We left the last update with an empty room vacated by Molly – who incidentally is having a very purry time now – awaiting the mystery of who may be the next arrival.
Last Tuesday I was at work when my phone buzzed, tagged by a friend on a national “Cats in Danger” facebook page. A stray tabby cat had been living in a shed over in Lancashire for several months, fed by someone who cared about her but was unable to take her in. It had recently become apparent that she was very pregnant.
Snatching time between seeing patients and struggling with a poor internet connection, I was eventually in contact with the lady who was helping her. We exchanged a few messages, agreed to meet part way between Darwen and Sheffield to share the transport time and costs. I said I could meet her either that day (Tuesday) or Wednesday after work, she said Wednesday was better because she didn’t have a dog sitter.
I came home and set about making the empty room into a maternity unit, and generally cleaning and tidying and making sure everything I might have put off to the following day was done as there would be no spare time on Wednesday if I had to go to collect puss cat after work. The lady who was doing the first part of the journey messaged me to say she’d sorted out a dog sitter and would now work out the route and a midway point for us to meet. I settled down with a glass of wine, enjoying having a relaxing evening knowing that there would be no chill time the following evening, working all day and then rushing half way to Darwen to meet an anxious cat. We exchanged a few messages and agreed on a service station on the M62 as the meeting place. A little while passed, I sorted out the usual collection of emails from people wanting to adopt and a lot more from people wanting the rescue to take cats in, and poured myself another glass of wine. Messaged the lady again about times to meet – I could head straight up to the M62 after work the next day, but that would be in the rush hour and the cats back at home wouldn’t have been fed, or I could go home and feed them and come up a little later. Her response was the last thing I expected to hear:
“I’m here now …… just getting a coffee”
Reading back over our messages it was clear how when we were both rushing and multi tasking and didn’t know each other, she had thought that saying she had a dog sitter meant that we had changed the plan to meet that same night, and I had continued in the belief that we were meeting the following night.
It was 10pm, she was in the middle of nowhere with a heavily pregnant and terrified cat, I was home in my pyjamas with a couple of glasses of wine on board. Plan B of this poor lady bringing Maya all the way here was put into place. We thought it would take her another hour to get here. However 11pm went by, and then midnight and there was no sign of them and no further messages. At 1am I went to bed ……… wondering what on earth was happening but unable to contact anyone and aware I had to be up at 6am for work. At 2am the door bell rang. The resident cats flew up in the air in horror and went into “OMG she must be going on holiday ……….. that’s the only reason the human gets out of bed at this time of night” mode. Maya’s poor chauffeur had been lost in a nightmare mess of roadworks around Leeds and going round in circles for hours until her phone battery died.
So 2:30am saw us drinking coffee, charging the phone, plotting a return route to Lancashire that gave Leeds a seriously wide berth ….. and coaxing Maya out of her carrier. 3am saw me lying in bed, shell shocked and not quite able to process what had just happened, 4am was pretty much the same, as was 5am. At 6am the alarm went off and I set off for another day’s work.
With thanks to Marianne who braved this journey and the one home over snake pass at 4am.