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Monday 5 February 2018

Introducing the beautiful Sorrel.


Sorrel about a week after her adoption bravely out in the centre of the room.

Hello folks!

As promised I'd like to introduce you to the new love in my life.

Very sadly I lost, precious little Sid who was by then 20 years of age in December 2016 just before Christmas.

The last photo.  Sleeping peacefully but a poorly girl.

Obviously, I'd know it was on the cards but was still devastated at her loss and she was the last living link at home with Trev, she'd spent a lot of time with him, especially in his last few weeks.  We had discussed how we'd handle things when the time came some time before, so I always knew she would come home and be laid to rest in the garden.  We'd also talked about weather or not we would have another little soul when the time was right, and the decision was that yes we would.

I left it for about 6 weeks before I could even think about sharing my home again with another little cat...but had decided that I'd start looking.  In the UK cat rescue centres find it very difficult to home adult black cats, so I had decided that this was the way to go.  I started trawling the rescue sites, I'd ruled out kittens and elderly cats and knew I'd only be able to afford one lot of vet bills on my tight budget.  For weeks the only options that came up fell into the 'ruled out' categories, but the sweet face of Sorrel kept catching my attention.  She was listed with a fairly local Cats Protection League site so I got in touch and explained my circumstances and my interest in re-homing Sorrel. 

They told me that Sorrel had been in a pen/run at the rescue centre for a whole year without ANY interest shown in her. She, along with her brother had been abandoned by the 'owners' when they'd moved house and had been living under a hedgerow, they were only between 10 and 12 weeks old.  Her brother had been re-homed a few months earlier.  He had been housed with her but was very domineering and had not allowed Sorrel to eat properly despite the rescues best efforts and only weighed 3.2kg when I got her (around 7 pounds).  The rescue had had an influx of newborn kittens at the same time, so Sorrel hadn't lived in a home and wasn't used to all the sounds of normal domestic life.  They wanted her to be homed with no other cats and preferably no children and a single adult if possible.
So, on the first of February last year I took a very good friend with me for support to visit and hopefully bring the little soul home.  The moment I saw her it was love!  She ran over, and tempted by Dreamies cat treats, and was happy to get fusses and purred and rubbed around our legs.  Of course I understood that I'd need to work with her to acclimatise her to domestic life, and so she came home.
I'd already prepared litter trays, toys, food and bedding for her but even though I knew there'd be work involved, but even I didn't quite realise just what it would take.
She was truly amazing in the car on the way home, and settled down peacefully with hardly a murmur.
I brought her into the lounge, left her for a few minutes before opening the cat carrier door.  She fled out and not surprisingly hid behind the settee.  I made sure that I spoke to her gently and often, and over the next hour made sure she had nice warm bedding with her own blanket (brought home with her) and a litter tray along with a few treats.  When I had the TV or radio on I made sure that the volume was only just loud enough for me to hear it.  She was so terrified she didn't make a move for hours.  I decided that I would stay in the chair instead of going to bed that night.  I caught site of her peeping round the settee some hours later and didn't speak but tried to ignore her.  When she moved back to safety I put a few treats where she'd been brave enough to venture to, and sure enough an hour later they'd gone!  Over the next week she gradually got braver, and the photo at the head 
of the post was taken in one of her brave moments a week later.  I made sure that when I got eye contact with her I slow blinked my eyes, as cats do this to one another to say they're no threat.  I'd watched lots of US cat behaviourist Jackson Galaxy programmes, and knew that I needed to build her confidence.  The little 'red dot' toy is amazing for this as cats concentrate on chasing it so hard they forget their surroundings and find themselves out in the centre of the room.  They then realise it's safe to be there.  I got her a 'cat tree' as she'd have to stay in for around 6-8 weeks and I didn't want her to get bored.
Bird watching!

Gradually I built up her trust and she has become a very sweet companion.  Now weighing it at just over 4kgs. (10 pounds) she loves her life here!  She proved to be a hunter, which meant that the bird feeders in the garden are now over 10 feet off the ground!  Filling them can be a challenge, but the birds are a whole lot safer.

I keep her in at dusk until the next morning, and she spends most of the evening curled up on my lap.
Sometimes, as you can imagine I still have off days when missing Trev just becomes too much, and if she's around and I am upset she will make a bee-line for me - I'd like to think she knows I need that bit of support from her.

Sleepy time on my lap.

She is incredibly funny, and gets up to all sorts of antics which make me laugh.  She loves any company and is always happy to come and say hello.

I am so pleased we found each other, and I love her to bits!

Sorrel today.

Hope you have enjoyed meeting her.

Very best wishes.


Mary said...

Oh sweet Rose, how lovely to find you here today! Welcome back and please do keep posting, especially with such lovely stories as this one about beautiful Sorrel. What a lovely kitty she is - with such amazing markings (some calico perhaps?) on that smooth white coat. I was saddened when you had to say goodbye to Sid so soon after losing Trevor, and was hoping you would find a new cat to share your home with. How fortunate Sorrel is to have the 'perfect mum' to make her transition from the rescue shelter to a loving home and safe environment. Wow, you certainly knew what it would take to make her comfy and turn her life around for the better. It couldn't have been easy, much hard work and a lot of patience, but it's paid off and she looks so happy, content, well-fed and groomed - a true beauty.

Hope you are managing the winter weather in your area and that this year will be a good one for you dear.
Do keep in touch - perhaps stop by my blog (lots of bird stories lately - and a big trip coming up next month!) and please post yourself now and then - on the hedgehogs and now of course sweet Sorrel. I see she has a bell on - to warn the birds?

Sending hugs and love - Mary

Pattypan said...

Hi Rose,

I have kept tabs on you via Facebook, but it is lovely to see you back and Sorrell is gorgeous I am so pleased for the pair of you that she has at long last settled and you are both getting a mutual benefit. A win win situation. Sometimes things are just meant to be.

Take care sweetheart

Pattypan xxx

Snowbird said...

Ahhhh....what a beautiful read, you had me in tears. It just shows what a little love and patience can do, look at Sorrel, what a beautiful, lucky cat to have found you. Bless your gentle heart. Here's to years of happiness

Denise said...

Hi Rose,

So good to hear from you again!! It's also nice to meet Sorrel. :) She really is lovely, Rose, and so was your precious Sid. I'm impressed with how prepared you were to help Sorrel assimilate into her new home; that made it easier for both of you, I'm sure. I know you love her and she'll bring you so much comfort and pleasure through the years.

Take care of yourself, Rose, and have a lovely weekend.

Warm hugs,

Denise at Forest Manor

ann said...

Hello Rose. So very glad to read about Sorrel. The two of you were destined to be together. I had a black cat once, Othello. He was my college companion and it was strange to see how superstitious people were around him. He was my sweet boy, but that was a long long time ago. Today we have Mo, a feral kitten we rescued. I've lost track of his age--15? He's not very friendly, certainly not a lap cat. Sorrel will dry your tears when you are sad and lonely and greet you at the door when you com home. And you will spoil her with love. I am glad for you. Happy Valentine's, Rose.

Aril said...

Late to the party but congrats on your lovely new pussx

Rose H (UK) said...

Hi Aril, thank you. Hope you and yours are keeping well. Take care. xx