Mia - a new chapter begins

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ThorpeDave
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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:01 am

Hi Vivian

I will post another video of Mia today as the next fuss she had was even better. She seems very relaxed despite the horror that is Hendrix.

Cat proofing the garden was not cheap but it (should) mean complete security for both our cats.

stopping them getting out will relieve stress and hours of searching and preventing other cats coming in will hopefully benefit Mia who has been terrorized by 2 male cats all her life.

I continue to have difficulty posting photos on this forum. No matter how small the pictures are it objects to the file size. Once totally complete I will do a short video so that everyone can see what we have done.

Rain has stopped play so no more garden work for a couple of days!

I have managed to incorporate in the design an area I can feed any stray cats that turn up. We had a lost 9 month old kitten a couple of weeks ago who we re-united with her owner and now have a big fluffy cat - nicknamed Freeman - who we are feeding until we can get him trapped and into rescue.

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Kay » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:04 am

Good luck with the enclosure, Dave - the £1000+ I spent on enclosing my back patio area was the best money I have ever spent, as I could come home from work knowing I would not find one of my cats dead on the road outside the house. Mine has been up for 18 years now, and has clematis growing up it - I have a trellis panel placed diagonally across one of the corners for the clematis to grow up and over, and create a shady corner for the outside cat tree, without also creating an escape route!
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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:23 am

ch03-30-19_04_01_13_52_10_8.jpg
Here is mine - just got to sort the garden out now!

The "new" fence at the bottom was needed because our boundary could not be made secure. The addition of the fence post was again necessary as the wall is low and 150 years old and would not reliably take the brackets.

I have installed 2 platforms to allow the cat to see over the wall and fence. They have been placed directly under the netting in the hope that they won't try and jump over it.

Keeping a close eye on them!

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:57 pm

https://youtu.be/w14lEPgfPeo

Fusses just keep getting better!

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Mayday21 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:51 pm

She certainly had a good fuss. Re the platforms, I’ll let others with more experience but cats are the greatest escape artists. Maybe worth watching. You have a lovely garden for them. Is that Hendrix on the rhs? Vivian

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:52 am

Hi Vivian

Despite Hendrix's unruly behavior, Mi seems to be very content. she is certainly making up for lost time with regards to fusses :D It has been a very rewarding experience rescuing her and bringing her round to become a wonderful pet.

Yes, that is Hendrix the Hell's angel.

We have started to plant the garden, so far heather and some catnip. Obviously more to come including something that will provide shade for them in the summer.

We all know that cats like to get high and Mia loved sitting on the wall on the left or the fence on the right. Mia also loved to climb trees so she could see right over the back of the garden.

the platforms should provide a similar view and we don't think that will provide an escape route for them - we shall see!

I am planning something rather special though.

Anyone who Knows music from the legendary Jimmy Hendrix will know the track "all along the watch tower"

Well I am planning a watch tower for them both which will be very high allowing them to see all around BUT be escape proof at the same time! A tall order but not impossible

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Lilith » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:29 pm

LOL - and the catnip will provide a Purple Haze? :D

Congrats on the fencing - my own 'Altracatz' has given me so much peace of mind.

Mia and Hendrix look so content, despite the odd disagreement - this happens in most households :)

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:59 am

Lilith wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:29 pm
LOL - and the catnip will provide a Purple Haze? :D

Congrats on the fencing - my own 'Altracatz' has given me so much peace of mind.

Mia and Hendrix look so content, despite the odd disagreement - this happens in most households :)
LOL - didn't think of that one!!!!

I think that there is a good relationship now between them and they both like the other being around. Mia, now, as part of her fusses, goes and rubs herself against Hendrix and he is pouncing less on her.

Mia now has also adopted the cat tree - what is left of it - that Hendrix used to have, which seems to wind him up a bit.

I think it is now a case of deciding who is Top Cat. Clearly, Mia thinks it should be her. Hendrix is still a kitten but he is much calmer and more respectful - we will have to see how it pans out

The new fencing was not cheap but it has brought considerable peace of mind and both cats now have freedom during the day to come and go as they please.

