have been able to give him his forever home in his twilight years.

EmmaHow I met my cat Archie
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