It always surprises me when I read about abandoned purebred cats to the point where they are wandering the streets alone in real danger and scavenging for food. They might be doing this for a long time. In the case of this particular Chinchilla Persian cat, who has been named Penelope by staff at the Battersea dogs & Cats home, she was found dumped in the street and because her fur is very long it was badly matted. You would have to presume that she had been wandering the streets in solitude for quite a long time to get into that state.
Her fur had to be removed as you can see by the photographs. She had what is commonly called a “lion cut” and in this instance it was for medical rather than aesthetic reasons.
A nice and concerned person spotted Penelope on the street and saw that she was in a bad way and therefore took her to the world-renowned cat and dog rescue centre in Wandsworth, London.
“Penelope was in a really grubby state when she arrived at Battersea. Who knows how long she’s been on the street by herself. She didn’t have a microchip so we have no information on where she has come from.” – Leslie Quinlan, Battersea’s head of catteries.
As mentioned, Penelope was not microchipped. Therefore, she will have to be re-homed. Battersea Dogs & Cats say it is quite unusual, in fact quite rare, to take in a Persian cat as a stray. In fact, out of a total of 3,000 cats taken in last year, 14 of them were Persian cats. Although this is a small number, it still quite surprising that cat owners decided to abandon such a popular and desirable domestic cat.
Penelope is quite young (aged about 5) and small. This must made even more vulnerable on the streets. A spokesperson at Battersea said that nearly 40% of all the cats that they take are strays but only a tiny 6% of this number are claimed by their owners.
In the picture below you can see Penelope in her new knitted coat looking at her former coat which is a nice neat pile next to her! She is now ready for a new home and we are told that she is a very sweet lady cat. The new owner of course must be aware that they have an obligation to take on responsibility to take care of her coat which will require regular grooming to avoid becoming matted again. This is a long-haired cat and Persian cats sometimes have very long fur.
You can also see that she has tear staining under her eyes. This is normal for Persians due to tear duct overflow as a result of the short muzzle. It alters the shape of the duct making drainage less efficient. Owners can keep the area under the eyes clear by regular careful washing.
Sources: Times (hard copy) and Daily Mail (online)