That’s All, Folks!

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the things I do. Those who know me will be aware that I have struggled with health issues for many years, and those who don’t may have picked up a few clues along the way. I’ve had to take the difficult decision to stop fostering cats as I find the extra work it creates is not conducive to successfully managing my illness.

After two years and nineteen foster cats, it’s been an honour and a privilege to have been a part of the life journey of these beautiful, loving creatures and to have helped some of them to break free from awful situations. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see them settled and happy in new homes, and I’ve met some lovely, generous people on the way.

As there’s to be no more foster cats, there will be no more blog. But fear not; the blog will remain online so the stories already there will remain accessible to all.

I would like to thank all those who have read or subscribed to this blog, and those who have supported me during the last two years. I particularly want to thank Daphne and Angie of Peterborough Cat Rescue for bringing me the cats on a regular basis and putting their trust in me. And to my fellow cat fosterers, thank you for the love and commitment that you give to the cats, you are doing an amazing job. Thank you, too, for your friendship, both on- and off-line. I will always remain a supporter of Peterborough Cat Rescue and a crazy cat lady. And thank you too, to all those who have given a cat a permanent, happy home. You are wonderful!

Finally, it just remains for me to say:-

PEOPLE! PLEASE NEUTER YOUR CATS! 😉

Rudi goes home

The day arrived for Rudi to go to his forever home. His new “Mum” arrived and he greeted her politely, but I don’t think he had any idea what was about to happen. We completed the paperwork and “Mum” took her copies and a bag of toys out to the car. While she was bringing the car up closer to the front door (Rudi is a big, heavy cat to carry any distance!) Rudi realised that something was up, having spotted the cat basket. He moved around the room quickly in a fearful, crouched position, so to save adding to his stress, I picked him up and helped him into the cat basket before his Mum came back. She seemed relieved that it was already done and she wasn’t going to be faced with a game of “Catch the Cat”! Once in the cat basket, Rudi gave me a disgusted look but seemed resigned to his fate. He didn’t panic, yowl or give any signs of distress; he was just a bit put out at this interruption in his usual routine!

The hard part for me was once he had been placed into the car, and it became obvious that I would not be accompanying him. Rudi inclined his head slightly so he could see me, looked straight at me and emitted a very questioning “Meow?”. It was as if he was saying, “Why? How could you? I thought you loved me!” I only wish it were possible to explain to cats exactly why something was happening. What I knew but Rudi didn’t know was that he was going to his new home to live with his new Mum forever. He would be spoilt rotten and live in comfort for the rest of his days, with a lovely enclosed garden where he could watch, and possibly chase, birds and squirrels. I hope, once he realises that he’s been moved on for his own best interests, he might be able to say, “Thank you, Foster Mum. You knew what you were doing.”

Two Fridays…and Two Visits!

In the past couple of weeks, there has been an increase of interest in Rudi. I’m pleased for him as I think he’s getting a bit bored with having to stay indoors and pines to go out every evening.

The first visit from a potential owner was last Friday. A lady with her three children arrived to meet Rudi and consider whether he was the right cat for their family. Meeting three children all at once was a bit overwhelming for Rudi but he coped well, despite feeling a bit uncomfortable with the situation. He allowed himself to be stroked and petted, and even demonstrated his inner kitten by playing with a dangly toy mouse for a while. But after just a few minutes, he made it clear that he’d had enough attention and skulked off to hide behind the chair. The lady said she would discuss Rudi with her husband and get back to me. They decided he wasn’t the right cat for their family and would continue looking for a suitable cat.

Then just a week later, we received an enquiry from a lady whose elderly cat had passed away earlier this year and she was feeling ready for another feline companion. She visited Rudi with her daughter this morning and they thought he was lovely! Rudi greeted them and allowed himself to be stroked and fed treats. He drew the line at a demonstration of his playfulness, and eventually took his place on the windowsill to check on what the outside world was up to. He was totally relaxed with two new people in the room and wasn’t bothered by their presence at all as we chatted.

I think the lady already knew that she would be adopting Rudi before she even met him, and he didn’t disappoint. So, in a few days time, Rudi will be off to start his new life.

