Hi, I’m Kylee Mitchell and this is my story. I live in Oamaru which is in North Otago Region, in Waitaki District in the South Island of New Zealand. It is in between Timaru and Dunedin. Oamaru is a Town of about 20,200 people. It’s a mix of both rural (as there are, lot of dairy farms/sheep etc.) and town. It’s about a 20-45 minute walk from where I live one way. My street is up quite high so I have views of the north town. Also, just down the road is a park we call Orana Park where there are swings and a lot of trees. Here it is:
Most of Oamaru in the town part still has a Victorian look as back in 1800s it was classed as a city with the gold rush etc. If you want to know anymore visit this website. I do live near a road, but I have a fenced section with a door out the front. There are some pics below of garden that the cats like to hang out in. So you can all see what it looks like 🙂
What do I do? I don’t work due to mental health problems i.e. chronic Depression/anxiety/epilepsy/social anxiety. I find it hard to get out of the house sometimes. I have support to help me get out of the house. Once I am outside I’m usual fine. I usual go out swimming, walking and attending adult literacy. Enough about me now 🙂
How many cats do I have? I have 4 cats including a new kitty making 5.
What type of cats are they? They are all moggie domestic cats. Four of them were rescues from sister and friends. Jasmin was the only one that I picked myself. After the passing of Cassy I felt I needed to move on. I knew a friend of mine had kitties so I put the word out there. Am very impressed with Jasmin. Cassy will always be remembered in my heart and we have a special memory in our lounge as well as Tammy.
What sort of home do I live in? The house is a rented house, which is currently on the market to sell for a landlord investment. So am hoping a nice cat friendly landlord will buy it. We been here since July early 2009. The cats loved it the first night we were here, esp. Cassy. The home is a house: 3 bedrooms, small Lounge, conservatory which gets really hot in summer and winter, it’s like a hot house. The kitchen is a rectangle shape – have a log burner (for winter as gets very cold here though probably not as cold as in different parts of the world) sometimes it does snow.
As well, we have a heat pump etc. Have usual bathroom, laundry, toilet plus a spare room that acts as a hobby room then outside as you can see in the pics above. We feel lucky that our Neighbors are very kind and we have shade and we get along pretty well. It’s good to live in a quiet area. There still noise as you would expect but I guess it’s bigger than what most of you have in other parts of the world ;). Have small amount of lawn and the rest is just garden which is low maintenance apart from the rose garden. Also, I have a swing set. The cats really enjoy going outside, esp in the summer months. Smokey loves staying away in the mini forest I like to call it next door he just sleeps in there on end.
Temp in winter at night is minus 2 to minus 5 in winter and 10 in day time. In summer anywhere to 12-35 at the most. So, its not too hot.
Is your cat indoor or outdoor? They mostly indoor and outdoor. We have a flap where they can play the in cat door and out cat door game. I haven’t worried so much about collars as things around here are pretty safe. Although I do attend to get one a safe one and a micro-chip for Jasmin. If only could do it for all of them but at 50 a piece would have to save a lot. In winter they mostly stay inside. I don’t worry too much where they sleep. I am happy for them to be inside in winter time. They don’t too much like wet days either. I’ve noticed tiger will complain when it’s been raining or cold. With Jasmin being young still I keep an eye on her and let her have little journeys outside. I’ve just noticed today that Ozzie (black cat) is enjoying playing with her its so exciting to see. He’s not as defensive as it was a week ago.
The dangers to the cats
The usual; getting run over and them hurting themselves. I’ve been pretty lucky, with my animals as they haven’t had any major probs apart from Cat fights and having abscess. Ozzie, was really the only one that I think was in an accident He was very lucky to be alive. Last year came home to him being in a lot of pain and hardly breathing took him to vet and he had to stay there for 3 days and nights. Was very stressing as he was only a year old. He had air in his lungs they think he fell off the boot of a car or that someone may have kicked him. Since them he’s been very careful and doesn’t stray from home much.
I feed them either Tinned or wet Pet food. i.e Whiskas or Chef cat singles or tinned Whiskas. They like most cat biscuits apart from cheap ones. But would prefer, above all else Whiskas meaty selections. I give them plenty of water, I guess like other cats they prefer water from basin and bath and or toilet ozzie esp likes to do this.
They sometimes get wild Rabbit. Our neighbour is a hunter and he often will go out as there’s a lot of country areas like on farms etc. He will bring some chicken or rabbit. I’ve tried once to cook it, ozzie has liked it but the rest just turn their nose at it. I just think they too domesticated now. They like their special foods
I go to the vet when needed. All cats have been vaccinated, apart from Jasmin which ill do soon. She’s in good health though. The vet bill is very high at the moment with cass treatment so will wait till its abit down. I get Revolution flea treatment and worms every 2-3 months.
My story how cats help me
I’ve felt the cats too to be of special value to me, when in year 2000 when I got very sick and had chronic depression. Didn’t realise at the time how bad I was, Tammy helped me a lot, I was alone and my health at the time was poor. I didn’t care how I looked, or who came over I felt she accepted me how I was and didn’t judge me she was a true friend.
She was a very clever cat, she loved to jump up on high door handles to get your attention and would open them if they were half open. I had a cheap fridge at the time that she had worked out how to open the fridge/freezer I had. She would get her paw and open it then look at me and meow with funny look in her eye. In the end had to put a big brick in front so she wouldn’t keep doing it.
She was always there for me, although she was an alpha female she was a lovely girl and I miss her lots. Cassy came along and she helped me in more ways than I can mention. She had a special feelings. She used to know whenever I was down or sad. She would jump up and just purr and smooch and get cuddly. Often when I was on the computer, if I was on there too much, she would physically get in the way and get cuddly like to say it’s time for me now!!
When I had been though a hard time, after she decided to go away I always felt that she knew I was going through a hard time, I felt that she was going though it too. It was so hard when she wouldn’t come back I really felt like she didn’t want to be a domestic cat and she turned semi-wild for a few weeks. I do think cats are helpful when you are alone as they help you with the loneliness.
I had been on my own for about 5 yrs before 2006, where it was just me and my girls. They were always faithful and loyal and could always count on them, when times get tough they were there. Even now with the ones I have, Rebel will always jump up onto the table, walk straight to me and head bump me and purr and smooch with a wee meow and rub his scent over me. I just know its like a greeting saying I love you, now can you feed me. So I think a cat or cats are very helpful if you’re alone or are a couple. They certainly help though the hard times and the good times. I’m sure you will all agree.