Scaredy cat!


Julia's cat Poppy I think I've mentioned to you before how timid my cat Poppy is, but she took this to extremes the other day. She has a fantastic relationship with my daughter Sophie and they spend hours together on Sophie's bed while she is on her laptop or reading.

Last weekend Sophie had to have a minor operation on her wrist to have a ganglion cyst removed. She came back from the hospital with her forearm swathed in bandages and holding her arm at right angles to her body (apparently it has to be kept above heart height).

On hearing the front door, Poppy came running down the stairs to greet Sophie and stopped dead in her tracks. She dropped her belly to the ground and her ears went flat against her head (Poppy not Sophie!!) and as Sophie took a step towards her, she dashed upstairs to go and hide.
How strange. No amount of coaxing would bring her anywhere near Sophie, she just didn't seem to recognise her. She even preferred rubbing up against Sophie's boyfriend Rick, which is slightly unfortunate as he is allergic to cats and promptly started sneezing profusely.

Poppy is also very funny on grass. She is predominantly a house cat but in the summer when all the doors are open, she goes outside onto the patio and rolls around in the dust quite happily. However, if I call her from the bottom of the garden and she is required to walk on the grass, it's like she's traversing hot coals… it's hysterical!!

She also loves to listen to all the rustlings in the hedges of little mice and voles. Fortunately she's not a very good hunter so rarely catches anything, unlike Daisy, the cat we lost about 2 years ago, who would constantly bring us little 'pressies'!!!

Just like my children they were chalk and cheese - Daisy was adventurous and daring which was probably her downfall in the end. I always remember her first Christmas; she was six months old and thought it was great fun clambering to the top of our fully decorated Christmas tree – fortunately it never toppled over, but it did wobble a bit!

Talking of Christmas, it's that time again – it's Christmas in July this weekend. There will be opportunites to get your Christmas lights and decorations early and of course some great ideas for presents. I've got a double helping of Yankee Candles so I'm well chuffed as my home is dotted with them. Favourite fragrance… difficult choice but 'Baby Powder' just edges it for me. What's your favourite?

Enjoy your weekend,

Love Julia x


  1. Una July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm -  Reply

    Poppy sounds adorable Julia. they are so funny, each has their own little character. She probably smelled the hospital smell from Sophie, and freaked her out. maybe reminded her slightly of a vets visit or something. poor Sophie. To have to go through all that, then be spurned by her bestest friend!!!!
    Hope Sophie is well again.
    Looking forward to the xmas in July event, as I alwys do. Especially the Yankee candle show. I had a Silver bells large candle from last year, which is about half used. I just had a wee sniff, to get me in the mood. it definately worked. i can picture my tree, and all the presnts already. better have my Santa list beside me, just incase!!!!!!!
    we got our tree 2 years ago, in the QVC sale. cost just over £5.00, in 3 easy payments!!! It is the best artificial tree we have had. The one we had previously, cost well over £130.00. it lasted about 9 years, which isnt too bad. I just know we will get longer from this one. I LOVE QVC!!!!
    Will be wearing my new dress next weekend, when I go to a friends birthday BBQ, cant wait!!
    Take care Julia
    Love Una x

  2. susie July 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

    All to do with the smell. I have two black cats brothers chalk and cheese ( thats not their names) Harrison and Gabriel – Gballs as we call him had to have a major op on his eye last yr thankfully they are insured as my hubby was out the country ( no money!!) So when after three days at a posh vet hospital gballs came home , well Harrison would not even be in the same room it took a week before he would entertain the idea of talking to him and because he had a coller on well that freaked him out even more. Thankfully Gballs did not loose his eye due to me being up in the dead of night to ensure he had his drops on time – again ever tried putting eye drops in a cat that hates being touched at the best of times!! well all better now but had you been a fly on the wall you would have laught your socks off!!

