Sunday, 14 December 2014


Helen is a specialist in dog behaviour and has contributed a great deal of help to Animal Krackers over the last few months.

Welcome to the Jungle!
I'm not really sure how I got involved with the cat side of things in AK. I mean, really I'm a horse and dog person, in fact I'm not too sure how I got so involved at all! But that's by the by and here I find myself remembering the little ginger boy I found on a wall, pathetically desperate for some love and scarily underweight. I'd seen him before but that was a few weeks ago and now he was so very thin. So what to do? Leave him? Feed him and walk away? Post on Facebook and let someone else deal with it? Nope. I picked him up and he curled into me and uttered the most pathetic purr I'd ever heard in my life. So there I am standing in the street holding this emaciated pitifully grateful cat and have no idea what to do next only that I just couldn't leave him there alone. My dear friend Adele had just lost her cat so I took him home and called her asking for a cat litter tray. She went one step better. "Bring him to me." Four little words, and they changed everything, not just for me and her and the little ginger cat we called Colin but for so many other cats.

I have met so many wonderful cats through helping AK and so many wonderful people too some of whom I now count as my good friends. Its not all been plain sailing and I've come close to walking away but I didn't and I'm so glad I'm still involved. Now my duties include collecting cats and taking them to foster, taking cats to and from the vets, taking them to Ferry Farm cat re-homing centre, doing admin on the AK Facebook group, and even re homing. Its hard dealing with so many unwanted and abandoned cats but it is so worth it. I get a real buzz every time I hear one of the cats has gone out on their two week trial and and even bigger buzz when I find out they are staying in their new furever homes.

Some days I am so rushed and run off my feet I could cry but then there are the days when all is calm and I sit in Adele's with a cat, or two, curled up near me puring and I know its worth it. I look at those cats and think 'where would you be now if not here?' and I shudder away from the thought.

Colin was the first but others soon came. So far Adele has fostered 17 cats in less than 5 months. Each one unique and special and in need. They live in foster care while they have their vaccinations and once there is room they move into the cattery at Ferry Farm to find their forever homes. Of those 17 cats 12 have found their furever homes. Each one is loved and cherished and then handed over, again and again and again. I'm not sure if I would have the strength to say goodbye that many times. I know eventually one will come and will stay forever but until that time I am eternally grateful to Adele for being strong enough to take them in, to help them become the happy well socialised and loving cats that go on to forever homes. Adele is only one of the fosters in AK and it is an emotionally hard thing to do but she does it so well as do all the other fosters. She told me once that what keeps her going is knowing there will always be one more cat in need and by doing this she can help them and that's all that matters. That gives me the courage to bring them to her, because where else would they go? We are rescuers all of us vital links in a chain, from the fosters to the fundraisers everyone in between and beyond.

I am a rescuer.
I am the one who they  call when their poor little fluff ball has out grown its fluff. When his puppy nips just aren't as cute. When her kitten mews are just annoying. When allergies and new found love drive out their pet from its place. I am the one they call.
I am the one they call when the vets bill rise, when the cost grows too high. When effort is required and bad behaviour sets in. I am the one they call.
I am the one who sits hours on end in the cold, trap baited along with breath, hoping to bring in the unwanted ones, while they sit warm. I am the one who risks life to bring in the injured and dead from the road. To find their families and bring them peace.
I am the one they call. When beloved pets have passed before and left a hole they cannot fill without the soft padding of paws throughout the home. I am the one they call.
I am the one they call, but I am not alone. I am a rescuer, and we are many. We are the ones they call, who with soft word and gentle hand take in the unwanted, the abused, the lost, and make them bright again, with sleek fur and shining eyes, hearts ready to love again. We are the ones they call.

No comments: