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January Cat Lady

I’m sort of from a family of cat ladies, so for Christmas, my sister and I treated my Gran to a spot of afternoon tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. Since we lost Suzie at the grand old age of 20 a few months ago, I know my Gran has been a little sad – having come to the conclusion that she probably won’t get another cat of her own, we thought this might be the next best thing.

Quite a bit has changed about the café since I visited it shortly after it opened back in 2014 but it’s still a nice experience. I’ve heard mixed reviews over the years, with a few complaining that the cats seem bored, that the food was average but I can’t say that either time I’ve visited that that has been the case.

I feel like I’ve been quite lucky to go when it’s not been busy and the cats have been pretty active. There’s something so relaxing about petting a cat. Even though most of the cats aren’t lap cats, it’s not like that’s something I’m not used to so it was just nice to be there. The staff were a little more strict about touching the cats while they’re sleeping and things like that but other than that it was a really lovely afternoon.

Wookie is still my favourite, with his human face and the fact he’s about 15 times the size of a regular cat 🙂

How cute are these little sandwiches? ^_^

We spent a little over two hours there, unfortunately my sister had work in the evening so it meant we couldn’t keep on mooching once we’d finished. My hipster Gran was quite taken with the Sunday markets of Brick Lane.

It’s so lovely to sit inside and see how happy people walking by are when the see the cats in the window ♥
I can’t really recommend Lady Dinah’s enough, we actually weren’t the only people to take our Granny there that afternoon either. It’s such a cute way to spend a January Sunday ♥

Jingle Doll.

We were pretty lucky last year to have a ready-made Christmas card thanks to the snow the previous year. The tradition of sending cards, even if we’re not quite at the stage where we’re getting lots in return is something that I still pride myself in, and I was really proud of last year’s cards and the ‘milestone’ they represented.

This year required a little more thinking but resulted in quite a few gratuitous Dolly photographs, always a good thing, naturally.

Dolly’s real ‘baffled by life’ face. ♥

Every Christmas it seems bokeh ‘tips’ pop up all over the place and making one of those cut-out shapes has been on my list for a while but I reckon doing with just the macro effect has worked out pretty swell. I had thought about heading down to Hobbycraft and picking glitter and pipecleaners, but Photography is kind of my thing so I guess that might have to wait another year.

As we’re kind of on the subject of Doll, or at least looking at her, I’m a bit sad that I had to throw her snazzy sparkley red collar away in favour of a proper prescription flea collar. The fleas just weren’t going with the Frontline spot-on treatment and she was so fidgety and unhappy – so a trip the vet was in order and that was the end of that.

PRO-CAT-OWNER TIP: Flea collars you get in any shop without a prescription from your vet don’t work, which is why they only cost between £2-5 and this one cost me £40 (IKR, what?!). Apparently the flea poison used on them is also poisonous to cats, which means they use the most minimum amount, making for a pretty collar but an ineffective flea treatment. With the last one I had I even found a family of dancing fleas underneath it when checking her so it clearly did nothing.
It’s unlikely that the flat will be completely flea-free for around 3 months but as the collar lasts 8 months PLUS the spot-on treatment of Advocat I got from the vet, Dolly should be well covered and be the flea-killing machine she should have been right from the start in October.

Such a Pretty Kitty…

…and a total fleabag dirtbag(!)

I’ve been invaded! For the first time in her short 3 year lifespan, my little cat has brought fleas into my home. Call me a bad cat owner or whatever you will but flea collars were doing enough, it wasn’t that I hadn’t thought of Frontline, it was that it wasn’t needed and with other cats that have been in my life, we’ve never had to use it.

Unfortunately we discovered the infestation while giving Dolly a much-needed Friday-night bath. We’re so lucky that we’re able to do this, that isn’t to say she loves it, but eventually she just gives in and takes it, it’s still a two-man job. I think doing it more regularly will help with this but it’s pretty time consuming given that it’s actually more important (and difficult) to dry her afterwards and overall she doesn’t care either way if her tail is pure-white or not.

It was so gross, there were jumping bugs all over her face and because of the ‘flea dirt’ it looked like her whole head was bleeding – hopefully the bath helped a little with it but I was up first thing and out the door to Pets at Home the following day, initially to pick up some tablets that I read worked immediately in killing adult fleas. As these didn’t work on the ‘other parts of the flea life cycle’ I was going to get some spot-on treatment, as well as spray for our home too.

Discovering that our local Pets at Home had run out of the tablets did send a shiver down my spine, after reading such rave reviews online, I was pretty excited to make Dolly as comfortable as possible and I knew spot-on treatments didn’t work as fast. That said, the Deputy Manager of the store was incredibly helpful and talked me through all the preventative measures and what I should do next – I was a little peeved that he implied that the ‘infestation’ might be my fault, something I view as actually entirely plausible though given that I really like to pet dogs in the street and I cuddled up to some wallabies just a few weeks back. He also insisted on vacuuming as much as possible (as though I don’t spend half my week vacuuming anyway, pfft).

