Both my partner and I grew up with cats and knew we would love to get a cat together. For a long time we lived in a small flat on a second floor and for us, it wasn’t right to take on a cat. However, missing a garden and wanting somewhere bigger we soon found ourselves packing our belongings into endless boxes and moving to a flat with some more room and a garden. When viewing places to move to we jokingly talked about how suitable it would be for a cat: “its very near a busy road, I’m not so sure” or “its a very small balcony, it won’t be enough space for the cat”. Estate agents gave us strange looks when they asked about our cat only to be told that we haven’t got one yet but were dismissing properties out of hand based on an imaginary pet….!
No sooner were the kettle and cups unpacked, we found ourselves on the CPL website - a bit like the cat equivalent of ‘Rightmove’; we were able to enter any special requirements and narrow a search to our local area. We had already visited our local branch on Junction Road in Archway to register and to find out if adoption was for us and found the help and advice extremely useful. Back to the app and I had spotted something that had caught my eye: “Look at this little one” I said - showing the profile of a little girl cat Lucy to my partner. Key for us was she was ok with children - with 4 nieces who visit fairly regularly, we wanted our potential new four legged family member to be ok about visiting children. Ah. Yes. More on the four legged bit in a moment…..
Lucy looked beautiful - there was something about her pictures and a lovely write up for what seemed a smashing little lady cat in need of a home. Only one thing, and it was something we of course needed to know about before committing to adopt. Lucy was on a special diet. And has three legs.
We couldn’t stop thinking about Lucy. We contacted the local branch who took our details and told us a bit more about Lucy and how she came to be in the care of the CPL. They seemed to like us (thankfully!) and put us in touch with Lucy’s foster mum Janet who was giving Lucy extra special care in her home. It turned out that after a series of operations, Lucy had only lost her leg in January (by now it was May) and Janet was helping her get used to her new disability and adjust to her new life.
After to speaking to Janet on the phone and telling her a bit about us, we arranged to visit. We were nervous about meeting Lucy - would she like us? Would she want to come and live with us and would we all get along? It took us less than half of a second to instantly fall in love with the little bundle of fur that sleepily looked up as we went in her room to meet her. A yawn and a stretch and then she sussed us out with a sniff and a head bump before having a scratch on her post and a look out of the window. We were smitten. Janet told us all about the practicalities of an amputee cat and FLUTD which Lucy also had. We were experienced cat owners and felt it was something we would could take on and provide the necessary extra care that it might entail. Janet had been giving Lucy lots of care, attention and support as she recovered from a really tough time. Janet had clearly done an amazing job because Lucy was remarkable given all that she had been through. Janet gave us lots of tips and advice so we could carry on this good work. We couldn’t be more grateful for her expertise and help.
A few weeks later, we got to take Lucy home. We made a few adjustments in the flat so that she had everything she needed in the spare room so if she felt nervous she had everything close to hand. We had plenty of spare boxes after the move and made lots of hiding places for her. Turns out Lucy is a very curious little lady and quickly gave herself a full tour of her new home before she plonked herself down in a sunny spot on the sofa for a fuss. We’ve had Lucy for about 6 weeks now - although it feels much longer - and in a good way. In such a short time she has brought so much joy into our lives. We miss her when we are at work and race to get home to see her. We hope we make her as happy as she makes us and would urge anyone thinking about adopting a cat to get in touch with the CPL to find out more. And don’t be put off by cats that might have special needs like Lucy - they are often all the more lovely for it.
Kat & Sue
When we decided that it was time for our family to get a pet, having a cat was always the pet of choice. We have 6 children and 3 have Aspergers so we decided to search for a cat that was either old or unwell in some way or another as these are generally the unwanted cats. We saw a few cats on the Web whilst looking but as soon as we saw our ginger boy with just 3 legs who we have named Crunchie, our hearts melted. We cut our holiday short to visit him and within a few days he became our boy. 2 weeks later we write this for you to read and could NOT imagine life without him in it. He is loved beyond any expectations and was meant to be ours. Crunchie is no different to a 4 legged cat in his ability to do things and when we look at him, we don't see 3 legs, we see our beautiful boy x
Tony, Sharon & Family
Bunty & The Magnificent 7
There I was minding my own business, sitting in the armchair enjoying a cup of coffee with Sue Cooper our Welfare Officer, who'd called in for some supplies, when her mobile rang. This was at approximately 8.00pm on Friday 15th July.
Sue answered it and was greeted by a panic stricken voice saying that a stray cat had turned up and was giving birth on her patio. The caller said she didn't know anything about cats and was worried about trying to take her indoors despite asking her to and giving some advice as to what to do.
At this point I decided there had been enough talking and sent Sue off to collect the cat and any kittens she may have given birth to. Whilst Sue was doing this I set a pen up in my living room. I couldn't put this new cat in my kitten room as I still had the mum from my previous litter in there. Luckily she was due to go to her new home the next day so the pen was a very temporary measure.
Sue returned with a very heavily pregnant cat who hadn't given birth yet but it was clear that things were due to happen. One very laid back constantly purring cat was settled in pen complete with all mod cons and we settled down with her to await the arrivals.