  3. amanda wood July 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

    l have a poppy too, she wont put her paws on grass either or strangely on any rug, she just tip toes around the edges!
    amanda and poppy

  4. mrs j long July 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    I have two cats one looks exactly like poppy but its the other one who is a cowardy custard her name is Sadie and even if you sneeze she nearly has a nervous breakdown.Chloe brings in the same grass snake daily (I can tell by its markings)so I have given the grass snake to a neighbour who lives 2 miles away as I am so tired of seeing it love jennie x

  5. Jennifer Beresford July 24, 2010 at 12:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Lovely reading about your cat Poppy.We once had a cat called Poppy.She was a brown tiger striped cat I really loved her but for some reason she was not keen on me. She would do anything to avoid me e.g.climbing down the back of my kitchen cupboards where she could stay all day if I was in the house alone. However as soon as my partner came home she would come out from her hiding place and jump onto his knee and purr.Cats are funny creatures for sure. Anyway at least the Dog loved me.I was watching you on the Kipling show this afternoon and loved the dress you had on. I know Iv’e mentioned it before but the colour blue really suits you.Tell you what,Im’e frightened of turning my telly on tomorrow (Christmas in July) I just know that I’ll be tempted.I love Christmas and everything about it.I will have to count my pennies first. Love Jen x

  6. Clare Wallace July 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Been watching you on QVC today, great shows, I bought the set of 3 keychains, great price, so this means I’ve now started Christmas Shopping!!
    You looked lovely in a pink dress, is it Butler and Wilson?? also you look FAB!! HOW HAVE YOU GOT INTO SUCH GREAT SHAPE? PLEASE SHARE !!!!!
    Take care

  7. Linda July 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    Julia – i laughed today when you said that Poppy had brought you a “pressie” today – hopefully it was a butterfly eh and it did survive!! Its soads law that the minute we write or say something we are proved wrong. I loved your dress on the Christmas lighting and Yankee hours today(Sun) – is it a Ronnie Nicole or a Tianna B? the dress really suited you and the jewelled neck and hem looked lush. I’m enjoying Christmas in July(as usual) and bought the Yankee Love surprise last night(18 christmas votives) and the Love surprise today, the small jar candles inc yours(and mine) favs Baby Powder and clean cotton-although i think they were all favs eh!! as you said the only one missing was French Vanilla.I have two Jasmine plants at either side of my back door and the smell is beautiful. I was so disappointed to hear about the “soon to be retired scents” hopefully Yankee will bring them out of retirement occasionally – maybe QVC TSV’s – have a word with the Yankee buyers for me(and many other QVC viewers) Hope Sophie’s arm heals fast. Best Wishes Lindax

  8. Magda Chetty July 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    First best wishes to Sophie, hope she is better soon. When we moved to Mallorca a cat just waited outside our door every day for a week, so we gave her some milk, and she never left. We asked around and was told that she is a wild cat, but she was so timid so we kept her. She refused to inter the house, just played in the garden, slept in the garage, and when it got so hot in the summer, she slept under the car. We give her food and milk, and called her Rara and she come to us when we called her, but she”ll never inter the house, strange.
    I watched you today,during the Yankee candles show, WOW love your dress, where did you get it from, you looked fab. My favourite Yankee candle is the Fresh cut roses. Thanks to QVC I”ve got a few Christmas presents already, and looking to buy more in the sales with you next week.
    Have a great week.

  9. Annette Roberts July 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope Sophie’s wrist isn’t too painful and heals soon!
    I’m afraid I’m like Sophie’s boyfirend… allergic to cats, sneezing, wheezing, eyes watering and should they happen to stick their claws in, then I come out in hives! I think it’s more to do with having asthma than anything else.
    Poppy is a lovely name and strangely enough ‘Poppies’ just happen to be my favourite flowers, so much so, that when we moved into our cottage it had a serving hatch from the kitchen to the lounge which, pardon the pun, served no purpose whatsover. We half bricked it up and kept the oak framework and I had a piece of leaded glass made with ‘Poppies’ on. It looks lovely, especially at night when the lights are on.
    There’s one funny thing that Bobby does whenever I’ve been to the hairdressers, he always goes bananas sniffing my hair when I get back and yet he doesn’t bother at all when I wash it myself…. strange!
    Annette x

  10. Claire Upton July 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Love the story about Poppy, they provide hours of laughter don’t they? Aztec and Inca are doing well, (I know I have written of them before, one had to be washed!) although they need to wear a watch, with the warm weather they don’t want to come in at night, not good when I need my sleep!
    Well I started the Christmas shopping this weekend, only a couple of presents purchased and of course treated myself too, with Yankee Candles QVC viewers favourites collection as I love all the ones in the set. Must admit Baby Powder is one of my favourites too, although the cats find it too strong and start sneezing, so I burn it while they are out playing, there is no way I can give that smell up.
    Take Care
    Claire xx

