Every so often we get a cat in our care who you just wish you could communicate with and say that everything is going to be alright. Sadly we can’t and so we have to spend months slowly building up trust between the cat and carer until we finally reach a point where there is potential to find the cat a new home. Zula is one of these special cases.
|Zula with one of her kittens|
She was brought to the attention of the RSPCA inspectors back in May by Social Services who were concerned that her owner wasn’t capable of caring for her and her 4 new born kittens. Zula and her kittens were taken to the RSPCA animal hospital for a check over but she was so traumatised by the move that the staff were struggling to examine her. By chance one of our team was at the clinic and saw how distressing Zula was finding the hectic environment of the hospital and, falling for her big sad eyes, managed to find a space for her in foster care, where Zula has now been since the 20th May 2015.
|One of Zula's kittens (Zula in the background)|
Zula spent a lot of time hiding when she first arrived in foster care. Her favourite hiding place was wedged behind a giant plant pot. Had she not been a devoted mum to her kittens we probably wouldn't have seen Zula for weeks, but she had to come out to feed her babies and to eat. Meal times were definitely key to making friends with Zula - a human with a pouch of food in their hands is infinitely less scary. Zula would let you give her a head rub if she was about to get fed, so we knew she had it in her to be a loving cat, she just needed a bit time to settle and practice.
|Always the devoted mum!|
Whether it is from lack of handling in the past, or a bad experience, Zula is very nervous of being picked up and dreads being placed in a carrier. Her extreme reaction has made moving Zula a very stressful experience both for her and whoever is handling her. She is so fearful that she has soiled herself on every occasion she's been in a cat carrier. Because of this we made the unusual decision not to separate her from her kittens when they were weaned, so she didn't need to be moved again.
She has grown in confidence in foster care and doesn't hide so often, really enjoys a good bum scratch and has shown quite a playful side to her character. But if anyone new enters the house she will immediately make herself scarce and retreat under a bed. She's also easily spooked by sudden movements and noises, and if you touch her in a way she doesn't like she will become alarmed. You definitely can't lift her - she is very keen on having all 4 paws on the ground. Hopefully, once all her kittens are rehomed we'll see further improvement in Zula's confidence.
|Zula finally learning to relax after several months|
Cats like Zula don't cost us a lot of money in medical care, as her wounds are psychological rather than physical. As well as wanting to tell her everything is ok, we wish she could tell us exactly what it is that is distressing to her. It's just time that she needs, to learn to relax and to trust her human friends.
There are also many other ways you can help our animals!
1. Make a donation or set up a regular Direct Debit - any amount would make a huge difference to our animals lives.You can TEXT MCRS01 £1/2/3/4/5 or £10 to 70070
2. Fundraise for us! We always have an event or two planned... For example, in September we have an abseil down the Trafford Centre and in October our 'Big Walkies' sponsored dog walk. Why not get involved and raise money for our animals at the same time?!
3. Donate your unwanted clothing, jewellery or bric to our charity shops! Our charity shops are located in Chorlton, Didsbury and the Northern Quarter, city centre and help to fund our work. We can turn your donations into funds to care for our animals. We are also always on the look out for volunteers to help in our shops so if you are interested just get in touch!
4. Adopt one of our amazing animals! We always have many cats, rabbits and guinea pigs for adoption. If you are looking for a new best friend look no further!5. Foster a feline! At the moment we are in need of more foster carers for cats, kittens and nursing queens. If you live in the South Manchester or Salford area and think you could help please contact us on 0161 882 0680 option 4.