Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mouse's Story

If you read this post, you may have noticed that I mentioned our little cat, Mouse. Our ex-little-cat really as she sadly died a couple of years ago. But she was a bit of a one-off and I thought you might like to hear her story as I know you guys are lovers of all things cute!

She came into Matt's life about 10 years before we met. His friend's sister worked at the local veterinary practice and she had fallen in love with a cat at work that needed a home but she couldn't take her in because she lived with her parents and her Mum Said No. We've all been there.

The cat was only very young, about six months they thought. Her owners were farmers and had accidentally run her over in their truck. When they realised what they'd done, they checked their rear view mirror and saw she was still moving. Being tough, rural types they thought the best thing would be to put her out of her misery, so they reversed back over her. Unbelievable but true! Farmers have no use for a maimed cat and no interest in paying vet's bills I guess. Having got out of the truck and seen that she was STILL alive, they finally saw sense, picked her up and drove her to the vets. This is where they abandoned her, telling the nurses that they didn't want her back

Usually this would be the end of the line for a poor little farm cat but it must have been her lucky day. The vets, at their own cost, knocked her out and operated immediately, inserting more metal pins, screws and wires into her smashed back legs than was strictly sensible. She stayed there until she was able to move about on her own and then they delivered her to Matt, tiny, pathetic and wrapped in a blanket. He called her Mouse.

Having been through such an ordeal, she was obviously left with some after effects. She walked with a strange gait, her growth was stunted and she was unbearably skinny. She was the tiniest cat you'd ever seen, people mistook her for a kitten even years later. She weighed literally nothing. We used to joke that we had to keep her away from magnets incase she disappeared, thanks to all the metal holding her together. When you stroked her she was all angular and bony, with little metal knobbles. Like a little bag of bones and metal

She soon settled in with Matt and used to spend a lot of time either sleeping on the sofa or under the hedges outside. She may have been tiny but she was quite the hunter - easily tackling (and beating) woodpigeons and seeing off any other cats that dared to cross into her territory. She patrolled the boundary hedges, slept in the road, brought half dead animals into the kitchen to play with and slept on/in any clothes she could find. She could be absolutely ferocious - we used to dare each other to touch her tummy as it drove her absolutely wild and she would attack like a crazy thing! Sometimes she would come in and 'take to her bed' for a few days, appearing stiffer than usual and with scuffed claws - we assumed the result of fighting or near misses with cars. But she always used to bounce back

Once, she came home scruffy, black and staggering around like she was drunk. She'd fallen in a bucket of used engine oil that Matt had left outside the garage, hence her new colour and trying to clean it off had almost poisoned her. Matt rushed her to the vet, who pumped her full of drugs and sent them home with a block of lard to drag through her fur, to clear out the oil

A year or so after we met, we noticed that she'd started to be sick most days, and we took her to the vet. She was found to have a thyroid problem and she needed an operation to remove her thyroid. She wasn't insured so Matt forked out nearly £700 for her operation and we brought her home with a new diet of expensive, prescription food. Whilst she'd been at the vets she'd been really stressed (as you can imagine) and had started to 'self-harm' - licking a little patch of her shoulder until it was bleeding and raw. We treated this to no avail and went back to the vets again and again. In the end we took matters into our own hands and started making little suits for her out of Matt's socks! We cut off the toe and ankle part, cut little armholes into the underside and slid her in after applying cream to her sore shoulder, so that she couldn't lick off the cream. This went on for about six months, until it finally healed. We called the socks her 'Medical Suits' and everyone must have thought we were mad. The socks clung to her skinny frame and she looked frightful!

During this time, a lady came and knocked on our door one day asking if 'the little kitten in the jumper' was ours. I giggled and explained about her sore shoulder. The lady was unimpressed and disappeared. 'Odd', I thought. Mouse didn't come home that night. Or the next. Worried, we asked around and were told by the pub landlord that a lady had been asking about the 'skinny little kitten' and saying that she was 'clearly neglected and someone ought to do something'. He had told her where we lived, hence the visit.

