Could you re-home a cat in Croydon?

By - Thursday 18th January, 2018

Croydon Cats Protection offers homeless cats the hope of a happier future

Photo author’s own.

Bumble is twelve years old. He lost an eye in a road accident. For a while he lived as a stray, but was taken in by a kindly new owner – who then died, leaving him homeless again. That’s when he was rescued by Croydon Cats Protection.

Every cat in the room at the charity’s re-homing day, on Saturday 13th January at St John’s church in Selsdon, had its own account of how it came to be there, written on a piece of card at the front of each container. One had been living in a cupboard in a block of flats and seemed to have been mistreated – as a result her behaviour was described as ‘skittish’. One had been abandoned on the doorstep of a CCP volunteer. Another was taken to the vet to be put down at the age of two after being diagnosed with a long-term but non-life-threatening illness. The vet refused to do it. The owner then left without the cat.

But this is where the sadness ends and cast-adrift cats get a second chance. In the words of the charity’s website: “we hire a hall, the foster mums bring along their foster cats, you the public choose a cat to adopt and subject to a home visit (which can be the same day) can then take home your new cat! Tea, coffee and friendly chat available!”.

Older cats need patience and understanding

The event was popular, with twenty-one people in a queue outside before the doors were even opened, and very well-organised. Everyone’s details were taken in advance as we stood in line and volunteers were on hand to talk to those interested in cat fostering. All the cats present were currently in foster care: CCP covers costs for volunteers who then bring their charges along to regular events where new families can meet them. Fosterers can work for many years – the one I spoke to for more than twenty. She takes in homeless cats, sometimes for just a week or so, sometimes for months until new families can be found, and described her role as “immensely rewarding”. In 2016, 450 cats were rehomed by CCP. The figure for 2017 (last updated at the end of November) was 425.

Care is taken to check the suitability of all would-be adopters. CCP’s online adoption form is detailed, ascertaining previous experience and the kind of environment on offer. A home visit is always required. Older animals may have health issues, or need patience and understanding from people with a sense of cats to help them settle into a new environment.

Senior cats and those with problems can also be ‘sponsored’, meaning that the CCP will meet the costs of their additional care (though not basic pet-owning charges such as flea treatments and regular health check-ups). Those on benefits or low incomes can get help in the form of vouchers to pay for the neutering of a cat. The charity also helps owners who have lost their cats and holds regular fundraising events.

I hope that Lucy is at home with her new family right now

This was clearly a feline-focused crowd. Everyone was quiet, aware that sitting in cages surrounded by strangers could be stressful for the cats. Many of them were still affectionate, though, nuzzling up to any hands prepared to stroke them. I watched a new family making friends with Lucy, the ‘skittish’ cat who’d been living in a cupboard. They seemed very smitten and were planning to adopt that day. I hope that she’s at home with them right now.

My household has agreed that next time around we’ll re-home a cat that’s older, has perhaps had a difficult time and needs peace and stability. If you love cats and want to help make them happy, visit the CCP’s website or ring 020 8763 0072.

CCP’s next re-homing show takes place on Saturday 10th March at St John’s church hall in Dale Road, Purley.

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Writer and editor. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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  • Anne Giles

    What a lovely article. I really miss not having cats, but Steve won’t have them now. We are waiting for the right rescue dog. At one time we had a dog and two cats, but they all died and the next dog didn’t like cats.