Success Stories


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Trixie's Story

Trixie was trapped from a garden in Croydon along with her two other siblings and her mum in December 2019 when she was just 12 weeks old. It is believed their mum was perhaps a pet that was left behind after her original owner moved house. The mum was  subsequently rehomed and the three kittens were placed into an experienced foster home. At CAS we routinely socialise feral kittens with the goal of rehoming them to a 'normal' home. We never TNR or relocate feral kittens to stables, smallholdings or farms. 

Sadly, in January 2020, we lost one of our two kittens who we previously rehomed from CAS. Bella was only just over a year old and was obviously, like us, missing her brother. I contacted CAS and explained the situation. They introduced me to Trixie, explaining that she was classed  as a feral kitten on intake. This meant she had missed out on early socialisation with humans and had therefore spent the last few weeks being socialised in an experienced foster home. CAS explained the process of rehoming an ex-feral kitten would differ slightly from that of a normal kitten, emphasising the importance of not rushing the process. This included the use of a crate to minimise regression for the first few weeks and creating a safe space for Trixie. 


We initially had a home visit from CAS to assess that the environment was suitable for Trixie. This was an excellent opportunity to receive further guidance and advice to support us in the rehoming process. When Trixie first came to us, it was clear she was unsettled and very anxious to a new environment. We strictly followed the guidelines, understanding that Trixie had to progress at her own gradual pace. Initially it was a big milestone for Trixie to eat her food and not hide in her litter tray. Every day there were small developments, however having Bella to support her was crucial. 

We continued to have valuable contact with CAS, ensuring they were aware of Trixie’s development. When ourselves and CAS felt that Trixie was ready, we allowed her out of the crate into the family room which she was already accustomed to for a few hours. Slowly we started to build up her time outside of the crate. Trixie started to become more interactive and playful, especially with Bella. We used treats and toys to encourage interaction and play.


Now Trixie, at 8 months, has become a very loving and affectionate kitten. She adores Bella and is constantly seeking attention from us. She is still very anxious with new people or situations but continues to develop every day. Although this process has been a challenge at times, it has been incredibly rewarding for our whole family, which Trixie is now a part of. The ongoing support of CAS has been essential in this process. We couldn't be happier with how everything has worked out! Thank you CAS!

July 2020 - Carol and family


Tara's Story

In August 2019, CAS was made of a feral cat colony breeding out of control in a back garden in Tooting. It has been one of our most involved trapping jobs to date and required a large amount of our time and resources during an already overwhelming summer.

 

In total 2 pregnant cats, 10 feral kittens, 2 tom cats and 3 nursing mums were trapped from the garden. All of the cats and kittens required socialising, with some still currently in foster.

 

If left for another year there would have been a total of 13 breeding females in 2020!

 

Tara (pictured below on her date of intake) was just 1 of the 10 kittens trapped from the colony and, after spending some time with one of our experienced fosterers, found her forever home. 

 

                                                                                                 

 

Tara's owners have since passed over this loving update.

 

"We came across Tara’s profile when searching for an adopted sibling to our ten-month old rescue kitten, Hope. Aware that introducing two cats was not something to be taken lightly, we’d put a good deal of thought and concern into making the right choice.

 

Five-month old Tara was an exciting find as she came from a colony and got on very well with other cats. CAS only wanted to home her to a household which offered her feline companionship. Her fosterer Rees assured us she was friendly but needed help to build her confidence and was prone to the odd hiss if startled. As a calm household of experienced cat owners, this was a challenge we were happy to take on. We had the time and inclination to work with her over the long term.

 

When we brought Tara home, things did not go smoothly! We’d set aside a quiet room for her and weren’t surprised when she hid under the bed. However, we did become worried when she hadn’t eaten or used her litter box for almost 2 days. We called Rees who explained that ex-feral kittens could suffer setbacks when rehomed, and helped guide us though the process of resettling her.

 

First of all, we had to get Tara eating, so Rees advised putting food out after it got dark, when she’d feel less threatened. A week later, she was sneaking out to eat every night but still effectively living under the bed. Having chatted with Rees again, our consensus was that we needed to get her out from under the bed before we could continue making progress with her. As gently as we could, we shepherded her out from under the bed using a broom.

 

With the bed blocked up, I began sitting in the room with Tara at mealtimes, to get her used to my presence. I edged slightly closer day-by-day until, another week or so later, I managed a tentative stroke. Much to my surprise, she jumped up excitedly for more patting.  Just as Rees had said, she was an affectionate little thing, hiding behind a nervous and hissy façade!

 

Now we were ready to start introducing Tara to our other kitten, Hope.  We followed advice and kept the process very gradual, slowly exchanging scents between the two to begin with. We hoped to build up to a low-key introduction through a cracked door. However, Hope was too cheeky and curious to wait for that to happen. She took charge by breaking though the door of Honey’s room to have a look at her new sister. Despite the prior scent-swapping, Hope was startled and expressed her fears with suspicious growling. Worried now our careful introduction plan had fallen apart, we contacted the ever-patient Rees. He reassured us as to Tara’s social skills with other cats, so we ploughed on with supervised interactions. 

