Monday 13 April 2015

Happy Cattiversary Neo

Arty cat photo 

Seven years ago we moved into our new home together in Croydon. We had been married the previous October and spent months decorating and preparing our new home while we lived in my one bed flat in London - that was next door to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. The excitement of moving into our first home together was surpassed only by the knowledge that at last we could have cats as we had a garden and space for them to roam.

We went on a Saturday afternoon to visit the cattery at Battersea and were looking for a pair of cats to keep each other company. Hubbie opened the door carefully and a small white cat was standing on the other side of it - clearly with an eye on the main chance. We managed to get into the room without the cat escaping and went to look into the containers that the cats were housed in. Each one had a note on the front of it giving some information about the cats inside. We wanted a friendly pair of cats who could live with children and would go outside. Hubbie had specified he'd prefer boy cats - he isn't a fan of girl cats as they can be divas apparently. Take it up with him, I'm just the messenger.

Ninja cat
So after wandering around and reading the profiles of the cats it appeared that all the pairs had been taken or were allocated and waiting to be collected. All the while we had been perusing the white cat had been climbing around at head height and watching us. We checked out his container and the profile described him as a domestic short hair cat who could live with children - possibly with other cats and to ask for more information about his health. He was aged 6 and a half and had been living there for a few months.

We had a chat about either taking one cat or waiting for a pair to come up. The white cat was at Hubbie's feet by now. He looked at the white cat, he looked at me and said, "I think I like him. Let's ask." We heard that he was a friendly cat who liked being outside and who had been with them for a while. He had some health issues which they advised we speak to the vet about him. We gave him some cat treats said bye for now and went to see the vet.

The vet told us that he had been treated for an unspecified skin condition, he had an allergy to fleas and a heart murmur, but was friendly. They had no idea how long he would have and they could only really say that he might have 6 months if we took him. We were advised to go home and think about it and make a decision. I spoke to another vet about the skin and the heart murmur and was told that a cat can live for years with the condition just like a human can. We spoke about it when we got home and we both felt that however long he had left we didn't want him to spend it in the cattery. Nice as it is there we wanted him to have the freedom to play in a garden and enjoy the outdoors again.

Is it a reindeer or a cat ? 
During the week I visited the PDSA to buy a cat carrier to bring him home in. We bought some cat litter, a tray and some cat food. Someone was freecycling cat toys and a cat cave so I went to pick those up for him. By the weekend we were so keen to bring him home we could hardly wait. Neo was so popular that it took ages to leave the cattery. Everyone wanted to say bye to him and the staff were sorry to see him leave, but happy he was going to a loving home. The vet gave him a check up again and told us that his heart murmur was at a level 3. It wasn't very serious but could get worse. Battersea gave us a few packs of cat food and his favourite blanket and a towel to cover his basket as it was raining outside. They weren't going to take the suggested donation of £50 for him, but we insisted on giving it as we really do appreciate all the work they do for animals.

I used to rush home from work to see Neo as he had to stay indoors for the first few weeks. The first time we let him out he jumped over the back fence and disappeared. My heart stood still as it seemed like he'd never comeback, but it was dinner time and sure enough he reappeared at his bowl ravenous.

Bend it like Neo 
This weekend Neo has been with us for 7 years. I have his heart checked every time we go to the vet and after he'd been with us for 6 months I asked the vet how it sounded. He said, "it's minimal, a one at most I'd say." I like to tell everyone that we fixed his heart with love. That living with us he has given us so much happiness and we hope we have given Neo a happy life too.

He has moved house with us and now has a lot more garden to roam. He has seen our family grow and now has two small boys (one smaller than the other) to deal with. He is patient, friendly and the boys adore him. Neo is such a special member of our family and I'm so delighted that he chose us.

Happy Anniversary Neo xxx
Relax, it's your birthday :) 

There are some great organisations that rehome cats and dogs:

Foal Farm

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