Updated on 11 December, 2016

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!

Watson: the long road to a happy ending

At our Shelter we regularly take in cats who have been straying. Sometimes they have been straying for a short time – a few weeks perhaps. Sometimes they have been straying for many months. And on occasion, they have been straying for longer than that.

In May, we received a call from a gentleman in Edinburgh who had become aware that his neighbour had a visiting stray cat that she was feeding. This cat had been visiting her garden for over 13 years!! The cat – a small grey and white chap – was believed to be an unneutered male, and was very fearful of people and he wouldn’t let anyone touch him. On assessing the situation, we realised that this cat was a high priority case, and made arrangements to get the wee soul into us as soon as possible. We offered a trap, but the gentleman advised that he felt comfortable trying to get the cat into a basket for transportation. Thankfully he managed this – albeit with a souvenir bite from the wee cat in the process, which required medical treatment!

Watson the rescue catOn arrival at the Shelter the cat was named Watson, and it became apparent that this wee old guy – estimated to be 15 years old - had really been through the mill. He was riddled with parasites, his ears showed signs of many a fight in bygone years, and his teeth were so badly decayed that they must have been causing him considerable discomfort. The physical side of things was quickly taken care of. Watson received a full M.O.T at our vets – he was neutered, chipped, treated for his parasites, had all his old wounds checked and had all his teeth removed.

Emotionally, the damage was far deeper reaching. He displayed a level of distrust and emotional shutdown, which broke our hearts and took all our patience and know-how to overcome. For the first three months, we saw almost no change in this wee soldier. He would sit in his bed, hunched up in fear and unable to interact with us in any way. His eyes were fixed on a point in the distance and you could see him bristling with discomfort at having anyone close to him. In these days, if he felt anyone did get too close, he would lash out – whilst he had no teeth for us to worry about, his claws were certainly plenty sharp enough!!

But we persevered. Each day, his person would spend time talking to him, trying to tempt him with tidbits of chicken which sat uneaten, and in time using the tools available to us to start getting Watson used to be having some physical contact (whilst keeping all human hands and fingers safely out of the way!). Finally – we began to see progress. Small changes at first – he would on occasion look at us, he would tentatively sniff and then eat the chicken whilst we were present. Then bigger changes – we’d see him sitting at the door to his pen in the morning rather than hiding in his bed. And finally a huge change – he remained timid, but started to tentatively seek out strokes from his person, and became interested in exploring the corridor outside his pen. We decided eventually that Watson was ready to face his next challenge, and we moved him to our Old Cat room. This allowed us to give him a change of scene and some new stimulation, and it also allowed us to get a steer on how he would interact with other cats. Thankfully, all went well.

Shortly after his move, we deemed Watson was ready to find his new home. He remained a very scared wee boy, and at 15 years of age we didn’t know how long it might take to find someone prepared to take on the challenges that a cat like Watson can bring. But Watson was in luck. The lady who had been working with him during his LCR stay had fallen in love, and persuaded her husband to come and meet him. He fell in love too, and in early August, Watson left our Shelter to start his new life. He is doing brilliantly. He gets on really well with the other cats in his new home, and has even made friends with the resident dog! His people think he is fabulous, and we are delighted that he has the chance to see out his days with a loving family, in a warm and toasty home. Wonderful!

Shadow and a flea plea

We took a wee cat into our care at the start of September because his owners could no longer look after him. Our hearts broke when Shadow arrived with us. This poor wee black lad was infested with fleas and had a severe allergy to his unwelcome guests. His owners explained that they had tried to get the situation under control, but couldn’t. They had been trying to treat the fleas with supermarket-grade flea products.

