Early one morning we heard pitiful meows in the garden. Real gut-wrenching mews. We went out to explore and found a scrawny-looking black and white Felix cat clinging to the top of a spindly tree.
My husband, Jack, collected his longest ladder and climbed up to rescue the howling moggy, who decided it wasn’t so keen on being rescued after all. A short tussle ensued followed by success. Any thanks from the stuck one? Noooo. After un-stapling itself from his chest, the skinny survivor fled into the forest. And that was that. Or so we thought.
A couple of days later, Jack heard plaintive mewing behind the woodpile. We peered into the tiny gap between the logs and wall, and sure enough, those same gorgeous golden eyes stared back.
At this stage, we were unsure whether it was a feral or abandoned kitten. Two things were certain: it was terrified and horribly emaciated. We put out food and returned to the house to watch from our security camera screen. After a few minutes, there was a furtive movement. One tentative paw at a time, it crept out. The youngster gobbled up every scrap and quickly reversed back to its nook.
We continued our routine for a few days, chatting to the crying woodpile, or rafters, never getting any closer to catching it. Nonetheless, we were hooked. Those mews coming from that scruffy cutie were so sad, we were determined to try and help. Finally,we decided enough was enough. We would carry on feeding it, but if it was a feral cat the least we could do was have it neutered.
Capture was much easier than expected. All it took was a bowl of food in the box trap and leaving it in peace. Ten minutes later I was whisking our trapped little one to the vet who performed surgery that day.
I returned to be told we had a young female – with a great pair of lungs! Shouting above the din, the vet estimated her age at about six months old. Although pretty wild, she had probably been abandoned. If that were the case, she must have been dumped as we live in the middle of nowhere. I looked at the vulnerable mite, just skin and bones and covered in fleas. The very thought of it was awful. If the vet’s theory was correct, she must have been living rough for a while and didn’t look equipped with the energy to continue much longer.
The vet supplied flea and worm meds and advised us to keep her away from our other animals until she had recovered from the trauma of surgery and capture. We set up the dog cage with a kitten igloo in the corner of our least-used room and opened the door. She plunged into the dark cocoon and wrapped herself into a ball.
Every day we stroked her, trying to win her confidence. She never fought or hissed, but was dead scared, especially of Jack. We wondered whether she had ever been struck by a man. We’ll never know, but the sight of her cowering was heart-rending.
By the fifth day, something magical happened. As I was stroking the side of her head, she looked steadily at me, pressed against my hand, rolled on her side and began to purr. A deep emotion-filled thrumble. Our damaged youngster had turned a corner.
But there was still a problem with Jack. She was so scared. Bless him, he spent hours with her. He fed her, yakked to her about world events and current affairs…as you do, always gently stroking her. Although still nervous and very head shy, she gradually started to realise he wasn’t going to mistreat her. His patience was beginning to pay off.
Very quickly she grabbed our hearts and so needed a name. We’ve always lumbered our cats with epic names. We already have gentle giant Brutus, so she became Cleopatra. It seemed historically apt, well, nearly.
Next, our Australian Shepherd dogs wanted to be introduced. Aby took one look, sniffed, evidently considered Cleo unworthy of playing Frisbee, and wandered off. Max, on the other hand, wanted to share his biggest toy with her. Under strict instructions not to bash her by accident, he was introduced. Strangely, they immediately got on well (including the presented teddy), which further supported the idea that Cleo was not feral.
When her stitches were due to be removed, I took Cleo to see our vet to have a thorough health check and vaccination. First he double-checked for ID, but of course, there was nothing. Still skinny as can be, she weighed-in at under two kilos (four and a bit pounds). Aside from that, she was fit and well. Throughout the examination, she was gentle as can be, never fighting despite being wide-eyed with fear and a bit meowy. I left confident we were doing the right thing.
With a clean bill of health, we could open the cage door. It took a few days for her to come out, but she made it, only to develop a new problem which sent her back into hiding. One morning a big lump appeared on one of Cleo’s hips. She was very sensitive to it being touched and stopped eating. So guess what? I made an emergency appointment at the vets.
