Stray Cat - Advice Needed

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AndyMac
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Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:10 pm

I lost two cats recently - the last Mia to a RTA in August. Last Thursday I was in the back garden and noticed a black cat sitting on the fence watching me so I tried to make friends but it ran away (both of my cats were black). I noticed it in the garden on Friday & Saturday evening and I went out and knelt down and called it - it started crying so I knew it was hungry - I have cat food so I went inside to put some outside and the cat was at the back door, nervous but obviously hungry. I put the bowl of food at the doorstep - which it devoured. I sat at the back door and the cat cautiously approached me and we became friends. It then went into the house so I waited to see what it would do. After 5 mins I went looking for it and it was upstairs in the spare bedroom playing with one of Mia's toys on the bed. I left it alone and 15mins later it came down and went outside down the garden and disappeared through the hedge. Later on Saturday evening I went out and it was not there and the same on Sunday evening - no sign of it.

On Monday evening I cut the grass and as I was tidying up I noticed the same cat walking up the back garden - still a bit nervous but it went to the back door so I knew it wanted food. As I was putting it into the bowl the cat came inside so I put the bowl down in the dining room - I give it a pouch of food and it ate another 3. I thought this cannot be right that it has eaten so much and it didnt look like a stray as it had a glossy coat and was very affectionate with head bumps and loved being scratched. It wandered about the house and again it went upstairs and I could hear it playing with the toy and then it came back downstairs and left. Later it rained and got very windy and I looked outside but no sign of it but as I was about to go to bed I was putting rubbish into the bin and the cat appeared at the back door. Again I fed it its 5th pouch and thought if I closed the door would you stay - which it did. It stayed the night in the spare bedroom. I got up during the night and it was laying on the bed and later I could hear it wondering about the house and it used the litter tray (which I thought I should put one out just in case). Today (Tuesday) I was off work so when I got up the cat ate 2 pouches and I let it out - it has now started to stay around my garden and in the neighbours garden as the house is vacant. Today it has eaten 5 pouches and some chicken - I have never seen this cat before and it does not have a collar but it looks well groomed and I got smitten with it as being off work today we spent time bonding - it still is very jumpy but loves attention - I have no idea if it is male/female and do not want to look !!

The issue I have is the cat is now going into my front garden and has been across the road and with happened to Mia getting knocked down outside the house my nerves are shattered and I am so worried about it. I am blaming myself for feeding it now with the cat becoming comfortable it is now exploring the front of the house and if anything were to happen to it on the road so soon after losing Mia I could not live with the guilt - I still feel so responsible for Mia and if this were to happen again - I just dont know.

Sorry for rambling but I have decided to stop feeding the cat and I chased it out of the front garden into the back and away it went but now feel so guilty as I know it is hungry and I felt a bond with it as it is so affectionate and looks so much like my first cat Jet whom I lost to cancer in April. I thought today that maybe Jet and Mia decided to send me a wee present from Rainbow Bridge with this cat but watching it crossing the road and if anything were to happen - well it would kill me with guilt.

I am wondering what to do now - should I leave the cat alone and ignore it - should I take it to a local shelter or should I take it to the vet to see if it is chipped. TBH - I am so worried about it and would rather it was in the house with me than being outside. I have checked Facebook lost & found etc... but no-one seems to be missing this cat and neighbours have never seen it before.

Any advice is very welcome.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by booktigger » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:19 pm

As it looks in good condition I'd get it checked for a chip and if none, put a paper collar on and release to make sure it isn't someone's pet. I know you have concerns about the road but someone could be missing this cat

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:34 pm

Thanks for the reply - that is what I was thinking and my neighbour also suggested I take it to the vet to see if it is chipped. It is getting cold tonight and I will see if it is outside and get it in tonight - my heart is breaking for Mia but aching for this wee cat to live with me but I just do not know - the thought of it being outside alone and hungry really upsets me.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Kay » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:49 pm

feline company is clearly very important for you, Andy, so if there is any way you could create a cat proof area in your garden, it would allow you to have a cat without any of the anxiety - I know fencing my patio 17 years ago was the best investment I ever made, after losing a cat to the road

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:07 pm

Kay wrote:feline company is clearly very important for you, Andy, so if there is any way you could create a cat proof area in your garden, it would allow you to have a cat without any of the anxiety - I know fencing my patio 17 years ago was the best investment I ever made, after losing a cat to the road
Thanks for the advice Kay - I have thought about cat proofing the garden and having an indoor cat but losing Mia has left such a deep hurt with me and is an episode that I will never forget and if the same thing were to happen to this wee cat it would ruin me.

