Saturday, 12 November 2011


Being involved in animal rescue isn't exactly a 9-5 job. I can get a call at any time, though mostly it is during the day but that's 7 days a week. There is, however, one morning a week when I try to exempt myself from being on call which is Wednesday morning when I meet my two ex-library retired friends Denise and Sylvia whom I've known for 40 years (and sometimes Phil) for coffee at (currently) Starbucks in The Bridges shopping centre in the middle of the city. Denise and Sylvia are both cat lovers (but not Phil) each having a cat each (except for Phil). I usually update them with cat rescue stories and show them photos on the camera screen before Phil arrives.

Denise also looks after a bunch of strays.

At the back of her house is a rather unkempt and overgrown garden with a shed which makes it a haven for the several local strays which she and a neighbour also feed. About 8 weeks ago, a female (who had been left behind when a family moved) had four kittens. Over coffee about 3 weeks ago, Denise told me she'd rang one local rescue several times without receiving an answer so I rang Carole immediately to see if she'd take them which she would. Then, as I was taking one cat through to Tracy's rescue at Burnhope, I thought she might have them. In the end she didn't and Carole was busy and so was I so when I finally asked her again she couldn't take them.

By this time I'd met Elizabeth and her son Michael (see previous post) who'd  volunteered to foster for us so I rang her asking her if she'd take two, thinking that four would be two (pun) many. Elizabeth would happily take all four.  I did warn her that, although not feral, the kittens were only used to being handled by Denise and were quite wild and definitely not house-trained and I'd bring my cage from the garage.

This was all done in a bit of rush and in the space of an hour I'd folded up the cage, packed it in the van, driven to Denise's house where she had the kittens in a box and we transferred them to a large cat carrier, driven two exits down the A19 and through Seaham to a nice part just outside where Elizabeth and Michael live.

The following photos were taken the next morning when I dropped of some flea-killer which I'd forgotten in the rush the day before.

Elizabeth with the kittens now named Arthur, Merlin, Gawain, & Galahad.
Arthur (far right) is the largest and the most scared.

In the few days since then, they have all started using the litter tray which is useful as they've been given free run of the small bedroom where they are kept. Elizabeth tells me that they don't really play together but if one starts washing all the other follow suit and if one goes to sleep so do the others. They are also slowly getting used to being held and cuddled but it's still early days. I'll keep you informed of their progress.

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