Winter Newsletter 2015/2016

We have had yet another busy year with many ‘tails’ to tell. Rehoming sadly has been very slow with our many furry friends having to wait a long time to catch someone’s eye. We have found some fantastic homes though and as always are very, very grateful to everyone who has adopted one or more of the cats in our care.

The last few years have seen an increase in the number of cats/kittens needing help, but this year has been particularly difficult in so many ways, but I think we have managed to survive SOMEHOW and have rescued many little furry faces!

Our focus, every time, is the welfare of the cats in our care and also those we help when their owners need assistance. We find the most common reason for people having to part with their pets is moving to premises where animals are not allowed. I do understand why some landlords feel they need to enforce this in their tenancy agreements because some have been left in difficult situations regarding pets in their properties. Needless to say when this happens it is very upsetting for the owner and also very sad for their pet/s as they then join the very long queue of homeless animals, all of which then need to be found loving, and we hope, permanent homes.

To try and help with the over population of cats we are again running the ‘Spaying Blitz’ in conjunction with Pet Doctors Veterinary Hospital. Last year we spayed 170 females from 4 months of age and 41 males between the beginning of September and the end of December – we did honour some operations in January when some reached 4 months of age after the deadline.

This year we are not seeing so many people coming forward for this offer, which is quite disappointing – there aren’t many (any!) Charities offering spaying for £20 after all! We do hope though the numbers will increase over the coming few weeks. We hope to be able to offer the ‘Blitz’ annually, and it will run from September to the end of the year. We do have an on-going Neutering/Spaying Scheme for low income families which runs throughout the year, so we really are trying to tackle the ‘Cat Crisis’ in the most humane way possible.

We will now tell you about some of our cats ‘Happy Tails’ ……….

‘Clyde’ came to us from a very neglectful background. He was very nervous as he had had little or no contact with his owners. He did slowly respond to all the attention bestowed on him and he improved even more when we mixed him with some of our ‘braver’ rescues. He was used to being with other cats so really did like the company of his new playmates. ‘Clyde’ went to a new home with ‘Syd’ back in July and they have both settled really well with their new brother ‘Spencer’ – and of course their new ‘Mum’!  ‘Syd’ came to us with 5 other cats/kittens (all related) and was the last one from this little family to find a loving home – he would agree though that his new home was well worth waiting for!

‘Bonnie’ came to us with ‘Clyde’ she too being really frightened. Initially we weren’t even sure if either of them would ever be homeable domestically. ‘Bonnie’ was particularly nervous so we decided it was best she stayed with us as a permanent resident. It was definitely the right choice for all concerned as she has settled so well with the others. She is now really enjoying life and there will be no more winters spent out in the cold with only a shed or greenhouse to shelter in.

‘Simba’ – ‘Sheba’ and ‘Shadow’ are in a lovely new home. They came to us earlier in the year as ‘strays’ – we are not really sure if this was the case but all that mattered to us was that they needed help and we were there for them. We think ‘Shadow’ may have been ‘Sheba’s’ kitten but with no real ‘history’ we can’t be sure, all we did know though was that they all loved each other! We could not believe it when they were all offered a home where they could stay together – although it all happened in a most bizarre way! When their now new owners came to see them initially they felt they could only really adopt two, so they said they would go home and make a very hard decision as to who they would like to offer a home to. They duly called back saying after a great deal of soul searching they would like to offer ‘Sheba’ and ‘Simba’ a loving home. So a couple of days later we arrived with these two very lucky felines. BUT we then realized they had meant ‘Sheba’ and ‘Shadow’ – they had got confused with their names!! Oh Dear – what now? We went into the house with our two baskets and although disappointed, we said we would take ‘Simba’ back and bring ‘Shadow’ to them instead. It was a very heart wrenching time I have to say for all concerned BUT again after a lot of soul searching they sent me away to get ‘Shadow’ BECAUSE they said they would adopt all three of them!! AMAZING! We were SO happy for this dear little feline family, and SO grateful to these lovely people. The three cats settled very quickly in their new home, in fact we shall be going to see them again very soon. THAT ‘mistake’ certainly did these dear cats a massive favour – Home At Last x

