By Leanne of Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary
Earlier this year one of our faithful volunteers turned up one cold, wet day holding a small, jet black, female cat, maybe about 1 yr old. She was terrified. She was also full of fleas and worms and very underweight and she wasn’t very friendly, which was understandable.
She had been seen wandering the streets for a while, kids throwing stuff at her, dogs chasing her, all the usual things that happen to an unwanted and unloved cat. The estate she had been picked up from was a very rough area and no doubt she wouldn’t have lasted long.
We didn’t have an empty pen to put her into when she arrived but we had just taken in another young female stray, Tabitha, so decided to house them together for the time being. Lisa spent the first days with us hiding, growling and hissing every time anyone went into the pen.
She was really hungry but was too afraid to touch any food we put in (Tabitha soon polished off any left overs of course!!). We knew that time and patience would be the best healer for Lisa. Physically she was well but mentally she was not so good.
Eventually, we noticed that she was coming out more and more when any of us were there and because Tabitha was such a friendly cat she and Lisa became pals, which seemed to help Lisa’s confidence issues. She was also starting to eat and enjoy her food and we could see that she was actually starting to fill out and her horribly dull, black coat started to gleam.
Everytime we went into their pen Tabitha would immediately jump onto our shoulders and demand attention and finally, seemingly taking a leaf out of Tabitha’s book, Lisa started to rub around our legs and ask for attention. We were thrilled in the transformation. She also started to enjoy being groomed which really helped her coat to shine.
Once she had settled and had been neutered, a home was next on the list. After a few weeks a girl came along, who already had taken a cat from us before. She fell for Lisa, and Lisa seemed to fall for Claire.
Unfortunately, a while later, Claire came to us really upset. Lisa just would not settle, she was very unhappy and didn’t get on with Claire’s other cat. Claire could not offer Lisa any outside space as she lives next to a very busy road and she felt that Lisa needed to be able to go out, so unhappily, Lisa came back to us. We still had Tabitha with us so they were room mates again.
Lisa continued to be a friendly, if a bit excitable little cat and everyone liked to play with her and Tabitha. Lisa developed a habit (probably copying off Tabitha!) of getting onto your shoulders but, unlike Tabitha, would then bite your ears and pull your hair. By now she was eating well and we were just waiting for the right home to come along.
One night, at one of our regular meetings, our secretary, Bill, mentioned that his daughter was talking about offering a home to a cat. She shares a flat with her boyfriend and brother and the three of them had always had cats but now their flat seemed empty and they wanted a cat that would be happy having a cuddle and a fuss but also would enjoy being outside in their gated community where, it seemed, that all of their neighbours had cats!
I immediately thought of Lisa, it sounded perfect for her. However, the trio live and work in Greenwich, London!! it took a couple of weeks, but eventually the three of them could get the time together to come up and meet Lisa. They looked at all of our cats but Lisa melted their hearts. I think it was the ear nibbling (from Lisa, not me. lol.) that sealed the deal!!
It was all settled, Lisa was going to be a Londoner! Since being at her new home she has settled in fantastically well. She also has a new name, Bonnie (full name: Lady Bonnie McMeowsalot).
She has been going outside on a harness and lead, which by all accounts, she has taken to very well. Eventually, of course, she will be allowed to explore on her own. For the present, though, she is loving as much fuss and attention as she can get and as everyone works different hours. There is always someone around when she needs a hug. She watches the local cats and seems to be waiting for the time she can join in with their adventures.
A happy ending for a once very unhappy little cat, (see photo). good luck Lisa. Oops sorry, Bonnie
P.S. By the way, Tabitha was rehomed a few days later with Tracy and her son. She is now called Tilly May. She is settling in well without too many problems (other than refusing to poo anywhere but in the middle of the kitchen floor!! oh dear). However, Tracy loves her and has vowed to overcome this little erm.. habit.