By April 2, 2015 Read More →

Pet Fursday – Skimble & Jess

Pet Fursday - Skimble & Jess - Michelle Chapman, Veg Plotting

Skimble and Jess work with Michelle Chapman of the award-winning blog Veg Plotting:

We’d had 2 cats previously – Tinker and Lucy – and in 2001 after Lucy died I vowed we’d have a break from having pets for a while so we could go travelling and not be so tied to the house. However, my husband Andy looked so lost without a ‘special pal’, I relented after a couple of months.

Within a day he’d found some likely kitten candidates at a local cat charity. We nearly didn’t get them at the allotted time though, as the day we were due to pick them up, the farm next door had the first reported outbreak of foot and mouth in Wiltshire! We had to approach their foster home from a completely different direction to our natural route there, so we didn’t go past the farm gate.

Being black and white, Jess’s name is pretty self explanatory and everyone understands the reference to Postman Pat immediately. Her brother Skimble is a little harder, and it took us a while longer to find his name. I remembered one day that Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat (from T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats) was the first poem Andy learned by heart as a child. As soon as I suggested it, we knew it was the right name. Our Skimble certainly likes being ‘busy in the luggage van’.

Skimble has the role of office manager and is very good at answering the phone. He also keeps us well supplied with stationery, particularly rubber bands. He finds these from our postman’s round and brings them in with lots of fuss. As much fuss as the other ‘presents’ he leaves us from time to time. When we’re trying to read something, Jess is very good at scanning it with her bottom. Both take an interest in our work and get actively involved with everything we do.

They have taken a leaf out of Richard Branson’s approach to office life and make sure we incorporate lots of wellbeing activities into our home working. Skimble provides the office gym facilities by resting his 7 kilo frame on any arm which is typing at the time. Jess is our masseuse – she likes getting behind my head and licking it and then gives a very good shoulder massage with her treading technique.

When Skimble is pleased with life, he tends to curl his paws around anything he’s curled up with at the time – that includes any arm or leg he’s resting on. He then purrs loudly and digs in ‘gently’ with his claws to show even more pleasure. He’s also a bit of foot fetishist – which can be nice and warm in winter, but a bit infuriating when he starts to bite.

Both are very good at getting us to clock off at the end of the day, when it’s time for their tea – remember cats have staff, not owners. The problem is, they tend to demand lots attention at least an hour before it’s time for tea. They’re a bit confused at the moment with the clocks going forward – just like we are – because they’re getting their tea an hour early (or on time in their view).

work from home secrets

Michelle Chapman is a freelance writer, blogger and subversive soprano from Chippenham, Wiltshire. She can be found blogging about her garden, allotment and anything else which takes her fancy over at Veg Plotting.

Enjoyed this? Check out our previous stars of Pet Fursday, including Big Pig and Little Pig, Ginger, possibly the world’s only feline bra fitter, and Sunrise the paper shredder.

Posted in: Pets

4 Comments on "Pet Fursday – Skimble & Jess"

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  1. Sue Bradley says:

    An environmentally friendly rubber band-collecting cat! Every home office should have one!!