Pets archive

The jemjabella household is a bit of a zoo, covering several different species: from pedigree cats to exotic spiders. While a hundred (exaggeration) pets might not be everyone's idea of fun, and there's no shortage of cleaning duties to be had, there's always something furry looking for a cuddle and a fuss.

Cats… cats everywhere!

I was on my break during the Tuesday morning shift at Shropshire Cat Rescue last week when a lady brought in a tiny black kitten. Roughly 8 weeks old, he’d been found abandoned in Bridgnorth, a nearby town.

A post shared by Jem (@jemjabellargh) on

Now, despite evidence to the contrary (a growing menagerie!) volunteering at the cat rescue has hardened my resistance to the “omg cute kitty” fever I was once plagued with. Nonetheless, I saw this little kitten’s tiny sad eyes and almost entirely melted then and there. Perhaps it’s a soft spot for black cats thanks to the late great King of Cats, my beautiful Hex?

black male

Who knows, but I *wanted this kitty*.

I did however manage to exercise some good judgement, and after a brief fussin’, put him down for someone else to tend to. Shortly after, he was joined by another kitten, roughly 12 weeks old, who’d been found somewhere else:

A post shared by Jem (@jemjabellargh) on

They immediately took to one another and so I left them to it.

Until Thursday. On Thursday I was back at the rescue with Gaz for a meeting about the rescue’s new website, which we’re working on (complete with a spangly new WordPress theme design from Pretty Content) together, and Gaz is an even bigger “crazy cat person” than I am. Within minutes of walking into the staff room he declared that we should have them.

Now let me remind you that at that exact moment we had 4 cats, 6 guinea pigs, 2 rabbits and a recent baby tarantula addition waiting for us at home.

But we “had to have them”.

I stood firm. I said no. I pointed out that within the next 12 months we’re hoping to move to a bigger home, which is going to require clearing some debts and being sensible with money and generally not spending more than we can afford. Ozzy has been at the vets this week, the house still stinks of cat pee from when we had Pixel. It was a Bad Idea. We left that evening without the kitties.

And then I started my shift on Tuesday. I didn’t look the kitties in the eye, I knew I was in dangerous emotional territory after some recent bad news. I IGNORED THEM. I tootled off to do my usual jobs. I fed the village cats, I medicated the oldies. I swept and I cleaned. But then it was break time again…

It took less than a minute in the break room for me to cave, reserve the tiny kittens and make a coffee.

I am a bloody sucker.


End of an Era, Goodbye Fudge

Things have been a bit shit in the jemjabella zoo/household recently. Firstly, we had to make the decision to re-home Pixel, the aggressive stray whom I’d hoped to integrate and ‘tame’. Ultimately she was not getting on with Fudge, and as low level dislike turned to full on fur-flying fighting and her cowering under the… read full entry »


AMA: Comprehensive list of animals (cat pics yay)

So, the first (proper) question in my recent ‘AMA’ was from Melissa, who asked: Can you provide a comprehensive list of all your animals with names + types + breeds? And also how you manage your litter box organization! ^_^ Now, there should be a page for this, but every time I work on my… read full entry »


How is babby formed?

You’d think at my age — and with two children — I’d know how babies are made. And yet despite pet-owning for some 15 years or more without incident we’ve had an oopsy-daisy surprise pet pregnancy here at Chez Jem. My famous guinea pig, Spot, managed to impregnate Sprite (who I alluded to rescuing in… read full entry »


Rabbits, half marathons, fitness & weddings

Holy crap, it feels like I basically haven’t stopped doing stuff lately. I’d blame that for my inconsistent blogging but we all know that’s been an issue for many years, so I’ll cut to the chase and get you up to speed on the funky biz that’s happening in my life at the moment… The… read full entry »

I just can’t help myself

After the recent loss of Hex, and prior to that both one of my older male guinea pigs and Bramble AKA MEGABUN, I decided that I was fed up of things dying on me (melodramatic, much?) and that was it for pets and me: no more animals. Considering that at various points I’ve had up… read full entry »

In which my cat makes me go to the gym

I did something yesterday that I’ve been working up to since August last year. I called a local free weights gym to see if they could give me advice, check my form, and generally just introduce me to the gym environment so that I can progress with my lifting (which has unfortunately plateaued again). My… read full entry »

Enter title here

Feel like I should blog to record some of the stuff that’s been going on lately but I’m struggling to formulate intelligent sentences. Fall back to list format! I came home on October 22nd to find Flymo dead and Rosie missing. I can only guess but I assume something managed to get into the garden…. read full entry »

Another update in few words

Dry for July ends in a few days and I CAN’T WAIT. I’m still “dry” / sober, but looking forward to having a drink with friends on Friday. I’ve made a few quid since embracing hypocrisy and appreciate those of you who sent support my way — thanks. My recently re-added geek t-shirts page has… read full entry »

Poorly Big Pig

Several drafts in progress have been abandoned over the past week or so as I’ve been even busier than usual. Towards the end of last week we noticed that Big Pig (our oldest guinea pig) who has had a small patch of what looked like dandruff since before Christmas, had got full on itching, fur… read full entry »


Project: Bunny Shed 2

Today I went on a bit of a rescue run. I went to pick up 3 french lop bunnies from a local lady; they were being kept in tiny, tiny hutches far too small for them (and I’m not just talking a bit small – these are giant rabbits that need more space than most)…. read full entry »