cat rescue

Bringing up baby

Last bank holiday monday we took in a tiny kitten, Mathilde. How exactly she came to leave her mum remains a bit of a mystery. She’d clearly been well cared for prior to her arrival as she was (is) a chunky little kit, and was (but isn’t quite so much now) very clean. There are a few things we know for certain: she’s adorable, she’s very well travelled, and she’s a little madam.

I collected her from Ilkeston on the bank holiday monday. She’d already travelled a long way to get there. The Tuesday, day after she arrived I had day off and had arranged to meet ex colleagues for a catch up. So she travelled to the Tara Buddhist Centre, south of Derby for lunch and back into the centre of Derby to natural therapy centre for afternoon tea. Whatever in deep and meaningful conversations we’d planned were scrapped in favour of cooing over her and sorting out her bottles.

It’s maybe not a bad thing that we were out a lot.  The residents are unimpressed to say the least.   Rufus (our last hand rear kitten … now almost two years old) is particularly put out. Having been mummy’s (and aunty Jenny’s) baby boy for a couple of years … the arrival of a new baby is hitting him hard.

 

Thankfully aunty Jenny has been there for us just as she was with Ru, and we’ve done the same pattern of shuffling Mathilde back and forth to fit around my work.   Who would have thought that one so small would need to travel with such an enormous amount of stuff?

The cats at Jenny’s aren’t too impressed either. The saving grace is cousin Oliver. Whilst cats are hard wired to do just what the hell they please, border collies are more able to think about the bigger picture and manipulate people by pleasing them.  He’s considerably better at cleaning her than I am, and Mathilde adores him.  Of all the furry people she’s met, Ollie the Collie is the only one who has been pleased to see her and happy to let her snuggle.

There have been some anxious times when its seemed she’s not putting on weight, but she’s an active and noisy little madam. She soon got close to climbing out of her baby cot and moved into a bigger bed … which she’s found she can climb just as well.

Her feeds have changed from gently trying to get the teat into her mouth and encourage her to have a few ml to her squealin when hungry, almost grabbing the bottle out of my hands and drinking it nearly dry before coming up for air. Check out the ears!

It’s fascinating to watch her gradually working out which limbs belong to her and what she can do with them.

It’s bedtime now though … night night Mathilde.

 

 

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Bank ‘holiday’

It’s been a fabulous weekend. Ruined all the cliches about miserable rainy bank holidays. The residents, and Ozzy (some of the time so long as he’s not too crazy kitten ish), and me (a little less of the time because I’ve been frantically spring cleaning the house) have been enjoying lazing around in the sunshine.

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On Sunday it was Flipper’s 6th birthday. She was the first kitten born in our rescue. I’m not entirely sure how she managed to end up staying here … but she did …. and she’s adored.

Also on Sunday it was our fundraiser event at Heeley Institute. Many people put in a huge amount more effort to make this a success than I did. Jenny, plus Zhany & Steve, and Noel are the stars of our fundraising …. plus all of you of course.

We all had a lovely time. I was only a grunt in the process … but came home exhausted from that on top of the cleaning.

The plan for today was to chill, finish the last bits of cleaning, but mainly just flop and read my book. It started well enough. Had a bit of a lie in, fed and cleaned everyone and then flopped on the sofa with book and second cup of coffee. Flipper settled down to snooze on my tummy. All was right in the world.

Less than half an hour later a rescue friend tagged me in a post and my phone pinged the alert.. You know how your phone pings, but you’re comfy and you think you’ll have a look later? This time it felt like I should look NOW.

There was a 10 day old kitten about an hours drive from here, looking for safety and someone able to hand rear. Our house is cat dominated, and cats move slowly …. and we follow suit. On this occasion however, we were out of the pjs and into the car within about 20 minutes of the ping.

Mathilde is now home and safe with us

Mathilde is the small one ………. the big ginger is the last kitten we hand reared …. who is having some jealous issues right now. He’ll get over it when he realises that there’s still plenty of love to go around all of them.

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Shuffling gently forward

So we’ve ended up with three tom cats, all at different stages in the rescue process but all gradually moving towards their happy furever afters.

Stanlie is the furthest away in some respects. He’s not even officially an 8 Lives cat. We’re pretty certain he’s a long term stray. He arrives every day for food and has gradually progressed from only agreeing to eat if we’re the length of the drive away, to being happy to eat whilst I sit next to him, to taking treats from my hands and allowing me to stroke him a little whilst eating.