Back we went to be told the lump, now half the size of a golf ball, was an abscess. It was likely to have been caused by a foreign body in her system, possibly a splinter which had worked its way out. No wonder she had been so sore! The swelling was drained, Cleo was given an antibiotic injection, and we left loaded with yet more meds.
Back at home and Cleo coped with her tablets brilliantly, quickly regaining her health. Her coat began to shine, and she allowed us to stroke her all over. Her next socialising encounter, the biggest challenge yet, was with Brutus, our tabby cat.
Brutus may be hugeand look ferocious, but he is a great big fluffy wuss. At first,he was terrified of her. Giving us filthylooks, he refused to go into Cleo’s room and growled from afar. For her part, Cleo cowered in her igloo, hissing and spitting at the sight of a monster moggy at least three times her size. And who could blame her?
Progress since then has been slow but sure. Cleo eventually plucked up the courage to venture out of her secure cage. We took it down and replaced it with a small cat tree in a different part of the room next to her igloo. She loved it so much I bought her a bigger version. She must have thought I was bonkers the day I built it – as a matter of fact, Jack did too. After a couple of days staring at it owl-eyed, Cleo coyly started testing new soft textures, new hidey-holes and chunkier scratch posts. Apparently, they were all fab.
Next came toys. Cleo obviously had no idea what they were all about. She looked quizzically at me when I swung the feathery, rattley ball, wondering what was going on. Shyly, she wound herself around a chair towards them. Then stopped. Curiosity got the better of her, and she started playing gently. Another mini-triumph.
Cleo is now getting a bit bolder. She meows her head off for food, padding nervously into the hall when Jack comes to deliver it – along with current affairs updates. She still scares easily, runs away less often when we approach her, and she loves our morning snuggles on my fleecy dressing gown.
Cleo also loves the old sheepskin rug and settee to stretch out on. That girl eats three meals a day but still takes long and skinny to a whole new level. She and I have lots of cuddles, and despite everything we have put her through, she is slowly discovering that humans can be nice after all. Animal-wise, she especially loves Max. He sits in front of her beaming as she swats him gently with kitten paws.
Things are calming down with Brutus too. Brutus has decided he’s not going to be savaged by a baby Amazon and regularly sits near Cleo. He’s still getting hissed at, but we’re confident they’ll end up best of friends. Just last night they almost booped noses. Cleo withdrew at the last minute and spat, suddenly scared. Brutus didn’t flinch. He just sat and gave her one of his slow blinks. My heart melted.
We’re now almost a month on from Cleo’s last vet visit and this week sees a return for her booster vaccination. Her next stage will be to pluck up courage to explore the house and join the rest of the family. She’s come so far so fast we’re sure that won’t be too long – although I suspect she won’t be testing the great outdoors for a while yet.
Our little golden-eyed girl is putting on a bit more weight every day, her fur is re-growing, and she is blossoming into a gorgeous feline beauty. We have no idea where she came from or what happened to her. All that matters is she needed our help, andwe were happy to give it. Cleo, the latest member of the Completely Cats team, is now a permanent member of the family, and we adore her. No wonder we believe so strongly in rescuing cats in need!
By Emma Allen, RVN DipFN, Severn Veterinary Centre.
Many cat owners, myself included, own more than one cat. Sometimes this is because we own siblings or a mother cat and her offspring, but quite often it is because we have made a decision to acquire another cat. New cat introductions can go well, with our resident cat seemingly accepting the new arrival with barely a twitch of their whiskers. However, all too frequently such introductions do not go according to plan! This can be distressing for both cats and owner, particularly if fighting occurs, the resident cat goes ‘missing’ or the new arrival has to be relinquished back to the breeder or rescue centre from where they were purchased.
Your cats may live with you for many years, getting the introduction right can make a huge difference to how their attitude to each other will be throughout this time. Thankfully, there are a number of things we can do to help increase the likelihood of acceptance. But first we need to understand a little bit about what makes a cat, ‘a cat’, and how this influences their behaviour around other cats.
What is a cat?
The domestic cat we love today has evolved from a solitary ancestor and currently, as a species, exists on a continuum from highly solitary to forming positive social relationships and coexisting successfully with other cats in resource-abundant environments. (This bit is really important!)