 

We used toys to distract from any confrontation by Hope, and treats to reward neutral or positive interactions. However, it was Tara who did the main work. She remained remarkably calm and good-natured – the sociability she’d picked up from the colony was really winning through. To our delight, the two kittens slowly graduated from watching each other to showing off to each other, to play-fighting, then sitting companionably together, then grooming each other. Having a confident big sister was making Tara blossom – there was no more time for hiding under beds as she needed to see what Hope was up to.

 

Tara is now exploring and playing confidently around her home, greeting her new family members with happy noises and even peeping curiously at visitors. She’s an integral and loved part of our household. Thank you Rees for making this possible with your invalable guidance and support. "

 

 

February 2020

 


Rogers Story

We have always been a family with a black cat. Over 32 years we’ve had 3 and the house doesn’t feel right without one. Soon after New Year we realised that every speck and morsel of the food we were putting down for our cats had disappeared. With one incredibly fussy ginger female cat and an elderly black one who was missing a few teeth this clearly wasn’t normal.

 

This went on for a few weeks until one bitterly cold day in February we came home to see a black tail disappearing out of our cat flap. We were very worried about the safety of our own cats having occasionally had problems with our old cat trying to repel strangers so we chased the interloper down the garden. On another day we actually threw water at him to scare him off.


And then we noticed. This cat was obviously a stray and had some horrible dark scabs on his head and face and was missing a lot of fur. He looked so sad. We felt dreadful, but with our own cats there was little we could do. And he wasn’t in the garden all the time. But we decided not to actively chase him away.
And then our older cat died. And, suddenly a vacancy had opened up for a black cat. And we’d seen our female cat happily sitting in the garden with the stray. So we tried hard to make friends. The memory of the cold water was still fresh in his head though, so we couldn’t get close. When I dropped our cat to Barbara (Trustee of CAS) when we were going on holiday I mentioned the stray who we had by now christened Roger the Lodger.

 

Barbara, worried who would feed him while we were away, kindly offered to arrange for Jen to come round twice a day and put down food for him. Twice a day Jen visited our garden, feeding him in a trap. On the last day of our holidays Jen set the trap and was able to catch him!
Success! Roger was taken in by Barbara and neutered, jabbed and chipped. A few days later we picked him up although he still looked scarred and scruffy.

 

 

We shut him in a bedroom where he sat and sulked. After a few days we could touch him and he was downstairs desperate to go out. We decided to let him. He came back once for a meal and then.... nothing. I rang Barbara who reassured me that this can happen and that he’d be back! He was gone for nearly a fortnight and we’d given up hope. And  then, one evening, I noticed a dark shape under a bed. Roger was back! But still nervous. But something had changed. My husband woke me up at 4am the following morning and I came down to find Roger in the kitchen eating, miaowing and head butting my husband’s hands. We sat there with him for a couple of hours and then he came into the front room and fell asleep on my husband’s lap.

 

Roger is definitely home for good. It’s hard to believe the Vet’s opinion that he’s not even five, and may only be two. He’s used up many of his 9 lives, and will never be handsome but thanks to Jen and Barbara he’s safe, loved, has already made big friends with our toddler granddaughter. Barbara told me that stray adult males are always the most grateful to finally find a home. In a very short time we have come to appreciate just how right she is.Thank you so much for helping us fill our job vacancy for a Lucky Black Cat.

Judith  and Simon Pearce (and Hero and Roger) 

 

May 2019

 


 

Molly & Milly’s Story

My sister Milly ( the one wearing the Tuxedo ) and I wanted to say “thank you” to all the wonderful people at Croydon Animal Samaritans for caring for us and finding us a new home.  An extra special ” Meow” goes out to our wonderful foster-mum, Jane.  We were sad and mal-nourished when we came to live with her but she gave us food, warmth and love ..... just what we needed.

We were 10 weeks old when a family came to see us.  They fell in love with us, well, we are cute aren’t we, and they took us to our new home straight away.

We were a little scared at first but when we saw our new home and all the toys we settled right in.

 

Dad told Milly that she should be more ‘ladylike’ when sitting although I don’t see what the issue is ?

 

We especially love to go for walks in the woods with our new Dad ...seriously !!

 

And after wards stretch out on the bed and have a nice nap.

 

Dad says I’m his little ‘Tigress’.  I like that, so I bring him home lots of mice for him to chase around the house...tee hee 

 

Whereas Milly prefers to chill out on the patio

We love our new family and we let them know by purring loudly whenever they are near.

Thank you for such a happy ending.

Molly & Milly

July 2015


 

Cyril - A Christmas Story

Cyril was rescued on Christmas Day 2007. It was freezing cold and lashing with rain when a young couple spotted a soaked and dejected cat in the garden of the relatives they were visiting, and discovered it was an old stray that had been hanging around for many months. Being the owners of two spoilt cats they immediately insisted that they brought the poor thing in, and then took him home with them for warmth, food and safety. The search for a rescue group led to CAS and he was soon settled into his own boudoir in a foster home and quickly relished his home comforts. He was a battered looking ginger chap of indeterminate age so it was without too much hope he was put on the website. Then the Christmas miracle occurred. He got an immediate enquiry, and from that he had a visit from two angels, and in less than a week of coming into CAS he was adopted. His story is told below.

 

Cyril

Cyril - Lord of our Manor

Cyril, formally Sandy, came to our attention on your website in January 2008 and after seeing him in the flesh, we just knew he was the one for us. We still remember the welcome he gave us at Liz's house, running between us across the room. He was clearly weathered due to his time living out doors but his caring, loving personality shone through immediately.