We’ve not been able to find any record of anyone missing him, and the limited view we’ve had on him suggests he’s not neutered. So is unlikely to be chipped. When he’s a little more confident we’ll scan him for a chip but don’t want to scare him away for something that is unlikely to be there.

Paul is kind of running neck and neck with him …. though on a different race track. He definitely doesn’t belong to anyone and is officially an 8 Lives cat with his own bedroom here. However for a couple of weeks he was much less confident around people than Stanlie. Perhaps ironically that’s partly because he is indoors … and maybe feels a bit trapped.

Paul at vets

 

He managed to be brave at the vets though, and came home from being neutered feeling more hopeful and positive.   That was a bit of a turning point, when he agreed to accept chicken treats from hands.

And then moved on to agreeing to be stroked .. a little …. on his own terms

He went back to see Dr Fran this week to start his vaccinations and was so much braver than last time. He didn’t need to hide under his towel whilst being examined. Not only braver . … but bigger! He’s put on half a kg since arriving in rescue. Days of lounging around, sleeping peacefully without fear of danger, and being fed regularly.

Ozzy is a different story all together: stuff of confidence and bursting with the desire to meet and greet people. Since his “little op” he’s singing fewer bawdy songs and starting to think about settling down and being part of a family. Since his ear drops, he’s got rid of his ear infection but gained some rather dodgy greasy looking sideburns. Sorry Oz … they’ll clean up/grow out very soon.

He’s had a few times of mixing with the residents and “doing outsides” and has been fine … but rather too boisterous for the laid back resident crew. Even the dog in the next garden reported feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sight of an excited Oz on the shed roof.

Oz just needs the right forever home and he’ll be sorted. His adoption advert is here

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Don’t say the Q word!

Things were a little quiet over Easter.  We’d held on to a rescue space for a couple of weeks in the hope of taking in a pregnant cat and enjoying the patter of tiny feet.   For various reasons that didn’t happen, and for a short, bizarre time through Easter week we had no one asking for rescue space.

It all changed last Sunday when the rescue friend through whom little Sparkle and her siblings arrived, contacted us about another poor stray cat.   We shelved the hope of a pregnant female and took in a grubby, battle scarred gentleman from Leeds.

Paul

He’d coped remarkably well with his lovely feeder getting hold of him and taking him indoors overnight ready to come to rescue the following day.   However the M1 and then other cats outside his bedroom door freaked him out a bit and he retreated into his shell …. or rather a cardboard box … and refused to speak to me other than the odd hiss.

Paul at vets

It was a bit touch and go whether Paul would agree to attending his vet appointment.   Thankfully he decided he liked Dr Fran and let her have a reasonably good look at him.  It was rather surreal as we had a photo of a wound from his feeder but didn’t know where it was on his body …… which led to several minutes of rummaging around hoping his patience would last.   We found it and it  appeared to be healing so we decided that checking his temperature would be an unnecessary pushing of our luck.  We did however agree that a long acting antibiotic jab would be a good plan just in case.   Paul decided to wait under his towel whilst Fran went off to get it.

Of course just as we’d filled the rescue space our occasional (believed to be) stray visitor became a regular.    Aunty Jenny and I first spotted him a couple of months ago …. mud wrestling with another unneutered tom cat in a neighbours garden.  It coincided with when Tyga & Belle had arrived here …. unspayed …. and were going through their pole dancing phase.

Stanlie the stray

A few weeks later my other neighbours asked me if I’d seen this tabby and white cat and were worried that he was limping. I soon spotted him and tried to engage him in conversation … but he didn’t want to know. It’s taken some time to make friends with him but we’re getting there. I invited him for a meal and he accepted … with the proviso that I sat the other end of the driveway whilst he ate. Then he started letting me closer, and sitting waiting for me at tea time, and then letting me stroke him a little.

Stanlie

We’re working towards him being confident enough to let me check him for a chip or even put a paper collar on to see if he’s going home somewhere. I doubt it though. He seems to spend most of his days on my neighbour’s lawn, looking through the hedge to see when I’m around to feed him.

And since then we’ve been inundated again with requests to take cats into rescue … all the usual excuses … mainly allergies and landlords …. but also one wanting rescue because the cat was scratching the wallpaper! We offered a space to another cat because they’d come via a friend. Then kind of wished we hadn’t because he turned out to be quite a bit older than ‘advertised’ …. full of hormones … singing pornographic songs from dawn to dusk.

