Categories: Stray Cats

Identification On This Cat Still Left Him Living Rough

The cat in the photo below lived rough for two years….

Taylor – homeless for two years despite having identification. Photo and collage by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • What gets me about this story is these people knew the cat for 2 years, cared enough to feed him, but didn't care about leaving him outside the entire time or getting him to a vet when it was obvious he needed it. That is so inconsistent I can't even process it.

    It was a good deed to reunite him with his owner for sure.

    • We couldn't understand either why they were kind enough to feed the cat yet they'd made no effort to find his owner.
      As Babz said it was possibly the daughter desperate to have cats around her just turned a blind eye to the fact that someone might be missing him.

    • It seems that there wasn't much concern until Ruth and Babz stepped in. They say the Brits are animal lovers. Clearly it does not apply to everyone.

  • Bless all of you...
    Kath for knowing to call you and Babz
    And, the 2 of you for your investigative work.

    I so love happy endings.

    I have a soft spot for that dear elderly gentleman. Bless him too.

    • Kath is a great supporter of our fund raisers and a really nice person, she doesn't have pets of her own as she's out at work long hours.
      I wish we could solve our on going problem here in a weekend, we are now feeding all those young cats and gradually gaining their trust, but we have to tread very carefully on this one......
      One is definitely pregnant, the toms will no doubt ensure the other 3 are soon too.

        • Yes and we think they are from the same litter as they look the same age and are two sets of lookalikes. Three have been on heat again but the toms are lessening now so that's it for a few more weeks or possibly four pregnant young cats now.
          It's hard to know actually how many live there but those 4 definitely do and they walk low belly and we think it's because of the dogs, when they get in the house they must have to avoid them. They're thin so maybe the dogs take their food too. But we've no proof of anything.
          The trouble is the woman are fearsome, especially the 'man' of the pair. They have many visitors equally as anti social and fearsome, Babz and I are past the
          'fisticuff' type aggression.
          Two young cats trust us now .......

          • See my reply way below, R.
            Don't know why that happened.
            Wordpress reprimanded me again for posting too fast and my comment shot way down the page.

          • I thought that had stopped where it says you're posting too fast, I hadn't even posted and it ticked me off!

  • Ruth. Did Taylor end up back with his owner? He went to a new home so I presume it was someone else.

    I thought you all did amazingly well to sort this out. Great commitment and persistence.

    A very interesting story. As you say, unless people are concerned when they see a stray cat there is not much point in identifying a cat.

    I hope Taylor's experience is not typical of many other cats in the area. I got the impression from your story that among some people there is not much concern about stray cats perhaps because there are quite a few of them. I don't know.

    It's a good story though. I enjoyed it, although it is sad. Are you sure that Taylor will now get that only care to put him right?

    • The trouble is Michael that our town has become a dumping ground for freeloaders. As decent people move away or die their houses get sold to absent landlords. They use an agency who put in any scum of the earth who live on benefits so get their rent paid for them.
      We never see those two go job seeking, they lie in bed half the day, smoke, make a noise half the night, typically they'll wreck the house and move on.
      We do still have nice people and we are lucky to be on the very edge of the estate and even with some layabout neighbours and barking dogs it's cat friendly and safe, which is most important to us. Further into the estate is the pits, we'd never venture there after dark. Most people here are kind to animals, even when we had the criminal druggies next door they respected the neighbourhood cats.

      • I see the problem. Places change and one's life changes and it is tricky to keep it ticking along nicely. Good neighbours are so important. You can never bank on it for the long term.

        • We don't really want to move until Babz can retire, because there is nowhere within reasonable distance of her job which is as good for cats as it is here.
          Then we can go anywhere in the country, before we do we will research it well. But as you say, things change, we had the best neighbours here at one time, now we live on thorns who will come next. Him with the noisy dogs is talking of moving, see the state of his front entrance, the back is even worse!
          After the conwoman, the criminal druggies and him we hope our luck changes and we get someone decent in there. But as long as they respect cats, we can put up with anything.

          • It is shame we have to have neighbours! Although some are really nice you can't bank on it. It is a risk. I think within about 2 years I'll move again to a detached house in the country with no neighbours! Or buy a houseboat so if the neighbours are bad - I'll just drive the boat down the river....

          • That's an idea Michael, I wonder if Charlie and Walter and Jozef would like to be ships cats ;)

    • Yes he's back with his owner but at a new address because his family had moved just recently. He was quite a way from his old address, across busy roads, we can only assume he wandered too far 2 years ago and yet he was neutered so that's unusual.

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