Queen and Latifa


Still Got It!

Posted on March 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM Comments comments (0)

Last weekend, my friend Philip came round my place for a gossip and to drink too much wine. Philip is a friend that I have had for a very long time now and an absolute treasure; he is also unashamedly the campest man in the world. Every time I spend time with Phil, he comes out with a string of gems that make me howl with laughter. So much so, in fact, that I have always joked that I would write a sitcom about him one day.


One of Phil’s gems last weekend was:

“’Tifa is the same age as my cat Jess. Except ‘Tifa’s still got her figure, and Jess is a fat old cow these days!”


Two things:

I love how we both talk about our cats like they’re people – it reassures me that I’m not insane (inane?).

And is it wrong to be supremely proud of ‘Tifa’s good looks considering her age? I don’t think I care even if it is!


M x

Vote Bruiser!

Posted on December 9, 2010 at 12:29 PM Comments comments (0)

This is Bruiser:






I love Bruiser nearly as much as ‘Tifa. He is awesome! Bruiser is part of the RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch's rescue animal of the year contest, and I really want him to win!


On the RSPCA website, I am quoted as saying the following:

Having adopted my cat Tifa from the branch in 2009 with the same personality as Bruiser I couldn't help but follow his plight for a new home. Tifa can be such a diva kitteh at times so I knew exactly what kind of home Bruiser needed. I really wanted to adopt him but Tifa would not have allowed such a thing so instead I did all I could to promote him on my blog Queen and Latifa.


Poor Bruiser reminded me of my girl: older, black and white, set in his ways, and no-one wanted him!


Also, Bruiser is undeniable a massive lump with an ugly face! Personally, I love him all the more for this, but you can see why shallow people might have gone for a more aesthetically pleasing cat over poor Bruiser and this happened time after time after time for the poor boy! It’s no coincidence that Bruiser was without a home for a whopping 9 months (roughly five times the usual turnaround for a rescue cat). I really did desperately want to adopt him as month after month went by without a shred of interest in him!


So please take a moment to click this link and VOTE BRUISER!


Thank you!


M x

Guest Post: Furries

Posted on June 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Last year, I made a call for a series of guest posts, and three friends took my gauntlet and wrote three charming entries for me. I like the concept of guest posts for Q&L because it's just nice to see someone else's perspective on the world of kittyness and/ or campery. I thought that it'd be nice to make another call for guests posts, and did so through my Q&L facebook page.

The lovely Amy Ponting is the first to take up the gauntlet this time, and in true Q&L fashion has written a wonderful peice about the toils of dealing with a diva kitty. However, this diva kitty happens to be a boy cat with many other animal sidekicks! I reckon it reads as a 'pilot' for her own blog about her pets!

So thanks go out to Amy, and if anyone else out there would like to write something for Q&L, that'd be great! It needs to ber vaguely related to Q&L matters, but this can be as loosely as you like. Perhaps someone who is a 'dog person'? Or a self-confessed cat hater? Maybe someone who works with cats or other animals? If you're interested, please get in touch, and tell me what you'd like to write.

M x


Hi, I guess I’d bette rintroduce the small family of fluffys I share the 1 bedroom flat with. We have Twinkle the runty Akita who has no clue what species she is and has various OCD’s. Then you meet Giles the second hand cat, who doesn’t even believe he has been neutered and insists on making sweet cat love to various male friends of mine.

Further down the food chain (according to Giles anyway) we have Loulou the shoulder rat, Poke & Peek the mice and Dozy & Whispa the rescue bunnys & Schndler fish.


Now the household is pretty hectic in the mornings with various mouths requiring feeding, and others requiring a change of bedding as well as feeding sometimes.

A typical morning consists of feeding the small furrys and making sure the door to that room is shut firmly as Giles has worked out how to remove lids of tanks and will help himself.

Then we have to deal with the large fat black cat that’s twining around your legs and squeaking for breakfast (that’s Giles). He is a very picky cat, the other morning in protest at his breakfast he bought in a dead baby rat and placed in his food bowl. He actually got take out and put it in his food bowl as if to say I’d rather eat this. He doesn’t meow, he squeaks and it isn’t very masculine.  He also hates Cuts in Jelly with a passion, he will only eat meat in gravy which makes corner shop cat food purchasing awkward as they only stock supermeat (Giles wont even dignify that with a sniff) He also will steal food from your plate while you are eating.

Then we come ontofeeding Twinkle, this dog is very daft, will eat anything and everything andher hobbies comprise of trying to sniff Giles bum, chewing banisters andsleeping in awkward places. She will dance for breakfast, dancing usually consists of frantic paw stepping and facial tics complete with twitching head. Once she has food down there is no path past that dog she will block all and any walkways she can while eating, this is to prevent you from going to work or doing anything important unless you feed her more.

Then it’s the turn ofthe 2 rescue bunnies, cabbage, apple and a carrot are the first bits to go in. Then they have dried food, dried grass and hay. By this time Twinkles finished her breakfast and has decided rabbit pellets look interesting and has to be dissuaded away with various curse words. She will try and climb into the rabbit run if you are not watching despite it being secured.