We still have "lock down" at bed time though but that may be relaxed a little once summer arrives.

A new cat door will be fitted in a month or so as Hendrix is beginning to struggle with it due to his size. The replacement will be app controlled so I can set times automatically. I would prefer to lock them in at night if I can and neither seem to mind with them both joining us to sleep.

I think Chapter 2 is drawing to a close - will there be a Chapter 3 I wonder ;)

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:25 am

It appears that cat proofing the garden has been a success. No cats have been in our garden - and more importantly, none have got out.

The cat proofing has however caused a lot of stress with Mia and Hendrix's responses being totally different.

Hendrix was in a rage for several days with him being aggressive towards us and Mia. Mia on the other hand became withdrawn and stopped eating.

Her lack of food intake became a concern but after a couple of days we worked out what the problem was.

Like most of us, Mia likes to have a poo in privacy and she often jumped over the fence into our next door neighbor's garden to dig a hole - especially if Hendrix was around. she can no longer do this as her toilet bed is now out of bounds. It appears that Mia was holding onto her poo and therefore not eating. She continue to be playful and fussy all the same.

Finally, Mia plucked up the courage and went out, dug several holes, came back in and her food intake has once again picked up. She has also started to use her tray again.

The weather has put brakes on the gardening but will resume later this week once the weather picks up and a couple of spring cleaning jobs have been completed.

Mia and Hendrix are clearly quite content for the other to be around although they have yet to become bosom buddies. Hendrix still tries to goad Mia into play fighting but she simply ignores him, causing frustration. Hendrix however is a lot calmer and far more cat like. Hits fits of rage have become less often, but they are still there while Mia has become more confident and really enjoys playing and fussing.

However, there will be more changes to come which will undoubtedly have an impact.

Firstly, we have booked Mia into the vets as she is well over due for a check up. she has not been properly examined for over 4 years and we are finding it difficult to worm her. While worming could be done with a spot on in the near future as she gets closer to us, we are aware that her ears are bothering her and that she tends to eat on one side of her mouth.

Getting Mia into a carrier is not going to be easy, and an examination by a vet is going to be even harder.

Mia is booked in with our favorite vet so we know she will do everything possible. It is going to be stressful for all concerned and it is likely that we will need some time to rebuild the trust that now exists.

As mentioned in my previous post, Chapter 2 is almost at a close but, chapter 3 went into production on March 11th - more on that later ;)

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:02 pm

While Chapter 2 may be coming to a close - here is a sneak preview of ch3 "Jasper" - here with his mum at 5 weeks old)
jasper-small.jpg

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Lilith » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:37 am

Oh poor Mia! You'll have to build her a private 'ladies' lol.

So glad to hear they're both settling though and that the fencing's working ... ohhh and what's this? They look special, like spotted tabbies - I take it Jasper's the next addition? :D

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:21 am

jasper-small.jpg
We fell in love with Jasper after seeing a photo of him and his 2 sisters and Mum. We went to meet him last Sunday and were selected to adopt him - subject to home visit approval.

Was there was a queue! a long queue but now only have to wait for that home visit. We are hoping that the cat proofed garden will be the clincher.

Mabel - his mum - has now had 5 litters and is barely 2 years old. Poor love has spent all her life producing and caring for babies. She has done so well and is very caring.

Jasper is now nearly 6 weeks old, was the first born and now weighs in at 1kg - he is going to be a whopper like Hendrix!

We would class him as a dark honey tiger striped tabby although he has some interesting rosettes on his belly and a gorgeous dark stripe down his back.

He is currently in a foster home and surrounded by kids, lots of visitors, dogs and even a lamb living in the house. He is fearless but loves his mum and is quite demanding and mardy!

Spending this next week working in the garden to provide a play area, shelter, high vantage point and of course some plants

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Lilith » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:16 am

5 litters by the age of 2??? :o :o :shock:

That girl will welcome retirement and having her stomach back to herself at last!

