Sunday, 21 November 2010


Yesterday was supposed to mark the beginning of 5 days away from cat rescuing and anything else Animal Krackers-related. It's been a long and busy week on topof other busy weeks and I'm stressed and just emotionally and physically washed out by it all which seems to be taking up more and more of my time and I need a break to recharge my batteries. Saturday turned out to be anything but and I'll get back to that shortly.

My memory is playing up as usual so I can't remember what I did at the beginning of the week, probably the usual stuff. Thursday morning, however, I went off to Asda at 7.30 to pick up some cat food for my own 8 cats, then back home to move Samson from the cage in the garage to a cat carrier. (Samson has been a right pain to feed and he's hardly eaten anything since he was neutered on Tuesday. Wednesday night I gave him half a tin of Feline Fayre tuna and he wolfed it down and, before I went to Asda, happily tucked into the rest of the tin.) I then filled a couple of boxes with donated cat food and put them in the van as well.

8.40 and I was waiting outside Sandra's house (a nurse who fosters cats) for her to come out with two cats she'd been looking after. I didn't wait long and then I was off to Tracy's rescue at Burnhope as she was taking in the three of them and the food was for her. Here are some photos of the cats at Burnhope along with some kittens she has available for re-homing. Here's Samson in my garage and then at Tracy's with his two new friends.

The following massive monster is one of Tracy's own pets.
I had to take a different route home via Chester-le-Street instead of the usual Durham as I had to go to Bournmoor just outside the boundary of Sunderland. This involved a lot country driving and was a very nice run. However, when I got to Bournmoor and eventually found the house there was no-one there because I'd got me details wrong and I had to go back that afternoon.

Which I did and picked up the cat and took it Carole's. While at Carole's she got a phone call from a guy who'd rescued a cat from some teenage morons whom he found kicking it in Roker Park where he was walking his dog. Carol got the impression that this had just happened and I was duly sent over to pick up the cat. As it turned out, the guy who Asian and a real animal lover (he also kept doves, had a dog which looked like a Staffie with long legs and a soft nature, another cat, child and partner) had actually rescued it a week ago and would have kept it but his other cat hated it.

Friday. My usual early morning swim followed by a trip to Asda to buy cat food for Carol and empty the donated food bin. I think I did other stuff but I can't remember. when I took the food to Carol she did tell me that a cat I'd brought in for re-homing never even left the cat carrier before someone came and took it. Nice one. Wish that happened all the time. A little later Deb who'd fostered a lovely cat a couple of weeks ago (see previous post) had to bring it back as her daughter... well, that's personal, suffice to say she couldn't keep him. So back he went in the cage that Samson had luckily vacated the day before. And it looks like I have a home for him tomorrow.

Late Friday afternoon and I popped over to Ryhope to pick up a cat. 

Now I just want to interrupt the flow of cats for a grumble about Durham County Council. Ryhope used to be part of the county but came under Sunderland in 1973 (or 4?), whatever. Durham has a habit of doing odd things with regards to building council estates and naming street. On Wednesday morning I set off for Murton at 7.30 to pick up a cat and, while I'd found the street on Google maps and printed out a copy, I still had to ask someone exactly where the street was. Turned out I'd driven past the house because each side of the street had a different name and I'd only noticed the wrong one. The council also seems to delight in creating estates which are mazes so you have to go left, follow the bend to the right, turn right then left, go round the oval, and park up your own backside because No.29 is next door to 47. The addresses in Bournmoor and Ryhope were both like that.

They'd got the cat from us eight months ago and it hadn't settled, I'd been told, fighting with their existing cat, urinating all over the place, being temperamental and frightening visiting children (and I'm not making that up). So I collected it and took it to Carole's. While she was doing something else, I opened the carrier door and stroked the cat which seemed quite friendly. The people who'd had her also had two dogs and I suspect the poor thing was stressed and probably would be a nice pet in quieter surroundings. After a quick check, Carole then told me to take it back over the river to Sandra's as she was going to foster it and calm it down. (Ian grits teeth at what he sees as an unneccessary trip as he could have dropped it there in the first place and saved the journey over to Ryhope.)

And then it was Saturday, the start of my five day break from all things Animal Krackers.

Like very rude word it was. (Note: unlike my other blog, Freethinking, I'm trying to keep this as a PG -parental guidance- rated blog, i.e. some mild swearing but otherwise suitable for younger readers or those of a sensitive nature.)

It was raining hard and Susan told me to go to the shop and load up the van with unsold stuff to donate to Barnardo's in town. I also had to drop some cat litter off at Silksworth with Lilian who took in a cat from us and she can't carry anything too heavy. An hour later, I got home all wet and irritated, had a coffee and watched something I'd copied from tv before having a lie down. The phone woke me from a doze at one point but I ignored it. Shortly after that Susan arrived and told me that carole had an emergency with a cat and, as all the vets were close, I had to take it to the PSDA emergency vet service at Heworth.

I went over and Carole was quite worked up, saying she'd never seen anything like it and got me to touch the side of the cat's head.

"It's an abscess," I said, a burst and very large abscess. Carole said the cat was only two years old and had been told that by it's former owner. 

Half an hour later and I was with the vet and it was apparent that there was more wrong with it than just the abscess. The abscess itself was enormous and hadn't just appeared overnight. The vet said it was also affecting its inner ear. The ears themselves were speckled dark black. The long haired ginger cat's coat was heavily matted, a sign of stress, and the cat itself was very thin. And, far from being two years old, the vet told me it was a geriatric cat in which case the weight loss was a sure sign of a cat on the way out.

"Am I being horrible if I ask you to put him to sleep?" I asked the vet.

She said, "No, I think it's the best thing."

He didn't react at all when part of his leg was shaved or when the needle was inserted and his breathing stopped before even the last drop had been injected into him.

I called in at the shop on the way back to tell Susan and Andrea what had happened and then went home thinking that was that for the day. Sadly, not. Teatime and Susan had gone to visit her mother in the home when Little Bob started crying. I thought it was just him psyching himself up to do a poo but the crying went on. I picked him up and saw that his right eye had swollen up and his lower inner eyelid had also swollen and covered his eyeball. Little Bob was distressed and in pain. I rang Susan and told her to come home as we needed to take him to the emergency vets. 

In the end, Susan was too stressed so I just took Little Bob on my own. Just as well as there were a number of idiotic drivers driving far too fast in the dark on wet dual carriageways which meant trying to change lanes was a nightmare. Poor Little Bob was screaming his head off the whole time, though he calmed down once we got there. The same receptionist was on duty and we had a bit of a problem because they couldn't find Animal Krackers account, head office was closed, and her boss was off . This had happened earlier as well but this time they needed a deposit from me to cover both sessions -luckily I had my wallet with me as I had to pay £110.00 on my Visa card. The cost of the poor ginger cat alone was over £200.00.

The vet was reassuring when she checked the kitten over. It was probably caused by a cat scratch on the eye and the swelling can go down quite quickly. Unless it was an abscess behind the eye in which case the eye itself would have to be removed. Given the way Little Bob and Daisy play fight then a scratch is definitely the most likely. I hope. The vet gave him an antibiotic injection and an anti-inflammatory to reduce the pain and swelling. Then back down wet dual carriageways with lunatics driving far too fast and home.

Twenty-four hours later and Bob isn't complaining, though his eye is still swollen and tomorrow I'll get him to our vets.

Here's another couple of recent cat photos.

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