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The second of the 23 rescued and feral cats that found their way to our door was Willow. Only 10 months old, her third owners decided they could not keep her. Shut up in the garage all alone and her coat horrendously matted as only a Persian coat could be. I could not leave her there, I had to take her away.

Willow found grooming a painful process. We had to cut away many of the lumps, teased out others and tried our best for her. The local Vet recommended an anaesthetic and a proper de-matt. It took him forever and the huge bill reflected this. We later tried a grooming parlour, but she came back with lesions in her mouth. I challenged the owner of the salon but the girl just said they had put a muzzle on her. Poor Willow! She did not return to the salon.

She had a favourite game, hiding upstairs on the landing, just out of sight. It began with us looking for her and calling out “Willow..where’s my Willow?” As we approached the top of the stairs, she jumped out, paws in the air and screamed at us. It frightened the life out of us the first time she did it, but we had to do it time and again. “Willow..where’s my Willow?” She absolutely loved it, and never got tired of her wonderful game. We just laughed and laughed.  

We thought Willow would like a companion and a local farm had many cats and kittens, uncared for with obvious signs of fleas and worms, matted coats and insufficient food. We chose a ginger kitten and later came back for two more, unable to take them all away we paid with trays of tinned cat food so those left behind would at least benefit.

Willow, thought the kittens were her toys, she was in her element. Soon afterwards we moved to a new home with five acres and her days were spent hunting and exploring. It was a good life for a cat. In the evening she was fascinated by the lights of passing cars, but she never attempted to go to the road, she stayed by the gates. She was so full of character and such a happy soul making the most of life in every way.

Willow had to have her coat stripped by the Vet many times, which proved to be very costly. She needed several dental extractions and her little Persian snub nose caused breathing difficulties, so regular medication was also needed. She developed a heart murmur and when she looked tired, we carried her around. She purred away in grateful thanks for the lift. This was a cat that gave so much love, and everyone asked after her.

At 13 she was diagnosed with kidney failure. There was nothing the Vet could do for her, but we would not have her put down, we took her home and nursed her until her time came, we cuddled her, told her how much we loved her and how much joy she had brought to us. We thanked her for all the care she had given to the other kittens that had found their way to our door and she slipped away. Dear lovely Willow, we loved her so and still miss her today.


The full story and many more are in the book “Viewed From My Window” by Patricia Oliver price £10 + £1.75 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.