Sunday, 1 April 2007

A Short Tale

Hi there, I’m Max. At least I am now. I used to be someone else, but I can’t tell you who. My story is typical of many – I was a very much loved family cat, handled, played with and well fed. My humans had me neutered and looked after me and we were all very happy together.

Then one day, something happened. I can’t tell you what. Maybe I got chased by a dog and got lost, or maybe I got into a vehicle and was driven away from my territory. Maybe I followed children or was picked up by someone out of pure devilment. I just can’t tell you what happened.

Anyway, I wandered around for a while, looking for my folks and then I started to feel hungry. I scavenged food out of bins, and tried my hand at chasing mice etc, but I started to get pretty hungry. It’s not easy catching mice when you’re used to just having a tin or packet opened twice a day!

Somewhere along the line, my tail got damaged. It was pretty painful and it got infected too. I can’t tell you how that happened either.

One day I wandered into a lovely garden. A friendly couple lived in the house and they wondered where I’d come from. Of course I couldn’t tell them! They asked around and when no one knew me, they started to feed me. They put signs up in local shops and an ad in our local paper, but still no one came forward for me. So they contacted Haworth Cat Rescue who, when a place became available, took me in.

HCR took me to the vet and the vet said that my tail had probably been partly amputated by a vet some time ago, and that I’d then injured what was left of it. It’s about half as long as it should be. They gave me some nice antibiotics which healed it up and stopped it hurting. Haworth Cat Rescue also put out lots of ads to try and find my owners, and we had lots of people come to look at me. But no one I knew. The people who came to visit me to see if I was their cat are also very sad, as their little friends are still missing.

So now, after weeks of advertising, Haworth Cat Rescue has no choice but to find me a new home. I know I will be happy there, and Haworth Cat Rescue will find me a great home, but how different it could have been.

If only my original humans had had me microchipped - a small implant, about the size of a grain of rice inserted into the back of my neck. It doesn’t hurt a bit, and once the chip is in place I can’t feel it. The chip has a number on which is registered on a central database with my humans’ name, address & phone number, and the number can be read on a special scanner by most rescue centres and vets. So if I’d have had a chip, Haworth Cat Rescue could have reunited me with my folks very quickly.

One lovely very sad lady came to see me, but of course I wasn’t hers. Haworth Cat Rescue asked if her cat had been microchipped, and she said “No, but he’s never gone missing before”. None of us needed to point out to her that it was too late to have it done once he had gone missing.

As for me, I’ve seen one of my neighbours at HCR, Lacey, go off to her new home today, and I’m hoping that my new owners will be along to choose me any day now. One thing is certain, if I get lost again, the microchip that Haworth Cat Rescue have given me will hopefully help me on my way home again.

Haworth Cat Rescue says: Microchipping is quick and easy and costs only a one off payment. It is a really good way of reuniting lost cats with their owners and we recommend that all cats are chipped. Some vets and rescue organisations will charge less if the chipping is done when the cat receives other treatment, such as neutering. Please get your cat microchipped now, whilst he is still with you. After all, it will be too late if he goes missing, and he won't be able to tell anyone where he lives. It is up to you to give him every chance of coming home if he ever gets lost.