For the love of cats
22nd May By Suzie Spooner
Suzie Spooner is AAW’s Client Services Manager, looking after our clients and candidates on our Search campaigns. As we launch a fantastic role at Cats Protection – a high-impact charity that has radically changed how cats are perceived in our society - Suzie shares stories of the four rescue cats she shares a home with.
I’ve always loved animals and grew up around dogs and horses, but I was never allowed to have a cat until I left home. Twelve years ago, I started taking in cat rescues.
The first kitten I had, I’d seen advertised in the local paper but when I went to see her, she was tiny and not very well. She had been left in a cage in a shed in a cold November. I took the kitten home and called the RSPCA. I had to then feed her special milk throughout the day and night as she was so young.
Helping cats with special needs
A few years later, I adopted a cat with brain damage and mild Cerebellar Hypoplasia (the feline equivalent of cerebral palsy), from a local rescue which had been left in a cat basket with a note ‘Please take care of me, I can’t cope any more’. He has some challenging behavioural issues; he was extremely boisterous as a kitten and if we take him out of the environment he knows, he has horrendous fits and becomes untouchable.
He is now on medication but if his condition starts getting worse, we will have to put him down. However, at seven he is already two years past his predicted lifespan, so every day is a bonus. He is such an affectionate cat.
Our third cat also suffers from Cerebellar Hypoplasia and came from a Cats Protection spray, neuter and release team working with feral cats. One of the volunteers noticed she couldn’t walk more than a couple of steps and would not be able to survive much longer uncared for. Unfortunately, she had to be put down when her fitting because worse and the drugs were no longer working. We have another cat with the same condition who came from a family which was going to put her down at 14 years old, as she was getting harder to look after.
Our final cat was rescued from Romania where she was found in the mud with broken legs – they don’t know how long she had been lying there and what had happened to her. She then had to have her legs amputated and was brought to the UK. We gave her a home as although people will rehome three-legged cats and dogs, it was unlikely anybody would have wanted to take her in. She is the smallest of our cats but rules the roost. She climbs up the sofa or bed using her claws, or if carried on my shoulder, will point with her front paws where she wants to go.
Being there for every cat
The cats are a big responsibility and some of the medication is very expensive, but they bring so much pleasure. As someone who love cats and taking time to understand their needs, I’m now delighted AAW are recruiting for a Director of Income Generation at Cats Protection, a charity that has been saving cats for over 90 years.
At a time when so many cats need homes, where unneutered cats continue having kittens and where cats suffer from abandonment and cruelty, this is an amazing opportunity to join a multi-award winning fundraising team and help so many cats through the charity’s fantastic rehoming, neutering and information programmes. Last year, 184,000 cats and kittens benefited from that help, including some of the hardest cats to look after – that’s around 500 cats every single day.