I answered the front door to an unfamiliar woman in her late forties with a sad look about her, ‘Hello’ she said ‘my name is Julie, I am Paul’s sister opposite’. I invited her in but she was en-route somewhere so politely refused. Julie started to tell me in brief, the tale of the events leading up to the day. It seems not only had they lost their mother and father over the last few years but their younger brother had been killed in a motoring accident earlier that year too. Paul’s marriage had broken down some years ago and he was caught up in drugs. It must have all got too much for Paul as he had calculated his own demise three days ago by taking an over dose.
He had planned it meticulously, there was no remorse in his note just instruction and money for his funeral. He had left fresh food and water for the cat and the back door ajar for him to come and go and for Paul’s mate to find him dead.
The reason for Julie’s visit started to become clear: ‘The cat has been missing for three days and we are worried about him, I understand you are good with animals, have you seen him around?’ Julie asked. I had not but said I would look out for him and took her phone number to let her know. ‘What is his name?’ I asked …..’Puss Puss’ she replied! So there I am for the next couple of days wandering around the area with cat food in hand calling Puss Puss for every cat in the neighbour hood to come except the one I wanted!
One quiet afternoon as I was doing my rounds of the area calling for the ginger and white tom I found him sleeping in his front garden. Placing a bowl of food near, I retreated to a distance where he did not feel threatened, watched him finish it off in seconds and then dash down an alley way. Puss Puss had lost a lot of weight and was obviously stressed and frightened but the only way to approach him was ‘slowly, slowly catchy monkey’ so for the next few days I visited the same spot morning and evening with food and fresh water, sometimes he was there waiting and sometimes he was nowhere to be seen. Julie brought a supply of his favourite food and set about ringing around animal shelters to re-home him. She had two dogs at home so living with her was out of the question and though it would be more traumatic for him to leave his domain, he was a well known bully and I could not see him integrating with our own dear Harry cat so a new home was the way forward once we could catch him.