On returning home, Cyril took himself onto the landing and remained asleep for the next couple of hours. He came down stairs, meowed at us around the living room door and since then he's been our little boy, he has always brought huge joy to everyone he meets and even fellow cat owners speak about how remarkable he is, wanting to be part of the family and craving some attention - he gets loads but it's never enough.

Cyril immediately stamped his authority on the neighbourhood and before long he'd marked out his territory, bringing his lucky owners a couple of pigeons in the process! He's developed a taste for some strange foods, including gooseberry tarts and Cajun potato wedges which he's cheekily stolen from the work tops in the kitchen. He started on standard cat food but before long this was not good enough and his 'slaves' have now resorted to buying cat food with premium cuts of chicken to ensure his high standards are met. He seems content with this progression.

During summer BBQs he insists on sitting, like a faithful companion, with a crowd of people in our garden enjoying the sun and the conversation! Always open to the idea of being petted he loves being around us and is firmly part of our family. Unusually for a cat, Cyril sat at our bedroom door, which was open, and never entered until encouraged to do so. Since then he now loves 'his bed' and is happy to take up his third of the mattress, purring loudly into the small hours before sleeping soundly with us.

We have had two children since Cyril arrived in our house but he has simply taken both arrivals in his stride - the only problem is his resolve in finding a space on your lap irrespective of whether a child is present or not! Our eldest child loves Cyril so much that on holiday we have to call the cattery to ensure he is ok (in his heated, padded room!) and is a wonderful family pet, who doesn't run off when approached by little people and, in spite of some over zealous 2 year old cuddles, Cyril never reacts badly and realises that while the family grew in number he was central to our family.

We consider ourselves very, very lucky to have had the opportunity to care and provide for Cyril, who is such a loving and grateful old man enjoying his hopefully long and well earnt retirement. The 5+ years of joy that he has given our family is irreplaceable, a unique personality that is everything we could have wished for in a cat. We're so lucky to have Cyril and with his fresh chicken dinners, we hope he feels the same way.

His paw prints are now on our wall, as painted footprints from the two children are joined by his on a canvas print to ensure that he knows how integral he is to our family home. Our only wish would be that we'd known Cyril since a kitten, as he would have been an extremely handsome and cheeky boy.

A massive thank you goes to Liz from the Samaritans, who's always been available for advice during the last 5 years - we were very lucky to have responded to her advert before anyone else had the chance to re home this beautiful cat.

Chris & Rachel

Sept 2013

 

THE ONE AND OLLIE

Ollie

Buongiorno, my name is Ollie and it always has been. I'm a pure white, well mannered, "big paws".
This month (May 2009) I'll be 3 years old, half of my life I've spent now with Alessandra and Gordon, two artists. We love one another deeply. Our family live in central London, in a quiet place with lots of backyard court gardens, to roam around and patrol. My neighbour George is older than me, we have such fun chasing each other in our territories, but my favourite pastime is hunting mice. They all say that I'm very good at it.

Sometimes I watch nature on TV, I adore my own mohair blanket on my raised bed area from where I overlook my realm...Oh, the good life! Alessandra and I play a lot, she works mainly from home. I'm into food, I like yogurt very much. I enjoy to be petted and groomed. Pictures of me and other handsome cats were shown at CAT HOLIC, an exhibition by Alessandra. Lois from CAS and her daughters came along to see it.

I'll always remember the lady next door that fed me after I had been abandoned, left outdoors for twenty days to fend for myself and Lois, who took great care of me for two months . Alessandra and Gordon had been searching for me for a while ,after the sudden loss of young Dylan, their previous cat. They found me through CAS web site and everything came together magically... I AM THE ONE AND OLLIE
(May 2009)

From Lois
Ollie's owners went to live in Spain leaving their daughter in charge of the house and Ollie. The daughter went 'walkabout' following two family deaths and Ollie's owners signed him over to us. He's a lovely, pure white cat and his new owners dote on him – Alessandra and her husband Gordon own and run an art gallery under Edgware Road and Ollie has been 'used' in a couple of photographic art installations. Alessandra also keeps any of Ollie's fur that she combs out – rolls it into balls!! He 'replaced' their much loved Dylan (also a pure white male cat) and leads the life of 'Riley'!

Ben

Ben

Hello,

Thought you'd like to hear how I'm getting on... Can't believe I've been here 5 weeks now and I'm starting to feel quite at home. I have lazy days lying on the sofa or bed and having a poodle round the garden and exploring a bit then make sure I'm about to welcome mum home with lots of chatter and she makes a fuss of me and gives me my tea (sometimes 2 courses!) and then we settle down and watch a bit of TV or I help her around the house by lying down on whatever she's trying to do! Most of the time we sit looking adoringly at each other!

The only fly in the ointment is that Richard fella who comes around now and again. He wants nearly as much attention as me (!) and it's a bit of a squash on the sofa with the 3 of us (me in the middle of course!) but I think he's beginning to know his place (after me!) and it's quite handy as he's sometimes there during the day and gives me extra food!

I've chased off a couple of local cats which I think mum was a bit upset about (she thinks I'm going to be a bit of a bully) but it's taken me long enough to find a home of my very own so I'm not going to let any other b*gger in! We had a visit from a nice looking girl cat on Valentine's Day, she was quite bold and came right up to me – I wasn't having any of it though and sat firmly in front of my cat flap. I noticed she had a magnet just like mine round her neck as though she was going to be cheeky and follow me in! I've finally got a collar that stays on, it's bright red and has my name and phone number imprinted on it so no chance of losing me.

