In the middle of April 1999, a beautiful, intelligent & desperate cat succeeded in getting into my backyard, & from there into the front, where the guinea-pigs were protected by the mattress-spring fence. It had to leap a 1.8 metre high fence to do so, but was assisted by the fact that the rails were on the backyard side.
It must have been lost or abandoned for some time, its flea-collar was almost strangling it, & it was starving.
Not surprisingly, it attacked my guinea-pigs, & while Polly, the one quickest to take cover, got away, both Mrs. Spice & Maxine were injured before they escaped into their 'dug-outs'.
Mrs. Spice appeared to recover quite quickly, but I found her dead on 11th.May.
Maxine was obviously suffering after the attack, & I took her inside & nursed her for several weeks, before she also succumbed. Polly had been brought inside for company after Mrs. Spice died, & Maxine seemed to be recovering, but she died suddenly in the afternoon of 27th. May, cuddled up against Polly.
Polly is now living inside. She does not seem to mind being alone as long as I am there. I leave the radio on for her on the rare occasions when I go out. She is now an ageing spinster, so a little too set in her ways to become a true companion animal, but we rub along pretty well.
Update - In September 1999, Polly went free again at last, perhaps to be with her long-time companions once more.
Now, I have a special request. If you are a cat-owner, or contemplating becoming one, PLEASE print & read the following pages on Responsible Cat Ownership thoroughly. We in Australia have a particular problem with feral & roaming domestic cats, because Australian wildlife had no feline predators until white settlement. Now we are at last starting to take responsibility as a society for the damage our pets can cause. But the management information contained here, if followed, would save many beautiful birds & small animals in other countries, as well as resulting in happier, healthier pets.
It was NOT the fault of the cat that he killed two loved & defenceless guinea-pigs. He was only doing what his cat nature & instinct for survival drove him to do.
It was the fault of whoever failed to care for him, & to see that he was not able to commit such dreadful acts.
He is now being lovingly & responsibly cared for in a new home.
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THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
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