I'm Rachel and I live in Surrey, just outside London. During the day I'm a statistician and recently completed my PhD (woohoo!). In my spare time I love to do anything crafty, tend my beloved garden, cook tasty things, hang out with my husband, and play with / clean up after our cats. I set up Mog's Togs in 2010 to make cute, funky cat collars for the discerning feline population in the UK and further afield.
The Mog's Togs story began in May 2010 when my husband and I adopted two rescue cats, Lila and Mia, from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London. After a month of getting used to the noises and smells of our house, we allowed them outside for the first time. They loved it, and went exploring around our garden, and the neighbours', and into the woods behind our house. Those first months they frequently came home without their collars, and it was getting annoying to have to replace 2 or 3 a week. It made me nervous to let them out without any ID when we didn't have any spares.
Being a crafty type, I figured if I only had the right hardware I could easily make them collars from fabric scraps, and always have plenty of spares on hand. Once I had got everything I needed, however, the cats had grown bored of exploring so far and tended to stay closer to home, and their rate of collar loss dropped dramatically. But having my cats in fun collars instead of plain pet shop ones made them look so much cuter; and I thought lots of cat owners in the UK must feel the same way as me! So I decided to sell the collars I was making and Mog's Togs was born.
We got our cats from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, in May 2010. They had been brought in as strays with 2 younger kittens, but the volunteers at the home knew the woman who had brought them in had done this previously, so believe the cats were unwanted pets. They had cat flu, and were quite underweight, and were named as Delilah and Pumpkin by the Home. This is what they looked like when we first got them.
When we first got Lila (or Delilah as she was originally), she was pretty skinny, rather reserved and not interested in playing at all. She would tolerate being stroked and picked up, but when you put her on your lap she would quickly jump off. She was always watching out for Mia (who we think is her daughter), and wouldn't eat until she had her fill.
A couple of months after we got the cats, we went on holiday for a week and the cats stayed in a cattery. I don't know what they did to them there but when we picked them up we hardly recognised Lila! A week of good food and not so much exercise had finally fattened her up to a good weight, she was sleek and shiny, and all of a sudden, she liked to sit on our laps! Amazing!
These days she is still a dignified cat, but increasingly joins in at playtime; although when she gets overexcited, she takes herself off into another room - it's like she doesn't like to be seen in such a silly state! Recently she has become much, much more affectionate although only to myself and my husband which makes us feel very special - Mia on the other hand will flirt with any visitor! Sometimes it's like Lila decides she just MUST be near us, she weaves around our legs and shadows us around, until we stop and pick her up, when she will snuggle into our necks, stretch up to rub her head against outs, and if she's feeling really loving, she'll oh-so gently nibble whatever part of us is convenient. It is absolutely adorable and again, I never would have guessed she'd be like this when we first got them.
Tortie Mia - or Monkey Mia Tortilla, to give her full name - was a year old when we got her, and very much still behaving like a kitten. She was very attention seeking, and would always butt in whenever we tried to give Lila any fuss.
She has settled down a lot now, seems much more secure and lets Lila get her share of cuddles and attention. However she still acts like a kitten, and expresses her pleasure at seeing us by rolling around on the floor, showing off her fluffy tummy. She has the stereotypical tortie trait of naughtiness, and often charges around the house in a mad 5 minutes, bouncing off walls and furniture. She loves to play and does the most amazing gymnastics with fishing rod toys. She's also obsessed with the toilet, particularly the flush. This can be her downfall though as she has been known to leap up onto the seat while guys are peeing, with her silent approach this has predictable results...
She's a really pretty cat, and she definitely knows it. Her fur so luxuriously soft we can never pass her without giving her a stroke, if not fully burying our faces in its loveliness (less appealing when it's covering the sofa though). Her usual expression is one of wide eyed amazement, and she's especially skilled at using her big puppy eyes to maximum effect when she wants something. Her performances when dinner is being prepared are quite a sight to behold, as she meows pitifully and constantly, winds around the chef's legs, and occasionally drops to the floor, writhing about as if to say "I'm soooo hungry, I just can't even muster the energy to stand up!".
Some recent photos of the cats (among others!) on our Instagram page: