all cats go to heaven

no, don’t worry, i mean that figuratively, not literally. sam is still with us. or, no, really he isn’t with me, and although i’m very happy for him, i do miss him.

after his neutering apointment and weekend with the vet, he came back and we didn’t take him back inside imediately. he showed up for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and i tried to provide shelter outside for him (which he didn’t use). but then, he disappeared again.

ARGH

i was beside myself. had neutering him made him less able to fend for himself in the big wide world? had i done the wrong thing? where was he? he didn’t show up for dinner, for about 5 days he gave no acknowledgement that i was there and waiting to feed and shelter him as best as i could (which still wasn’t great, but at least better than what he had otherwise).

so then as i sat on the sofa, i heard a “meow” and looked out the window to see sam looking at me as if to say, “well, where’s my dinner, then?” ah relief.

but i wasn’t putting him back in danger this time. the first hurdle was pleading with the husband. “please, just give me a week to find him a new home.” so after that hurdle was jumped and we had separated the upstairs cat (sam) from the downstairs cats (heathcliff and minnie), i began my search for a new and permanat abode for sam. yet, again. and i had had no success up til now, but this time i was pulling out all the stops.

i put him on more waiting lists for shelters and i conceeded to advertising, which as i have said, i’m not in favour of as you don’t have anything backing you (like a national welfare organisation) when you make demands about how the animal is to be kept. but anything (well, almost) was going to be better for him than being stray. (remember, he’s not feral and wild or nervous, he’s stray which means he’s trusting of humans)

so i placed the following advert on, of all places, freecycle:
——————————–
I don’t usually like rehoming animals by advertising without going
through a welfare organisation or shelter, but we are currently in the
‘kitten season’ so no shelters are able to take him and I’m desperate
to find him a new home quickly. I have tried everyone this side of the country. They are all full up with kittens.

Sadly, I absolutely can not look after him any longer. I already have
2 cats of my own and am expecting a child.

He has been coming round since last November, he has been scanned for
a microchip but has none, we have looked through lists of lost pets
with no luck. He was thin, hungry and unneutered, but we decided to
have him neutered (as it’s kitten season). We’ve been feeding him and
looking after him in our house since last week when he was neutered
and he looks quite healthy now. He had the op with no problems at all.
One of my cats is nervous and couldn’t get on with him, and I MUST
find a new home for him.

He’s short haired, all white except for a brown tabby tail and spots
between the ears (and a small one on his side). Very friendly, likes
attention, not nervous. Slender. Uses a litter box with no problem.
Seems very relaxed when he was given food and shelter. Although he
survived for a long time with no shelter, he was obviously more happy
once inside a home. He has obviously known human contact at some
point, but probably strayed outside his patch because he wasn’t neutered.

New owner will need to be responsible for yearly vaccinations.

When rehomed, he will need to stay inside for at least a month (if not
longer) to get used to his new surroundings so that he doesn’t roam again.

He was neutered and treated for fleas and worms a week ago (worm
treatment was a precaution). I feel that he will need a home where
the new owners have experience of cats.

I could not bare to put him back outside with no shelter again. But my
circumtances will not allow me to keep him. Thanks for reading.
——————————————————

That evening, I received an offer from a lady with 55 acres, 16 cats, 10 horses, 6 ducks, 1 sheep and a jersey cow.

BINGO!

I waited a few days to see if anyone else would be interested (she was offering as a ‘last resort’) and i asked her about what she fed them and the accomodation and his ability to come and go from the house to farm etc. and of course i had 1 or 2 initial alarm bells of the posibility of an ‘animal hoarder’, but by her answers to my questions it was clear that she was taking good care of her animals. we drove to the farm with sam protesting the whole way from his carrier (about an hour and a half’s drive – he’ll be much less likely to find his way back to his old patch from there too). i knew that i’d get a feeling for the place when we got there, and if i was too worried by what i saw, i wouldn’t leave him.

16 cats?

even i wouldn’t go that far. but then i don’t have 55 acres of land.

so we got there. (go to the middle of nowhere and then on a few miles). somehow our car’s shocks survived the little dirt track. and we met her cats, and her oldest horse (37!) and felt that sam was going to have a good home, as soon as he and the big black cat could decide to live together (the others didn’t take any notice of him). and he’s been kept seperate for a week or two until he settles in.

so we said our good byes, and left sam with 55 acres in probable cat heaven.

i know he was never mine really, but it was a bit of a wrench to think i’d never see him again.

bye bye sammy. take care, be good, be safe and enjoy your new cat friendly life. (oh, and do leave the ducks alone)

sam sam

sam sam

spare no longer… just homeless

it’s simply too late to pretend that an attachment can be prevented from forming with this cat. ee says i’m not allowed to name him for that very reason, but i’m just not happy referring to this lovely little creature as a spare part. i am attached to him, and i admit it.

