Wednesday 8 July 2020

A Devonshire re-homing

Well, this year isn’t quite going to plan for any one of us is it? I’d planned an early spring mating so that we would have had a brood of lovely babies from Prune again, & knowing she would have quality kittens had ‘husband’ Oz booked in for her romantic getaway....

But Covid 19 came along which was for me followed swiftly by a triple broken ankle. This double whammy has forced my hand in halting any breeding (or other) plans. Being immune suppressed I’m shielding very much confined to barracks, as well as being immobile having been operated on & then in a cast 10 slow weeks! Imagine if Prune had been away with Oz before my accident.... how would I have coped with kittens rearing - oh my!

So while we remain kitten free (for now) we have still seen some action in that I was contacted in a text message in May by the lady who had taken both of Noodle’s kittens born a year apart, the first, Gamora, in 2017, the second, Nebula, in September of 2018. She was informing me that unfortunately she could not keep them & asking for my help in rehoming.I would have loved to have taken them in myself, they are Naked Sphynx Cat Hampshire babies after all, the only babies my beloved Noodle managed to rear over her two very difficult births, but sadly, in my situation that is an impossibility. I felt desperate panic at first, feeling helpless as I battled my injury pain, but I resolved that I would move heaven & earth to find them a wonderful new home together. I have some good friends & I know that someone would have helped me, even if it was only an emergency temporary arrangement. 

I take great when selecting to open viewings to a kitten by any applicant. I ask lots of searching questions in efforts to ensure they are going only to homes that are worthy of them, that have the experience or at least the willingness to learn & to provide the care this breed needs. However, there are no guarantees; as a breeder & a human being, I recognise that life doesn’t always go according to plan so I make it part of the sales contract that, in the event a rehoming is necessary, that the owner knows to come back to me rather than to rehome the cat(s)themselves. And this is what was happening.

Gamora 2017
Nebula with mummy Noodle 2018
Opening my phone I sent a short message initially to just 3 contacts. These were people whom I knew loved Noodle’s colouring & who might have had room to give love & a forever home to two very pretty ‘inactive‘ tortie girls or in the case of the 3rd contract who might know someone reliable who might be looking

Incredibly & unbelievably, within just 10 minutes my dear & totally wonderful friend Ley whom I had met only last summer when advertising Prunella’s gorgeous kittens, came forward immediately but saying that she would love to have them but that financially she could not afford them. When I said no money exchange was involved I proceeded to fall forever into her debt when her response was ‘they are Noodle’s babies, it helps you and it helps her, there is no question - the answer is YES!”

I thanked her, then I asked her to sleep on it, to talk to her sons, to think about it again from every angle.... she said she didn’t need to but I like to think she went away & did.

A few mad days followed as we tried to fathom out the logistics of the move. With both Ley & I shielding & the cats residing near Brighton, while Ley is in Plymouth plus the country in lockdown this was not likely to be straightforward.

The journey from Brighton to Plymouth was considered too long..... Ley’s medical conditions would certainly could not have allowed her to have done this and as I was on the subs bench in plaster, we discuss the possibility to a drop of & pick up from me in Chandlers Ford. I’d love to see the cats as well as both ladies, but as Ley would need a decent break before heading back & us both shielding there were sound reasons this was not going to be doable. It was suggested we delay, but what is Covid got worse again & a harder lockdown was then imposed?  We had to work out a safe way to move them quickly to ease the situation Gamora & Nebula were in, to move them while doing everything possible to avoid stressing them while protecting everyone from

A pet courier was the next suggestion & so I set about finding a sensibly priced & trustworthy courier service.  Tendering the job online I received several quotations. Having asked some questions  I felt confident enough to book two wonderful ladies who on the day did exactly just as they said they would....

Gamora & Nebula 2018 settled in sisters.
Arriving on the dot on the agreed day, the cats were duly collected & with painful goodbyes said, the girls were soon underway, with one lady making sure the precious cargo were OK while the other took care of the driving.

Nebula 2020
With lockdown still widely observed the roads leading to the Devon coast were much quieter than they would normally be at this time of year. Along the way I received the promised text updates - both cats promptly slept - & the final text to tell me they had arrived at their destination & that a socially distanced handover of cats & documentation was taking place.

Gamora 2020
And so with that, a new chapter for Gamora & Nebula had begun.                                                    

Ley now began the intense job of settling in two new girls. Gently, over a few days Noodle’s daughters met Sphynx gent Ash, Moggy (the real slim) Shady & Sphynx adolescent Elvira (mistress of darkness) one of our superb kittens from Prune born in 2019.

Gamora had headed to high ground, to what Let calls the ‘bat cave’ a cat bed on top of a wardrobe, while Nebula went low & dark tucking into a secluded cat bed underneath a bedside cabinet. There they stayed, while their new siblings were kept out of the room. As night fell laid back Ash was allowed back in to take up his customary position on the bed beside Ley while Shady & Elvi stayed downstairs.

There was much low-level grumbling from both new girls who simply wanted to let any one know of their displeasure, a warning of sorts that they were not happy.

During the night, Gamora came down drank some water, ate a couple of mouthfuls of food, used the litter tray and returned to the wardrobe top.  Nebula stayed put. Next day grouching continued & concerned that they might become dehydrated & hungry Ley put food in each cats chosen position. Toward the end of the day, the cats met Zebb & Kallum Ley’s adult sons. And this seemed to signal a turning point particularly with Gamora.

Within 2 days all cats had met, & although some grumbling was continuing, slowly each individual was getting the measure of the other, with Zebb voted hot favourite when at some point after checking out other parts of the house, the new girls decided to take up residence in Zebb’s room.

I was overjoyed a few days later when I received a short video on What’s App... Ley panned around her room where I counted 1, 2, 3, 4, FIVE cats all in her bedroom. They might not all be on the bed together, but a promising start.

In the next blog we will be celebrating the 1st birthdays of Louis, Lux, Karma & Elvira who turned 1 on July 3rd with some fabulous new photos, there’s an update on Gamora & Nebula’s settling in and I can reveal the rather exciting new skills learned by sisters Karma & Lux !