Ozzy

He’s a nice lad … but sooner he has his snip and chip the better for the whole family.

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Spring Newsletter 2018

Well I hope its really Spring now and we’re finished with the snow [Nope – we’ve had more snow – Editor]. We’re in that lull between the rush of cats needing to come into rescue because the Winter is coming and they’re living rough and the avalanche of mums and kits that Spring and kitten season brings.

We were fortunate to have the usual post-Christmas rush on adoptions. The little F twins landed themselves a lovely patient home with a dad who was happy to build cardboard fortresses for them to play in. Lily found herself a beautiful home that purrfectly colour co ordinated with her lovely fur.  Merlot hooked up with Karis when she came to stay for Christmas and went home with her.  He was delighted when he discovered mum had named her favourite drink after him!  Poor Figgs thought he’d got himself a home lined up and then at the last minute was gazumped by his room mate Mr Tiggs. It all worked out well in the end though when Jenson’s mum fell for him and he went to live with Jenson and the bunnies.

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Mikey’s story

Mikey had been living rough in someone’s garden for a few months. He was one of the lucky ones who land in a garden that belongs to someone who cares.  They fed him and gave him some shelter and contacted Beverley who went out to scan him for a microchip.  Sadly he wasn’t chipped and no one was responding to “Found Cat” adverts .  Beverley got him on waiting lists for several local  rescues … and they waited .. and waited.   So many cats find themselves in similar or much worse situations.   This one got a whole lot worse when local kids started to push poor Mikey around, so she spread the net wider to include rescues that are further away.   The amazing facebook cat rescue network did what it does so well and found space here.

mikey on his way to rescue

We’re too small to realistically hold a waiting list so just  take the first needy cat we’re asked to take whenever a space becomes available … so long as we have the appropriate skills and resources to help him/her.  It just so happened that we received the message about Mikey the day before we were taking Lily to her new home.   The following morning I helped Lily settle into her new home and then came home to clean her room whilst Beverley drove Mikey over here.   She clearly cared very much about him and although he may have set off with nothing, he arrived here with two mega sized packets of dreamies and a lot of hope.   A week or two later a large tuck box arrived for him packed with toys and more treats and  dreamies.

We know that all cats are unique. Mikey was unique in a rather special way though that reminded us of a dog.  When he arrived he had his tail tucked firmly between his legs to the extent that we were concerned (it turned out unnecessarily) that he was injured. In his anxiety he huddled close to Beverley and kept his distance from me.  He soon realised he was fine, his tail relaxed and he started enjoying cuddles with me.  A few weeks later when his furever family came to meet him for the first time,  he tucked his tail in and huddled next to me whilst he weighed up his potential new staff.  That makes a lot of sense on one level .. but its mostly not what cats do!  I’ve known plenty of dogs who snuggle close when scared but mostly however much cats are loved, when they’re scared most cats hide or push us away. Remember the last time you tried to help Tibbles down from the shed roof, or unhook Fluffy when her claws were stuck in something?   When I took him to his new home it was the same – he tucked his tail in and huddled next to his new mum, then shyly went to the outstretched hands of his other new family members.  Then as his confidence grew he escorted his new dad to the kitchen to check out what was in the fridge ….. and then took him back to get seconds!   There were tears in my eyes as I watched this last stage in his transformation from an abandoned piece of rubbish to king of his little castle with doting servants.

A few hours after I left he sent the above photos and this lovely message:

“The last four hours have gone very quickly. I’ve eaten, used the litter tray, played, had a brush and got lots of cuddles. I know I had two beds to choose from, but as you can see from the picture I think I’ve chosen the best seat in the house! Can’t wait for my chicken dinner.

A huge thank you and purrrrrs to all the kind people that rescued me and helped me find my forever home, I won’t forget how generous and caring you have all been.

Mikey
xx”

It is a rare thing indeed to find a cat who pauses to say thank you 😉    It’s rare too to meet a human who is so grateful for finding a rescue space.  A  few weeks later Beverley returned …. with a wonderful collection of things we could sell to raise funds.

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So lovely to not only rehome a gorgeous cat, but also make a friend.

The day Mikey moved out was another quick turn around day … and the gorgeous Pearl & River moved in to take his place.  They’re also now delighting in their purrever home.

