Where my love of animal’s first started
My early memories of life itself, involved animals! The canine sort.
I would sit in my window at home watching for the local neighbours to go out walking with their dogs!
We lived in a much safer world way back then and I would shout to my mum,
“Just off to walk” Sam the Labrador, Judy the Bull Terrier or Shane the Red Setter.
“I won’t be long” Any of the above would do just so long as I could go out with their owner’s to walk the dog. At the ripe old age of 6!
My brother and I had a rabbit, however, I so longed for a dog of my own.
A year later, when I was 7, Santa brought me the most precious gift of all. A beautiful red Boxer dog.
We had 13 years together, which when you look at a dog or cat’s life, their time with us seems to fly by, but when I look at my own life between 7 and 20 phew, that took a long time!
Anyway, he was fantastic, however not a well dog throughout his life. Little did I know that it would gain me so much experience with the ailments of a dog for later in my chosen career.
My first cat encounter came when we lived in our previous house. He became the neighbourhood cat; we all knew where he lived. However unfortunately for him, he was quite elderly, and his owners had a new baby. He was put ‘out’ quite a lot and he decided to move further down the road and bed hopped between four houses, knowing we were all cat lovers. At this time, I had 3 dogs, they would all snuggle up together by the fire. It was lovely to see. We called him Pud pud, we did'nt know his real name.
Andy and I would often wake up with another neighbour’s cat on our bed! would climb in through the window and snuggle down for the night while we were asleep. We called him Boots as he had a boot shape marking on his side.
Over the years we have been like most families, having an array of animals. Ellie, my daughter who is now in her 30’s, her middle name is Doolittle!
Hamster’s, rabbits, we bred Guinea pigs for a while, dogs of course. I became a breeder of the Jack Russel Terrier. My other childhood dream of having a pony became a reality, with my children having ponies for many years. From pony club to riding club that led to area competitions and racetracks. Our menagerie now includes chickens, ducks and clucks adding pigs and turkeys into the equation over the years. As you can see, we have a great love for the ‘good life’ and our animals.
As the children were growing up and becoming more independent, I thought I would have a little more time to pursue a career. Enjoying the dog breeding, I decided to train at becoming a dog groomer. Which also led me into behaviour, diet and nutrition.
Running a cattery was always at the forefront of my mind and finding a suitable home to run both businesses became a priority.
The first time we saw our home ‘Arcadia’ I knew this was the ‘purrrfect’ place.
It took two years for us to complete on the deal due to markets and other circumstances, I was not going to give up on my dream.
I continued to dog groom from here ‘Poocilicious’ while Ellie was off at college studying, small animals, and equine studies. After her training, Ellie started working for us in 2010 and has managed the dog grooming business since 2015. Ellie also gives me a welcoming hand in the cattery when I need her.
In the summer of 2014, after careful research up and down the country looking at other catteries. We came across a Pedigree Pen cattery. We both looked at each other and thought "Wow, this is the one for us"
We applied for the planning permission to build the cattery. It was all extremely exciting, then things suddenly took a different course. In the October 2014 I stood in my garden with two bottles of champagne in my hands. One to celebrate the go ahead to build the cattery and the other one to receive the ‘all clear’ results from the breast cancer team. Only one bottle of bubbly was opened that day, and here we are with the cattery. It was a setback but one I was not going to let it beat me. I was extremely lucky and thanks to my daughter, it was caught early. I had a magnificent surgery team, a loving family, a chocolate Labrador to help me through it. My dream pushed me on and kept me going, nothing was going to stop me. We did all the groundwork ourselves, it took all the spring, summer of 2015, starting with me pointing and finishing with me moving gravel!
The cattery was final ready to open in March 2016 just before Easter.
I feel immensely proud of what we have achieved as a family over the past few years.
Thank you for reading and taking your time to look around our website to view our cattery.
Our Autumn Statement
Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking time in looking around our website with the interest of booking your furchildren into our hotel for their holidays.
You will find our opening times, updated T&C’s, and prices hopefully easy to understand. Please read and make sure you are happy with them before you proceed with your booking. We are always at the end of the phone or email for any further questions.
We do our best to reply to emails, phone calls within 24/48 hours of your enquiry. Please note that any enquiry we receive on a Sunday will be answered during the following day, except a bank holiday Monday. Please be aware in the hight of the season, July, August, September, Fridays through to Monday afternoons, we are extremely busy with our guests, and we will do our best to contact you a soon as we can.
Checking in time.
When making your booking, please be aware that you will be given an appointment somewhere between your requested times. We try our best to accommodate your preferred time slot, however you must understand that it may be the later part of the hour/hour and half, not always around 9.30am.
Please read our terms for fee’s and earlier collection offer.
Due to high demands for our rooms. In the Summer season, we are happy to open up for a collection of your cat/s from the cattery at around 9am on a Sunday morning.
This is between 1st March until the 31st October. (Except Bank holiday Sun/Mon where we will remain closed
Dropping off cat/s on a Sunday morning into the cattery at 10am starts from
1st May to October 31st. (Except bank/holiday weekends.)
Between November 1st and 28th/29th February our cattery will be closed on Sundays for much needed family time.
