The rescued Siamese cats who kept me alive
With our house finally renovated, my wife, Karen, suggested we share it with some cats. She thought cat adoption was the way to go, but I was reluctant.
As an international retail executive, she frequently travelled on lengthy business trips. I couldn’t look after myself, let alone care for creatures who’d been abandoned, abused, or worse. Besides, I adored Siamese cats and didn’t want any old moggy.
Nevertheless, when my wife talks, I listen. And when I landed on the Siamese Cat Club Welfare Trust website, it shocked me. Who would abandon a Siamese cat? I couldn’t believe there was such a thing as Siamese cat adoption.
Among a gallery of superior-looking pedigrees, three sweet, little faces stared out of a cage. The bare facts said the seal point boy was Django; his red point sister was Tao’and her little tortie point daughter was Gizmo (named, appropriately as it turned out, after the creature in the movie Gremlins).
Their sadness was palpable. “Why doesn’t anyone want us? What did we do wrong?”
Gizmo played with my wife’s shoelaces. She had chosen us, and we renamed her Daisy. The seal and red points became Basil and Rose. I decided their surname was Woosle.
They would be safe and loved for the rest of their lives
They’d spent four months in a cage after being rescued from a kitten mill run by a warring couple in a caravan. Daisy had been homed and returned three times after scratching and biting adopters and their children. She seemed to have had a broken leg and walked with a limp. Their breeders hadn’t vaccinated them, so Rose had one weepy eye, and Basil had severe catarrh.
The boy wailed throughout the 90-minute journey home before taking residence inside a sofa for more than a week. Daisy sat in a corner, hissing and crying, while Rose was asleep on my lap the moment I sat down. They were home. They would be safe and loved for the rest of their lives. We were a family made complete by cat adoption.
With their horticultural names, they blossomed for five years in the garden of our converted school house, next to a wood in Hampshire. Rose assumed the role of lady of the manor, with a regal bearing and twice-daily patrols of her territory. She adored people, with a penchant for workmen with big boots.
Basil cried out loud when he got lost in the wood, and never left the garden again. He’s become known as Wally Woosle, and is the soppiest, purriest pussycat in the world. He insists on cuddles and belly rubs ten times a day, gets food all over his face when he eats, and dribbles water throughout the house.
Baby Daisy regarded vicious attack as the best form of defence. We couldn’t even touch her for six months. Visitors and cat-sitters approached her at their peril. But love and time work wonders, as did a healer who helped her to feel less vulnerable by repairing her energy field.
We had rescued the cats, but one day it dawned on me that cat adoption had helped to save my life. With Karen away, having the Woosles forced me to get out of bed to give them their food, clean their eyes and noses, and take general care of them. I started to smile and laugh at their antics. Their purring soothed me.
When my wife had an exciting career opportunity in Dubai, the first consideration was for the Woosles. We learned they could join us in the Middle East, and started the course of vaccinations and filling in the paperwork.
The decision revived painful memories of when our two previous Siamese, Patpong and Ossie, had been unable to join us in Singapore some 15 years earlier. Ossie failed a medical due to a heart condition and couldn’t travel. We found them a lovely mum in a wonderful home and stayed in touch with them for the rest of their lives. But we should have stayed with them in England.
Cats are great at making me feel good
The first year in the Middle East was unhappy for everyone, but most all for Lady Rose. She’d exchanged acres of woodland and fields for an apartment on Dubai’s famous Palm. She died of cancer and a broken heart.
We needed a protected garden for Basil and Daisy and found one in Arabian Ranches, a gated community out of town. They enjoy living with us in a warm climate. We have to register them with the authorities and give them a new, numbered tag each year to confirm they are legal immigrants.
The vet care in Dubai has been expensive but of the highest quality. (There’s no pet insurance.) Basil and Daisy have kidney problems, but we discovered their conditions early. Basil drinks water left for him all over the house and has saline injections every other day. Both have medications and eat healthily.
We have friendly cat-sitters, and Basil even has a nurse who calls in to tend to him when Karen and I are away.
I’ve had some bad times in Dubai, but every day I’m greeted by cute, talkative and purring Siamese cats, whose lives I helped to save, almost ten years ago. All thanks to my wife’s convincing me about cat adoption.
It’s rewarding to see the Woosles basking in the garden or to feel them curled up on my lap. I sometimes just watch them go about their little days; simple things such as watching them eat, drink clean water or just sleep on their cat tree.
Cat adoption is one of the most rewarding things any animal lover can do. It’s heart-warming to see a previously terrified Basil and a once ferocious Daisy roll over to have their tummies tickled. Every night we play on the rug with a stick toy. Cats are great at making me feel good.
Cat adoption is available worldwide, so many cats looking for love and care. All with stories. I do hope my books and publishing company can persuade more people to save more of these lovely little souls.