Stop the clock…!

We now have two cats on a countdown 🙁

Penny was abandoned in Washington State, along with Sikkim and the first Willow that we had, we sincerely believed, sent to a perfect home.

How wrong can a person be?

Because she was chipped, Willow found her way back to us, bringing the other two.

Could you have abandoned these three cats? We always said we would take cats back, no questions asked. Heartless beast that left them.

Grant got a call from an indignant shelter worker, telling him that his cat had been brought in. The new owners had never changed the chip details, fortunately. Once they both got on the same page in the conversation, Grant indicated that we would come immediately to collect Willow.

Not that simple, of course. Law apparently dictated that any animal turned in to a shelter has to be kept ten days, in case the owner comes to collect it. Bah. The three cats had been making do in their backyard for a couple of weeks before a concerned dog walker went and picked them up.

Never-the-less, we had to wait ten days while our beloved Willow and her pals were living in a shelter. We were terrified there would be a screw up and something bad would happen. We didn’t even want to think what that might be.

We weren’t even allowed to see Willow, even though we had driven some 40 miles to the shelter as soon as we heard she was there.

The other two, we were told were, one a Himalayan and two an “aggressive” black cat. Black cats don’t do well in shelters. An aggressive one was unlikely to make it out alive.

In our minds, we had already committed to these two additional cats, never mind that I had technically stopped accepting cats. What’s two more, right?

While we waited, in vain, to talk to the shelter manager, we observed an amusing scenario.

The counter agent was busy talking to someone about another animal. Grant and I stood there trying not to seethe and looking out of the window.

A young man drove up, manipulated a carrier out of his car and carried it inside. It contained a handsome-looking fluffy ginger cat.

Behind him came a slightly less young woman, empty-handed. She entered the shelter after the youth with the ginger cat, marched up to him and said “are you turning in that cat?” He indicated that he was and the woman asked “can I have him?” She took the cat in her arms and off she went.

Hopefully she was a well-intentioned person and not a hoarder

The transaction look approximately 60 seconds. Grant and I had witnessed the fastest ever adoption. And the cheapest. Naturally, ten days later, when finally we were allowed to “adopt” Willow and her two friends, we were obliged to pay the fees. I didn’t even argue about it. The shelter needed the money and I wanted the cats. That I had already “rescued” Willow once before was nothing to do with anything. Animal rescue is all a bit mad, frankly. (My opinion)

Willow coming back to us was a light in a dark time.

We had too many losses that year, one after another.

Then, on the 13th day after her return, I was on my way down to the foster room and heard Grant’s voice:

“Willow is dead.”

It was hard to take but she seemed not to have been distressed, so we can only assume she simply had a heart attack. But my heart was sore.

Willow with Mikhail, one of the foster kittens

Willow’s memorial ornament with her ashes.

Sentimental, I know.

But we had acquired two new friends.

I named the black cat Penny after another beloved pet. This “aggressive” animal turned out to be the sweetest cat I have ever met. The reason she may have seemed defensive was because she is shot full of arthritis.

We knew from the start that Penny would not be with us for the long haul. She is an old cat. We have managed her pain successfully for three years but it’s impossible to supervise one out of 12 cats to ensure they don’t attempt to jump up.

Grant has carried Penny up and down and around the house constantly, but it’s possible she may have attempted a jump recently and strained herself.

We have an additional drug to try and a possible change of medication, but how do you decide when an arthritic cat has had enough? Her eyes are bright and she loves Grant so much. We love her too, but we can’t allow her to suffer.

Colin was a stray that came to Grant at his condo in Washington. He’s been with us for 6 years.

We thought we would lose Colin once before when he was hit with a mysterious illness that no-one ever properly diagnosed. I can’t even remember what treatment he had.

Colin, whose weight we battled to control, had lost his appetite and got thinner by the day, but then he turned the corner and came back.

And gained every ounce back too. We only gave him wet food and fed him in a different room so he wouldn’t steal food from the others. He was just our Big Boy.

Then last year his kidney function started to fail.

We got the special diet and sometimes he will eat it, but you can’t explain these things to a cat.

Recently, Colin seemed to be right at the edge and I wasn’t sure I really approved of bringing him back just to fail again, but he is Grant’s cat.

In fact Colin perked right back up and has seemed his old self. More or less.

But Colin and Penny are both “on the clock”


Grant went off to attend to other matters, leaving me in charge of the ailing cats. Colin was being a pest to Penny, so I locked him in the front room with me and continued what I was doing.

When I heard the car, I confess, I jumped up to make sure Penny hadn’t got into more trouble, only to find her lying on her side licking something very nasty….she apparently got a small bite or scratch recently that got infected and it had just burst…..

So perhaps Penny has stopped her clock for the time being…

Just goes to show, things aren’t always what they seem!

2 thoughts on “Stop the clock…!

  1. What a heartwarming post! Thank you immensely! Successes are successes even if they are short-lived! And, what magnificent kitties, especially Penny! I am partial to black cats! PS I hope YOU are feeling better today.

  2. I know that feeling of dread that comes with the knowledge that you won’t have your beloved pet much longer and the cloud of doubt that hangs over you when you have to make the decision to let them go. It’s the most awful feeling and I always hoped for a natural and peaceful end to their lives, but never had it happen that way. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Grant as you make Colin and Penny’s lives as comfortable as possible for their remaining time. You two are such loving cat parents.

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