If truth be told, 'accidental rescues' have been the base line of our forage into an unintentional zone, where perhaps,. like the song goes..'.Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.'
I was hearing about Tinkerbell long before I met her. Veronica. a friend we had crossed paths with in rescue, was a teacher at a school where the, at that time, unnamed mother cat had been discovered hiding out with her four kittens under the stage area. Tinkerbell was a small grey tabby having problems controlling her kids. Being a first time mum with a lack of experience in these matters, it was ultimately the kids that exposed her hiding space by running, jumping and exploring.
And mum was hungry so the provision of food she did not have to catch was an extra bonus that she traded her former security for. Like all such trades there is most often a trade off. Or to put it more bluntly a compromise. 'an offer she couldn't refuse.' The, as yet unnamed Tinkerbell would also seem to have been deserted by her partner, he of the opportunistic tom cat species was likely having difficulty keeping up with his many wives. Not to mention offspring.
Attempts were immediately underway to entice her kittens into captivity. Tinkerbell was having none of it. She stood her ground and tried to block their escape causing quite a degree of frustration.
When only one kitten was left plus mum, a stalemate ensued and that's when we offered to bring our trap and catch number four. Like all plans made in ignorance, we caught mum instead and there was no way she was being released. She came home with us to wait on a vet appointment.
Meanwhile number four kitten remained at large. One of our members sorted that out by crawling under the deck and catching the last little lone kitty some days later.
The plan was that Tinkerbell would be desexed, vaccinated and returned to live at said school but the first of several complications arose when we had to wait a few days for Tink to get her appointment. After that the situation at the school had changed, the stage was being demolished for rebuilding. It seemed the cards were stacked against Tinkerbell becoming a 'school cat.'
And of course the longer she stayed, the less likely she was to return.
Swiping and hissing were the main parts of her vocabulary. It seemed that she had even picked up a few swear words from her school days and she was keen to use them on me.
Tink, it appeared, was stuck in a plateau. Neither could she move forward nor go back to reclaim her past.
I would often talk to Tinkerbell in the same way I talked to other newcomers while replenishing food and water, cleaning litter, fixing bedding. I remember this day that I sat next to her crate and spoke of how difficult it must have been for her to raise those four kittens on her own and protect them. I talked on for a while, visualising and empathising, a lone young mother cat, so helpless against the world she found herself in. Something in my tone of voice seemed to resonate with her and from that day on she slowly changed.
The advent at a later date of another rescue named Faith began to complicate things. Faith came in with a few days left to live but confounded all and sundry by living for another three years and not least by showing her self as an Alpha Cat. Tinkerbell was fair game and some of the screaming matches we had to intervene forced lock up time share on both of them. Finally we moved Tink to an outside enclosure. losing-faith.html
A chance inquiry from a mid city professional couple wanting to foster a cat with a, view to adoption saw Tinkerbell move into a small apartment for some months. The situation failed however due to Tinkerbell's anxiety on their frequent absences and we brought her back home.
For a time Tink settled in to the downstairs cat run, preferring to be on her own .Later she stopped eating, so, fearing she was sick we brought her upstairs. Once in the land of the living, Tink decided to eat and to stay. Gradually she made inroads to our lounge room and chairs and for a while alternated between us. Tinkerbell is the funniest little cat, she will look in to our faces with her head on one side and meow her little gummy meow which always makes me laugh. Tink has no teeth, they were all removed due to dental disease. Her favourite food? dental biscuits!
Often these days she claims the back of my lounge where she gives me loving head bumps and smooches.
If the right person came along and wanted to meet this beautiful girl, I would consider an adoption again. Tinkerbell needs a home body as a companion. She needs a person with patience, continuity, companionship and affection. Something we could all do with I would say.