Cats are very territorial, and being a solitary species, rely heavily on chemical communication through scent marking. This is something we need to consider and utilise during cat introductions which I will talk about later on.
The likelihood of acceptance
It is very hard to predict likelihood of successful acceptance between two cats, but some factors have been identified that can help increase the chances of a positive outcome. Here are some factors to consider:
Managing new introductions: preparation is key. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’
Before you consider the requirements of the new cat, have a think about your existing cats(s). Do they have plenty of separate resources throughout the house? Food and water bowls placed away from one another (cats do not like to drink near their food source), litter trays (1 per cat, plus one extra), quiet places to rest and sleep, scratching posts and raised areas to perch, help to enhance their feelings of security (cats love to be up high!). Ensuring they have enough places to hide and perch also enables them to feel in control, something that will be important when a new cat enters their territory.
Creating space for the new cat
This needs to be a secure area, containing all the resources your new cat will need. Confinement to a single room is ideal, preferably a room that the resident cat rarely uses and one you don’t need constant access too. Items that this room should contain include:
The importance of pheromones
Feline synthetic pheromone diffusers can help both cats feel more secure and at ease within their environment. The pheromone mimics the feline facial pheromone deposited by rubbing their heads on objects, helping them to feel secure within their environment.
Start using plug-in pheromone diffusers 5-7days before the new cat arrives.
Scent introduction and swapping
I mentioned earlier the importance of chemical communication and scent to cats. We need to introduce the cats to one another before they see, or even hear, each other. This is done by ‘scent-swapping’. Aim to slowly introduce and intermingle the new cat's scent with that of the resident cat to create a new ‘communal scent profile’ for the household.
How? Once both cats are in the same house, start ‘collecting’ the new cat's scent deposits on a cotton cloth or glove, by stroking them with it in the facial gland regions and along their flank, before rubbing this cloth on key areas around the house – door frames, table legs, the sofa and other items of furniture the resident cat may rub against. This should help the resident cat accept the new one but will also mean the environment will feel familiar to the new cat, helping them to settle in.
Next, continue scent swapping by taking one piece of each cat’s bedding (e.g. a single blanket) and placing it in one of the other cat’s beds. There should be ample bedding for both cats so this change in bedding does not leave either cat with limited sleeping/resting sites.
Once the cats are showing relaxed behaviour in the presence of the bedding, this can be replaced back into the original cat’s room, to allow further mingling of scent.
‘Hi there! Nice to meet you. Do you come here often?’
Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely to be the response when both cats meet for the first time! But once both cats are not reacting in a negative way (hissing, growling, ears rotated back and flattened) to each other’s scent, it is time for a visual introduction to begin – visual but with NO actual physical interaction.
Time, patience, toys and lots of high value treats will be required to help facilitate successful introductions after the scent-swapping phase.
Ways you can do this include:
If the cats react negatively, take a step back to scent-swapping before trying again a few days later. If all goes well (no negative reactions) then progression to the next stage may begin.
Allowing access to the wider home environment
With the resident cat secure in another room, or outside, the new cat should be allowed to explore the house to learn about hiding, perching and escape places.
Next, both cats can be allowed to occupy the same area, supervised, and with individual attention being given to them with treats and toys. They should not be forced to interact, use opposite ends of a good-sized room.
If the cats pretty much ignore one another, this is a good sign! Nose-touching and body rubbing is an excellent sign, but is not common on initial interactions. Providing there are no negative behaviours, they can be allowed to be together without supervision for short periods, gradually increasing in length until you are certain no negative interactions will take place.
(C) Emma Allen, RVN DipFN, 2018
Check out our competition with Katzenworld. To be in to win, show us a picture of your cat cosy and safe inside, before 5th November 2017.
We're so excited that Completely Cats - Stories with Cattitude will be available from Amazon on 21st August 2017. We're so grateful to all our contributors, without you this book would not have been possible. Remember, 20 per cent of the profits are donated to International Cat Care to help cats in need.
