Updated on 8 November, 2017

LCR in Action

Here are some stories of day-to-day life in the Shelter

Introducing our newest sponsor cat: Karri

We are delighted to introduce you all to Karri, who is the latest addition to our sponsor scheme. She is a gorgeous 12-year-old fluffy black lass who loves being brushed and having a chin-wag with those she crosses paths with at the Shelter – human and feline alike! Karri the new sponsor cat Karri has something in common with Frodo. She came to us because she was toileting inappropriately in her previous home. Sadly, this has continued during her stay at the shelter. Medically there is nothing wrong with Karri, but her habits are very deeply ingrained. Karri has been given a ground pass and we are delighted that she has really blossomed outside. Yet her "accidents" continue the moment she is enclosed. She is too friendly (and lazy!) a cat to live on a farm and her long black fur would become very matted very quickly. As such, since she seems happy with us, we have decided this is where she should stay! If you’d like to sponsor Karri or one of our other lovely sponsor cats, further details can be found on our website - http://www.lothiancatrescue.org/sponsorship.html. Alternatively, give our shelter a call if you’d like a sponsor pack to be posted out to you – they make fabulous Christmas presents!

Office & Kitchen Cat Update

It has been a time of stability amongst the office and kitchen cats - Frodo, Molly, Lucy and Karri continue to rule the roost.

Frodo suffered the indignity of a V.E.T visit in April and had a number of his teeth removed. He dealt with this in a stoic manner and is once more back to eating all food in sight.

Kitchen cat update

Karri has also had a vet trip – we noticed she seemed to be losing weight. She had a blood test that showed a very slight reduction in kidney function, but nothing requiring immediate medication, so we are monitoring her closely.

Lucy looks set to spend much of the Summer lounging on a scratch post that sits just outside the office window – from inside all you see is her head floating about 4 foot off the ground! Molly enjoys stalking insects on sunny days.

Male tortoiseshell cats – just like buses

Some of you will remember a couple of years ago we took a kitten called Harry into our care. All 4-legged ones are special, but Harry was pretty unique, because he was a male tortoiseshell.

Tortie cats99.9% of tortoiseshell cats are female and so Harry really was a rare baby – the only tortie boy we had had at LCR in our 35 year history, and the first of his kind that our vets had seen. In scientific terms, male tortoiseshells represent an example of a genetic mutation. Of the 8 million cats living in the UK, only a couple each year are born male tortoiseshell and it is almost always the case that these cats are hermaphrodite or infertile due to a chromosome imbalance.

We thought it would be many years before another male tortie came our way, but it turns out that these special cats are just like buses be- cause we didn’t have to wait all that long for number two! In April, 8-month-old tortie lad Jinx arrived at our shelter with his ginger brother, Rio. These lads were gorgeous - friendly and playful - and so it was no surprise at all that they didn’t remain in our care for very long!

How long do you think it will be before we complete our male tortie hat- trick?!

An update on Little Billy and his problem leg

Last time we told you about Billy – a young black and white semi-feral cat rescued from a farm, and found to have abnormal “shoulder” joints - the structures around the joint are looser than they should be, and his shoulder is very prone to dislocation. We decided that given his condition, Billy would stand the best chance of leading a safe and fulfilled life if he remained at our shelter on our grounds.

Billy the catHe was let onto the grounds in March, and after appearing to settle into the Open Pen almost instantly, Billy then disappeared and we didn’t see him for several weeks! We began to fear that Billy had perhaps decided he would rather find himself a new home at one of the farms close to us – this being the life he had come from and so familiar. But then he reappeared. And gradually over the last couple months his appearances have become more frequent. We now see him pretty much every day and he has befriended some of the other grounds cats.

He is still far from interested in being stroked but is starting to visibly relax around the people at the shelter he knows. We have also seen he has a healthy level of curiosity – our bottom storage unit which contains our biscuit reserves and toys seems to be of particular interest! Most importantly we are seeing no signs that his legs are causing him any distress - you would never know he has any issues to look at him. So far so good!

The cat chooses the people!

In late February we received a call from our vets. A lady had brought her cat to them, suffering from a flu-like virus, for which she had been treated and was recovering. However this cat was micro-chipped to Lothian Cat Rescue! We looked her chip details up on our system and were amazed to learn that this cat was Gina, one of our groundscats! Gina had arrived with us back in Summer 2014 when she was found straying with her kittens in East Lothian. She was very distressed and displayed a semi-feral nature. She really couldn’t cope in a pen and once her kittens were weaned and she had been neutered, we decided the right thing to do was to give Gina a ground-pass.

Gina the catIn many cases when we award a ground-pass, we don’t see the cat for a period of time afterwards. The cat goes off exploring its new territory, meeting the other groundscats and in most cases doing its best to stay hidden from the humans! But in almost all cases – like wee Billy above – within a month the cat is regularly sighted at the shelter and in many cases over time the cat learns to trust us.

When we released Gina, we saw glimpses of her for a few weeks, but after that she disappeared. This does happen in rare instances. Our location is surrounded by farmers fields with barns/outhouses and when cats disappear like this, our belief is that they simply decide they’d rather be elsewhere.

So - we were delighted to learn that Gina was OK, and amazed to subsequently learn that she had spent the last two years living at a house less than 500 meters from our shelter! Over this time Gina’s chosen owner had built trust with her, and whilst she still doesn’t really like to be picked up, she loves strokes and is best friends with the lady’s two dogs! Gina doesn’t like to go in the house, but has her own heated wood store and toasty bed to sleep in, and she gets plenty of tasty food. Temperament-wise, Gina is now unrecognizable from the wild cat who arrived at our shelter – a total transformation! We were very happy to return Gina to the Mum she chose! We were also interested to learn that this lady has two other feline visitors, both of whom are extremely timid – we wonder if they too might be LCR groundscats, or whether they are local cats who have realised that Gina’s Mum is a cat lover! We’re staying in touch with Gina’s Mum who is working on building trust with the two new visitors and as soon as it’s feasible we will get these cats scanned and, if necessary, into our shelter for assessment/treatment.

Working cats need homes too

Working catsWe currently have around 20 cats living on the grounds of our shelter. These cats range from around 2 to around 8 years of age and come in all shapes and colours. Whilst most of these cats are often not too keen on interacting with humans, they are without exception great with other cats, and are well suited to living with feline company as working cats, in rural, farm and stable situations. In exchange for a regular supply of food and water, and somewhere safe and warm to shelter, they will happily keep their home territory rodent free. Like all our cats, before leaving us our groundscats are neutered, parasite free and have been microchipped. If you know anyone who might be interested in giving a home to a pair (or more!) of our groundscats, please do get in touch with our Shelter – 01875 821025.