The booking in system… What happens when you make an enquiry?
You may send me an email including dates, number of cats.
I will hopefully reply asap offering you a room, subject to vaccinations.
I take note and that room is held for 36 hours for you to except. I may or may not give you a nudge to see if we are able to help. If we do not hear back from you, we presume your situation has changed and no longer require our help.
If you choose to except, your booking will be pencilled into the diary, and I will await any paperwork before I send out your confirmation. Upon receipt of my conformation, I can hold the room for up to 4 days without a deposit. After that time your booking will be void. Please see our terms for deposit details as they now differ. The balance payment is due on ARRIVAL of your cat into our cattery. Thank you. Preparing your cat/s before they arrive into the cattery.
Preparing your cat for the cattery
I have written this paragraph, not for the usual worm, flea, vaccination that is required, more like food for thought. Over the years we have seen people’s much deserved holidays turn into stressful nightmares because their cat has ‘done a runner’ just before they are due to leave on their holidays. It may be that the cat is just sitting in the middle of the garden laughing at you as you are trying to coax it in! You know your cat, is it in the habit of going off for a few days? Or maybe it doesn’t always come in for breakfast? If your cat tends to come in and sleep all day an afternoon time slot may suite you best. If you keep your cat/s in during the night, please do not let it out for a quick wee in the morning or stretch their legs! Think of yourselves not your beloved furry friend, your cat will be fine but your nerves wont.
We understand how worrying it is for you to leave your furchildren in a cattery, especially if it is their first time or your first time. With rescue cats they may already be acquainted with cattery accommodation. We try to put you at ease with updates as soon as we can. We hopefully offer and I say hopefully, two photo sessions for a weekend and the maximum of three during a week’s stay. This is where the hopefully comes in. When your cat visits our cattery for the first time, it’s a scary experience for most. Strange room, strange woman and strange smells. We like to give them at least 24hours to settle before we start clicking with the camara. Please, please be patient. I can send you a picture with a cowering stare eyed cat that is only going to make you more anxious. With that said, a cat could remain like that for their entire holiday. Again, you will know your cat. What are they like at home? They may love your attention but as soon as you have visitors they may scurry out of the way and never to be seen. Here it maybe the same, hopefully they will settle, and great pictures can be taken of them in their hotel rooms and making friends. This year especially, we have had lots of newbies and newbie owners, the demands have been very high for updates. We do our best, but your cat is our priority, they must come first and if they chose privacy, we respect that. We asses your cats needs and how they want to have their beds, turned away or out socializing. Let us get to know your cats and hopefully we will get it right. Happy cats make a happy cattery and returning clients.
Since we open the cattery in March 2016, our fee’s have remained the same. We have made a small price increase this October for our minimum fee and a required increase for our longer termed non refundable deposits. (Please see our updated cancellation policy) We are always looking to make improvements and re invest back into the cattery. We expanded in December 2016 and added 7 spacious family rooms and two standard doubles. Over the years we have added, sail shade, insect blinds, for their own safety as well as our needs. New fixed shelving, new equipment and bedding being replaced seasonally due to wear and tear. All at a substantial cost, the reward is very much worth it. Next year we are anticipating, further research yet to be required, a large investment/upgrade of a new roof due to the very worrying increase of climate change. We are VAT registered and we are looking to keep our prices the same throughout 2022, however with the current government situation we cannot control if there is a vat increase, hopefully not. I will review our fees for 2023 in the Spring 2022 after we are through this ‘winter of discontent ‘ giving you plenty of notice.
Our cattery is made by one of the top catteries manufactures in the UK. Offering our fur guest spacious, insulated fabulous rooms to spend their holidays in.
What are your fee’s paying for?
Our beautiful rooms of course, bedding that is washed between each guest in top quality laundry disinfectant, even on the hottest day of the year our tumble dryer in on getting rid of the excess hairs on the bedding.
We choose to use a top-quality corn base litter; it is not the cheapest, but it works very well in our cattery environment with the bonus of no smell. Even our poop bags that I would never be without are a very important part of the smooth running of our cattery. (Both my litter and poop bags are my must haves) They are not just any poop bag, they are Eco-friendly top of the range!
From early Autumn to late May we set our thermostatically controlled heaters to come on if needed to keep you fur babies all snuggled. Fans in the summer to keep them cool. Feed, lighting, disinfectant, protective clothing, administration costs, and insurance are all factored in. Then I have the staff, least of all myself that in high season very often a 14-hour day is required.
Please look on our Feed page and find the list of feeds we supply or unfortunately cannot be due to supply and demand and costings.
Cats are fussy as many of you know, and they may like to try a little something different when they are on their holibobs.
Well, this brings me to an end of my Autumn statement. Thank you for reading and I hope you understand a little more of the working of our cattery. We share clients with other catteries, but we do have different T&C’s and opening times. Please make sure you are familiar with our’s before you book.
Organization is the key to running any business, if we can keep it running smoothly and have just a little bit of down time here and there to recharge for another day. I have a rather large birthday coming up next year and many of you may think about retiring at that age. Hopefully I have invested well and will have a few more years left in me yet to bend, lift and shift. My rewards are cuddles and purrs that make it all worthwhile.