I went outside and called the cat and it was in next doors garden and came into the house straight away - it has been fed and has playing with toys in the bedroom I am below in the living room and the thumps on the ceiling !!!! It seems settled so I will go to bed and hopefully it will stay the night.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Janey » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:16 am

Def need to find out if it’s owned, I’ve found owners a few times, by chip and use of paper collars. This info should help:

https://www.catchat.org/index.php/cat-m ... ound#found

Good luck!

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Lilith » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:05 am

Aww, good luck, and I hope Cat is here to stay - sounds like you need each other :)

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Ruth B » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:17 am

I have to agree, you need to try and find out if it has an owner, but if providing shelter in your back garden, and keeping the positive interaction, the fuss and the food, at the back of your house and chasing it away when you see it going to the front will hopefully keep it from wandering too close to the road.

If it hasn't got an owner then you have some serious thinking to do. I know the loss of Mia hurt so much, but the pleasure you got from her and she got from you does weigh against the pain, and you can do something now to protect any cat you have either by building an enclosure or having an indoor only pet. It will always hurt to lose one, it is the price we pay for caring, but if that cat hasn't got an owner, think about the happy life you could give it, compared with the life of a street cat.

Part of me thinks fate may be playing a hand, and somethings are meant to be.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:11 am

Ruth B wrote:I have to agree, you need to try and find out if it has an owner, but if providing shelter in your back garden, and keeping the positive interaction, the fuss and the food, at the back of your house and chasing it away when you see it going to the front will hopefully keep it from wandering too close to the road.

If it hasn't got an owner then you have some serious thinking to do. I know the loss of Mia hurt so much, but the pleasure you got from her and she got from you does weigh against the pain, and you can do something now to protect any cat you have either by building an enclosure or having an indoor only pet. It will always hurt to lose one, it is the price we pay for caring, but if that cat hasn't got an owner, think about the happy life you could give it, compared with the life of a street cat.

Part of me thinks fate may be playing a hand, and somethings are meant to be.
Thanks Ruth - I phoned the vet and they said to take it over to be scanned which I will hopefully do later this evening. I also posted on Cats Protection facebook page and have had a few enquiries but do not think it is their missing cat. It stayed last night and I gave it a pouch of food and some chicken. I had the door closed and it went over to it pawing looking out so I had to relent, it was sitting in the neighbours garden when I left for work. I cannot concentrate and am so concerned about it and have a constant 'knot' in my stomach.

This is the link to the facebook page - I took the photo yesterday:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Lilith » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:11 pm

That's one gorgeous cat! I think the reason why it looks so sleek is that it's obviously part Oriental - that short coat keeps tidy. My Molly's the same - she's not terribly groomable but never a hair out of place. (Mousey's Oriental-looking too but she sheds more with being an old lady; have to groom her.)

Something about 'it' makes me feel it's a tom, but I may be wrong - as they say, it isn't by their faces that you tell them lol.

Hope the vet visit goes ok and fusses to Cat :)

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:32 pm

Lilith wrote:That's one gorgeous cat! I think the reason why it looks so sleek is that it's obviously part Oriental - that short coat keeps tidy. My Molly's the same - she's not terribly groomable but never a hair out of place. (Mousey's Oriental-looking too but she sheds more with being an old lady; have to groom her.)

Something about 'it' makes me feel it's a tom, but I may be wrong - as they say, it isn't by their faces that you tell them lol.

Hope the vet visit goes ok and fusses to Cat :)
Thanks Lilith - I have had numerous enquires from the Facebook post but do not think any of them relate to this cat - from a missing fang to a dark colour on the roof of its mouth to white whiskas. I also had a notion that it may be a tom and it is a beauty. My neighbour was in contact to say that there was a black cat seen at the back of the local bakery on Monday and they had posted photos of it but am yet to see them to compare to this cat.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Lilith » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:44 pm

On a lighter note - I've just remembered who Cat's photo reminds me of - one of my favourite cat posters ever -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chat_Noir

:)

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Kay » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:16 pm

I have a lovely jigsaw of that poster

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Ruth B » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:09 pm

S/He is a gorgeous cat and certainly looks like they know what's what and has a bit of attitude.