It’s been a pretty nerve-wracking week of blitzing and hoovering every room in the flat and checking Dolly’s fur daily but I think we’re out of the woods and I now have in my possession a flea-killing machine. Now that Doll has been treated with Frontline, luckily with no adverse effects, it’s been a bit of a nightmare persuading Moon that it’s important to still let her go everywhere so she can ‘hoover up’ fleas and let them die, and it is working, I’ve seen proof of it. I’ve also read that as they die, the fleas become more active so if your pet is infested, they’re likely to scratch more after they’ve been treated than they would before.

I think we were lucky that we managed to catch it early, even though every article I’ve read says that there will still be fleas in the environment, throughout the whole process, even the part where we were less tentative cat parents, we haven’t been bitten or had the need to itch. Maybe we’re lucky that we just aren’t that tasty to fleas when a juicy fluffball is around but naturally this has taught me a lesson in spot-on treatment, particularly as Frontline itself is so much more purse-friendly online than in shops.

I’ve actually entered this picture into Dahlia’s #dahliamonsters competition to win a t-shirt, wouldn’t this face look cute printed out and worn?
Cats are cute, and Dolly is especially but sometimes the responsibility of having a pet does creep up on me and apparently escalates into an essay about infestation, flea treatment and Pets at Home – thanks for making it this far ♥.

Dolly @ 3.

If my calculations are correct, Dolly turns 3 this month. It’s a bit lame that I can only guess her birthday rather than know it but I figured she deserved another update all the same.

At 3, Dolly now enjoys making herself less white and sleeping on the sofa. She still loves playing with paper bags and string, trying to steal donuts and following me into the bathroom every morning.

She’s now really affectionate and as needy as she can be for her, especially if you’re first home from work – not something that’s going to happen for a little while. Our biggest milestone in our relationship is that she now purrs and comes when she’s called (sometimes). She’s still breaking Moon’s heart by ignoring him when I’m around but I’m now so much more tuned in to her selective hearing.

I wouldn’t be without her and it’s great to see that she’s still maturing and what she’s like as a grown up.

Cat Lady Mecca.

As soon as I heard about it way back in April, I knew that I had to go and tying Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium into my birthday was just so easy.

After having to slightly rearrange my booking due to the first one clashing with Moon’s birthday surprise (the staff were super-accommodating about it), we popped over to Shoreditch for around 11am and were delighted to see two cute cats sprawled out in the main shop window (I might have been a bit more delighted than Moon).

Having read the mixed reviews on Trip Advisor (never a good idea) and hearing first hand from Moon’s brother that maybe it wasn’t as good as it could be, I went in to Lady Dinah’s with an open mind and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

I feel like maybe the cats weren’t as in to me as I wanted them to be but knowing how cats are and being the owner of a fairly nonchalant kitty already, I kind of expected it. It was probably because I was quite excited and there were already quite a few people in the cafe fussing over them, and hey, they’re used to it so probably aren’t overly bothered anyway.

There are quite a few rules about not picking up or feeding the cats, and I completely understand, in fact the whole process of opening a cat cafe must have been a logistical nightmare. The cats seems very happy living cat life though and are pretty harmonious given that there are 11 of them living together. It’s great that they have so much space, with an upstairs and downstairs as well as shelves providing the ultimate cat climbing-frame, Doll would love it.

Even Moon was fishing for cats!

‘Time spent with cats is never wasted.’

My favourite cat was probably Wookie, mainly for his face, but also for his ballsiness when it came to begging for food and seeing him cooling himself by sitting on one of the fans.

Speaking of food, it was actually delicious. There’s quite a range to choose from, including filled croissants and sandwiches as well as a range of different cakes. Moon and I opted for a cream tea, knowing that it would fill us up and also because it’s the ultimate decadence, it was my birthday after all. We also got a cronut to try and are total converts, should you visit, their pistachio and salted caramel cronut is devine. Price-wise it’s really reasonable too, even when taking into account the £5 entry fee, I’m alright with that as it’s for cat maintenance.

Getting rejected 🙁

I think if I’d gone expecting to be overloaded with kitty affection, I would have been disappointed but I got to stroke a few cats and it was quite a relaxing, chilled out place to eat, with great music. The food being so good made all the difference and the staff were super-friendly. I’m not sure how likely it is that I’d go back again soon but it would be nice to take the time to visit on a quieter day.
Still, it’s completely worth the cat-lady pilgrimage, even if it’s a bit weird trying to explain what it is to people.