Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

rambling ratz

Photo of daffodilHappy St David’s Day, or as the Welsh would say, « Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! »

The 1st March is St David’s Day, he is the patron saint of Wales. He was born in Cardigan (a place in Wales, not the knitted outerwear) around 500AD. He travelled extensively as a pilgrim and ended up becoming the Archbishop of Jerusalem. His monasteries were renowned for being sparse and harsh. His monks rebelled and attempted to poison him, but he miraculously lived. Or maybe they got the dosage wrong! He did eventually die in 569AD on 1st March. He is buried at St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, 2 pilgrimages there are said to equal 1 to the Vatican.

Photo of daffodilIt is traditional to wear a leek on St David’s Day, as he told Welsh warriors to wear leeks when they fought the Saxons, so that they could tell who was who. The Welsh won the…

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Holly-Leaved Hellebore

rambling ratz

Photo of helleboreThe start of meteorological spring was a wet and windy one in the UK, courtesy of Storm Jake.

One plant that creates a nice little rain umbrella to keep its pollen dry is the holly-leaved hellebore, Helleborus argutifolius. It is native to Corsica and Sardinia, but seems to thrive pretty much anywhere.Photo of hellebore raindrops It is an evergreen plant that flowers from late winter into early spring.

There are approximately 20 species of hellebore. They are sometimes called « Christmas Rose », or « Lenten Rose », but are a member of the Ranunculaceae family and not related to roses. The name hellebore is derived from the Greek « elein » meaning to injure and « borá » meaning food, as you might have guessed, they are poisonous. Photo of hellebore close upAn overdose of a medication containing hellebore is thought to have caused the demise of Alexander the Great, although there are many other theories also.

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Mews: The Six Most “Moving” Cat Journeys of 2015


Humans it seems aren’t the only ones with wanderlust. There are plenty of other animals who like to roam, either out of necessity – think elephants in search of water – or who have to walk for a living – think camel treks. Some wander far and wide simply because it’s part of their DNA.

Closer to home and slightly smaller in scale, but no less prone to going walkabout, think about the humble cat. Many an owner will tell you tales of the time their cuddly kitty scarpered after being let out one week too soon after moving into a new house, and miraculously turned up at their old address – days later – without so much as an A to Z, let alone GPS. Others will recall, teary-eyed, how their furry expat feline got lost in Bermuda but was found at the airport and had to be shipped…

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Happy Leap Day

rambling ratz

Today, February 29th 2016, is an extra day for it is a « Leap Year ». My infrared camera trap caught a squirrel leaping for joy at the extra day, or maybe it was because she found some peanuts.

Every 4 years we have to add an extra day to the Gregorian calendar to catch up with the Earth’s revolution around the sun, which takes 365 days and 6 hours. On Leap Day, women are allowed to propose to men (traditionally it wasn’t the done thing otherwise). If the man refuses then he has to buy the lady 12 pairs of gloves. It seems that this all started in the 5th Century when St Bridget complained to St Patrick that men took too long to ask women to marry them, so he allowed women to do the prompting every 4 years. More worryingly, there is some debate as to whether people are…

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A new beginning


Donating Kitchen paper

Why do I start article with a photo full with kitchen paper and not with a cat? That is because I want to talk you about « The Kattenbrigade ». The last time I wrote about them it wasn’t good news.  Now, I want to show you the love, the friendship and support Diny and Sab get from around the world. It is about the small and the bigs things that can bring good fortune after bad things that happen. Get ready with your kitchen paper for some great updates after the devastating fire.

Tasha Tasha, testing out the new baskets and toys

The best thing to start the healing process for the cats was going back to  their daily routine: « Washing the buts, putting diapers on, getting medicine, … » Now that is not easy when all your supplies are destroyed by the fire or the water used to kill…

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Book Review: The Cat’s Out of the Bag – Truth and Lies About Cats


Hi everyone,

Today we are looking at the book The Cat’s Out of the Bag: Truth and Lies About Cats by Max Cryer. (See Cover below! Don’t you just love the little cats?)

the cat's out of the bag

We cannot get enough of cats: from ancient times they have occupied a special place in many different cultures around the world. They have also generated a fascinating array of words, expressions and observations, as well as poems, books, movies, cartoons and artworks. In this witty and entertaining book, Max Cryer celebrates cats and all they have given to us. He describes the many words and expressions they have inspired, from ‘catnip’ and ‘catwalk’ to ‘the cat’s whiskers’ and ‘raining cats and dogs’, as well as famous cat characters like Garfield, Felix the Cat, The Cat in the Hat and Puss in Boots, songs as varied as ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ and ‘The Cats’ Duet’, and poems like ‘The Owl and…

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