Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bonne Chance: and the Day Late Christmas Miracle

Long time readers will remember that Bonne Chance first arrived on my patch last January. He was completely feral, and I could not bring myself to take him into the local animal pound as they would have immediately euthanized him. Who was I to decide who should live or die? It certainly wasn't his fault that he was living rough.

With time he began to trust me. Sadly, no matter how well we got on, my two housecats could find no room in their hearts to share me. Bonne Chance would have to remain an outdoor cat until he was socialized enough to have a chance at being re-homed.

But he kept getting sick. And on tuesday the 22nd, his condition suggested that even if he could pull through, that there was likely an infectious element. I had no choice but to try to bring him in to the professionals.

Once at the shelter, disaster. Inside, the office staff was being rude to me, while outside, a man assigned to do a preliminary check on Bonne Chance made what was later described as " honest mistake...".

He opened the cat carrier, while he was still outside.

Bonne Chance did what any self respecting cat would do. He took off like a shot, and disappeared into the distance. I had brought him to his doom.

Yes, I did give the staff a big serve. And then I walked the grounds searching for him, before returning to the office to have another go. I was devastated. The point of this whole - nearly a year long - exercise was to HELP him, not make things exponentially WORSE.

I tried to come to terms with it, tried to convince myself it wasn't really my fault. But it was. It just was. He would have been far better off dying a long slow death in his own territory, than essentially dumped in the unknown.

I went back each day and called and searched. I prayed to "If There Are Any Cat Gods Out There", I cried and then went back and looked again. When they were closed I stood at the gates and called. I could not assuage my guilt.

Its seven and a half kilometers from here to the pound, and nearly all of that is over major roads, a rail line and industrial estates. I hoped he would just show up back here at home, but I didn't fancy my chances much.

But today he did! He just walked up the path like any other day, until he saw me in the window...then he meowed and ran the rest of the way. We are very happy to be reunited, and he appears to be none the worse for wear!

He is my cat now. Wonder if I will be able to get him in a box again for his vet appointment, (snip and chip, LOL!)