It seemed obvious to me what had happened and I was furious. How dare she steal our cat and make presumptions about her health with NO IDEA what she'd been through? I made posters and stuck them on our gate, on the pub noticeboard and in the village shop window, stating that 'OUR CAT HAS BEEN STOLEN' and that she needed her medication otherwise her health was at risk. I went round the village that night in the dark, knocking on doors with a photo of Mouse but no one owned up to having seen her. Matt pointed out that without her special food she would soon be throwing up all over their house, they couldn't fail to see the posters so we ought to just sit tight and wait for them to bring her back. A nice man knocked on the door the following morning and tried to explain what had happened but I snatched her back and slammed the door in his face, fuming! God knows what (and how much) they'd been feeding her, she was sick for three days. They were new to the village, which is why they didn't know us/her (EVERYONE knew Mouse!) and they didn't get off to a very good start here

Just as we finally managed to get her shoulder to heal and she was able to resume life without clothes (!) the Awful Winter Of 2010 hit. I don't know how bad that winter was for you but here it was pretty terrible. If you didn't have a Land Rover you were in big trouble. Matt sold all of his stock in a day! It was minus 18 at one point and the snow was knee high. We brought Mouse inside and boarded up the cat flap so we could keep her warm inside. She started to be sick again, appeared drunk and spent nearly all her time asleep - we wracked our brains as to what could be wrong with her. She was still eating her special food - could she have eaten something dodgy before we brought her in? We decided she needed to go to the vets but sadly it was too late. She died in her little bed and I couldn't believe it. This little cat had been through so much and had so many near misses, we'd thought she was invincible. I rang Matt at work to tell him and he didn't believe me. 'She can't be dead - have you tried poking her belly??' He came home and we buried her in the garden, under a tree. It was pitch black, minus 15 and frozen solid that night but Matt dug through the snow and dug a hole with just a spade, I don't know how he did it. It was the first of of only two times I've ever seen him cry. We lit a candle to mark Mouse's final resting place and somehow it stayed lit for over a week

Mouse's Best Bits

* The time a lady came to the door crying, telling us she thought our kitten had been run over. We went out to her in the road and woke her up. She'd been sunbathing

* The times we took the dogs for a walk and she would follow us, mewling pitifully as though she thought we were leaving her forever

* The time a new cat in the neighbourhood dared to venture into our garden and she saw it off in fine style, even though it was three times the size of her. She was literally screaming at it

* The time we 'lost' her for a few days and found her napping in the wardrobe, buried in one of Matt's cosy jumpers

* The time we were on our way to the vets with her and she did a huge smelly poo in her cat carrier. It was so vile we started to retch and had to pull over and dump the little blanket she'd been sitting on in a ditch. We almost dumped her too.

* After that we abandoned the cat carrier, convinced that she was showing her disdain for it. We had to ferry her to and from the vet in Matt's van. She either sat on the headrest behind him or on his shoulder, caterwauling all the way. Once, she got her claws stuck in the foam around the edge of the rear window and was swinging around trying to get free, wowing away and looking like a gymnast on the parallel bars

She really was a funny little thing and she loved Matt more than life itself, I like to think that she knew he had taken her in when no one else wanted her. Losing her was so sad and there will never be another cat like her, she was very special. In more ways than one!


  1. Aw that's such a lovely but sad story. It sounds like she had a wonderful life with two lovely owners whilst she was with you though.


  2. I have a tiny cat called buttons who has been through the wars as well, i know how protective you get about them xxx


  3. I had a tear in my eye towards the end! I'm such an animal lover and I get so emotional when my animals are ill :( Poor little Mouse had been through a lot! xx


  4. This is so sad :( but what an amazing little cat. She sounds like such a brave little thing, and so loving too.. I would have killed those people that took her if I was you, the bloody cheek of it! I get funny if strangers even pet my animals in front of me, I don't know what I'd do if they openly stole them haha xx

  5. That is such an amazing story I'm nearly crying here, what a little trooper!
    I understand what it's like in rural places, we once had our cat Pumbaa stolen off us (on my birthday!) because a woman thought we were mistreating him. Half his ear had come off in a fight and it was being treated by the vets but because there was no dressing on it she thought we hadn't taken him to the vets.
    Loved reading your post about Mouse and (not to sound like I'm plugging here) I have a post about Pum on my blog because he died not long a go too, I've loved reading about your cats little traits and she seems to have been just as funny as our Pumbaa was :)
    Cats are funny little creatures haha.


  6. She sounds just like my cat that I lost last summer, a proper outdoorsy half wild cat that liked a snuggle every now and then. He used to be very overprotective of me and wouldn't let my boyfriend near me without biting him! xxx

  7. Such a lovely story, it's mad how animals can take up such an enormous place in your heart. I still miss my dog almost four years on.

