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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  • We just heard this morning that Taylor has recovered well after his vet treatment and has settled nicely and isn't going far away from his family's new home :)
    It's so nice to have good news.

  • Wow Ruth amazing story. Thank Goodness for such lovely ladies like you. I'd love to have neighbours like you guys anyday. Its great that the cat safe with a new Home. Its so hard to have decent Neighbours. Thankfully are lucky here, even though i don't think they like the cats but they are understanding. We decided to keep that cat essie inside at night time and put litter tray down. She alot more happier. I don't know how its going to be when he comes back. At least have given her some kindness and love. You ladies do an amazing job.

    • That was an easy one really Kylee, just a matter of persevering to find Taylor's owner because she had moved, it was great that it was resolved in just a few days.

  • Thank God for your perseverance and I'm so glad there was a happy ending to your story and Taylor found his family again.
    I know those other people fed him but I can't help feel really angry at their utter stupidity! If he had a barrel round his neck why the hell didn't they look in it!! Honestly some people amaze me!

    • Thick as two short planks they are Leah, two long years that woman thinking she'd never see her cat again and all the time he was there with his contact details.
      I do wonder if the daughter had looked but said nothing, she obviously loves cats and wants them around but she's a very misguided cat lover if so!

      • She certainly is the thought of that poor soul sleeping under a hedge :( at least we bought Mr Jinks a proper enclosed bed to go in the cat pen it was like a little house and my hubby covered all the open bits in the cat pen ready for winter. He was very snug and even when it was cold he would come out stretching and I'd feel him; he was always warm as toast. We took him to the vets to check for a microchip!
        Thick as bloody planks is true!

  • OMG, R!
    That is horrible. Pretty obvious that those slimebags don't give a hoot about those kitties.
    Have you thought of a plan?

    • Slimebags is the right word for them! You can see that they get their grub alright!!!

    • As Babz said we are feeding them now and gaining their trust. We need to cook a plan but will have to be very careful with this one....

      • Do you know where the mama cat is for these girls?

        I'm pretty good with plans.
        Let me know if you need help. I keep the perfect outfit (all black right down to the shoes and socks) in the trunk of my car.
        It's times like this when I just get that rescue-slash-kidnap-slash-neuter-slash-rehome sort of feeling!

        • Dee we have some back up! Might need to borrow your black outfit eventually ;)

          • Houses and gardens too close knit to trap Dee, when they first moved here a few months back we saw an older tabby in the window but not since. There's so many cats around over there we don't know how many are theirs, apart from the four obvious siblings. Suspect one of the toms at least is theirs too. We haven't got CP behind us :(

          • Another one between 2 toms taking turns this morning, soaked to the skin, can only touch one of them very lightly so far, but need the pregnant one first as worried where and how she will give birth.

          • "No it’s him next door to us probably moving, with the barking dogs in the garden.
            Those opposite haven’t been here long but apparently they move on when they’ve messed the house up and run up debts, or eventually get evicted."

            Sorry. No way to reply to your comment, R.

            I know the type well. Those are the sort of people who move and just leave their cats here.

          • No it's him next door to us probably moving, with the barking dogs in the garden.
            Those opposite haven't been here long but apparently they move on when they've messed the house up and run up debts, or eventually get evicted.

          • Very sticky situation.
            May consider trapping.
            I'm worried about that poor old mama cat too. I wonder how many litters that poor girl has been through.
            It's all so sickening, R.
            Good luck, girls.

        • Thinking she's an older brown tabby we've seen over there. Very difficult here as our houses are so close together in our country and our own is small. We can hear the man next door sneezing!
          Thanks Dee, we'll think what to do very carefully.
          Now I have an image of you all in black doing your good deeds lol

    • I thought of moving out of the county hahaha, other than that no, for the moment we'll just keep all the food the boys waste and sneak it over for the poor things to eat.

  • Ahh...what a wonderful story. Persistence pays off! One of the nicer parts of the story was meeting someone like minded. I'm sure it is a relief knowing there are people who care as much as you.

    Such a sweet homecoming for Taylor. I wish for him many warm nights, curled on familiar laps.

    • Yes it was nice meeting that man, we have seen him around the town before, but now we've met him we can speak to him and ask how his quest to save cats is going.

    • I want to see him warm and loved. Don't we all need that? He has been too long in the cold and wet.

      • I'm sure Taylor will be spoiled rotten now, next time we are in the town where his 'mother' works we'll call and ask her how he is so we can let you know.

  • Ruth,

    Would there be more people like you and Babz who alway go the extra mile to help these kitties. The world would be a much better and loving place for sure. SIGH...

  • Oh my, Ruth, I had to read Babz post; I don't know what to say. Aw, shoot, who was that man?

    • A very nice man Caroline and doing his best to help cats, but ending up in trouble by the sound of it.
      I hope he gets it sorted and keeps on rescuing cats, talking to him on Saturday we could see how much he loves cats.

  • It was such a relief when we heard that the owner had turned up to claim him, once we knew about the poor cat living rough, and for so long, we couldn't rest until we'd done something about it, but what a shock it must have been to that woman, and really if she'd been that way inclined she could have reported that mother and daughter for keeping her cat, but I don't think she will. Yes Taylor has gone home with his old owner Michael, but because she has moved since he disappeared the home he has gone back to is new to him.
    The thing is that the people who had fed him for 2 years were kind but - bluntly - stupid, all it needed was for them to look at his collar and they could have got him home but I suspect the daughter didn't want to know because she loves cats, loved him and wanted to keep him in any way she could as she isn't able to have a cat of her own in the house, we were told she broke her heart when he had left to go back home with his mum, but love isn't enough to keep a cat warm and healthy in the winter when he's forced to live under a bush. As for the mother, she admitted she doesn't like cats, is allergic to them and has had medical problems including a coronary artery bypass op so I think she has just pretty much ignored the problem of the cats and left her daughter to get on with it. I wanted to clash their heads together really but you can't punish people for being kind but stupid can you? The cat rescuing chap involved is a teacher Dee, not really elderly, or maybe he is but he looked about our age so that makes us all elderly argh! It was lovely to meet a man so unashamedly a cat person, no macho pretence of being a dog man, he loves cats and he's proud of the fact. I like cat men I must admit Anyway all turned out well for Taylor, but as for the 2 black cats, oh dear I don't know what is to be done to help them.

  • Wonderful story Ruth. He has a new lease on life because you all were persistent and didn't give up. If we had more people like you in the rescue world we could alleviate so much pain and suffering for these babies.

    After so many years as an independent rescuer, I am still amazed at the lack of empathy and compassion for an animal in need.

    • Thank you Cindy, we usually end up involved because of being known cat lovers. I admire you for doing independant rescue, it's not easy with no back up.

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