Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Friday, 3 October 2008

Ollie and Helena , hoping for a happy ending .

Helena rang me late one night last week and I have been tussling with myself over whether blogging about all my CatCalls is ok or not . I am hoping that she wouldn't mind and all names are changed . Its a sad tale without a happy ending so far . Since starting CatCalling Ive received many calls which Ive been unable to respond to , one two weeks ago from a man asking if I could take four feral kittens that had appeared near his house . He already had four cats and a dog but let me off the hook when I explained the services I provided and that I also had the same number of animals in my establishment notwithstanding the visiting service . Another time a delightful Indian woman who was scared of cats asked me for advice on how to deal with a cat that was sitting on her window sill staring in at her as she was terrified . And so it goes .

Helena aploogised for bothering me so late on a Friday night and explained that she had been called away from home unexpectedly and asked if I would be able to help out by taking care of her cat for a while . Although she was somewhat outside of my catchment area I did not dismiss it immediately feeling that she would not have been ringing unless there was some element of emergency and I would therefore like to help . Clearly distressed , she explained that she left enough food out for her cat but he would need attention within a day or two . Making the assumption that she had been called away to work I wondered how I would get a key and we discussed this .
After some reluctance and hesitation on her part it became clear she was not at work but was not keen to say where she was . I wondered about a psychiatric hospital or some such and this proved to be the case . She had left home in a hurry and did not want me to know where she was . I understand the stigma of illness and wondered if we could meet somewhere for a coffee so that she could hand over the keys and give me details of my tasks but this was also not possible . Finally she agreed that I could collect the keys from her the following day and I was able to go to the unit where she was staying , probably a salutary experience for us both . I felt very mindful of the fact that Helena was handing over her house keys to a stranger , having to entrust her cat and probably closest companion and friend to me . I can't pretend I can imagine how she felt . I know what I felt .
Entering her home felt like an intrusion , but I tried to remind myself that I was there with her permission and in that way no different to a run of the mill CatCall . Ollie was sleeping when I arrived and too nervous to come out and meet me , though as the days passed he began to greet me with miaows and chirrups and seemed pleased to see me even if he did stay firmly put under the bed .
Helena and I had frequent contact about how Ollie was doing until she finally rang to say that he had been removed into longer term care aginst her wishes . She was distressed at how an arrangement she had made to have her cat cared for had been disregarded but there was little she could do . I was confused and made a further visit to check ... and indeed Ollie was gone . Very difficult for me to judge the rights and wrongs of the situation . I am sure Ollie will be looked after and returned to Helena's care when she returns home in the near future . Just a very sad situation all round .

3 comments:

BetteJo said...

Well it's not like he wasn't being cared for - I wonder what kind of personal care he's going to get - wherever he was taken to.
Hope it all ends well.

BetteJo said...

Oh - and I'd love to hear the play by play of the woman who was afraid of the cat looking in at her! :)

(Very) Lost in France said...

What a sad story both for owner and pusscat. I hope it works out for them both in the end. VLiF

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