Friday, December 23, 2011
A Christmas Tail
Yesterday I received a Christmas blessing that is so rich I felt I must share it with you.
Last Friday evening we noticed an odd-looking white cat outside our gate. I very quickly realised it looked odd because it had no ears. That’s right – no ears. It was not pristine and quite rough looking and I feared it had been a victim of some kind of cruelty.
Over the years I have given both time and money to animal charities but still remain very sensitive to this, as many others are. To the point that one day I found holes cut out of the newspaper – my dear husband had censored some upsetting stories for me!
Back to White Cat though, she came meowing out from under a car as we walked past. We came back a few hours later and she was still there, calling out loudly. She was very friendly and allowed me to pat her. I brought some meat out and fed her on the grass verge.
The next day we didn’t see her and I thought she might have gone home. She was back on Sunday and over the next few days I fed her some more. I realised what a fabulous man my husband was when he suggested we take her in when that was what I was thinking too.
On a night of torrential rain we brought her inside (we had already been giving her breakfast and dinner) and she stayed the night. She hissed and growled at Jessica a lot but I thought they would get used to each other. She stayed the next night too.
I thought after Christmas I would take her to the vet for a check-up and see if she was micro chipped to try and track down an owner if there was one, but we feared she may have been dumped.
She didn’t look young and when you picked her up she was light as a feather. Quite a difference from Miss Jessica who looks dainty but when you lift her it’s like a bag of sand in your arms!
Her ears told me another story though. They didn’t look hacked off, but surgically removed, and I realised she may have had skin cancer being a white cat, which would have necessitated ear removal. She looked a little ferrety with no ears I have to say. And I was patting her yesterday morning and my ring got caught on her ear-hole. It didn’t hurt her but I felt terrible.
I thought she must be a lost, loved cat if someone had taken the time and expense to have her ears operated on. Plus she was very tame and operated our cat-door no problem at all. She was not a wild cat Miss White Cat.
At work yesterday I decided to see if I could find White Cat’s owners. First I placed a pet lost and found ad on Trade Me (like eBay here). I rung two vets in the area and asked if any of the cats on their records were white cats with no ears. Then I did an internet search. One of the New Zealand pet websites with a lost and found section allowed you to search by keywords and areas.
Up came a white cat lost in our area but it had ears. I clicked on the photo anyway and what do you know, the description of the photo said ‘this was taken before she had her ears reduced due to skin cancer’. And she was lost in a big park right near us. I couldn’t ring the number quick enough.
I phoned her ‘Dad’ and he couldn’t believe we had his girl. She is 12 years old and had been with him since she was six months old. She had hopped into a friend’s car, unbeknownst to him of course and the friend drove off. When he got to where he was going (right by our street) she jumped out frightened and ran off and that was the last they saw of her at the end of November. She had been living rough for more than three weeks.
Her Dad came around last night to pick her up. He was such a lovely man, a retired police detective. He said he had tears in his eyes after I rung him to say we had his puss.
I still can’t believe it’s worked out so well and Dolly has been reunited with her family (her Dad is a country music fan and named her after Dolly Parton 'because she is blonde'). And only a few days before Christmas. I couldn’t think of a better Christmas present myself.
And full credit to Jessica for being such an accommodating hostess to White Cat. She did not hiss or growl once, despite a strange cat staying with her. And the nice lady at the cat shelter said she liked her own company and didn’t want to be around other cats. Jessica’s my true Christmas angel.
I was so happy last night thinking of them cuddled up together. I asked him if she slept on the bed with him and he said ‘tonight I might let her’, and he was planning on locking her in the house with him.
Merry Christmas to Dolly and her Dad!