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01 December 2010

I became a fosterer for CPL about ten years ago, after the loss of a much-loved cat. I decided that
fostering cats which desperately needed a loving home, if only for a while, was the best option for me. As it has turned out, it was the best decision I ever made!

My first “charge” was Puddle. She was an elderly lady (14 years old) and was quite deaf! She came to CPL for “temporary” care whilst her owner sorted out new accommodation. The owner never even phoned to see how Puddle was doing, so I was fortunate enough to have her for four years, until she passed away.

Puddle had the sweetest, most gentle disposition I have ever seen in a cat and we grew to love her very, very quickly. About six months after she came to me she developed a thyroid problem and CPL decided surgery was the best option.

After her surgery, although elderly, she had a new lease of life and found an energy she had never displayed before. One day, shortly after she was allowed out post-op, she toddled off into the garden to have a sniff around. I looked out about 15 minutes later and she was nowhere to be seen. I knew she would come back so did not worry too much. I live in a quiet cul-de-sac surrounded by lots of trees, so I knew she would be safe.

Two hours later she had still not appeared. I had booked to go to the theatre that evening, so by now I was pretty much in “panic mode” as I would not go out and leave her for the evening! Can you imagine how embarrassing it is to walk around alleyways shouting “Puddle!” at the top of your voice – loud enough for a Deaf cat to hear? I got some very strange looks.

My sister arrived as we were going to the theatre together. She is a cat-lover and had recently become an OAP. I asked her to help me find Puddle. So we searched the same alleys, BOTH shouting “Puddle!” at the top of our voices (even stranger looks from passing pedestrians!). I suddenly heard a faint mewing ... from high up .. and there, 25 feet up, stuck on the branch of a huge tree ... was a very worried-looking Puddle – hanging on tight and facing the wrong way! I just gasped but, before I knew it, my 60-year old sister (who always acts before engaging her brain) shot up the tree too! That was fine, except that once up there my sister lost her “bottle” and could not climb down.

So now I had Puddle (the wrong way round) and my sister stuck of the tree ... and I’m afraid of heights!! Nobody was about and I was on the point of phoning the Fire Brigade when a young man came whistling up the path. When he saw my sister and Puddle, both stuck up the tree, both looking very shocked and puzzled, he just burst out laughing!

Fortunately for us all (including Puddle) he was NOT afraid of heights and he also shinned up the tree and retrieved both the cat and the Old Age Pensioner! I am sure he has since “dined out” on that story many times since that day!

I felt very privileged to have been able to give Puddle a good, loving home and she, in turn, gave us much needed affection and love.

I am now fostering Dusty ........ but that is a story for another time!!!!