Although we currently only have 10 cats, the number requiring single rooms means that we’re completely full. Domino and Dizzie each have one of the cat rooms to themselves. Poor Dizzie would be happy to share, and I think has missed his mate Edward since he went to his new home, but no one wants to share with him. Domino is happy to nip into his bedroom at meal times and steal his dinner but hisses at him if he tries to make conversation.
Then Big Dave arrived. Dave is one of a group of feral cats living in Chesterfield. They’ve had a hard time as residents were threatening to poison the growing community of felines. Some amazing women, who didn’t previously have much experience of cats, came across them and took on the huge task of sorting them out. They trapped him for us last Wednesday and we picked him up on the way home from work (our work that is, not Dave’s) and took him straight to the vet for B & (no) B prior to his neuter op the following day. Next day after work we went to collect him. The vet smiled as she handed him over, and took off her gauntlets. Gulp.
Home and into a crate in the conservatory. Dave and I were neck and neck as to who was the most anxious about it all. We expected hissing, growling, lashing out …….. what we didn’t quite anticipate was a point blank refusal to eat. Several different flavours of pouches were offered, and a pick and mix selection of dried food. Dave sat with jaws resolutely clamped shut. Day two we resorted to sardines and Dreamies. Still no. Day three pushed us to cooking – fish, and then scrambled eggs with cheese …. um ……. no …… NO. The residents checked and rechecked the calendar as what appeared to be the Christmas feast, a rolling buffet of Dave’s rejected meals, was served. Day four brought us desperately combing the rarely trodden aisles of the supermarket (we’re veggie) looking for more treats for a carnivore. A slice of boiled ham was seriously considered, and then rejected. Dave and I spent a lot of time staring anxiously at each other over ever more desperately proffered meals.
Finally on the night of Day four, Dave ate just an ordinary pouch, and hasn’t looked back. It’s become apparent that despite the tough sounding name, he’s just a timid kitten at heart. Things have come on in leaps and bounds since then. After a couple of misguided choices to sleep in his litter tray and pee in his bed, he’s figured out a better plan. He’s taking an interest in his toys, calling to me when he hears me clattering around in the kitchen, and ……. to my delight, sat purring at me last night. We’re managing a few careful strokes at meal times now too, and looking forward to Christmas holidays when we can take things a bit further.