I think it’s fair to say that this week has been full of trials and tribulations for us and today was no exception. Unfortunately, on Thursday my Dad suffered his second stroke but despite being waited on by a bevy of lovelies at hospital, who even woke him at 6am on Friday to wish him Happy Birthday with a cup of tea, he decided he wanted to come home for the weekend. Clearly, the strong medication had rendered him immune to my impeccable driving skills.
As my Dad likes to read a daily newspaper I stopped at the local newsagent on the way home from the hospital, as I entered the shop I noticed a small black cat curled up by the door and having seen it there all week assumed it belonged to one of the local villagers. When I mentioned it to the shop assistant he informed me that its previous owners had been the tenants in the flat above the shop but had done a moonlight flit leaving their pet behind to fend for himself some four weeks’ ago. Whilst some of the villagers had left scraps out for it no one had come forward to offer it a home leaving the poor defenceless creature exposed to all the elements.
I couldn’t resist stopping to stroke him on the way out as he cowered against the wall and noticed he was a very young cat so made the decision there and then to return home for a cat box hoping to drop him off at the local shelter. The terrified & hungry little boy offered no resistance as I scooped it up into the carrier and with my Dad riding shotgun headed off in the direction of the rescue centre.
When we got to the reception area at the shelter I was dismayed to find that there was no room at the inn and furthermore, I was advised to return him to “where I had found him”. This was never going to be an option for me and we drove homeward bound with our new friend.
As I unloaded the car I was dreading my mother’s inevitable lecture which would start with “Deborah, the trouble with you is that you don’t think”. Sadly ‘tis true as we all know I do all my thinking with my heart and deal with the consequences later. Whilst I was bracing myself for the verbal onslaught, one of my elderly neighbours, Geoff hailed me enquiring about my Dad’s health and commented on my new little friend trembling in the cat box. I told him the sad story and said that I hadn’t been able to secure him a place in a rescue centre but assured him that I would find the kitten a good home.
Geoff and his wife, Muriel had been married to each other for many years and had lived in their current home for over forty. Muriel had once confided in me they had never been blessed with children but had made the best of being favourite “aunty & uncle” to many generations of village children. I have never understood why some people who would make the most magnificent parents frequently aren’t whilst some that couldn’t responsibly raise an ant farm are bestowed with the precious gift of children.
Muriel and Geoff had given every spare ounce of love to their various beloved rescue animals over the years and had been devastated earlier in the year when their much-loved cat had succumbed to a fatal illness. They had felt then that they would be unable to ever replace him and had donated all his bedding and toys to a local shelter. I remember saying at the time that some small creature would find a way into their hearts when the time was right and a home was needed.
Somehow I wasn’t surprised when they both turned up at our door a short while later saying they’d come for our new lodger; just like that the little boy had found the best home in the world. We rushed around finding bedding, cat litter and packets of food for the newly named little “Kismet” and the last time I saw him as I left their home last night, he was sleeping curled up on their sumptuous duvet. I could hearing him purring as I climbed all the way down the stairs and as I strolled home the world seemed a brighter place knowing that some fairy-tales did indeed have a happy ending.
The thing about rescue animals is that they rescue you right back