By Ruth aka Kattaddorra
I write this article with tears in my eyes as I remember all these beautiful cats. They belonged to a person who we thought was a friend. We met through Cats Protection when Marion our local co-ordinator asked us to look after twelve cats as their owner was going into hospital.
This was the start of many occasions that we cared for them in their own home and we became very friendly with this woman who we thought was disabled by what she told us had been dealt with some very bad luck in life. We got to know each cat, some shy, some nervous, but we loved each and every one of them.
Eventually we helped her to move next door to us when the house became empty and she said she was unhappy where she lived. It was much later that we found out by chance that she had been given a suspended prison sentence at Court for robbing her close friend. She explained it away, it was her ex husband had made her do it, she would never have done it, would never do anything wrong again. Because she lived next door by then and we loved the cats and felt sorry for her disability we stuck by her even though other friends didn’t like her and said we shouldn’t have.
For the next three years she seemed to be settled and living a good honest life and we helped her physically and financially, some days she was crippled with pain, other days she said she could cope with it and she seemed fine. We took her out with us on those ‘good days’ and we thought she was very brave and stoic. We made her welcome in our home. We trusted her! We had even built an outdoor cat run for her cats
Then around Christmas time 2010 we found out she had been using us all along and blackening our good names whilst doing so! We cooled off, for many reasons it all became obvious to us that she was taking advantage not only of us but of another close friend and many more people too.
To cut a long story short it turned out she had many debts around our town and elsewhere and was planning to move away leaving them behind, which was apparently what she had done many times before. She had actually been evicted from her previous homes for rent arrears.
One morning, 5 months after Christmas, by which time we had found out a lot more about her, she came to our door and paid me the money she had owed to us for a while, we were very lucky we got ours back as no one else did! She said she had to go away ‘on business’ and could we look after the cats.
I refused, not only because by then we were finding out even more bad things about her, but also because I had a horrible feeling that she wasn’t intending to come back. A few days before that, she had a strange man staying and when he left he drove off in her motibility car the other close friend had been driving her around in. Was she about to follow him? YES!
When Babz and I came home later that day from shopping there was another strange man in her house ….She had gone!
But we didn’t know this until a few days later when the cat sitter knocked at our door and said he was desperate, she had left no money for cat food, he didn’t even know the cats’ names, he had no money left of his own and she hadn’t returned, nor could he contact her at the phone number she had left. He was worried about the health of some of the cats but she had left a note saying not to take any cat to the vets without asking her first.
She had told him to have nothing to do with us ‘the horrible nosy neighbours’ next door. But he had nowhere else to turn, he was unemployed and she had promised him a permanent job if he came to stay with the cats while she went away ‘on business’
By then she had fifteen cats, one belonging to another neighbour who she had told she wanted her to keep her other cat company, he had no idea she had fourteen at the time. There was no “permanent job” for the man she asked to cat sit of course nor any money to pay him.
We bought cat food and gave him food for himself too. People kept on knocking at her door, one came to our house and asked what had happened, she had told her she had a brain tumour, had she died? She owed her money. Then a local gardener she owed money to for a lot of work, knocked at her door, he and the cat sitter compared notes, she had given both a different name and story.
To cut a long story short once again, they realised they had both been conned. Some of the cats were ill and they called in the RSPCA who took four away. The house agent was contacted and he told the two men that she was in huge rent arrears, she’d told him she had financial difficulties and terminal cancer and had lost both her legs in a car accident and would settle her rent when she could! Of course he had felt sorry for her!
So once again she was evicted and because the house agent was coming to change the locks on the house next morning, the cats had to be got out quickly. They were taken to Kays Hill cattery that night. She has never once enquired about their fate. She was eventually tracked down and taken to court by the RSPCA, fined £250 and banned from keeping animals for 2 years.
She had gone away by train to join the man she gave her free car to, this woman who had us all thinking she was so disabled she sometimes had to use a wheelchair! There is a lot more to this story but as it’s not about the cats and it’s too stressful to write about, I will finish here.
This woman is still conning and we have found out that she has been doing it for many years now, back to the 1980s in fact and gets away lightly each time she is caught because of her ‘disability’.
She had no celebrity clients, she did psychic readings by phone, but the press have made it sound like she actually appeared on TV when she never had. We heard that the psychic firm she ‘worked’ for had gone bankrupt. She leaves a trail of debt and heartbreak, some of her victims never get over her betrayal.
We personally can live with how she used us but not with the way she treated those cats who she professed to love and they loved her.