Do I only write about cats these days? It seems like it.
Just over a year ago my neighbour Carol and I rescued Izzy, a young kitten full of vim and mischief. That raised my awareness of the number of animals unceremoniously abandoned over the Christmas period. As I walked backwards and forwards from visiting Fang, I wondered if I might stumble across another needy kitten.
But it wasn’t a kitten, and it was much closer to home. In our garden, sheltering in an upturned pallet wedged between the binshed and the wall, I found an adult white and black cat.
She hissed at me.
I had found the explanation for MasterB’s reluctance to use the garden and his worried glances towards this corner in particular.
Nothing for it, I thought. I shall have to make friends with her and then move her on. That was yesterday.
My first offer of food had her out of her hiding place and eating hungrily. Seeing the whole of her was a shock. She is skin and bone. You can see the outline of the pelvis and then her body caves in dramatically. She sniffed my hand so I felt pretty sure she wasn’t feral. I called the vet for advice. I didn’t want to make her ill by giving her too much food in one go.
Three more small meals yesterday. Clean bowls each time.
She hissed at me when I gave her breakfast this morning, and then I went to work. A neighbour fed her in the middle of the day. This evening I went out with a clean bowl and more food, calling to her as I went through the gate. Gratifyingly she appeared at once, vocalising, but not hissing. She tucked in and let me stroke her. It seems that in twenty four hours she has understood I do not mean her harm, and that she now has an established meal service. I’ll give her one more meal tonight.
I have a message from the Cattery to say they will call me about her tomorrow. I am hoping they will have a space for her and that I can catch her soon. Weak as she is, she is vulnerable to foxes who tend to take ailing or young cats.
Should I ever achieve a flat with a garden of my own, I think it will have to have a cat pen in it. These needy animals turn up too often, and a temporary place to keep them would be a relief.
It would be great if she is chipped and has just got lost, maybe frightened by fireworks in November. I want this story to have a happy ending.