Unfortunately in the end, particularly with a black cat, the only real way to confirm ownership is a chip, sometimes you might get one that recognises the owner and runs over and you can see they know each other, but often it just ends up as another lost stray.

Having heard how in Canada when a vet neuters or spays a cat they tattoo an identification number in the ear so if the cat is ever caught again there is an easy way of finding it's history (and in the case of a female and obvious sign she has been spayed) and getting it back to its owners or recognising it as a TNR stray. Chipping should be mandatory, but I've nothing against an extra measure as well, so I would have loved to see it brought in over here.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by booktigger » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:43 pm

Yes, I'd love tattooing brought in over here, especially for females. My local RSPCA opens every female up to check, a lot of unnecessary sedation and stress

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by ThorpeDave » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:50 pm

booktigger wrote:Yes, I'd love tattooing brought in over here, especially for females. My local RSPCA opens every female up to check, a lot of unnecessary sedation and stress
I think that is terrible!

It will cause stress, risk of infection and even loss of life! Far better and cheaper to have mandatory chipping - surely!

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:00 pm

UPDATE: I took the cat to the vet who scanned and found that it had a chip. I was told it was a male cat (well done Lilith) and his name is Paul. His owners live in the north area of Belfast where I live in South which I suppose is about 5-7 miles as the crow flies. The vet had 3 phone numbers from the chip details and they phoned each number and all had a disconnected tone.

I assumed I could take Paul home but was informed he would stay at the vet until its owners could be contacted - they said they would now send a letter to the registered address and if there was no reply within 7 days Paul would be passed to Cats Protection for rehoming. I said I was willing to adopt him but the nurse was unsure what the procedures were and I give my contact details just in case and they said to phone next week for an update on his progress. They let me go and say goodbye to him in his cage and I have to admit I did cry when I saw him and spent a few minutes with him stroking and scratching him. Paul just seemed to be stressed but hoping he is settled and I know now he is safe and hopefully will be returned to his owners - if not he will be with me.

When I got home from work earlier he was waiting in the front garden and he ate 2 pouches of food. He went upstairs to bed and I lay on my bed and had a sleep for a while and I got up and went in to see him and he was laying full stretch and I tickled his tummy and stroked him. I decided I should take him to the vet from the advice you guys had given me but selfishly I didnt want to. It was a fight to get him into the carry case and he cried the whole way to the vet - I reassured him he would be home soon and left some chicken out to give him when we got home but sadly this was not to be.

I have to admit even tho we had a short time together we did bond and hopefully he maybe home in a few days with his family but I am glad he chose to come to me for some food and a safe bed for a few days and I got a few photos of him. Leaving the vets with an empty carry case brought back so many memories of Jet and Mia and again I had a cry when driving home - I have to admit I do miss the wee man.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Lilith » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:30 am

Oh Andy, I feel like crying too!

You did the right thing, obviously, but to have to leave him there ... and that unwieldy bureaucratic process to be undergone.

Paws crossed he's reunited with a loving owner soon ... and I rather do hope it's you! Good luck!
Last edited by Lilith on Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Janey » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:19 am

That’s the point of chips and you did absolutely the right thing, someone could be missing him a lot, hopefully you’ve helped him find his owner.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by fjm » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:18 am

Absolutely the right thing - if he is chipped it shows his previous owners cared at least enough to get that done, and there are so many reasons why phone numbers may not respond. I think I would contact Cats Protection to let them know that you are ready and waiting to take him if he is not claimed, though, and do whatever is necessary to make sure you pass a home check.

And if he does get home to his family (I hope they have the kindness to thank you, and let you know how he is doing), I think his short stay has shown how very much you need a cat in your life. There are so many cats desperately needing homes - perhaps, if Paul is not the one for you after all, it is time to build that safe catio and visit local rescue centres...

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Ruth B » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:06 am

I have to agree with all the rest, you did the right thing. It's possible the owners have moved and Paul escaped and was on his way back to his old home, which would explain why the landline phones were off. I can understand that bringing the empty carrier back opened old wounds, but keep reminding yourself that in this instance the empty carrier isn't a bad sign, but a sign that Paul was cared for enough for someone to get him chipped and there will be a happy ending to the story.

I would suggest contact Cat's Protection again letting them know what has happened and that you would be willing to have him if the owners can't be contacted, I do see a lot of Cat's Protection Found Cats adverts on Facebook that mention the finder is willing to keep, and I hate to add but they will probably be glad of a waiting home for Paul due to his colour.

