Saturday, 5 March 2011


Well, it's been over two weeks since my last post. Nothing much happened in the first week -just the usual neutering trip, tip and food runs- which is why I didn't write anything. This week, however, there's mostly been too much going on, plus, to be honest, I didn't really feel like writing for this blog. If it's not fun for me to write then it certainly won't be fun for you to read.

1. Blood.
A few months back I wrote about having to go to the Grindon Health Centre because a cat I was collecting had bitten right through my skin. That I consider to be No.1 in my animal-induced injuries. Today I suffered No.2.

Not quite first thing in the morning I went up to Asda to buy some extra cat food as we were getting on low side and emptying the food bin. Before dropping that off, I called in at Roker Park Vets to pick up a presciption for Baby, the surving Lanchester kitten -now a friendly playful young cat with no sense of smell. I thought, apart from a tip run or a trip to drop excess stock off at Barnardo's shop in the city centre, that was it for the day. Just after eleven I got a call from a woman who'd been given my number by Roker Park Vets. She'd been feeding a stray cat for a few weeks but had found it injured this morning. Problem was that she lived several miles away at Shiney Row and by the time I could get there, all local vets would be closed which meant the emergency vets at Heworth which charge £100.00 just to see the animal and that's before any treatment. The lady did say she was waiting to receive benefit, but when we rang later we were told that didn't count.

Anyway, I drove through with a cat carrier. The cat, a thin ginger male was in a shed and hadn't eaten any of the food she'd put down. It let me touch its nose so I thought it would be okay. It then retreated into a corner which meant we had to move a lot of stuff so I could get at it. That done I bent down to pick it up and it reacted as if I'd stuck an electric prod up its bum. It screamed and swiftly shredded a finger and sliced the back of my hand not far from where it had been opened up before. 

I yelled a very rude word when it happened and stared at the blood dripping freely from my hand. The cat, displaying considerably agility for one which might have been hit by a car, went to ground in the shed. The lady (I'll call her L, in case she doesn't want to be identified) put some elastoplast on my wounds after I'd washed them and the blood flow had slowed down. Then I went ahead, managed to pin the cat in such a way that it could only move into the cat carrier. After that we discussed what to do. We pretty much agreed that the cat could hardly have broken anything to be able to move so quickly and with such agility and it was probably more in shock than anything else. I also decided that it had to be feral or as close to it as to make no difference.

The upshot is that it's staying in the shed for now and L will keep me informed of any change in its condition.

The middle finger on my right hand is swollen and a little painful. If it's no better in the morning, I'll be off to the Grindon Health Centre again.

2. The Three Year Old Which Aged Seven Years In Seconds.

Tuesday morning was busy with a 7.30 start to Asda to buy food for cats, drop it off, collect a cat for neutering and then drive to Barmston at Washington to pick up three cats from a couple who had six (I'd taken a 6 month old kitten a few weeks ago) which was three too many. When I dropped them off I had to take another cat to the vets as it had stopped eating and drinking. The vet kept it in to put it on a drip and do several blood tests (all of which proved negative).

Late afternoon and just as I was thinking about what to have for our tea, Susan rang from the shop. The girlfriend of the son of one of our helpers had brought her cat in because her mother said she couldn't keep it any more. She said it was three years old which I just accepted. I really really should know by now not to take what people say on face value especially when I know them to have certain problems. But I took the cat which had to go  in the cage in the garage.

It was a very shy ginger and white neutered male which seemed to have no aggression whatsoever but was obviously a bit stressed. It was also noticeably underweight. Nothing much happened on Wednesday that was cat-related. Swimming first thing then into the city centre for coffee with my retired colleagues Denise and Sylvia -I tell them all the cat stuff (they're both big cat lovers) before Phil, our fourth member, turns up. I checked in and fed the cat, making a fuss of it, changing its litter, three times.

Thursday morning and another early trip to the vets, this time with the three Barmston cats, all just under two years old, two males (who hate being put in a carrier) and a more pliable just pregnant female. We also found that they were riddled with fleas.

Later that morning I got a call to say that Stray Aid at Coxhoe could take another of our cats and I had just the one. I popped it in the van then went to the shop to fill the rest of it up with bedding for Stray Aids dogs. When Sue the vet checked it over, she discovered that it had been chipped and that the girl wasn't the first owner and that it was actually 10 years old. To be fair, she might have meant that she'd just had it three years and I didn't catch it. A 10 year old cat is a hell of a lot harder to rehome than a three year old. Ironically, while I was holding it it finally began responding to me by rubbing its head under my chin and purring for the first time since I'd taken it in.

3. About A Dog.

Friday morning I went swimming as usual but had to cut the session short as I needed to pick up Andrea. We then headed over to Hylton Castle on the other side of the river to collect a three year old Yorkshire Terrier from two sisters who had inherited it from a close relative who had died but found they were unable to care for it they it should be cared for. This was, unlike some, a genuine case; they were upset to see the dog go and gave us a donation. The Yorkie was a lively and friendly little thing and would easily and quickly find a new home.

We had to take it to Vets4Pets at Fulwell to get it checked over and have its vaccinations prior to taking it to Ferryfarm Kennels. On the way there, we called in at C's to remove all the soiled cat bedding and other stuff to take to the council tip, something I do on a weekly basis, and then dropped the dog off at the kennels and went home.

And that's all there is to say about a dog.

4. Boom! Boom! Boom!

In a previous post I'll have mentioned M, someone who was one of our helpers and a recovering substance abuser. He also fostered a cat and a dog for us but when he went into hospital for heart surgery they went elsewhere and when he came out he didn't want them back. What he did have back were the cigarettes and  drink habits and his behaviour began to deteriorate to the extent that didn't want him coming to the shop any more.

Nevertheless it was still a surprise when we saw a photograph of his flat on the front page of the Sunderland Echo. The reason it was there was because it had been pretty much destroyed in a gas explosion. Apparently M returned home, went inside, lit a cigarette and Boom!

He was described as being found burned, bleeding, and staggering about in the street. His injuries were  not   life threatening. Lucky sod, poor sod. We suspect that Social Services will have to intervene. He was often confused, inarticulate and his own worst enemy before -believe me, in the past we at Animal Krackers put a lot of time in trying to help him- and I suspect he'll be even worse now after this.

Poor sod.

5. No Photographs.

I've mislaid/lost my camera.

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