Thursday, 13 August 2009
It started on Wednesday with, a referral from Carol, a woman phoning me on the afternoon to ask if I would I would take her and her feral cat to the PDSA*, adding that I'd been to her house before to pick up a stray which I'd wrapped in a blanket. Which was news to me. Bad as my memory is, I would have expected to remember something like that if it had happened within the previous two weeks.
No matter. If she could arrange the appointment, I'd take her.
(*The Peoples Dispensary For Sick Animals is a national charity that provides people on low incomes or benefit with free treatment, though they hope for voluntary donations.)
Shortly after that another referral from Carol: would I take her cat as she was moving out and her new landlord wouldn't allow pets. As Carol had already agreed to take it, so did I. And, as they (the two women) lived within a half mile of each other, I'd pick up both cats more or less together.
The cat belonging to the woman who was moving was a small female, a stray she'd only had for five weeks, and was no problem. When I got to the second house we had a slightly different story. This cat the elderly lady and her husband (who recognised me from my morning swims) had been feeding this cat for 9 years and it was still feral. I found it in the kitchen and mentally named it Fat Freddie the Ferocious Feral Feline. It was also pure black but that didn't fit in with the alliteration. It glared at me and hissed then went to take up position at the kitchen door to the garden. I started having visions of bloody and shredded flesh and understood now why the lady had asked if I'd brought gloves.
Ah well, no time for hesitation. The cat had its back to me and didn't see me pick up a large white towel. I lunged, wrapped the towel around the cat and shoved it into the carrier before it could react properly.
Now that's fast. "Wow," I said, "I've even impressed myself."
I dropped the lady and Fat Freddie (yes, I am a Furry Freak Brothers fan -see my review of their omnibus on Amazon UK) at the PDSA at 10.30, went to drop the other cat off with Carol and returned to the PDSA. We finally got out of there by 11.45. The cat had a mouth infection and was given antibiotics and pills to take with food. Hopefully a second visit won't be necessary.
I say this because I dislike going to the PDSA, finding it a depressing and demotivating experience. Nothing against the PDSA itself which does a wonderful job. It's the fucking morons who can find the money to spend hundreds of pounds on dogs like rottweilers, dobermans, staffies, and other expensive (usually the rest of the so-called macho breeds) but somehow can't find the money for proper vet treatment. (Not that the PDSA doesn't provide proper treatment but they have their limits.) I don't mind the mongrels and cross-breeds, the cats, the rabbits, the little old ladies. Just... Oh never mind.
In the afternoon I went back to Carol's to pick up the cat in the photograph (who I did name but have forgotten what I called her). Lost its appetite and had other signs of cat flu. She got a couple of jabs after being checked out and that was it. She'd perked up in the vets, possibly because she was getting attention which, being a very friendly animal, she'd obviously been missing.
While I was there I asked after Sarah one of the vets. Just a couple of days ago, a german shepherd had been rushed in choking to death on a tennis ball. Sarah, in her mid twenties and only 7 months into her first professional job, stuck her hand down its throat got the tennis ball out thus saving the dogs life, and had her hand and tendons badly damaged for her pains. She's still in hospital and having surgery. Hopefully any damage to the nerves won't be too bad as this is potentially a career-threatening injury.
Updates will follow as and when.