Phipps' owners came forward on Friday, and so he was returned to his rightful home. We know we did the right thing (and the owners themselves were very, very grateful), and since we took him in we knew it was a possibility that his owners would be found, but it was still really heart wrenching to say goodbye. A few tears were shed (after the owners and he had been dispatched with smiles and waves) and P and I got straight on line Friday night to get numbers for our local cat rescue places in an effort to adopt a "cat of our very own that no one can ever take away".
So Saturday morning I made some tea and got on the phone. I rang several cat protection places in our area, whose websites were begging for kind owners for their rescued cats. And I have to say, in all honesty, I have never spoken to such a bunch of sanctimonious, patronising women in all my life. I realise they have the best interests of the cats at heart but apparently no one in the world other than them have ever owned or perhaps even seen a cat before. No one wanted to help us.
Eventually I got through to our local branch of the RSPCA and spoke to the first useful person I'd spoken to that day. He direct us to the Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham, and advised as they were very busy it would probably be best to go and see them in person as they haven't always got time to answer the phone. So we did just that.
We were interviewed about our suitability as owners, and about our house. We explained were were after an indoor cat as we don't have a garden and our flat overlooks a pretty busy road. We then had a look at the cats needing rehoming picked one who was perfect for us in our situation. A very nice lady from the RSPCA came round the same evening to check that everything we'd said was true (and that we were who we said we were), gave us the green light and we picked up our cat yesterday.
His name is Boyz, but we thought that was a bit ghetto for a cat living in rural Frimley Green, so we've renamed him George (not terribly dissimilar in terms of how it sounds). He is 6 years old, gigantic (he's 10 inches from the back of his neck to the beginning of his tail), 5.5 Kg and VERY vocal. He's also very special, as he's only got three legs (he lost one to cancer a month ago). He's still finding his way around, but he's very affectionate (and demanding of cuddles every five minutes!). He is also a diabolical genius - whilst he can hop around and get up on the furniture perfectly well when it suits him, he is not adverse to lying pathetically on the floor mewling until someone picks him up and puts him where he cannot be bothered to go himself.
Our family now has 7 legs between us, and we're very happy about it. This is not a cat blog, although he will now feature from time to time (and there will be a photo when he's more settled). Back to knitting next time. Needless to say, as a thank you to the people at the RSPCA (and more importantly for the other cats) there will be some cat nip mice knitted and in the post.