Thursday, 17 April 2014


Tuesday. I'm starting this on Wednesday evening and it already seems like the semi-distant past. Hell, I can't even remember what I did on Tuesday morning. I know I went swimming and probably watched an episode or two of Murdock Mysteries Season 1 DVD but that's about it.

Tuesday afternoon is a different matter. About 1.45 I went upstairs for a nap, a regular ocurrence, and was half awake an hour later when I heard a knock on the door. The window cleaner wanting to be paid. I was half asleep and fumbling with change when I noticed Burnside halfway up the stairs and a second later he was through door, out the gate, under a car and then dashing across a thankfully, luckily for him, car free Leechmere Road. Bleeping great, I said aloud to the window cleaner as I gave him his money.

I'm sure you can imagine how I felt. I'd taken the cat on (for details see recent posts) and had just begun to think I might be getting somewhere with him when this happened. It's not the first time either but it's been oncee before, at least a year ago, and on that occasion, and thanks to neighbours and Facebook, I got the cat back and later re-homed him.

Luckily, if that's the right word, I soon had something to take my mind off Burnside's escape. I remember now that some time in the morning I wrote an email to a guy who was interested in adopting Hero from the re-homing centre and mentioned that, while I was generally free, something unexpected often came up.

Like an 80 something lady realising that she couldn't cope with a five month old male kitten. She gave me her address and where it was near -I knew the near- but I couldn't find it on Google maps and it wasn't in my quite new A-Z. So I went to the near and called in at a corner shop (the near) but nobody there knew exactly where it was. After some driving around and asking several people I ended up back where I started from and saw it on the other side of the road, about ten yards from the shop.

If only that had been the end of my confusion. The elderly lady said the kitten had had his vaccinations and his original owner, who lived nearby, had the documentation and she gave me directions to the place. She also said the kitten had been neutered. I couldn't find it and it wasn't in my A-Z or on my satnav so I went to the nearby PDSA centre where it had been apparently registered. After some discussion during which I discovered they couldn't give out the information I wanted because of data protection -which was fair enough- but they could give it to a vet- which was also fair enough as I was on my to one -Wendy's, our regular vets which was only half a mile away. So, do you have the information I want even though you can't tell me? As it happens, no they didn't. It took around 20 minutes, including waiting to be seen, to establish this. Look, it happens. I think the PDSA do a great job and they're in my will.

I took the kitten to Wendy who checked him out. Not neutered. Being a kind person, she agreed to keep him in overnight and neuter him in the morning.

I went home and felt depressed about Burnside.

Next morning the usual swim and a little later coffee in the city centre at Starbucks with my cat-loving retired colleagues, Denise and Sylvia. And then the unexpected happened again in the middle of me showing them photos of Jeff and her baby kittens. My phone rang. It was the lady who had originally contacted me about Burnside to tell me he'd turned up on her doorstep about a mile and half from where I lived.

I celebrated by getting a new phone on contract with EE-a 4G Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. Kidding. I was going to get a new one from them anyway. I also bought a case for it and after the phone fell out of it half a dozen times ordered a much cheaper but more secure case from Amazon. I  put the box in the bin but if I can clean it up after being covered in used cat litter I take the case back for a refund.

Lunchtime, mini cheese and ham quiche interrupted by phone calls. Then, just before I was about to ring the vets to see if the kitten (he's called Dusty) was ready for collecting, another call, this one from a guy who'd found a very ill cat lying in the bushes in his garden; so ill it couldn't even walk. Well, I could hardly say no, could I? I rang the vets and if I brought it in at 2.15 vet Holly would see it.

It turned out to be a very frail elderly grey female with a collar and a disc with a phone number on it. Time was getting on so I drove to the vets before trying the number. I was talking to, as it turned out, the cat's previous owner, when Holly beckoned me in and was busy checking the cat while I was on the phone. The cat was seriously ill due to kidney failure and was suffering. The person I spoke said he'd contact the cat's owner, which he did and she rang me while I was still in with Holly. I passed the phone over to Holly with the upshot of the upset owner agreeing to have the cat put to sleep and to pay for it.

Me, I think the cat had wandered off to die but at least I'd been able to help reduce its suffering and let its distraught owner know what had happened. A good deed done, but a sad one.

I took Dusty home and locked him in my bedroom with food and water. Later he repaid my kindness with a series of bites and scratches. 

Around eight o'clock I went and brought Burnside home. He had something to eat and disappeared upstairs.

Okay, photo time. Starting with Dusty, followed by a rare photo of my five cats all in relatively close proximity to each other, and a couple of Jeff who, unlike certain other arrivals, is a friendly no problem cat.

(All the above was written late last night. It's now 7.50 next morning and I can authoritatively state that Dusty is a little sod. He is playful but his idea of play is to launch an assault with teeth and claws on the nearest part of human anatomy. I have the scabs and blood loss to prove it. I kept him away from the other cats last night but let him meet them this morning in the hopes that they'll have a calming effect. And he is playing, he just hasn't realised that you don't attack people they way you do another cat. Another bloody problem feline. To be a cat rescuer is to suffer endlessly.) 

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John Dudley said...
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