I'm getting lots of presents from mum's friends which is all very nice and apparently we have visitors from Spain next week so I'll have to be on my best behaviour. New carpet has been laid and I've been really good and only had one go at it! My latest trick is to give a big sigh and put my head in my paws and mum immediately rushes over to see what's wrong! I think I've got her eating out of my paw!

Mum says I was really lucky to have you two as foster parents and giving me such a good start and I'm sure you're giving another cat a lovely start too. Mum has taken photos of handsome old me (that's what she always says anyway!) and is going to send you one or two.

Well, bye for now. Lots of purrs and meows. Ben xx. (February 2009)

Flicker (Maddie) & Harley (Lucia)

Flicker

Hello,
We wanted to let you know how happy we are with our new humans – and how happy they are with us!

We were adopted at the end of April 2008. Our kind CAS fosterer, Lois, thought initially that we would be better going to separate homes, but we are so glad that our new female human wanted both of us, as we now get on so well. We're auntie and niece and spend most of our time together, having a mother-baby relationship.
I'm usually quietly dominant, but this suits Harley as she likes me to check anything new out first and takes her lead from me. Harley has a defiant look, but really her only act of rebellion is pinching my food. We both love our food and at the beginning we naughtily stole some pork chops that were defrosting on the kitchen worktop, but we don't do things like that anymore.

Our best friend is Uncle Chris next door, who came in to feed us when our humans, Julie and David, went somewhere for a week called on holiday, because he gave us more biscuits than our normal ration.

It took Julie and David ages to choose new names for us. Whenever Julie made a suggestion, David protested, "Oh, no, I'm not shouting out that soppy name from the doorstep!" Eventually they agreed on Flicker (like an orange flame because I'm mainly ginger) and Harley (Harlequin) because she, being tortoiseshell, has blocks of different colours on her chest and face.

As you can see, we usually snuggle up together using each other as pillows. When we wake up we wash each other in turn or in unison. Often we trot outdoors side by side like a couple of carriage ponies and love exploring the neighbours' gardens, doing patrol duty together on nearby fences and sheds. We have games of chase with one another and are a real team when fending off other mogs, although there are one or two who we don't mind.

At first we couldn't get the hang of the hole in the back door, as we didn't like the thing that flapped back and forth over it. We don't think we'd used one of these contraptions before. Julie stood outside the door dangling pieces of meat or fish, but we just stayed put in the kitchen eyeing her distrustfully before jabbing out paws at lightning speed through the hole, spearing the goodies with our claws and gobbling down the grub. Eventually she gave up coaxing and one day, when we'd totally forgotten about The Hole, she took us unawares and gently pushed us through and we were out into the big wide world! Before that, we found the window sills terrifically exciting and would jump on and off them all day long.

We learned another good game last week. We brought a dormouse into the house and it amused us greatly when Julie spent an hour on her hands and knees chasing our present around the sitting room before catching it in a shoe box and releasing it at the end of the garden, while we were sadly kept indoors.

We've been in our new home for 6 months now and feel well settled. I am the more confident one and purr when our humans pick me up. Harley is still a little nervous and will only be held fairly briefly before wriggling like mad. However, we are quite happy when the humans join us on our settee and we both love being stroked and having our tummies and paws rubbed.

Maiow/Thank you
from Flicker and Harley and Humans Julie and David
October 2008 (Posted Jan 2009)

Socks - fallen on feet!

Socks

I hear that black or black and white cats often tend to get overlooked, but my prospective adoptees couldn't understand why. They were hoping to get a black cat and initially looked into adopting Ben, but their location was a little too close to a busy road, hence more suitable for a female cat with less of an urge to wander far. When they came round to see me they thought I looked sweet in my black suit, white bib and socks. However, I felt wary, keeping away in my corner of the chalet whilst the strange humans tried to entice me closer. They didn't know whether I would find it easy to settle with them but decided to give it a go, and came back for me later that day.

When I arrived in my new home they settled me into a warm, quiet room with everything I needed but I still felt overwhelmed. I spent a fair amount of time hiding under a table during that first night and growled at one point. Thankfully the new people didn't crowd me too much, and when they came in and out they spoke quietly.

I ventured out to explore the rest of my new house the next day. I got used to my new mum quite quickly as she was around for most of the time. I was more shy with the man and even got my claws out a couple of times when he petted me, but he didn't react and I soon figured out that he wasn't a threat. These days I enjoy being stroked by both of them, purring like mad, and will headbutt them for cuddles or roll over and stretch out so that they can rub my tum. Apparently, their previous cat would have had their hand off if they tried that, but she adored being stroked under the chin, whereas I can take or leave it.

I'm told that I make excellent company. I'm very vocal and have spent a while training my new owners in the subtle differences between miaows meaning 'feed me', 'give me a cuddle' and 'go and open the back door'. We understand each other's ways pretty well now and I'm living up to Lois's description of being a laid back cat now that I feel comfortable. Mum enjoys gardening and she often keeps me company out there - I find sitting under her chair makes a good sunshade if I'm not stationed in my favourite spot under the japanese maple. Initially there were a few turf wars over territory as there are a lot of cats nearby but everything seems to have settled down. I go over the fence occasionally, but I'm usually quite happy to stay in my own small garden, so I was definitely a good choice for a cat that likes to stay close to home. And speaking of home, my folks say that the house didn't feel like a home without having a cat around, and that I'm the best puss in the world so I'm doing a fine job!