Unfortunately for me the cat (later named Bunty) decided she wasn't giving birth just yet, she preferred to lie there and enjoy being stroked and cuddled. After a couple of hours Sue thought she ought to head off home. A bit later, around midnight I thought maybe my poor husband was hungry and would like some dinner so I fed us and then sat there encouraging Bunty to give birth.
By 5.30am there were still no kittens and I decided maybe a bit of kip was in order so off I went to bed. A few hours later I got up and went to check on Bunty and it was pretty clear we had babies. I did a quick count and thought we had 5 kittens. Then Bunty stood up and moved round - I counted again and lo and behold we had 7 babies - hence The Magnificent 7 so named by the husband of one of our Committee Members. Born Saturday 16th July 5 boys and 2 girls currently running me ragged.
Cold alone and starving living in a bush in a back garden in Kingsbury is where this tale begins. That is where Tinkerbell was found by an old man who phoned up, ‘The cat’s protection league’ to report her living conditions.
I was asked, if I would go and investigate and see what the situation was, so with food in one hand and a bowl in the other I went into the man’s back garden, she saw me straight away and ran over to me, swirling around my legs. She was nothing but a bag of bones. You could see instantly that she was starving and for a long while too. Then I noticed that her belly was big and realised that she was heavily pregnant. She walked straight away into the cat carrier and sat down like she wanted to be rescued.
I took her home and she was very quiet and slept all the time. The kittens were always jumping about in her belly and sometimes I would look at her and she just looked like, she had just about had enough, being so young herself and now heavily pregnant, she didn’t look like she had had much of a start in her young life, she just looked so sad.
Then one afternoon, she was in a corner of a room and started to give birth. One baby came out a beautiful black and white kitten it was tiny about the size of my index finger. Then the next this one was black white and ginger so gorgeous and tiny, she started to lick them clean. Then another this one was delivered in its sack all intact and she was trying to lick it off which she couldn’t manage to do so my daughter gently burst it open and inside we discovered a ginger kitten. Then two more ginger kittens with white stripes came out, that were identical, so we presumed that they were twins.
We wrapped them all up and placed them in a cardboard box and let them rest. We phoned the Cats Protection League up to let them know that everything was alright and 5 kittens were delivered but they told us that we needed to encourage and hold them on their mothers teats, which we did but we discovered that, as she was starving she didn’t have enough nutrition to produce any milk so of course the kittens were trying to suck and get some milk out but there wasn’t any.
After, probably 12 hours we realised that one of them had died and we feared for the rest, so we phoned CPLU up again to report in. We were told to go straight to the emergency vets, as the kittens would need to be fed by hand every 2 hours. The vet didn’t hold much hope for the kittens and said the mum had a high temperature. I left them all there and returned home.
The next few days I kept phoning them up, to ask about her progress. The vet told me the other 4 kittens had died and there wasn’t much hope for the mother as she had a raging temperature and had to have an emergency hysterectomy. The antibiotics that she was on, were not working and she wasn’t eating at all. There wasn’t much else that they could do for her. The vet was debating whether to put her down. I thought I would like to go and visit her, if she was going to be put to sleep so I could comfort her a little, say goodbye and let her know that someone was here for her.
My daughter and I turned up to the vets and she was being carried in by one of the nurses, she saw us and just shot out of the nurses’ arms and jumped onto my top hanging onto me with her claws. The nurse was taken aback and said how friendly she was when they were looking after her but had never seen her act so excited to see someone.
We continued to visit her every night after that but the temperature didn’t go down and she developed diarrhoea which was deadly for her in itself. They persisted that she should be put to sleep but Sue, one of the ladies that works at the CPL pushed to get more funding for her to stay a little longer in the vets and so she did. They changed her antibiotics and with the nightly visits from us that she looked forward to, she started to get better. Her condition improved so much, so fast that she was well enough to go home.
She settled into our routine, just ate lots of food and slept for the first few days. She had had stiches all the way up her belly so I guess that she was sore. We would just stroke her and talk to her all the time. Then after 4 evenings of being at home with us again, she was sat on the sofa looking up at us and she just smiled, it was incredible, I Had never seen her do that before, it was just like she was telling us that she was loving her life.
All the things she had gone through and all the terrible things that had happened to her in her short life she sat and she smiled at me. She continues to smile all the time and after 3 weeks of knowing her she has gone from strength to strength. She bounds about like a kitten and plays with her toys we bought her she, eats her food well and uses the litter tray. She followed our cat out the cat flap and now sunbathes in the garden all day. What a lovely character she has, its incredible she plays and grabs your hand between her paws but she never has her claws out which is unusual for a kitten. Sometimes she just sits and stares at you (still smiling) I don’t care what anyone else believes or says this cat knows it was saved and is completely grateful.
The work the CPL does, the funding and volunteers relentless rallying around is amazing. I am so proud to be a part of it and in having spent time with the gorgeous Tinkerbell.
If you look at the pictures of her you can see how striking and unique her marking are.
I hope that a lucky someone takes her on and loves her.