Welcome to Purr & Wag (PAW), a blog all about the highs and lows, pleasures and pitfalls of life with family pets.

Hi, I’m Maija, mum to Dylan, 17 and Noah, 14 and married to Ollie (holy crap, 20 years this year!!). Pets I have owned and loved: when I was young – a guinea pig (Petronella), goats (Dorcas and Phoebe) and cats (Pushkin and Kizzy). Ollie and I got our practice kids (sorry, kittens) Monkey and Tom, just after we got married. Since kids… more cats, guinea pigs, snails, hamsters, a stick insect… yep, I think that’s about it.

The current inhabitants of our house are Sadie and Coco, our two beloved cats, who pretty much rule the roost! Despite having a perfectly functional cat flap, they will often sit by the French doors breathing on the glass until one of us takes pity and lets them in. Lazy!

So who is this expert who’s going to tell me all about taking care of pets?” I hear you ask. Well, I am neither vet, breeder nor a trainer, so I can’t and don’t claim to be an expert in those fields. However, if you’re thinking of taking the plunge and welcoming something small and furry into your home (and no, I’m not talking about your diminutive hairy boyfriend), then yes, I do consider myself to be an expert! I’m an expert in getting lost in the maze of advice that accompanies owning a pet and in making lots of mistakes along the way (hey, I didn’t say I was perfect!). I’m an expert falling for those dewy-eyed looks when they want a treat and an expert in quality cuddles. And, importantly, I am an expert in knowing when to leave it to the experts!

By the way, all of the above is also true of my two sons, who I was as unprepared for on their arrival as most new parents (of pets and humans) and who continue to be as unpredictable as any pet I’ve ever owned – apart from Sam the Snail who I have to admit was pretty easy to read! So, you can expect some content on those two scallywags as well!

The focus of this blog is going to be family pets and pretty much anything related to that, or whatever happens to pop into my too busy head at any particular time. Some of my blog will be tongue-in-cheek and some of a more practical nature – after all owning a pet is supposed to be fun, but it’s also a commitment and for most, a huge learning curve.