A page about my cats

Spudley as he is now

My name is Spudley

written november 5th 2008

My name is Spudley and I am about eight years old. I used to have a home, but one day when I was about eighteen months old, I went home to find my cat door boarded up stopping me getting in. It had to be a mistake I thought, so I spent weeks and weeks waiting for it to be opened again, but it never was, so I was forced to find hidden places to sleep and shelter from the weather. This was hard, especially as most humans threw things at me and kicked me to make me go away. I don’t know why they did this, all I wanted was some shelter. Maybe it was because I ripped open their rubbish sacks looking for food, but I couldn’t help it, I was so hungry! I did think about trying to catch something to eat, but I just couldn’t stand the thought of hurting something like that so I made do with what scraps I could find in rubbish bags.

One day I was in the street I once had a home in and I had found a whole chicken carcass in someone’s rubbish. As I sat in the bushes crunching on the bones, I heard a voice saying “poor kitty must be so hungry!” and shortly after that, a bowl of tasty cat food appeared near one of the cars I used to shelter under. The food was very tasty, but it must have been a mistake I thought – no human would give me food like that, humans didn’t like me.

A few days later I was walking around looking for food when I vaguely smelt some tasty cat food somewhere nearby. I followed the smell and was led back to the same place where the food had been before, and although it must have been a mistake, I ate it again because I was so hungry and didn’t know when I would be able to eat again.

Every day after that, I went back and there was always a bowl of food outside. I felt sorry for the cat it was meant for, but I had to eat it because I had no other food. One day I went to eat, but there was no food so I thought maybe the cat it was meant for had eaten its own food for a change. So, I decided to settle down in the bushes and have a quick sleep. Suddenly there was a voice, “oh Spudley I’m so sorry! I forgot your dinner!” and a lady brought food out and put it right by where I was sleeping!! She must have thought I was someone else, but I ate the food anyway because I was hungry.

I started to see this lady more and more as time went on. If there was no food when I arrived outside her house, she would come out with some and say that “Spudley” word to me each time.

I used to look at the cats living inside the house with the lady and wonder why they were in there, and I was outside. I wanted to go to the lady and ask her, but I was too scared in case she hurt me like so many other people had done. Years passed, and I was starting to feel tired from living on the streets. I was sneezing and my bones were sore so it was hurting to walk.

One day a few weeks ago, I felt really bad. I saw the lady with her man and they were both looking at me, they looked sad and worried so I think they could see I wasn’t feeling well. I heard the lady say something about “by Christmas” before they went in to the house.

A couple of weeks later I was feeling even worse. The lady brought me out a big bowl of meaty food to eat. I didn’t run away like usual as I was too tired and hungry, so I started to eat while she was still right next to me. I’m not sure what happened next, it was all so quick – but one minute I was eating tasty food and thinking how tired I was, and the next minute the lady was holding me and carrying me INSIDE the house! Oh no, this was scary! I had to get out! What was she going to do to me? I hid inside a warm and cosy igloo thing, so soft and comfortable… next I went to a place where they gave me an injection to make me sleep, and when I woke up I’m sure something was different, it was like something was missing but I don’t know what. Then I went back to the lady’s house and back inside the warm and comfortable igloo.

I had my own room away from the other cats, and for weeks the lady came and went – she gave me fresh food and water every day, and cleaned my toilet. I was a bit confused at first, I didn’t know where to go to the toilet but I learnt very quickly.

First I was too scared to let the lady touch me, I would run and hide in my igloo house as soon as she came in to my room. One day I decided to see what it felt like to be touched as I’d seen other cats enjoying it. First I cringed, what if she hurt me? But then I slowly started to relax and enjoy being gently stroked. I made myself jump when a funny noise started coming out from my throat, it was like a quiet car engine and it scared me! But, as I learnt to relax and enjoy the stroking more, the noise in my throat got louder and louder and I had an overwhelming urge to kneed with my front paws. I don’t know why, it just seemed the right thing to do.

I have been in this house for lots of weeks now, and you know, it’s actually not bad! There are lots of other cats here and they’re all happy, though some have told me they weren’t always so happy before they came here. I’ve learnt so many new things! I have these things called “toys” that I can chase and wrestle with, I have big tall things I can really stretch on and dig my claws in to nicely, I have boxes I can hide in and it’s great fun to wait until another cat walks past and poke them as they don’t know I’m in there! There is always food and water here, lots of water! At first I used to drink in every silver puddle I found just in case there weren’t any more, but now I know there are lots so I just drink when I need to – there’s even a fountain in the kitchen for us cats! Oh, there’s a D O G here too… I wasn’t sure of it at first, but really it is just a big cat and not scary at all.

The lady here sometimes looks at me and gets water in her eyes. She seems so sad when this happens, and she tells me that no one will ever hurt me again. I think she’s right, it’s good here and I’m safe now.

Spudley is now a happily settled member of our feline family.

Fly

The gorgeous tabby girl above is Fly and she is one of the Spudley's (above) many offspring. It took many years but eventually the neighbour who Spudley originally lived with agreed to have his cats neutered / rehomed. I dread to think how many kittens he was responsible for over the years... but he did eventually agree to sign over all his cats and kittens except three adults that were neutered and returned to him. Throughout the years of working hard trying to get his cats neutered I resisted taking on a kitten... but on the night before the kittens all went to the local RSPCA, I caved in and brought Fly home. This was in 2005.

My Fly is a real spitfire when she wants to be and she hates other tabbies with a passion, but she is also very loving and affectionate. Fly has only ever really had two feline friends and they are sadly both no longer with us. She seems happy just being herself though; as long as she gets cuddles and treats on demand.