  11. julia roberts July 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una
    Hope you enjoyed the Christmas in July weekend and especially th Yankee Candles shows – I know I did! I’ve got Clean Cotton burning in the living room as I write and have just started a new small jar candle of Baby Powder in the bedroom. Didn’t we have some great bargains!
    Sophie is at her boyfriend’s Mums ( with her boyfriend of course ) at the moment but she texted to say the BIG bandage came off today to be replaced by a smaller dressing – still hurts a bit she says but on the mend!
    Hope the weather picks up for your friends barbecue!
    much love
    Julia x

  12. julia roberts July 26, 2010 at 11:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susie
    Great names!! You could be right about the smell ……. although Sophie had a shower that morning LOL!!
    Putting eye drops in Poppy’s eyes would be a nightmare, as is trying to place tablets on the back of her tongue – she simply spits them out no matter how far back I place them! It’s bad enough trying to change her collar!
    Glad to hear Gballs made a full recovery
    Julia x

  13. julia roberts July 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Amanda and Poppy
    Maybe it’s something about the name! Does your Poppy let you pick her up? Mine won’t. She happily sits with me, even on me, but try to pick her up and she runs a mile
    Julia x

  14. julia roberts July 26, 2010 at 11:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jennie
    Again great names! Did I say Poppy wasn’t a very good hunter? To prove me a liar, on Sunday while I was on the phone to my Mum, Poppy streaked past me with something in her mouth! I shouted, she dropped ‘it’ and ran upstairs. Initially I thought it was a mouse, but after searching around we found a very dazed but still alive butterfly. We put it back outside so I hope it survived. It’s amazing that Poppy managed to carry it in her mouth without killing it!
    Has the grass snake turned up again yet?
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts July 27, 2010 at 12:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Jen
    Hope you enjoyed the Christmas in July weekend? There were some really affordable bits and bobs weren’t there, and I thought the TSV was a good gift idea and not expensive either.
    What a shame your cat wasn’t so keen on you – I think that’s what I like about cats, they definitely have a mind of their own!
    The blue dress was another of my new Ronni Nicole purchases – difficult to decide which I like best!
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts July 27, 2010 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    Hello Clare
    Thanks for the compliments ………. hard work is the answer! Watching what and how much I am eating and lots of exercise,4 days a week, mainly Pilates and treadmill but swimming when I was on hols! Really glad to have got my weight down more or less to what it was when I joined QVC nearly 17 years ago. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to do it at my age!
    The dress is not Butler and Wilson it’s from Aftershock, and it’s the first time I’ve been able to fit into it!
    Congratulations on starting your Christmas shopping …… only 5 months to go
    Julia x

  17. julia roberts July 27, 2010 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Hello Linda
    I hope the butterfly survived too! I don’t think Poppy meant to hurt it as she is a very gentle cat.
    I had lots of comments about ‘that’ dress and as I mentioned in my previous reply it is from Aftershock. Funny thing is, I wasn’t sure I liked it on me, but when I went into backstage all the girls loved it so it kind of grew on me.
    Wasn’t it a brilliant Love Suprise with all the QVC faves. Can’t say too much about the retired aroma but I will be devastated if they won’t do it for QVC.
    Sophie’s arm is on the mend if still a little sore
    Julia x

  18. julia roberts July 27, 2010 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Magda
    Thanks for the good wishes for Sophie – I know she reads my blogs sometimes but I will pass on your good wishes as well.
    Does Rara still live in your garden? When my Dad died a local cat started to visit my Mum’s house for food and cuddles. It went on for months and was real company for her and helped with her loss. It doesn’t visit anymore, so it’s almost as though it knew that she was starting to cope on her own. Cats are very intuitive in my experience!
    As already mentioned ‘the’ dress is from Aftershock – Claire Sutton wears quite a few of their designs too, in fact we have even bought the same dress on a couple of occasions.
    I like the Fresh Cut Roses candle in the summer to burn alongside the flowers for extra pungency.
    much love
    Julia x

  19. julia roberts July 27, 2010 at 12:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Sophie is on the mend thanks. It’s a good job it hasn’t been too sunny as she is on holiday at her boyfriend’s Mum’s near Saltburn on Sea …………. she would look very funny with a broad white stripe from elbow to fingers!!! Shame she’s left handed as it’s her left wrist that she was operated on.
    Our coincidences just go on and on. When we added a dining room onto our house an outside window became an internal one, and instead of bricking it up I made a ‘leaded glass’ window using a Carol Smith kit ( do you remember her, lovely lady ) …… it’s not poppies but it is flowers!!!
    Don’t forget to tell me about your latest coincidence
    Julia x