    And AS IF that woman stole your cat!! I'd literally have murdered her haha

  8. What a beautiful post. I work with abandoned and mistreated animals regularly and know how resilient and brave they are. She had a lovely family in you, and you sound very lucky to have had her.

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely, heartwrenching story. X

  9. Oh Mouse! That was just the cutest and saddest story rolled into one. She sounds like the most special cat there ever was, and clearly was incredibly lucky to have owners like you guys :)
    Kaz x

  10. Thank you so much for sharing Mouse's story! She sounded like an incredible little cat!! did you work out what she had died from? i absolutely adore cats! i cant believe that the farmer would just run over her like that!! honestly that just breaks my heart!

    I have two crazy sisters Alice and Flo, who are my little babies! I love them so much!! My previous cat Jess, sounds like Mouse, she was a crazy tiny little thing and will always be so so special to me! She died when she was only 7 from a rare form of anaemia after loads of trips to the vets she just decided she had had enough. it was honestly the worst day of my life and i know it always will be.

    Its amazing how animals can be so meaningful in our lives and touch our heart like nothing else can isnt it?! I always feel so priviliged to have been Jess's owner and i think you will feel the same about Mouse!

    Thanks again for the story!!! what an amaizng little life she must had led and yes i think she might have used up all 9 of her lives! just like a cat should!! they have got them! why should she not have used them!! Hehe!! :D

    Jen xxx

  11. My goodness ... gonna go have a little cry over your kitten!! xxx

  12. Oh my, my little heart is all sad now! Lovely story, what a well loved and little fighter of a cat!

    Did those neighbours ever find out the truth?


  13. What a wonderful story. They bring such joy to our lives and then leave us in such sorrow those 4 legged friends of ours. Mouse sounded like a character and a half and you and Matt gave her a wonderful life.

  14. ohmygoodness!!
    I am so glad that you + Matt loved her and gave her a good life!! You two saved her so many times and I am sure that she loved you both more than anything in the whole wide world!!
    I know too what it is like to find/rescue a cat from the brink of death and years later have her die. It feels like your heart has been fractured and that a large chunk of yourself is missing. :(
    I hope one day you find/rescue another cat and give him/her all your love just like you did with Mouse!! :)

  15. Wow what an amazing little cat! I'm sat here crying my eyes out at Mouse's story - I'm a massive softy when it comes to cats and I knew it would be fatal if read this blog post! It sounds like you gave her a wonderful and happy life :) x

  16. Thank you all for your lovely sweet comments about Mouse!
    We heard that a few cats in the village died in December 2010 from antifreeze poisoning because so many vehicles leaked coolant when they froze in the extreme cold that winter - we think that's probably what happened to Mouse but she definitely did use up her nine lives.
    Thanks again for all of your comments - I love to hear your stories and sharing mine with you makes me realise why I love blogging so much! xx

  17. aawwww little puddy tat!!!!!!!!!! she obviously had a good life with you and i bet she knew hw lucky she was to be taken to the vets, put back together and given to Matt!! :) :) why cats sunbathe in the middle of the road I'll never know!! haha!!! :P

    Im so sorry for your loss but i'm sure she's up there looking down on you and your doggies!! :)

    Sarah - an animal lover! xo

  18. Oh my gosh! Im literally crying! That was the most beautiful and moving story, i've read. It does prove that little animals have big lives and hearts. Sorry for your loss but it shows you gave mouse the best life you could, a very lucky kitty! Your blog is definitely my favourite :)


  19. Oh what an amazing cat, this is such a lovely story about her life and what a beginning! It is so nice you have such amazing memories (barring the poop and the stealing incident), I love how much impact a pet can have on your life xxxx

  20. aw, this post made me cry. She sounds like such a special little thing and was obviously very happy with you both :)

  21. Just had a full on cry reading this! I'm a huge cat lover and have always grown up with them - when we lived in the Middle East 2 of our wonderful cats got run over (some Arabs consider them vermin so would probably have deliberately run them over), and I still get so emotional about it! This was a lovely story. X

  22. Poor little Mouse, I can't believe I've only just found this post on here. I'm nearly in tears reading about her ordeal, I'm so glad that she had Matt and yourself on her side.

    Cats are my favourite animal, I just adore them! I hate to think of harm coming to any of them.

    A lovely, sweet post.

    Amy xx

  23. What a sad story but any animal lover can relate. I read the whole thing and she seemed like such a character :-)


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