We have new pens! They are luxurious, warm, easy to clean, cosy and one more than we originally had. We are so absolutely delighted with them!
This has been a HUGE undertaking by our small team and we have so many people to thank we hardly know where to begin! Firstly our very own Malvene Macrae, she has been incredible even though at times she was loosing sleep and tearing her hair out she has project managed the whole operation from start to finish! This would never have happened without her and we just can’t thank her enough for taking on the stress and worry for what turned into a logistical nightmare to get the pens to the island.
These are the plans for the new and improved cat central!
We had initially approached a local company to transport the pens from England to here as they had recently become ‘international’ they however were not helpful. We then tried many other haulage companies down South, being scammed out of a considerable amount of money in the process, money we definitely couldn’t afford to loose. We were feeling pretty hopeless at that point until ‘poor Paul’ (Karen’s long suffering husband) piped up that he would hire a truck and go collect them in Tewkesbury. Very quickly before he could come to his senses he was dispatched on the boat to do just that! Traffic, ferry delays and complications arose but he persevered and eventually had our pens loaded safely and was heading North!
This wasn’t the end of the dramas though as Paul reached Ullapool in plenty time for his booked crossing to be told that the hire truck didn’t have eye hooks so wouldn’t be allowed to cross! Of course no mention had been made of this when we booked it on. Totally despondent now Paul returned to Inverness in the hopes of finding help at Woody's Express Parcels. These absolute hero’s saved the day! We honestly can’t thank their guys enough both in Inverness and Stornoway. They had to hand ball the whole load from Paul’s truck to one of theirs which was a very time consuming task and we are so very grateful to them. Paul then had to head back south to return the truck and collect his own car before returning home *(tiny violins)*.
So the pens finally made it to Sandwick thanks to our North Street neighbour and his cheeky chappie employee who enjoyed winding us all up. Once there a willing (cough cough) team of volunteers were ready to unload it all. Many laughs were had as they filled the driveway with all the pieces and everyone was relieved it wouldn’t be them having the task of erecting them! There were so many parts!
This is where local builders John Murray & Co Ltd sprung into action and made sense of the extensive plans and ALL those parts to build our shiny new pens. How they do that is a mystery to us, they made an absolutely fantastic job of the build and we are just delighted! Next along came Norman ND Macleod and his trusty tools to fit lights, heaters and sockets so our guests can be warm.
Once the electrics were completed we contacted Louis at Carpet World Warehouse who had a word with the boss and got us an incredible deal on our lovely Lino. Their guys came down and fitted it and I’m sure you’ll all agree it looks amazing!
So after many months of waiting we finally have two double, so four total, all singing all dancing new pens waiting for new residents. All we need now is your help to furnish them in swanky style to match.
Scratch posts are essential for any cat however as we have such a high turnover of residents it’s very difficult to keep them hygienic, the traditional carpet style ones just aren’t practical as they can’t be thoroughly cleaned to avoid cross contamination.
Then the dog cages we have always used as bed areas for cats who want to hide and Mums who’ve given birth aren’t safe for small kittens who can get stuck in the bars. In our old pens we had a small pen we used for nursing Mums when able but more often than not during kitten season one wasn’t enough.
We now hope to be able to get 4 of these plastic kennels, they’ll enable the cats to have a cosy hiding spot but are easy to keep hygienically clean and the roof lifts off s we can monitor them easily or attach
a camera. So if you can possibly help towards the cost of these we would be so grateful, as you can imagine after purchasing and building the pens our funds are very low.
We just knew in order to continue it had to be done. Our old pens leaked and were literally rotting to pieces. If you can help donte even a couple of pounds to kit out our pens we would be so grateful! We really do feel this rescue is as much yours as it is ours, we’re so very grateful that as a community we are now in the position that we can continue indefinitely into the future helping the islands feral population especially who have been let down by humans and need us all.
Links to some of the equipment we are hoping to get are as follows:
If you would like to donate you can send us your donations via PayPal to email@example.com or of course you can do a bank transfer to:
RBS bank account details are:
Account number: 15988656
Account name: Western Isles Support for Cats and Kittens
We are also looking for reliable volunteers over the age of 18 who can offer just one hour, one morning a week to help clean our pens and feed our residents. If you know anyone who would be interested, please encourage them to get in touch ASAP.
As always - THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued support!!!