Thanks for looking after me.
Socks

August 2008

Padme and Leia (Lucy and Lulu)

Rescue cat

We have had the pleasure of sharing our home with these beautiful girls for over a year now. When I first rang Anna to to see if we could adopt a cat/kittens, I was suprised to be the proud new owner of a very shy mum and her kitten 2 days later. My boyfriend (now husband) was even more suprised as I flew off to Hong Kong a few days later with work and he was left looking after them.

They were so scared when they first came and liked to find any cupboard to hide in or bed to run under. They could usually be found cuddling up together under the bed, grooming one another or Leia noisily drinking milk from her mum. However a few months later, you'd be watching a film on the sofa and suddenly find mum nestled on your lap and the kitten sitting on the arm rest.

It is so nice that they have each other for company as during the day me and my husband are at work. When we are at home, the cats will often drift into the room we are sitting in and then drift off to sleep on the neareast chair/bed/bag/box/clean pile of laundry!! However they also love exploring in the back garden and the kitten has been spotted wandering further and further from home, especially when chasing squirrels. The girls seem very happily settled now and although they can be shy when we have visitors, they are getting braver every day.

Mum doesn't like to be picked up but she likes to be stroked and often comes up to us for attention, even licking our faces in bed if she thinks it is time we got up and fed her! She will sleep at the end of the bed if we leave the door open. The kitten prefers to guard her post at the top of the stairs, but if you walk past her she can't resist rolling onto her back for a tummy rub.....she looks like a little puppy and she is so cute who could resist!

If you love animals and are thinking about getting a cat/kittens I totally recommend rehoming from the Croydon Animal Samaritans. Every cat has a different personality/needs and although yours might not be constantly purring on your lap (our kitten is often out partying with neighbouring cats at the end of our street), given love, patience and time, even the shyest cats can be great companions. If our cats don't want to be picked up, I'm quite happy to let them get on with their sleeping/exploring and let me know when they want to be fussed over. Just watching them so relaxed in their new home makes me happy.

Just remember cat food, vaccinations, vets bills etc add up and you need to think about who will look after the cats if you go away for a weekend or holiday. They can live til their late teens so you are talking years of expenses - but I think if you can afford them, they are worth every penny!

Hannah 24/9/08

(October 2008)

Alfie - My ray of sunshine

Alfie

This is our story, the story of Alfie my FiV positive cat and me, his well trained human cat-slave. It all began back in March of this year when I started looking to adopt a cat. I had not long moved into a new flat and really wanted to give a home to a needy cat. I was successfully home vetted by a local charity, but they had no indoor cats available at that time. They suggested that I might like to consider giving a home to an FiV cat so I started looking. I came across the Croydon Animal Samaritans' (C.A.S) website and there, on the front page, that momentous evening, I found Alfie. This was also my introduction to the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FiV). I guess it was a case of love at first sight, I just knew that Alfie or "Little Al" as he was then called was going to find a home with me.

So "what's FiV all about?" you're most probably asking yourself, that's certainly what I thought at the time. As any responsible cat "owner" would do I did a bit of research on the internet about FiV and was surprised and re-assured to discover that FiV cats can lead long and healthy lives if some common-sense precautions are adhered to. FiV cats also make excellent indoor cats as they must be kept away from the risk of infection and any chances of them infecting another cat, although FiV is most frequently transmitted by delivering a penetrating bite. This was ideal for me as I live in a flat and I wanted an indoor cat that would be happy, healthy and safe in this environment. There is no risk to humans of catching FiV as it is specific to cats.

Alfie was about 2 years old then and, as I discovered, had had a pretty awful start to life and I knew that I could offer him all the love and attention that he needed and felt sure that through his companionship he'd repay me in kind. In this I wasn't to be disappointed as, since then, he has done so one hundred-fold and more.

Over the course of the last 8 or so months Alfie has enriched my life beyond description, he's brought a real ray of sunshine into my daily existence. If anyone is considering adopting a cat then I can personally recommend that you consider giving a loving home to an FiV positive cat such as Alfie as they have so much to offer and I am sure he/she will bring you the same joy that Alfie brings me.

Finally, I'd just like to say that this story is completely un-solicited, I chose to write it because I hope that it will help someone to understand about FiV cats and the incredible compassion and support offered by Croydon Animal Samaritans. As for Alfie, well he's a 100% normal cat doing what normal cats do, playing with his toys, enjoying his meals, getting up to mischief and above all doing what he does best, showing his love for me in so many ways every day. Getting to know each other and sharing our lives with one another has been one of the best experiences in life that I've ever had.

Thank you Croydon Animal Samaritans.

Loud purrs from Alfie (not-so-"Little" Al)

Best wishes

Leigh K.
October 2006.

AN UPDATE - DECEMBER 2007
You will be interested to read that Alfie has won a competition this year, coming first in Petmillions, beating off many others as competition, having read his story, just some of the judges thoughts on Alfie were:

"I was touched by Alfies owners comments. Alfie has had a traumatic start in life but has been given a second chance thanks to his owner and the cat rescue centre. He seems like a big furball of love"

"While there may be 'prettier' pets in the contest I personally don't believe any pet deserves to win more than Alfie"

"Alfie is a darling. I couldn't resist the Alfie charm and his owners touching words."