Our friends at Community Petco have produced this fabulous graphic with tips for introducing a new cat to you home. For further information, do visit their website at https://community.petco.com/t5/Blog/Bringing-Your-Cat-Home-How-to-Prepare-for-an-Easy-Transition/ba-p/85039
Cats are one of the domesticated animals we love. We love their persnickety-ness, their affection, their habits. And when it comes to our cats, we do a whole lot to try to figure out what makes them happy. That includes favorite toys, favorite beds, favorite water bowls—and favorite food.
One of the options for food for cats is, of course, wet food. But if you’ve never given your cat wet food, then you might not know everything there is to know about wet food. Because one thing’s for certain: Wet food isn’t the same as dry food.
For starters, dry food is, well, dry, which means that its texture is pretty uniform. But wet food has a surprising array of texture, from shredded to morsel like—and your cat may end up with a preference for one and a dislike of another.
Thinking about wet food for your cat? This graphic tells you what you need to know.
Today's post is from our friend Gizmo and his human-slave, Leanne. Check out their blog, Kitty up the Curtain at https://kittyupthecurtain.wordpress.com/
It’s been a stressful festive period in my house. Not because of the pressure of Christmas, but because Gizmo, my beloved (and usually highly naughty) one year old cat, was quite poorly. And how did I know he was ill?! Well, he was being too well behaved; he hadn’t stripped my wallpaper or climbed my curtains for a few days and he didn’t want to play with his favourite toys. Those were the first things I noticed, but this rapidly got worse over the following days.
To cut a long and stressful story short, between 24th Dec and 29th Dec, I took Giz to the vets on four separate occasions because I was getting more and more concerned. His behaviour was getting more lethargic, he stopped eating and he was starting to lose weight. For the first three visits, the vets were unable to find anything abnormal, and I was told it was probably a tummy bug.
In true Gizmo style, (even though he was feeling very poorly and hadn’t eaten for a few days) he still managed to lighten the situation slightly on his third visit to the vet. I can only assume he was getting fed up of having a thermometer placed up his bum during each visit, and he was rapidly trying to get out of having it done again, at any cost…
Firstly, I struggled to get Giz into the wire cat carrier, despite him being quite weak and lethargic. Once I succeeded, I placed the carrier (with Giz inside) in the truck, on the passenger seat. I got into the driver’s seat and gently drove out of my street and started the short 5 minute journey to the vets. In the time it had taken me to drive out of my road (and without me noticing) Giz had somehow managed to slide out the long pin that fastens the carrier lid. The first thing I knew about it was when his head popped out of the corner of the carrier as he looked for his best direction to disappear in. I wasn’t quite sure what to do in this situation.
Before I really had time to think the situation through, he was out of the carrier and loose in the truck. I considered turning the truck round and heading home, but I didn’t want to be late for Gizmos appointment so I reluctantly decided to continue on our journey, driving even more carefully than before! I made it to the vets, having watched Giz avidly explore the inside of the truck, from the leather front seats to the boot, and ending up on the back seat behind me. When I parked at the vets, I knew I had to somehow get Giz in the carrier box before opening a door. As luck would have it, I was able to catch him quite easily, and put him back in the carrier within a few minutes! Phew…! His truck adventure must have exhausted him temporarily. Note to self…find another way to secure Giz into the cat carrier on journeys to and from the vets, and not rely solely on the carrier pin.
Once we got into the vet consultation room, it was decided that blood tests should be taken to investigate his illness further, as his condition wasn’t improving. The vet went to get the assistance of an experienced veterinary nurse, and let’s just say that between the three of us, (vet, nurse and myself) Gizmo was NOT happy about having blood taken. We tried for several minutes, in several different positions to restrain Gizmo the Gremlin, but still Giz was NOT going to allow anyone to take his blood. He even had a mask/hood put over his head in an attempt to stop him from seeing the needle coming, but that made things worse! The vet suggested giving Giz 5 mins in his cat carrier to calm down, and we would try again, but I had a better idea. I suggested keeping Giz at the vets and trying again once he had time to calm down.
