April 3rd was World Spay Day and many veterinary practices throughout the UK (and I presume, the world) took part. My own surgery, Pet Care, with Kevin C at the helm, neutered and spayed 17 cats that day, and Gibbs was number 3 on the list. The money raised from this mammoth neutering session was given to Cats Protection to help further their work.
I was told to keep Gibbs in for as long as I could until the effects of the anaesthetic had worn off. Most of you know that Gibbs is a free spirit and although up until his operation he had occasionally stayed overnight, most of the time he was off to who knows where doing who knows what. At mealtimes you could pretty much guarantee his little face would peer through the cat flap and then, realising that it was safe to enter, he’d shoot through like a bullet to his customary position under one of the dining chairs.
So I battened down the hatches and he retired to his ‘hobo’ box and slept for most of the afternoon. I sat on the sofa knitting, watching movies on the Movies 24 channel, with Casey alongside me. I even dozed myself and anyone who chanced a look through the window would have noted a very peaceful scene of two cats and one lady of a certain age, all fast asleep. Casey even went down to lie next to Gibbs’ box just to keep a watchful eye on him, although watching someone sleep makes you sleepy too.
I had asked Kevin to estimate how old Gibbs might be. As he’d been coming around the house for about 18 – 20 months I guessed he might be 2 ½ - 3 years old but he’s a small cat, almost like a kitten. Kevin thought he was probably about 2 years old. I was shocked and saddened. That meant Gibbs had been fending for himself since he was about 4 months old. No wonder he scooted off suddenly for no reason. No wonder he was scared of feet and certain types of shoes. Perhaps he’d been ill-treated. Certainly the fact that he had never been neutered showed that his people were ignorant of cat care but to expect a young kitten to be out and about at only 4 months of age – well, that to me amounted to cruelty.
I managed to keep Gibbs indoors till about 5.30, then he had a bowlful of cat food and left. I wondered if he’d turn up again later that evening for his supper, and to my surprise he did. And even more surprising, he was still there the following morning for his breakfast. He does stay around the house for longer periods of time now although I think the habit of wandering off for adventures will take a while to come out of his system. He was also microchipped (see Jem’s article Chips with Everything to know how important that is) so now he is officially Casey’s brother and a new resident – much loved – of The Lazypaws Guest House for Discerning Felines.
He still likes sleeping in his box in the front room when we’re watching television and I’m knitting. I have a new great granddaughter due any moment now so I’m busy knitting pretty girly colours. Gibbs will often sit on my lap while I’m knitting but he doesn’t try to play with or chew the wool – so I’m happy about that.
Sometimes he disappears after breakfast and doesn’t return until mid-late evening. I always worry that he will come back but from what he eats when he does return, I’m guessing that he hasn’t eaten elsewhere. Casey is such a home cat, rarely even going outside, although that might change when the weather improves, and maybe Gibbs’ quest for adventure will rub off on him, and they’ll both have some great times ahead. I’m just thankful that both Casey and Gibbs chose our cat flap to wander through. I couldn’t imagine life without either one of them now.