  20. Mrs Sue Wright July 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Regarding your comment on your favourite yankee candle fragrance Baby Powder – i have heard that it is being replaced by another fragrance called soft blankets (or something like that!) Have you heard the same thing as i need to stock up on the baby powder if this is true! I enjoy reading your blogs as i am Nottingham born and bred and i like to read your references to Nottingham which you make from time to time, particularly about your dancing days as both my daughters have danced and were Tozer babes! Best wishes Sue

  21. Una July 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    So glad to hear Sophie is feeling a bit better.
    Really enjoyed the Xmas in July event. managed to bag a few wee bargains for the xmas gift cupboard. So many esay pay items too, thanks again to QVC for making it so easy to budget.
    My little cat must have known from the xmas music, that something was afoot! he had a little xmas tree toy from his stocking last year. We hadnt seen it for months, and he appeared with it in his mouth, looking very pleased with himself. We were all in stitches, as the xmas music had just started playing!!!
    Talk about coincidences!!
    BBQ was rained off, AGAIN!!! We are going to try again this weekend!!! Not holding my breath though!!
    Love Una x

  22. julia roberts July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Of course I remember Aztec and Inca …….. anymore baths recently?? Aren’t you good starting your Christmas shopping early. I should follow your example as most years I leave it too late and then get all stressed. It’s not the actual gift buying that stresses me though it’s the wrapping!!!
    Pleased you got your Yankee set …… real faves of mine too!
    Julia x

  23. julia roberts July 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm -  Reply

    Hello Sue
    So ………. Tozer Babes egh? They were our big rivals in the Sunshine Dancing Competition. As I recall they were brilliant at Tap and Modern, but Nora Morrison had the edge in Ballet?
    Can’t possibly say what I have heard but it might be an idea to stock up on your Baby Powder – nothing definite yet though!
    love to Nottingham
    Julia x

  24. julia roberts July 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una
    What a shame the weather has let you down and after such a brilliant start to the Summer – if I remember rightly it was a similar story last year with a very warm May and June and gradually deteriorating from there. Hope it improves soon, although at least it’s not cold.
    Do we give our cats credit for the intelligence they clearly have? I think not. What a lovely little story.
    Good Luck for the BBQ
    Julia x

  25. Annette Roberts July 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad to hear that Sophie’s on the mend, I thought about her when Chris, Bobby and I were walking along the sea front at Tenby yesterday. I had pulled my sleeves up and although not particularly sunny, I suddenly thought that I would end up with tanned forearms and white upper arms and promptly pulled my sleeves down again. Bobby met two little westie ‘girlies’ and was quite smitten, even though one of them did put him in his place!
    I do remember Carol Smith and thought her kits were brilliant!
    I’ve just received my Diet Chef order (direct, I’m afraid, I like to pick my own). I have gained a couple of pounds since my Birthday and really need to shift them again and I’ve noticed the portion size creeping up and have to get back on track big time!
    Must go and unpack my DC goodies!
    Speak soon
    Annette x

  26. July 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia I loved watching chrisrmas in july last weekend I bought two christmas presents from Geraldine in Wandsworth

  27. julia roberts July 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    You probably won’t believe this but I was in a waiting room this morning idly flicking through a magazine and started to read an article about seaside place to relocate to. They mentioned Southwold, one of my Mum and Dad’s favourite places, Saltburn by Sea where Sophie has been for the last fortnight and Tenby!!!!!!!
    You’ll soon shift that couple of pounds with a couple of weeks on Diet Chef
    much love
    Julia x

  28. julia roberts July 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Hello Geraldine
    So pleased you enjoyed the Christmas in July event. I know we sometimes get criticised for starting Christmas so early, but it’s only one day and it does help you get organised doesn’t it.
    Julia x

  29. Una July 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    It is actually cold up here!! I have the heating on as we speak!!
    We are hoping to have our Chambulls shindig tomorrow. Hopefully we can go outside, but may have to wear my winter coat and Emu boots with my maxi dress!!!! Never mind, Im sure we will have a good time.
    Its very true, that we dont give our pets the credit they are due. My little one thinks he is a dog. He LOVES to take the receipts out of the bags after we have been shopping. He brings them to us, then we have to screw them into a ball and throw it for him, then he brings it back. I had my Birkenstocks on, and he kept putting the receipt at my foot, so I slipped my shoe off and told him to put it in the shoe. We couldnt believe it when he did. He loves that game!!!
    I have really enjoyed Beauty month Julia. been some really good shows. Looking forward to the awards show tomorrow.
    Take care Julia
    Love Una x