I remember the vet clearly saying that they would contact me in about an hour, to come and collect Gizmo, but by the time I got that call, 5 hours had passed, and they still hadn’t managed to get any blood due to Gizmo's continued naughty behaviour. It was suggested that another appointment was booked in two days’ time, and Gizmo was to be sedated for blood to be taken, and possibly other tests at the same time, if his condition did not improve. But the very next day, Gizmo deteriorated again and was sick, so I immediately rushed him back to the vets, making sure that the lid was secured with additional reinforcements this time.
On this fourth visit, the vet immediately admitted him, sedated him, ultrasound scanned and X-rayed him, and diagnosed pancreatitis within a short time. Gizmo was hospitalised straight away, put on a drip, given medication and monitored closely. Despite being poorly, Gizmo was still living up to his reputation of being naughty, as the nursing team quickly realised. He successfully managed to chew through his leg bandage and chew through his drip tube in a short space of time. As a result of his continued chewing, he was made to wear the cone of shame… a symbol of naughtiness and defiance in his case! I was also told that he seemed to like the sound of his own voice, as he was repeatedly singing a strange rendition of a song that no one could identify.
After being on fluids and medication, he was starting to feel better, as he used every opportunity to try and escape…at one point, launching himself at a veterinary nurses head when she went to check on him. Thankfully, the nurse is not psychologically scarred by this experience, but Gizmos repeated naughty behaviour ensured he will not be forgotten by the nursing staff anytime soon.
After 48 hours of being on fluids and monitored closely by the wonderful veterinary team at Penmellyn Vets (St Columb), Gizmo was eventually deemed well enough to come home on New Year’s Eve and he continues to recover at home. (Personally, I think his repeated naughty and challenging behaviour got him booted out of the practice, but the nursing team were far too polite to say this…!). Since 31st December, Gizmo has been recovering at home, using me as a source of heat due to his current bald situation thanks to the shave he had prior to the ultrasound scan…
On the 3rd January 2017, I took Giz back to the vets for a check-up. Gizmo was NOT happy about going back to the vets, but he was VERY happy to come home again. Thankfully, the vet was pleased with his progress, and Giz is currently showing no discomfort from his pancreas, so fingers crossed we have found a way to manage the situation. Gizmo is now on a very strict (and expensive) diet for the foreseeable future. He always did have expensive taste in food, but at this rate, I will be considering selling one of my limbs each month to fund his food bill!
When Gizmo and I got home from the vets, he found the postman had delivered a parcel for him. It was a lovely blanket from his friends at Tillypops Toys! This lovely blanket has been keeping Gizmo comfy and warm ALL afternoon. Gizmo is such a lucky kitty. Not only is he feeling better, but he’s also getting gifts from his friends, helping him on his road to recovery.
Always trying to find a positive outcome in the situation, I just want to raise the issue of having pet insurance. Until I got Giz, none of my cats were insured, but when I got Giz I was encouraged to get insurance, and I’m SOOOOO glad I did. If I hadn’t taken out the policy, I would now be facing a bill exceeding £1000 which I could not have paid; these costs are from consultations, investigation, treatment and specialist care in the space of 6 days. I assumed Giz was a young, healthy kitty, but this experience has shown me that ANY cat can get ill for no apparent reason, and unless you have adequate funds to pay for ANY treatment your beloved kitty needs, insurance cover will be vital should your kitty need medical attention.
Between the time Gizmo was first taken to the vets, to this present day, I have been overwhelmed and touched by literally hundreds of messages from people on social media, wanting to know how Gizmo is doing. These messages are from people across the world who have never met Gizmo or myself, but have gone out of their way to send messages of support and encouragement to us both. The cat community have really helped me stay positive through the past two weeks, and I thank every single person for taking the time to contact me.
Cats have always been special to me, and as I’ve found out in the past 10 days, cat-loving people are pretty special too.
Wishing you and your cats a happy 2017.
From Gizmo and his human slave, Leanne x
Today we bring you a story from our friends at Let the Animals Live, Israel about Yisrael, one of the many cats they've helped.
