Thursday, 24 March 2011

Charlie - the cat with 8 lives left

I’m sure a few of you are wondering how the cat we rescued is getting on so I will tell the tale in full.

We were driving back from dancing on Monday night and were nearly at home, just passing through Bamford, when we saw a cat on the side of the road against the kerb. There was something about it that appeared to be alive (although I’m not sure what) so we turned around and came back to find somewhere to park up and see how it was. Just as we were parking, thinking that, no, it was actually dead, it raised its head up from the kerb. I’m not sure if I was happy or sad to be honest but we were committed then to seeing what we could for it.

The cat didn’t appear too bad, not much blood and it was alert but its back legs were not working. It was so sweet and friendly even in its parlous state; didn’t hiss or scratch or fight in any way. While we were crouching over it, though it started to get distressed, panting and trying to crawl away from us so in the end, to stop it trying to move I just picked it up. And that was that, I held the poor mite for the next couple of hours while we drove to various vets in Bradwell and eventually, having found a vet at the third attempt, to her practice’s 24 hour hospital in Sheffield. I was amazed at how good the cat was, just the odd miaow when we stopped but mostly just sitting quiet with its paw on my chest accepting its fate.

Tuesday morning I rang the vets and discovered that the cat was not microchipped – get it done and keep it up-to-date pet-owning folks!! – so we started efforts in Bamford to find the cat’s owner. I sent texts to anyone local I could think of and put messages on Facebook asking people to ask around and spread the word. I was hoping to find them this way to avoid having to go round with leaflets and notices but that would have been the next step. Rich’s sister was a star and went down to the local garage and discovered that she had just missed a woman enquiring about a missing cat. Eventually we heard that the owner and her neighbour had found the cat at the vets and that the cat was a young male (not yet 2) called Charlie.

Both the owner and her elderly neighbour rang me yesterday evening to thank us for looking after him and gave me a progress report. Apparently he has broken his pelvis which is not great but, given that he is a young strong cat, he should go on to make a full recovery. Depending on where the break is, he might not even have to have any surgical intervention and might heal naturally!! Apparently the elderly neighbour has lost her 2 cats in the last year and absolutely dotes on Charlie so she was, if anything, more effusive than his owner in her thanks!!

So, a happy ending, yay!! We both really liked Charlie so we’re hoping to pop round sometime and see him when he’s on the mend and will hopefully be able to sneak a pic so you can see what all the fuss was about. He was a monster of a cat though – a real bruiser. There’s no way someone could have hit him and not realised so shame on the ignorant pig of a driver who drove off and left him on the side of the road!! I wonder what makes someone do such a thing?? Fear? Squeamishness? Not knowing what to do? Not giving a d*mn? Pure selfishness? Who knows.

We were hesitant about stopping to be honest; there’s that uncertainty of not knowing what you’re getting yourself into. But I’m glad we did. What are a late night and a couple of hours of inconvenience (and 40 miles' worth of diesel I can hear Richard saying!!) when set against a trusting cat’s lonely death or suffering on the side of a road and a grieving owner?? Absolutely nothing. And there's always the selfish belief in Karma - if I do this, someone else might do something similar for my dogs one day....

I’ve not previously been very aware of cats having always been “a dog person” but now, having read about Isabelle’s and Rachel’s beloveds and having got to know Rich’s cat, Jess (who now lives with his former neighbour) I’m much more appreciative of what they offer. I’m not sure I would enjoy the stress of having an adventurous, outgoing pet who roamed around at will amid cars and God knows what else though. I like knowing where my girls are, tucked up safe and sound at home!!


Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Lovely story, Lesley - you saved that poor cat and found its owner(s). Well done!

I agree, to know you've hit an animal and just drive off...perhaps the driver had been drinking and didn't want to get caught?

I once inadvertently ran over a squirrel quite a number of years ago - they run out into the road all the time. I'll never forget the thud...and it was a squirrel, not someone's pet. To me, it was knowing it was a living thing - I couldn't bring myself to look in the rearview mirror to see what I'd done. Awful.

Charlie is one lucky cat!

Love Cat said...

I was so happy to read the outcome of your story!

I've had cats over the years that have been knocked over and been left for dead. Luckily we found them and they lived to tell the tale but that period of not knowing is horrible.

That was so good of you and Rich. It would have been so easy to drive on.


Peridot said...

People are horrible. Mind you, our old neighbour once hit a deer in the middle of nowhwere in Yorkshire. He stopped his car, got out and wrapped a blanket around the deer and put her on his back seat and drove round until he found a vet. I told him that this was an EXCELLENT pulling story - he was not attractive but it certainly made me look at him in a new light!


murgatroidgerow said...

It's stories like these that are turning your blog into one of my favorites!There's a bit of a language barrier as I am a Californian but rescue stories translate beautifully!