Lara and Max

three adorable Birman cats .

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Christmas 2002
Happy New Year
Max is a year old

Prizes and snow!
One year on!
Water feature
Climber and adventure
Play days
New cat on the block
Becoming friends
Happy families!
Garden Fun
Bumble bees!
Lazy, hazy Summer
Water everywhere
Oscar's day at the vets
Garden visitors
Moving House
Christmas is coming!
Christmas 2003

New Year 2004

Max's birthday
Oscar's 1st birthday
Cat dancing
Two years on
Easter 2004

May Day

Oscar's First Year

Summer 2004
Oscar a PAT cat
Carpet fitting
December 2004
Christmas 2004
2005 and birthdays
Winter Fun
Three years on!

Sunshine and showers
Hot and humid
Window safety
Tree collars
Artist's models
Halloween Fun
Nearly Christmas
Christmas 2005

2006 has arrived

Brrr! Where is Spring?
Warmth and Sunshine
Glitter balls
Our own book

Summer Games
Having the Builders in!
Busy, busy
Christmas 2006
Posing Prettily
New Pictures

Dangerous Hairball
Christmas 2007
Birthdays etc
Senior Cat
A Puppy in the house
Update July 2011

Update for 2011

Can it really be two years since I updated the web site? Well I guess it must be so my apologies to readers for the long break!

Everyone is well and it is probably fair to say that Lara, Max and Oscar are now used to having the energetic Ellery diving around the place. Scroll down to read more about life here


Kitten adventures - click to go to our kitten web site

Links page

Cat accessories - favourite things!
Facts page - details of our breeding


Amy - my first Birman

Katy and Lucy's page

Great Danes

Video Clips - See the trio playing with 'Panic Mouse'

Comparisons - how we have changed over the years

Yes time really does fly, it is hard to believe that it is now two years since Ellery, the puppy, joined the family but it is in fact more that two years. The last time I did an update the cats were trying to understand what had happened to turn their world upside down but now they have become accustomed to a lively black and white flash dashing by and each one has developed their very own strategy for dealing with him.

Max is very much the disciplinarian around the house, right from the start he was determined that Ellery would understand his place. Anytime Ellery chased him Max would turn around and chase him back. When he caught him he would pin him down and bat him with a paw which at first took Ellery by surprise. It wasn't long before Ellery decided that was a great game so, from time to time, I would see him following Max, Max would stop and turn around and Ellery would freeze, Max would give chase, Ellery would run off only to be back moments later doing exactly the same. I guess Ellery had decided it was the closest he was going to get to a game although I doubt that was Max's intention at the time.

The only problem with that as a strategy was that as Ellery grew he got a bit bigger than Max and we did have a couple of occasions when he would decide to take Max on. Now they have found their own level and live contentedly side by side and although I doubt you would ever call them friends they do tolerate one another as you can see in the photograph on the left with Max happy to snooze upside down right next to Ellery.

Lara has always been very much the lady of the house and, as you may remember from that early video, was not about to lose her dignity playing with a puppy. That hasn't changed. She watches him from a distance, ignores him when he tries to persuade her to play and is very adept at staying out of reach. Ellery for some reason appears to regard her with some awe so if she appears in the garden when he is running around he will run up to her but always stays out of her range. He still squeaks when he sees her but seems to know she is 'the untouchable' so he treats her with great respect.

Oscar was the one I worried about most at the start. He was truly mortified by the new arrival, he retreated upstairs (I had screened off the stairs from the start so that the cats could get up there out of his way and they therefore had a safe sanctuary which was dog free) and stayed there for most of the time. I tried hard to persuade him to venture into the same room when Ellery was safely in his crate but he resolutely refused to do so which I found really upsetting. He stopped cuddling up to me during the night as well even though Ellery slept in his crate and I began to despair or ever getting him to accept the puppy.

I put Ellery's crate in my bedroom over the first few weeks and that certainly seemed to upset Oscar so as Ellery grew and became used to the routine I decided to leave Ellery's crate in the lounge overnight and gradually Oscar got his confidence back and came back to sleeping on the bed again. It took time but eventually Oscar realised that Ellery meant him no harm and now it is Oscar who is by far the most tolerant of Ellery and is completely unpeturbed if Ellery is racing around or following him. Oscar will happily flop down right in front of him and doesn't seem to care if Ellery climbs over him. The two happily co-exist. Although it would be stretching it a bit too far to say they are close friends they have no problem romping across the garden side by side or sitting together behind me when I am preparing their food.

That means that whilst I would never say the introduction of a dog into the household has been easy - everyone does now get along and there are only odd occasions when I need to tell Ellery to stop being too rough with either Max or Oscar.

I now also have a cat flap installed in the back porch which is suitable for a large cat or small dog so that on nice days they can all come and go as they please. At first it was a bit of a novelty to Ellery who thought it might be fun to lie in wait outside it but now he happily bowls in and out through it without bothering the other 'users' anymore!

I suspect it helps that Ellery is training to do dog agility which means he and I are out training several times each week. That leaves the cats with the house to themselves and I think they are happy enough with that arrangement.

The months since I last posted haven't been totally event free so far as the cats are concerned. Max developed a nasty abscess on an anal gland last year which reappeared a few weeks after we thought we had resolved it. Sadly it recurred again a couple of weeks ago so I am watching him carefully because if it becomes a recurring issue the vet may wish to think about surgery to resolve it. Other than that Lara, Max and Oscar are all well, Lara will be 10 years old just before Christmas with Max follwing suit January. I can't believe how fast the years have gone by, it seems no time at all since Lara was just a tiny kitten.


In the absence of any cats wanting to play Ellery set about finding other friends - I am not sure that this moth was really suited to playing with a lively puppy though!


Ellery learning to go through an agility tunnel - well he would if he could but someone seems to be sitting in his tunnel - Oscar demonstrating that cats rule OK!


Oscar and Lara were busy having a game with a box when Ellery decided to he would like to play - Lara doesn't exactly play with him but she is happy to tease him with a tempting paw!


Ellery does love doing his agility and I have entered him in a couple of small local competitions. He suspects that his biggest problem is his very inexperienced handler (me!) and I can't help but agree with him! However he does enjoy himself which is actually what it is all about for both of us. We get a day out and lots of exercise and the Birmans get a lovely peaceful day at home - who could ask for more?

Just look at that eager expression as he makes his way through the weave poles and you can see he is having fun. I love to see him in full flight with his ears flying - Powderpuffs are supposed to be blessed with a 'soft veil of hair' - Ellery, it would appear, never read that bit and has masses of the stuff which does take an awful lot of brushing but he is a happy little dog and he is certainly distinctive.


July 2011


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