Every few weeks, we look for interesting stories of cats and their owners. This time we came across Veerle Van Iersel from Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Her love for cats started when she went to live on her own, she got two cats and knew immediately that she never wanted to live without cats again! Meanwhile she has her own Cattery and she likes to tell us more about all her sweet, beautiful cats.
Daddy Boo, Boo and Baby Boo
As a child Veerle only had rabbits and hamsters at home as pets. When she left home and went to live with a good friend, they soon took two cats. They had named these cats after their childhood toys and that was also the moment that Veerle knew that she never wanted to live without cat(s) again!
Meanwhile, she has a total of 14 cats (but also a chameleon, a leopard gecko and a large aquarium). Of course, this started with one very special cat. This is Boelie, a Blue Point Scottish Fold. “When we went to pick him up, at a cattery in the east of the country, we also saw his father. He was sitting outside in a cage, together with other (not neutered) males! You can already guess that there was a lot of territorial tension. The males were fighting with each other. We couldn't stand it and soon decided that we would like to take the father of Boelie (who we had given the nickname Boeboe) into our pack as well.” You read that correctly: pack, because they had adopted more cats after Boeboe's arrival. “When Boeboe's father came to live with us we called him Papa Boe. “ explained Veerle
"It was very difficult to socialise Papa Boe and get him fully healthy when he came to live with us. He had big wounds and scars from his time in the cage and he was covered in fleas.
After his castration and other surgeries, he quickly recovered and slowly grew to be the leader of our pack. In a short time something else happened: Boeboe became a father! One kitten looked just like him and we decided to keep him. He got the name: Baby Boo. Although Baby Boo is bigger than his father at the moment, it is impossible to give him another name. So for Veerle it will always be Baby Boo!
A beautiful pack with all sweet cats
Most of Veerle's cats are still young, between 0 and 4 years old. With exception of the big pack leader Papa Boe, who is already 10 years old. Besides Scottish Folds she also has British Shorthairs, British Longhairs and a Norwegian Forest Cat with whom she breeds litters. With the Scottish Fold cats they do not breed anymore.
Veerle's cats literally mean everything to her. "They feel you so well and are always there for you. Veerle's Cattery consists of very sweet cats, all hugs, cups and spiders are therefore great additional benefits of having cats. “
Of course there are not only advantages. Because Veerle is so fond of her cats, she is very touched when something happens to them. Unfortunately, she has also had a number of unpleasant experiences. It was very difficult and painful for Veerle when they had to put a cat to sleep at the age of four because she had been miscarried by the breeder she came from. "We have also experienced kittens being stillborn, despite this being nature, it breaks your heart..."
"My husband had to get used to so much life in the house".
However, if it were up to Veerle, she would take on more cats in a flash. "Luckily I have a husband in my life who can slow this down a bit." After they had decorated the entire attic in his house for the cats, Veerle and all the animals moved in with him. It took some time getting used to for him, so much life in the house! Fortunately, her husband already knew the cats well and is secretly very attached to them, even though he does not always admit it.
How did they arrange the attic? "Full of Cat Tree King scratching posts of course, Cat Tree King scratching posts are very sturdy and also last very long!" Currently, we have 6 large scratching posts. To name a few: The Cat Mansion, The Big/High Cat tower, etc.
Five of these are in the attic and 1 is in the kitten room where the mother cats can give birth safely.
Veerle's cats like to lie together, so about 8 cats on one pole are common. The sturdiness is therefore very important! Also because of the fact that all the cats like the big leader Papa Boe (who weighs 10kg!), so they all like to lie against him. Furthermore they really make use of all the lying spots on the scratching posts, but the hammocks are definitely favourite! Because Veerle thinks it is so important that her cats are real pets, they come everywhere in the house. Throughout the house, she has a number of separate lounge boxes with pillows, so they can really lie down anywhere.
Veerle also said that, especially with such a large group of cats, there is a need for places where they can retreat and find peace and quiet. "This is another reason why we chose the large, sturdy Cat Tree King Cat Tree’s. We noticed that the cats enjoy lying in a certain house/hammock together, which is why the posts definitely require the necessary sturdiness. When we opened the cat loft to the cats, they immediately sought out a safe place and soon felt at home! You can tell that they really like to be downstairs with us, but when there are busy visitors they like to go upstairs to get some attention from our guests.More information about all Veerle's cats can be found on her website: https://www.catterydishsquare.nl/onze-katten.