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The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter

When Kat fulfils her dream of running a cat sitting business little did she know that using a dead squirrel to entice a flea-ridden cat indoors; being dive-bombed by a demonic budgie and stumbling across one client's shocking boudoir secrets would form part and parcel of her daily duties.The Opening Chapter features Nanda, a huge Norwegian Forest cat whose party piece consists of impersonating a heavy fur stole on a sizzling summer's day. Unexpected water-related behaviour, a muddy bottom and embarrassing sweat patches are all consequences of Kat and Nanda's first expedition.Chapter 2 takes Kat into the home of ageing musician Griff and his family of five rock-star named felines who live in glorious harmony; not a word that can be used to describe his tribute band 'Grunts 'n Posers'. Whilst Griff is on the road, Kat enjoys a wonderful summer with the cats and their amazing collection of wooden erections, though a broken egg spells disaster...Fur, feathers and hairless tails all feature in Chapter 3 which focuses on unusual cat companions. There's ferocious cat Fortune and her surrogate kitten, a rat called Herbert; a large, loved-up hound called Marx and the object of his devotion, Groucho, a grumpy Persian cat. A budgie called Crazy, takes hostility to new heights and chickens also prove problematical as Kat tries to coax them into their coup, watched with bemusement by brothers Biscuit and Barrel.Chapter 4 sees Kat putting a dead squirrel to good use in an effort to persuade a menacing moggie to come indoors. If only she'd thought about the fleas first.In Chapter 5 Kat visits Squidge, a cat besotted with lava lamps and who, manages to charm the local constabulary. Elliott, Kat's husband creates an alarm disaster; and then there's the dreaded 'Pants Flat'...Kat gets a shock in Chapter 6 as a Snake called Sydney, dark lipstick and thigh-length PVC boots all point to one thing in the home of Gordon and Camilla.Chapter 7 features nosey neighbours. There's Darren, the obsessively tidy teenager; meddling Marjorie who has marriage in mind for Kat and her cake-loving son Bernard; Petronella who takes her duties as an army reservist almost as seriously as she does her platoon of pussy-cats, and Kitty and Meg, a lovely pair of tipsy twins with a surprising past.In Chapter 8 Kat puts 'operation poo eradication' into place as she deals with Twiggy's 'nervous tummy.Veterinary visits are occupational hazards for Kat who, in Chapter 9 is humiliated by the embarrassingly named Catywampus and tormented by worry over accident prone Smarty's latest misadventure. What she hadn't bargained for was being the centre of her very own car crash catastrophe.Chapter 10 illustrates the lengths to which Kat has to go to cater for her more finicky felines. As well as discovering luxury foods that would delight the most discerning food critic, Kat delves into the world of raw food recipes and hand-feeding.The Final Chapter, Drooly Madly Deeply, describes the precious moments Kat shares with her geriatric cat clients: Polly who spends her time holding court on the sofa; Boo with his intense stare and list of set requirements for Kat's visits, and Kitzie who's relationship with Kat for the first three and a half years was based on mutual ignoring...until one day it all changed.Some elements of the book have foundations of truth (based on my own experiences as a cat-sitter) which have been elaborated and embellished and others are completely fictional.
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The exploits of Kat and her delightful furry charges make extremely enjoyable reading - Clare Hemington has a lovely easy style of writing and her vivid descriptions of the pickles she & the cats she cares for get into makes you feel as though you're right there in the thick of it. Clare is writing about what she knows having run her own cat sitting business, and the attention she, as Kat, gives to our feline friends left in her care while their owners enjoy a well deserved holiday, is remarkable. No need is left unmet! If I lived in the south east and needed the services of a cat sitter, she would be the one I would choose to look after my furry tyrant - she could write another book on him alone! I do hope she will write a sequel - and soon! The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter is a warm-hearted, funny, touching and poignant read for all animal lovers - most cats would love to get their paws on a copy! Amazon Verified Purchase. December 2015. A great little book for all cat lovers! It is quirky, amusing and imaginative! I raced through it in three evenings because it was surprisingly addictive! Amazon Verified Purchase. January 2016. I was very pleased to review 'The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter'. In the book, the principal subject, Katherine, is a cat sitter providing support to the loved moggies of a whole range of different people whose lifestyle periodically requires their cats to be cared for by someone coming into the home. But it's not just cats, it's birds, it snakes, dogs, you name it and sometimes Katherine's antics and trying to keep different species apart whilst caring for them has all of the slapstick mirth of Brian Rix's infamous farces. Author Clare Hemington may be a Cat Behaviourist, but she does a good degree of insight into the human condition as well, as again and again, our pets' lifestyles are materially affected by our own and their moods and other behaviours are often dictated by the environments we set up within our homes which are emotional in nature, as much as they are physical. This book is totally entertaining, thoughtful, funny and deeply insightful about humankind's relationship with the feline species, and a few others to boot. The key thing for me was the different approach that a third party can bring to the care of an animal that can shine a light onto how to better improve its experience of life and its relationship with its owners. This was demonstrated in many of the anecdotal examples given within the book that formed many case studies on what to do and in many cases what not to do with animal care. Katherine, the heroine of the book, and one suspects an alter ego for the author, comes a cropper on a number of occasions and get a few surprises not only by the animals, but the covert lifestyles of many of their owners. It is a hugely enjoyable book with a clear heart for the personalities, behaviours and idiosyncratic ways that go to make every cat completely unique and yet with a quintessential sameness that generates a fascination that captivates our attention. But then I'm speaking as a 'cat person', but I would defy even 'unbelievers' not to get some real fun out of reading this publication on a wet Sunday afternoon when one simply wants a bit of entertainment. In a world of fiction where we see the recent popularity of the characters of 'Marvel' comics saving the day, arguably, Katherine is probably a superhero of the feline domain. As a character, her adaptability, heart and dare I say, plain 'doggedness' for ensuring her charges are well looked after is in many ways deserving of accolades. It's only one book I wondered what the film or TV series drawn from the stories would look like. It's a fairly substantial read at about 280 pages and one that one could read over a period perhaps when one feels the need for a relaxing but funny feline "fix"! Pets Magazine. February 2016.

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