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.

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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:

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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.

Developing BabyLedWeaning.com

To keep me on the ball while I was enjoying my extended maternity leave last year, I volunteered my services to Mumsnet regular and BabyLedWeaning.com owner/blogger ‘Aitch’. Aitch was fed up of being unable to update her existing website, based on a Joomla backend, and had not blogged in several years. The site was falling into disrepair and visitor traffic was being wasted.

I suggested WordPress to Aitch as a user-friendly and easily extendible content management system. Following a nod of approval, the original blog data was imported and the pages built around original Joomla content. I converted the site style to a WordPress theme, built features into bespoke widgets and linked all of the pages together.

Following an early new year release, I agreed to get BabyLedWeaning ‘out there’ and so began creating a social media profile on Twitter and Facebook. The site’s popularity did the rest of the work for me and within 24 hours of release, the Twitter/Facebook followers were in triple figures!

Going forward, I plan on creating and integrating a custom plugin to allow BLW.com regulars to submit and update their own recipes which should boost the content and pull in visitors from outside of the current site niche. Working with Aitch and the baby led weaning site has been a pleasure, long may it continue…