‘Ebony’ (now ‘Midnight’) – ‘Tilly’ and ‘Murphy’ are now in a great home together. They have joined Helen and Steve – ‘Ebony’ who is 15 and ‘Goldie’ 16 (both came from us many years ago) also a lovely rescue dog from Blue Cross! The amazing thing is that these three delightful cats had been with us for between 1 – 3 years!! ‘Tilly’ originally came to us with her 12 year old Mum and her other siblings when only 5 weeks of age. ‘Libby’ and the other kittens all found homes but ‘Tilly’ was always very timid so tended to be passed by. She started to gain confidence once we started to mix her with other more outgoing cats, in fact this really turned her little life round which was amazing. ‘Tilly’ came to us July 2012! ‘Ebony’ had obviously come from a domestic home but for whatever reason had found herself homeless but pregnant as well. She had 6 kittens in an outbuilding in someone’s garden, but the kittens were obviously feral by the time she brought them to light. ‘Ebony’ has always been a lovely little character, maybe slightly timid when first meeting strangers, but again the longer she was with us the more outgoing she became. ‘Ebony’ came to us Easter time 2013! ‘Murphy’ came to us with 5 other cats/kittens of differing ages – none were neutered needless to say! The rest of his ‘family’ all found caring new homes but ‘Murphy’ just seemed to be passed by. He is such an endearing character that it was hard to understand why, apart from the fact he is black/white!? Not always the most ‘popular’ colour – for why I will never understand! ‘Murphy’ was with us just over a year. This lovely little trio had been together for several months – not in a unit, but in the house – so they had become really firm friends so when Helen and Steve offered to take them all into their hearts and their home we were THRILLED. They all had an incredibly long wait but it definitely paid off in the end 100 fold!

‘Tinx’ was returned to us after her owner’s circumstances changed and she was unable to keep her. We had originally rescued ‘Tinx’ 5 years ago when her owner abandoned her and she was found with her kittens, who by this time were all feral. ‘Tinx’ has a fantastic character and it wasn’t long before she was packing her bags and setting off to her new home. Once out of our carrying basket she was soon checking out her new abode! Very quickly she gave her seal of approval and hasn’t looked back since! We REALLY hope that this home is now for LIFE x

When ‘Polly’ came to us she was petrified – it was heart wrenching to see an animal so traumatised. We didn’t have space to take ‘Polly’ when she so desperately needed help, but someone very kindly offered to foster her for us. Her coat was FULL of flea dirt, her ears black and was not in great condition generally. ‘Polly’ began to respond to all the TLC but was still very wary of strangers BUT her life has just changed for the better! She has now been adopted by Sue and Malcolm and is doing really well. They know she will take a while to feel really confident, but they are committed totally to this little girl, and their love and patience is definitely paying off. ‘Polly’ you will never want for anything ever again. Home At Last.

‘Chocy’ came to us in a very neglected state, needless to say he was also undoctered. Although he is a little wary of people he doesn’t know he soon relaxes, after which you will have a very faithful friend for LIFE! ‘Chocy’ is a really gentle boy and he got on very quickly with his 16 year old ‘sister. Never again will this dear little cat be shut out in the cold not knowing where his next meal is coming from as he is now in a lovely new home with his two very attentive ‘human slaves’!

‘Mittens’ and ‘Molly’ came to us as feral kittens. They hadn’t had any human contact when they came into care, only a kindly couple providing their meals! ‘Molly’ went in the humane trap first and although I wasn’t making any moves to ‘bring her round’ she decided to do it herself! Within a week she was throwing herself on her back inviting me to tickle her tummy! Still very wary, but certainly moving into the domestic world bit by bit! ‘Mittens’ was far more nervous but as ‘Molly’ became more trusting her confidence started to rub off on her sister. These two dear kittens were supposed to go to a stable to live, but once they both started to progress I just felt I couldn’t put them back outside to live, when I knew I could offer them a life of warmth, comfort with the company of other cats which they had always been used to in the past. The rest is history! As I write ‘Mittens’ is sprawled full length on one of the radiator cradles, eyes tightly closed and purring contentedly. ‘Molly’ is on one of the chairs (by the radiator!) with ‘Charlie’ and ‘Tabitha’ just two of her new feline friends – I think you will agree I definitely made the right decision! From ‘rags to riches’ and two happy, purry faces to prove it!

We do have many cats still waiting patiently to start their new lives in loving homes – here are just a few …..

‘Poppy’ came to us following a recent operation. She had been a stray, but what concerned us more was that she had skin cancer on both ears, one being very extreme. We went to the area several times to see if we could trace an owner, to no avail. We did find though that a kindly person had taken her in. ‘Poppy’ had the ear with the most damage removed. Several really generous people from the Facebook site ‘Lost Pets IW’ donated towards the cost of the operation, in fact so much so that it covered the Vet bill completely!  Sadly it wasn’t possible for her to stay in this home so she came into our care. Little ‘Poppy’ – or now not so little – has recently had surgery to remove the other ear and she is recovering REALLY well – she is one amazing little character. ‘Poppy’ will be looking for a loving home very soon, and we really hope someone will fall for her charms in the near future. Some people are attracted to the animals who are either disabled or like ‘Poppy’ have a different appearance, so we REALLY hope there is a home out there for our very special, and once neglected, feline friend. We believe she is probably about 7 – 8 years old.

