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Caught on Camera part 3 – Billy’s depression

Billy-on-the-mendBilly’s stitches were still not dissolved even after two weeks, but he started to come out of his ‘cave’ and move around more, although still in his cage, so I carried his bed, Billy inside, onto the settee and placed him beside me. All evening I stroked him whilst he was still in his bed and he did not object. In fact, if I stopped stroking him, he looked at me to ask for more. I thought this is progress indeed!

The next day, we decided that he needed to exercise and try and walk on his three legs, so we moved his cage to the floor of the sitting-room, and opened the door. He now had a lovely view of the outside world through the big window and he could come out if he felt like it. He did not move until about 11 o’clock that evening when at last he made his first tentative efforts to walk on three legs. I thought my heart would break when I saw the difficulty he was in. I was so upset and the guilt I felt over the loss of the leg was overwhelming!  He struggled and you could see that every step he took was a considerable effort for him, he was close to the floor almost crouching trying to balance and drag himself along, but somehow he managed to get back to the dining room and he found a hiding place, out of sight. I managed to find him, picked him up without any problems at all, cuddled him, holding him close, he did not have any strength left to argue, I placed him back into his bed, which he reclaimed.

The next morning he was at the top of the stairs where we had other beds. How he managed to climb the stairs I do not know, but he did. I tried to stroke him but now he did not want to be stroked. He did not eat anything that night nor the following day. Depression had set in….he struggled on three legs…..he was so upset! During the day he managed to get down the stairs and he had hidden himself behind the wood-burning stove. I could not get him out and he wanted to be left alone. He did not eat so we just had to leave him. Next day he came out of hiding and we put up a barrier to stop him getting back behind the stove. Yet another day passed, depression continued, we worried about how we could help him. Fresh food was again put out for him, and finally he was eating.

That evening, we heard a very loud “Me..OOOOO..W!” Panic from the other cats, all eyes went to the top of the stairs. Blackie and Chloe were horrified and became very territorial, got ready to mount an attack, Jason was his cowardly self, so took a step back and left it to the girls to do the dirty work! Henry did not quite know what to do, if it went to a chase, he was ready! Tammy just looked on, at 17, she just spared a glance at the commotion, then went back to sleep.

Billy was calling for more food, quickly sorted! We heard him crunching and munching, he was really hungry, after which he started to groom himself and to lick his lips. He had not tried to groom himself since he had lost his leg. He was taking an interest in the other cats down below. We were so relieved to see and hear him and to know that the awful depression had passed. We could now look forward to his further rehabilitation.


The full story and many more are in the book “Viewed From My Window” by Patricia Oliver price £12.50 + £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.