Aged somewhere between 9 and 12 years.
Hello, my name is now Phoenix and I am the happiest I have ever been in many years. I was broken but now I feel reborn and ready to face the world again. I am now pain free and healing well, but I would really like to tell my story as it might help other abandoned or neglected cats and kittens just like I used to be.
So here it is with a bit of raw emotion, but my story is destined to have a happy ending and I am so looking forward to living the rest of my life in peace and comfort.
If you can help me, and other’s like me, we have a fundraiser here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1435455067198203/
I was bought as a cute little kitten, but the novelty must have worn off as I found myself being kept outside, not fed properly and sadly neglected. I mostly stayed around the garden hoping they would see I wasn’t coping and feel sorry for me and take me back in, but that never happened, so I tried to fend for myself as best I could. My owners didn’t have me neutered so I was a target for other older unneutered cats to test my street cred. I did try to fight back but always came off worst and was always looking over my shoulder in fear.
Over the 9 years I was living rough I endured freezing cold winters, being soaked to the skin when it rained, and shooed away by heartless humans when I was looking for food and hoping some kind person would take pity on me and let me in. My once shiny fur became badly matted, pulling on my skin which became so sore I developed an abscess. My right eye was badly injured and because it wasn’t treated I went blind. Thank goodness I could still see out of my good eye. Also, due to having so many ear infections I am left with cauliflower ears which were so painful. Even worse, so many of my teeth were broken off with the roots exposed which was agony and I had a job to eat. I often felt like giving up because no-one seemed to care, and I was getting too old to survive as a street cat.
So many people just ignored my plight although I looked in such a sorry state, and as for my would-be owners, they up and moved without giving me another thought. There were a few kind neighbours that gave me food, and somehow I soldiered on although the constant pain and suffering had taken its toll. In my darkest moments of despair, feeling so ill and rejected I wanted to give up as there was no compassion or pity for me and no-one to turn to for help.
I guess by this point in my story you must be thinking there wasn’t much going for me, and you would be right!
Just as I was beginning to give up hope as I was so weary and my battered body frozen to the core, I smelt the aroma of something delicious and had to follow the trail as I was very hungry. I started to tuck in when suddenly the door closed, and I was trapped. What was happening to me? Next thing I knew I was whisked away in a car to a place called Vale Vet’s. Everything happened so fast after that.
I woke up in a haze and wherever I was it felt so warm I fell straight back to sleep again. I stayed in the vets for 5 nights and whatever they gave me to take the pain away it worked. Although I was quite scared and timid, I received so much attention and lovely mashed up food I was beginning to relax. The nurses loved me and said I was such a brave boy as I had 16 teeth removed, my cauliflower ears washed out, matted fur shaved off, as well as being neutered, wormed and de-flead. My poorly eye was cleaned, and soothing drops put in. I even let them put my eye drops in when I was awake several times a day – I knew at last I was getting the help I desperately needed and felt safe and comfortable for the first time in many years – and I was in much less pain.
It was time to leave Vale Vet’s and move on to the next phase of my journey which I wasn’t too sure about as I quite liked it there. I went off with anti-biotics, eye drops, ear drops and more painkillers, and was told I had to come back in two weeks for more dental work, ear cleaning and to check the pressure in my eye. My destination was Holly Hedge Sanctuary which didn’t sound too bad, but I was a bit worried as I didn’t know what to expect.
On my arrival I was taken to my own heated little room with an outside area to stretch my legs. I was off to a good start, and there was nice food waiting for me, cosy beds, and carers that couldn’t do enough for me. I felt so loved and wanted and didn’t realise people could be so kind to an old bruiser like me with cauliflower ears and a wonky eye, as well as being almost toothless now most of my rotten teeth had been taken out.
I also looked rather moth eaten with my matts shaved off, but I was told I looked very appealing. They told me I should be proud as I survived against all odds and deserved a life full of contentment and happiness as I had suffered enough. They said I would soon be going to a foster home with a lovely lady who was very experienced with cats like me, where I could get used to being in a home again, and that I would be very happy there as she would spoil me and give me lots of tender loving care. I wondered could this even be possible, but it sounded like music to my ears, (what was left of them) and I was feeling confident enough to actually look forward to meeting this wonderful lady.