‘Frankie’ was in an appalling state when he came to us back in the Summer. He was a roaming undoctered tom but his wounds were extensive. He had obviously been attacked by neighbouring cats and had been the one to suffer most. He shows no aggression towards other cats so we presume he was unable to protect himself when living on the streets. His wounds healed, we had him neutered and thankfully he tested negative for leukaemia and aids, which was a great relief. ‘Frankie’ soon grew into a confident, adorable character and he now hopes he will soon catch someone’s eye.

‘Dappy’ is 6 years old and he really needs to go to a home with either ‘Poppie’ or ‘CoCo’ – he is sharing with them at the moment, so although they are not related they all get on really well together. This lovely trio are all black – ‘Poppie’ is 9 years old and ‘CoCo’ 2 years. There are many prospective owners who will not consider a black or black/white cat when looking to adopt – why I will never really understand, as it is what is on the inside that matters. In my experience they generally have lovely temperaments and dispositions. These are definitely living proof!

‘Molly’ is 10 years old. We would consider her going to a home as a permanent foster if someone suitable was interested in offering her a home – or she could be fully adopted. ‘Molly’ may be a little wary when first introduced to a new home but once settled she would be a great lap cat, very home loving and loyal and definitely very easy to please.

‘Lillie’ and ‘Willow’ 3 years old need a home where they can stay together – they too may be a little shy initially, but will not take long to settle in with new owners. They originally become homeless when their owner died, so they are very anxious now to be able to get on with their lives in a loving, safe home.

If you would like to meet all those looking for caring new homes please go to our Adoption Page on our website: wwwfelinewelfareiow.co.uk – you can contact us on either 521778 or email: felinewelfareiow@hotmail.co.uk

We have helped several people this year who have been taken into Hospital and their pets have been ‘home alone.’ They have all been frantic not knowing who to turn to. All had no relatives/neighbours or friends who they could ask to look after their pets (not just cats!) so we stepped in after receiving a call from the Hospital and found alternative care for the animals until their owners were well enough to return home.

We are always on the lookout for items to sell. Liz, Doug and Vanessa work tirelessly to help raise much needed funds for us and have done for many years. If you would like to donate any unwanted gifts, bric-a-brac, raffle or tombola prizes, CD’s, DVD’s, gift sets etc perhaps you would like to call Liz and Doug on 298882 – answer machine at times. They will be happy to collect and are only a phone call away.

Feline Welfare is run totally by Volunteers, and all monies raised go to benefit the cats directly – we do not waste money on ‘frills.’ I would like to thank everyone for all their help throughout yet another year. You all give your time so willingly which is greatly appreciated. Liz, Doug and Vanessa as mentioned above work tirelessly throughout the year. Viv and John take the more valuable items for us and sell these on Ebay so we get a better return. Jenny and Corinne help directly with the cats in our care on an almost daily basis, sometimes at very short notice! They have also both fostered several times during the year which has enabled us to help cats in immediate need. Lorraine and David have again fostered many cats for us, so because of their help and dedication we have been able to rescue more cats/kittens, taking them away quite often from far from suitable situations. Nikki at Reynards Cattery in Wootton has also fostered several times this year which has been a great help to us. Lindsey too has taken several furry people into her home on a temporary basis for us this year. Al undertakes all our computer work with great expertise; he also keeps our website updated etc. Liz and her team take over the refreshment at our Fayres which is a great help to us all. Grateful thanks also go to all our regular volunteers who help out at our Fayres, and behind the scenes. Sincere thanks go to everyone who have generously donated to help the cats in our care, without your support we would not exist – Thank You SO much. Our Vets of course work tirelessly with our many feline friends, whether domestic or feral! We are also very grateful for their support throughout the year, as having lost our Vet of many, many years, Neil Phillips, I personally have found it very hard to readjust without him.

I would like to thank Johnny Keywood of Ace Waste who has for yet another year collected our clinical waste (used cat litter!) with no cost to us which is greatly appreciated. Also John and Jackie at Creature Comforts who deliver to us year in year out – Thank You.

There are SO many kind people who help us and the animals in so many ways and we are very grateful for all the help we receive. If you would like to help us, and the animals, you are welcome to call on 521778 or email if you prefer.

We will be back with more ‘happy tails’ to tell soon. We hope also to see less neglect and instead see more respect and care being shown to all our furry friends both large and small!

With Very Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year from All Of Us At Feline Welfare



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