It’s always nice to spread the message about cat fostering to a wider audience, and the October 2015 issue of Your Cat magazine has done just that by publishing an article on the subject. I’m pleased to say that a contribution from myself has been included as a case study featuring Percy, the black and white former street cat who exceeded all our expectations in foster care. Percy is continuing to do well in his new home. You can find the article to download here http://yourcat.co.uk/Your-Cat-Magazine-Current-Issue/your-cat-current-issue.html

Rudi aims high!

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Rudi has very much made himself at home. So much so, that he has started to make eclectic choices about where he spends his time. With his long, lithe body, he has no problem in jumping onto windowsills straight from the floor, not to mentioned the kitchen work tops and the chest of drawers!

A few days ago, Rudi disappeared. I knew he couldn’t be far away as he can’t get out of the house, and the house itself is small. Eventually, I found him not only on top of the wardrobe, but on top of the two suitcases that are on top of the wardrobe! And he’d scrambled over the duvet to get there! There’s barely enough space between the suitcases and the ceiling for him to sit up, yet he just loves it there. He was up there for more than seven hours once, and the only thing that brought him down was the sound of a pouch of cat food being opened!

No. 19 Rudi 017

He was very glad of his hiding place this afternoon as a visitor came accompanied by two dogs! Rudi was already settled in his hiding place but he instantly knew there were canines in the camp without even seeing them. His eyes widened and his nose twitched as he sniffed at the strange scent in the air. I reassured him as best I could that the dogs would not be entering the bedroom where he was, and he was quite safe. I don’t think he believed me, though! Even after they left the house he was still wary. I tried to tempt him down with a freshly opened pouch of cat food but he wasn’t having any of it. I think he probably expected me to leave the plate of food on top of the wardrobe with him! Cats! They’ll try to use any situation to their advantage!

At the time of writing, Rudi is still reclining in his favourite spot, but more relaxed now. I’ve no doubt he will come down when the fancy takes him. In the meantime, he’s determined to enjoy all that his current accommodation has to offer.

Rudi is still in need of a permanent home. If you would like to offer a home to this lovely boy, please contact Peterborough Cat Rescue on 07502 134006. And, please, no households with dogs!

No. 19 Rudi

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Rudi is a 3 year old ginger boy who has come to us as a child at his previous home developed a cat allergy. The first thing I noticed about him was his size. He is a BIG boy! Not fat or portly, just very l-o-n-g. He is very similar to my late ginger boy, Tetley. I always said that if Tetley were human, he’d be a 6 ft 6 ins rugby player. But Rudi would be a 7 ft tall basketball player! He’s very lithe and strong, but a gentle giant at the same time.

Rudi is quite a laid back character. When he first arrived, he hid under the sofa, as most new cats do. Quite frankly, I’m surprised he fitted under there but he managed it somehow! I pulled the sofa away from the wall a little to give him more space, but it was only a few minutes before he came out from his hiding place to explore. He settled in quickly and expressed his pleasure at his new lodgings by almost licking me to death! I don’t know what my hand tastes of but Rudi clearly likes it.

Rudi has been here almost a week and he’s showing signs of being a bit restless. Some new toys arrived in the post today but he’s only had a cursory sniff and bat at them before making himself comfortable on the window sill for an outside view. He’s normally quiet and doesn’t say much, but he’s been emitting the occasional plaintive “mew” so I think he wants to go outside. Unfortunately, I can’t allow him to go out in case he does a runner. added to that, I live near a very busy road, and I’d hate the worst to happen to him.

Rudi is ready for his new home and would need a safe outdoor space. He’ll be fine with older children but not dogs. If you can give this lovely affectionate boy the home he needs, please contact Peterborough Cat Rescue on 07502 134006 or send a private message via the Facebook page.

Why I do this

On the “About” page of this blog, I refer to the story of one starfish among many being rescued. An observer comments that helping just the one won’t make any difference when there are countless starfish to be helped. Quite rightly, the person who throws the starfish responds that it makes every difference to the one that has been helped. Just now, I came across an image of the story which explains it better than I can.

