Interview with Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Kattaddorra responds to preset questions about how she cares for her cats….

Kattaddorra Interview

Collage by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Q. Where do you live? Which country and do you live in or out of town?
A. We live in the North East of England in a small town, right on the edge of a housing estate.

Q. Do you live alone or with a family? If so how many people are there in the family?
A. We are sisters who live together since Barbara was widowed, she works in funeralcare and I’m retired.

Q. How many cats do you live with? What is his name or what are their names?
A. We share our home with our two cats Walter and Jozef. Walter will be 12 in July and Jozef will be 12 in August.

Q. What sort of cats are they (moggie or purebred?)?
A. Both are DSH black and white neutered toms

Q. What sort of home do you live in?
A. Our home is semi detached with a large garden at the back, there are very tall trees behind the back fence and a path for walking, then an embankment the other side of the path.

Q. Does your cat go out and if so how the situation managed?
A. Yes our cats go out, usually via the window at the back of our living room and they come back to that window when they want to come in. They are kept in after dark and when no one is going to be home. They learned this routine from being kittens. They sit in the garden quite

Baby Walt with John 2001

Baby Walt with John 2001

often, they also go over the path to the embankment which is behind trees and has a high fence but space for cats to go under, it’s a cats safe paradise with trees and scrub and lots of mice to hunt.

They have little wooden huts in the garden which Barbara’s late husband John made for when it rains and they still want to be out in the fresh air, they also have a Catnasium with four levels leading to their ‘sun roof’

Q. What are the dangers to your cat?
A. As we live in a cul de sac the traffic can’t pass through here and the residents drive carefully but if our cats are out the front of our house one of us always watches over them just incase a stranger or a delivery man comes flying along thinking there is a through road.

Q. Do you have access to a veterinarian? If so, how good is she?
A. Our vets practice is 3 miles away, we have our favourite female vet, some of the other female vets are good too although we are not keen on the vet who the practice belongs to because we were informed that he expects his staff to meet targets of the number of tests done. It’s sad that many vets practices are more about making money through probably unnecessary tests than doing what is best for the client’s pet.

Q. What food do you feed your cat?
A. A variety of good makes of cat food and a few biscuits for nibbling on.

Q. Does your cat use a cat litter toilet or go outside to the toilet? What sort of litter is it?
A. Our cats have a patch of earth dug over in our garden for toileting, they do have a litter tray upstairs and downstairs for emergencies but they are very rarely used so we just use a basic litter.

P.S. from Michael

This is one of the world cat owner interviews that I would like to see. You can read about the idea on this page. Could you do one please? If so please use the form on the home page or contact me.

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Interview with Ruth aka Kattaddorra — 29 Comments

  1. What a great interview, even though I knew most of the answers already! Wonderful pictures also. I have to go check on Monty, or I’d comment some more. He is outside. He just came up to the screen door meowing and then rolled on his back. I am being called outside to provide a belly rub.

    • Thank you Ruth. Our Jozef loves a belly rub too, but not Walt, he often rolls trustingly over but he’s not as confident about us touching his belly as Jo is lol

  2. Excellent interview and a beautiful view of the “English Countryside”.As they say, “A picture tells a thousand words”. Cats “Jozef” and “Walter” are lucky pets living in the perfect countryside environment.Having lived in South Shields for approx 6 months in 1985/86 and also having visited London in 2010 i personally understand a bit of English living and culture.To a total stranger to England , this introduction by Ruth aka Kattaddorra of herself and cats with the corresponding photos gives a complete picture of the responsible cat owner and average living conditions in England.

    • I agree, for people who have never lived in the UK, it provides an insight into what life is like for cat and human caretaker. Britain is meant to be one of the best countries for the domestic cat. I guess I would say that 😉

  3. Ruth and Babz, the catnasium is fantastic. I have a mind to build something like that for my aging back garden cats. They would appreciate it. Lovely.

    • The catnasium (a new word for the English dictionary) shows haw cat-centric this home is. There is a nice balance between cat and human with respect to facilities and all homes with cats as a member of the family should be the same.

