Chas (Charlie Chaplin) was around a year old when we met him living under parked cars in the street. Neighbours said he’d been living rough since he was a kitten, and no one could get near him. He was the most skittish nervous cat I’ve ever seen. He was emaciated, his fur was lumpy from a major flea egg infestation, and he had a big open wound on his chest. He looked in such bad condition that all the neighbours thought he would die. So did we.
We started feeding him every day, but it was many months before we could touch him. However, despite his nerves, he seemed to like being near people. He would happily sit at our feet but was terrified of an outstretched hand, or any sudden movements or noise. He’d never been inside a house, and although we gradually lured him inside with food, he would panic if he felt locked in, so we bought him a cat bed for the front doorstep.
Eventually we trapped him and took him – half wild – to the vet to be desexed, microchipped and vaccinated. We took him to my parents’ spacious home to recover, and he’s been there ever since!
It’s taken months of patience and pheromone diffusers, but he’s now emerged from his traumatic start to life to be a very friendly, playful and gentle cat. And he now enjoys a pat! He’s never scratched or bitten anyone. He also never jumps up on any furniture, preferring to keep all four paws on the ground. Mostly, he loves being with his people – wherever we are, he’s there.
It’s been very rewarding rescuing a homeless animal right off the streets. He’s not a lap cat yet, but there’s potential… He’s a lovely guy!