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Consuming Passions
Consuming Passions RTÉ One, Monday 8.30pm (Repeat)

Programme 4: Cool for Cats

Wednesday, 25th July 2007

Cool for Cats is a colourful and intimate look at people who are truly passionate about their cats.

Anne Fitzgerald is from Blackpool, Cork. A volunteer in the Animal Care Society Cork, Anne plays a kitten-fostering role in the organisation. That entails taking in rescued kittens, feeding them and nursing them back to health when necessary. With new-born kittens, she has to feed them every two hours 24 hours a day. She keeps these kittens in her bedroom and sets her alarm at night to go off at two-hour intervals. Needless to say, it can be a very exhausting job. Anne currently has two kittens (10 days and 20 days) in her bedroom. Anne keeps the bottle-fed kittens until they are 12 weeks old when the process of re-homing them begins. She will lay down the conditions of adoption to the potential cat-owner and if she is satisfied with them the cat will be handed over.

Anne has customised herself a special 'kitty-pram.' She took a child's buggy and attached a kitty-transporter to it. This is how she transports the kittens and cats from place to place. A surprising amount of Irish cats end up in English homes. England has been neutering responsibly for 40 years and therefore doesn't have the same level of problems with the cat population as Ireland. We will follow three of Anne's kittens Annie currently 8 weeks, Sarah 7 weeks and Whitney 7 weeks as they leave Anne's for their new homes in England.

'The cats adopted us and now they rule us!' Before Niska and Minky appeared, Richard never considered himself a cat person but now he cares about them more than anything else! Richard takes the cats to his vet, Annette, at least once a month for the most minor of complaints.

Patricia Catalon runs a 'Hidden Ireland' Bed and Breakfast in the house that she grew up in. Much like the interior décor, the paraphernalia scattered throughout the house and some of the items to be found around the grounds, Patricia is quite the eccentric. Cat paraphernalia is scattered throughout house. Patricia spends her days running the B&B, tending to guests and tending to the animals. Patricia is passionate about cats. She also has a domesticated rescued fox called Rupert who hangs around the farmyard. Her five cats have the life of Reilly. Not only do they have the run of the house and the guest buildings (cat-flap in every door), but they have their own bedrooms too! Their names are Libby-Muffin, Penelope-Jane, Mitzi, Melanie and Oswald. Oswald rules the roost and the other cats are fine with that, they live a harmonious existence. Oswald shares his bedroom with Melanie and Libby-Muffin. Penelope-Jane's bedroom is just inside the front door and has recently had a makeover. When the workers had finished refurbishing her room, Penelope-Jane went to Patricia and said "thank you, oh, thank you."

She says that the cats talk to her through their tones, eyes and body language. Patricia in turn talks back to them using the same modes of communication. She reckons that she knows exactly what they're saying at all times and that they in return fully understand her.


Additional website information

The Animal Care Society Cork
Room 5, 28b McCurtain Street, Cork, Ireland
Tel: 021 4551781

Anne Fitzgerald
Anne Fitzgerald
Patricia with Mizi
Patricia with Mizi
Penelope Jane
Penelope Jane