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.