A Happy Tail for Tuesday continued – by Chris & Emma adopters of Murray, Tigger & Mitzie cats and now cat cuddlers!

After about six months of having Murray, Tigger and Mitzie we were invited to the Purrfect Party. We both had been wanting to get more involved in helping the RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch out, after all it was their fault that we no longer had lie ins and had no more spare time on our hands! At the party, which was fantastic, we got speaking to Susie who told us about the possibility of Cat Cuddling on a Saturday afternoon. It was important that we were available as many Saturdays as possible so the cats would hopefully always have someone to play with. Unfortunately I work shifts, which means my “weekends” don’t always fall on a Saturday/Sunday! So, Emma went forward as the regular cat cuddler and it was agreed that I could tag along when I was off or before/after working on Saturday.

Emma was trained up for the bit of Health and Safety that she needed to know, shown where the food, treats and brushes were. The only thing that wasn’t mentioned was that at some point you will want to take all the furries home!
Every single cat who goes into the cattery does so for a reason, they all have a very sad story attached to them, from being abandoned in a bag in a field, to their owner leaving the country and leaving them in the house. Unfortunately, these kind of stories, however upsetting, soon became a weekly occurrence and started to lose their shock factor. Along with Sarah (the other regular Saturday cat cuddler) it was soon decided that there were a lot of horrible people out there, and sad as it is to see a cat in a cage (they are good sized pens, with lots of room, toys and heated pads) this was the best place for them.

One of the hardest parts of cuddling is trying not to get attached to the moggies. If my house was large enough and I had the money to feed and insure all the cats I not only have, but have wanted to have from the cattery I would probably have close to 100 cats! I also have to admit that when I see that the cats I want are reserved a little bit of me feels so sad that they won’t be moving into my house, but ultimately I am so happy that they have found their homes.
Going to the cattery and seeing how the moggies react to us is so rewarding, seeing them all get the attention they deserve, even if it is for a couple of hours on a Saturday makes us feel like we are doing our part to help them. That said there are times when we can feel completely and utterly useless. In recent times there have been a couple of outbreaks of cat flu, seeing this was very upsetting for us. Normally the cats are full of energy and bouncing around, scoffing as many treats they can get their paws on, refusing to go back into their cages after a bit of playtime…you name it! All we could do is give them cuddles, and hope, pray, wish they got better soon. The majority of the cat flu sufferers got better within a week, but some have sadly taken 2 or 3 weeks to recover.

We always love going into the cattery each week and seeing who has been reserved during the week though from time to time there have been some incredibly long stay cats for one reason to another. Holly, Charlie, Earl, Enzo, Ziggy, Timmy, Kato, Walter, Nina, Frank, Fi-fi and Gary are just some of those who have waited for what seemed like an eternity for their forever homes. When we see the sign turned around to “Reserved” this warms our hearts no end. A couple of them have been absolute maniacs, some wouldn’t ever be quiet if you were in the cattery, some were very shy and some were just the wrong colour. After the excitement for them going to their new homes it suddenly dawns on us that we may not see them again next weekend unthinkable as we have spent 2 hours with them every weekend for the last few months. On one occasion I had to sneak into the cattery (with the branch’s permission of course) to say goodbye to a long stay.

That long stay was Gary who I absolutely loved to bits! He was a fluff ball like Murray and as cheeky as Tigger. Gary was the first furry I would go in and see and the last one I would give hugs to say goodbye every week. Saying goodbye to him for the last time at the cattery was very difficult for me, and I am glad I was the only person there at the time. I knew he was off to a wonderful home to a very lucky new family but I was still sad (in a selfish way) that he wouldn’t be there next weekend.

Next week will be about our first attempt at fostering and I am sure you can all guess how that ended already!