Sunday 14th June: The story of Cat

After letting the dogs out in the morning I like to check on my plants, the few that have survived being trampled on and chewed by the puppies, or have withstood the summer storms and typhoons that wreak havoc every year.  Being so close to the sea is wonderful, but it also means the house is right in the path of the wind, whichever direction it comes from.  Last year’s big typhoon was devastating, as not only were mature trees snapped in half or uprooted, but the spray from the sea soaked the entire garden in salt water and many plants died as a result.  The ones that survived are in full summer growing mode, and I get a sense of satisfaction and pleasure seeing the new sprouts and leaves appearing. 

 As I’m standing there I hear a miaow and see Cat jump from a large overhanging tree onto the porch roof of the house next door.  Cat appeared from nowhere a couple of years ago and is now a resident, strange as it may seem.  Her story is a sad but lovely one, and I never tire of watching her whenever she is out and about. 

A young Sammy

A young Sammy

 Two dogs that I brought back to Lamma in the very early days were brother, Sammy, and sister, Samantha.  They were very timid puppies, and one way or another they ended up living on the porch roof and a small section of upper garden, while the other dogs had the house and ground level garden.  When I took on a third house with a large area of surrounding land  to accommodate the overflow of dogs, I thought it would be nice for Sammy and Samantha to have more space to run around in rather than being confined to their small roof area.  It was hard to catch them as they remained very shy of humans, but eventually they were moved to a small compound within the grounds of the new house, where they were immediately subject to threats from the other resident dogs, one in particular who took an immediate dislike to Sammy..  I had hoped that everything would settle as the dogs got to know each other, but within days an attack on Sammy proved to be fatal with just one bite severing an artery.  Sammy died just as he reached the vet, and Samantha was immediately moved back to the safety of the porch roof, while I was left feeling immense guilt and sorrow over both Sammy’s death and Samantha’s loss of her only companion.  Over the following couple of weeks I watched Samantha, wondering what I could do for her and whether it would be possible to find her a new friend to share her life.  Then out of the blue came Cat.  From where I have no idea, but from the day she appeared Samantha and Cat have shared the roof, snuggling up together to sleep, or lying side by side in the sun.  I’m still amazed that any cat would choose to make a house full of dogs her home, but I like to think the spirit of Sammy played a large part in that.

 Apart from the weekly Whiskers’n’Paws puppy afternoon we also have a side event happening in Wanchai, a combined LAP/HKDR homing day.  The problem is always finding enough volunteers – any volunteers – who can help out, as we need our regulars at the kennels and I always appreciate having an extra pair of hands, especially someone who can speak Cantonese.  In the end we have two volunteers who can help out for some of the day, and a handful of dogs are sent off from the kennels to try their luck.  We already know that someone will be coming for the lovely schnauzer girls, Gloria and Trilby, and if nothing else that makes the day worthwhile.  We’ve been waiting a long time for a home for these two together, and it’s finally paid off.

Liza, saved at the last minute

Liza, saved at the last minute

 Liza, the dog who was literally on the brink of being put to sleep, is also adopted.  The response to the pleas that have gone out via email, Facebook and word of mouth has been tremendous, and I’m thankful for the hand of fate that led to Kirsten being at the vet clinic just in the nick of time.

 There’s a call from another clinic asking for a blood donor for a dog that is in urgent need of a transfusion.  I have to

Ryan as a puppy, now big enough to be a blood donor

Ryan as a puppy, now big enough to be a blood donor

send my Whiskers’n’Paws helper to the kennels to pick up a large dog, and today is Ryan’s not so lucky day as he is the one chosen.  I hope that his blood can save another dog’s life.

 It’s a busy afternoon at Whiskers’n’Paws, but with summer coming up there’s the inevitable “after the holidays” promise of adoption.  Only pretty little Biba, a fluffy black and white speckled pup, is actually taken home.  I’m making plans to move some of the

Pretty Biba

Pretty Biba

Lamma puppies to kennels as the oldest group are getting too big, but the question of space, lack of it that is, is always the overriding issue.  The puppies are used to having a garden to run around in and even if we had a spare kennel, which we don’t, I would hate to have to shut them in.  It’s an ongoing problem that I don’t have an answer to.

To help us save more dogs’ lives, click here to make a donation.


2 Responses to “Sunday 14th June: The story of Cat”

  1. isakelis Says:

    Maybe Cat is Sammy reincarnated. Best of luck to you for your good work. I, too, do rescue work, so I understand the demands. What effect does the blood donating have on an animal?

    • Sally Says:

      Blood donation is pretty much the same for a dog as a human. A long as it’s not done frequently, there are no ill effects. You just have to be sure that the donor dog is healthy with up to date heartworm prevention etc. Also, the bigger the dog the better, as they are less likely to notice losing a bag of blood.

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