A picture of a cute tabby cat, described as "old" and "hyperthyroid".
Wow, just like Gabriel I thought. The centre were struggling to find a home for him as few people want to take on an "elderly" cat or a sick cat.
I pointed Ollie out to David and jokingly said "The poor tabbycat, we should adopt him".
A few days later this turned into a less joking, "The poor tabbycat, we should adopt him". Much to my surprise David (being often my voice of reason) agreed.
This did not come entirely out of the blue, as we have often wondered whether Gabriel, having spent most of his life before coming to live with us with his brother and partner in crime Gomez (who went missing, presumed dead, before Gabriel came to us), might like some feline company. But similarly we didn't want to impose another cat on Gabriel if he was happy being an only cat (inter-species communication is difficult and I often wish it was easier).
We decided to go and visit Ollie the following Saturday if no-one had snapped him up before then. He hadn't been and so we visited the centre.
I think from the minute we visited the centre it was going to be hard not to take him home. It was heartbreaking. Each cat has a pen, about 2 metres square. Each is made as comfortable as the volunteers can, but even so "encarceration" is the phrase which came to mind. The kittens don't stay long before finding a home, but some of the cats had been there for a long while. Maisy for example has been there since January waiting for a home, because she is black cat and is overlooked in favour of more eyecatching cats. (Some one do us a favour and find that poor girl a home?)
We spent some time with Ollie and he was a sweetheart; very friendly, very affectionate, very chatty. The volunteers told us how he had been found with a collar on, but no microchip and no-one had reported him missing. They think that what happened, which is a common story, is that when he got a bit older and a bit ill, he was thrown out and probably replaced by a younger model. They guess-timate him as being 12 years old (which as Gabriel is 16 makes him nigh a kitten in our eyes) and he isn't actually hyperthyroid yet, his levels are just to the high end of normal.
We wanted to take him away then and there, it was hard to leave him and walk away. We agreed that if we passed an adoption check he would be ours - or rather that we would foster him with the aim of adopting him if he and Gabriel could get on with each other.
We had the house check on Saturday and went to bring him home the following day. We had made the bathroom as comfortable as possible as until he and Gabriel have been socialised with each other he will be spending half of his time in there.
Its too early to say how he and Gabriel will get on, but Ollie seems very happy to be in a house. He spent sometime out with us last night and was happy to hang out with David on the sofa. He is very conversational and is always happy to chat! He had some very strong opinions when he watched us do our yoga this morning! So far he and Gabriel have eaten either side of a door without hissing, but there will be at least a week of divided living before we can think about a face to face introduction. I'd love it if they bonded and were friends, but I will settle for them tolerating each other.
So keep your fingers crossed for us, especially for Ollie that we can be his forever home.