Shadow the catShadow’s skin allergy was amongst the worst we have seen. Half his fur was missing, and around a quarter of his body was covered in seeping wounds - some self-inflicted through scratching and some simply the result of his allergy. Shadow went straight to our vets, where along with the usual MOT type bits and pieces, he was sedated to allow his wounds to be fully cleaned. He was also fully treated for fleas (and other parasites) using vet approved products. He was placed on a high-dose course of steroids to attempt to get his allergy under control. Quite understandably in light of the pain and discomfort he must have been in, Shadow was a very very unhappy chap when he arrived, lashing out at anyone getting too close. He was placed in Cat Borstal for his benefit and the safety of our staff and the visiting public!

In spite of his discomfort, over the course of the next few weeks Shadow started to heal, both physically and emotionally. His weeping wounds began to dry and then heal and he started tentatively accepting head strokes, allowing himself to be manipulated with some tempting chicken! Within six weeks, his wounds were almost healed with just a few stubborn scabs remaining, his black fur was growing back in nicely, and we were able to reduce the level of his medication. He had also transformed into the most amazingly gentle, chatty and snuggly boy who loves strokes and cuddles. Cats never cease to amaze us with their resilience!

At the time of writing Shadow continues to heal. Unfortunately he has picked up a wee viral infection which he is currently receiving another medication for, but in spite of feeling a little under the weather he remains a delight, and we very much hope that it won’t be too much longer before his overall condition is good and stable enough for him to head off to his new home.

Shadow’s story serves as a reminder of the importance of treating your cat regularly for fleas and other parasites. It also gives us an opportunity to reiterate a couple of pleas in the fight against fleas:

Found in the nick of time!

In mid-August we received a call from a man who had got more than he bargained for when he went out for a walk! The gentleman had been strolling along a busy road in Bathgate when he came across a tiny wee black kitten sitting at the side of the road. The gentleman checked all surrounding bushes in case there was a mum cat or other kittens in the vicinity, but found nothing, and there were no houses close by where the kitten might reasonably have escaped from. Kovo the kitten Not knowing what else to do, but aware that leaving the kitten where he was found was not an option, the man picked the kitten up, took him home and gave us a call. We collected the kitten immediately and brought him back to our shelter. Not a moment too soon! The wee kitten – who we named Kovo – was tiny and we believe not more than three weeks old. He had limited and unstable mobility, his eyes were still new-born blue and he was unable to eat on his own. He was also unable to go to the toilet without being stimulated. Without intervention, it is likely that the wee one would not have survived for more than a day or two more.

Kovo was taken home by one of our kitten fosterers, where he was given round the clock 1-2-1 care. He was hand reared on kitten formula, and over the subsequent weeks was weaned onto solid foods. His development proceeded in line with expectations, and once he was 6 weeks old, Kovo left his foster home (and his human toddler brother who Kovo certainly had the measure of!) and came back to our shelter where we socialised him with other kittens. He proved himself to be just a much as a terror as every kitten should be, and we were delighted when in late September Kovo chose his people!

Office and Kitchen Cat Update

Junebug

We are delighted to confirm that in mid October, Junebug finally headed off to her forever home. She has gone to live in the Borders countryside and has settled perfectly! She doesn’t have to share her home with any other animals or pesky kids and she has a huge wooded garden to explore and so she is in her element!

The kitchen cats at LCR

Now that Junebug has departed we have seen some changes. Firstly, wee Lucy is choosing to spend more of her time in the kitchen – she particularly likes one of the worktop beds, which gets the morning sunshine. She likes to sit here and watch her human slaves go about their morning toil. Secondly, there is a new boy on the office block. Big Robbie – a very handsome black and white chap- was given a groundpass in September and almost immediately decided to make the office his home. He likes to sit on the counter – especially if someone is trying to use the counter!!! Frodo is now in hibernation and can either be found sleeping in the office or the kitchen. Or occasionally on the seat outside the kitchen, if he fancies a change of scene! Lovely Molly remains with us – she seems happy enough spending her nights in the office and her days pootling about the grounds – but more than any other cat she remains the one we would all really like to see choose some people of her very own.

