Claude

Claude

Claude

Approximately 4 – 5 Years Old

I was straying for a long time and feeling very downhearted as I knew another cold winter was getting closer. I was in a bit of a state, my long black coat was looking very bedraggled, and I had knots pulling on my skin that I couldn’t pull out. I found a nice quiet greenhouse where I spent a lot of time when I wasn’t searching for food, but then suddenly the door was closed, and I didn’t know where else to go where I could feel safe, but I kept going back just in case the door was left open again. I was always hungry, and my weight had plummeted – and those pesky fleas kept biting me. I couldn’t stop scratching which made my skin sore, and I was feeling so sad and unwanted. I became unwell and my breathing was becoming raspy, then right out of the blue I saw someone watching me and she tried to call me over. Well, I wasn’t going to trust some random stranger because most people don’t like scabby tom cats and they shoo me off. Next thing I knew I could smell delicious food and it was coming from her direction – but I still wasn’t going anywhere near her. I waited until she went in and crept across to the dish and it was filled with chicken. I wolfed the whole lot down in no time and hung around in case there was more where that came from. Lo and behold, there she was again with more chicken. I could hardly wait for her to go in so that I could devour it, which I did with great gusto, and for the first time in ages I had a full tummy. I went back again the following morning and I saw her walking a little dog which didn’t please me at all as I thought, “I’ll bet he’s scoffed all the chicken” so I went away feeling rejected. I thought I might give it another try later, and she spotted me and called me again, but I was too scared to get too close. She went back in and came out with another big bowl of food and as soon as she was gone, I was straight there tucking in for all I was worth. It wasn’t chicken but it tasted so good. I was beginning to feel better, especially when this became a daily routine and I was getting 3 square meals a day. I didn’t move far from her house and even knew the times she walked the dog, and I would put in an appearance sitting on top of the recycling shed looking longingly. She even spoke softly to me and never shooed me away. I was beginning to feel like someone cared, but still I was too frightened to let her near me. My new way of life carried on for months and I even had a little shelter with a blanket where I could eat my food out of the cold and rain. Winter came and went, then Spring, and I was becoming more confident and even let her stroke me, but I still hissed and spat to let her know I wasn’t a pushover. I saw her every day walking the dog morning and evening, then suddenly she stopped taking him out and I never saw him again. I still saw her though when it was my feeding times and we were slowly becoming friends. A couple of months later I saw this contraption near my little house, but it didn’t bother me as it didn’t do anything. Then one day there was this lovely smelly fish in there which I could not resist so in I went to eat it and it closed on me. I was petrified, then out she came and brought me in the house and let me out of the horrible contraption. I ran and hid and thought “she tricked me”. Would the dog try to eat me? I soon realised he wasn’t there, but I had gone right off her and wouldn’t eat anything. Gradually I realised I was somewhere warm and safe, much better than sleeping under a bush and that my life was changing for the better – perhaps she wasn’t so bad after all. I stopped itching and scratching as well, was it something she put in my food? I began to tentatively explore the house and realised I used to live in something similar a very long time ago – it brought back memories of better days. Just as I was beginning to settle, she did something I wasn’t expecting and shut me in a carrying cage instead of giving me breakfast. I hissed and spat at her but although she was saying sorry to me and telling me it was for my own good, she would not let me out. She left me somewhere with strangers called Vets, and I was very scared – how could she do this to me? Next thing I knew I was waking up in this strange place, and I felt like something was missing. I was a bit woozy but soon realised exactly what had gone on and I was not happy – I wasn’t a tom cat anymore! Then she arrived and took me home. I was so pleased to be back I forgave her, especially when she gave me a warm bowl of food. Three weeks on and I have become more confident and almost a lap cat – and I love sleeping on her bed. I have remembered how to purr as well. I do this a lot now because I rather like a cuddle. She tells me that although she loves me very much, I have to be found a lovely new home because I am less timid and more trusting now, and there are lots of other homeless pets like me needing help, some being extremely poorly and very elderly. So, if someone very loving and caring would like to offer me a quiet life in a semi-rural setting as that is what I am used to, please email pauline@hollyhedge.org.uk or call 07887 696132 who can tell you more about me. Thank you for listening, and here’s hoping someone will fall in love with me who I can live with for the rest of my life. I never want to be alone and unwanted again. Love Claude. xx