Friday, 12 November 2010



First, 7.40am, swimming -24 lengths in 42 minutes which is a good one for me as I'm happy with 20 in 40. Second, Asda -to buy the week's cat food, pick up odd bits for the house, and check the recently reinstated pet food donation bin which turns out to contain a fair amount of catfood. After a half hour break during which I read The Times and fortify myself with pate on two toasted crumpets and I'm off to Carol's with the cat food.

I picked up the first cat there, Shaft, an old and rather ill male, for what was to be his third trip to vets this week. On Monday's visit, where I gave him his name by simply picking a pronounceable one from the diagram of a feline skeleton on the surgery wall, he was given a couple of injections to try and boost his metabolism. He'd been drooling ropes of saliva, his eyes and nose had mucus around them, and he was barely eating. On Wednesday morning they kept him in for the day and put him on a drip. Today, the vet suggested that there was nothing really they could do, a conclusion I'd come to myself when I picked him up but was glad when he tried to lead me in that direction. 

I stayed with Shaft and took a few photographs of him while the vet went to get the drugs. When I showed the photos to Carol and told her I was going to put one on my blog she was completely aghast. But this is what happens. Sometimes cats, particularly elderly cats, in our care fall ill and there's nothing we can do except not let them suffer. It's not down to something we haven't done; old cats get ill and that's it. And this what we -what I- have to do. I make the decision to put the cat to sleep and there's not once, no matter how obvious it is that it is the right thing to do, that I don't agonise over it and wonder if it was the right thing. Here's the photograph. I'm sorry it's not a nice one, if it upsets you, but imagine how I felt being there. I stayed with the cat, stroking him, as he went to sleep for the last time.

But I took another one back to Carol's, a 13 week old notionally feral kitten. I say notionally because it had been handled often by people feeding it and the others of its family so it accepted being stroked and picked up. Carol popped it into a cage and left it. A couple of minutes later it had squeezed through the bars, jumped down from the table and sauntered into her living room.

From Carol's I went to pick up a 9 month old unneutered male called Samson which its owner, who'd inherited it from someone else, couldn't keep because her jack russell was prone to go for it. I took it home and popped him into a cage in my garage where he'll stay for a few days. I booked him in to be neutered on Tuesday and after that I'm hoping he'll go to be fostered with the cat who vacated the cage yesterday.

And that's the three-cat morning. However, backtracking, on Sunday I took in a friendly cat which had been found at Hendon and put him in the cage. Next morning I put a poster in Animal Krackers shop window asking its owner to get in touch. Nothing so far. Yesterday morning, while driving home one of the shop's staff who taken poorly, Andrea, who had come with me, mention a new volunteer fosterer. The cat was in its new temporary home within an hour and I couldn't be happier as it loves people and took to the mother and daughter immediately. Here he is.
Then there was the jack russell I transported in the van and I will never drive alone with an unsecured dog ever again.

A few cats have been rehomed this week including the almost tame feral from the disused Hendon factory and one which I'd taken to Roker Park vets to have some matted fur shaved off and where one of the receptionists fell in love with her. The lady's husband wasn't too keen but who cares, he'll come round.

Lastly, here's a photo of Little Bob and Big Ted.

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