Hope all goes well with young Jasper - gorgeous boy and a worthy addition, and hopefully a fellow-thug to keep Hendrix occupied and give Mia some peace :lol:

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Ruth B » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:31 am

He is a gorgeous little lad (is it right to call a boy gorgeous?)

While I know it is possible for a cat to start having kittens from 4 months and can have up to three litters a year, I know it isn't healthy for them, I do hope she will be spayed after this lot are fully weaned. She deserves a kittenhood herself. I don't know why it is but when ever I see a mother cat with kittens, while everyone else is oohing and aahing over the kittens i'm looking at the mother and thinking I would love to be able to take her home. I guess I just have a thing for older cats.

Hopefully things will work out and Hendrix and Jasper will rampage around the house and garden together, and not gang up on Mia.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:36 pm

Lilith wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:16 am
5 litters by the age of 2??? :o :o :shock:

That girl will welcome retirement and having her stomach back to herself at last!

Hope all goes well with young Jasper - gorgeous boy and a worthy addition, and hopefully a fellow-thug to keep Hendrix occupied and give Mia some peace :lol:
Jasper's Mum, Mabel is an absolutely gorgous cat and is being spake and off into retirement in a very posh home. she has done her bit and while it is quite disturbing that she has had so many kittens by the time she was 2, she has produced some gorgeous cats in the process and has been a wonderful other.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:46 pm

Ruth B wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:31 am
He is a gorgeous little lad (is it right to call a boy gorgeous?)

While I know it is possible for a cat to start having kittens from 4 months and can have up to three litters a year, I know it isn't healthy for them, I do hope she will be spayed after this lot are fully weaned. She deserves a kittenhood herself. I don't know why it is but when ever I see a mother cat with kittens, while everyone else is oohing and aahing over the kittens i'm looking at the mother and thinking I would love to be able to take her home. I guess I just have a thing for older cats.

Hopefully things will work out and Hendrix and Jasper will rampage around the house and garden together, and not gang up on Mia.
I must admit I was slightly concerned that only having 3 kittens could be a sign of Mabel having health issues. However, now in foster care she is the picture of health and the kittens are developing very well.

Jasper in particular is way above the weight of the average kitten for his age, although litter training is not going well at the moment!

He appears to be quite submissive at the moment and constantly gets beaten up by is sisters - sure he loves it really!

Jasper, in many respects, will be the most "normal" of our 3. Mia was not socialized with humans and suffered at the hands of some bullying cats.

Hendrix was very poorly and separated from his mum at such an early age and simply missed out in his childhood and probably why he gets frustrated with Mia as she won't play with this monster.

We are certainly hoping that Jasper and Hendrix will play happily together, Hendrix will certainly want this but he is a whopping kitten although thankfully a lot calmer than he was.

Mia will want to mother him and Jasper will probably look for comfort from her.

There is a belief that - from his markings - that there is some Bengal in there - heaven knows what that will bring if there is!!

A little over 3 weeks to go before Chapter 3 begins

Regards

Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by booktigger » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:22 pm

People often try and say there is Bengal background with tabbies, but him and his mum are actually mackerel tabbies, which are common, and have a spotty belly. Mackerels have stripes coming from the solid black line, but normally they are broken, so look spotted like these do. Bengals have very specific markings that aren't found in domestic cats, and why they have different eye colours too. I wouldn't worry about the small litter, it is unlikely to do with health issues and more her body struggling with so many litters in such a small space of time, especially if she didn't have good nutrition.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:04 pm

The "Bengal" reference came from the rescue center but I have to say that I agree with you. We are seeing him again on Saturday and have a close look at his belly to see if they are spots or rosettes.

He is certain a bright little thing and the most advanced of the litter - although litter training is not quite going according to plan!

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Dave

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Lilith » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:09 pm

My Molly has the same coat pattern, though she's ginger - close, sleek, and with what I swear is a perfect Burmese face and body type; we have some fascinating 'mongrels' around; I once knew a cat (called 'Stripe') who was the double of Mabel. So I wouldn't be surprised if Jasper turns out to be long and elegant and lanky - and talkative, like my ginger whinger ninja!

