We have three Siamese cats who keep me more than occupied so as you can imagine I was not terribly pleased this morning to open the door to the studio (which is also our utility room) to get out a load of washing and find a small rather bedraggled black cat sitting there. I persuaded it to go into the yard but it does not want to leave this establishment. It obviously knows a good home when it sees one. I have been round the neighbourhood but no-one can identify it. My husband took its photo and made a poster which we have put up in the village shop and on the lamp post outside the house with some more copies to go up on other lamp posts tomorrow. Then I spent some time talking to various charities (why do these things always happen at the weekend?) but I am afraid that in the end we gave in and fed it. It is obviously someone's loved pet - has a flea collar with a bell but no name tag and keeps trying to come into the house. No way! I reckon it has been on the road for a few days as it is showing signs of stress and we all know cats can travel a long way if they have a mind to.
It is absolutely freezing here so I think we will have to let it into the studio again for the night. This afternoon I found evidence that it had been shut in there all night and I have had to move a few things back into the house in case it 'attacks' them. Fortunately most of the fabric lives in the house but our three cats are going demented at the smell of another one on the things I have brought back in. I was also worried about chemicals etc. but I don't really have anything that it could drink or eat so I think it is safe. There is nowhere else it can go. Not to mention fleas as it is scratching madly. Our are protected by Stronghold so we will just have to cross our fingers.
The visitor has spent the afternoon in the yard in an upturned cardboard box lined with an old pullover and my husband's cast off wheat bag which he has heated up twice for it. It doesn't realise what a five star hotel awaits it: cat litter tray no problem because I keep lots for dyeing, igloo cat bed that our two girls have grown out of, more food. We have agreed we will have to foster it - I just hope for only a couple of days although apparently the cat shelters in these parts are rather full at the moment. A friend has suggested we see if it is micro-chipped. Many years ago we lost our first Siamese for six weeks and as someone looked after him and we ultimately got him back I feel we owe it to the cat world to repay this debt! Our cat took a ride in the engine of a car and being London, it was virtually impossible to find out what had happened to him.
More news in a couple of days.