Tuesday, 16 September 2014


I don't make the best decisions when just woken up from a nap. Case in point: yesterday. Phone rings waking me up. I'm asked a question and I reply-

"Yes, I will take the stray cat and her four kittens you found a couple of days ago in the shed."

Even though I haven't anywhere to put them except temporarily in the cage in my bedroom. If I'd told them to ring back an hour later I might not have agreed. Then again...

The shed was locked so I had to wait until six before going there as the woman's partner was out at work. And it wasn't round the corner either but at Peterlee a sprawling new town ten miles down the busy A19. I tapped the post code into my satnav and set off. On the plus side the post-work traffic rush was mostly over. On the minus side, there was a mist thick enough for me to keep even more of a distance than I normally would between me and the car in front. No matter, I managed to keep to a steady 60mph on the A19 and the place was easy to find once I got off it.

The shed itself was built mainly to keep the rain off the bike and stop it being nicked and was partially open on one side which was how the cat the got in. Only she wasn't there being off foraging for something for herself to eat. The kittens, however, were. I checked them all out and, apart from fleas, seemed healthy enough and around 4-5 weeks old. There were also five of them, not four. They weren't feral and put up with me holding and stroking them with little more than the odd hiss. So their mother was obviously someone's pet and they'd been handled regularly by at least one person which meant that they and their mother were either tossed out by the owner or, for some reason, the mother cat decided she didn't want to keep them where they were. The fact that she hadn't been spayed meant to me that owner wasn't a responsible person. Or just plain stupid.

As the mother could be away for hours, I decided to take the kittens home. They were old enough that, if hungry enough, they would eat solid food and if not I could borrow Maisie from the conservatory and put her in with them as she'd almost certainly nurse them.

By the time I set off home, the mist had disappeared though along with a fair bit daylight and the traffic was lighter so I managed a steady 70mph for most of the trip home. I called in Asda for kitten food and cat milk and had just got back in the car when the phone rang. The mother was back and they'd got her in their kitchen.

I got the kittens settled in the cage and, with a sigh as I could have done without a second ten mile trip, headed back to Peterlee. The mother was fine, young as I'd expected, and friendly albeit not happy when I put her in the carrier. Still it wasn't long before I reunited her with her kittens. By this time I was knackered and had called in at the local fish and chip shop where I had to settle for sausage and chips as there wasn't any fish ready and I was too tired to cook anything. Eventually I got on to the computer and emailed Joanna our secretary to tell her what I'd been doing.

A little later she replied to say that Andrea, having moved a cat today to our re-homing centre, would be able to take them which suited me just fine as they'd be going to somewhere with more space than my small cage. And that's what happened just a few minutes later.

And that's, apart from the obligatory photos below, the end of the story.

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