So, who’s Clive and how come he’s moved in, huh? Well, truth is Son and I had a madly impulsive moment on the way home from the garden centre where I’d been shipped for coffee and cake; apparently I needed to get out of the house. On the other side of the dual carriageway is Teckels Animal Sanctuary where Daughter has helped out over the years. As we sped homewards, I had one of my moments and excitedly shouted, “Let’s go to Teckels to see who they have for rehoming”. Handbrake turn ensued, the Peugeot 106 (named ‘Ronnie’, apparently but know not why), swung through the turning space between carriageways and there we were, parked and ready to rescue.
Alfred, our Working Cocker Spaniel, has been lonely since his Mum passed to the Heavenly spheres and then his other two mates, our Persian cats Ruff and Bertie, followed in quick succession. He’s been ‘home alone’ in the animal sense since 2nd January this year and we keep saying we’d find him a friend.
Back to Teckels. The rescue kennels were full with resident Staffies which looked ferocious but had wagging tails as they barked displaying wonderful nashers. Nope, sadly not for me or my canine lad who was described by the vet as “one of our wossier clients”, i.e. a big girl’s blouse! But that’s why we love him – gentle, loving and affectionate Alf. A Staffie, however well-meaning would send him into a tailspin, probably literally. Actually, Daughter informs me that many Staffies in rescue centres are considered too gentle by their aggressive and macho owners and so dumped. Even so, no thanks. My ‘hello’ was met by a serious display of teeth, enough said.
Moving swiftly on, we went to the cat re-homing quarters. What does one call a pile of kittens – a ‘fluff’ maybe? Mum was ginger and white with five 8-week old bundles of playful mischief. Several elderly feline ladies stared out from their beds, awaiting adoption after 10, 14 and 16 years in the same home. Sad. Two 10-year old sisters both had heart murmurs and needed to stay together. Then there was Clive. Delighted to see us, a ‘Stray from Stroud’ and ‘Vocal Escape Artist’ was written on his door. Just loved the name and his excitement when we went into his pen. Son fell in love with a fluff ball which kept following him, I was drawn to Clive because he’s only a year old and the kittens will definitely be found loving homes. We both liked Clive. He’s longish coat’s a very dark chocolate colour and he has big yellowish/green eyes. Something to think about. He’s down as a stray but there’s some doubt as an old lady brought him to the sanctuary carrying him in her arms which we’re told is unusual. He’s certainly well fed and well loved but wasn’t microchipped and certainly enjoyed a comb. I prefer to think she just couldn’t care for him properly anymore and that we can take that worry from her.
On Saturday, The Family Swift returned to see Clive and everyone loved him. Poor cat, he’s shaved from throat, along undercarriage and down back legs and bears a striking likeness to an oven-ready turkey from the rear elevation. Vet said he’d had to take to him with the animal version of a strimmer because his coat was matted. We decided to give him a chance but would he like Alf? There’s no way of knowing if Clive’s ever been terrorised by a dog or even seen one before, for that matter. We left with a promise to return the next morning to collect him for his trial at Chez Nous. Of course, we just had to go to Pets At Home and stock up with cat stuff.
After 48-hours Alf and Clive are slowly acclimatising. Clive must stop the growling or it’ll be back to barracks for him. But he’s such an affectionate little lad, if a little dog-averse at the moment. We’re having to keep him in for two weeks so he realises he lives with us now. Given his acknowledged eye for the open road, will he just head for pastures new when the door finally opens allowing him to roam the green open spaces never to return? Perhaps we should put him on a lead for his first few garden visits? Watch this space.
Here’s hoping a new four-legged friendship has been forged. Perhaps we’ll just have to get a puppy as well . . .