Frugal Hound Sniffs: Cottage Retreatist

A note to new readers: while we often delve deeply into financial topics (such as Behind the Scenes of a Happy Frugal Marriage and How We Save 65% Annually), we also like to keep it irreverent and downright silly. Because hey, who doesn’t need an investigative interview series conducted by a dog?! And so, I hope you’ll enjoy Frugal Hound Sniffs! If you’d prefer a more, ahem, financial independence-related post, start with More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the Frugalwoods Family.

Hello Internet.Sniffs3

Frugal Hound here. Today we are sniffing our first ever English cats! Sandy and Sinbad of the Cottage Retreatist hail from London and I, for one, am simply delighted to welcome these tasty-looking fur-friends from across the pond. We are in fact continuing a theme of all things Great Britain this week. On Monday, Mr. Frugalwoods posted a question from one of our readers in the UK regarding paying off her mortgage.

I’ve never been to London, but Mr. and Mrs. FW have, which I feel is unjust and I intend to plead my case. People vacationing without their greyhounds should be illegal.

But I digress. Please welcome the UK cats!

1) Who are you? What are you? And who are your parent(s)?

We are the S-Club (not like the UK pop band from the 1990s!) – called Sinbad and Sandy – two cats rescued (for free) off Gumtree of all places!

Sinbad: My family was immigrating to Spain and couldn’t take me with them and needed to find me a home super quick. Our pet parents have been looking after me for 4 months now, and they’re ok, I suppose! I am a giant black cat with a little white diamond on my neck.

Sandy: A wonderful lady rescued me from a home where I was maltreated but her house was too busy for me, so I also found a new home with our pet parents the Retreatists (only a few weeks ago so they still scare me slightly – we don’t have cuddles yet!). I am still a kitten really (about 1 year old) and am ginger and white with huge, gorgeous orange eyes.

Our pet parents are a couple of socially awkward recluses who spend their time moneysaving, debt busting and generally annoying us while we’re trying to sleep!


2) What frugal tips and tricks does your human use in your pet care regime?

Our pet parents take care of us and never go on holiday due to their frugal ways so we don’t have to worry about catteries – they clean us, groom us and even give us baths!

Sinbad: I got very bad fleas a few weeks back so mama Retreatist gave me a bath with washing up liquid followed by a vinegar wash to get rid of all the fleas. I smelt of vinegar for days but it worked – I’m now totally flea-free!! Top tip!

We get all our food from Zooplus when it’s on offer – grain free (like Frugal Hound) – and as natural as possible. Our pet parents tend to bulk buy on large packs of dry cat food to save on costs. We’re currently managing to survive on under 50p per day for the two of us (so £3.50 per week) on premium grade food! Super Savvy!

Cottage_13) Favorite treat?

Sandy: Cheese! I’m a tiny thing so need bulking up! Give me cheese!!!!!!

Sinbad: I don’t really like eating – I’m a bit of a grazer so, as long as I have some biscuits to pick at during the day I’m happy.

4) Favorite toy?

Sandy and Sinbad: CATNIP 🙂 ‘nuff said!

5) What’s the most expensive thing you’ve destroyed?

We don’t tend to destroy stuff.

Sinbad: I like to have a good scratch on the Lloyd Loom chair in the bedroom but we’re pretty well behaved.

Sandy: I don’t destroy stuff but my pet parents weren’t very happy when I tipped the litter tray over once in the living room and mama Retreatist spent ages hoovering up all the cat litter!

6) Most embarrassing moment?

We’ve got a list as long as our legs of how many embarrassing things our pet parents have done since we joined their family! But you need our embarrassing moments? Hmm…

Sandy: I get a bit nervous sometimes, so mama Retreatist used to sometimes come home to an odd smell and a ‘treat’ waiting under the table. She knows I’m just a bit nervous so doesn’t really mind (apart from the smell) but I am much better now at using the litter tray – honest!!

Cottage_27) How often do you get a bath and would you say it’s too often?

Sandy: What’s a bath?

Sinbad: My old owners used to give me a bath once a week supposedly!!! But now my new pet parents only give me a bath if I’m really mucky – or have fleas (see above)! I don’t roll around in the mud- I’m not a dog – so I’m hoping I don’t have to have a bath for a very very long time.

8) What is your family’s financial plan or goals and how do you contribute?

Our family plan is to pay off all the debts our pet parents built up before they met us. The silly humans still have £10,000 of a £25,000 debt left to go but hope to have it cleared by 2015 so that they can start to save for a country cottage with a giant garden where we can lie in the sun and hunt birds and mice to our hearts content!

They also keep talking about a dog – ‘let’s get a dog’ they say – but that sounds like a silly idea to us!

How do we contribute? We give our pet parents a focus, a reason to keep going with the debt repayments even when it becomes tough. We are 100% their fur babies and we’re always there for an ear scratch or to sit on their laps if they need a pick-me-up.

9) What is your best skill?

Sinbad: charming the ladies!

Sandy: trilling – I trill like a bird and it’s so cute our pet parents keep wanting to record it!

10) BONUS QUESTION–ask and answer any question of your choice! Are you actually good mouse catchers?

