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Well it's time to hear more from our resident cat lady, here is more highly entertaining news and stories about the cats!

Cats in Spain Chapter 4

And then there was George, George was the single most amazing cat ever – unless of course you know differently.

George was found in a local dustbin, by the bin men who bravely took him out rather than see him hurt or worse. They were spotted by a friend's husband who seeing the damage George had wrought on the bin men bravely went and got his wife ! She is incredible and with the aid of some strong gloves & a determined nature managed to get him into a cat basket & then phoned me,

I prepared my safe area (a bathroom that is easily emptied of dangerous items and filled with bowls and trays) and round came George. I heard him long before I saw him ! He was about 3 months old and as wild as a box of frogs, very scared and very angry. We gently put him in the bathroom with food & water, bathed friends wounds and left him to settle

George yelled for a solid 36 hours and the bathroom is next to my bedroom – I say no more.

I visited the room regularly over that time and each time George hid, spat, growled, yelled and lashed out at the nearest object with outstretched claws. Each time I went in I made myself as small as possible – ie went in on my hands & knees and made sure I didn't make any claw shapes with my hands – I always took a treat and always got the same response, so off to the internet I went and simply put in “Feral kittens”. There is a enormous amount of sensible help & advice on the net & I followed the lot!

Slowly, very slowly over the next few days George started to calm, he still hid, spat & hissed and I only had a vague idea what he looked like – sometimes only his head was hidden, I'm not sure if he knew. I sat on the floor and talked to myself for his amusement and after about a week took the radio in as I had run out of things to say to me. I left the radio in when I wasn't there to get him used to human voice and after about another week George stopped hiding but still kept his distance and maintained the hissing & spitting. I could, however, hear him playing with his toys when I wasn't there – result!

Eventually I found sitting on a cold floor and playing with cat toys by myself a little less than rewarding so I took my knitting in. A breakthrough, George like any cat that has ever been born couldn't resist & started to play with the end of a knitting needle, this had taken 3 weeks and was unbelievably rewarding. Slowly, very slowly we had started to make contact. He still wouldn't touch me or be touched but would follow the needle even when that meant climbing on me

The bathroom has a corridor outside between two bedrooms and this had fairly quickly become George's safe (as it has doors at either end and into the main living room) extended playground, one door had glass panes so I could observe him without intruding on his progress,

George & I began to play ball and scrunched up newspaper games along here, it was also a more comfortable place to sit as it has rugs, so comfortable that in fact one day while 'resting my eyes' I fell asleep, when I awoke Gorge was asleep on me and allowed himself to be stroked – I could have wept

George's play areas extended one by one into the bedrooms which are infinitely more comfortable and soon allowed himself to be picked up and stroked & even came running when I came into his world – probably to see what the treat was and we often had an afternoon sleep together, then began the integration with my other cats, slowly very slowly and one at a time they were formally introduced and with a great deal of patience and hissing & spitting he became part of the family – I couldn't believe how long it had taken, how traumatic it was for the kitten or how much I had learnt

He also turned into the most affectionate cat and the most accepting of all the other foster and adopted cats and kittens that followed him. He took on a big brother role and taught them the strange ways of the humans and how to deal with them & come out on top each & every time, he scrutinised all visitors from a place of safety and eventually allowed them in under his terms of course, he apprenticed himself to my builder in a supervisory capacity and generally won the hearts of all – well done George

And he was called George after the Joyce Grenfell sketch where she repeatedly has to say “George – don't do that”!

george and mia
George and Mia

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