"Alfie may very well turn out to be a contentious choice but in my opinion he sums up what petmillions is all about and i cast my winning vote for Alfie"

Daisy and Ginge (back in Summer 2006 when Ginge was 6 weeks)

Daisy and kitten

Daisy and Ginge moved in with us in August last year. Daisy had a rough start in life because she was one of the many cats rescued from terrible conditions at Hurstpierpoint in April 2006. She was looked after by foster parents, Jane and Paul and gave birth to Ginge shortly afterwards. They were shown on the website where we saw them and fell in love with them straightaway.

Both Ginge and Daisy have extra toes on all paws, they are both ginger and white. Daisy has a beautiful face and a gentle nature and Ginge is a very handsome lad with a mischievous streak.

Ginge settled in quite easily but Daisy needed a bit more patience. She was very wary of humans and still is, however she loves other cats and doesn't mind dogs either. We had to keep them in for 9 months to build their confidence but now nothing stops them! They love the garden especially hiding in the bushes and pouncing on whoever goes past. We have 3 other cats and they all get on fine.

A MESSAGE FROM DAISY:-

"After my rough start I didn't think I would find a loving home, especially with a kitten on the way. However Jane and Paul looked after me until I gave birth and then introduced us to our new parents. I was wary at first as I have learnt not to trust anyone. We were taken to our new home in the summer but I was very stressed and Ginge was only a baby. When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised, we had our own room all to ourselves where we could have peace and quiet. We had plenty to eat and had loads of toys to play with and were lovely and cosy in the winter. Now that the weather is warmer I love going in the garden and sitting in the sunshine. I trust my new parents even though I'm not keen on being handled too much but I love my neck being scratched. Unfortunately Ginge is too busy at the moment to leave a message because he is chasing butterflies in the garden."

Wendy and Richard Robinson
23/7/07

Daisy and Ginge now...

Ginger cat

Thanks from Henry

Henry

Hello. My name is Henry. Here am I at my back door, trying to avoid my
human's seed trays. (She is a bit keen on gardening).

Well Henry is my third name, third time lucky I hope. I had a different name a long time ago, but I have forgotten what it was. I am a bit like my first human's - forgetful. They forgot to take me with them when they moved, would you believe it. So, after a spell outside, I went to stay with Anna at CAS. She called me Micky.

It was OK at Anna's, nice and warm, but a bit cramped and boring in the chalet when one is used to the wide open spaces. I stayed a few months because I am, I admit, not very friendly toward strangers, particularly men. I've heard people say that I am not a looker, but I think I'm a handsome fellow. Then on New Years day I was bundled into a basket and driven a long way to a place called Sutton.

I hated this Sutton place at first. I hid under the bed. I could smell another cat and sadness. I later learnt that a CAS cat called Lottie had lived there before me and unfortunately after 10 years she had been put to sleep due to ill health. My human kept saying how much she missed Lottie.

Could I live up to this Lottie? Apparently not, as she was a quite gentle affectionate cat and I am constantly told I am a naughty boy with far too much energy. The term hooligan may even have been used.

Well, I'm very happy here. I love my human very much and I am even becoming quite friendly with the neighbours and visitors. I have a big garden to play in but sometimes I do go across the road, which is naughty. I am working at winning my human around with gifts of mice. Apparently, Lottie never did that. My human tells me she's a vegetarian so they're surplus to requirements. What ever a veggie wotsit is. Never heard of one of those! She must want them though, because when she comes back home from being a nurse she always looks under the sofas to see if I've left her any more.

Sometimes I relapse and become a naughty boy again. She says that Lottie and I are like chalk and cheese but she is trying to respect our differences although it is hard at times. But, I have a microchip and a pet policy. So it looks like I'm staying. Yippee!

Thank you for finding me a home,

Love Henry.
April 2007

Paddy - Chi Chi

Tabby cat

Just to let you know, Paddy, who we named Chi Chi (meaning energy and he certainly lives up to his name!) has settled into his new home nicely and receiving lots of love and attention. He's a very active boy and loves to play all the time especially with his favourite luminous orange fish on a stick (he's amazingly quick and leaps right into the air!) and his catnip filled mouse which he knocks about from room to room with great skill. He was very shy and nervous at first hiding under the bed but with two days of coaxing and strokes he came out wanting so much love and is the most affectionate cat ever. He's very inquisitive watching everything, following us everywhere - he even sits outside the bathroom door while I'm in the shower! He's an early riser as around 5am he jumps or rather lunges around the bed chasing toes and diving under the duvet wherever he can see a bit of skin to grab you with full claws and as soon as we stir or rather jump out of our skins he'll sit on your chest (and he's quite heavy) nose inches away purring very loudly while tapping our face s to get up so we've no need for an alarm clock! He's a real character and when he's had enough play he'll flop down letting out a big sigh before falling asleep with one leg dangling over somewhere. He's still a bit wary of strangers and small people but really coming out of his shell . When we come home from work he jumps up on the side to nuzzles our faces and likes me to pick him up and cuddle him. He started going out in the garden after a couple of weeks but didn't stay out for long preferring the warm and miaows very loudly to let us know he's home everytime he comes through the cat flap. Thank you so much for introducing him to us – he's wonderful. Best wishes to you all. Tonia & Adam xxxx
12.4.2007