Now I came home from work the other day to find one sheepish looking dog and a very grumpy looking moggy. Twinkle had managed to use her body weight to force the front room baby gate open and steal Giles biscuits. Upon entering the front room was like entering a bombsite, Twinkle had even dared to use Giles bed and chew his teddy.  Poor Giles didn’t know what to do, his beloved food bowl had been violated and his bed too. And to top it off, the kitten downstairs had come visiting thru the catflap and helped herself to his food also. Poor Giles was not happy at all. He proceeded to rip open a box of catnip and spent the next half hour in Hippy Kitty mode, which consists of alternately rubbing himself on everything in sight, then attacking your feet as you walk past. Giles is the only cat I have come across who when faced with heart breaking circumstances’ will proceed to self indulge in vast quantitiesof catnip. He can even open the bags himself and will even shove the rubbish under the sofa. Almost like a guilty after thought of an embarrassing habit.


Now Twinkle & Giles have a form of agreement when it comes to getting on. As long as Twinkle doesn’t force her way into Giles front room, Giles will not throw up in Twinkles bed. Twinkle for the most honours the agreement, whereas Giles unable to have a excuse to throw up in Twinkles bed will then throw up in or on my clothes and look totally innocent yet smug when questioned. His sneakiest furball attack was in a pair of trainers which when slid onto feet emitted a gross squelching noise. If you’ve never heard a cat snigger then think of Muttley but with a lower pitch.




Posted on April 25, 2010 at 8:57 PM Comments comments (0)

Take a look at this beautiful girl:






Since I started my voluntary work with the RSPCA, I've met a lot of lovely people and a lot of lovely cats! Whenever I'm around the charity shop in Chorlton, the staff have inevitably overspilled from the cattery and have rescue cats resident in their offices. This was where I met Tinker.


Tinker is a beautiful, long haired kitty cat. The thing is, like 'Tifa, she's a little older and has cattitude. When I met Tinker, she'd been with the RSPCA for a couple of months. Subsequently, a couple of months became three, then six, and still nobody wanted Tinker. It was at this point that she became my favourite: I always thought she was fab because she reminded me of my diva, but being the soppy old queen that I am, I started to get upset that no-one had wanted her for such a long time.


Sure, she greets everyone with a hiss, but that didn't mean she was mean - it was just her way. Sure, she eats food like it's going out of fashion and gets huffy if you don't give her lots of food, but that didn't mean that she didn't deserve a forever home. But I guess I can see why people went for more manageable cats than Tinker.


So I asked the staff at the RSPCA if I could adopt her. I was immediately told no because she and 'Tifa would have fought each other and could never get on. Dejected by the truth, I gave up on the idea, and just watched as the months passed and poor Tinker was constantly overlooked making me sad.


But this story has a happy ending: the picture is on Tinker in her new home with a couple who adore her because of her funny ways. It's this kind of thing that makes the voluntary work worth it.


M x

Guest Post: RSCPA Manchester and Salford

Posted on November 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM Comments comments (1)

Welcome to the third Q&L guest post. I'm really pleased about this post because, as an enthusiastic supporter of my local RSPCA branch, I want to be able to do everything that I possibly can to help them out. I can rarely afford to give them actual money, but I can give them my time by doing visits for them, give them spare clothes for their charity shop, and shamelessly plug them on my website!


This is a guest post from Susie Hughes from the Manchester and Salford branch of the RSPCA. I've only known Susie for about 9 months (funnily enough since I adopted 'Tifa), but she is a strong and passionate advocate of animal rights and protection which I respect a lot. Susie is the kind of animal lover that I could never be: she doesn't have favourites and is a vegan. I can't imagine a life without bacon butties, and am unashamedly biased in favour of cats.


So thanks go out to Susie, and if anyone else would like to write a guest post, please get in touch.


Have fun,


M x






When Mark called our office to ask if we had any house cats he wasn't given much choice. With more and more people living in apartments these days the demand for indoor kitties is really high, so there was only one option and that was 'Tifa.



Since this encounter, as you will all know, Mark's life has changed unequivocally, and some might even say for the better. Our lives at RSPCA Mcr & Salford have also been enriched as we now have a wonderful supporter and volunteer in Mark whom we dispatch off on a weekly basis to check out potential homes for our cats - a role that Mark was undoubtedly made for.



However, 'Tifa really is one of the lucky ones as all too commonly this year animals have been discarded like the rubbish and left to fend for themselves. I'll give you some examples - in September I was contacted by our regional press office saying that an animal sanctuary in Liverpool was overrun with abandoned rabbits and were we experiencing the same. I just laughed and said this was the worst year ever for rabbit abandonments - I counted up and 18 out of 22 were as a result of being callously abandoned in boxes, hutches or set loose to fend for themselves. This prompted radio coverage on BBC GMR and reporters coming round to my house to marvel at the number of bunnies bunking down with me (actually, it's more me bunking down with them).