Bulgarian Feast

We feel so fortunate to have randomly made connections with Zhany & Steve Hughes through one of our  fundraising stalls.   People often come to our stalls or contact us and say they are interested in helping fundraise only to disappear into the mist, never to be heard of again.  So I’m hoping I can be forgiven for being skeptical initially.    Zhany turned out to be completely different.   We’d had an Italian meal fundraiser in February …. she raised us a Bulgarian one for March … and followed through with it.  Wow … just wow!

We’ve also found a lovely new community venue in Heeley Institute …  it invites those with a sense of adventure to find their way through the one-way road system …. and once there to enjoy lovely surroundings, and excellent facilities.

It wasn’t so great when I arrived on the night …. the night of “The Beast from the East Part 2 :The Revenge” …  snowing a blizzard …. people climbing up the hill from the match at Bramall Lane looking like abominable snowmen.   If it had been down to me I might have cancelled.  Thankfully the amazing aunty Jenny and our chefs were made of sterner stuff.

It was a fabulous feast … not to mention the Rakia which was included.  Mind you … we needed it in that weather.  Grateful to the amazing people who turned out regardless  … and then pitched in with helping to clear up as our washer uppers were snowed in.

The meal was excellent and people were amazed to learn that Zhany & Steve aren’t professional chefs …. they’re actually teachers of English to people who’s first language isn’t English.   That’s awesome because with connections like this we can have some fabulous international food events.   Our next one is French on Sunday 6 May.   If you’d like a ticket you need to be quick as we’ve almost sold out.

Please note: our main place to advertise events is our facebook fundraising page.  If you’ve missed out because you’re not on facebook and don’t want to miss the next one please let us know.

Snap!

When little Mogs arrived alone but keen to be friends with the other cats here we knew we needed to find another kit to pair with him so that they could go to a new home together.

mogs

We put feelers out to lots of rescue people across the area offering space for a single kit between about 4 and 12 months old and went to collect the first one that we were offered.  Imagine our surprise when we found they were almost identical.

patch

Thankfully they hit it off really well and are enjoying their new home together now

mogs & patch in new home

Fabulous stuff to sell

Our amazing and creative fundraiser Jenny has really excelled herself these last few months with more and more lovely ideas.  So as well as the gorgeous hand knitted toys made by Beverley we now have some amazing ‘Firefly Bottles’ for sale.   The ones below are just a small selection of an ever changing stock.  We’re delighted to have the support of Ralph & Dave’s mum who owns the Gin Wagon and The Gin Bar at Vintedge  and The Ale House for donating bottles…… and of course the lovely Noel (Daisy’s dad) in creating the lights.  [You need to check your punctuation so that people don’t think that Ralph & Dave’s mum owns all three establishments – Ed]

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They’re £5 each ….. though we’ve had such a rush on the Henderson’s bottles that if you’re wanting a Hendos you may need to bring your own bottle  🙂

We’re also developing a rather smart selection of drawstring bags which I understand are  called slipper bags.  Not only do  these come in several different sizes & designs they also come in waterproof option so great for toiletries, swim/beach stuff etc.

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They’ll be priced between about £5 and £8 depending on size.  If you’re interested in buying lamps or bags please either contact us at eightlives@outlook.com or call Jenny directly on 07743675747.

Still looking for their furever home: Tyga & Belle

These gorgeous young ladies arrived in rescue the same day as Mikey.  He’s been in his new home for weeks, and Pearl & River  who moved into his room the day he moved out have also been in their new home for weeks.  For some reason these two have just had people messing them around – people who live on a very busy road, people who don’t want to adopt for several months, people who live miles and miles away, people who want to split them apart or even mix and match them with another pair of cats.  They deserve so much better than that.

If you think you could give them a loving settled home please contact us …… their adoption advert is here.

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Gender identity

I kind of think of myself as feminist and a little above average in terms of rejection of gender stereotypes and acceptance of different interpretations of gender and relationships.  I have six purrmanent resident cats …. three girls … three boys … and I love them all to pieces.

It shouldn’t matter really whether cats coming into rescue are male or female …. so long as we don’t mix unneutered different sexes.  What’s the difference really?  other than a slightly higher cost for neutering if they’re female?

And yet…  And yet …… somehow it feels important to know which they are.   Choosing names is often what forces the issue for me.  Of course several cat names are gender neutral, many aren’t, some I think should be but aren’t.  There’s a whole other blog post I think in the naming of cats.  That aside, are we going to play with them differently or snuggle them differently?   No. Or at least not consciously/intentionally.

