Thursday, 2 September 2010


-because I just have a lousy memory which is one of the reasons I'm doing this blog, a reminder to myself.

One thing that I can't emphasise enough -and indeed I don't emphasise it enough- is that I am only one of several people actively involved in cat rescuing in Sunderland and I'm far from the hardest working. There is Carol, my cat-partner in crime, who looks after over 30 cats at any one time as well as managing family committments. And I certainly can't forget Gillian and Jean of Feline Friends who've been doing this far longer than I have and have helped us on many occasions.
I honestly do not have their dedication and sacrifice, I'm too selfish. I need time for the things that I enjoy including swimming, reading, writing, listening to music, watching films, doing computer stuff (mostly checking my favourite websites). 
If there's anyone who feels they should have been included (see lousy memory above), let me know. Better yet, anyone involved in animal rescue in the area has an open invitation to contribute a guest piece to this blog. I'd be delighted to see it.
On with the show.

There's a guy who lives in a flat in Hendon and he's been accumulating a few stray cats which have now got too much for him. Carol agreed to take on one mother and two lots of three kittens and I went round to pick them up. The poor things were so terrified that they couldn't be caught so I left two cat carriers and arranged to collect them on Friday morning which I duly did.
They were from different mothers and the youngest litter was by far the most nervous. You'll see the photograph underneath with the young tabby in front of her litter-mates. I put my hand in and she swiped it.

The older litter were also nervous but I was able to put my hand in there and gently stroke them without incurring any injury. Out of sight because it's being sat on is a tortoiseshell.

Carol couldn't manage all of them so she agreed to keep the younger litter and Tracy at Burnhope was willing to accept the older three plus the mother which was where I went next for a long drive in the country. If you're new to this blog, I've written about Tracy and her rescue in several previous posts.

Bank Holiday Monday and I had nothing scheduled. Theoretically Susan and I could relax which, in our house, means do housework. Then Andrea rang wanting me to collect her and go pick up a recently re-homed dog at Ryhope as the owner's other older dog was ill and the new one a lot of work. Here she is (the new dog, not the owner).
Off we went to Ferryfarm Kennels where we met Lisa of the pet taxi service who'd brought in a lively weimariner for rehoming. I took a photograph of that as well for the adoption website. After dropping the dogs off, Andrea and I went to Lisa's home to photograph a 10-week old greyhound puppy. I also took a photo of Andrea with the baby that Lisa had had with her partner but I don't do baby photos, not here, not anywhere. The puppy was lovely and sat on my knee for a while.

Tuesday, another day with nothing scheduled until Carol rings. She's desperate for more cat food.

Before I can do anything about it, the phone rings again. A man and his wife have bought an 8-week old kitten from Emmerson's pet shop  and it's not very friendly. I spend some time talking to him but basically saying that all the kitten needs is time, patience, and love. I also told him that I don't recommend buying kittens or puppies from pet shops because they generally aren't as well looked after as those which can be obtained from rescues like ours where the animals are socialised and cared for properly. I'm not going to say what I really think about Emmersons because I don't want to be sued. It is, however, a documented fact that the local authority has looked into complaints about the shop in the past and it is not held in high esteem by members of the local animal rescue community.

Then another phone call, this time from the shop where they have had a phone call from someone who's about to leave on holiday but is concerned about kittens living in the bushes near her home. Susan and I go out in the van to do a couple of jobs and also pick up some cat food for Carol. Then we go and try to find the kittens. It turns out to be easier to find them than it is to find the street where they are. When we finally do find it, I walk by some bushes and see a little furry head peering out from a small gap. I try it and a black and white sibling which appears with a sachet of food and they guzzle it down. Good, now we put down a plate with two tins of food and push it into the bushes where the two kittens are joined by two more and their mother who took in. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera. They are feral and nervous but not actually aggressive and I even manage to briefly touch one.
Yesterday Susan went back twice with food but it wasn't touched all day. She checked again this morning and the food had been eaten but that could have been by rats. I'm going to have a look when I've finished typing this post and see what happens.

In the afternoon I troll along to Carol's with the food which should be enough until Friday's normal food run. She has taken in the kitten from this morning's phone call. I'm a bit annoyed about this after the time I spent talking to the couple and as Carol has too many cats as it is. It is underweight and nervous but not aggressive. It's in a cage with the three kittens I picked up last week. While still unsure, none of them are aggressive now and, if nervous, tolerate me stroking them. The one that lashed out at me actually seems to like being stroked.

Yesterday and today are trips to the vets with a female cat and picking them up later. Tomorrow it's the Friday food run to Asda and then Carol's. Apart from popping out with some food and to check on the ferals I've nothing else on except for arranging more neutering at the Vets and contacting people who've asked for vouchers. Might even get caught up with my Freethinking blog.

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