  4. Thanks Dorothy, yes your cats would love a Catnasium. Ours originally had the top 3 levels but we added the lowest one when Ebony was old and found it more difficult to jump higher.
    At one time we had our 4 cats sitting one on each level, I wish I could find the photo we took of them.
    Sadly we lost both our beautiful much loved girlz, Ebony and Popsy, within a year of each other.

    • Ruth your house is beautiful and you are so very lucky. It’s exactly what I am looking for: ‘a house on the edge of an estate etc’ – where the nature is the only thing beyond for a fair distance. Just wonderful. You and Babz and Walt and Jo must be very happy together there. For me this is everything I could ever dream of having and your little garden is beautiful – and I love the chairs and huts for the cats – the levels to the sun roof – all just perfect. I’d be most happy to be one of your cats, or you for that matter. There is so much joy for cats when they can follow thier curiousness into the nature a bit and chase the flies, dig holes, sniff things and roll around on the grass. It’s heaven for them and for us to be a part of it. I used to get a long stick or something and sit on the grass and poke Red with it and he’s chase the stick end as I drageed it through the grass and stand up on two legs and ‘take it down’ if he got anoyed with it tickling him. These are the best moments in life, happy times, playing outside together.

      I won’t harp or be negative today but I am glad you told us about the vets needing to reach certain test numbers. This is how the medical proffession works as I understand it with humans as well. I had 5 friends become doctors and even when they were still at university the drug companies were offering them free holidays if they reached certain numbers of presciptions of the company’s drugs. This is shocking and yet another form of legalised corruption. I believe our world is far more corrupt than ever simply because it’s not even called corruption anymore, it’s actually been systemised and given a space to be done for all to see. This special interest stuff and lobbying with promise of reward and benefit should be entirely and wholly illegal with serious consequences. It gives entirely wrong motivation. And with humans there is some level of accountability – I am scared of what it means for animals in the vet world. What drugs they will prescribe for an extra buck.

      It means that automatically we have to question everything our vets do and prescribe. What a pain for us and for the good vets. I cannot accept anything from a vet now without having to research it myself. When I took mine to be spayed at xmas time I got something for Lilly for worms and they gave me a drop for the back of the neck. Well I went and looked it up and never used it. A drop to kill worms – whatever next. It’s toxic stuff. I opened it and smelled it first and knew in a split second not to go near it ever again. It smelled like glue. And it was from Bayer. I read horror stories about it. I can’t trust vets anymore. It’s horrible. How can one manage if one never really knows the motivation of their vet. This is an enormous paradox and catch that destroys the whole system of medical care for animals as far as I am concerned. It’s not even a question. Literally by definition: you have to do you own research on everything your vet prescribes or does in order to maintain that beyond a reasonable doubt it is being suggested for the right reasons. That’s not even possible in a quick moving situation where you don’t have time and boy do they love to be quick. I will have to find a vet who is a person I know and trust. Or maybe go to a shelter vet. I don’t know but this makes it impossible to feel confident. It means that when you get a diagnosis and treatment that you have to listen to it all, go home and spend about 2 hours on the internet fully researching what has been prescribed and then make your own judgement. I wouldn’t even mind that too much if the vets weren’t so expensive. For that price you should be able to trust them. It should not be possible that they can have other motivations.

      I said I wouldn’t harp and I did – I’m sorry. Really I am.

      This is a beautiful little article and I really love Ruth, Babz, Jo and Walts setup. You are a happy little familly. One day I will be able to enjoy the same wonders of the outdoors with my cats just like this and I can’t wait. What a perfect little garden with a high fence so it’s nice and private with lots of ivy. I love ivy so much, it’s the best cushion for sound and sight to make a place alive but private. I want to contruct a catio on my balcony and I will encourage ivy to grow over many parts of it so it becomes like a little green living cave but with nice views in the directions I want to be able to see. Not as nice as the garden but my best possible solution for the time being. i will be starting this project in June, and hopefully I can finish it in June. Labout here is expensive (about 50GPB per hour, yes, fifty quid, so I am gonna try do it myself as much as possible.

