Sunday, 18 October 2009

ANIMAL RESCUE: Cats and Crisis

Thursday, 20 August 2009

It started out well at lunchtime when I found out there was a piece in the local paper about our adult cats available for re-homing. Turned out only to be half a column plus photograph but it was enough to get about four phone calls fairly quickly on my number. Hopefully some of them will result in new homes and, lord oh lord, do we need them right now.

A cat I had to take to the vet earlier this week deteriorated rapidly and Ian F, the other driver, who was over at Carol's delivering some stuff took the cat to Vets4 after I'd hurridly arranged an appointment. Sadly it didn't make it and had to be put to sleep because of cat flu. This was the second in two weeks, though admittedly the other cat was very elderly (see earlier post).

Simply, cat flu is endemic in one of Carol's sheds. Healthy unstressed cats don't catch it but vulnerable ones do and this is what had happened. An informal meeting was convened at the shop and I was summoned. Honor, the chief vet at the practice was very concerned about the conditions, said Ian F who also said, wrongly as it turned out, that Carol was taking in another five cats today. I rang Honor and got info from the horse's mouth. In short, we decided that the cats (all 20+) had to be temporarily rehoused while the two sheds were thoroughly disinfected and left for three days. Where the cats were going to go was another matter entirely as while we had a possibility if that didn't work out we had nothing. I was told to ring Carol and lay the law down.

As you can imagine, I wasn't looking forward to that. This is a woman who invests a massive amount of time and energy into looking after cats in, admittedly less than ideal conditions and who doesn't take kindly into being told what to do, which is understandable.

Of course, things had got twisted. Following the death of the cat, Carol, who realised herself that something had to be done, had decided to take no more cats in until the twelve in the shed where the cat flu was had been re-homed. Then she (but I want us to do it as a team effort) will thoroughly clean out and disinfect the shed. This has been accepted as a practical compromise by our team. Hopefully this will happen and work. We might have a better idea after the weekend when the re-homing results of the piece in the Sunderland Echo should be known.

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