He is a 15 year old cat that started off life as a stray cat. He was taken in by a man called Brian. Brian took him in and has loved him ever since. Brian loved Laddie a lot. He would feed Laddie steak and he would eat lentils. When he would bring Laddie in to our vet clinic, he would chew your ear off about how much this cat meant to him, how the cat was ‘his best mate’.
Brian died a few days ago and his niece brought Laddie in to us. She said that Brian had told her that if anything happened to him, that we would do right by him and Laddie. Which of course tore at our heart strings. The niece was unfortunately unable to take Laddie back home with her and asked us to get Laddie fixed up and as ready for adoption as he could be, as she was going to have to surrender him to an animal shelter.
Whilst the animal shelter promised that they wouldn’t put Laddie to sleep, I don’t think they could 100% give their word. It is a reality that Laddie isn’t the most rehomeable cat and it’s a sad fact of life that the space that they would give to Laddie could be given to at least two kittens who would be easily rehomed. (Sidenote, please be responsible pet owners!!)
My boss tentatively asked if we wanted to keep him as a ‘clinic cat’. It’s quite common practice for vet clinics to have a cat or two that just roams around. I have been at my job for three years and pretty much those entire three years have been spent campaigning to have a clinic cat. I nearly hugged my boss when he asked us that question!
Internet, this is Laddie.
He has lost one eye due to illness. The other eye is very big and shows his fear. He is very skinny. He purrs when I stroke him but I can’t tell if it’s because he likes my touch or whether he is purring due to stress. When you pat him, huge flakes of dry skin come to the surface of his coat, which is lank. He is a very old man. He walks with stiff back legs due to arthritis. Realistically, he only has a year or two to go.
And I want those last years to be so happy and filled with love. Even though since working with animals, I have become jaded with the whole ‘animals know what we’re saying’ schtick- yesterday Laddie and I had a moment. When I picked him up to give him a cuddle (which he sits through patiently), he fixed me with a stare with that one eye and he licked my nose. I like to think he understands..