his name is sam.

to which ee continues to protest wildly.

he had disappeared again for about 3 or 4 weeks this time (sam, not ee) and i began to worry that something had happened to him and i’d never see him again. however, last tuesday, after some nasty torrential rains he showed up at our door again, hungry, bedraggled and asking for help. how could i turn him away. we’ve been determined to get him neutered for quite some time now, and having made sure that he is indeed a stray we said we would take him to the vet. but that’s when he disappeared.

he has no microchip (he was scanned, remember), no coller, no matching descriptions of a missing cat at the rspca, neighbours don’t know him, he’s thin, unneutered, scraggly and worse for wear. so either he belongs to someone who isn’t looking after him, and shouldn’t have a cat anyway, or he used to belong to someone who did look after him but he strayed because he got outside before he was neutered. it was probably the latter, because he must have had someone care for him at some stage because he’s so tame and affectionate. and whereas i can’t see that there is a possibility of ever finding this hypothetical once upon a time owner, i am determined to look after sam and make sure he gets a good home.

so when he showed up last tuesday, we took him into our spare room for a few days where he would get regular meals and strengthen up a bit and i would phone all the various welfare organisations trying to find someone who would pay to have him neutered and hopefully rehomed. the cats action trust were brilliant in the end. not only did they pay to have him neutered they payed to have him defleaed and wormed. the only sad part is that they don’t rehome strays, they just neuter them, so we’ve still not been able to find a shelter to take him.

ee won’t allow me to keep him. heathcliff and minnie didn’t know a thing about him when he was in the spare room, though minnie met him when he came back from the vet. she was fine. a bit unsure, but fine really.

we could put advertisements up ‘free to good home’ etc, but i don’t really agree with advertising animals. i much rather that organisations like the RSPCA or the Cat’s Protection League do all of the rehoming, because they check out the new owners and their ability to care for a pet before placing one with them.

none of the shelters have been able to take him, because this is the kittening season. . . that’s why neutering is so important. if a cat isn’t neutered, kittens that no body wants or can care for are produced, which is why the shelters are full right now. i’m still waiting for a call back from Cat’s Protection and he’s on the waiting list for one of the shelters, but it could be a long wait.

he’s had his dinner now. i just hope he finds a dry bed for the night.

spare cat: the continuing saga

so spare cat has become a bit of an institution around here. my neighbours several streets away say they occasionally see him. he turns up for awhile, then disappears, making my worry for his well being, then turns up on bin night and accepts as much of a fuss as he can get before his dinner (which last week was the carcass of a roast phesant we had eaten earlier that sunday!)

i’ve grown attached to spare cat. so much so that i don’t quite feel right calling him ‘spare’ anymore. he and i get on very well, and i think he’s often glad to see me, if only for the fuss and bowl of ‘cat crunchies’ that he inefitably gets as his reward for beeing so charming.

i’m sure he has successfully charmed the socks off of many a local cat lover, and i’m sure he’s pretty street wise, so i worry a little less for his well being as i did at first. he’s meeting the locals and learning how to work them for his benefit. more power to him. ah, ’tis the life to live free.

however, he showed up about a month ago limping on only three paws, so i looked at his foot and treated a small cut in the pad of his paw. i suppose that it says something that when he was hurt, he came to me. then he disappeared for about 3 weeks in which i worried and worried about him.

he’s fine. it’s too late. i’m attached.

my cat needs a bath

i simply can’t face it just quite right now. i haven’t had nearly enough tea yet this morning, nor breakfast. one of the proplems with having a beautiful, long haired, pedigreed persian cat, is that the coat is a lot of work. there are entire rescue shelters devoted to persian cats because people like the look of the cats, but have no idea of the responsibility, so they find out that they have to put a bit of effort into a coat like that and simply give them up to a shelter.

i would never ever do that.

which is why i went ahead and got myself a beautiful, long haired, pedigreed persian cat. i knew what was involved and anticipated the knots in the fur and the messy ‘bloomers’ (sorry, more info than necessary, but have you ever tried using a litter box with that much fur round your backside?). I didn’t anticipate just how much we’d have to bathe her, because of how much stuff she picks up in her fur and that it starts to smell (ok, well, maybe i did anticipate it a little, as i spent a lot of time on various persian web sites before bringing her home, but i think i’ve just always been a bit in denial, since she wasn’t ever going to be a show cat, i thought we wouldn’t need to – i was wrong), and i didn’t anticipate that she’d get slugs caught in her fur in the spring – autumn months (but to be fair, heathcliff brings home just as many and he’s only semi-longhaired).

