The cat in the photo below lived rough for two years….
Babz and I first heard about him on Friday when our friend Kath contacted us and said there was a ginger and white cat in her garden, he was limping and his eyes looked runny. She said he was wearing a collar so it seemed he must belong to someone.
We advised her to check the collar for any details, but by then he had vanished. She had seen him around before but said many cats passed through her garden and she assumed he lived around the area, but now she was worried at the state he was in.
Later that day she saw him again in a neighbour’s garden. So she went to their door. She knew the mother and daughter living there by sight, but that was all. It turned out that the poor cat had been living in their garden for two years and the daughter had been feeding him. He hadn’t been allowed in the house in all that time because the mother suffers with asthma and is allergic to cat fur, so all last winter he’d lived under a hedge in their back garden.
Our friend looked at his collar and found it had a little barrel on and inside was a piece of paper with his name “Taylor” and the address and phone number of his owner. So she went home and tried the number, but there was no reply.
Next she went to the address and there she found the gate locked and the house looking empty! Someone in the next door garden said she thought that a man a couple of streets away had taken the cat ten years ago as he’d looked after him for a while and didn’t want to give him back because he thought he wasn’t being treated properly. It seemed very strange that in all that time he was still wearing the collar with his old address on. She also gave our friend a valuable piece of information as she knew where the woman who owned the ginger and white cat worked.
So Kath phoned her work place and was told she wasn’t there that day, but the person taking the call said she would pass a message on. By Saturday morning, nothing had happened, the cat was still in the neighbour’s garden.
So Babz and I went to the cat owner’s work place, only to be told that she was on holiday until Tuesday. The assistant we were talking to knew about the call from our friend but no one had done anything about it. When she realised it was quite urgent she said she would phone her colleague at home that day, we gave her the details again of where the cat was and left with fingers crossed.
We had discovered the address of the man who had taken a cat in ten years ago from the same woman. So we decided to call round and see what he had to say about it. We showed him a photo we had taken of Taylor and his eyes filled with tears, he said yes indeed he had taken a cat from that address but he was grey and white and had died of old age just last Christmas.
Such a nice man, he apparently takes in many unwanted cats and we met one who had been abandoned, a beautiful dark tortoiseshell, she was rubbing around his legs, obviously very happy and much loved by him. He said he would have taken Taylor if we couldn’t find his family but was already having trouble with the police and RSPCA about a cat he was trying to help whose owner didn’t care for him properly but wouldn’t let him go to a better home.
We felt awful having bothered him but he said he was only too glad to help any cat and he knew for sure that Taylor did belong at that address on his collar but he didn’t know if the family had moved.
So then we called round to see our friend Kath and she took us to see the cat for ourselves. He was very friendly but definitely in need of help, his poor eyes were squinty, he was limping on a front paw and his nose was sore.
The mother and daughter of the house came out and said they had seen his collar when he’d started living in their garden but had thought he was abandoned. They hadn’t thought to look in the barrel to see if there was any information inside!
Two black cats were also sitting in their garden, they said one had been thrown out by a man a few doors away who had now got a dog. The other had just turned up, someone told them he was homeless too. So they had been feeding all three cats for a long time and no cat organisation would help them because they had sort of taken responsibility for them by feeding them.
After that we called round to check the address and yes, the house certainly was empty, so we came home to think what to do next. When we arrived, good news awaited us! Taylor’s owner had turned up at our friend’s house, her colleague having passed the message on by phone. She was overjoyed to see him again. Apparently he had vanished two years ago and eventually she had accepted he wasn’t going home any more. The family had recently moved and she was very thankful that by piecing together what clues we had and persevering, we’d been able to contact her and reunite them at last.
What a happy ending!
Taylor will now be having the veterinary treatment he needs and then settling in at his new address!
What is sad about this story though, is that if only those women had looked properly at his collar when they first realised he was living in their garden, he would have been home long ago. In this case neither a collar, nor a microchip, would have got him home because in the end you do need someone to actually bother to check if the cat actually has a home or not.