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 sofa more often than not, we had no choice.

Then, a couple of weeks ago one of our guinea pigs — Tango — died unexpectedly.

(The one on the right)

Shortly after, within days of each other, Pixel (on the day she was supposed to leave!) and Fudge both disappeared. Hoping it was spring fever and they were out catching mice and birds we posted on facebook, got in touch with local vets, scoured the streets, put up posters etc… but I remained hopeful that they would turn up on the doorstep one morning looking fat, fed and happy with themselves.

Unfortunately it was not to be, and on the way back from Shrewsbury 10k road race yesterday I had a few missed calls from a guy living at the end of the road. His sister had found a cat dead in her garden one street over the back from ours. I knew it was Fudge before I even saw the body. It felt like a massive kick in the gut.

Pixel is nowhere to be seen, but given the length of her disappearance and the spate of dead cats appearing locally recently I suspect she has gone the same way.

After losing Hex almost exactly a year ago I was determined that the last of my original “babies” would have to live until at least 20. Fudge wasn’t allowed to die. Apparently, though, it doesn’t matter how hard you want something to be true, it’s not a guarantee.

I don’t regret letting him outside. It brought him well and truly out of his shell and he had been happier in the past few years than I ever saw him prior. It might have been a shorter life than he should have had, but I’d rather it short and happy than prolonged and constantly wanting something more.

And so here we are… 3 cats. It doesn’t seem anywhere near enough.


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 »


How to care for 11 animals and not go crazy

After Stephanie asked how we manage all the animals with everything else we’ve got on, and we recently doubled our guinea pig population, I thought it was probably a good time to write about how the hell we care for all these animals without going crazy. We have a routine Back when we only had… read full entry »