Stray dog shacks up with allotment cats ...
06 February 2019
Walsall Road allotments has long been home to several feral cats - but has never been known as a retreat for dogs. Well, not until early February, when a stray dog was found sleeping in one of the cat beds!
Betty Farruggia, Secretary of the allotments, says that 'unbeknown to her and the plotholders, a dog had started sleeping in a bed in one of the cat sheds, and helping herself to cat food, possibly since Christmas'. But the stray was only discovered by one of the plot-holders, Kate, in February.
Maisie: a photo taken curled up in a cat bed at Walsall Road allotments and, above, rescued, reunited and back home. She was discovered in early February, but had been missing from home since December.
Betty takes up the story: “What a shock we had when we opened the door to one of our cat sheds the other morning – and spotted a little dog. It shot off quickly when it saw us. But it was there again the next morning – subdued, thin and lying very still. Luckily, one of our plot-holders, Kate, is a great dog and cat lover and she scooped the forlorn little creature into her arms, and drove off to the vet to see if it was chipped.
“And the happiest ending of all! Maisie, as she turned out to be, was chipped and is now reunited with her grateful owner. She had been missing since before Christmas! Now, instead of the old shed and a cat bed, Maisie is back in her own cosy dog bed and getting all the fuss she has been missing. Here at the allotments we are all so very pleased.”
Betty has never had a cat of her own - she's more of a dog person! - and relies on North Birmingham Cats Protection for advice and help with the feral cats.
"Caring for the cats is a big responsibility, and having volunteers like Jenny Reynolds to turn to in cases of illness or injury is priceless. She helped us get them all neutered and takes them for veterinary treatment when necessary. In return, our plot-holders donate surplus fruit and vegetables so Jenny can make jam and chutneys that sell well and keeps the 'feral cat fund' topped up. Donations of clean jam-jars are welcomed for us to pass on to Jenny."