Maybe he was also sent to make you realise that having a cat does fill a hole in your life, and as others have said, maybe it is time to consider the catio.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:55 am

Ruth B wrote:
I would suggest contact Cat's Protection again letting them know what has happened and that you would be willing to have him if the owners can't be contacted, I do see a lot of Cat's Protection Found Cats adverts on Facebook that mention the finder is willing to keep, and I hate to add but they will probably be glad of a waiting home for Paul due to his colour.

Maybe he was also sent to make you realise that having a cat does fill a hole in your life, and as others have said, maybe it is time to consider the catio.
I would agree with that.

Contacting Cats Protection should be your next move so that if Paul goes to them you have an immediate opportunity to adopt him.

One thing that strikes me immediately is that the chip details have not been kept up to date, which would suggest that the owner is not putting the welfare of the cat first.

I also have a view that you never "own" a cat. Cats stray for many reasons but usually because they are not happy where they live. One of mine came from across the road and lived rough for 18 months before coming to live with us. She simply would not go back due to another cat bullying her. We have subsequently officially adopted Mia.

It does sound like Paul would be happy to live with you so good luck.

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Dave

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:47 am

Lilith wrote:Oh Andy, I feel like crying too!

You did the right thing, obviously, but to have to leave him there ... and that unwieldy bureaucratic process to be undergone.

Paws crossed he's reunited with a loving owner soon ... and I rather do hope it's you! Good luck!
Thanks Lilith - I contacted the vet to ask if he settled in Ok and asked them to get the vet to check his ear as he was scratching a lot at the inside of it.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:00 am

Thanks for the kind replies. I do hope he is reunited with his owners - he was in good condition when he arrived in my garden so dont think he was on the streets too long but he was very hungry. He was very affectionate with me straight away and it was nice to fuss over a cat again. There have been a lot of work vans around the corner with people getting work done to property and wondering if he managed to get into one of the vans at home and ended up in my area.

I was surprised by the amout of contact I received from the Facebook post - some people are still searching for their cats from March - unfortunately for them of the people who contacted me Paul did not belong to them.

I will contact the vet next week to enquire if he has been reunited but if not I will seriously think about taking him back with me if they allow me - will think about it for a few days and may consider getting another cat but it was such a coincidence that Paul turned up and just happened to be black like Jet and Mia.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by booktigger » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:16 pm

Fingers crossed they can find the owner, this is the downside of chipping, when people move and forget to update records. If not, I would speak to Cats Protection, they would probably be glad of some interest in him with being black. Out of curiosity, where did you get Mia from?

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:44 pm

booktigger wrote:Fingers crossed they can find the owner, this is the downside of chipping, when people move and forget to update records. If not, I would speak to Cats Protection, they would probably be glad of some interest in him with being black. Out of curiosity, where did you get Mia from?
I got Mia from Cats Protection but am worried with her RTA that they would be hesitant about letting me have another cat from them.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by AndyMac » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:20 pm

I just got a message from the vet to say that Pauls owner has been located and she is picking him up later.

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:25 pm

AndyMac wrote:I just got a message from the vet to say that Pauls owner has been located and she is picking him up later.
I suppose that is good in many ways but I also assume that your emotions are somewhat torn as well?

Perhaps your experience with Paul has given you the opportunity to consider having another cat in your life? Personally, I would always go for a rescue cat ;)

I feel sure that Paul was grateful for your intervention and only wish that others would do the same instead of walking on by

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Dave

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by fjm » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:31 pm

Bitter sweet - I am glad he is safely home, and rejoice with his owner, but sorry you are left bereft. There again, you have discovered that you are ready to bond with another cat, and a kitten or very young cat might adjust more easily to a rather confined life, safely enclosed from dangerous roads...

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Re: Stray Cat - Advice Needed

Post by Ruth B » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:56 pm

Like others have said, a bitter sweet outcome. Paul's owners must be overjoyed to have him back, so please try and see that as a positive outcome, you helped reunite them.

In the end though it has given you time to think and decide what to do, there are plenty of cats in shelters should you decide you do want one. As for Mia's RTA, i don't think this should prevent you from having one from a rescue, the incident effected you deeply and you are thinking about what you could do to stop it happening again should you decide to adopt again.

In the end only you can decide and nothing is pressuring you now, you can make the decision in your own time and have time to price everything up and get any work done.

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