Thursday, 25 April 2013


1. The government's recent tax on council house spare rooms is in the process of causing people who can't afford the increase to downsize.

Inevitably this means they have to go to private landlords and most of those won't have cats or dogs living in their property. Result: more cats and dogs needing new homes. I had my first call about a cat needing a new home for this reason this week. It's first but I'm damn sure it won't be the last.

Luckily one of our very few fosterers could take it in. One of the problems we have is that we can't take cats into the re-homing centre until they have had their flu jab which involves two vaccinations separated by a period of three weeks, so we can never take a cat into the centre immediately and it's a matter of luck if we have a fosterer available.

As it happens, I took in a three year old black and white female yesterday and took her for her first jab today and her one and only neutering. She's currently cowering underna armchair in my bedroom with a bowl of tuna should she want it.

2. Cats climbing the walls.

I went to pick up three cats from the same house this morning for their second flu jab prior to transporting them to the re-homing centre. One went in the box with relatively little difficulty. The other two...

Were in a cage and huddled up together, one black and one white and tabby, both female. When I tried to get them  they got out and into a room with the door closed. (Hooray!) But it was also piled up with stuff of the previous owner's leaving numerous nooks and crannies for the cats to hide under. (Boo!) And when they were startled out from their hiding places they started climbing the walls. They'd climb up cupboards, they'd climb up fireplaces, they'd climb up curtains, they'd climb up wallpaper, they'd climb up mirrors. And all in a frenzy as the poor things tried to get away from me and the lady who was moving in.

Eventually I got them. Took them to the vets. Took them to the re-homing centre. The black one I placed in a basked and she stayed there without moving. I tried the same with the other one. Guess what she did? That's right. She climbed the walls and she climbed across the wire mesh ceiling. When I left she was still holding on to a wire mesh door.

3. Two cats re-homed in a week.

Actually it's three, but I'll tell that story in a moment.

The first one to go went yesterday. This was Bella, a thick furred black four year old who'd only been with us for a week. She went to an elderly couple.

The second went today. This was Taylor who, with his cage-mate April, has been with us since not long after we opened last December. This went to a family with two children aged four and nine. They just fell for Taylor who is on the right with the white tip of a tail (hence his name).

4. In which your humble blogger makes a great sacrifice.

I'll be honest, I can't foster a cat without wanting to keep it. The first cat I fostered when I moved in to my new place I eventually called Fifi. I just fell for her. She is nervous, particularly of other people, but is now happily ensconced and she's staying.

Jack-Jack is on top, Fifi just above.
Then along came Jack-Jack (see previous posts) the cat so nice I named him twice. Now 8 months old, he's the perfect little cat -friendly, affectionate, fine with other cats, not nervous. I didn't fall for him the way I did Fifi but he gradually wormed his way into my affections.

Susan wasn't happy. She kept saying he'd make a lovely pet for a family which was true but, as far as I was concerned, irrelevant. But, Susan being Susan, she kept harping on and when she rang yesterday to say she had a lovely young couple in the shop who'd be ideal for him I wearily said, "Send them up."

So they came and, yes, they were a lovely young couple and they really liked Jack-Jack. However they still wanted to visit the re-homing centre which they did. After a good look and meeting the cats, he decided he like April, Taylor's bossy cellmate. She, however, wanted Jack-Jack. I tried to make it easy for them to take April then and there ("Here, have a spare cat carrier. No money for the donation fee, drop it off at my house any time.") They went home to talk it over.

The phone rang earlier this afternoon and they're picking up Jack-Jack tomorrow.

5. The curious case of the cautious cat.

He's not cautious, he's just nervous as hell but I just can't resist alliteration.

I'm talking about the pedigree British short-hair that was handed in at the shop, which I then took home to foster, and later paid a ludicrous amount of money for him to the treasurer so no-one (Susan) could have any grounds for getting me to re-home him. It wouldn't work anyway because he's a scared little so and so.

First night he hid behind the fridge. Second night he hid in a cupboard.  Third night he hid behind shelves. He stayed there for quite a while until he managed to pull all the towels and rags from the pipes in the bathroom, which had been put there to stop Fifi getting under them and thence under the bath, and got under the bath. I got him, and Fifi who'd joined in the fun, out but to the extent of damaging the bath panel so I now need a new bath. I gave up putting the single panel back and just left it open for anyone who wanted to go there.

Anyway, the little monster saw me and ran. and hid. Then, when I caught him in the bathroom, he not only let me stroke him, he purred loudly. Then he started sleeping my bed. As long as I didn't try to touch him. He began to let me make a fuss of him when I collared him in the kitchen where the cat bowls are.

Little slow baby steps. After three weeks he still runs away from me. But the areas where I'm allowed to stroke him have grown in number. And even when he does run away from me, his tail is often in the air as if to say, "I'm not scared at all really, I'm just having fun with you."

Maybe one day he'll actually sit on my knee.

(Side Note: As always, I'm absolute rubbish when it comes to naming cats and I just could not think of a suitable for this one. I noticed, however, that I kept calling him Handsome Boy so I decided, what the hell, that's his name. For practical (i.e. vet's) purposes though his name is corrupted down to Hansen -say it aloud.)

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