Stables brought stability for George and Mildred ...
14 August 2018
Volunteers (well, some!) with North Birmingham Branch are ‘old enough’ to remember the TV series ‘George and Mildred’ – so when they found two battered bruisers wandering the streets of Erdington back in 2012, they were promptly given those names.
But the two cats, who started off as no-hopers and untouchable, have just got back in touch with us (well, their owners have!) to say – guess what – we’re living in Belgium now and we’re as docile and delightful as can be!
Fast track back to when they were picked up, and volunteer Nicole recounts their story.
“George and Mildred were picked up after roaming the streets of Erdington for several weeks. They were a bit battered and scruffy, and around 18 months old. While George was a real looker – grey and white – they both hated being in a pen. None of us could handle them - they could only be touched with gauntlets! They spent four months in their ‘cell’ (as they saw it) until the lovely Dana and her partner Frank made contact. They ‘wanted a pair of cats as mousers at their stables at Wolverhampton Race Course'. Hurrah! We were thrilled to be able to place them somewhere where they would be free and hopefully happy.
“So off they went. Volunteers Jenny and Jane settled them on site in a large cage for several weeks. Cats like these have to acclimatise to their new surroundings before the leap to freedom is taken. And when they were released, they ‘stayed on’ at the race course and turned into great mousers. That could have been the happy ending, but there were more surprises in store.
"Within a few weeks, the change of environment had a profound effect on George and Mildred. Amazingly, their new owners found they were able to stroke and fuss them. George changed from aggressive to passive - establishing a bond with owner Frank such that he’d even sit on his lap!"
Fast forward six years to 2018 and – out of the blue on International Cat Day - Dana sent CP a message and photos of the now purr-fect loving pair. Says Dana: “George and Mildred were happily living in stables and then we moved to Liverpool, taking the cats with us. And there they decided it was time to start living with us in the house and garden – and loved it. George took to sunbathing in the summer and luxuriating in his home comforts in the Winter. Mildred is a gentle soul these days too. Certainly, they’ve become much loved family pets and we – and they – have moved again. Abroad now – our new home is in Belgium!”
Nicole Evans, now joint coordinator of the North Birmingham Branch with Jane Holt, can’t get over ‘how remarkable this story is'. These cats were 'untouchable'. And this lovely couple – Frank and Dana - took on 3 other cats while they were at the stables. Two still live there, while the third went to live with a friend.
Says Nicole: "I'm absolutely delighted that George and Mildred have found a loving family home. Cats never cease to amaze me - the right environment transformed their lives and their personalities.
"We're always on the lookout for suitable homes for cats who aren't suited to living in a home environment. And we’ve found cats make great mousers for stables, hotels, allotments and garden centres - anywhere where there are daily visitors to feed the cats and ensure their safety and welfare. If you know of anyone who could help, please call our helpline on 0345 260 1503 and one of our volunteers will get back to cat-chat further.”
** Please come forward if you could offer an outdoor placement - tho’ you might find you’ve adopted a purrfect pet for the home instead!