Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Meeting Poppy - My Animal Rescue Story

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

While I'm still working up to blogging about a lot of the things that went wrong in 2017 (and I believe I do need to pour it out at some point - sometimes venting is good for the soul), one of the defining events of last year was losing both of my beloved rescue ferrets - first Jasper, then Pedro - one by one to cancer. If that wasn't heart-breaking enough, in the same week as losing Pedro, my Dad was taken into hospital with what turned out to be a cerebral lymphoma that would eventually take him from us at Christmas. 

I was pretty much prepared for the loss of my ferrets, but Pedro's death in late November was more sudden than I'd anticipated. He was doing great, despite insulinoma, right up until the moment he wasn't. I'd always said I wouldn't be having any more pets for the foreseeable after the ferrets, but my Dad's illness changed things. I just wasn't coping living alone, and I had no bundle of fluff to come and make me laugh and shower me with love when I was feeling down. My routine was firmly centred around looking after Pedro, and now I had nobody else to focus on.

Then, the day after my Dad's 'Leaving Drinks' (we don't do funerals in our family), this little tortie face popped up in my Facebook feed...

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...
Image Credit - Dan Mart Photography
My local animal rescue organisation here in Derbyshire, Ashbourne Animal Welfare (The Ark), posted an adoption appeal on their Facebook page for some of their senior cats. I'm the sort of person that doesn't discriminate when it comes to animals - I don't prefer kittens/puppies, and my favourite breed is 'rescued'. I also seem to gravitate towards the shy ones, and the ones who are a little rough around the edges. I'm not afraid of a little work, or of a medication schedule - I've been there and got the t-shirt. The reward is seeing them happy!

There were so many beautiful kitties included in that Facebook post, but these nervous little eyes just caught my attention. I learned on The Ark's website that 9-year-old Poppy's elderly owner had passed away in October 2017, and I just knew I wanted to meet her! She sounded like she needed the same thing as I did.

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

You know how the saying goes. You don't choose them, they choose you. When I phoned The Ark to ask about booking an appointment to visit Poppy, and the other cats in their cattery, in the back of my mind I knew I couldn't choose a cat just from a photo... or could I? I looked at so many cats that day in February, and I kept finding myself back at Poppy's pen. She'd come right out to greet me for scratches when I first approached, and she had the identical blanket to the one I'd had Pedro cremated with. It kind of felt like a spooky sign that I'd chosen right first time so, of course, it had to be her. She'd confirmed it!

Although, honestly, the thought crossed my mind to scoop up as many as I could carry and run for the door (no, not really... okay, yes, really)

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

It turned out I could have taken Poppy home with me that very same day! However, we hadn't brought a cat basket with us, and I needed to stock up on supplies before bringing her home, so we agreed to go back the following day for her. After making my donation, which was over and above what they asked for because The Ark do such an amazing job, and rely solely on volunteers and donations, I scooped Poppy into her carrier and we drove back home to Matlock.

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

Poppy has seriously amazed me. She's gone from being the nervous little soul in that first photo to being a playful, brave, and loving kitty. It took her a week to fully explore the apartment and gain her confidence, but all she does now is purr and play. She's still very nervous of people coming in and out of the front door, and will hide under the bed for a while before coming out to introduce herself.

My little girl is 9 years old, and also has a mild heart murmur that is being monitored, but she acts like a cat less than half her age. I've never known a cat go so bonkers over toys, and she has the most hilarious post-poop crazy-hour every day (usually in the middle of the night). She has also developed an attachment to Pedro's favourite ducky-bear stuffie. She goes mad for it, which surprised me because there's no catnip in it, and I'd never heard of a cat loving cuddly toys before. 

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

I'd thoroughly recommend adopting a senior cat. Poppy is perfectly litter trained, and is so polite with her food. Sure, she can be a little grotbag sometimes, but she adores a fuss and will roll around on the bed for hours for tummy scratches. They have so much love to give, even the broken ones. I don't know what Poppy's life was like before she came to The Ark, but she's certainly loving life now. There's something really magical about watching an animal coming out of its shell and revealing their personality. I think her owner would be happy that she's found a new forever home.

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

Most people will tell you that I'm not, generally, a cat person, but I've always had cats growing up, and I'm not ready for a dog just yet (as much as it pains me to admit it). I wouldn't change Poppy for the world though. This fluffy little weirdo is definitely in my tribe! I am so grateful to the amazing staff at Ashbourne Animal Welfare for all the work they do, and for letting me take this little beauty home with me. Think it's safe to say she won't be coming back!

I wasn't planning on adopting a cat this year, but sometimes life takes you in different directions just when you need it. Here's how I came to meet my purrfect Poppy cat...

If you are considering adding a cat or dog to your family, I'd urge you to consider adoption over buying from a breeder. So many wonderful pets (particularly older pets) are going unnoticed in shelters all over the UK, most through no fault of their own. Many, like Poppy, have been the unfortunate victims of circumstance, some have been rescued from homelessness, and some may have been victims of neglect. They all deserve nothing but love! 

If you're in the Derbyshire area (or even further afield) I'd wholeheartedly recommend Ashbourne Animal Welfare. 

To browse all the cats and dogs currently available for adoption, or to make a donation, visit their website, www.ashbourneanimalwelfare.org

Or you can keep up with all of The Ark's residents via their Facebook Page.

Do you have an animal rescue story to share? How did you find your own furry family members?



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2 comments

  1. This is such a lovely story. Im. So pleased you found each other x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Jen. I think crossed paths at the right time for both of us x

    ReplyDelete

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