Sunday, 27 March 2011

Perfect Weather To Fly

After a timely week off and a trip to Barcelona I had an enormous 'welcome back slap' at ten past eight on Monday morning.......

Betty was a case cat who had been cared for by our wonderful foster parents Clare and Darren. After 6 months of looking after her the case had finally reached the first court hearing. However, Betty was knocking on 19 years of age and those years had suddenly caught up with her and on Sunday night she was admitted to the emergency vets and placed in an oxygen tent to help her breathe. When I turned my phone on and got a text at 8.10am Monday morning telling me I had to collect Betty at 8.30am I knew then that there was going to be no way back from this; old age had caught with her. The heartache of taking in case animals struck again, as a stressful day played out.

You see when we look after a 'case animal' they remain the 'property' of the owner, which means we cannot do very much veterinary treatment-wise without the consent of the owner. It's a complex one to explain but essentially any veterinary treatment that is deemed invasive, e.g. neutering, general anaesthetics, operations etc cannot be done without consent. It's something that I have learned to work with and accept but it nonetheless can cause frustration and delay. It ultimately means that we have no 'control' over decision making, which asthea self-confessed control freak that I am, it makes it hard to contend with.

Betty's owners thankfully made the decision to put her to sleep and they went to say their goodbyes to her accompanied by an RSPCA inspector. Now, whilst I have no issues with this myself, it did cause a number of others consternation for obvious reasons. It also meant that the people who had loved and cared for her for the last 6 months lost any 'claims' to her (if you get my drift) and were unable to say their goodbyes.

It really rocked me that I couldn't allow her foster parents to say goodbye, and really cemented in my mind that taking in case animals is perhaps something I'm not emotionally capable of doing any more. The rollercoaster ride that it creates and the possibility that the animals might have to be returned is just too much for me and I don't mind admitting this weakness. Up until this point I had still had the niggle of a sense of 'duty' but now I just can't help but feel I just don't have the emotional capacity to cope with it all, which is incredibly selfish but of late we've had such a turmultuous time with the animals that a bit of damage limitation and self preservation feels quite essential. Maybe in a week or so I'll feel differently, but for now my cup it overfloweth!

There have, however, been some rather wonderful events happen this week, which I am still extremely excited about. But, rather than tempt fate, I'm going to sit on them until my next blog, just to make sure it all pans out as I hope it will. But just to say it could involve lots of happy endings for lots of our cats, a dog and rabbits.

But there have been a few other wonderful things that have also kept me going this week, which I can share, and they have been updates of our rehomed animals Dennis, Rico and Micah. The former two you'll be able to see on our website soon (just in the process of seeking consent from the adopters) but I have permission to share with you all about Micah, pictured above.

Now let me tell you....I first became acquainted with Micah's owner when I took a call from her one day after she had come across the blog and 'lost' two hours reading it and felt compelled to call and let us all know what great work we do. I know, how awesome is that! The lady was also looking for a companion dog and so we began chatting with one another. I told her all about Mikey, a true gentleman collie who was abandoned by his owners when they returned home to Romania. Well, the rest is history, as they say, and Mikey became Micah and I have received the most wonderful regular updates on him ever since. They enchant me so much that I sought permission to share with you the delightful updates I have been enjoying. I hope you are charmed and warmed by them as much as me; happy endings really do happen!

1. First meeting

We had a great time with Mikey this morning. He is as charming and bright as you said he was. We fell for him hook, line and sinker – he is just so perky and has tons of potential.

We’d love to have him as part of the family and look forward to hearing from you re the homevisit. Hope to speak to you very soon with more good news!

Thanks for letting us spend time with him – it was lovely.

2. Homecoming bulletin from Micah (formerly Mikey).

NO problem in the car. Once out of the car he had a guided tour of the garden and met Fennel and Eric our chickens who pecked him on the nose. He responded in a very dignified manner!

Indoors he met Pete and Fudge the cats who both happened to be in the kitchen when we walked in – Micah just looked and walked past them both – they have since been in the living room together with no problems although Fudge has not yet touched the ground.

Then he met Oscar my nephew who fell in love instantly. I think they may be doing Play Station later.

Then we had a mooch for ages –– he was so inquisitive. He helped fill the dishwasher and went to the bathroom with Janet.

Then ……… ball in the garden – we started off on the lead but soon decided to try him free – and he was brilliant.

Now we are resting.

Thanks so much for letting us have him. He is going to be such a great companion. Big country walk tomorrow. I don’t know when I’m going to fit work in!

3. In the early days

The only word that adequately describes Micah is EXUBERANT!!!! We love him to bits and it seems as if he has been around for ages – so settled and no problem with routine.

He is relaxed around everybody, eats well, tells us when he needs to go out and is getting the hand of walking nicely with the gencon although he is clearly afraid of traffic.

So far his second favourite thing is lying on the settee (I know I said I wouldn’t allow it but ……) with Oscar whom he adores (see pic above).

His very favourite thing is playing ball on the lawn. We do this at least ten times a day – usually starting at 6 a.m. before breakfast and ending immediately before bed. Good job we have lighting outdoors. I’ve developed ball skills I didn’t know I had and we will soon be competing internationally!!

At tea time he does half an hour of cat games – the three of them zoom around having a rare old time – we just stand back and watch in amazement.

The only thing he won’t do is go in his basket – he hardly even looks at it so I don’t think he is suspicious of it – perhaps he prefers the floor. Pete and Fudge have decided to make good use of it in turns.

4. Settling in

Micah has had an invitation to “meet the Vet” on Tuesday which will be good and he has two play dates booked for the week after next with Cuthbert the border terrier and Tess my former foster dog.

Today he jumped into the back of the car without hesitation – last week I was having to physically lift him in – which is great progress.

Thanks for all that you do – we really do know how much you care and how you always go the extra mile for the animals in your charge.

5. Paws under the table

Micah has been to the seaside today. A great day – car full of dog sick (although he waited til we got to Blackpool before he threw up), tide completely in – more completely than I have ever seen it - AND I was so keen to remember all his stuff (items for every eventuality) that I forgot the flask!!

BUT he had a whale of a time – we found a strip of sand and he was away – fetching his ball, stones, shells, bits of wood, disgusting unidentified objects, rolling in the sand, eating it, chatting to other dogs (including David the poodle), strolling along the prom as if he owned it and just being glad to have the sun on his back and the wind in his fur. He was like a child on the way home – two hundred yards of looking though the window and then completely zonked out for the rest of the trip – and no vomiting. This evening he confined himself to Mastermind and Gardeners’ World sprawled on the settee followed by a small skirmish with Pete which took up most of the house but caused less damage than the one yesterday.

I just love this dog!

For me, it has been an absolute pleasure to receive these wonderful updates on Micah. It has given us a rare and priveleged insight into the settling in period of one of our rescue animals. I can't thank Micah's family enough for their generosity and kindness; we have found dear friends in them all and a magnificent new home for Micah, I'm sure you'll agree.