Save Our Cats is a website dedicated to bringing you the latest news and information about cats and the dangers they are facing. The website contains factual stories dating back to ancient cat history, interesting tales of feline developments and horrific news articles within the last decade up to current events.
ON A September morning this year, a Birmingham man, woman or teenager dumped a young, malnourished and ailing all-black tomcat outside the back door of Marks & Spencer in our city centre.
This animal was seriously ill. He was bony. His coat dull instead of shining. He was fighting for breath.
Yet he was discarded like rubbish, shivering and bewildered.
At which stage his life took an upturn probably unimaginable to his dumper.
Mrs Karen Hoode, a nurse at First Care Practice Medical Centre in Balsall Heath, has to change buses on her work journey from Newtown to catch the No 50 for Moseley Road.
She saw the cat and couldn’t leave him. She put him under her coat and telephoned me.
I met her in Balsall Heath with a cat-box and a taxi. In the meantime, we’d alerted the ever-wonderful Pauline Beasley, who runs Wellcat, the cat rescue charity in Quinton Road West, that I’d be arriving with a little soul in dire trouble.
She was waiting in her car, took one look at the cat gasping for breath and reckoned there wasn’t much to be done to help him.
But off she dashed with him to her vet. He felt the same. Then had a brainwave.
He remembered a similarly stricken cat a decade ago. Could it be the same problem, he wondered, a nasty polyp in his throat, on its way to suffocating him.
The creature could die under anaesthetic because he was so weak but, on the other hand, a possible polyp would kill him anyway.
The vet went for broke.
An emergency op followed. A huge polyp was removed. The cat survived.
A week later, neutered and improving, he came to live with Leo, Mooch and George, my three bachelor boys downstairs – the ten feline girls sleep upstairs with me in the nunnery. He has thrived. He still carries his head at an alarming tilt at times. He’s on antibiotics while my patient vet, Christian Hughes, at Fivelands Veterinary Centre, Moseley, runs trials of various pills and potions to sort him out.
“He’s a real street cat,” he says. “No oil painting, but a thoroughly good bloke. We’ll get there with him in time.”
As I write this, Bernard (named after my Archbishop because both are genial and both wear black) is playing beside me, rolling pens. He’s purring, relaxed, almost as glossy-coated as his confreres below stairs.
Over Christmas, he’ll enjoy a soupcon of smoked salmon, poached chicken and tuna in brine. He will take his medication only if it’s mixed with a teaspoon of clotted cream – not single or double, please note, just clotted.
As for whoever abandoned him... I hope this Christmas is dire. I want their roof to fall in, their turkey found to be rank before cooking, their stomachs upset and their children peevish.
I know this is uncharitable, but it’s considerably less uncharitable than their treatment of an animal who looked near death.
How can they pass the festive season with that on their consciences