It was a typical Jerusalem morning. It was still dark outside, and we made our way to another TNR campaign (Trap Neuter Return). While we were in the midst of the campaign I suddenly felt a cat rubbing against my legs. I looked down and saw Yisrael. He meowed in a heartbreaking way and looked up at me. At that moment the thought was that his condition was so bad that we might need to take him out of his misery. He had a cold and a runny nose and he couldn't smell or eat anything, his eyes were almost completely shut. It looked like something was hurting him - he was suffering pains in his mouth, and he was thin and weak. He came to ask for help.
If only he could speak he would probably tell us about his tough life in the Jerusalem streets, about the battles he had with other males, about his desperate search for food, about his hunger and thirst that accompanied him from the moment he woke up until he went to sleep. If only he could speak. But actually, if we think about it, he DOES speak, they speak to us all the time, WE are the ones who don't always listen. If only we would listen more, and if only there were more people who were sensitive to their suffering, to the pain they endure each and every day, to their rough lives in the streets, to their battles, to their asking for help.
For Yisrael there was someone who listened. The professional cat trapper who came to the TNR campaign put him in a cage, with the sad thought that it was the end. But Yisrael wanted to live, and he came at exactly the right time to be saved. He was checked by a vet and a big ulcer was found on his tongue and he had several rotten teeth. Moreover, he was very dehydrated, frail and had a cold. During his checkup and treatment he was also neutered, in order to prevent having to anesthetize him again and because neutering male cats is a simpler procedure than the spaying of female cats.
Now Yisrael is going through a recovery and rehabilitation process, with devoted care, antibiotics and nutritious food. For Yisrael there was someone who heard him. Unfortunately, there are many cases of cats who need help, like Yisrael. In order to prevent situations like this we are embarking on a shared journey, a campaign to establish a spaying and neutering clinic with the highest professional standards, at low cost, while listening to and caring for the cats themselves and their quality of life.
In the photos you can see Yisrael when he first arrived at the clinic, and the amazing improvement in his condition after being taken care of. After several weeks of treatment and lots of love Yisrael was released back to his "natural" surroundings, and as you can see from a recent photo, he is happy and healthy, and very thankful for the help he received.
To support the work of Let the Animals Live, Israel follow this link http://www.letlive.org.il/eng/donate/
Cats are great companions for a busy urban lifestyle. They are self-sufficient when you’re out and about, and a brilliant stress relief for when you’re home. Giving you lots of playtime and cuddles to remind you that there is more to life than just work.
But what happens when you have to go away on business or your well-deserved holiday? What if your friends and family members aren’t available to take care of your fur baby while you’re gone?
You could send your kitty to a cattery, but make sure you do your homework, book well in advance and prepare your cat for unfamiliar surroundings. As most cats are very territorial and can get very stressed, this may not be an ideal solution for everyone.
In fact some owners find the thought of sending their fur babies to an unfamiliar place so stressful they can’t even imagine going on holiday!
So then there’s the option of using a local cat sitter, and that’s where Cat in a Flat comes in. Cat in a Flat is the UK’s biggest cat loving, cat sitting community, it connects cat owners with trusted and insured cat sitters in their neighborhood. Its mission is to help cats stay in the comforts of their own home / sock drawer while their owner is away.
All cat sitters are fully insured, undergo all the checks and are required to write a full, personal profile. Cat owners are encouraged to meet the sitters beforehand to make sure the ‘boss’ approves of their choice.
Cat in a Flat is a great community as all sitters who sign up and offer their service, do it not as a full time profession, but because they are true cat lovers and can’t wait to spend time with your furry friends.
They understand that cats aren’t just pets — they’re part of the family, our confidantes, our BFFs (best furry friends)… they also understand the stresses of leaving your cat behind while going on holiday as most of them are cat owners themselves.
To find your perfect cat sitter, simply enter your postcode and you’ll be matched to some lovely sitters in your area. Here you will see their rates, reviews and profiles. Feel free to contact as many sitters as you like and invite your favourite around for a cuppa tea. That way you can get to know each other before you go ahead with the booking - no strings attached.
Self funded. Self motivated.
This community has been created by founders Kathrin and Julie, they both have cats of their own and always had trouble finding the perfect person to look after their fur babies while away.
They said in a Timeout article:
We set about creating a network where true cat lovers would look after our cats, giving us peace of mind that they are being fed, played with and getting plenty of belly-rubbing/sock-chasing/window-staring/box-sitting while staying in the comforts of their own home.
