8 October 2008

I WAS gutted when the time came to rehome my beloved Muttley. The last moment I set eyes on him was at the kennels. I had arranged for a pet courier to transport him from there to a rescue centre just outside Manchester and, to spare me the agony, the manager had offered to take care of the formalities. It was bad enough leaving him, knowing I would never see him again. I dragged myself to the bus stop, hoping no-one would see my tears through the pissing rain.

31 October 2020

I HAD vowed never to find myself in that position again. Yet here I was. Four stressed foster-cats with behavioural issues, one bullying two of the others, in a one-bedroomed flat, a reduced income and an owner whose hands were tied due to COVID.

I had known for weeks that I would have to take drastic action but had drawn the line at taking them to a cattery, where they might languish for weeks. Now, with the threat of lockdown imminent, having strangers coming to my house was not an option. Besides, I didn’t trust myself to make the right choice in deciding who I could trust to guarantee their welfare.

I had enough food and litter supplies for two until January. After three heart-wrenching days of flip-flopping between trying to soldier on and take two of them to a cat shelter, and which two, my mind was finally made up. The two that I’d caught in flagrante, mother and son. Just as well he’d been neutered.

Getting a suspicious aggressive tom into the carrier was at first easier than I thought, achieved through meticulous cunning on my part. I had never seen such Fury. Much longer and he’d rip the carrier to shreds. Fixated on his claws, I didn’t see the zipper creeping, and before I knew what hit me, he was out, cool as a cucumber. In the end I had to leave him to it in order not to stress him further. Only the mother made it to the shelter. I didn’t relish a fresh attempt on Monday.

4 November 2020

So far so good. Monday was a breeze, made smoother by the administration of valerian extract the day before. The remaining two, Mimi and Robbie, are happier and enjoying the luxury of having a room to themselves – and they’re not bolting their food for fear it’s going to disappear. The neIghbours are happier that it’s quieter at night (touch wood) and I’m happier being able to get my house, and to a degree my mental health, back in order. I am under no illusions – two will still be tough over the winter months but together the ‘kids’ and I have a fightIng chance.

And based on Muttley’s experience of landing on his feet in a forever home most dogs would give their last bone for, I have every confidence that the right people will welcome Tron and Biscuit to their hearts.

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