Today just after 1pm, we said a final goodbye to our wonderful, amazing, handsome hunk of Man-Cat, Ratty.
Ratty came to us over 3 years ago when his person felt that they were not, due to personal circumstances, able to give the Rat-Man the required amount of adulation that Ratty felt was his due.
We established pretty early on that his name was unlikely to have anything to do with his rat-catching abilities and probably more to do with his disposition.
However further investigation revealed a pretty severe case of arthritis and once we started him on pain relief for that, we had a whole new cat on our hands!
I'm really not the kind to get that soppy (stop that!), but I have to say that this guy really was one in a million. And I'm betting I've got an entire League of volunteers and anyone who's visited our shelter in the last 3 years who'll be backing me up 100% on this one.
We get a lot of cats through the shelter. They're all loved and different volunteers find different cats that settle into that special place in their hearts. In the 5 years I've been involved with the League, Ratty is the one cat that seems to have managed to make everyone fall madly in love with him.
It was impossible to get through a shift without hearing the commanding and indignent "Mreh??" directed towards you as you staggered past carrying an armful of (very stinky) litter trays. Translation? "What? You ignore ME????? Need worship!!!". End result? Place litter tray down and worship the Ratty. After an appropriate period of time (determined by him), continue with whatever it was you were doing.
Ratty was smart, quirky, demanding, sneaky (yeah - our attempts to restrict him to the obesity biscuilts worked really well) and just all round fracking awsome.
Ok, so those of you who didn't know him are probably wondering why such an amazing cat spent 3 years in the shelter and was never fostered or adopted?
For me, there's couple of answers - and this by the way is my own personal opinion only. Not an official CPL take on anything. When Ratty came to us he was 13-14 yrs old with pretty severe arthritis. On many counts, that doesn't recommend a lot of cats to prospective owners. But as people fell in love with him, it became pretty clear that Ratty was one of the few cats I've ever met that was really happy in the shelter. Why? Because twice a day, people that adored him would come in and bring him (low fat) titbits. Pat him. Cuddle him. Love him.
If I didn't have a Monty (who WILL be only cat til he dies, damnit), I still wouldn't have adopted Ratty unless I won Lotto and became independently wealthy and could stay home and devote myself to giving him the attention he loved. Quite frankly, he was one of the few cats I can safely say was happier in the shelter than in a home. He was the center of our world and damn but he knew it.
Sadly he started to go downhill last week and today our boy was diagnosed with a bowel tumour. So - rest now Ratty. I know it's been a tough and exhausting life for you living with us...
When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Goodbye our Ratty. You will be missed more than even you could realise. Love you.
In just about the best news ever, our fabulous Miss Moppett has finally found the people worthy of becoming her devoted slaves and has a new home!
It's been 3 and a half years since she first came to us - time that personally I've loved, as I've rarely met a cat as wonderful as her - but that she's only sporadically enjoyed. Let's face it, La Moppett was born to be a pampered only cat and she's found the multi cat environment, well, shall we say, less than optimal.
Over the years I think she became resigned to her surroundings and it was rather sad to see that massive spark of sassiness burn lower and lower as time went by.
But not any more!
Let's hear from her new people in their own words...
"I thought you might like to see some photos of Moppett in her new home. She settled in straight away, purring happily almost as soon as we got her home. We had planned to keep her in one room for a day or so but she made it clear that she wanted to explore the whole house.
We've been surprised by how relaxed and affectionate she is - we had been expecting her to be withdrawn and a little snappy initially. But we couldn't be happier with her, and I think she is happy too.
I let her outside for the first time yesterday, as it was a clear and bright morning. I think she was a bit overwhelmed by it all at first and came running back inside after a few minutes. A short time later she was back outside, exploring the garden and venturing further afield. I was a bit concerned that she might get lost after she disappeared over the back wall, but she found her way back soon after.
She is happy to snuggle up with us in bed at night and just seems to be really chilled so you can be assured that she is happy in her new home :-)"
(No, I didn't have a little sniffle at that, honest!)
So there you go. There's the right home out there for all of them, no matter how long it takes. Goodbye my lovely. And don't take this the wrong way, but I hope I never see you again!