Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Lonely Lois

Good afternoon friends,

We were alerted to the plight of a little black cat who seemed to have no owner. She spent her days shivering in a garden, grabbing whatever mouthfuls of food she was able to scrounge from the resident cats.

The owner of the garden asked us to take her as she was concerned that the little cat wouldn't survive long out on her own. Lois came to us in a very poor state, very emaciated with severe gastro-intestinal problems, areas of fur loss and full of fleas. Her body was also covered with dirt.

Lois - stray abandoned neglected cat

To our immense delight, she was micro-chipped and we were thrilled to think that we would soon be able to reunite her with her owner. Sadly however, we soon discovered that the phone number registered on her micro-chip was unobtainable and there was no reply from the registered address - which was some distance away from where she'd been found. It seems likely that her owners had moved house and not updated their contact details.

The micro-chip details gave us her age - 14 years - and we felt at her age she would struggle to improve. However, to our joy, blood tests revealed no major problems and after a bath and flea treatment, she looked a lot better, and is now gradually gaining weight. We really hope that in due course an understanding and kind person will come forward and adopt her.

It is such a shame that many people don't know that it's their responsibility to update the micro-chip details should they move house or change their phone number. It's not the responsibility of the vet or rehoming centre - and now her owners are probably wondering what happened to her, and she has very little chance of being returned to her original home.

We are hoping to attract more people to make regular donations to us by Standing Order. If we can have the guarantee a of certain income each month, it helps us to plan and to focus other fundraising events towards our appeal to build a new centre in the Keighley area, which will help many more cats in Lancashire and North & West Yorkshire. Would you be willing to make a donation to us on a regular basis? This link is to our online standing order form. Please print it off, complete it and return it to us. We are very grateful to everyone who helps us in this way, every penny you donate to us makes a difference.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the summer months. Your support has meant a great deal to us and enabled us to help poor cats like Lois.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

And they all lived happily ever after ......

It's not often an injury to a cat can be said to be a piece of luck, but black and white Freddy totally disagrees.

We were alerted to his plight on Sunday morning - he'd been spotted hanging around a residential area and the finders noticed he was limping on one of his front legs.

Further examination showed that he had actually put his leg through his collar and the collar had tightened, causing him to limp.

The people who found him had caught him, but when they tried to remove the collar it hurt him so much that he bit them badly and managed to escape.

This called for one of our special cat traps, which we set in their garden on the Sunday morning. To our relief at teatime he went into the trap and we were able to transport him quickly to the vet.

The collar was cut off and further examination showed that it had embedded itself in his armpit, and the wound had become infected.

Freddy was sedated and the wound cleaned out, and partially stitched. Whilst he was drowsy, the vets scanned him for a microchip and to their delight found one!

Because the 'chip company was closed at the weekend, they were unable to obtain his owner's details until Monday, but when the did get the details they were in for a surprise. Freddy had been missing for nearly a year, from a town about 10-12 miles away from where he was found. No one has any idea where he has been all this time, but his owners were absolutely over the moon to have him back.

He will require several weeks cage rest so that he doesn't tear the wound, but the chances are that he'll make a good recovery.

The moral to this story is that microchipped cats have a much better chance of being returned to their owner, and the £20 or so it costs is money well-worth spent. There is arguably a second moral to the story - the use of collars on cats. In our opinion, there is only one reason to put a collar on a cat, and that is for identity purposes. There was no tag on Freddy's collar - had there been he might have been reunited much sooner. And although the collar was ultimately the reason that he was reunited, the collar Freddy was wearing was not a sort we'd recommend. If you do put a collar on your cat it should either be fully elasticated (and changed every 6-8 weeks as the elastic hardens) or a safety release collar which will snap open if the cat catches his or her paw in it.

Freddy is a delightful cat, very friendly and happy to be handled. We're delighted that we were able to play a small part in reuniting him with his owners.

Please remember our Christmas card competition. We've received some lovely entries and hope to receive more before the closing date of 1 May. Please see our website for details.

Thank you to those who continue to support our "In For a Pound" appeal towards our new Centre. We've raised over £1000 with this part of the appeal now.

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Thursday, 12 March 2009

A Christmas Competition

For those of you who wish it could be Christmas everyday, now is the time to think about your favourite festive things as Haworth Cat Rescue announces the launch of its first ever Christmas Card competition.

