Closure of Cuddles Cattery
After much consideration I have decided to close Cuddles on 31st December 2019. It has been a very difficult decision to make but I am finding the work here more demanding as each year goes by. I will miss many of our feline guests and of course their owners too.
In the 14 years I have spent caring for cats at Cuddles, I have known many real characters (feline and human). I have been happy to take on quite a few challenges since opening back in 2005, including several felines who needed manners put on them (you know who they are!) I have taken much delight every time I have “cracked” a case and figured out how a particular cat ticks and how to get through to them to change their behaviour for the better. Many have become happier, calmer cats. I always work hard to make sure shy cats in particular feel at ease. If you are interested in some stories relating to our guests over the years read on.
Some of our Guests
In July 2005 (the first week we opened) I encountered a cat called Woolly. Woolly arrived and seemed quiet enough at the beginning. After a few hours here she changed personality completely and started hissing, growling and lunging at me! “Oh My God”, I thought to myself “What have I taken on here?” Fortunately cats like Woolly are only about one in a hundred.
That first summer at Cuddles two cats named Billie and Blackie escaped (down the safety corridor). It was like a comedy show. First Blackie gave me the slip while Billie distracted me and as I was attempting to get Blackie back into his suite his brother Billie charged down the corridor and scaled the door! It took quite a few minutes to calm the two cats down and return them to their suite. It took a lot longer to regulate my breathing and blood pressure!
A shy cat called Bunny spent a full morning in the bushes on her first visit to Cuddles. A suite had been booked in her name and she arrived that morning at the scheduled time. As her owner took her carrier out of the car and started walking towards the door of Cuddles, the door of her cat carrier fell off and Bunny jumped out and ran for the hills! She was finally caught that lunchtime by her owner and enjoyed her first and many more stays at Cuddles, though that first time her owners had to change their plans and get a later bus to Dublin Airport!
Another guest, this one called Molly, wanted to kill me when she came here straight after having dental treatment and I was asked to administer antibiotic tablets to her. Her mouth was very sore so as you can imagine she wasn’t very impressed. It took her about two years to get over that incident and speak to me again.
A cat called Sooty once had a very long journey home from a holiday at Cuddles. He soiled his carrier about 3km from here and his owners stopped to clean it. Unfortunately when the door opened Sooty took off…. and fled across the fields. With the cooperation of a kind lady I set a trap for him and caught him a couple of nights later. What a relief! He has spent many holidays here since but once he is in the car the doors and windows remain firmly closed until the destination is reached.
Some of our purebred guests: Quite a few purebred cats including a number of Maine Coon/Bengal/British Shorthair/Russian Blue/Ragdoll/Persian/Siamese among other breeds of cat have chosen to holiday at Cuddles. Beorn, Loki and Barnaby are three large male Maine Coons who always arrive with serious “cattitude” and each of them hisses and growls at me for the first day or two. They seem to think they’ll intimidate me. Naturally I don’t take any nonsense from them and a couple of days into their stay they settle down and become my best friends.
Here are pics of some recent visitors:
We have been happy to support cat charities and will continue to help whenever we can. We’ve had quite a few rescue cats board here over the years, some who came looking for homes and found homes from here (especially Tricia Knight’s cats, one of whom is our Dolly-Doyle), and others who have already been adopted. It has been a joy to see their lives turn around to be so positive and happy. Thank you for helping them by supporting our charity drives. We are currently taking orders for Catnip plants we are selling in aid of Galway Cat Rescue. See our Facebook post here for details.
To those who have already made bookings, all confirmed bookings will of course be honoured. If you are planning on booking your cat in to stay at Cuddles this year but have not yet booked with us, please let me know your dates as soon as possible, as we have very limited availability for the remainder of the year.
I plan to continue to live here with Ted, Dougal and Dolly-Doyle and I’m sure they will keep me on my toes. I’m currently considering keeping rescue hens and/or bees… I’m also hoping to find a little time to write and will be holding onto my website and social media.
Cattery and other items for Sale
I hope to sell the cattery buildings either as two separate blocks of eight suites or both blocks together. They are described as temporary structures and are quite straightforward to assemble and disassemble. If anyone is interested in buying the buildings and/or equipment please contact me directly.
Items for Sale: Cattery Buildings x 2 blocks of 8 suites, including electrics (radiators, lights and sockets); Selection of medium, large and extra large dog crates (cages); additional Pet Cassette Wall Heaters, Litter Trays (hooded); Food Bowls; Water Bowls.
I would like to thank each and every customer for their business and support over the years and I hope a suitable person will come along and run a cattery in the 5-star standard our customers have enjoyed. I feel I will be letting some of you down, but I don’t see any other way.
I truly hope that someone (preferably in Galway) will want to set up their own Cuddles and if so I will be more than happy to advise.