“When they’re gone, no more!”, was the remark by the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ when her daughter left home to go to college, leaving behind 3 cats to be cared for. Well, was it cats or daughters? Being a loving mother and a kind animal lover it was hard to know, particularly, when considering that the cats live long and happy lives and the daughter always returns to a loving welcome. Lily, one of the three cats died at 12 years old, leaving Mango and Mash. It was at this time that supporting Grande Daze began and Little P came on the scene having been left in the Grande Daze car park.
A kind heart rules each day, and it is clear that the remark, “When they’re gone, no more!”, was a hollow expression of bravado as a fledgling left the nest. Little P had an upper respiratory problem and needed a home environment, so, she joined Mash and Mango and the feline band of companions began to increase. Mash was happy indoors or out but Mango preferred to sleep outside in the garage. Mash became too old and dignified to play with Little P and, luckily, Purdey was found by the vets. Purdey is a Siamese look alike, the only one in the litter and was specially picked out. Purdey, Little P, Mash and Mango were soon joined by Tara and Gambit, quickly followed by Mr.T. Grey, so called, as, in French, his coat colour is tigré. It was not quite a year after settling in that Gambit sadly died of leukaemia contracted before he was homed. The lovely Mr. T.Grey now has only 3 legs after being caught in an old trap and Purdey spent 6 weeks on cage rest for a fractured pelvis and is now back to full fitness.
Whilst all this was happening, the aging village tom cat was getting beaten up each mating season. Risking being bitten and scratched by this tom cat he was caught and taken to the vets for neutering. Following this indignity, Crazy Cat Lady thought that he wouldn’t stay. It became apparent that he had decided that his captor was responsible for his welfare. He became known as Thugly, the ugly black and white cat with a slight squint and a lot of attitude, weighing in at 8kgs, he beats up the dogs if they step out of line. Thugly had been knocking around the village for 10 years or more and since last winter now sleeps in the house on the bed and shares cuddles on the lap with Lana the dog.
Sadly, in the spring of 2020, Mango and Mash died within 6 weeks of each other at the age of 14. “When they’re gone, no more!” remained a hollow comment as 2 more kittens serendipitously appeared. Miss Chivers, Mischief for short, was a tiny grey tabby when she appeared from the hedgerow during a family walk and shortly afterwards, Gremlin charmed her way into the family. Gremlin was supposed to be a foster cat but showed such affection to her foster mother, sleeping between the Crazy Cat Lady’s shoulder and ear to be as close as possible, that she just had to stay.
A visit to another refuge proved another case of heart ruling head when the beautiful, long haired Siamese cross, Sapphire, affectionately known as Fluff Grump because of her problem personality, was taken into the household.
Then came the Black’uns, a delightful brother and sister, who are large, semi long haired and appear to have Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat in their breeding. This beautiful pair were also fostered after being hand reared by the vets but liked their foster home so much that they couldn’t settle anywhere else.
After the Black’uns came Pip who arrived sitting, bold as brass, in the back of the village caretaker’s van. Evidently Pip was a stray, probably chucked out at the end of someone’s holiday. She was scooped up and taken for two weeks quarantine in the spare bathroom; after which she joined the rest of the family where she fitted in as if she had always been amongst the rest of the cats. Though not a cuddly cat she likes to be near her human companion.
In 2020 Splodge arrived and decided he would be another courtyard cat. He was destined to the same fate as Thugly and the deed was done when the first Covid lockdown was lifted. Splodge is ginger and white and has 2
distinct white marks like paint splodges on his back. After almost a year he has begun to enter the house when the doors are open and, when and if he decides, he will be allowed to be another house cat. Only time will tell!
Among this happy band of cat companions is Vickie, a 17 year old who joined about 2 years ago following the death of her elderly owner. Vickie had some adjusting to do as she had always been an only cat but with consideration she has settled into the household and enjoys sharing a comfy sit on the lap with another cat and maybe a dog.
Each of this disparate gang has found a place. For some, the settling in time was months, yet others needed a few weeks and some just days. They get along with the dogs but the new boy on the block, a poodle puppy, proves to be a little ‘full on’ sometimes. Just outside the door there is always a bowl of biscuits and water where several other cats drop in for a treat now and again and a hedgehog shares an occasional meal but he has no manners and knocks the dish against the door as he eats! Cats or Daughters – no competition – there is love and kindness for all!
Reading this story and listening to the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ it is apparent that cats, particularly adult cats, need time and patience to adjust to any changes in their circumstances. When the adoption of a cat is considered then it is important to follow the advice of those with experience. Cats are independent spirits, not trained and they don’t get the publicity that the dogs get with educational courses and agility training. Habitual behaviour, kindness and adapting to the cats needs is paramount in our behaviour as humans in order to care for our feline friends. Our reward is the knowledge that we are trusted by very discerning animals who will be at our side as companions and confidantes!
All of the cats and the dogs are neutered or spayed and, of extreme importance, they are all vaccinated with all respective feline and canine inoculations known and available.
Adoptions and fostering doesn’t always work out, as with Dashboard Dora who remains semi feral but likes to know that humans are around. Cats are not for everyone but if you believe that you are a trustworthy person and can be trained we would love to hear from you if you would like to adopt one of our rescued cats.
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