Charlie and Max – Eight years on

Dear Croydon Animal Samaritans,
My friend has recently adopted one of your cats (Hannah) and I thought I'd drop you an email to let you know about Charlie & Max.
We adopted Charlie and Max (known to you as Jasper & Sandy) 8 years ago as tiny little kittens. We aren't sure of their exact start in life but we know that they were both very poorly indeed, particularly Max and they were nursed back to health by Animal Samaritans and the Vets. They are now both huge strapping lads.
We moved from a flat in Sutton to a house in Carshalton five years ago and they love the summer when the back door is open and they can race each other from the garage at the end of the garden right through the house to the front window. In the winter they love to snuggle up in their cradles on the radiator or cuddle up on your lap whilst you watch tv.
Max is still wary of strangers and hides under the duvet if someone comes to the house or if the dustmen collect the bins. Charlie is much more curious and likes to go next door and watch our neighbour's tropical fish. They love them as well and keep an eye on them during the day, especially if the local ginger tom is around as he and Charlie hate each other and do like a nice fight. Not so pleasant for us having to take Charlie to the vets with a gashed tongue.
They really are a joy and we adore them.
With best wishes,
Carol Reyes

12/4/2007

The Odd Couple - Meet Lucy and Pinky

Two cats

On Easter Sunday 2005 Barbara rang to say that a ferret had been found wandering on a road in Selsdon and so, Pinky came to join my menagerie. He has always enjoyed his walks in the garden on his lead and his frequent visits indoors, where he could interact with all the other rescues, before returning to his purpose built accommodation.

A few weeks ago Pinky became poorly and so moved permanently into the house to join the gang, only retiring to his own quarters at night. After undergoing tests, Pinky was diagnosed with lymphoma and is receiving treatment. He loves living indoors and is now toilet trained - Well, newspaper trained! He mixes in with all the animals, but his particular friends are Charlie, the collie cross, and Lucy, the most recent feline addition.

Lucy came to me last year from Audrey for socialising. She had some health issues, and by the time they were sorted her paws were firmly under the table and she was gaining trust in us, so she joined the household as cat number ten.

Lucy and Pinky are such good mates that they eat together as you can see. We don't know how long Pinky will be with us, but at the moment he is a happy little chappy living with all his friends, and, is great fun to have about. He particularly likes chicken, and recently secretly unpacked my shopping and removed a whole organic chicken, which he manoeuvred out of the kitchen and tried to stow away in his lair under the sofa!

Heather. Emergency fosterer.

Jimi & Jack

My partner Alex and I adopted two male ginger kittens to Leighton Buzzard last November from Barbara Allen. We re-named them Jimi and Jack and I just wanted to let you know that they're doing really well. From being two very shy little boys hiding under our laundry airer they and have grown into two beautiful, confident, and cheeky little cats with very different personalities. We had them neutered last month and they're enjoying exploring the outdoors, especially the tall conifers at the end of our garden!

Thanks ever so much for bring us together with Jimi and Jack, I don't remember what life was like before we had the little rascals!

Natalie Richards

Ebony & Earl

Ebony cat

Hi

We rescued a pair of cats from you a week ago. (Ebony and Earl)
Just a quick note to let you know they're doing well. They've settled in fantastically seen as they were very shy cats. They are getting bolder by the day and are even starting to snuggle up with us now which is great.

As you can see from the pictures they also snuggle up with each other too which is so cute and it is clear they love each other very much.

They also love snuggling up with us at night and are very cheeky little boys and love playing with their toys, pouncing on each other and chasing each other around.

Anyway, It was just a quick note to let you know that they're settled in and that we're taking good care of the boys and to thank you once again.

Best Wishes

Katie Hobbs

A Thank You Letter From Lucy

Lucy

To The Croydon Animal Samaritans
Hello, everyone.
My name is Lucy, I am a 13 year old tortoiseshell cat and I thought you might like to hear of a very successful and happy re-homing. I was happily living with my elderly lady owner until she became ill and had to go into a hospice. I was placed in a cattery called Moggie Minders, as it was hoped that my mum would be able to take me back. Sadly this was not possible and it was decided that I should be found a new home. The cattery was warm and comfortable and I got lots of stokes and treats, but it's not like having your own home and a lap to sit on.

Rita who runs the cattery is a supporter of Croydon Animal Samaritans. Anna, her sister, fosters for CAS so Rita asked her if it might be possible to find me a home. Anna had an idea, and a brilliant one as it turned out. She knew of a lady called Louise who had adopted an older cat in similar circumstances to mine. She had given Sooty a lot of TLC and he spent some five happy if not blissful years with her until he passed away in September 2006. Anna knew that Louise was looking for a mature affectionate cat to adopt and thought that I might be "The Cat" for her. So on the 17th February, I was put into a basket, my bed, blanket and teddy bear accompanied me and I was off to my new home. I wasn't too worried, I had a strong feeling in my paws (which are seldom wrong!) that things were going to turn out well for me from now on. Possibly Louise was more nervous and excited as she awaited my arrival.