  30. Steven July 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Wasnt sure where to post. Just wanted to tell you IM GOING to BULGARIA ON MONDAY now! Its flew in! Just packing my case now. Keep looking as gorgeous as ever when I’m away and speak to you soon babe xxx
    Take care

  31. KarenBowring August 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Julia, (and others) seems that Poppy is a very common name for our little loved ones. My Poppy is a very affectionate cat but only when she wants to be. BUT she doesnt like being picked up either and rather than sit on me she loves feet – yes feet! She will sit by our feet and just be stroaked with them for hours but if i was to start stroking her she would just get up and walk off!
    My son, had the same operation and 2 years down the line, it has not re-occuried and the scar with the help if Bio-Oil is very slight.
    Take care Julia. xx

  32. julia roberts August 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una
    Forgive my ignorance but what is a Chambulls shindig?!?!?!
    How was the weather, did you manage to get outside and have you turned your heating off yet?
    Not too bad here, not much in the way of sunshine but quite warm.
    Poppy chases rolled up Ferrero Rocher wrappers – haven’t been many around lately though with the weight loss programme, although I did make a hugely calorific Banoffee Pie on Sunday – lovely with fresh raspberries!
    Pleased to hear you enjoyed Beauty month – remember to watch the Cutomer Beauty Awards show on Saturday with Ali
    Julia x

  33. julia roberts August 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Long time no hear! I think you will have already gone on holiday by now, but if not have a good one! Footie starts on Saturday – hoorah!!
    Julia x

  34. julia roberts August 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Karen
    Yes a lot of people seem to like the name Poppy for their cats – it’s also quite a popular girls name at the moment. Your Poppy sounds similar to mine in that she chooses when she wants to be loved!!!
    Went to the hospital with Sophie yesterday – her wrist seems to be healing fine although the stitches haven’t dissolved yet. Thanks for the tip about the Bio Oil – pure vitamin E oil is also very good
    Julia x

  35. Annette Roberts August 4, 2010 at 11:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    How weird was that reading about all those places in a magazine article.
    Well, I actually weighed myself last Monday (26 July) and had the shock of my life…. 7lbs gain, eeeeeek! I knew the portion size had crept up a bit, but…. I blame Chris myself because he’s been on hols and it’s been burgers and fast food together with desserts, chocolate and any other naughty thing you can think of, but then it has been me putting them all in my mouth!!!!
    Finally unpacked my DC goodies on Saturday, so that is when I started again and couldn’t resist weighing myself on Monday and had lost 1lb, so hopefully by next Monday, it will be a little bit more.
    Glad to hear that Sophie’s wrist is healing well.
    Annette x

  36. julia roberts August 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Only just spotted this – had a bit of a hectic week last week ……. no change there then!
    Don’t go blaming Chris for those added pounds! I have never been a great fan of weighing myself BUT since losing all this weight I want to make sure it doesn’t creep back on, so I weigh myself once a week now.
    Hope you’ve managed to shift a couple of pounds this week – at least you know the Diet Chef will work for you.
    Julia x

  37. Emily Winter September 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia ,I have 2 westies ,both are adorable and sweet natured but the wee one Bonnie is just like Poppy so very scared of the strangest things .I feel so sorry for her and as she is three now I know she is unlikely to change.
    It affects her daily life and if she could be stuck to my leg she would be ,she has got to be with me .Where ever I go in the house ,my little white shadow is there.She wouldn’t go into the garden the other day as a piece of paper had blown in . So once I went out with her from behind my legs she gave a very pathetic little bark.But her wee body was shaking.We do send her with her ‘sister’ Breagha to a doggie day care ,when we go away .She does cope but only just.Any tips on how to make her more confident? Thanks Julia I enjoy watching you so much ,maybe I should be asking for diet tips as well.Take care Emily .

  38. julia roberts September 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

    Hello Emily
    Poor little Bonnie – I wish I did have some tips I could share to make her less nervous, but unfortunately I don’t. We had to take Poppy to the vet the other day and although the vet is REALLY kind and gentle with her she was shivering and clinging on to Sophie and I.
    Diet tips I can share if you would like me to.
    much love
    Julia x

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