So, after a week I said a fond farewell to my dedicated carers at Holly Hedge and set off on the third phase of my journey. I had the warmest welcome and Becky made me feel so at home I was overwhelmed by all the special VIP treatment bestowed upon me. She took me to see my friends at Vale Vets again to have another 6 teeth removed and my poorly ears flushed out again, so I was almost as good as new after that and feeling so well in myself. I even jumped on the sofa which is so comfortable and my favourite place to sit.
It’s been pouring with rain outside, and here I am inside, cosy, warm and dry and I count my blessings. So many people have shown me kindness I had never experienced, and I feel at peace with the world – I can sleep without fear, I am no longer in excruciating pain or hungry, the despair and loneliness has disappeared, and I am safe.
The time will come when I will be ready for the last stage of my journey as Becky is needed to care for other homeless cats who are desperate for help. This will be to my very own cosy and quiet forever home where I will be dearly loved, never having to look over my shoulder again or fend for myself. I am full of hope in my heart that my future will be everything I have always dreamed of with caring people to cherish me for the rest of my life. You might even be reading my story……………….
Phoenix has now exhausted his vocabulary and thinks it’s time for a nap so has asked me to thank all the amazing people who helped him on his road to recovery and who were instrumental in saving his life.
Kim Notton, his Guardian Angel who by sheer chance heard about him and sprang into action immediately by posting a description of him on Facebook and where he was seen regularly. People came forward and Kim was on a mission.
She alerted Holly Hedge of his plight sending a heart-breaking photo which brought tears to our eyes and of course we said we would take him and he could go straight to Vale Vets when caught. She went to the area he came from, and a kind lady said she would have a cat trap in her garden and would watch it to make sure no other cat went in. Kim then set it up and the following day Phoenix as he is now called went in and his story to a new life began. It must be said that Kim has saved many cats from the brink of death, taking some in herself, and finding rescue spaces for others. She is always there working tirelessly to help animals in distress and is a true Animal Samaritan, so a huge thank you from Phoenix and all the others Kim has saved, many of whom ended up at Holly Hedge.
Maddie, thank you for having the trap in your garden so this dear boy received help, it was so kind of you.
Pip Sharp, who so kindly dropped everything to pick Phoenix up as soon as he went in the trap and took him to straight to Vale Vets. Pip has been a loyal supporter of Holly Hedge for years, dog walking and helping occasionally in the office. Pip is an avid fundraiser, and instrumental in organising many income generating events to boost the Holly Hedge coffers and adopted two of our lovely Staffy’s. Phoenix says thank you for getting him to the vets so promptly and for bringing him a lovely blanket and special treats at Holly Hedge.
Vale Vets who treated him for all his many longstanding ailments, it was the first kindness he had experienced in many years. Vale vets have been treating our rescues since even before the Sanctuary became a reality, which must be around 35 years. Many lifesaving operations and treatments have been performed, and Phoenix conveys huge thanks for making him pain free and whole again.
Helen Baker for giving him Reiki and Zoo pharmacognosy treatment as well as other holistic healing during his stay at Holly Hedge. Phoenix thanks you it helped so much, making him feel quite euphoric and he loved it. Helen treats many of our rescues who are traumatised and poorly and also helps to settle them in with her amazing treatments. We all look forward to her weekly visits, as well as her help with fundraising.
Becky Lefevre, who has fostered many sad cases for Holly Hedge and is currently caring for Phoenix. He says he is so grateful to you for administering all his medication which makes him feel so much better, giving him the warmth and comfort of your home, and most of all for wholeheartedly loving him and restoring his faith in humans again. Becky has given Phoenix a new lease of life and paved the way for him to live happily ever after, as she has done for so many other needy souls. Such a wonderful Animal Angel and so devoted to the lucky felines who thrive in her care.
Becky will be writing her own update soon with some lovely photos of Phoenix, showing his progress and how he is flourishing since being saved from unbearable suffering.
I, along with Phoenix would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved, not forgetting our Holly Hedge staff who save so many precious lives and give their all to our rescues every single day, what would these dear souls do without you.
We will change the total, as our bills come in for this beautiful boy.