In the course of several years of rescue we’ve had a few cats whom we’ve believed to be one gender only to find they’re the other.  Only a handful … but its a strange feeling, and one I can’t quite get my head around.

Little Mogs came to us a few weeks ago.  A lovely pretty little girl.  We’ve had a disproportionate number of little boys recently …. Felix & Fritz, Relish & Raffles,  Merlot, Mr Tiggs & Figgs …. it’s not been intentional but its been marked enough for even the vets to comment.   Then we were asked to take another kit and told she was a little girl.   She seemed a pretty little thing.  We posted her on our facebook page and lots of people said how pretty she was.

She was friendly and affectionate, and after the usual hissy fit introductions to the other cats, settled in quite happily.   As we’d had the lovely Karis staying with us over Xmas and they were both long haired cats, we ended up comparing ….. and something seemed not quite right.

Same cat, different angle.  Just as adorable.  Just as lovely …. and we loved her … but somehow she had a face that reminded us of our Rufus.

A couple of days after she arrived, she was quite itchy scratchy so we put some flea stuff on her. Very shortly afterwards she was unwell, stiff legged, unable to climb into the chair, flopped on the floor. We rushed off to the emergency vets. One of the first things they do of course is listen to their heart/lungs …. and take their temperature …. which led to the surprise sideline diagnosis being that she had testicles! The vet took some bloods, and we each negotiated the tricky pathway of gender re assignment. It was easier for the vet, or at least appeared to be – she was being calm and professional and had only known Mogs for 10 minutes. I, on the other hand, was anxious, and with a poorly cat who had been fine a couple of hours earlier … and indeed supposedly female at that point 😉 She was poorly so I wanted to be close to her and at that point it meant knowing her as I’d always known her, as a little girl.  Equally we’d been unequivocally been told she was a boy, and I think maybe at some level suspected it already.   I was aware of switching back and forth between referring to her as “she” and then “he”.  By the time we came to pay the bill and leave Mogs was clearly a ‘he’.

I think we should have listened to what Flipper was saying at the start … she obviously knew … and empathised since everyone wrongly assumes Flip is a boy.

What changed as a result of this? What should change? Why does it matter? He still looks as lovely as ever … but somehow “pretty” is no longer quite right as a description. Why?   Somehow those good looks now need to be referred to as “handsome”.

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vets and snow and a proud mummy

We’ve had some interesting vet runs today. I dropped two little boys off to be neutered on the way to work this morning. Given the weather forecast I wasn’t sure if we were going to get there, and felt bad about starving them overnight when it may not be necessary. As Sheffielders will know, the “Beast from the East” turned out to be a bit of a pussy cat (at least for this morning) and was cleared with a flick of the windscreen wipers.

It got to lunch time at work and the snow started to fall heavily. I phoned the vets to ask about bringing pick up time forward in view of the weather. They were kind and helpful (as ever), made an earlier time, but also said um …. its sunny here. Sure enough I arrived back in Sheffield and its was bright and fine, so much so that I left my coat in the car on the vets car park. I was a wee bit early but only waited about 10 minutes. In that time the sky went dark and it started snowing …. horizontally. I kind of regretted only having my cardy on 😦

Little Mogs complained that he had more white bits than he had before. Patch did too .. but there’s a limit to how much time we wanted to spend taking photos in a blizzard 😉

We drove up Woodseats Road … and Scarsdale .. each inch of the way being thankful that the worst case scenario for the day .. having to abandon car and struggling up said hills with two frightened post op cats in carriers hadn’t happened … yet. Got home settled the boys in …. and the sun came out.

So vet trip three of the day also ended up happening. That was for Henderson’s booster / health check and review of his meds. Regular readers might remember that Hendo came to us last January … pretty much on death’s door. One thing and another its been a long haul but just recently he’s been looking really good. I’ve persuaded him to be brushed. He won’t let me do the more knotty bits around his hips but the rest of him has been looking so good. I’ve spurred him on saying how amazing Dr Tim will think he looks.

So back down Scarsdale, and he’s a bit shifty, and then we get to the lights to go over onto Woodseats and he does a poo in his carrier. It’s my fault. He’d been asleep before we set off to his appointment and I scooped him up and put him in the carrier and he didn’t have chance to use the litter tray first. So much for the beautifully groomed cat being presented … all I could do was pray he didn’t engage in some faecal body art before I could stop and sort him out.