Fly's nickname is Bogpuss and believe me, she earned it. When she was about a year old she went running up the stairs into the bathroom and jumped up onto the toilet. This was a normal thing for Fly; as cat people will know, cats love bathrooms. However... on this occasion the ex had just stood up from the toilet and hadn't flushed or put the seat back down... and in she went! Fly jumped back out instantly and ran aound the bathroom trying to get "the sticky smelly stuff" off her coat but what she actually did was spread it around the bathroom... !! It really was gross, believe me. Anyway, the ex got the job of cleaning the bathroom while I bathed the cat... and that is Bogpuss explained.

MagickMystery

These two stunners are Magick (left) and Mystery; they're brother and sister and have lived with me since they were eight weeks old. Their litter was born the day after I'd had to have one of my old cats put to sleep and I helped deliver them by text message. Initially I agreed to take one kitten (Mystery) as it looked as if he was to be a silver tabby... but he isn't, and somehow I ended up with two.

As you can see, they are both gorgeous cats and believe me, they know it! Mysty, although he acts as an uncle to new kittens, is a bully to his sister and she is a bully to some of the other cats... but she is so affectionate and drools with excitement when she gets cuddled or groomed. She does need a lot of grooming with her thick long coat too!

These guys were born in September 2005.

Heidi

This beautiful black girl is Heidi and she was never meant to stay here...

Heidi was dumped under a bush in the middle of summer 2009. No food, no water, and five kittens to look after. Disgusting! When I went to pick them up and first saw Heidi, I actually thought she was one of the kittens as she was so small and thin. Bless her, the sweet girl had given everything to her babies and was literally drained - her kittens were strong and healthy though; she did a great job with them. And here they are enjoying their first proper meal when I went to collect them - the five tiny kittens ate a whole can of food within a few minutes!

Heidi's kittens

Three of Heidi's kittens were homed elsewhere and two are still here. Heidi wasn't meant to stay but she just didn't go anywhere and is such a sweet girl; it would have to be a VERY special home for me to let her go now...

Heidi's kittens...

Esper (L) and Greebo

These are Esper (left) and Greebo and, although I had said no more cats, they ended up staying too. Ryan had never had a kitten before and really wanted to keep Esper so I gave in. Of course as he was keeping one, I figured one more wouldn't make any difference and I did have a soft spot for Greebo so he stayed too...

Esper and Greebo are both sweet natured like their mum, Heidi (above) although Esper can be a spiteful madam at times and isn't exactly the cleanest of cats... but she is much loved regardless.

Dinx

This is Dinx who earned her name by being the dinkiest, tiny kitten in the litter. She came to me with her mother and siblings and was never meant to stay... but when she went in to the vets for neutering there were complications and she very nearly died. The poor girl was so traumatised that I couldn't let her go. She is no longer dinky though, weighing in at a massive 8 kilos!

This is Loki. He's another one who somehow got round my "no more cats" rule and has been living here since January 2011. I was only going to look at the kittens to see if there were any silver tabbies... and this little guy, at just two weeks old, rubbed on my finger... seriously, how could I resist such a bold display of "I claim you as my human" from such a tiny baby? So six weeks later he joined the family and settled in straight away.

Then this happened...

I don't really need to explain that one any further...

This handsome lad is Phoenix and he arrived at my door when he was about six months old, very hungry and confused. He seemed to decide straight away that he was staying with me as every time a prospective new owner or foster carer came to see him, he hid. Eventually I agreed he could stay and he's been here for several years now.

When Phoenix went to the vets to be neutered, I asked them to check what loked like a loose tooth at the same time. Only then did I find out that both his jaws are actually deformed due to untreated fractures. I don't know how he even managed to survive before finding my door, but I'm so glad he did.

And finally, Arnold, AKA Marshmallow. This little guy had a horrific start to life, but he is happy now.

Arnold was only about 3 or 4 month old in the below photo. When I saw it, I knew I had to adopt him so two days later, I did.

Written on September 18th 2007

A little while ago I got a call about a cat that had been seen laying in the middle of the road injured near to here - apparently some kids had tried to catch it, but it had run off into a badly overgrown garden and couldn't be seen. The RSPCA had been out already, but couldn't find it, so had called Cats Protection to ask them to get me to investigate. Of course I went straight over to see what I could do.

I had a look around the street before knocking to speak to the guy who had reported it, and asked him to come get me if he saw it again. Before I left I went to the back of the house where the cat had been seen, peered into the garden and talked out loud to the cat - I told him that I would help him if he would let me, but I couldn't see him :( I turned to leave, and there was the most pitiful sight in front of me... he started to come to me, but then slowly walked off towards some bushes. Not wanting to lose sight of him, I called Dave to bring me some wet food to try and tempt the emaciated cat to come to me.

The food worked, and very quickly the poor cat was within grabbing distance. Fully expecting to be scratched badly, I slowly reached forward and scruffed him to put him in my carrier - he didn't struggle at all, not enough strength left in his body.

He was a tabby and white shorthair boy, entire. Half of his face had been eaten away by infection, the skull was visible. His fur, what he had of it, was matted in huge clumps that would've even seemed too big on a badly neglected Persian. He was crawling with fleas. Not an ounce of meat on his bones. He had cat flu. To top it all, as if the poor thing had not suffered enough, he had an extremely advanced heart murmur.

I followed the vets recommendation.

Chances are the only kindness this boy ever knew in his life was being cuddled by me as he quickly slipped away… and that’s why I do what I do, without me this boy would have died alone without ever knowing love.