We are seeking 4 cards for our 2009 Christmas selection and entries can be submitted in all media from watercolours and pastels to line drawings and oils on canvass. Photographs are also acceptable.

Cat designs are very popular among many of our supporters but others prefer more traditional themes, so it’s really up to the artist to find their own inspiration. Some may favour a very contemporary design and others wish to evoke a trip down memory lane with Christmas scenes of yesteryear. We are very open and want to allow as much freedom of expression as possible.

This is the first time Haworth Cat Rescue has offered the public the opportunity to showcase their talents with a Christmas card competition. There is no age barrier for entry and 4 winning designs will selected for their charm and appeal by a panel of 3 judges. There is no charge for entry to our competition.

Participants who want their artwork returned are asked to send a prepaid self-addressed envelope. Every care will taken to avoid damage but the charity cannot guarantee this.

We are expecting a large number of designs to be sent via email and this is the best way to scan and keep your original.

Imprint in Keighley is producing the winning Christmas cards, which will go on sale in the Autumn. Photographs should be supplied as 300dpi in jpeg format, the size for the front of the card is 105mm x 150mm but the actual images should allow for an extra 3mm 'bleed' all around. Larger photographs can be reduced to make them fit.

As a special prize, Imprint is sponsoring the competition with an enlarged version of the selected designs as a keepsake for each winning artist.

The sending and receiving of cards brings so much pleasure and generates valuable income for us. Our cards will be advertised on our website and sold in local shops and online. We will acknowledge the artist on their card and our thanks for the contribution they have made towards the construction of a new environmentally friendly and educational cat rehoming Centre in the Aire Valley

The closing date for entries is May 1 2009.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I don't want to share my bed with you......

The early weeks of each year are normally good times for us as far as rehoming is concerned, with people looking to adopt a cat after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and before the holiday season starts.

This year is no exception, and we are delighted to see lots of little faces going off to live happily ever after. It's wonderful to see a cat come to our centre on Saturday and then wave goodbye to him or her on Sunday, even though we haven't really had chance to get to know his character.

Some cats, however, take a lot more shifting! Take Sasha for example. Sasha came to us about 2 years ago when her previous owner died unexpectedly whilst undergoing a routine operation. Sasha was understandably shy and stayed with us for a few weeks before we found her a new home.

he stress of her move to our centre, followed by the move to her new home became too much for Sasha, and she began to have possession issues over her bed. Basically she would attack anyone who approached her whilst she was in the bed, and given that she spent most of the day there, that gradually evolved into aggression whenever anyone approached her.

After almost a year in her new home, the people who had adopted her reluctantly brought her back.

Although we were able to cuddle her and stroke her as soon as she arrived, Sasha still acted aggressively when in her bed.

We allowed her to keep the same bed (a covered one) for a few weeks, and then we removed it to give her an open bed, but in the same position. Whenever we approached her we ignored her whilst she was in the bed, but made a fuss of her outside the bed.

Gradually, she began to accept our strokes and come to us for cuddles, and even got out of bed on purpose to approach us for strokes.

She will now allow us to stroke her in the bed without showing any signs of aggression unless she is awakened abruptly.

We hope a new understanding owner will come forward for Sasha quite quickly now. She will most certainly have possession issues in her new home surrounding her bed, but we are confident that an experienced new owner will be able to work with us and with her to reduce the fear and aggression.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Hands don't always hurt

One of the hardest and yet most rewarding things we do, is the taming up of feral kittens. It is a delight to see a nervous, bewildered kitten begin to realise that there is lots of love to be had if he or she chooses to accept it.

One such kitten is Russet who was found living in a garden. We called her Russet because when she came in she was so wild we couldn’t pick her up, so we didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl.

Gradually she began to realise that when we approached her it was to give her food, or to gently talk to her. She cowered at first, but then one day she dared to rub her head against someone’s hand, and she enjoyed the sensation. It felt great to have her head stroked!

Bit by bit she allowed her carers to handle her more, to pick her up, cuddle her and tickle her tummy. Her loud excited purr showed us how much she was enjoying the attention.

Russet will now allow herself to be handled by the people she knows, although she is still nervous when people walk past her whilst she’s on the floor. If she’s at eye level, or on a chair she demands attention.

We will be looking for a home for Russet soon, and we will be delighted to see her go – to a safe home where her nervousness will be understood and she will be allowed to grow in confidence and trust.

If you would like to support Haworth Cat Rescue, you can make a donation here.

Thank you