This last week or so has been gut wrenchingly depressing because of the number of cats we have as a result of abandonment, the fact that Christmas is seeing off potential new homes, and the reality of what it means when we turn animals away. Currently we have 33 kitties, with the capacity in our cattery for just 11. And out of 33 a whopping 30 are as a result of owners abandoning their animals. Many have been found as ill or injured strays, the others left in properties where the occupant has done a runner.







Tabs is just one of these felines. His owner lived in a swanky apartment in town. He was a foreign student that ran up heaps of debt and when he got into trouble he went running back to China, but left poor Tabs behind without any due care or consideration as to what would happen to him.



Dogs aren't exempt from any of this either. We currently have 4 out of 9 dogs that have befallen the same fate, including Prince, whose owner tied him up outside Asda in Sth Mcr and never returned, and we have Henry and Sasha - 2 of 4 dogs whose owner left them behind when they moved out. Admittedly our dogs have usually come from more neglect and cruelty complaints but it just goes to show that nothing is sacred anymore in these terrible times.



I could go on and on and on, but I won't cos I'm depressing myself, but just to say that if you adopt an animal from the RSPCA you can be sure they will come neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, which generally means you will save a whole heap of money than doing it yourself. For example, to adopt a cat from us the fee is £50 but in reality it costs our branch an average of £290 per animal to 'rehabilitate' them ready for adoption, the adoption fee doesn't go far but it helps us and has to be better than lining the pockets of a 'business'.



So, I will leave you with this thought....pets are not a commodity they a family member; just like children they are vulnerable and dependent upon us to have their needs met; they are characterful bundles of joy that enrich our lives beyond measure. Please don't get an animal on a whim, they are there to be treasured, respected and obeyed, not thrown out with the rubbish when you have tired of their ways.



Susie Hughes

Call For Guest Posters

Posted on November 6, 2009 at 4:48 PM Comments comments (0)

I may not always agree with his politics, but Steve Tierney is a friend and I enjoy reading his lively blog. He is a fellow geek and Conservative Councillor. The focus of his blog is politics, but he also indulges in other topics (such as geekery). He is also a particularly brave chap inasmuch as he asked a Liberal Democrat to write a guest post on his Conservative blog. I thought that this was admirable, and an interesting concept. Guests posts are an interesting idea at the best of times, but guest posts from someone that isn't obvious is a great idea. 


This got me thinking, I'd like the occassional guest poster too - both obvious choices and more unusual choices like the Liberal Democrat on Steve's blog. Perhaps someone who is a 'dog person'? Or a self-confessed cat hater? Maybe someone who works with cats or other animals?


Any guest post would have to be loosely linked (and it can be very loose) to either kitties or gayness, but if you're up for it, why not get in touch? Please contact me with your concept for a guest post if you're interested.  




M x

RSPCA Home Visitor

Posted on October 17, 2009 at 3:06 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm dead chuffed!


It's something that I've wanted to do for a while, but this was my first opportunity to attend the training: I am now officially an RSPCA Volunteer Home Visitor. I have a certificate, and everything!


My new volunteer work isa vital part of the adoption process for rescue cats from the RSPCA. I have opted not to do other animals as I'm not really aware of the issues involved with animals other than cats, but it is possible to be a home visitor for any rescue animals. I am responsible for going to potential new owners' homes and assessing whether they'll be appropriate owners for the cat that they want. I remember Beth, the Home Visitor who came to my flat, being particularly lovely: you're there not to just check that everything is appropriate there for the people to become pet owners, but also to offer advice that the potential new owners might need. If the people pass, you then subsequently do a second visit to check that the kitty has settle in and that everything is okay for both the people and the kitty.


It's an opportunity for me to give something back to the wonderful people whom I got 'Tifa from. It's also an opportunity for me to meet many, many kitties! Hooray!


If anything interesting arises from any of my home visits, I'll be sure to post something on Q&L!


M x


Posted on September 8, 2009 at 11:24 PM Comments comments (0)

This cute kitty is my friend Alex's cat called Zaney:





Now, we won't be renaming this blog 'Queen and Zaney' any time soon, but I did feel like I'd 'cheated' on 'Tifa the other day!


Let me explain...

When I wake up in the morning, almost without exception 'Tifa will have settled herself either in my lap, on my feet, or nuzzled up to my leg. It's lovely to wake up next to my princess, and to get early morning cuddles while I struggle into consciousness.


So while I was in London, it wasn't so much the strange bed(s) that I was sleeping in that bothered me, but the fact that there was no diva kitty there when I woke up. I really missed having my kitty there when I woke up. All except for Thursday where, yes - you've guessed it, I was staying at Alex's and I awoke with Zaney in my lap. Now, as much as I adore Zaney, she is not the diva kitty and as such, I couldn't help feeling guilty: like I'd cheated on my princess.


All was fine Monday morning though, I awoke with 'Tifa on my lap and she was particularly affectionate. So I reckon I got away with it!


M x