Drummer - A Homeless Cat

When the words "stray cat" are said, some people still imagine a cat taking advantage of a free life, traveling from home to home and being fed by kindly strangers until he moves on again making his happy bed under the stars. This is of course utter nonsense, the stuff of old fashioned books and movies, from a time when it was accepted practice to repeatedly drown kittens in a buckets of water.

A stray cat is a cat that has had a home, but for one reason or another finds himself homeless. Sometimes an owner passes away and the cat is turned out, changes in the home meaning that the cat is no longer wanted, people move away leaving their cat behind, or cats are turned out for displaying normal behaviour due to irresponsible owners neglecting to have them neutered, the list goes on but what is certainly true is the hardship and hunger these cats experience when they are homeless. They are faced with having to feed themselves, stay warm and dry, when they are sick nobody helps and they live in a cycle of hunger, fear and exhaustion.

It still surprises us when we discover that cats can be known to be homeless for years before somebody does something to help.

Drummer was a homeless cat.

We was brought to our attention by a nice lady who was rightfully worried about him. When he came into our care he had had a terrible injury to his shoulder, his little front teeth were missing (indicating an injury of some kind as these are normally the last teeth a cat loses), he was painfully thin to the point where his head seemed too big for his body, greasy and dirty and utterly exhausted. He was also unneutered which will have made him more of a target for other unneutered males, battling for survival in the same way.

This poor boy is so friendly and craves a kind touch, a warm cuddle and soft words. He spends a lot of his time sleeping because he is repairing from the ravages of the homeless life he has lived. The regular food he is having means he is slowly beginning to put on weight and his coat condition will improve.

Homeless cats are also a target for cruelty, something we see far too often.

Right now, Drummer looks around 10 to 12 years of age but our vets have said he is no more than 5 years old. This is what being homeless has done. This will change as he gains weight and condition but it shows the tough time he has had.

Without human care, cats live very short lives - not much more than 5 years (provided they are not killed by predators, humans or traffic) a huge difference to the average 16 years we have come to expect. When you then realise that those short years are spent in fear, exhaustion and hunger.... it's not much of a life.

We are so happy to have Drummer with us. Only yesterday he was relaxing on one of the cat towers, with his eyes half closed enjoying the sun and the breeze on his fur after having eaten a good meal. These precious moments all go towards his healing process and it touches our hearts to see it.

Drummer is a delight to look after, a darling boy patiently waiting for a safe and loving home to call his own.  We hope he finds his dream home soon so that he can enjoy the love and comfort of a real home and be a special part of the lives of thosewho offer him the home he needs.

Drummer sadly won't be the last homeless cat we bring into our care and he is far from the first.

Please, if you see a cat hanging around, being fed sometimes by neighbours or shooe'd away by others, don't assume he must belong to someone and turn away. Be kind to him, let us or your local rescue centre know because if he is somebody's cat, his microchip and/or appeals from his owners will allow them to be reunited, and if not, then he will have the chance of survival and loving new home.

Like the lady who brought Drummer to us, it could just be the one act that saves a stray cat's life.