Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Dogs: Millie (left, Andrea's), Wendy the whippet. (Photo by Andrea.)

Cat: C'Mell. (Photo by me.)

So we had two calls to make in the car, the van being elsewhere, and I had Andrea with me as she'd been in contact with the people involved, and Millie her dog who goes everywhere with her and is good with other dogs and cats.

First to South Hylton down a bank and just above the Wear. New cottages fitted out for the disabled and it had been an elderly disabled lady who'd called us. Apparently she'd phoned all over the place for help, finally getting in touch with Roker Park Vets who gave them our number and she was delighted to see us. I checked out the cat and, following a quick look at her front teeth, wrongly guessed that she was young when she was actually at the opposite end of the spectrum. So: bagged and tagged -that means put in the cat carrier and placed on the back seat for those of you who don't watch cop shows or speak gibberish.

From the banks of the Wear to Chapelgarth at one of the most southern points of sunny Sunderland, more modern housing. This time a young whippet which had just wandered into the area and been taken in by a nice family who got in touch with us. The whippet was a lovely little thing, friendly to Millie and delightful with people. Into the car where it settled down on the back seat and paid no attention to the cat in the carrier.

We took them back to the shop while we decided what to do with them. The whippet was quickly fostered out and I took the cat to Roker Park Vets. The vet, after a quick check, was ready to put the old girl to sleep straight away being obviously old, apathetic, dehydrated and underweight, plus fleas. I wanted to give her a chance so, after putting Frontline on her to kill the fleas, left her there for blood tests. The results were in by teatime and she was clear of anything majorly obvious. We decided to keep her in a cage in the shop's upstairs office. This time the van was available so Ian F the driver went to pick up the cat after first getting the carrier and cage from me and I met him with the cat and Andrea at the shop where we settled the cat in for the night.

I was round there just after 9.30am to see how she was. It looked like she'd had a mouthful of food and maybe a drink of water. I got her out of the cage, popped her on my knee and stroked her. She stayed there and purred faintly. I put her on the couch and she didn't move and was still in the same position when I came back from washing her dishes and bringing fresh food and water so I picked her up and carried her downstairs to show her to the staff who were around. She didn't stir in my arms.

I came back again later in the afternoon to brush her rather unkempt coat and make a fuss of her. Again, she purred faintly and made a hlaf-hearted attempt to rub her head against my finger. Back for the finall time at teatime when the shop had shut to try her with fresh fish. I brushed some against her mouth but she didn't react. I gave her some more cuddles and left her on the couch for the night with the fish next her.

It's basically one of two things. She's either got a tooth problem which is stopping her from eating and grooming or she's an old girl on her last legs and waiting to die. We should find out which in the next couple of days.

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