Cat in a Flat is perfect for anyone planning a holiday and wanting to cancel out stressful ventures to catteries. Or anyone who simply just wants more cats in their life. So whether you're a cat owner or a cat lover, this is the community for you.
Next time you go away, why not try and find a trusted cat sitter through catinflat.com. It’s also a great way to meet some more people in your neighborhood.
Moet is our new friend - read her story below and check out her website
I was brought into a country called Oman from my birthplace, but I’m not sure where that was. I was taken to this place called the ‘pet shop’ and all the other fluffy kittens there said it was horrible but I’d soon be out of there. One by one my companions left, but one of them had given me cat flu and I wasn’t well so nobody really wanted me. The mean people at the pet shop didn’t care; I was left often without food and water, a dirty cage, no bed to lie on, no toys. Nothing.
I was so miserable and then I just got sicker and sicker. Eventually the bright colours and things I saw started to go fuzzy and one day I woke up and there were only shadows and light. It wasn’t too much after that I could see only darkness. My world was miserable and I just lay down to find eternal sleep.
It was suddenly and abruptly that the cage was opened and a lady’s hand reached in for me. Loud voices, insistence and a lot of scuffling and I was put into a carry-box. I was so tired and low by this time I didn’t move a muscle. I just lay there thinking that perhaps I was going to the rainbow bridge that everybody had spoken of.
I felt the cold of a metal table, kind voices, the sting of an injection and then a soft bed. I ate some food offered to me and then I slept… waiting and waiting for the kindness to take me to the bridge. But it didn’t come and after a while I drifted off, waking every now and then for more food, water and a stroke from the kind voice-hands.
After a day or two, I was taken again to the cold metal table and given another sting that made me drift off quickly.
When I woke up I knew something was different about my eyes, they were sore on the outside, but inside they didn't hurt so much and oddly, they felt better. The nice voices said I had “stitches” and so I had to wear this horrible plastic collar. But I didn’t mind because oddly, I felt like I was more energetic and stronger now and just felt a lot better. The kind voices came and went, I was given the most delicious food I had ever eaten and I always had a soft bed to lie on. Maybe I was over the rainbow bridge?? No, this was real! I didn’t much like the daily stings, but the nice voices said they would make me feel better and that one day maybe I would have a home of my own. A home?! Really?? But I also heard the whispers and something about it being difficult to find a ‘good’ home for a blind cat. I wasn’t too sure what that meant, but I was happy and purred loudly at the kind voices and strokes that came my way. In fact, they said I was one of the happiest kitties they’d ever met. I didn’t know why, but that made me even happier.
Six days after my ‘surgery’ a new lady appeared from nowhere. She also spoke to me in a very kind voice and stroked my cheek. I rolled over for the next stage – the belly rub. She cooed and ahhh-ed and said “yes, I’ll take her”.
It was two days later after they removed my “stitches” and finally free of the annoying collar that I was again put into a carrier and taken to a new place. I knew there was another cat there because I could smell her, but the lady didn’t let her get me and we had our own separate areas for about five days. I loved my new place. I had strokes and cuddles every day, great food, lots of different beds and so many toys I kept forgetting which one was my favourite. I also learned that if I lost a toy, my human would go and retrieve it if I let out the merest squeak (which is all I do by the way, I’m not into shouting loudly).
I've been in my “forever home” since September 2013. My mum is just the best and loves me lots (I think maybe I’m her favourite, which annoys sisfurs and brofur – two of whom arrived after me – mum rescued Lily from a tiny birdcage in a horrible local market and Cosmo came from another country where he was abandoned!). We are a happy family, but sometimes I have to tease Luna to play with me. I like to play a lot. Sometimes mum says I never sit still. But I do, I like sleeping too, because there are so many nice places to curl up – my mum’s bed, three cat trees (one of which is like a real tree) and two comfy sofas. My mum also has a nice balcony, which she says she made ‘safe’ by enclosing it. We are allowed to go out whenever we like!
I know I’m home. I know I’m loved. I am lucky to have my mum and fur-siblings. I am so happy.