Jasper sounds just like a Siamese kitten I bred - a complete dope, but so adorable. He too was large; he was the survivor of a wonky litter (after which his mother was retired; wasn't putting her through that again) and after being only birth-weight after a week suddenly piled on the ounces. His litter training didn't go well either - at one point I discovered he'd been piddling in my favourite ankle boots :o But he grew out of it. He had a genius for getting himself into bother; he's the one I once told the story about, who managed to filch another (longhaired) cat's combings and eat them, giving himself an appalling sickness problem, until he regurgitated his 'furball' in the fish the vet had advised to correct his mysterious 'gastritis'. I knew it wasn't really his; he was blue tabby and she was black ...

When he was about 10 weeks and nearly as big as his long, lean, mean (or so he'd have you think; he was really the coward of the county) big brother, the Outlaw Josey Wails (because he did) Tao was sitting peacefully in a chair when Joey came and Stared at him. Tao stared back. Joey raised an elegant paw and before I could object, swatted Tao back and forth, back and forth across the chops. Then he walked off.

Tao seemed dumbstruck. Then the cogs started turning. He lifted his huge shovel of a paw ... he looked at it ... and he realised. He waved his paw back and forth, his face agonised - 'Here, come back! I can do that!'

Lol, he was a complete thicko but such a darling!

Good luck to Mabel in her retirement and hope the time passes quickly until Jasper's arrival! :)

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:02 pm

We have the dreaded "home visit" tomorrow evening and off to see Jasper again on Saturday.

No date has yet been fixed - although I would bring him on Saturday if I could!.

What is important is that Jasper and Mabel are ready for the re-homing rather than us.

I was looking at pictures of Hendrix when he was just 8 weeks old and he is unrecognizable now. Hendrix was tiny and fluffy and so fragile. He is now a coat like a we seal and very muscular - the vet commented on how well developed his muscles are.

It took some time for Hendrix to develop but when he reached 4 months old, he suddenly started growing at quite an alarming rate with a prediction he would reach 7kg or more! He is unlikely to achieve that now as his growth rate has slowed back to "normal". He is very strong though and he has an amazing turn of speed and incredible agility

Sometimes I feel really bad about caging them in as Hendrix would love to get at those trees - and probably the birds in them! but he is much safer now and we are doing what we can to provide interest in the garden to keep him happy.
IMG_20190423_105420.jpg

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Ruth B » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:28 pm

I will never forget the one home check we had done.

Patch had died suddenly of a very aggressive tumour and Blue, our Ragdoll, was feeling lonely, so we turned to Cat's Protection to find him a companion. At the time we had one sofa that was rather worn, and one, that I normally used, that was a lot newer. We had been sat waiting (nervously, it doesn't matter how much I know I can give a cat a good home I always worry before a home check) and Blue had come up to share the sofa with me, he knew I needed reassuring. The doorbell goes and I get up to answer it, Blue stays where he is totally unfazed. Of course a guest gets offered the better sofa, complete with cat. The lady from Cats Protection, introduces herself, goes through a few basic bits and pieces while Blue is sat beside her demanding fuss. Then she gets the clipboard and pen out to do the home check, but every time she tries to stop fussing him to write an answer down she gets headbutted by Blue wanting to know why she has stopped fussing him. I don't think she got through all the questions and just gave up in the end. We must have been deemed suitable though as we got Tiggy.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:38 pm

That is so sweet

However, Mia will run a mile or hide and Hendrix will do whatever can to cause chaos!

Not knowing what to expect is what is causing the nervousness as I simply do not know what the questions will be or what they are looking for.

Hopefully they will see 2 healthy cats, a cat proof garden and all the right bits and pieces around the place.

Fingers crossed

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Ruth B » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:14 am

From what I've read and seen about you and your cats you have nothing to worry about regarding the home check, easy to say I know.

