Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers

The Beginning

I came to own Sammy P (2) due to sad circumstances which caused me to loose Sammy P (1). You can read about what happen on Sammy P (1)'s page under the heading "A New Chapter For The Digglers Begins".

Life On My Smallholding

The Digglers' Cat ~ Sammy P (2)Sammy, whom I called Sammy P, the P because it is the initial of my surname, and Poppet settled into life on my smallholding. At first, Sammy P didn't like going out but Poppet did. They became firm friends and because she liked going out, he soon followed her. I had a pop hole made in the door so that the cats could go out whenever they wished. However it wasn't long before I discovered that they were inviting the farm cats over for afternoon tea parties! I was not impressed by this idea as several of the farm cats were entire males and the kitchen and the feed room began to smell. After about a period of eight months, another tragedy struck. I went up at teatime to bring in the horses and usually the cats were waiting for their tea. Sammy P was there but no sign of Poppet. I waited thinking she would soon come back because it was teatime. I called her but she didn't come. Eventually the farmer's wife came across to inform me of the sad news. Poppet had been killed on the road. They had found her when they had returned from their milk round. They said Sammy P had been sitting in the road with her and wouldn't leave her so they had put her in a box and put her by their door. It was with great sadness that I had a second burial.

The Cat Garden

The Digglers' Cat ~ Sammy P (2)This wasn't fair. Bringing cats into an unsafe environment. My smallholding is sited on the roadside. Although it is a country road and there is not much traffic. What traffic there is tends to speed and therefore the cats do not have a chance when crossing the road, I therefore decided to do something about as I was not prepared to lose another cat in this way. Derek does some work for me and I enlisted his help in constructing a cat garden. Until this was built, Sammy P would be confined to barracks! The cat garden would be built at the end of the stables. It would be all enclosed and have a concrete base. It took Derek several weeks to build. Perches were placed on the wall, a tree trunk placed leaning on the wall for Sammy P to climb and Derek found four large hollow pots to climb through. The construction caused some excitement amongst the locals who I sure were convinced I was housing monkeys! At last it was ready for Sammy P. I had been back to the rescue centre and found Sammy P a new companion whom the children called Popsy (1). Sammy P and Popsy seemed to like their new area. A series of pop holes had been made so that the cats could go through the stables and into their new garden. It also stopped the afternoon tea parties! Later I was to develop a large outside garden for the cats on the other side of the stable yard. This contained two small lawns, flagged walk ways and a large rockery. I also left a wild area for the cats. The fence round the garden consisted of plastic coated chicken wire which had an overhang so the cats couldn't get out. A connecting tunnel across the yard was built. Half was constructed from stone and the other half was made from wood so that it could slide into the stone half. That was to enable the horses to get through and a tractor into the fields. This meant that the cats could go outside in total safety. However it wasn't that simple. Sammy P had been used to his freedom and he was now not too keen at being kept in. He tried climbing the fence, jumping over and I was concerned that he would injure himself. When I was on site, he would station himself by the door and howl. I decided that to keep him confined would be cruel so a compromise was reached. Sammy P could go out whilst I was there. He accepted this and since he knew he would get a treat of either tuna or steak for coming back before I left.

The Hen House

The Digglers' Cat ~ Sammy P (2)Thanks to Sooty, I now had hens on my smallholding. There area was sited next to the cat garden and I am sure the cats thought this was their in-house entertainment! Sammy P was a hunter and he often brought back birds. On one occasion he brought back a magpie! He also caught rats that had established themselves around the hen house. I was unconcerned by the rats, they were country rats and they had several holes around the hen house. When it was feeding time they would pop their heads out of the holes and they reminded me of the Clangers! As well as accumulating more sheep and hens I also gave a home to other stray cats and my smallholding was buzzing with animals. Mandy, the sponsored cat came to live here and she and Sammy P became inseparable. The children in my class made weekly visits to my smallholding. Many of their parents provided transport. Their visit started at the local garden centre at the time it housed many animals. We would then walk along the canal to the village. At one point the children could stand on a aquaduct looking at a viaduct. In the village we would stop at the local bakers and I would buy them a flapjack. They munched it on our way back to the cars parked at the garden centre. We then made our way to my smallholding. The children were given tasks. Some had to collect the eggs, feed the hens and lock them up for the night. Some were to feed the cats, get the feed ready for the sheep and horses. On leaving each of them were given an egg. Looking at the delight on their faces, anyone would have thought they had been given a golden egg! On one occasion when a boy called Stephen was leaving, I noticed that his coat was bulging. He was only trying to smuggle Popsy out in his coat!

Sammy P In Later Life

As Sammy P got older, he developed a very slow growing brain tumour and it affected his movement. I therefore decided to bring him home with me as it was not safe to let him out. He lived for many years before he finally succumbed to his condition. I took him to Rossendale Pet Crematorium where he was cremated and placed in a casket. When Mandy finally died, I had her ashes placed with Sammy P's as they had been great friends.