The Starfish Story

This sums up why I do what I do. There is a huge problem with cats not being neutered which leads to a feline population explosion. We end up with countless unwanted kittens, not to mention the stray, feral, abandoned, neglected and abused cats. By just helping my “One cat at a time” barely scratches the surface of the problem. BUT if it were possible to ask Percy, Tatiana, Stewart and the other 15 cats I’ve fostered and rehomed to date, if it made a difference, I’m sure the answer would be a resounding “Yes” – and a chorus of purrs!

Martha’s Progress

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After almost four weeks here, Martha has gained in confidence and looks incredibly settled. She is still very guarded but accepts a lot more affection and has also returned that affection by rubbing around me, snuggling next to me on the sofa and on one occasion, sprawled full stretch across my lap in a cat cuddle.

How far she has come was demonstrated yesterday evening when a family of prospective owners arrived to pay her a visit. As Martha is still prone to disappearing under the sofa and refusing to budge when visitors arrive, I made sure that, before they arrived, she was settled in her favourite spot in the bedroom windowsill.  When they arrived, I led them into the lounge and explained where Martha was, and why. We then quietly opened the door to the bedroom, and as we stood in the doorway, Martha remained fairly relaxed as her visitors saw her for the first time. Firstly, I gently and quietly made my way over to Martha and she allowed me to stroke her. I knew that at any time, she could bolt from the room and hide away, but she didn’t. After a few minutes, and having gained Martha’s confidence, I invited one family member to join me next to Martha and take over with stroking her. Still, Martha relaxed and enjoyed the attention, to the surprise of us all. Then it was the turn of another family member who also stroked Martha without her bolting. Not only that, Martha was even confident enough to take some Dreamies treats from her hand! I would have never believed that Martha would have been so relaxed with so much attention a couple of weeks ago. The family absolutely adored her.

It was reassuring to see Martha completely unperturbed and relaxed in the company of the family, and it is also a good sign that she is a good match for them and is likely to settle. They agreed that she was the right cat for them and completed the necessary paperwork there and then. Martha will be collected on Friday to start her new life. I wish her and her new family many happy years together.

The Observer

Martha is becoming more confident but disappears quickly if I move too close to her. She seems happiest when I’m seated in one place and not likely to move. She appears more relaxed and less threatened then.

One thing I’ve noticed about Martha is that she seems keen to learn. Often, when I’m engrossed in doing something, be it on the computer or something as basic as preparing food in the kitchen, I become aware of a pair of eyes watching my every move. Sitting a few feet away from me, usually near the door for a quick escape, is Martha, totally absorbed in what I’m doing. She doesn’t say much and has only meowed to me about half a dozen times since she’s been here, but she is clearly watching and listening all the time.

Another positive is that Martha is welcoming more gentle stroking and often wants to rub her face around my hand. She is becoming more affectionate as she learns to trust me. She doesn’t appear to be a lap cat. However, there has been a couple of occasions when I’ve been relaxing on the sofa and she has voluntarily snuggled up close to me. She is certainly feeling much more at home.

Getting to know Martha

Martha arrived with me a few days ago as her usual fosterer has gone on holiday. To reduce disruption to Martha, she will most likely be staying with me until a new home is found.

Martha is a very timid girl who hid under the sofa for the first two days. She had been living on an industrial estate for about six months, being fed by the employees. They noticed that she kept disappearing into a pile of old tyres and wondered what the fascination was. On investigation, they found that Martha had a litter of kittens! So the whole family came into Peterborough Cat Rescue; the kittens have been weaned, Martha has been spayed, and they are all now ready for rehoming.

Martha is still nervous, but she is now feeling comfortable enough to wander around the house at will and settle wherever takes her fancy. Her favourite place appears to be in the corner of the bedroom window sill, where the sun shines in the morning and good bird-watching can be had! At night, she sleeps in the armchair set aside for cats’ use. She’s no trouble, and has even used the scratching post for its proper purpose, having been gently guided away from the arms of the sofa which were originally her choice. She is not playing with gusto yet, but has had a little tap of a ball and has shown a little interest in the ball which hangs from the scratching post. I don’t think it will be long before she starts playing with more confidence.

I had a couple of visitors at the weekend. Martha instantly went into hiding, and when she thought we weren’t looking, scurried out of the lounge and into the bedroom where she felt safer. I’m hoping that she will gradually become more confident.