i didn’t anticipate just how delicate her little genetically undiverse and slightly inbread tummy tummy would be and how difficult it would be to find a food she could eat. we’ve run out of her special food and the pet store no longer stocks it (doh!), so until we can get it shipped from the internet site in germany, she has to make do with an everyday brand. . . which means bad tummy, bad bloomers again. grr.

but i love her dearly, for all her madness and paper chewing (apparantly an oriental cat trait), and her sudden bouncing off the walls (they had told me persians were calm!), and even despite her campaigns against heathcliff (although he would certainly not agree that we should love her unconditionally in this way).

and now she has fallen asleep on the loft floor and is snoring a little bit because of her cute little indented nose and looks very cute. i couldn’t possibly wake her up to give her a bath now!

spare cat part 2

well, we took spare cat to see if he (how could i have mistaken that he was really a he? not even altered. it was very dark outside the first time i checked. i still give that in my defense.) had a microchip.

not surprisingly, he didn’t.

he was starting to look in pretty bad shape, had got into some fights, had some bloody spots, so we asked the rspca shelter if they could take him.

not surprisingly, they couldn’t.

they gave us a paper coller to put round his neck saying “this cat has been found as a stray. owner please call xxx xxx”. that way if he really does have an owner and goes home to them, then we know and they know where he has been.

not surprisingly, no one has phoned.

rspca also told me i should stop giving him food, so that if he did have a family, he wouldn’t be tempted to stay away from them. i could accept the sensibility of this suggestion, so i stopped leaving food out for him.

not surprisingly, i haven’t seen him since.

🙁 i miss spare cat. i hope he’s ok.

spare cat

followed me home the other night. i thought she (and i did check, she is a she) would find her way home eventually. came home with friends the next night after the first fireworks display and there she was waiting for me on the front doorstep. i put food and a blanket out, as she was getting clingy and obviously lost. last night, since it was the major city fireworks display, i worried she would get scared and lost from having been lost. i didn’t see her and hoped she had simply found her way home. put food out just in case, but no sign of her.

this morning food was gone, and although this could have been any random cat, i doubt it was.

sigh. i’m not *allowed* to have another cat, but she’s so lovely and affectionate and sweet and obviously needs a home. guess if i see her again, i’ll have to be putting posters round the neighbourhood.

(the term ‘spare cat’ was coined by friends years ago who had been ‘adopted’ by a spare cat in adition to their own.)

new approach to blog?

ok, so i’ve owned cats my entire life. i run a business taking care of other peole’s cats, i volunteer in the cattery of a local animal welfare charity. i should know by now that the lazyness of cats precludes them from creating an interesting and frequently updatable blog.

so i take on the task myself.

i don’t guarantee that i can do it any better than they can. 😉 watch this space.

be certain that you know something before you tell someone else

(neither of the cats are blogging today.)

have just had a knock on the door and signed for a very large boxed parcel. i had no idea what it was and no memory of ordering anyting. so as i took it into the livingroom to open it and find out, minnie came by very very interested in my new big box.

“no minnie, i’m sorry, it’s not for you, it’s for me.”

ah. the cat food we ordered.

“sorry minnie, i was wrong. it is actually for you.”

sigh.

i’ve been tagged

Seven Things to Do
1. sleep 2. eat 3. prowl 4. defend my territory 5. hide from the invaders 6. stand at the cat flap and pretend that i can’t open it so that my humans will do it for me 7. did i mention sleep?

Seven Things I can’t Do
1. drive. 2. get minerva to leave me alone 3. get the humans to open the cat flap on comand 4. hide effectively enough 5. get enough sleep 6. get enough food 7. watch every corner of my territory at the same time

Seven Things that Attract me to my Mate
oy! i’m neutered and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject.

Seven books I love
1. all of the books i have really loved, i have slept on. 2. the daily paper is also good reading material to sleep on 3. i suppose the phone book will do too 4. the argos catalogue makes a particularly good pillow (just the right height) 5. the human’s uni notebook is quite comfy when opened 6. if someone leaves a letter on the sofa i’ll take advantage of something new 7. and i like the shinyness of magazine pages (different textures make good beds)

Seven Things I say
1. meow (has many meanings) 2. eeeeeooooooowwww (usually means feed me) 3. eeoow eeoow eeoow (usually means ‘hold open the cat flap for me’) 4. prrrut (friendly greeting) 5. eeeoowwwaaacchk (that’s when i say ‘feed me’ but then start to yawn.) 6. prrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (contented purring) 7. prrr prrr prrr prrr prrr (nervous purring)

Seven movies I’ve loved
i don’t know what they were, because i slept through them, of course being the highest compliment. i do love sleeping on the sofa next the humans in front of a good movie.