Cat Tetris

We’ve been quiet on the blog for a while. When we’re very busy we mostly don’t have time to write, and when we have time to write there’s often nothing happening to write about. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening of course, but an endless round of litter trays and vet runs doesn’t make for very interesting reading.

This story starts, as so many of them do, with me in my pjs winding down for the night. It was gone 10pm and after a long day at work I was wondering if it was too early to go to bed. Idly scrolling on a local facebook group I noticed a post about three cats having just been left on someone’s doorstep. Knowing how full we were and the challenges of nursing JJ with cat flu in one room, whilst Mavis was unvaccinated (due to a national shortage) in another, I scrolled quickly past. Conscience pricked though, and I dared myself to peek back at the post … the doorstep mentioned was only a couple of minutes away by car, and the owners of the doorstep were clearly thrown into a bit of a panic by their late night visitors. I scrolled past again. Several minutes of intense internal struggle ensued. We had nowhere to put them but what on earth would happen to them if we didn’t take them.

By 11pm, I’d set up the largest dog crate we have in the middle of the lounge floor and been out to collect them. The carrier was broken, gaping open and loosely tied up with an electric cable. I’d thought when I read the original post that it must be kittens to all be in one carrier, however it appeared to be two adults and an older kitten of about 6 months. They didn’t even have enough space to all be able to stand on the floor. It doesn’t bear thinking what state they would have been in if they’d not been found while morning.

The dog crate was far from ideal for them, but they had food, water, and a litter tray in there, and a hammock to add a bit of space on another level. It was cramped and I felt awful about it, but they could be warm and dry and safe and they had about eight times as much space as they’d had an hour ago. They were clearly terrified, so I just slid the carrier inside hte crate, opened the carrier door, closed the crate and covered it so they had some privacy and sense of security.

The set up was difficult for the eight resident cats here too. It effectively cut the house in half as no one was allowed to walk through the lounge. Residents who had been upstairs in bed at 10pm were trapped upstairs, whilst those in the back of the house had to remain there. I was on the edge of tears with the implications of all this, especially when it was added to the movement restrictions we already had upstairs related to barrier nursing JJ / protecting unvaccinated Mavis. The simplest movements around the house involved careful opening and closing of multiple doors whilst stopping any cats dashing through. Of course most of the journeys through the house involved carrying things, making it more of a challenge: coffee mug – tricky, coffee mug plus plate of food – um … I wouldn’t try that, laundry basket – just no!

We struggled to make sense of how three cats could have been pushed into the same carrier and came to be dumped along with a dirty litter tray and a bag of food on a stranger’s doorstep. Had they been stolen? Was it someone maliciously dumping someone’s beloved pets? If malicious, then why leave them on a doorstep with food etc? They looked as though they’d been well cared for.

We posted on our facebook page, asking for any info and for emergency foster homes. We had several sad posts from people hoping beyond hope that perhaps one of them was their long lost fur baby. None of them had a microchip. Despite the post having been seen thousands of times, we received no information about them.

A very welcome post arrived from ‘Aunty’ Jenny, one of our trustees and our amazing fundraiser. Despite having a house full of cats herself, she offered a bedroom for them to stay in. I’ve never been more relieved to find a place for a cat!

We decided that the best plan would be for her to take the two adults, then the kitten could stay here and we’d see if she might be a companion for little Mavis, as they appeared to be a similar age.

They were all still very frighted the following lunch time when it came to moving them into their foster home. An adult and kitten hiding in the carrier still, and the other adult clearly very stressed and hissing and swiping at any fingers that came near the crate. The best plan seemed to be to slide the carrier out with the two cats in, get them securely in carriers, then come back for ‘Slasher’.

I gently removed the lid from their carrier ready to lift the adult out and to my shock realised that there was another older kitten squished right at the back! So there had been four of them in there all along! If you look carefully at the photo above, you’ll see a spare ear at the back of the carrier. If we’d looked carefully at the photo we would have been pre warned too 😉 That threw the plan of the kitten staying here to be with Mavis, and poor Aunty Jenny ended up with all of them.

Once we had them securely in a bigger space we could get a better look at them. There was clearly a mum (Sybil) and her two kittens (Sally & Sid). Plus another adult (Stella) who looked as though she might be related but didn’t quit seem to fit in. We all have (or are!) family members like that I guess.

Sid was clearly not neutered. Given Sally’s size/age we were pretty certain that she and Sybil hadn’t been neutered … both would still have had some sign of shaved fur on their sides. Stella was anyone’s guess. We had to allow time for a potential owner to come forward before arranging for them to be neutered. Then Sybil proved our theory by coming into season. Sid hadn’t shown any sign of having any impure thoughts, but we needed to separate them, just in case. Neither Aunty Jenny nor I had another spare room, but Mavis was just getting over her spay op and was missing her playmates Moses and Marley since they’d gone to their new home. So little Sid came back here for a week while he waited for his op.

If we’d had to choose one of them to be separated from the others, the last one I’d have chosen would be Sid. He’s a very loving little chap when he feels confident. but away from his family and faced with Mavis who was desperate for a play mate, he was anything but confident. Mavis managed to be kind to him despite her disappointment in his lack of desire to engage in crazy kitten games.

He was very relieved to get back to his mam after his op.

It’s been a complicated process getting them all neutered, chipped and vaccinated and ready for adoption, not least because two of them have had to go to another vet practice to be able to get their vaccinations. All almost finished now, just waiting for second vaccinations to complete the course.

Now they’re settled they’re lovely lovely cats. All playful and affectionate. Thankfully they seem to have got over the awful trauma of being dumped as they were. Sid will take a little while to settle and gain his confidence, but hopefully going to a new home with his sister Sally will help.

Their adoption adverts are available on Cat Chat, where you will also find more information about our adoption process. If you’d like to donate towards our care of these poor little ones you can do so using PayPal to

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  1. Pingback: Cat Tetris - Firstpawz

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