Our pet parents got us on the pretense that they needed us to catch mice in the crappy one-bed flat they live in, in central London. But really we don’t catch them.

We’ve very good at hunting them but tend just to play with them, chasing them round the living room then letting them go and losing them. It’s a great team sport, except when we chase them into the bedding and our pet parents have to boil wash all the bedding from a mouse running around in there!


The End.

Thank you, Sandy and Sinbad! You two should definitely get a dog–I can think of no better playmate for you!

Mrs. Frugalwoods here: I want to thank the Cottage Retreatist for sending in Sandy and Sinbad’s delightful interview. Head on over and check out the fabulous Cottage Retreatist if you haven’t already!

Are you a pet?

Do you have something to share with the internet? If so, answer my Frugal Hound Sniffs: Exclusive Interview Questions and have your parents email them to my mommy: (I can’t believe they won’t give me my own email account) and you’ll be featured in an upcoming issue! While I know we are more than just our images, please do send photos too.


Frugal Hound

P.S. Join us on Twitter at #frugalpets, where our parents post ludicrously embarrassing photos for all the world to see.

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35 Responses

  1. Love cats! Wish I could have one!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Meow! Same here. Frugal Hound and Mr. FW are both against it. She for reasons of wanting to remain an “only pet” and he for reasons of allergies.

  2. Nice to meet you kitties! So lovely you have a nice new home and loving parents like Frugal Hound does. You are both very grand looking and I’m stoked that you seem to get along fabulously, even though you haven’t been together all that long. Keep the fleas and mice away though, m’kay?

  3. Mrs. PoP says:

    Awww, kitties with British accents! Too cute! =)

  4. I love cats so much! That was a spectacular interview, Frugal Hound, as always! 🙂

  5. These are such cute and funny posts!! I love that you mix them up, and as a cat person, I particularly like when a cute cat is featured 🙂

  6. Natalya says:

    Hello Mrs FW and Frugalhound!

    How lovely to see my little kitties in full technicolour glory alongside frugalhound! Thank you so much for hosting us on your website and I’m glad people like them! Just trying to imagine Sinbad with a British accent! Think cockney gangster 🙂

    We very much enjoyed doing the interview and can’t wait to read the next instalment of Frugalhound sniffs!


  7. Awww…you know I love the cat interviews! And the S-Club did not disappoint. It’s funny about the cheese eating. My mother-in-law had a cat who loved cheese. We have been too freaked out to give Spumoni “real person” food in case he gets the poops which are really difficult to clean out of his furry butt that we have just stuck with cat food and cat treats.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hahah, oh Spumoni :). Frugal Hound likes cheese although we rarely have any. She also has a penchant for garbanzo beans, which is fairly inexplicable but very cute!

  8. Adorable!! My cats are horrible at killing bugs – they also just play with them. I obviously can’t count on them to do much beyond that. I love how cuddly they are with each other, even though you just got Sandy a few weeks ago. My two cats are back and forth on whether they want to be friends or not (most of the time, not).

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I think that cats are the ultimate frenemies 🙂

    • Thank you Erin! We are amazed at how quickly they bonded! It’s especially cute when sinbad grabs sandy and then starts licking her head! 🙂 They do have their moments of ‘rough play’ though – but no one ever gets seriously hurt!

      Glad you enjoyed the interview! Frugal hound is an awesome interviewer 😉
      Natalya xx

  9. Ginger says:

    That is plain adorable! It makes me want to send a post in to you. 🙂 Btw, can I add you to my list of favorite blogs over at my blog?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hi Ginger-please do send in a Frugal Hound Sniffs :)! And, we’d be honored to be included on your list of favorite blogs. Many thanks!!

  10. I simply cannot get over how hilarious and awesome this is! Nice work. Great to “meet” some new (to me) bloggers.

  11. Not saying I don’t enjoy the regular posts on here, but these pet interviews are really unique and hilarious! I have to get around to sending in responses for our cats.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you! And YES, please do send in your cats’ responses :)! Frugal Hound would love to interview them!!!

  12. Tawcan says:

    Another great interview. Frugal Hound is awesome at this job. Nice meeting you Sandy and Sinbad!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Awww, thanks! Frugal Hound does try hard with her journalism and typing skills ;). And Sandy and Sinbad are simply adorable!

    • Hi Tawcan!

      Glad you enjoyed it! The s-club are certainly enjoying their moment in the spotlight! 🙂 I think they’re now officially better known than I am! Thinking of quitting my day job and putting them on the cat modelling circuit 🙂

      Natalya x

  13. This post was great!! I loved it. I’m sure my kitty will be sending some pictures in with an interview soon!

  14. Kim says:

    Lovely interview! I read the whole thing with a British accent.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Perfect! Cheers, mate 🙂

    • Hey Kim!

      I’m wondering if Frugalhound needs to get into videojournalism to do the next interview so we can hear the kitties and doggies in their ‘native’ accents 🙂 – I think the idea of the kitties having English accents is brilliant! I’ve never even considered it!

      Natalya x

  15. KRFP says:

    This feature may be one of my favorite things on the interwebs. Frugal Hound is a gifted interviewer, and a very good girl.

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