Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Being involved with cat rescue is a bit like a doctor being on call -you never know when the phone's going to ring and you're called out.

On Saturday Carol rang me about a lady who lives in a nearby town and takes in some of our older rescued cats (usually when one of hers has died). Incidentally, I'm being vague about details because, while I want to tell this story, I also want to respect her privacy. 

She lives on her own in a flat in a nice looking council estate area but has not very nice neighbours. She'd come home to find one of her cats, which never goes out, to be missing and got a bee in her bonnet that someone had a key to her flat and she was upset. I hopped in the van and drove round to see her. While I was there I think I convinced her that no-one had got in. If they had they'd have done a lot more than take one cat. However, despite moving every piece of furniture, the fridge-freezer, cooker, washing machine, bed (also inside the wooden frame), etc, I couldn't find the cat and during that time the cat's best friend also disappeared. I was convinced that neither had got out but completely baffled as where they might be. After 45 minutes I gave up and went home. Not long after that Carol rang me to say the first cat had been found buried in a box on top of the wardrobe though his best friend was still missing. I'm sure it's since turned up.

Monday lunchtime and one of Carol's rescued cats was poorly with the 'sniffles' and very dehydrated. I said I'd take her whenever Carol could get an appointment which basically was as soon as I could get there so off I went.

I didn't have a chance to look at the cat until I was sitting in the surgery, though he'd cried most of the way there. A youngish tabby, he lay on his right side in the carrier, crying in pain and breathing heavily. He tried to get up but fell over and I thought this was far more than a dose of cat flu. I'd been talking to an elderly lady who'd brought her cat in and she saw the vet before I did. When she came out her carrier was empty and she was visibly upset. I sympathised but also said that, while I didn't want to appear insensitive, if she ever wanted another cat Animal Krackers was always desperate for good owners.

I took the cat in and the vet, Louise a young Scot, took the top off the carrier and gently lifted the cat out. After checking it over thoroughly she said that it was clear to her that there were large masses in the chest cavity and probably the lungs and, as it was obvious to both of us that the cat was in great pain, there remained only the hardest and kindest thing to do. And so it was done. I didn't stay because the cat didn't really know what was happening and I didn't have any relationship with it and felt it would be ghoulish.

Carol got a shock as she just expected it to be put on a drip and she took it badly. But these things happen.

No comments: