Monday, 18 June 2012


The moral of this story, which I'm telling you in advance, is: don't make assumptions because you -and in particular, me- will probably be wrong.

It's very easy, when you know an address, to make assumptions about what you're going to find. In this case a scrawny 6 month old kitten either tabby or black and white and a tough as old boots 5-year old tom also either tabby or black and white. Not so. In this case, a gigantic neutered ginger tom and a pretty big thick furred young tabby who just could not be only six months old, both in good condition; and an elderly distraught owner. 

We didn't have any room for them but I'd heard on the grapevine that StrayAid deep in the hinterlands of Durham (okay, just one exit down the A1M and probably just under 20 miles away) had spaces for a couple of cats. So I picked them up and set off in the pouring wind and rain, rain so heavy that when being overtaken by another vehicle the spray cut off your vision for a couple of scary seconds, and got you soaked to the skin staggering the fifteen yards to the StrayAid front door under the weight of two heavy cat carriers.

Sue the vet checked them out finding nothing wrong with them except, and this was one assumption when I was correct, fleas. The kitten, she declared, to probably be only six months old because, she was sure, he was either whole or in part a Norwegian Forest kitten. The older and somewhat more stressed cat was just big. I told them that if they hadn't re-homed the ginger cat by the time we opened the re-homing centre then we'd take him back.

Here they are.

When he walks, the earth shakes, Kat Kong.

Everyone makes assumptions.

Case in point. Susan got a call from someone she knows about a stray cat they'd started feeding which, from the various damage to him, looked as if he'd been mistreated. They already had one cat-pecked dog, and two cats and couldn't take another cat. Again, we didn't have any room and couldn't take another either and StrayAid wouldn't take a damaged un-rehomable cat. I agreed to take him to the vet and we'd pay for any treatment needed but, at the end of the day, would have to leave him outside in the wild close to their very nice home.

And my, he certainly did seem as if he'd been bashed about with chunks of fur missing and scabs all over his body and legs. 

And so to Wendy the vet at Southwick. On the examination table he was placid, not protesting at any poking and prodding and happy to be picked up and stroked. And he hadn't been abused. Wendy reckoned he'd been hit by a car, ran off and got lost. The various wounds were healing well, though Wendy thought he might have an enlarged liver. He wasn't an old cat either and he had to have had a good home because he was far from the beaten up old tom I'd been expecting and I just couldn't find it in my heart to take him back and dump him on the street. Wendy offered to take him in and make some calls to other nearby vets to see if anyone had reported a lost  cat of his description. It's a very short term solution as I don't want to impose on Wendy's good nature but the problem remains of what to do with him. I'll let you know what happens. Meanwhile, here he is.

To finish on a more upbeat note, here are some kitten photos. All photographs in this post were taken with my camera which is why they aren't up to the usual standard. All bar the big cats were taken today.

 Mother and 3-day old kittens.

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