Since that time with Blue I have actually done a home check for the charity that Saturn and Freyja came from, it was just around the corner so it seemed a shame not to offer if a more experienced person wasn't available. The questions I was given were all very basic ones, name and address, what the area was like, what their work hours were, if they rented did they have permission to have a cat, what previsions would be made while the cat had to be kept in, did they know it had to be neutered, were they aware of the need for annual vaccinations and regular flea and worm treatments, that type of thing. I think a lot of the home check is about having an actual look at the place and making sure it isn't some type of hoarders house or a drug den.

I know some charities can be very fussy about finding the perfect home for every animal, unfortunately very few people can provide the 'perfect' home, but many can provide a very good one. Sometimes the home check is about making sure the person is choosing a suitable cat for their situation and life style, I did hear of an older retired lady who wanted a kitten that would sit quietly beside them and not run around tearing the place apart or climbing the curtains and other furniture, but wouldn't accept that an older cat was what suited that description. A good charity wants to get as many animals into good homes as it can, most animals are better off in an adequate home where they will be looked after and cared for than in a shelter, no matter how good the shelter is. An older, independent cat can cope quite well in a house where everyone is at work all day, which wouldn't be suitable for some more demanding ones, The last thing a shelter wants is for the cats to be returned although they know that that is the best option should things not work out, best to get it right first time.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by booktigger » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:34 am

It varies from rescue to rescue, I always preferred to do mine as an informal chat, as to me what kind of person you are is more important than how clean your house is. There are definitely different levels of cat owners, but as Ruth says, most can provide a good one, and if we looked for perfection every time, a lot more animals would sit in a rescue. Ironically some of my best homings have been ones rejected by a very fussy rescue who had blanket policies on things like children and location of road. I liked to have a chat on the phone first, so I had a feel for the person before even turning up, meant I didn't have many wasted home visits, I would also home to you based off your posts and the pics you have posted.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:53 pm

Thankfully we passed!

One local charity will not place any cats with anyone in our street as it is classed as a busy road - it is a side street!

When we actually got round to filling the form in it was a formality. The lady was blown away by the CCTV and cat proofing and of course Mia and Hendrix who our vet described as in "immaculate condition"

so, the bottom line is that Hendrix will soon have a playmate in the form of Jasper. I would love to bring all 3 kittens home - and Mum - but the others are already reserved.

One last post, and that will be the end of Ch2

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by alanc » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:46 pm

That's great news.
I have never had to undergo the worry of the home assessment, as Sally chose me without any intervention from rescues. When I went to get Honey and Misty after her death, I was told they did not need to do a home visit as they had checked out the terrace some months before when my neighbors had gone to acquire some kittens. I suppose they must have seen this contented elderly black cat sleeping in the sun in my house and concluded I was suitable without any further inquiry!
I think Honey and Misty agreed with their assessment.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by ThorpeDave » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:52 pm

The largest and most well known rescue agency will not place cats in our street - period, end of!

Jasper is coming quite some distance and his 2 sisters and Mum are all going far afield and well out of the area. There is an indication the Jasper's mum is going somewhere very special indeed!

Mia, Hendrix and most of the other cats in the area have been "privately" rescued with no agencies involved. We still, however, have a small No of strays around all of which are being looked after.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by booktigger » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:29 am

Am glad you passed, what a shame your local rescue are so strict about the road. Glad his mum is reserved, it's normally the mums who struggle to find a home

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by Ruth B » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:28 pm

Glad to hear it went well, i never doubted you wouldn't pass.

I can understand a charity being careful about rehoming to a house on a busy road, but there are cats that need to be kept indoors for medical reasons even if the charity doesn't agree with keeping cats indoors generally, or there is the option of a cat run or cat proof garden, such as yours. I guess it would mean more work for the charity so if they don't have a problem finding homes for all their cats it makes sense just to say no. I just hear from my local charities that are always saying they are full and desperate to find homes for cats.

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Re: Mia - a new chapter begins

Post by booktigger » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:56 pm

I've actually homed numerous times where the front was a busy road but the back was that good that cats wouldn't go near the front, but some charities prefer blanket rules regardless of the impact on homing

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