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Gilson Ladies enjoy 50th birthday cat tales ...

10 July 2017
Gilson Ladies enjoy 50th birthday cat tales ...

In July, a group who meet at St Barnabas church in Kingshurst invited along volunteers with Cats Protection to share their ‘experiences and involvement’ with the charity. And the invitation from Gilson Ladies, who belong to the National Association of Women's Clubs, coincided with their 50th birthday celebrations as well as the leading cat charity’s 90th year. 

Avril Webb, Assistant Secretary and bookings organiser, confirmed: “Our chairperson, Val Smith, and our ladies decided it would be good to invite a charity in to talk about their work and, as at least half of our members have cats, we took up the kind offer made by Sheila and Jenny.

"They started with a cat-quiz, and from our answers it seems we knew quite a lot but we learnt a lot too. We didn’t know a female cat was called a Queen, but we all knew who Larry belonged to – David Cameron, but now it’s Theresa May, of course, at number 10.

"It was great to take our pick of Jenny’s home-made jams and chutneys after the entertaining quiz and talk, and we’re all pleased to know our donations and jam-cash – on our 50th birthday – have gone to such a good cause.”

Talk volunteer Sheila Pennell said it was a ‘pleasure to see everyone again, after giving a talk on a different topic a year ago’. “Everyone was so engaged and so knowledgeable – especially around why neutering is so important. Many had lived in areas of Birmingham in the past where they said the ‘poor stray cats were just wandering the streets’ unwanted or abandoned, so very much appreciated the charity’s aim to promote neutering, education, rehoming, and getting the public to understand cats’ needs.”

Jenny Reynolds, jam-maker, fosterer and fund-raiser for the charity, had been ‘slaving over a hot stove’ for several days prior to the talk to ensure she had enough jams and chutneys for everyone. Says Jenny: “It was good to spread the message and raise money by selling preserves. Always a pleasure to present what we do to like-minded folk, and certainly there was a good proportion of cat-lovers and cat-owners in the group.”

One member of Gilson Ladies, Mo Exall, (pictured above left with Jenny and Sheila) spoke up about how she’d been helped with a colony of cats in her own back garden when she lived in Ward End, and understood CP’s ‘trap, neuter, return’ policy very well. She had personally been helped by Ward End Cat Rescue and provided with food for her cats, and was very grateful. And she had lots of cute cat photos in her bag to prove it!

Everyone who came along left with smiles on their faces and ‘CP goodies’ – bookmarks and car-stickers – and in return they’d brought in lots of clean empty jam-jars so as to be sure to keep Jenny busy!

** Any group looking for an interesting and entertaining ‘cat talk’ is welcome to call the helpline (0345 260 1503) and a talk volunteer will call back. Similarly for schools or brownie/guide groups – CP education workshops can be adapted to suit all age groups and venues.