Friday, 12 June 2009
5.00 am Woke up.
5.50 Got up, let 6 cats out, let 2 in, fed same, drank a glass of water (no food, no caffeine, I'm having a blood test later), watched BBC News 24 for 10 minutes, checked email.
8.30 Received no longer wanted four year old black cat which had just peed in its carrier. I get one of our carriers from the garage and put it in while I clean the wet one. Then I let it out in the kitchen for an hour. It's a chunky thing and quietly friendly but it still scared the crap out of its former owner's one year old daughter hence its appearance on my doorstep. It seems quite a placid animal.
9.40 I load up Animal Krackers' new white van (see above)a nd drive to the doctor's for the blood test. Until yesterday I had never driven anything larger than our Ford Fiesta so this is quite strange and I'm a bit nervous but don't have any problems and take to it better than I expected. I also discover that the cat (which I call Max as in Maximum) doesn't like being in a cat carrier in a van and loudly expresses this feeling. He also shits in the carrier. Twice.
10.15 Pick up Andrea (along with my wife, Susan, the co-leader of our charity) and we head off to Ferryfarm boarding kennel to pick up a dog.
At this point an update is in order.
The very sick dog we took in on Monday was taken back to the vets on Tuesday but this time was looked at by Honor, the senior vet. Honor quickly diagnosed the dog as being very old, having no feeling in its back legs, probably had some brain damage, and was suffering. She recommended it being put to sleep and mercifully it was. We find out later today that this was actually illegal. But later on Tuesday we discovered the owner of the dog -an elderly and not very capable old lady who was glad we had ended her dog's suffering; she intended to do it herself but we think she just couldn't face it.
Max the cat had supposed to have gone to the Burnhope cattery on Monday but didn't make it and the revised plan had been to take it today. However, two of the cats I'd taken there had come down with what might be cat flu and had been isolated. As it wasn't fair to Tracy the owner of the cattery/rescue to dump her with Max and put Max at potential risk, we managed to get Stray Aid to take him for rehoming. This was where we were taking the dog we'd come for.
Stray Aid is a combination of dog boarding kennel, rehoming centre (mainly dogs but the odd cat), and veterinary surgery and we pay them to keep 5 kennels available to us.
10.50 Arrive at Stray Aid, some 20 miles away in County Durham. Max is checked out, vaccinated and de-flead just in case, and declared fine. Four years old, low mileage, suit an elderly driver. Or something. The dog, a friendly cross-something, is also declared fine.
11.50 Back on the motorway heading to Penshaw Village on the outskirts of Sunderland to pick up a rottweiler. It had been re-homed with a family but we were told their landlord had changed the rules of their tenancy and they couldn't have a large dog. Translation: it's too much for us to handle and we want rid of it. Andrea knows of someone who wants a rottweiler and is experienced with large dogs so she rings her up and tells it's on its way back to Ferryfarm Kennels if she wants to see it. We duly dump the dog -large, friendly and likes to chew on your hand -in a friendly bone-grinding way.
1.45 I finally arrive home.