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Ginger – part 1

Viewed-from-my-window-Ginger's-favourite-placeDid he fall or was this a risky jump for freedom? It was a long way down from the window of a first floor flat where this cat lived. He had never been outside the flat in all his life and would not have known how to find his way back. Six weeks later he was found hiding under a hedge looking forlorn, thin and a little scared, thankfully uninjured,

Time passed and he was now seven years old, but his owner had felt since his leap from the window that he was a cat that needed a better life and more freedom than she was able to give him so asked me if I would take him in. With so many cats to look after and with age creeping up fast I was concerned and a little bit reluctant to take on a domestic cat that did have a home already.

However I was concerned that he did not have the freedom he craved and seemed to live such a boring life cooped up all day, when he could be outside exploring, hunting rodents, nesting in the long grass, running, meeting other cats and animals, following scent trails and generally having fun, so of course I had to take him in.

We did not let him out straight away as we needed him to get used to us, and to get used to the other feline family members and hopefully to come when called. He needed to feel this was indeed his new home. Like most cats, at first he wanted to hide which he did under the duvet on my bed. A tempting array of cat food and biscuits was placed out for him but he would not eat any cat food, not even biscuits. He eventually decided all he wanted were meaty sticks, hand fed to him, not broken and left in a dish or on the bed.

We found the name of Garfield a bit cumbersome and seemed always to refer to him as ‘Ginger’, so the name stuck. A new name, a new home, it was appropriate. Very soon Ginger decided his favourite place to sleep was in the wash basin or in the bath, anywhere but in the lounge where the other cats were. He might have had feline friends at his previous home, but that did not mean he wanted to befriend any more. They tried to make him feel welcome, no one objected to him, they greeted him as best they could and tried to make him feel at home, but he was having none of it.

There was one big problem with our new cat which I was not made aware of before I took him in. He was a door scratcher! I had spent a lot of money on my doors, and door scratching did not go down well at all. I was beside myself worrying about how to deal with this problem. A scratching post was made up for him with a carpeted platform on the top and he did start to use this which curbed his door scratching just a little, but if he wanted to go out of a room, or into a room, he still scratched the door. Our doors are now all protected with aprons of hardboard suspended by strings hung on over-door hooks and tied around the doors. Not the prettiest home decoration I have to admit, but for the time being, it will have to do and at least they do protect the doors from any further damage from this door scratching cat.

Viewed-from-my-Window-May-2011-book-cover

The full story and many more are in the book “Viewed From My Window” by Patricia Oliver price £15.00 + £2.50 p&p. For more details, contact Patricia on 01202 826244. All proceeds go towards the Veterinary and Welfare needs of the 16 feral cats currently in her care.