      Thanks for sharing Ruth and Babz and Walt and Jo – it was very nice to see everything how you have it setup. 🙂

      • Thank you Marc, yes we are very lucky to live here and were really upset a few weeks ago when our new neighbour brought 3 noisy dogs to live in kennels in his garden but by some miracle it is all working out well now. Barbara got talking to him and he is a very reasonable man and very responsible with the dogs, he takes the big noisy one in everey night, we don’t mind a bit of daytime barking now nights are quiet. Live and let live is our motto.
        Yes it’s frightening about vets pushing tests, remember our Jozef had tests earlier this year, we found out afterwards she was one of the vets who was pleasing the boss by pushing tests on clients pets. We don’t have much trust in vets to begin with, having worked for quite a few I’ve seen the good and the bad! Thankfully our favourite one doesn’t push tests or anything else they sell, we do hate having to go there but the practice we were with before let us down badly over Popsy who should have been refered to a cat specialist. It’s a minefield Marc, the same as it is for people nowadays, especially older people 🙁
        Good luck with your Catio x

        • P.S just be a bit careful with Ivy, cats don’t normally bother with it but it can be toxic to them if they eat a sizeable amount, although I’ve never known a cat have Ivy poisoning, it’s best to grow it where they don’t sit or lie, as it started to want to grow onto the sun roof we cut it down.

  5. Comment and poster from Ruth aka Kattaddorra (uploaded by Michael on her behalf):

    Today I walked around the back of our house and took some photos to share here of the beautiful tall trees and the paths we walk behind our home, as I thought some visitors might like to see a bit more of our English surroundings,where at present the trees are in full leaf and the grass is very green.

    If we turn left from the three way path near the back of our home we can follow the path to some elderly peoples bungalows, turn right and we can walk to this end of the town where Barbara works, in about ten minutes, or to the far end of the town via St Johns Churchyard, which is a peaceful walk through an avenue of trees and takes around fifteen minutes. Our Supermarket, library and Police Station are all in easy walking distance.

    It’s a lovely sunny warm day and Walter and Jozef have both been in the garden all afternoon ‘helping’ Barbara to plant a hanging basket of fuschias and large tubs of geraniums. They both allowed me to have a cuddle for a photo and have now gone about their own business doing what cats like to do.

    English garden for cats

  6. As a cat owner from one of the world’s densest populated city’s Mumbai(Bombay), this pleasant poster-book countryside cottage of Ruth reminds me of the distant countryside resorts that we Mumbaikars normally go on weekends for a experiencing the forest life and wilderness.First time came across the “Castnasium” built for cats.Remember visiting “Kew Gardens” and admiring the beautiful British cottages in that locality, the “British Cottage” being a symbol of English living.Thanks for an excellent peep into your cats and your typical British home.

    • Thanks Rudolph, the Catnasium was designed and made by John, Barbara’s late husband who was a carpenter before he became disabled. He was a wonderful gentle kind man who loved cats, we were so sad to lose him at only 57 years old. He taught Barbara a lot of DIY so we can now manage most things that need doing around the house and garden, she designed the cat run we once built for our ex neighbour. Women can do these things if we try.
      County Durham is a beautiful part of England, we are lucky to have a sort of town and country mixture. Further into the estate we live on isn’t so nice, they do have gardens but not as private as ours and more roads near them, we could hardly believe our luck to find this cat friendly place 14 years ago.
      I always enjoy reading about your cats and country too, it’s interesting to learn how other PoC visitors and their cats live.

  7. Thanks for all the nice comments everyone, Ruth and I do have a happy set-up here, we’re lucky to have each other and our lovely boys. This morning the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the boys are going about their business outside, on days like this life feels good.

  8. I absolutely love this interview and the pictures too especially of John with baby Walter,he looks such a lovely man only the good die young.

  9. Thanks Rose, yes John was a good man who loved cats and it’s very sad he has been gone 10 years now. He would have enjoyed PoC very much.

  10. Loved the interview especially the pictures, its clear to see that Ruth is an experienced cat owner and does whatever it takes to enrich Jozef and Walts lives yet at the same time keeping them safe which is just so important 🙂

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