It was tricky … but with all car doors securely locked we managed a bit of a turn around and scrub up. Note to self: make sure spare tissues, wet wipes and bedding are available in car.

The appointment was good. Hendo may have been a bit poohey .. but Dr Tim said his heart sounded really good for hyperthyroid cat and his coat look great. His weight has gone up quite a lot too. He’s within a few pouches of being 4kg! He was under 3kg when we first collected him. He grumbled his way through a mani pedi …. and tried to scare Dr Tim by reminding him that he was Jango’s mate … the cat all vets dread … but we were able to reason with him … the deed is done … and he’s had to admit this evening that its more comfortable having shorter nails.

Just to celebrate we went next door to Pet Company on the way home to see aunty Nic. She was thrilled to see him and could hardly believe it was the same cat! We’d gone in there after his appointments last year when he was so poorly, to buy a selection of tasty foods in the hope there might be something we could persuade him to eat.

Nic helped me choose some lovely food to tempt him … and then when we got to the till refused to take payment. It was so lovely to have that kind gift back then … and equally lovely to be able to take Hendo back a year later to say thank you. Well … a kind of grunty grumbly thank you …. you know what cats are like 😉

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A tail of growing confidence: Belle & Tyga

We took Belle & Tyga into rescue a few weeks ago. They were completely silent on the way here and that usually means that they’re either very chilled and confident, or too scared to protest. In their case it was the latter. They came out the carriers with wide eyes and proceeded to hiss and hide.

Initially they wouldn’t even eat. After day or two of being tempted with chicken and every other tasty thing they agreed to end their fast, but would scuttle out of eat when I left the room, disappearing when I came back with fresh water.

Gradually it came to be that Tyga would come out to eat whilst I was there, though Belle would still hide.  Then Tyga came into season.  It was a good opportunity to be more friendly with her .. and do lots of stroking ..  though it also felt a bit exploitative somehow when her behaviour was hormone driven.  However she writhed around like a pole dancer … craving affection … and when her hormones subsided, she remained friendly and affectionate.

tyga pole dance routine

Belle’s hormones didn’t take over, but she did become more confident and would come out to eat whilst I was there, and/or would allow strokes whilst she huddled in her hidey hole.  She then progressed to allowing herself to be tempted closer by treats.  Then started to join in with play time.

There’s something very rewarding about seeing them gradually grow in confidence like this.  It needs patience, but its soooo worth it.

The day finally came for them to be spayed … and not a day too soon, having listened to them howling love songs to a rather embarrassed Mikey in the next room for a couple of weeks.   In terms of being able to get some sleep myself it was wholeheartedly welcome, though I couldn’t help worrying that being at the vets for the day would set them back a bit.

 

Surprisingly it didn’t knock Tyga’s confidence at all.  It did affect Belle though … but in a positive way.   I don’t know if it was so awful that she was thankful to be home, or whether it was a day of facing her fears and realising she was safe and cared for despite her anxiety…. but she arrived back a changed purrrson.    She came for snuggles, was completely happy coming out for food, wanted to play.

From there they’ve gone from strength to strength. Now both waiting for me at the back of their bedroom door when I go in. Really to purr and snuggle, wanting to play.

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All they need now is a new home with a bit of patience whilst they find their paws.

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All change! (2)

After all the cats mentioned in part 1 had gone off to new homes or foster home we were without any rescue cats for a while.

When I say “a while” … it was the while it took to drive from Figgs’ foster home to the house where Tyga & Belle were living but unable to stay.  And then the while it took to get them home and settled into their new room before Mikey arrived.

They’re very different cats with different histories.  One thing they have (had!)  in common however was their unneutered status.  Mikey gently stank his room out with adolescent boy hormones, whilst the girls in their bedroom got all excited and sang him sweet love songs throughout the night.   I mention it because our bedroom is the one in between both of theirs … and most of us ended up downstairs sleeping on the sofa in an effort to escape it.

Tyga & Belle had lived in a home since being small kittens but both were very timid on arrival.

It was a few days until they would dare to come out of hiding when I went into their room, and longer until they’d actually eat whilst I was there.  Tyga then came into season and shamelessly pole danced around the chair legs whilst I watched.  She gained confidence that hasn’t been lost  since her hormones have settled.  Belle remains more wary but can be enticed out to play and to take treats from me.

