Sunday, 12 June 2011

Innocent creatures

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly things change in this line of work. I use the term 'work' loosely cos it's a labour of love. Simple. Within a matter of hours of posting the last blog things went from euphoric to hideous. The mood has not lifted much throughout the week and we have rattled along in a haze of astonishment. Whilst I have no intention of rattling off a catalogue of low points, I do feel the need to skirt around a phone call I took this week.

It was undoubtedly the most shocking call I have ever taken. Catherine came into the office shortly afterwards and found me sat there staring into space. I couldn't share it with anyone, it was that bad. Thankfully, the situation is being taken very seriously by various authorities, I know because I fielded more calls about it that day.

When I got home I ended up sharing the content of the call with my husband, just because I couldn't hold it in my head. I hope to goodness that the severity of the crime is fully recognised and addressed and I hope to goodness that the perpetrators are helped before it's too late for them. I hope to goodness I never get a call like that again, and it did make me consider properly, and perhaps for the first time, just how bad it must be doing the job of taking cruelty complaint calls on the national helpline.

We lost Bilbo this week. And it was a real loss. I don't think there was a single person who didn't adore him. For those of you who aren't aware of Bilbo he has been with us since the beginning of February. We had been trying in earnest to 'undo' the neglect he had endured after being abandoned and left to live stray for several years. Despite the best efforts of everyone we had to give up this week when he very suddenly and dramatically lost his balance and co-ordination. He was in a state and the chances of making any form of sufficient recovery was next to nothing, so we ended what was very clear and evident suffering.

Bilbo will undoubtedly remain our favourite cat of 2011 just because of who he was and how very special he was to us all. He was such a cheeky, happy cat, despite being in the cattery for several months. Actually, he was probably so happy because he was in the cattery - being loved and groomed and regularly fed and kept safe and warm. Bilbo looked like a really scruffy old cloth cat, just like Bagpuss and we loved him all the more for it!

It has been an incredibly busy week with cats and kittens and we are now bursting at the seams with them and there is seriously 'no room at the inn'. To make matters worse it looks like cat flu is brewing in the cattery again, so you know what's coming - closure and a stand still on rehomings if it does break out. This truly is the last thing we need in the height of kitten season and on Friday I spent much of the day fielding very sad calls from people whose loved ones had died leaving animals behind, and it was just so frustrating not being able to help. I do loathe kitten season, but not as much as the ignorance that perpetuates about cat neutering.

Of all the low points of the week the most conflicting of all was the resignation of our wonderful Animal Welfare Assistant Mel. For those of you who don't know there is only 1 full time and 1 part time animal staff plus me (though my job isn't just animal side, it's charity shops and running the charity on a day-to-day basis). So, we are an incredibly small team who are very committed and close to one another and to loose Mel is like loosing a limb. But at the same time her decision to leave is based on personal circumstances for which I cannot feel anything but complete support and admiration.

We've had our moments this week of holding back the tears, and there will no doubt be more, but for now I'm going to enjoy every last minute we have left with her and Mel will no doubt enjoy every minute she has with the mum cat and her 2 iddy biddy kitties she started fostering this week. They are pictured above. The kitties are only just beginning to open their eyes and Mel has named them Bubble and Squeak!

It is a priveledge to care for such beautiful, innocent creatures. I just wish many more people understood this principle too.

Thank goodness Glastonbury is beckoning me...........