2016 Open Days

Open days at LCR

Our Summer Open Days are now fading into happy memories – but what amazing days they were.  We were blessed with good weather on both the June and the July days, with July in particular being warm and sunny.  As always we were bowled over by the numbers of people who turned out to see us and our furry charges and in total across both days almost £5,000 was raised, which is amazing.  Massive thanks to everyone who came and visited us. Huge thanks also go to all those who volunteered their time to man stalls, our staff who worked tirelessly making sure our pens were spotless and our cats well cared for, those who baked delicious goodies for sale and those who donated items for us to sell. All of you play a crucial role in making these days what they are. Thank you all.

Boycey has his home

Boycey the catLast time we told you about Boycey, and big lad 7-year-old ginger and white chap who was rehomed by LCR several years ago to Midlothian, but following a relationship breakup he found himself back with us once more. Happily in mid Summer, the right people for Boycey visited our shelter, and he decided he was going home with them!  In total, Boycey spent over a year of his life in LCR care – we very much hope he sees out the rest of his days in a loving home.

 

 

Golden Oldies given second chances

We love it when any cat in our care finds their new people, but it’s extra special when the older cats who come to us – very often through no fault of their own – choose new humans. Earlier this year we told you how we had converted the room previously used as an office into a “Golden Oldies” room. This heated room is full of sofas and cosy beds, and provides a place where our more senior guests can spend their time with us. It’s quieter and more luxurious than our normal pen spaces and we’re pleased to say it seems to provide an environment in which most of our senior catizens thrive.

Tabitha the catIt also seems to really help speed up these older furries choosing their forever people. Perhaps because the cats are more relaxed and comfortable, and perhaps because the room provides a space where visitors can go and sit with our elderly friends and spentdsome really good time getting to know them. In the last weeks we have been particularly delighted to help wee Tabitha find her people. Tabitha is a 16-year-old semi long-haired tabby and white lady who came to us when her previous owner went into hospital. She is a very loving and sweet natured wee girl and overall is in good health for her age, although she does suffer from arthritis in her rear legs and so whilst she loves having a lap to sit on and head-strokes, she isn’t at all keen on having her back and rear end touched. She is on daily medication to help ease her stiffness and this really seems to make a difference. Tabitha has been queen of our Golden Oldies room since its inception in the Summer – what Tabitha wants, Tabitha gets!! In early November it seems that Tabitha decided she wanted a new home, and she chose her people, heading off shortly after!

Cruel abandonment

In mid-summer we received a call from a shocked and concerned gentleman. The man and his wife had been driving in the Mayfield area of Dalkeith when they came across a cardboard box in the middle of the road. He got out of the car to move the box, thinking it was discarded and empty and had blown onto the road. Maisie & Willow, two beautiful cats rescued from a busy road He was surprised to see that the box was fully sealed and also was surprised to feel the box was heavy. He moved the box to the roadside, and out of curiosity peeled back a little of the tape and peered inside. Imagine his shock to see a pair of eyes staring back at him! Still unsure of what the eyes belonged to, the gentleman took the box back to his car and took it home where he could open the box safely, without whatever was inside escaping. Once secure, the box was opened and it was discovered that there were in fact two pairs of eyes in the box – eyes belonging to a pair of gorgeous wee black and white cats, both aged less than a year old. Both cats appeared scared and very hungry and thirsty, but were bright eyed and seemed none-the-worse for their ordeal.

The gentleman gave us a call, and we arranged to get the girls – who we named Maisie and Willow – into us immediately. A vet check revealed the girls were thankfully both in good health. They quickly settled with us, and revealed themselves to be quiet and sweet natured little cats – quite what would possess someone to callously abandon them in a sealed box in the middle of a road is something we can simply not comprehend. What might have happened to them simply doesn’t bear thinking about.

Maisie and Willow’s story could so easily have had a tragic ending. But we’re pleased to say that their LCR story had a happy ending. Once neutered and microchipped the girls very quickly found themselves a together-forever home, where they have settled in fabulously and are living the high life they so deserve.

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.