A tale of two kitties

Mr Ribs
This little fellow arrived at chez nous thirteen months ago. He was just skin and bones and could barely carry his body :cry: After having something to eat, he would always struggle of down the hill, where we thought he ‘lived’ The house, down the hill, area where we would see him did have a cat the same colour/type but they had added a dog to their household and we presumed Mr Ribs did not like it. Fast forward, after a few worrying episodes, six months and Mr Ribs decided he would stay with us :pray: :clap: much to the annoyance of Ellie

Who had forgotten she arrived chez nous under the same circumstances, I did take her to the house down the hill, where the neighbours showed me their cat, who was almost identical!
The closest neighbours said Mr Ribs did live down the hill, but I told them he would be staying with us indefinitely.
I found a tattoo :scream: in his ear, the vets assistant checked and he was registered at a place near Bordeaux! She phoned the registered number, but never got a reply :woman_shrugging: As he was now staying with us I went back to the vet to check him over. I mentioned the tattoo :scream: and she checked his details, but the surprise was, he is 17 yrs old! We were both surprised because he was/ is so small (thankfully no ribs showing now) She looked at his teeth and yep they are old :grin:

He now walks properly, for an old boy, and jumps on the chairs with ease, which is great because, I forgot to mention he is almost blind!


This chunky chap arrived at chez nous about five months ago! He would squeeze himself into a small overhang nook type area where two roofs meet. The neighbours opposite spotted him first, and started shouting out to me and trying to scare him away (will they ever learn :roll_eyes:) I asked them to leave him/her to me, please. He was very frightened and just go into the nook whenever anybody appeared, but he looked/looks too healthy for a stray/feral cat :thinking: Two weeks ago when I put his food out he sat within touching distance, he now loves to be made a fuss of, but the slightest noise or sudden movement and he runs! I have circulated his photo, via the Mairie, but no response, yet.


Lily, thank you for caring enough to help these two beauties, Mr Ribs looks very well for his 17 years. I ‘share’ my home with Little Red and before him Tush Tush (both ginger toms, both FIV+) both limped into my garden 10 years apart and decided I would be ‘ok’ to look after them! I lost Tush Tush (to the FIV+) in 2015 and not long after Little Red appeared.


We recently took a week’s holiday in Barcelona and our two cats were booked into a cattery, but on the day of their departure, the more intelligent of these two brothers spotted the cat carriers and fled up a mediaeval chimney at the back of the house. Consequently, at very short notice, we had to cancel the cattery and get in a cat carer who had looked after them once before.

Cat carer dutifully sent us reports and photos every day, but then told us that one cat - the not very bright one - had gone missing. When we returned , we put up posters around the village and OH went around asking about our former cat’s whereabouts - everyone said, “Consultez les Belges” an elderly and very eccentric Belgian couple at the other end of the village. We feed our pets with Royal Canin, but we now know that la femme belge feeds stray cats every morning with feline malbouffe and apparently our teenager cat (under two years old) has succumbed -he’s become just another ado runaway, hanging out with the feral cats and living off the feline equivalent of McDo.

We hope, but doubt that the prodigal will return …


We had a visitor at the door last night…a woman with an " old cat which is pregnant" which she had found down by the poubelle. Apparently our neighbours had said, Go an see the English couple…" in the hope that we might take her on- we have 5cats already (!), two we chose as kittens when their mother had been run over, one we adopted when the owner had to move into an animal- free flat, one who adopted us- we found her in the shed in England and Percy, a local stray Tom who visits for meals but lives outside for the time being - but would love to be an “inside cat.” I feel awful because we had to say no; had we looked at the expectant mum I’m fairly sure she would be here now! I’m just wondering if the French see (some) of the English as a soft touch when it comes to animals?

I wish I had not read your post Fenman :cry:
What area ?

We did wonder if Jasper is doing something similar. If I sleep late I do not see him for several hours, but he is always ready to eat :thinking: I just hope this cold weather is keeping his ardour in check, until he trusts me enough to be able to get him to the vet :cat2: :scissors:

There is a french lady about 1 km away who feeds a lot of waifs and strays…education education!!

We have nine lodgers at the moment, 5 adult cats that came with the farm and 4 kittens/young cats which have all now been neutered/chipped and vaccinated now as we don’t want any more.

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I have never owned a cat but a couple of years ago one of the several that wander through our garden was brave enough to come into the house.

