CatTails – The story of my 4 friends

I am a card caring Crazy Cat Lady. I have four lovelies. Although, not all by choice. Hipster Ken, my boyfriend, came with two. I am currently learning Jewel on the CatTar to help my second oldest friend laugh away her c-section.

Dandy Lion is my best friend. And she is a cat. I really hate the term ‘best friend’ because it feels like you can only have one. Like a catty pecking order. I would rather have a million ‘best friends’; but that makes ‘best’ too general.

I purrrfer to rank my friends by how long I have known them. My oldest friend named Dandy Lion. My second oldest can’t be around her without having a severe allergies attack.  I met them both the first year of my life.

My second oldest friend and I are very different. Our personalities are like two completely different Lego pieces. They don’t look a like, but they fit. It’s nice because we don’t compare, we compliment. We compete all the time, but it feels like we both  win.

She recently had a baby. Children are to her as cats are to me AND Children are to me as cats are to her. She hates cats because of the allergies. I don’t hate children, I just don’t want them.

In an attempt to be a good friend, I offered to be her jogging partner. I actually hate to run unless someone is chasing me. But I know she needs heal and get back in to shape.

My solution is to learn Jewel songs on the guitar together. Why? Because we both love Jewel. And we will be so horrible that we will laugh at each other a lot. First up: Deep Water.

Caveat – or Catveat – In this very digital age, my second oldest friend does not like having her picture on the internet. I respect that. I often feel the same way. So I will be using Avatars, or Catatar’s to explain the journey.

About – Annette Hanley is learning how to write a ‘blook’ -> Web+Log+Book =Blook and make products from thrifted material. Read the ‘blooks’ on or follow the normal blog at

The UK’s unluckiest pet names have been revealed

Hi everyone,

Today we are looking at the survey results from Co-Op insurance. They looked at their 2015 data of claims and basically looked at which names came up most often in those claims.

Now while an incident leading to such a claim is never a good thing we would encourage you all to insure your pets if such a service is available in your country.

But the big question remaining… is their bad luck truly linked to their name? Or are we giving our pets more human names and these just happen to have come out on top?

What names have you given your pets?

Non the less the below is an interesting read. :D And of course highlights the importance of ensuring our beloved furry family members.



The nation’s unluckiest pet names revealed 

  • Hapless hounds named Charlie are the unluckiest in the UK
  • Unfortunate felines named Oscar are the most ill-fated in the UK
  • Male pets are more unlucky than their female counterparts 
  • Alfie knocked off the top spot and replaced with Oscar

Calamitous canines called Charlie are more likely to be the victim of pet insurance claims according to data from the Co-op Insurance, and if you’re after a lucky cat be sure to never name it Oscar.

Chances are if you own a crossbreed dog called Charlie or a domestic shorthair cat called Oscar you may be taking an unexpected trip to the vet very soon. With the average insurance bill for dogs amounting to £510 and cats £475**, the need for owners to protect their animals from illness and accidents has never been greater.

Co-op Insurance data shows that over the past six months Alfie has been knocked off the top spot for the most unlucky dog name, whilst Oscar still remains the unluckiest name for cats.

When it comes to naming your pet, owners should potentially steer clear of naming dogs Charlie, Alfie and Bella, whilst cats called Oscar, George and Charlie are harbingers of bad luck. With male pets being more likely to run into bad luck than their female counterparts.


Usually known for their dexterity and agility, it seems unlucky cats called Oscar really do need their nine lives, with the most claimed for condition being road traffic accidents, followed by gastro-intestinal disorders, with mouth and oral problems also being common. Owners of domestic shorthairs are more likely to claim than any other cats.

Digestive system disorders are the most claimed for illness for dogs named Charlie,  followed by skin conditions and neurological disorders, such as seizures, head tilt, tremors or blindness, with crossbreed owners being the most likely to make a claim.

David Hampson, Head of Pet Insurance at the Co-op, said: “Any pet can come with its fair share of misfortune, landing you with an unexpected trip to the vets or causing mischief around the house, however based on our claims data Charlie and Oscar certainly aren’t the luckiest names you can give your pet.

“Regardless of the name of your pet, making sure you have a pet insurance policy in place to cover these eventualities can be the best way to protect them and avoid unwanted vet’s bills, or ongoing treatments for life.”


Case study: Charlie the English setter cross (Crossbreed)

Unfortunately for Charlie, 12, he is somewhat an ill-fated dog who lives up to his unlucky name

Charlie who was born in Italy, lives with his owners Chiara Carella and Antony Adie in London. Their English setter cross has had its fair share of bad luck over the years, starting with health issues at the age of 7, when he was diagnosed with Leishmaniasis. Since then Charlie has suffered from a sensitive tummy, urinary disorder, and very recently a heart condition. He was also bitten once.

Charlie is a regular at the vets for check-ups and is currently on medication for his conditions, always ready to take his tablets, sitting next to Chiara wagging his tail waiting.

Chiara says: “He is a fussy eater. I make him very expensive organic chicken which costs £20 kg, and very often he stares at his food for hours without eating it, driving me crazy. Then we go to the park and he eats all kind of rubbish. I need to be very careful, as he loves rotten meat and bones which can be very dangerous.

“It took me some time to convince my husband to bring Charlie over from Italy, however our lives have completely changed having him with us. Despite all his health problems I wouldn’t change him for the world, he makes our days lighter and funnier, and the expressions he makes fills our days with joy.”

In the case of our stories photo illustration Lucky (as this cat is named) did not necessarily have as much luck as his name suggested. Full story here.


Gremlin is our Devon Rex and he is ten years old. Having always had moggies (and mostly rescues at that), I wasn’t even aware of the breed until one of my neighbours bought one many years ago. He was a lovely little thing and used to come round to my place to play with my kittens. I could never get over his curly coat and how soft it felt when I stroked him. A couple of years later, I moved a short distance away, but I often thought about him and resolved to find a curly kitten of my own one day.

I finally found a breeder not too far away and when a litter was old enough, I visited with my parents and between us we chose a little dark one – black smoke in colour and with the wonderful name of Ermichio Olman Ribba. He was the love of my life and he stayed with me until we lost him to cancer just before his 15th birthday.

Gremlin was fascinated by the draughts
Gremlin was fascinated by the draughts

I wanted another, but the breeder had given up by then. Fortunately there was one even closer and she happened to have one girl with a litter due in a couple of weeks. The lady wouldn’t take reservations at that point though and I’m ashamed to say that I made a nuisance of myself by calling almost every other day. It just so happened that I was the first to ring after the kittens were born and I was told we could have first pick. I was so excited.

We visited as soon as they were old enough and it was so much fun just watching the bunch of hooligans tearing round the living room. I didn’t care which one was to be ours, but I had told my husband that I didn’t want another black smoke as it would be too upsetting. Naturally, the one with the best personality turned out to be just the colour I didn’t want, but we reserved him anyway and called him Gremlin.

I remember the day we were allowed to bring him home. We had been told twelve weeks and we made an appointment to the exact day. What we hadn’t realised was that all the other owners had arranged to collect the day before and poor little Gremlin had been left on his own. We felt so sorry for him, but by the time we got him in the car he was already purring. I think he remembered us from the previous visit.

Of course we couldn’t let him be alone on his first night, so when he started howling after the lights were turned off, we brought him upstairs and let him sleep under the covers and that is how he has slept every single night ever since – in my arms and with his head on my pillow.