She wisely left me alone to explore my new surroundings, having shown me where my litter tray was and put some food and water down for when I felt like eating. I soon found a few good warm hiding places in her flat where I could indulge in my daily meditational practices i.e. snoozing, my favourite place being in a triangular area of mattress of a fold up bed in the spare room.
Louise seemed to be a quiet person, rather like my previous mistress, and eventually I felt confident enough to come out and sit beside her and later on her lap. I so needed to be stroked and to feel secure in a one to one relationship again. I also wanted to thank my new person for taking me into her home.
To cut a long story short, almost six weeks later, Louise and I have really settled in to a mutually happy routine. I snooze and listen to messages left on her answering machine while she is out at work, then in the evening we socialise, play with my toys and watch TV.
Sometimes she has visitors, they like to take lots of photos of me, it is called a photo shoot I believe. Being a model can be quite tiring, all the poses I am asked to adopt. Louise's cousin Anne came from Brighton to see me, armed with TWO cameras and Louise's nephew snapped me on his mobile phone camera and is sending pictures of me to his family in India, so I am an international model too! Life has become very interesting, rarely a dull evening.
I am so grateful to Louise for giving me such a loving home and my job and pleasure in life is to give her lots of affection. I am also grateful to Anna and her sister. I hope that the cats left in the care of CAS soon find loving, happy new homes.

LOTS OF LOVE FROM LUCY
PS: Louise's cousin in Brighton is writing this on my behalf .

12/4/2007

Bruce and Oscar

Bruce and Oscar

We have always been a cat family and when our beloved Charlie died in November 2005 we didn't know if we'd have another again. By May 2006 we had decided that we would adopt a cat. We searched the internet for younger cats and we came across Bruce and Oscar. They are two ginger and white tabbies with the most beautiful markings. Oscar is slightly darker ginger than Bruce. But Bruce has extra toes on both front and back feet which can be very handy for picking food out of the bowl.

Bruce and Oscar had the worst possible start to life. They we two of the thirty cats found at Hurstpierpoint at Easter 2006. They are brothers from different litters. We were advised by their fosterers Jane and Paul that they were very timid and not used to any human contact. We knew this would be a challenge but were hoping the outcome would be worth the hard work.

Both cats were extremely timid and would not bear human contact but over time they have slowly got used to us. Now Bruce loves to be stroked and enjoys our company. Oscar is still not sure about us but will occasionally put up with having his face stroked, especially in the morning when he has woken up mum and dad by pouncing on their feet!

Both boys are very settled in a home environment and enjoy playing inside and out. They love to jump on each other and chase each other up and down the stairs. Bruce is very motherly to his little brother and will often sit and clear Oscar's face which Oscar doesn't mind at all.

Last weeks snow proved a massive hit with both cats who enjoyed skidding on the icy slush and lying in the snow.

Our two beautiful boys are now having the time of their lives in a home where they are cared for and loved.

Nick, Sylvia and Verity Odd

How Stan Found Ollie

Two cats

As reported in the last newsletter, it has been a busy year. I had been very lucky and found good homes relatively quickly, until our difficult May – Sept period.

Chewy was returned as his new owner's resident cat would not accept him. He was there for 8 weeks & eventually retaliated. I agreed they had done every thing they could. Ollie was returned as apparently he kept attacking the dog next door!! Both cats were lovely & placid up to a point.

Life went on as usual in the cattery. Chewy & Ollie would tease each other through the central panel. Both would put their paws under the bottom bar to get each other's attention. As the months went by I would let them meet whilst being fed & cleaned. They would play fight until being split up. I was never sure if they meant it, but there were no claws or growling.

Eventually after 5 long months a call came to view Chewy (he was a beautiful black longhaired cat) The couple & children had had a grumpy old rescued cat that sadly died. On hearing & seeing how Chewy & Ollie had made friends they decided to adopt them both.
After a house check & a long talk, I decided to give it a try & see if they got on in a home situation. I was a bit concerned, not being sure if their play fighting would turn into something more serious.

I needn't have worried. They still have a daily play fight. Chewy loves to lie in wait at the top of the stairs for Ollie to appear. They soon split up when bored with that game. Chewy to his favourite bush in the garden or settee & Ollie to his favourite bed or other past time his food bowl.

Chewy was renamed Stan & so that is how they became a real proper double act.

Luisa Fosterer

Ant & Dec - A Happy Ending

Ant and Dec cats

We got a desperate call from a man who had had to move home for financial reasons. He was homeless & left the cats temporarily with a friend. On visiting them they were depressed & under weight. He felt they needed a more stable home He cried when he left them.

They were 3-year-old brothers & he had had them from kittens. Ant had had a car accident @ 18m old & his back legs were paralysed. Despite his disability he was litter trained & led as near a normal life as possible. He was the more outgoing & loved to put his paws around your neck & nuzzle your nose & purr loudly. Ant settled in well, but Dec took a few weeks. Eventually they put on weight & settled.

It is not always easy to find a good home for a single cat, a pair more difficult, never mind a disabled cat. Ant was not the prettiest sight with his rigid back legs. My 13 yr old cried when he first saw him.

I had grown increasingly fond of Ant; he was so easy to love. I was determined to find them a good home together. Three weeks after they came in, a lovely lady saw Ant on the Internet & fell for him. Her mother had had a disability from birth & disability did not faze her. She had moved to a flat & was lonely. They have settled well. Ant had so much love to give & it is wonderful that someone could see past his disability.

Luisa Fosterer