Although we would love to allow our cats their freedom to roam where they like, sadly this would be just too dangerous for them. Our house is surrounded by woods where middle-aged maniacs come regularly to slaughter wild life in the name of sport. They shoot at anything that moves and also put down poison in the lanes with the express purpose of killing cats that they think might rob them of their prey.
Instead, we have built a cat village to house our family, occupying over 150 square metres, just behind our own house. I am in and out of the cattery all day long and no cat lacks human company, fuss and attention. All our girls in turn come indoors to live with us, 2 or 3 at a time, and all kittens are brought up underfoot. Outside, there are six spacious enclosed runs, each with its own house equipped with furniture to climb on, cosy raised beds, toys and all mod cons. Three of the houses are reserved for our stud boys and these have separate queens quarters for any visiting lady friends to occupy while getting to know their future spouses. The floors are all tiled to make cleaning quick and easy. All the runs have shady netting over their roofs to protect the cats from the fierce Mediterranean sunshine.
The houses all have electricity for lighting and heating, because winter nights can be cold even in Mallorca. In addition to the normal lighting, each house also has an infra-red lamp which is used to keep kittens cosy and in case of illness. One of the houses is fitted out as a kitchen with plenty of storage cupboards, a sink with hot and cold water and a fridge. This is where all the food is prepared, dishes are washed and show cats get their baths.
We have a strict code of cleanliness to ensure perfect hygiene and reduce any risk of infection. Of course, I clean our cattery daily and once a week Philip joins me to strip out all the furniture and thoroughly disinfect and clean from top to bottom. Litter trays are cleaned twice daily. Each house has its own set of cleaning materials. I am always gratified when I see visitors happily kneeling or sitting on the cattery floors to play with the cats, as I know that they have no doubts about the cleanliness