Summertime, with doors open front and back she would wander in and slowly continue through and out the other side. Tosca, our English Setter, watched her carefully from the settee but made no move, either friendly or otherwise. One day One Eye (from birth probably no scarring at all) cautiously went to Tosca to touch noses. A step too far for her, a very private dog, so she snapped as a warning, but allowed her to progress as before.

Then we adopted an elderly Rottweiler, Boss. Very gentle and cuddlesome with the widest smiling grin. He was lying on the kitchen floor facing the rear veranda as One Eye started her stately progress. I stood by, ready, as Boss saw One Eye and slowly got to his feet. They locked eyes and One Eye sat down. As Boss passed by me I gently put my fingers through his collar, just in case. He stopped. Then One Eye got to her feet and slowly started to walk towards him, I tightened my grip as Boss moved as well. Their noses touched, just, very lightly. Then Boss turned back and resumed his place on the cool tiles in the kitchen as One Eye calmly went out into the garden.

It was a lovely moment and repeated several times without the close contact. We still see One Eye occasionally, but she doesn’t come into the house anymore, our current Beauceron/Dobermann, Jules, howls like a wolf at the sight of any animal, especially cats and gives chase. Thankfully his warning means he will never actually catch one, I am not even sure what he would do if he did get close, never having had the experience. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


My neighbour sent me this photo of a cat who had come into his garden. Her collar was stretched under her armpit and she was very skittish and couldn’t be caught despite regular feeding.

I lent him my cat trap and it took four weeks to catch her. She was a bag of bones, and the collar, still in place, had torn her skin which had become infected and had started to putrefy! However, the vet said she’d be OK.

She had an ID tag and the owner was found to be living in Bordeaux, 120 kilometres away.

The owner had moved to Bordeaux eight months ago, leaving her cat, Mishka, with her Mother until the move was completed. Then Mishka disappeared soon after - eight months on the run - eventually turning up in my neighbour’s garden.

Lucky pussycat and lucky owner.


Oh they are funny things! Our cat adopted us the summer after we arrived. He was also skin and bones but obviously house trained. I sent out texts to all our neighbours with his picture. Some friends down the road had been feeding him a few weeks but had stopped as they didn’t want another cat. 5 years on we were very upset about 6 weeks ago when he appeared to have disappeared. I ask a neighbour and they said they’d seen him on the road out the front so I knew he was still alive. I then caught sight of him in the garden across from us a few times. I started to get suspicious that he had moved in the with old lady (in her 90’s) across the way. After the initial period he was coming in for a mouthful of food then wandering off again. I confirmed this with some of her carers. It is the mum of our friend and the mayor so I went and had an apero’ at thiers a few weeks ago and had to say ‘I think your mum may have stolen our cat without realising’ (the carers said they told her it was a stray!!) we all cracked up laughing and they said they would go and get her a cat from the SPA but could we give some time. I haven’t actually asked what has happened but Oscar has been home a week or 2 now!!! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Over the past 10+yrs there has been a kinda conveyer belt of cats, including two we officially adopted. Thankfully we have never had more than 2/3 in house at any one time.
When Mr Ribs arrived ( because of his size we thought he was quite young) I was very concerned that he might outlive us! I cannot bear the thought of any cat/animal going hungry, so how do I start to deter strays from staying?

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Simples Lily, stop feeding them!!! :rofl: :rofl:


Only one of ours the eldest, stays in the house at night, we have resarected one of the out houses with new french doors and windows, cat doors, new roof, floor and walls and have two sofas and a double bed with a heated blanket on for the rest of them, kitty cat hotel my OH calls it.

My goodness - sounds better than our house :rofl:


This is my main worry about the 9 adult cats still in my care from the 25 or so abandoned kittens which came my way in 2008/2009.

Most of them are about twelve years old but the youngest is only six which means I shall have to look after myself.

My incentive to eat & drink healthily, lose weight and keep fit!


Full belly = Less worry :woman_shrugging:

But do all you cat lovers get them ‘fixed’? I have always made sure of that with our dogs and, of course, with working with rescue organisations for so long, it comes as 2nd nature to me now. :slightly_smiling_face:

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It took us a wee while to catch them all with 5 of them being originally feral farm cats, but all nine neutered, chipped and vaccinated now, best part of €1800 so we must love them :laughing::wink::grin:

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Absolutely, unfortunately the same cannot be said for the current little army of feline visitors to my garden, neighbours ‘acquire’ them and the novelty soon wears off and the poor cats are left to fend for themselves.

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But how many of the animals that end up at rescues are intact on arrival? Cats even more so because of their ‘freedom’ And the cycle continues… education!