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Mikey on the other had had been living rough and then camping in someone’s garden for a few months.  He’d spent some time on waiting lists at other rescues, but when kids started to kick him around the lovely people who were caring for him pulled out all the stops and tried rescues further away from them …. and fortunately we had space.

He was clearly also anxious.  Like a frightened dog he tucked his tail between his legs.   When he arrived he cowered close to the lovely people who had brought him to us, wondering what was going to happen next.    Very quickly though he decided it was ok here and was full of love and snuggles.  So much so that it was hard to get any decent photos of him – as he refused to stand far enough away to point the camera at him.

Even attempts at selfies were blurred as he’d head butt the camera.  Bless him.   I was heartbroken to find that when I raised my voice just a little “for goodness sake Michael … we need a decent photo for your adoption ad” …. he slunk away, tail between legs, and crouched under his cat tree.

It produced a good enough photo to get him a lovely new home that he’ll go to this weekend … but it hurt both of us.  Thankfully chicken and dreamies helped to restore him.   When his new family came to meet him he tucked his tail under again and stood close to me ……… but only for a while.  Then he decided they were the best thing .. and delighted in sitting on my lap being fussed by a family of four (soon to become five).   Hopefully he’ll never need to worry like that again.

Categories: cat, cat rescue, kittens, Sheffield | Leave a comment

All change! (1)

Most of you will be aware of the adverts saying “a dog is for life … not just for christmas” … the same applies to cats of course.  I’m sure there are still people who get kittens for Christmas but thankfully we didn’t have to deal with anyone looking for a last minute ill-conceived Christmas present this year.  What we DID have was a collection of lovely people who were waiting until all the chaos of the festive period was over before they welcomed a new family member into their homes.

Lily was very quickly reserved …. and delighted to land a purrmanent home that complemented the colour of her jacket purrfectly.

The shy little F twins (Felix & Fritz) were reserved by a lovely young couple to go to their new home after their New Year celebrations.  They came several times to visit, bringing a large stash of chicken bribes.  The residents loved them!  When the little boys went to their new home they were scared and hid for a while, but after a few days started to realised they’d landed on their paws.

We’ve already told you about Merlot finding his furever home with Karis who came to stay over Xmas.

 

Figgs had a homecheck with a nice family .. but very close to a main road and we had to say no.  Then he had another homecheck  – a lovely couple in a good cat friendly location.  They came to meet him and it went well.  Figgs rolled around showing them his tummy and explained how gorgeous he is, whilst his room mate Mr Tiggs hid under the desk.   We thought the deal was done.  Figgs trundled off to sit on the windowsill, we talked about moving dates.  Just as we were about to leave, Mr Tiggs rushed out from under the desk and threw himself at them, proclaiming undying love.  It was an awkward moment.   A promise had been made to a confident “love anyone at the drop of a hat” Figgs, but a shy Mr Tiggs had sat and weighed it all up, thought about these people and decided he could trust them.

They went away to decide.   I thanked my lucky stars I didn’t have to make that decision.   We learned later that tears had been shed and “Sophie’s Choice” mentioned more than once.    Often where there’s a choice to be made I have a clear idea of which option I’m hoping for.  In this instance I didn’t.  Both cats quite different but either could have been happy in this home.  We weren’t left wondering for long.  A message came back that Mr Tiggs had won the home.   It kind of upholds our theory about shy cats …. they’re harder work, but there’s something very special and precious about winning their trust.

Figgs took it reasonably well … disappointed of course and worrying a bit about being black & white and his chances in the rehoming stakes in view of that, but we reassured him that he’s adorable and the right opportunity would come along.

It did!  Though it happened in the most surprising way!  Our cleaner (a previous 8 Lives adopter) came in the following week and it seems he poured out his sorry tail to her.  We came home from work to a message from the cleaner and the extraordinary sight of Fig hastily packing his bags.  After some discussion we all agreed that Fig would go to stay with said cleaner on a foster care basis … pending the agreement of resident cat and husband 😉   We advised slow and cautious introductions.  However the resident cat invited him to dinner on the first evening (bless him)

and Figgs seems to have been pleased to accept.  It kind of went from there really.

The adoption papers will be signed this weekend 🙂

Categories: cat, cat rescue, kittens, Sheffield | Leave a comment

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